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To disagree with DH about schools?

(20 Posts)
hadrian Mon 11-Jul-16 13:18:43

DS is 4 and due to start reception in September. We live in London and didn't think we'd get a place at any of the decent local state schools so we accepted a place at a little boys' prep school called Hereward House. Camden admissions called me last week to say that a place has come up at Primrose Hill school which is a lovely state primary, Ofsted 'outstanding'. Now me and DH are arguing about what to do.

The argument boils down to this...I went to a regular comprehensive, feel comfortable in the state system and want to support it. I also like it because DD (9 months) could go too. DH went to private school and doesn't understand why we wouldn't pay to get them the best education possible.

Both are great schools and we're really lucky to have the choice...but we've reached stalemate and I'm starting to feel a bit stressed about it. How can we reach a decision in a way that one of us doesn't feel regret/resentment for the next however many years?!

Ifailed Mon 11-Jul-16 13:24:07

Why not compromise and go for Primrose Hill and if your child doesn't do well there look into private? Unless you have money to burn, I don't see the point in paying when the state school is so good?

Snowflakes1122 Mon 11-Jul-16 13:27:08

Have you looked around both to get an informed decision?

MaddyHatter Mon 11-Jul-16 13:27:22

Have you visited both?

It might be worth visiting, meeting the teachers, seeing how they work and which you feel is the better environment for your child.

Middleoftheroad Mon 11-Jul-16 13:27:53

What a lovely position ťo be in. Agree with PP.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 11-Jul-16 13:30:55

visit both.

we have had threads befire which have indicated far to much is expected of reception classes in private.

but also witg state schools what's right fir one may not suit the other either so don't base decision on your dd. both could have very different needs.

if reception class's checked out I'd go private in a heartbeat provided I felt my child was the right kind to go.

with my two for instance I'd send dd1 private but I'd hold off on dd2...

just go see amd decide from there

hadrian Mon 11-Jul-16 13:31:57

Yes we've been around both. Both good in different ways. The prep school is smaller, more of a family atmosphere, quite academic, gears boys up to do the Common Entrance and go to posh private secondary schools. State school is more relaxed, much more of a mix of kids, more rooted in the community and seems more 'normal' to me.

stoopstofolly Mon 11-Jul-16 13:32:18

Ridiculously, you need to think about what your secondary options are. The London secondary day school market is absurd at the moment- competition is intense even for schools that were traditionally less competitive. You will find when it comes to entrance exams that the state sector (whilst giving a great education) obviously doesn't prepare them for these competitive exams- you therefore have to look into a lot of additional coaching in year 4&5. We've found that whilst DD is very able there is a gap that we've had to scramble to bridge- things she will be tested in on Jan that she hasn't even covered in her state school. Basically it's possible but babes things harder.

gandalf456 Mon 11-Jul-16 13:33:06

I agree with the first poster. I only see the point of private education if the local state school is inadequate. I see at lot of people get extraordinarily stressed trying to pay for it and it gets worse when you have 2 children at school.

Parsley1234 Mon 11-Jul-16 13:37:08

Yes the secondary school consideration is really important I doubt your husband will agree to your children going state if you can afford private. The primary will not prepare your son for secondary entrance into the indie sector and the jump from state to indie might be hard for your son longer days, matches, Saturday school etc

monkeysox Mon 11-Jul-16 13:37:08

Save the school fees and use your local state school? Especially if it's good. If you do decide to go private for secondary you could switch in year 5 or pay for tuition.

I don't live anywhere near London so I don't get the whole angst about state schools as it isn't an issue here but I am aware of it being tight for places in London.

Good luck.

c3pu Mon 11-Jul-16 13:41:21

If the state school is outstanding, and seems to suit your needs I'd save the money and send her there.

Perhaps put some money away for when she goes up to secondary school and you may be faced with a choice again, but perhaps with a not-so-good state secondary to worry about.

JudyCoolibar Mon 11-Jul-16 14:23:12

In our area, lots of children seem to go to state primary schools and private secondaries. The thinking is that the state primaries are all very good and they can get a tutor in to prepare them for entrance exams. My brother's DS did that and had no problems when he moved to secondary, in fact he did better than most of his classmates who'd been in private schools all through.

VinoTime Mon 11-Jul-16 14:23:12

I've just been incredibly nosy and checked out the fees for Hereward House. Holy crap, OP! That is a lot of money to be spending each term when you have an Outstanding Primary school place for your little person shock

I can't believe I'm about to say this, BUT because you're in London, you do need to consider your secondary school options. HH would certainly pave the way for DS to access the best secondary education and the transition would certainly be smoother.

However, I'm not sure I could ever justify spending that sum of money with such a good state school offering a place. You would be flushing tens of thousands of pounds and for what? DS will get the same fantastic education for free at the state school.

Do you envisage staying in London your whole lives?

gandalf456 Mon 11-Jul-16 14:28:15

Yes, wouldn't you want to spend the money on holidays and the like?

Hoppinggreen Mon 11-Jul-16 14:41:55

Although we could have afford to send DD to our local Private school at 4 we were offered a place at an xcellent State ones as well which was a bit unexpected as we were out of catchment.we decided to save our money and send her to the State school and her brother followed her there 4 years later. She will start at the same Private school in September having been offered a part Scholarship on Academic grounds and was also offered a Grammar place so State school CAN prepare you well for Selective Secondary.
In meantime we have had much more disposable income and have invested the money we would have spent on fees for DD for later. DS is staying at the State school for now but we know that if we want or need to we can move him to his sisters school.
I am also glad that DD has been at a large ( over 600 pupils) and quite mixed school as I feel it's given her a better more rounded experience. A lot of the children she has met at transition etc have been at small village or prep schools and she is much more mature and has more "street smarts" than a lot of them.

hadrian Mon 11-Jul-16 21:28:52

Yes I was shocked by Hereward House fees but apparently it's standard for London. Don't think DH will budge so we'll probably end up with the private option...but my gut tells me it's not the right choice. Am I worrying too much?! confused

EllsTeeth Mon 11-Jul-16 21:46:45

I'd say go for the school that you think suits your son better and, as long as you can afford it relatively comfortably, don't consider the money when making your choice. We went through similar angst to you recently - had always intended for DS1 to go to a local private school as we loved it but applied for a state place anyway as a back up. When we were offered the place at the perfectly good state primary I agonised over which would make him happier. And undoubtedly it would have been nice to save the money and use it for other things too. My husband and I decided to take money out of the equation and consider each school solely on how well we thought it would suit our son and what opportunities it would offer him, academically, sport, arts etc. For a number of reasons we settled on the private school and he will start there in September. I'd say if you can don't treat it as a private/ state debate but try just to consider the relative merits of each school.

EllsTeeth Mon 11-Jul-16 21:48:42

One of the factors which swung us was class size.

IonaNE Mon 11-Jul-16 21:51:24

From what you say about the 2 schools, the private one is the right choice, your DH is right. (Former teacher here.)

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