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Think Carefully Before Opting for Private Education

(1000 Posts)
PRMum2012 Mon 29-Apr-13 23:50:44

i am a mum of two (23 months and 3 in august)I am self-employed, part time and married to a lovely architect. We have a great life and two happy kids.

On paper I would say I have not done too badly with my life and my aim is to work full time as soon as possible now my kids are a bit older. If the work was available I would happily work full time now.

Despite setting up my own business I can't help feeling like a failure that I can't afford for my own children, what my parents did for me.... It annoys me that I put so much importance on it ... I am now passionate about finding a decent local primary school for my children so they don't feel the same pressure i do now, when they are older and looking for schools for their kids ....but i'll be honest ......assuming i can afford it i would try and do it from 11 if i can....!!!!...

Hopefully by then, my kids will have an input too and they will be forming their own opinions on the issue.

Depending on mortgage and family support I can't see that it's possible for anyone with two kids earning under £80,000 - £1000,000 + (as a family income) to afford private education anymore, my advice is unless you have a thriving business or two, work as a dr, lawyer or banker.... Forget it.

It's really hard to watch my younger sibling do it for her kids, they are paying for private prep while we cant afford it.... But it really upsets me I feel like this... why can't I just be happy for them and quietly satisfied that I don't need to pay on top of my taxes for my kids education.

For my own primary education i went privately, tried the local school for secondary education but was bullied so moved back to the private system.... I had a mix of private and state during secondary - my second private school was amazing but the second state school I attended for 6th form (my choice) was great too so why is this all having such an impact on what I want for my own kids.

My DH is much more laid back, he went privately all the way through but doesn't place as much value on it as I do/did....I wish I felt the same way but all I feel now is pressure to earn more money so I can pay for them both from 11.

seeker Fri 10-May-13 08:15:47

"Wuldric I'm sorry to inform you but many supporters of state ed are now going to tell you that their chosen state school offers all of this and more. Or if it doesn't they have all the things being offered free on their doorstep so that their children can effortlessly participate in them after school. "

Oh, happygqrdening- please don't. Nobody would be dim enough to say anything like that.

rabbitstew Fri 10-May-13 08:16:45

You're right there, happygardening.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 08:18:07

"Nobody would be dim enough to say anything like that."
Really? Well I've seen in stated on MN numerous times so there must be plenty of dim MNetters out there.

seeker Fri 10-May-13 08:20:06

What- that the facilities available at a top, very expensive public school are available free, effortlessly, on the doorstep for all state school children?


happygardening Fri 10-May-13 08:24:38

rabbit the problem only really arises when what you as an individual parent wants from education is only available if you pay and you don't have sufficient recourses to do this.
If you or seeker or TOSN or MTS or I are happy with our individual schools thats great who really cares what others think of our choice its those who are unhappy and don't have many choices that have a genuine problem.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 08:28:38

No seeker that the facilities/results/extra curricular activities etc available at a top, very expensive public school are available free, at their state school or are available on their doorstep for them to enjoy when out of school.
You may not have read it hmm but I have.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 10-May-13 08:42:34

I only say 'hang on, we do drama/sport/three sciences/whatever' in response to posts saying State Schools Don't Do.... whatever. We probably don't do them in as lovely buildings, and we don't have an observatory... we know this!

wordfactory Fri 10-May-13 08:49:05

I think the most valuable thing one gets through private education is choice.

It is very clear that the education I fancy for both my DC is different from most people.

Hell, they need different educational experiences from each other!

If you go private you can choose to be different. You can buy what you think is important. Now if you use state education, you might, by chance, get an education that suits you and your DC. But you might not. The choice isn't yours.

And that's one of the reasons I still support selective education within the state system. It just provides parents a bit more choice. Otherwise, you will end up with only rich kids getting that educational experience, and that can'tbe right, can it?

rabbitstew Fri 10-May-13 09:00:45

happygardening - I don't think I've ever read anyone claim that their school's facilities/results/extra curricular activities are available in the exact same quantity and quality as at the most expensive public schools... I have seen claims that the opportunities are as good at a poster's local state school and using external organisations outside of school for the extras, as at a "bog standard" private school, however, which is not implausible...

seeker Fri 10-May-13 09:01:59

Actually,one of our local state schools does have an observatory.

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 09:10:44

Ok I delighted that you agree with Wuldric myself and others that when the push comes to the shove that the facilities/extra curricular activities including drama etc available at some independent schools are in a different league to those available in the state sector. Its so nice that we are all in agreement for a

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 10-May-13 09:11:38

How does selective education within the state system give parents more choice? confused

rabbitstew Fri 10-May-13 09:14:57

Whether the different league is necessary or not is another question. grin

rabbitstew Fri 10-May-13 09:16:07

However good the facilities, I would still rather see professional actors on a school stage than schoolboys on a world class stage.

seeker Fri 10-May-13 09:16:36

"How does selective education within the state system give parents more choice?"

It gives them the choice of a grammar school, obviously. The children of "people like us" are bound to pass!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 10-May-13 09:18:12

Well yes... if there were more selection, more children would be..... not selected. Where's their choice?

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 09:35:00

"Whether the different league is necessary or not is another question"
rabbit as we both agreed if we "are happy with our individual schools thats great who really cares what others think of our choice"

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 09:36:06

"if there were more selection, more children would be..... not selected. Where's their choice?"
I agree.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 10-May-13 09:36:45

thanks Happy! grin

wordfactory Fri 10-May-13 09:38:21

nit those DC who are in the top, say 10% would have the choice to go to a super selective, or the mixed ability school.

No one has to attend a superselective afterall. Many would choose not to.

seeker Fri 10-May-13 09:41:10

As I have said, I can see the point, I suppose, of the super selective. However, I do continue to wonder whether all the non selective areas of the country have significant numbers of high achieving children not achieving because they had to go to comprehensives.

motherinferior Fri 10-May-13 09:42:04

Wot Nit says

<looks at DD1's cheerfully effnic conglomerate of geeky mates doing three languages, three sciences and a wealth of other stuff at their scruffy local com>

happygardening Fri 10-May-13 09:45:27

The bottom line is that state education should be of sufficiently high quality that regardless of what your academic ability or back ground your educational needs will be met and your able to fill your full potential.

wordfactory Fri 10-May-13 09:49:15

seeker there are plenty of schools where no one gets a good blob of A*s. There are plenty of schools where no one has ever been sent to Oxbridge.

You cannot tell me there aren't bright kids there. They are underperforming.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 10-May-13 09:54:30

As a teacher who has worked in both, the main thing that makes a difference is parenting.
Parents who care, take an interest and get involved will always have children that do well.

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