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Who is in the right re educating DC? (1st world probs)

(78 Posts)
butterflynight Wed 29-Nov-17 23:38:03

I have recently inherited a fairly large sum of money & potentially want to put it towards DCs education. However DH & I do not agree on how we should allocate it as it's not enough to pay for both DCs entire education.
DH thinks we should pay for private prep that preps DC for 11+ & then send them to grammar school. He thinks this will be cheaper & that grammar school kids are more appealing when applying for uni/jobs.

DC1 is in an outstanding local primary (reception) & I love it. I think it's a waste to spend the money on prep when we have a fantastic state primary on our doorstep. Plus I wouldn't want to put DC through a grammar school unless they could cope with it & we won't know that for a while yet. I would rather do state primary & then move them to private secondary even though it will cost more & have less cache.

Completely understand this is a 1st world problem & I do not believe private is necessarily better then state. DH went private but I went to catholic schools so it's new to me. Who do you think is BU?

AnathemaPulsifer Wed 29-Nov-17 23:42:35

If you have grammar schools around then make the most of your lovely local school, see whether they get into the grammar, and pay for private secondary only if they are allocated a bad school.

May need tutoring to replace the 11+/common entrance prep they'd have been getting in a private prep school.

WorraLiberty Wed 29-Nov-17 23:42:38

I don't think either of you are BU really.

By the time your child is in year 6, you'll know whether it's worth spending some money on tutoring and how he's likely to cope in either a grammar school, or a private senior school.

He's very young at the moment. Time will work this one out for you all.

WorraLiberty Wed 29-Nov-17 23:43:44

And of course whether he's likely to even pass the 11+ as obviously no amount of tutoring can guarantee that.

butterflynight Wed 29-Nov-17 23:47:33

Appreciate the replies. We are in SW London & I agree that it's a way off but so many of our neighbours & school friends have crazy plans already worked out so I think that is making me stress more.

annandale Wed 29-Nov-17 23:53:09

I would definitely hold fire for a while. What if they both want to become maxillofacial surgeons (double training, dentist then surgeon) or architects (seven years at university) or barristers (you have to live on air for a few years)? Education is a long business these days.

KhalliWali Wed 29-Nov-17 23:56:12

If you've got good state schools locally, then utilise them. Personally I would spend the money on a few amazing holidays abroad and show them a bit of the world. Travel is just as important as an education, if you can afford it.

Adamsmom Wed 29-Nov-17 23:58:27

Private secondary if possible. I don't know but to me seems like those teenage years are crucial and can make a huge difference to the rest of our lives or am I being dramatic?!

ThunderR0ad78 Thu 30-Nov-17 00:00:51

Personally I wouldn't do either. I'd use the money as a deposit for a buy to rent property and save for their future in this way.
The monthly rental and capital gain over the next 15 years could really set the up!

If they want to achieve well academically this can be achieved in the state system - it's up to them to want it. Good luck!

KhalliWali Thu 30-Nov-17 00:18:37

Adamsmom, the problem is that it is difficult to get your DC into a good private secondary without a prep education.

Tinkerbec Thu 30-Nov-17 06:43:00

As above I would not do either especially if you have good state schools in your area.

There are great life skills learnt from being a state school too. Much a wider range of society.

Swirlingasong Thu 30-Nov-17 09:05:57

Save the money until you need to spend it. If you have a good primary use it. If when it comes to it, you don't get a good secondary, spend it then. If you are lucky with secondary, save it for university or a house deposit. Don't spend it all now on the hope and promise of something good in the future. It's also a lot of pressure on your children when very young to know that mum and dad are banking on grammar school.

BarbarianMum Thu 30-Nov-17 09:18:17

Kahli its really not that hard if they're bright and you live in a grammer school area with enough money to pay for uniforms or travel. Failing that, in comprehensive areas you need to be able to buy in catchment (still cheaper than prep school generally) or "find your faith" for a few years if the good schools near you are church schools.

Problems really only arise if you lack money (in which case prep isn't for you anyway) or your child isn't that academic.

Iprefercoffeetotea Thu 30-Nov-17 09:18:42

I would use state schools and use the money to enrich their education eg with language courses abroad, school trips etc. And then pay for university etc - the biggest gift you could give them would be to come out of uni debt-free.

yummumto3girls Thu 30-Nov-17 09:33:32

Sending them to prep does not guarantee a better education! You generally find that private schools have a lot of children who struggle in mainstream. I would stick with your good primary, get a good tutor in year 4/5 for 11+ and work towards that. Your children’s happiness is far more important at this age.

grannytomine Thu 30-Nov-17 09:56:36

It might be that the money would be better used elsewhere. A friend of mine spent a fortune on her child's education. He is lovely but not academic but she decided if she threw enough money at it then she could change it so he went to a private school from 3 and then to boarding school from 11. He is never going to be academic, I think he got 4 GCSEs which must have cost £50k each. He left school and did an apprenticeship to learn a trade. I often think that £200k could have set him up in his own business.

That might be totally inappropriate for your child, just thought it was worth thinking about.

countingkids123 Thu 30-Nov-17 12:20:19

Trust me, if you’ve got a lovely primary school that is state funded and your dc is happy there, stay there! We went private for dc1, thinking we were paying to ‘protect’ him from the wolves at our local primaries where scenes from lord of the flies happen on the daily basis. I was wrong. He was tormented and the Head would hear nothing of the sort. She was more worried about upsetting the fee paying families that already had several children at the school, than little old me and DS1. We moved him, to an out of catchment school and he’s thriving there now. Couldn’t be happier. And his younger siblings got in this year under the sibling rule. Best decision we ever made. If any of them show potential for grammar, we will enter them for the 11+. If not, we will look around our local secondary schools and decide what we’re going to do. So much can change in a few years. They may show promise now and be ahead of their year group, but by the end of yr5 everything has evened out. Or they may continue to be ahead academically. But then they may not necessarily suit an academic grammar school environment. We are saving our funds for university fees, should they want to go.

BertrandRussell Thu 30-Nov-17 12:23:03

I would put the money away for university or to support them after. Clever, well supported children do well at practically any school.

wonder1ng Thu 30-Nov-17 12:38:28

OP if you're in south-west London, your grammar option is probably Tiffin (boys or girls)? Fantastic schools, but I wouldn't say they have more "cache" than the independent schools which are in reach - St Paul's (boys and girls), Kings Wimbledon, Latymer Upper, LEH, Hampton, Godolphin and Latymer, to name a few. These schools are internationally renowned with the top results nationally.
In some (most) areas going private for secondary may be seen as an "easier" option, but this is by no means the case in south-west London which has some of the most competitive entry in the world and GCSE / A level results to match. Even the so called "less academic" schools are far more competitive than top grammars in other parts of the country. An "academically-average" child will have quite restricted choices at 11 plus for indie schools, because the "average" is so skewed. There is no such thing as "just going private". Your child needs to pass the entry exams!
I would save the money for secondary as it will give you more options.

rightsaidfrederickII Thu 30-Nov-17 12:47:59

I would keep them in good state primary schools and then send them to good grammars or private for secondary and sixth form. IME the later the money is spent, the more impact it has on grades and hence future life chances.

As someone who works for a uni, I can categorically say that you shouldn't be worried about going to a private school making them a less attractive applicant. Widening participation efforts do not involve discriminating against private school applicants, it's about encouraging bright applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply, and measures of disadvantage go far beyond state vs private - often it's that only non selective state schools (ie grammars and private lumped together), free school meals, care leavers etc etc All it ever does is redress some of the imbalance

When I'm looking to employ someone, I don't look at what school they went to, I look at whether or not they can do the job.

FizzyGreenWater Thu 30-Nov-17 12:50:05

Private prep is a huge waste of money if you have good local primary.

It also means you've blown the cash before it's at all clear what the children are like academically, where their interests lie, what kind of people they are.

To be honest there's not a huge amount of advantage going to a grammar versus private secondary when it comes to uni applications I'd say. Grammars aren't the bastions of social mobility they once were!

I'd hold on to the cash through primary and see how things go, You just don't know what will happen - will they fly academically? Will they be arty? Musical? Will they have additional needs? Will they be better off in a small private environment or do really well in a bigger school? Having the money there to access in the future, when they need it, is the best option.

HistoryMad Thu 30-Nov-17 12:51:00

I would put that money towards a property that can keep you going once you retire (and maybe you can use for child's first home deposit). That is a better investment.

CruCru Thu 30-Nov-17 12:56:55

How much is it? University is £9k a year at present (so £27k in total, per child, for a three year degree).

minipie Thu 30-Nov-17 13:01:10

Save your money, for all the reasons mentioned above.

Crazy to assume your DC will go to grammar school. Even IF your child is academic enough, which you don't know yet, they are so oversubscribed anywhere near SW London that even very academic children won't be guaranteed a place. As there are so many of them.

Also, private preps mostly won't prepare your child for the 11+, as will assume you are going private for secondary too and will prep for those entrance tests (Dulwich schools etc) instead.

I would only advise someone to go private for primary if 1) they can afford easily to do private all the way through, or 2) they have no decent state primary option.

Moanyoldcow Thu 30-Nov-17 13:15:01

I haven't read the full thread but I work at a private prep in SW London (Finance, not teaching). London day secondary schools are a changing landscape and very hard to get in to without having attended a prep beforehand (not impossible but hard). It would be easier to get them into an all-through school which doesn't have Common Entrance, but many of those don't perform as well as nearby state secondary schools anyway but they do tend to be a bit cheaper so might be an option.

As you are in SW London with access to grammars I'm guessing you're near Kingston and/or Sutton. Grammars in both areas are highly competitive and our prep has trouble securing places for boys at those schools even where they are very academically able (the prep I work in is extremely oversubscribed and sought after).

Personally, I don't think that going to private primary and then state secondary (unless they'll prepare for 11+ entry to a grammar) is terribly fun for the child who will be used to a VERY different environment. I also think that state primary and private secondary is tricky as there will be lots of kids privately educated for a long time and they will be streets ahead in sports, music and all those other extra-curricular activities that private schools focus on. We have boys here who are competitively skiing, playing instruments at grade 8, entering public speaking etc - this will be the norm at a competitive independent senior school.

I wouldn't look at a mix and match - I'd either want to go all state or all private. If you live in the area I'd pay for the tuition to get my son into a grammar IF he's able. If he's not then I'd take that money and move to an area with excellent senior schools. Many of Kingston and Sutton state schools are excellent - I believe Glenthorne came second in Sutton's league table and there are 5 grammar schools in that area.

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