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Why on earth would you go state if you could afford private?

(1000 Posts)
Schmedz Wed 20-Feb-13 11:51:37

This thread is for Maisie and happygardening wink. I like dares!

50BalesOfHay Wed 20-Feb-13 12:02:15

We could afford private but have two at state school because:
our local shools are very good
the children are happy at school
both are bright but not especially academic and the curriculum at their school is varied and suits them
We live in a large, very sociable village and nearly all the children go to the same school and socialise out of school. It's a fab place to live
I'm a bit of an old socialist and am uncomfortable with the idea of buying privilege (although if our school wasn't so good I'd find those principles seriously tested)

senua Wed 20-Feb-13 12:02:19

Norty! You'd never guess that it is half term.grin

Is this from that interminable state v. private v. grammar v. whatever thread? They never move on, never resolve. I'm afraid that I haven't bothered to read the latest incarnation. Too much deja vu.

Wewereherefirst Wed 20-Feb-13 12:03:05

Because the state schools are better than the private ones in my area!

steppemum Wed 20-Feb-13 12:04:19

2 reasons for me (not that I can actually afford private!!)

1. I don't like the social exclusion thing. I want my kids to be aware of and relate to people from all walks of life.
Having said that, we are considering grammar school, so I don't mind selection per se, just don't like it based on money, not merit.

2. There are actually some very good state schools, with fantastic results. Not really sure that private is necessary (one of the grammar schools not far from us is in the top 10 schools in county) so why then pay for private?

I also wouldn't want my child to feel like they were the poor relation all the time, as all his friends have ski-ing holidays etc. Actually they have a good life and I want them to appreciate that. I suppose if I could afford private then that wouldn't be an issue.

And we don't live near a good private school, and I would hate my children to board.

Having said all that I went to private school, and I have thought about looking at scholarships. But in the end decided not to look into it for the reason given above (and instead have looked at the grammar schools!)

Theas18 Wed 20-Feb-13 12:04:53

We could afford private for one but not all 3, and the state options for them have all been the better choice of schools (because they are excellent grammars.... yup it's a state v grammar thread!).

We are using our "education budget" as it were, to help them through uni.

Arisbottle Wed 20-Feb-13 12:13:57

1. We wanted lots of children - hoping for 5 maybe even 6. We also have a stepson.
2. I want my children to go to the local school
3. I would rather help my local school become a better school than abandon it
4. I don't want my children to just mix with rich children
5. Not paying school fees means my children can do lots of activities and we have horses.
6. My local state school is very good.
7. I teach in a state secondary and live in catchment, I would feel like a hypocrite if I then farmed my children out to a private school.
8. My husband and I went to rather crap state schools and had quite feckless parents and managed to get into Oxbridge, my children go to good state schools and have loving, educated and involved parents. They will be no ceiling to their aspirations and achievements.

Sparklingbrook Wed 20-Feb-13 12:15:48

because the state school is great?

badguider Wed 20-Feb-13 12:18:19

Because our local state school is embedded in the community. The local private schools are like living in a gated community seperate from everybody else with a self-selecting (purely by income) group.

Ladymuck Wed 20-Feb-13 12:18:53

My political career will be in tatters if I send them to a private school. But I have tutors from Westminster School lined up for each subject, and have their fees ready for university, and I'll use the school fees saved towards their first flat. And of course I have their work experience all sorted for them.

Arcticwaffle Wed 20-Feb-13 12:19:08

Because I feel that state (comp) education served me well, and I see my 3 children thriving and happy in their local state schools.

Because we like local services that don't involve commutes or car use.

Because there is something lovely and bracing and cheery about a good state school. Yes there may be less pressure on children to work hard but I think that encourages self-motivation and gives a certain freedom. My comp-educated children are home at 3.15, they don't have piles of homework, and they have a lot of time to explore their own interests.

Because I'm a socialist lefty who likes the idea of everyone getting the same educational opportunities. It seems fairest, and I think it's good enough.

Because I think actually my children have many educational advantages already (over-educated professional parents) and I don't think an independent school would give them much "added value". Even if the money were just sitting there in the bank, it would seem a waste of money to me.

Branleuse Wed 20-Feb-13 12:20:16

I dont know anyone who sends their children to private school, even though many of us could afford it easily. It just never really occurred.

Branleuse Wed 20-Feb-13 12:26:16

Plus I LOVE the state school my 2 youngest are at. My aunty used to be deputy head, and my mum went to uni with the headmaster. Theyve been amazing with all my children.

Im also growing pretty fond of my ds1s new state secondary school which is popular with the people who missed out on the grammar by a fraction

NotGoodNotBad Wed 20-Feb-13 12:28:19

We can (and do) afford private education. But, we're not rich, and this is a big chunk of money that I'd rather not spend. If we liked our local school, as so many of you seem to, we'd certainly send our kids there and keep the money!

If it's never occurred to you Branleuse, I'm guessing your state school(s) are rather better than ours.

Schmedz Wed 20-Feb-13 12:34:11

Personally I think it is a no-brainer. If you (can afford to live in an area where you) have a state school that can offer a comparable or superior environment/standard of learning than a good private school, why would you pay extra for school fees...your council tax already pays a contribution to the LEA.
It is when your child is not GS material (or in an area where the only GS even vaguely nearby has 12-15 applicants for each place) and the local comp is dire, a private school suddenly seems very, VERY appealing.

steppemum Wed 20-Feb-13 12:41:31


I respect your choice, and yes the quality of your local school does make a difference, but I have to say I do take issue with you over money (in a very nice philsophical discussion type of way - not looking for a bun fight!)

I think I am right in saying that school fees for a typical private school are around 6-9,000? per year (day school)

Taking the lower number, that is 18,000 per year for my 3 dcs

That is more than my annual income.

So although you do not consider yourself rich, and you obviously can choose to do what you like with your money, I think that having 18,000 spare after mortgage and food etc is pretty high up the income level.

I appreciate that each family makes sacrifices (smaller house, lower mortgage, no holidays etc etc) to afford to do what they believe in. But there are no sacrifices I could make that would even get one child into private school

We always define rich as being more than we have ourselves.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 20-Feb-13 12:44:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

steppemum Wed 20-Feb-13 12:45:04

schmedz - there were several threads a while ago about places to live with good value housing and good schools. There were hundreds of places suggested. I don't think that good schools = expensive place to live.

However obviously where you live is not only about where you can afford to live, and London is in a category of its own I think

socareless Wed 20-Feb-13 12:47:20

Then this thread is not for you steppemum, you clearly can't afford private school so not a choice you can make anyway. Read the OP again.

Lancelottie Wed 20-Feb-13 12:53:38

Because DS1 has special needs that are best catered for at a specialist unit.
Because DS2 doesn't give a shit about education as long as he's allowed to do drama, musicals, film club, and ooh, let's see, drama.

...but I'll admit that I probably don't quite qualify to answer as it'd be a hell of a struggle to afford more than one lot of fees.

almapudden Wed 20-Feb-13 12:55:04

Where I grew up, there was one excellent, high-performing state school which had excellent facilities for sport, music and drama. A free private school, basically. It only took boys up to 16 but hsd a mixed 6th form

There was also a very good, relatively (!) cheap, girls' private school.

There was no girls-only equivalent to the boys' state school, and no boys-only equivalent to the girls' private school.

There were a lot of parents who sent their girls private and their sons state. It wouldn't have made sense to send the boys to private school when the choice was between one very mediocre, mixed private school and an excellent state option.

PootlePosyPerkin Wed 20-Feb-13 13:00:20

Because both DSs are at the most suitable schools for them - and both are state. DS1 has SN and is at a small state comprehensive with excellent GCSE & A-Level results and an even better "value added" score (which I actually think says as much, if not more about the school) & DS2 is sports mad and at a Specialist Sports College.

Also, there is only one private school locally which takes boys (two all girls schools though), and it is rubbish grin.

AbbyCat Wed 20-Feb-13 13:07:37

Because I believe in social integration. As sits we have to ate people from all walks of life. I don't want my dc to have a sheltered childhood. At the same time I want to protect them from bad experiences. Our compromise is to move to an area with decent schools and hope that dc are exposed to lots of kids from a variety of social backgrounds. I strongly believe their natural ability and the encouragement / support we give as parents is THE most important factor that decides how far they succeed. I went to private school away from my local community and I hated it. Always felt left out as there wasn't anyone from my area who went to the same school and I couldn't relate to other kids in the neighbourhood who went to state school.

AbbyCat Wed 20-Feb-13 13:08:00

Sigh. Stupid phone. As adults!

seeker Wed 20-Feb-13 13:10:50

What Arisbottle said. As usual.

Apart from the 6 children. I didn't start early enough, sadly. Wish I had!

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