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Pro's and Con's of switch from state primary to independant.

(12 Posts)
island81 Sun 21-Nov-10 11:02:27

Hi My DS (yr 2)took the entrance exam for a scholarship to independent school on Thursday. I made the decision to give it a try because he is on the g&t register at his school for maths and has a reading age of 11 but they don't seem to be extending him at his state primary. Part of me really hopes he gets in as I really feel the independent school would stretch him and keep him interested as well as providing excellent sporting and extra curricular opportunities. The class sizes are 15 as opposed to 30 and the children there are so well mannered. My DS held a door open for me when I arrived to pick him up from the exam and he has never done that!
On the other hand I worry about him being the poor kid in the rich school. We live in a little semi and have been on income support since my DH left and I had to leave nursing. I don't know how many extras there will be if he goes to the school. Not getting free school meals any more will be a struggle in itself, as well as the extra fuel for the car to go the extra 10 miles a day.
My DD starts primary next year and I also worry whether she would feel left out if she was unable to get into the independant school when she is older, or whether I should just treat them both individually on their own merit.
Sorry for such a long message, and it is pie in the sky at the moment as we are still waiting to see if he gets an offer. Has anyone been in the same situation that could ease my worries?

cantseeforlookin Sun 21-Nov-10 11:11:30

If I'd had the chance to get mine out of the state system I would have grabbed it with both hands, both feet and anything else I had available! Mine were recommended for the 11 plus but were told even if they passed with flying colours they would not get into the local grammar because the places went to the local kids first. I watched my girls gradually become so disillusioned and demotivated over the next 5 years - it tooks the next 10 years for them to to get themselves back on track. The now have good careers, in spite of and not because of the secondary school they attended. One of mine now teaches in an independent school, she has 12 - 15 in the class and cannot even begin to describe the difference from state school teaching methods. She is able to actually do the job she trained for, teach, motivate, encourage, allow her pupils to use their imaginations and stretch themselves as individuals. Go for it! You will not regret it. Each of your children are individuals, you will find a way forward to all of them.

betelguese Sun 21-Nov-10 17:33:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

betelguese Sun 21-Nov-10 18:08:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

betelguese Sun 21-Nov-10 18:11:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thinkingaboutschools Sun 21-Nov-10 19:03:37

I had a friend on a 100% scholarship at a private day school. She came from an extremely modest background. My friend never felt it an issue at school and it definitely helped her. Go for it...

island81 Sun 21-Nov-10 20:04:46

Thank you all of you!! Betelguese, I hadn't thought of everything you suggested and it is very helpful. My DD is also bright, but in a very different way to my DS. Where DS is logical and mathematical with a memory that puts mine to shame, DD (age 3) memorises books and makes up stories and songs, and loves painting and drawing (which I think she will be good at)She also writes her name already, forwards with her left and mirror image with her right lol. It may be that DD will be able to try to get in on her creative talents. Of course it is still pie in the sky as we are still waiting for results and I have no way of knowing how DS did on the day.Please keep everything crossed for DS as you have all really put my mind to rest, especially about the "poor kid in a rich school" worry.

PinkElephantsOnParade Sun 21-Nov-10 22:32:26

A good friend has a GS who has just started on a full bursary at a good boys day school.

His mum is a single mum on benefits.

He is loving it, the other boys are very friendly. They don't care how much money his family has or the fact he lives in a small council flat.

All that matters to them is how many goals he scores for the school football team! grin

Please, if your DS wins this scholarship, take it.

It will change your DS's life.

Your DD may well win a scholarship on the basis of her own talents, or she may not. Deal with that when it happens.

TBH, with such a big age gap I doubt they will do much comparison of their schooling. DD may not even realise that DS goes to a private school.

darleneconnor Mon 22-Nov-10 13:51:13

People I knew on scholarships got their meals and transport paid for too so i would enquire to the school about that.

smee Mon 22-Nov-10 14:00:36

Sounds like you really, really want him to get in, so I hope he does then you can decide..

Not sure if this is helpful or not, but it struck me there's a few practical things which you maybe need to think of too. eg: how are you going to do school run for two children at different schools? Even if DD gets in too she'll be at the state primary for a couple of years first.

Also, even if he gets a full scholarship, make sure it goes all the way through. A friend's daughter had a 100% scholarship, but it only took her to 11 and after that they had to find fees to get her through the upper school and allow her to stay with her friends.

Also, is your son happy at his current school? Does he have lots of friends? If so, are you worried about moving him at all? And have you talked to his current school about extending him? You never know, they might put your mind at rest in terms of his being stretched.

Lastly (honest) I disagree with PinkElephants. Your DD might be truly laid back and not care if he goes to a different school, but I'd say she will notice. DH got sent to a selective prep school, but his sisters didn't and they still go on about it today. A friend is similar.

PinkElephantsOnParade Mon 22-Nov-10 17:36:16

She will notice that he goes to a different school, but that won't necessarily be an issue.

She may well win a scholarship herself. If she does not Op could convcentrate on extra out of school activities for her to avoid her feeling neglected.

IMO there are only problems between siblings over going to different schools if there are other issues between them.

It's not as if OP is proposing to pay for one to goa nd not the other. Her DD can have the same opportunity to go for a scholarship.

Op, please don't think of not allowing your DS to take up the scholarship just to spare your DD's feelings. What kind of message will that send him?

tjandpootle Mon 22-Nov-10 20:24:31

I got a scholarship to a private secondary (many years ago smile). My parents let both my sisters take the same exam (knowing it was doubtful they'd get it as neither are academic but much more practical). Unsurprisingly, neither got it and they understood that my parents couldn't afford to send them otherwise. Instead, they got to go to all the expensive school trips (skiing etc) with their state school.

They always said that their schools suited them much better, whereas being the academic one, I was much better suited to my school.

No hard feelings and we've all been successful in our very different fields of work.

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