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If you can afford it, would you send your children to an independent school?

(517 Posts)
Fiona2011231 Mon 04-Nov-13 20:50:54

This is a hypothetical question, and I would greatly appreciate your insight.

My question is based on this assumption: In England, if you want your children to have a better chance in life (great success, joining the elites, etc), a good independent school is a requirement. Of course, few have enough money to afford it.

But suppose you have enough money, would you send your children to an independent school? Or would a grammar or a comprehensive school be good enough?

Thank you.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Mon 04-Nov-13 21:59:31

We have just made the move and for now I can see nothing but positives.

We have been in the state system and encountered fabulous teachers and wonderful families but the system they are caught up in does not allow them to deal with some of the issues we encountered. That is why we moved. I have and will continue to sing the praises of the school we have left, there were specific circumstances which made it the right thing for us to move.

Ecuador Mon 04-Nov-13 22:01:06

Doodle, it is awful isn't it and I have to admit that 20 years ago when we moved there it hadn't even occurred to me that we were in a divisive grammar area as schools weren't on my radar pre-children.

Mintyy, just out of curiosity if you were in my position what would you do? Send your child to a failing school even if you could afford private if there was no other choice?

It's often very easy to say that you wouldn't go private when you have good comprehensives in your area.

somewhereinessex Mon 04-Nov-13 22:10:27

We have excellent grammars and some pretty third rate indies. I wouldn't waste my money as their results aren't particularly wonderful and you could probably do just as well at the local comp if you're academic.

They do have good sports facilities though. And nice buildings

Ecuador Mon 04-Nov-13 22:13:11

As I said in my post though somwhereinessex, the question no-one can ever answer me is what if they are not academic? Not going to do just as well then are they in the local comp - they are secondary moderns where we have grammars anyhow so not even true comps which would be much better.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 04-Nov-13 22:24:23

You have me there OP, real sucess joining the elites ... yes but can they make her drop dead gorgeous? Can they?

Seriously, no.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 04-Nov-13 22:27:49

Sorry (laughing too much at new seaon of Fresh Meat).

great success.

Are you a journo?.

ReallyTired Mon 04-Nov-13 22:32:46

ds - no. He is very happy and doing well at his state secondary

dd - yes. Her primary is in special measures and is completely teaching to the test. Ie. the nonsense word test at the end of year 1 is impacting on having fun in reception.

timidviper Mon 04-Nov-13 22:33:52

Both of ours went to independents. I think they did get a better education than they would have in our local comp (although I'm aware that would not be the same everywhere) and got a wider range of experiences such as cadet force, debating, sports, etc. We live in a very white, middle class area and I think mine probably met a wider range of races and religions at their school.

tulip27 Mon 04-Nov-13 22:36:43

yes and we do- although only just afford it (with lots of sacrifices)

My DS who was ' gifted and talented' thrived at the state school. My dd who struggled did not. The state system wasn't able to give her the extra support she required so we moved her and my ds and now we both work full time to pay for it.

It didn't matter a jot to me who the children would mix with. It was all about the education they would get. However, as I am sure every school has (state and private), there are social climbers and leeches.

Mummyoftheyear Mon 04-Nov-13 22:41:06

Yup, as long as my child was well suited to the school and vice versa.

Here's a question for you OP:
Would you say that those who profess to be against the very principle of private education are, in fact, concealing their envy?'

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Nov-13 22:44:08

I think it would depend on what was available in the area I lived. If state schools were very good, not necessarily by Ofsted's judgement, but my own, then why pay?
If local schools were not very good, then yes I'd consider the right private school, but not just any private school over state.
Hypothetical for us as we can't afford private grin

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 04-Nov-13 22:48:14

LIve in a good area here so didn't see the need. 2 bright top set kids who did well in their state comp.

If I lived in a really grotty area, I think I wold probably spend the money moving into the catchment of a good school rather than go private.


Fiona2011231 Mon 04-Nov-13 22:50:59

Thank you so much for all your opinions. And I am not a journalist. This is my real concern for my real life. We are trying to think of the best way for our children.


DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 04-Nov-13 22:54:28

There is loads of good threads about this Fiona, the concensus seems to be state for primary year alongside enrichment and private for high school.

LeMatin Mon 04-Nov-13 22:58:53

Yes, we did. I have some major political objections to private education, but at the end of the day my son was very unhappy and 'lost' in his state primary, and money allowed us to opt for a school and education which was a better fit for our child.

We are delighted with how our decision has turned out for DS, although I still feel that I have sacrificed my principles, and wish that we had been able to find a state school that offered the same benefits (we have not ruled out a return to the state sector in future). We try to distance ourselves from any social climbing.

greyvix Mon 04-Nov-13 23:02:05

No. I am very happy with state education in the area I live.

Scarletbanner Mon 04-Nov-13 23:24:02

We could afford private but have opted for state and are very happy with our dc's school.

My children are getting an excellent education for free (well, we pay tax, but you know what I mean). Why would I be envious?

cricketballs Mon 04-Nov-13 23:28:16

I won a bursary in due to my exam results a 11 and therefore my parents were able to send me to a private school. I hated every moment of my one year there. I came from an inner city primary school that had a mix of ethnic, social, economic families and limited resources. I went to this private school (which has the best results in our county) and straight away I was laughed at as my primary didn't have its own swimming pool...there was not only the social aspects but altogether I didn't feel comfortable in the environment at all and I begged my parents to pull me out and send me to a 'normal school'.

I will admit that in hindsight my academic results did suffer from this choice (I went back to education later in life) but I personally feel that as a person I developed more through being at a state school than I ever would have at the private school

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 04-Nov-13 23:39:56

Well we pulled DS from an outstanding cofe primary at the end of Y3. Bad year and he needed a lot more stretching. He is quite clever and we felt he needed to go to a very selective school. He got in (in London) with no tutoring at all.

DD is probably top 25% and we sent her for two years to an outstanding cofe school with an exceptional reputation. There had been a change of head, the behaviour was shocking, nothing was being done about it and we were very glad, in spite of our principles and support for an excellent school that we thought was a perfect fit for her (but they lied about ethos, etc) that we had enough money to pull her out at the end of Year 8. It was the best thing we ever did. She has been at a very nurturing school for nearly 2.5 years now and has been offered a place at her brother's old school which we thought would have been unachievable for her when she was 12 or 13.

Absolutely I would recommend anyone to abscond to the indy sector if they can afford it. But that is a big if because we are in London so no boarding fees but it does mean about £35,000 to £36,000 for just two children after tax and all other bills are paid.d And don't forget there mght also be a school trip mooted for £3,900 to the Galapagos Islands. It's true, it was.

breatheslowly Mon 04-Nov-13 23:41:52

It all depends on the schools available. We don't live in a grammar school area, but would love for DD to have the opportunity to go to grammar school. I've seen some ropey private schools that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. I've seen great comprehensives that differentiate fully and could give grammar schools a run for their money with the most able and provide well for at all levels. For me the decision is about my DD being in an environment that is stimulating challenging and instils a love of learning.

SparkleSoiree Mon 04-Nov-13 23:51:03

My eldest went through a failing state secondary and came out with a D in Food Tech, that was it. Despite constant meetings with the school and reassurances he was doing fine.

My middle daughter, now having 2 failing secondaries to choose from, goes to an independent secondary. She is not a straight A student and we are trying to ensure she gets a decent education and leaves school with enough exams to go on to do what she wants to do - whatever that may be. We carry huge guilt about our son's education and are still supporting him now in obtaining relevant training for a career.

No interest in the elite, have no opinion about the social classes and just want what is best for our child.

Xochiquetzal Tue 05-Nov-13 03:36:12

I can just afford it and DD is at a private school, but mostly because the primary she was offered is horrible and it was that or home ed, DS is at an outstanding state school because I have shared custody and his other address is in catchment, if I could of got DD in there I would of been delighted.

When they get to secondary school I am hoping for Grammar. I am in Kent so if they failed the 11+ we would try the very over-subscribed Catholic school (I'm Catholic but Grammars are better) then look at Private schools because, as others have said the alternatives here aren't brilliant.

I do worry about her not mixing with as much of a wide range of people as she would at a state school but she goes to Rainbows and mixes with lots of other children outside of school so I'm not worried enough about the social side to turn down a better education.

TSSDNCOP Tue 05-Nov-13 03:51:13

Yes, if the school is right for your child. If the state school is more right then that's the best option. Also you need tone able to properly afford it. And the child must never be badgered by saying things like "you must achieve X because we are paying for your education"

as a child said at Mother's Day assembly when asked why children should be grateful to their parents

Kenlee Tue 05-Nov-13 04:16:29

It all depends on the child and which Indie or State school you are looking at.

On here there is always a pro and con group.

It doesn't matter what you choose as long as it is right for your child. Don't listen to others about their opinion. Only take it in if its directly about the school you want and they have had recent experience of said school. Otherwise it is just rhetoric and most of it is BS.

Who cares if its left or right... as long as it fits yoir child...

BTW ....I can afford it ...So my daughter is in private and she is enjoying it very much....

Chottie Tue 05-Nov-13 05:02:26

Neither DH or I had a really good academic education and we wanted to ensure that our DC had the best of opportunities and choices open to them.

So we paid and have not regretted it ever. Both schools (south London) have a really wide mix of children. - think consultant's children, children of single parents living in a one bed high rise block. Both schools actively work towards increasing the number of bursaries they can provide each year. Some of the earlier posters seem to have a very skewered idea of private schools being white, middle class bubbles.

Maybe this was so in the past, but now there are far more links with the local community i.e. older year groups help run reading and maths groups for local primary schools, volunteering in local care homes, gardening and decorating for local pensioners.

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