To feel I have utterly let down my children by sending then to a state school?

(1000 Posts)
hibbledibble Sun 26-Sep-21 00:06:57

I went to a private school, and achieved very well academically.

My children go to a state school, as I can't afford private school. I will never be able to afford it sadly. They go to the local community school, which has a reputation for not being academic.

My eldest is extremely bright, and tested many years ahead of her age on entering the local primary. Now, she has failed to even get to the second round of the 11+. She has really just coasted at school, as they have not set any appropriate work for her, despite multiple requests. They say they can't offer 'gifted and talented' provision, due to funding.

Her sibling is very behind on learning, as she missed loads of school due to lockdowns, and the school offered very little remote provision throughout most of the time. I have asked for support for her, but am told that nothing is available, again, due to funding. Meanwhile, she is struggling with even the basics.

I do think that both of my children would have done better, had they gone to a school where their individual abilities and learning stage was catered for, and they were helped to achieve their potential. I feel I have let them down by not providing them with a good education, which they could have had if I had the money.

Now it's looking likely my eldest will have to go to the terrible, and rough, local secondary, and the underachieving will continue.

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user1471517900 Sun 26-Sep-21 00:09:49

Can't you help teach them things?

hibbledibble Sun 26-Sep-21 00:11:06

Yes, I do, but it's very difficult when it comes against a backdrop of learning very little to nothing at school. They are tired following a school day, and I'm also limited time wise as I work long hours.

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user1471517900 Sun 26-Sep-21 00:11:27

You've just put a lot of blame on the school, but if it was too easy then do some harder things at home surely to help stimulate their minds.

Blaming the lack of private school feels like the wrong argument

hibbledibble Sun 26-Sep-21 00:14:12

If I wanted to educate them myself, I would have home schooled. I had naively thought that they would receive an education at school.

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ZittiEBuoni Sun 26-Sep-21 00:16:53

You haven't utterly let your children down by sending them to a state school. I went to Bristol from one of the roughest schools in the country, before the existence of contextual offers. I don't think my parents (both of whom left school at 15) agonised about the terrible hand they'd dealt me for one second.

sheiselectric Sun 26-Sep-21 00:16:57

I promise I'm not trying to be an arse...but if you went through private and can't afford to send your kid to private now...then surely you know going to private school isn't the be all and end all.

Children can go to state schools and still go on to have wonderful careers just as many private school students go on to have very average careers.


Puffalicious Sun 26-Sep-21 00:17:24

Absolute nonsense. Education is a right not a privilege. Our state system is excellent. My older sons go to a very mixed, large comprehensive in Glasgow (we don't have grammars/ selective state schooling). My eldest received the school dux in August- the top grades- in all 5 subjects (A level equivalent all over 90%). He is applying for Oxford for 2022. His younger brother is also doing excellently. What more could a private school have given my boys? Please enlighten me.

ILiveInSalemsLot Sun 26-Sep-21 00:18:21

Can you afford a tutor?
I learnt quite early on that you can’t rely only on the school if you want your dcs to achieve academically.
You have to either throw some money at it or work with them yourself.
At primary age, I paid for on line maths sites (maths factor), bought workbooks, did lots of reading and all the usual days outs and watching documentaries to broaden their horizons a bit.
At secondary school age, I pay for a tutor and make sure they stay on top of work.

Igneo Sun 26-Sep-21 00:19:18

I’m not convinced that testing years ahead on entry to primary school equates to gifted and talented. I'm quite glad they don’t waste money on this.
Children learn at different rates... some kids seem bright in key stage 1 but their peers have caught up with them by year6.

I think you have to make the best of what’s available... no use wringing hands over a ‘terrible’ school. Your kids will learn plenty there... how to mix with people from different backgrounds is extremely valuable.

hibbledibble Sun 26-Sep-21 00:19:23

electric I'm a doctor, so I have done well academically, and professionally. Unfortunately, private school fees have gone up way above inflation, and doctor's wages have stagnated to below inflation. I have not failed, but have chosen a job I am passionate about, rather than one which is well paid.

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Puffalicious Sun 26-Sep-21 00:19:39

Where's your evidence that they're learning little to nothing? Educational professionals don't train for years to sit and twiddle their fingers.

Pinkchocolate Sun 26-Sep-21 00:21:47

Could you not send them to a better state school? Or get them tutors? I live in a “rough” area and my kids have and are thriving. Also, it’s extremely naive to think that most children in state schools don’t get their needs met, that isn’t something exclusive to private education. There are good schools in every area and it would be better for you to find one that caters to your children’s needs.

Puffalicious Sun 26-Sep-21 00:21:50

'I learnt quite early on that you can’t rely only on the school if you want your dcs to achieve academically.'

Not for everyone. See my above post. Also my niece has just started medicine: state school, no tutors.

Tohaveandtohold Sun 26-Sep-21 00:22:26

Surely you could impart the knowledge you gained through your private education to them.
You can’t blame the school for everything. Neither can you blame lack of funds for private schooling.
I’m sure there are lots of children in the state school who aced their 11+, many of who have dedicated parents to help them get more from what they learnt at school.

hibbledibble Sun 26-Sep-21 00:22:53

I can afford a tutor, but getting and retaining one has been difficult due to lockdowns. I'll look again now.

The school administered tests evidence the lack of learning.

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ANameChangeAgain Sun 26-Sep-21 00:23:27

Not many of us can afford private, but how well they do at school is down to them and to you.
You have to put in the work yourself. You have to help with homework, teach them how to research topics they aren't understanding at school and most of all motivate so that they aren't coasting. Coasting can happen at private schools just it can in state, its what goes on at home that alters their attitude at school.
For example, I used to volunteer read with children at our local primary, and the clever kids all had parents marking home reading in their record books. Many of the children needing support or struggling with basics all had parents who didn't bother reading with them at home. It wasn't about money, it was about time.

Puffalicious Sun 26-Sep-21 00:23:46

Reading this thread there is so much judgement of schools. Schools have teachers that are trained to the same level: there is no difference on how well qualified a teacher is no matter where they teach: they all need a PGCE!

worriedatthemoment Sun 26-Sep-21 00:25:24

Why not move to another school if that one is so bad , a lot more children go to state school in the uk than private , thats just the way it is
You can also use tutors etc to top up

Puffalicious Sun 26-Sep-21 00:25:40

OP are you going to respond to my comments? What more could private education have done for my DS?

bethabean Sun 26-Sep-21 00:26:05

I'm sorry but this is ridiculous.

There are children at private schools who do not do so well academically and there are children at state schools who do amazing and go on to have amazing results and careers. You cannot home the schools for this, every child and family is different from the next. Whose to say that just because you did well in private school, your children would?

hibbledibble Sun 26-Sep-21 00:26:10

In terms of difference, class size would be a big one, as well as funding, and facilities. I have been told repeatedly that funding is an issue, which is why no support can be offered. Currently they are in classes in excess of 30 pupils, with barely room to move in the classroom.

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olidora63 Sun 26-Sep-21 00:26:14

I went to private school and didn’t achieve anything…in fact it was the worse decision my parents ever made ! My children all went to state grammar schools and have achieved so much!! All went to RG university’s…so much more than I ever achieved at private school!

AlexaShutUp Sun 26-Sep-21 00:26:16

I think you're being ridiculous. Of course you haven't failed them by sending them to a state school. However, you might just end up failing them if you give them the impression that they're doomed to failure because they are not privately educated.

Lots of kids would benefit from getting a bit more individual attention in smaller classes, but there are nevertheless plenty of kids who excel in the state system. Frankly, outcomes depend at least as much on the parents as they do on the school.

As long as you don't pass on your weird hang ups about private education, your kids will probably be absolutely fine.

Neonplant Sun 26-Sep-21 00:26:18

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