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Private school at primary or secondary - which is the better option?

(370 Posts)
Reastie Mon 01-Jul-13 12:37:25

I live where there's the 11+ in an affluent area where essentially secondary modern/comprehensive schools are mainly people who fail their 11+ and their parents can't afford private education and are generally rough and not very high expectations/behaviour (I work in education in the area at all types of secondary schools so know this).

DD is only tiny but I'm looking at preschools for her and thinking about primary schools (ideally she'd go to the same preschool as primary).

DH and I have accepted that if she fails her 11+ we will pay for her to go to private school. We will be in a better financial position then to pay for it as we will have paid off the mortgage on a second property and have a monthly rental income (we sound better off than we are in that sentence!).

However, talking to people today and looking around various primary/pre schools I'm now wondering whether we aren't better off paying for private school for her primary on the basis they will give her more individualised care and stretch her better so that she will be more likely to pass the 11+ and so go on to grammar school at secondary (and so we spend money now to save money later IYKWIM). There's always the possibility DD still won't pass it but at least we will have done all we can for her to get there and so I'll feel happy that I've done what I can.

I'm not a pushy parent (although realise I probably sound like I am!) I just want the best for DD and want her to flourish as much as possible.

So, are there any thoughts on paying for private primary on the foundations hopefully it will help get DD through the 11+ and give her more of an individualised education? Is this common? It is worthwhile?

happygardening Sat 06-Jul-13 15:38:29

"Are there any additional expected costs to those stated in your literature (e.g. cost of text books etc) and how much should I expect to add to yearly costs?
Is that last one unreasonable/usual to ask?????"

Nope neither unreasonable or unusual you are a customer. OP you seem unsure about independent ed let me remind you of two well known phrases;
"All that glitters is not gold"
"Caveat emptor"

Reastie Sat 06-Jul-13 16:09:16

Very true happy

Mitzi50 Sat 06-Jul-13 21:35:00

We did state primary until year 5 then selective indie. DD transferred to grammar school for A levels. DS wants to stay at indie for 6th form as sports provision is better and he likes flexi boarding.

DD believes being in the state sector for A level will be a benefit for UCAS.

There is a local hothouse prep school which has a high pass rate for the grammar schools but I don't feel either would have been happy there.

rob99 Sat 06-Jul-13 21:41:40

Thanks to all of you that can afford to pay for your children's education with the ultimate goal of giving your kids a distinct advantage over my state educated kids in the hunt for the best jobs.....


bico Sat 06-Jul-13 22:46:04

What an odd post rob99. I wonder if you are a two parent family. If so how very dare you have a happy relationship that enables your children to be raised in a two parent household. How dare you have that advantage over my dc.

See, it's not all about you is it?

rob99 Sat 06-Jul-13 23:12:37

Private education is a choice available only to those who have the money......a happy relationship is often in the lap of the Gods and doesn't necessarily require £5k a term to make it successful.

Tasmania Sun 07-Jul-13 00:24:46

rob99 - Parents of privately-educated children could potentially save the money they spend on private school fees, and instead spend it on: loads international experience and a deposit for the first house.

Do you want to forbid that, too, given the above gives the kids a head start in life? The latter is self-explanatory, but IMHO fluency in several languages, and an international outlook in life provides an advantage that is equivalent to many private school options out there (once kids leave the nest and have to find a job).

lottieandmia Sun 07-Jul-13 02:06:49

'Private education is a choice available only to those who have the money......'

rob, this is not true actually. It's much easier to get bursaries to private schools these days.

Reastie Sun 07-Jul-13 06:25:06

Erm, thanks rob that was extremely useful hmm

rob99 Sun 07-Jul-13 07:13:58

It's Ok. I get it. Life's a competition. You want to give your own kids an advantage over mine and the majority to ultimately gain a better standard of living.

Reastie Sun 07-Jul-13 07:22:31

Are you a bit bitter rob ? It's just it seems a bit of an unnecessary comment. I wasn't asking for judging about whether you agree with private schools and your comments haven't exactly been helpful for me.

happygardening Sun 07-Jul-13 07:48:34

rob I can only speak for myself I have DS's in both independent and state ed. I am not paying to give my DC an advantage in any future job market although I accept some are. I pay because I like what the school offers my DS today; the type of education which IMO is not available in the state sector.
Secondly don't delude yourself I think you'd find that just by being relatively wealthy white MC graduates/professionals who live in a very affluent white area we are already giving our children a major advantage it's not just about sending them to independent schools.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 07-Jul-13 11:19:33

I am not paying for my ds to have an advantage over yours in the job market. I couldn't give too hoots about what job he gets.

I am paying for him to be safe. And happy. He has special needs which could not be adequately catered for in the state system (in our area).

I would posit that if you are the parent of neurotypical children they already have a massive advantage over my child.

bico Sun 07-Jul-13 11:43:44

rob99 I think you are completely missing the point about education. I have no expectations of what ds will do when he leaves school. He has a talent and that talent was rewarded with a large scholarship that is open to all with his natural ability.

Not all people whose dcs are in private education actually pay for it. If your dcs are very able then it is open to you too to give them the advantage you perceive others like me have given their dcs. It has absolutely nothing to do about money.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 07-Jul-13 13:08:12

...two hoots...obviously

rob99 Mon 08-Jul-13 16:22:08

All kids should attend their local state need for mummies driving Tarquin and Tabitha 40 miles in their Chelsea tractors. Better for equality, better for the environment, better for the majority, less of a two tier elitist educational my opinion.

poppydoppy Mon 08-Jul-13 16:33:18

Rob99 you sound like a communist

rob99 Mon 08-Jul-13 17:44:54

I'm not a communist. I just think with some of us so single-mindedly focusing on our own little bundles of joy, the society and community we live in is poorer for it. I know it's a big competition and everyone is jockeying for position for the benefit of their own but no good will come of all this selfishness my opinion.

lottieandmia Mon 08-Jul-13 17:49:57

rob - I think you're barking up the wrong tree tbh. We live in a world that isn't fair - some people are ugly, some are beautiful, some have loads of opportunities and some have more money than others.

It's life. It's not fair but it is life. What's the point of having a go at people for choosing a private school? You might as well moan at people for a vast number of other issues as well...

poppydoppy Mon 08-Jul-13 17:50:04

Most state schools are oversubscribed we are doing you a favour by educating our children privately.

Wuldric Mon 08-Jul-13 17:58:41

Some schools do provide generous bursaries. Most do not. It is not accurate to say that they do. Our schools offer bursaries for those whose family income is less than £35k. Those bursaries are extremely generous. If you earn more than this magic £35k cut-off point (which most families do, by the way) then you get a teensy little honorarium of a scholarship. DS has one of those. It really is minute - around £1k a year off the fees.

I think Rob has a point. An absolutely valid point.

In my ideal world, all state schools would be secular, open to all, enable and support all pupils to achieve their best, have super music and good sports, and really help all children forward.

But I don't live in an ideal world. When push comes to shove, one family alone cannot change the system. I was not prepared to compromise the futures of my DCs and I could afford to pay. I don't like paying, as I have said before. But I genuinely felt I had no alternative.

rob99 Mon 08-Jul-13 18:13:00

Poppydoppy, you're not doing me a favour because my children don't go to a state school.

I went to school in the seventies. There was less choice, you went to your local school (even walked there in some cases !!). Now parents are given (some) choices and what happens? Grandparents addresses are used for catchment area purposes, people move house to be in the catchment, parents are driving miles every morning and afternoon to get their kids to the "best" schools....madness.

That applies to the current state system of course, then you've got the private schools, prep schools where (in the main) wealthier people get what they're paying for.

What does "special needs" actually mean ? does it mean Tarquin gets bored easily because he's so bright and the lessons aren't engaging enough for him because his IQ is off the scale.

Parents will find an argument to justify giving their kids an advantage and that's understandable. I don't agree with it but I don't think my lone voice will make any difference.

bico Mon 08-Jul-13 18:37:23

rob99 if your dcs aren't at state school I assume from your anti-private school stance they aren't at private school either. Are you home educating? In which case your dcs have a huge advantage over dcs in school and you are very fortunate indeed to be able to do that. If that is the case I really don't understand your vitriol.

Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 18:44:23

Rob I'm sorry. I have no words. I find your comments about 'special needs' actually quite insulting to those who have genuine additional learning needs, insular and poorly informed and your views are very unrealistic. Are you so moral with all areas of your life or just the areas you are resentful that you didn't have the advantages for yourself or your DC?

poppydoppy Mon 08-Jul-13 19:08:07

Poppydoppy, you're not doing me a favour because my children don't go to a state school.

Oh really, well why did you say they did?

Thanks to all of you that can afford to pay for your children's education with the ultimate goal of giving your kids a distinct advantage over my state educated kids in the hunt for the best jobs.....


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