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anxious of 'private parents'

(42 Posts)
CaptainSquidBones Thu 25-Nov-10 22:29:40

We are being forced to put DS down for a local private school as there is a very high likelihood that he wont get into any state primary. Financially this is a big stretch for us.
Although we have chosen a fairly small independent school I am getting anxious about DS and us as parents feeling like fish-out-of-water as we are comfortable but not wealthy people . I am worried about being looked down on and feeling out of our depth socailly and financially.
Does anyone know what I mean?

thisisyesterday Thu 25-Nov-10 22:30:51

why would he not get into a state school??

Cyb Thu 25-Nov-10 22:31:39

All sorts go private

And there are just as many freaks in the state system, let me tell you

cece Thu 25-Nov-10 22:32:05

They have to offer him a place somewhere! They can't leave you without a school place.

CaptainSquidBones Thu 25-Nov-10 22:32:22

Problem with places and catchment areas.

choufleur Thu 25-Nov-10 22:32:44

He has to be given a place at the primary catchment school.

choufleur Thu 25-Nov-10 22:33:04

if you put it down as a choice that is

scurryfunge Thu 25-Nov-10 22:33:11

They have to offer a place somewhere.

BeenBeta Thu 25-Nov-10 22:33:46

Do I make you anxious?

Many parents with DCs at private school are not wealthy and struggle to afford the fees.

You will not be in a minority with a small local independent school. You will have a lot in common with many parents.

MissAnneElk Thu 25-Nov-10 22:33:48

Your DS will be offered a place at a state school. Do you mean he won't be given the school you want?

CaptainSquidBones Thu 25-Nov-10 22:35:28

A child in our street due to start in September still did not have a place by October and eventually went private. It is happening more and more that children in our area are not getting into any school. My sub-area is a particular problem.

pagwatch Thu 25-Nov-10 22:35:45

I think you are making huge assumptions. It will not help you or your child if you turn up expecting people to look down on you.
Children get sent to private schools via scholarships or via help from grandparents etc etc. This is not the bean - it ain't lord snotty and the bash street kids.

Don ' t be so judgemental. Ime the parents are the same in terms of welcome and friendliness as state school - and I have family and dcs in both.

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 25-Nov-10 22:35:45

As Cyb said, there are all sorts that go to private school and you will find a group you are comfortable with.

It is very easy to feel intimidated but it is amazing how many do put up the front of being well-off ...

Cyb Thu 25-Nov-10 22:36:18

I wouldnt give the other parents a thought

they are just people, like you

choufleur Thu 25-Nov-10 22:37:50

really so long as you put your catchment area school down as a choice then they have to offer you a place there. It's when you don't put it down as an option that you may end up without a place.

CaptainSquidBones Thu 25-Nov-10 22:38:34

I owuld be happy to accept any of 6-8 schools in our borough that are within 1 mile of where I live but outside of religious schools no-one in my street has got in, in recent years.

Believe it or not this is the case and we have thought or all ways of getting round it. One of which was to register with a private school as an insurance policy but I am now nervous about it.

onimolap Thu 25-Nov-10 22:38:56

I don't think playground cliques are any worse in private schools, and Queen Bee tendencies are unrelated to wealth.

I think you'll find many parents at the school you've chosen will be in a similar financial position to you anyway.

montysorry Thu 25-Nov-10 22:41:21

There are weirdos and crazy ladies at all school gates. It's not the preserve of the private sector!

Choufleur, sorry, but that is completely inaccurate. LEAs do not legally have to do this (though your LEA may well make this promise) They do need to offer you something though.

SlightlyTubbyHali Thu 25-Nov-10 22:42:50

Most of the private school parents I know are like you: not badly off but hardly flippant about the fees either.
Not only that, people are generally not awful snobs and you will be fine.

FWIW, we were in the same position as you: none of the local schools had room for DD and she was offered something some distance away with the worst Ofsted I have ever read. We went private and although the fees make me nervous we are very happy with the school. Also I think it is a lot better than having to leave your child in nursery for an extra year as some parents in our area have opted to do.

montysorry Thu 25-Nov-10 22:43:06

I know one parent who was given their 6th closest school.

CaptainSquidBones Thu 25-Nov-10 22:46:42

What most of you have said does make sense of course. If I find it hard to get a state place then so will other people. I get it.

There is something about DS going to school that just reminds me of my school experience. I think I am regressing to my childhood .

Am now a bit ashamed of my wobble. The fees do give me palpitations though.

montysorry Thu 25-Nov-10 22:48:00


montysorry Thu 25-Nov-10 22:48:29

Sorry, wrong thread.

exexpat Thu 25-Nov-10 22:57:18

choufleur - there are plenty of places where unless you live with a couple of hundred metres of the closest school you end up being offered one miles away. There is a severe shortage of primary school places in some popular family areas in my city, due to poor planning, and last year more than a hundred families did not get places at any of the six or eight schools within a mile's radius of their homes. Instead they were offered places for their four-year-olds at failing schools several miles away, and were expected to either take them there themselves or put them into taxis.... The independent schools around here have been expanding their infant and junior sections as a result.

captainsquidbones - unless the private school you are thinking of is Eton or similar, you really don't need to worry about how wealthy or otherwise you are in comparison to the other parents.

There genuinely are people of all possible backgrounds at most city day schools - some struggling and cutting back to pay the fees themselves, some on bursaries, some getting help from grandparents etc. And some will be genuinely loaded. There will only be a problem if you arrive with the expectation that everyone else is richer and will look down on you. They won't be - but people can spot chips on shoulders.

tjandpootle Thu 25-Nov-10 23:43:05

I know what you mean about 'fee palpitations' and I assure you you're not alone. After being on the waiting list, we've just had a place confirmed in Reception for my DS next September in a private prep we fell in love with. Half of me was pleased he'd got in but the other half felt rather nauseous when thinking about the fees. Like you we're comfortable but not wealthy and I had to do a lot of spreadsheets to convince myself it was within reach (with a few sacrifices along the way). I still think I may feel like vomiting every time a fee bill comes through though grin.

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