Advanced search

Mixing state and private education - good or bad idea?

(22 Posts)
mrsscoobysti Wed 15-May-13 23:21:17

Hi - I am probably getting way ahead of myself here. My DS is only 3 but I am already worried about secondary school. We will not be moving due to our business and the local secondary school is frankly shocking.

So we've been looking at our options. There is a good grammar school and hopefully if DS is bright enough this will be our only option.

In the meantime I am 99% sure of moving him from his current nursery to one at a local prep school - I think he would love it. I visited the school today and was really impressed. At the moment cost doesn't come into it as they accept his 15 funded hours.

My dilemma... whilst I think we could fund his first few years at prep school (first 2 terms discounted as will still be in receipt of his funded hours and hopefully we will qualify for a bursary), at the age of 8 the fees double which we have no hope of covering.

So .... do we keep him in and then move him to the local state school at 5 (which has an excellent ofsted report), or do we keep him in prep school until the fees increase?

My thinking is that if we want to give him a good chance of getting into the grammar school that the investment is wise at primary - but since we can't afford this beyond the age of 7 is it worth it at all?

More importantly will he transfer well out of private and into state at the age of 7?

And that is assuming we can get him a place in a state school as we have a serious shortage of primary places in our area.

Has anyone else done this or similar?

QuintessentialOHara Wed 15-May-13 23:23:48

I suggest you save your money and get him in from Y3/Y4 onwards. Ensure his life is enriched with great experiences, good books, sport and music, to bridge the gap.

Startail Wed 15-May-13 23:26:26

Private nursery, state primary, private secondary is what many of my friends did, but they all moved at 5 and 11.

I think entering the state sector at 7 would hard as all friendships would be established.

savoirfaire Thu 16-May-13 00:12:10

Moving schools at 7 is fine. Kids are much more adaptable than adults.

savoirfaire Thu 16-May-13 00:12:53

And it's VERY common for this to happen in private schools btw, so no reason why it is less easy in state.

musu Thu 16-May-13 07:20:47

I think it is hard to move from state to private at that age. You quickly get used to the small classes and the attention which you cannot expect in most state primaries. However children are adaptable. I know a few children who have moved to state at that age for financial reasons and without exception they have struggled to adjust with the work. They moved into good state schools but were significantly ahead of their new peers and that took a while to sort out. I thought the prep school's mantra of working two years ahead was rubbish until I saw it in with these dcs.

Personally I'd do state primary and use your money for tuition in year 5 for 11+. The private schools near us don't prep for grammar. They either expect children to go the senior school with its own entrance exam or do CE at 13.

CalicoRose Thu 16-May-13 07:29:48

You won't get a place at a good primary at 7. It will be full.

So for that reason I wouldn't consider starting off in private if I couldn't afford it later.

mummytime Thu 16-May-13 07:42:09

If the primary is good then send him there. Maybe get to know some of the prep school staff with a view to some tutoring later (a friend did this).

However I would also save money to provide a plan B to grammar school. Your DS may not be grammar school material or may have a learning issue.

mrsscoobysti Thu 16-May-13 10:25:44

Thanks ladies... it all makes sense to go state at 5 and then looking at tutoring and/or saving for private ed at secondary.

Now I am left wondering whether we send him to the nursery at the prep school for the next year, as there is an excellent one attached to the state school that he will most likely go to next year.

My brain hurts!

Talkinpeace Thu 16-May-13 18:03:26

round here kids move back and forth depending on parental economics and stuff
its no big deal

Theas18 Fri 17-May-13 11:37:09

Don't know if moving school back to state at 7yrs will be any advantage to him.

Round here preps are seen as a way into grammars and they do a lot of preparation for the (apparently unteacheable!) tests. THe test is sat Sept of year 6 when they are all just 10.

You'd be better having him in a prep for years 3-5 and if finances are very strapped moving him to state at year 6 after he's had the 11+ training and what have you.

State from year 3 would not prepare him for 11+, you'd probably need a tutor, at least for exam technique as state kids really aren't prepared for timed exams until they do the year 6 SATS...

What are your non grammar options if he isn't grammar material? that's a real big issue I'm afraid.

Unlined Fri 17-May-13 12:00:21

Save your money - state until year 5 then prep. Thats what we do and it works a treat (unless you have miserable teacher at your prep school hmm)

Theas18 Fri 17-May-13 12:12:04

unlined advising state until year 5 maybe erroneous advice depending on liming of 11+. If it is very early september as it is here the 11+ prep work starts properly in year 4. A move in year 5 could be too late to benefit

Unlined Fri 17-May-13 12:20:30

sorry yes we dont have 11+
three years at private school prep often helps with scholarships to senior private schools if that's what you want to do
choose your secondary school first then base decisions on primary around that.

mimbleandlittlemy Fri 17-May-13 12:39:58

When I moved to where we are now the local secondary had a terrible reputation but in the 7 years my ds has been at primary it has gone from scraping a Satisfactory with dire exam results and a local copper at the gates at letting out time each day to separate the fights, to being in the top 20% in the country with a recent Ofsted rating it Good with Outstanding Features and a truly inspirational new head who is determined to get it to plain straight Outstanding. Ds off there in September.

Given your child is only 3 you do have time in hand and as others have said it is worth saving on the prep school, going state at primary - and waiting to see what might happen especially if money is going to be tight. Certainly don't rely on getting bursaries as that is most definitely getting harder and harder each year.

sue52 Sat 18-May-13 18:16:19

If the local primary has an excellent reputation, I would just send him there and use some of what you save for tuition to help with the 11plus.

Talkinpeace Sat 18-May-13 21:14:08

what 11 plus
it does not exist in most of the country (thank goodness)

greenfolder Sun 19-May-13 08:17:41

really not ideal to plan to move a child half way through primary, regardless of state vs private. start at primary- most of reception and year 1 is child led stuff anyway. unless you can comfortable afford fees, you will really struggle to justify moving a child from a good primary to a prep school.

get a tutor for 11 plus or seriously look at moving- we live on the beds/bucks border for example- the beds side- almost all the local children go to the excellent comp- topped up with those that did pass/did not sit the 11 plus whose parents dont fancy the alternative. some travel along way, some parents move so kids dont have to.

also, you might find that the secondary schools have changed significantly in the next 5 years,

sue52 Sun 19-May-13 14:12:54

Talkingpeace, the op mentions a local grammar, so I assume there is the 11plus in her area. I do tend to agree with your "thank goodness" though.

boomting Thu 23-May-13 01:15:38

It does tend to be easier to move from state to private than the other way around, IME. In addition, assuming that certain basic standards are met, I think that you get the most bang for your buck in later years of education.

If I were you I'd go state now, and then go private at 11/14/16 as finances permit

tackedoff Thu 23-May-13 11:09:04

"really not ideal to plan to move a child half way through primary, regardless of state vs private. start at primary- most of reception and year 1 is child led stuff anyway. unless you can comfortable afford fees, you will really struggle to justify moving a child from a good primary to a prep school. "

The majority of people I know at private school moved from state to private. Its very easy at any age and almost always totally worth it smile

Fridayschild Mon 27-May-13 07:23:26

I moved DS from a state school which was OFStED good to a prep school after year 2. Like you I was worried about what happened at secondary level. He was in the middle of his year group at the state school, and in more or less the same place at the prep school ( not academically selective). I'd save your school fees money for junior years not infant years if I were you.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: