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Why is private education so taboo now?

(587 Posts)
DoMyBest Fri 11-Apr-14 06:24:55

When I was younger I was privately educated as were most of my friends. Now we all have children and almost all of them have decided to send their children to state schools. Whilst for most of them it was a question of money, for others it really wasn't: they believe that every child should have the same educational opportunities and if parents like them start giving their kids exclusive treatment then the system won't work. Some of these parents chose local 'outstanding' state schools, but one couple with enough money to buy every private school in town admirably chose their worst local state school and work hard to improve it.

I listen to these stories with interest, sometimes admiration but mostly respect for their choices & views.

So it's with some alarm, now we have chosen a private school for our son, do discover the hatred this decision engenders. Private education has, it would seem, become taboo.

So here's my question: is it morally right for people to get angry with parents who privately educate their children?

grovel Sun 20-Apr-14 19:15:04

Of course you are right, Martorana. I've got a friend who teaches History to top sets at a highly selective independent school. He admits he wouldn't last ten minutes teaching less intelligent or motivated children. He would hate it and the children would know.

Martorana Sun 20-Apr-14 19:44:34

We agree about a lot, happygardening- you just can't read anything I say without your rage glasses!

DoMyBest Sun 20-Apr-14 20:05:58

Happygardening and Martorana, finally agreeing. I think it's time you two debated all this face to face and hugged it out over a few bottles of wine. I should get a token invitation too as I launched this thread.

happygardening Sun 20-Apr-14 20:47:26

I'm not the one wearing rage glasses!
But I was attempting to extend an olive branch.

Martorana Sun 20-Apr-14 23:40:39

Happy to accept the olive branch. But not wearing rage glasses? Really?

< resists urge to refer to earlier threads>

I have children at two very different types of school. One "good", one "bad" in Mumsnet terms. Both schools have good, indifferent and bad teachers. But all the teachers at the "good" school have a walk in the park, and can get away with huge amounts of of flannel and bad practice- because the kids let them. Many would not survive 5 minutes at the "bad" school.

DoMyBest Mon 21-Apr-14 07:33:21

Bit ungracious about the olive branch Martorana: come on, your turn smile

happygardening Mon 21-Apr-14 10:28:58

The problem with anonymous forums is that you don't really know the people who post. I have many failing but rage is not one of them, perhaps to much passion particularly about my own children and those I work with yes, some would say too informal, out spoken always, untidy, a hopeless time keeper, a despiser of paper work, I am unable to walk in step with others but that is why I step on things others miss but not rage. As I've repeatedly said I think all children from all walks of life should receive an outstanding education in particular those who I feel particularly concerned about those at the bottom of the heap, but I also don't see how sending my DS to our local "high achieving schools" instead of his IMO outstanding independent boarding school will make a scrap of difference to the children there. If I'm endlessly goaded about sending my DS to a boarding school then I will defend my choice vociferously Martorana as you well know.
I also don't hold grudges hence the olive branch.

Martorana Mon 21-Apr-14 10:45:58

Happy gardener- as I said, you and I agree on more than you are prepared to admit. Which is why I accepted your olive branch. But your use of the terms "endless goading" and "vociferous defence" are .....disingenous. As you know.

Now, back to the topic in hand. Where were we?

DoMyBest Mon 21-Apr-14 17:12:19

I think, to summarise, we were debating the extent people have the right to get angry about inequality in general. And schools in Merseyside v Hampshire (possibly too specific for this thread?).

rabbitstew Mon 21-Apr-14 18:14:44

People have the right to get angry about whatever they want. Whether it's very fair to get angry with specific individuals who do not share or fully understand your beliefs, however, is another question. Isn't that really a bit like, eg, a Catholic getting really angry with an atheist? There is no proof that banning all private schools and requiring everyone to attend their local state school will make society a better or nicer place, or even a less unequal one. You can't force people to hold or follow your beliefs, only try to make them see the light in the way you see it, because you think it's important enough to try and something that is worth heading towards.

As for schools in Merseyside v Hampshire, I suspect that has something to do with the particular situation and school. I know I wouldn't be happy if I were wrenched away from a rather pleasant sounding school at one end of the country and ended up at the other end of the country in an environment that seemed to me a poor shadow of what I had lost. I would be surprised, tbh, if no state schools in Liverpool had a good standard of teaching and more on offer than a few songs at Christmas.

DoMyBest Mon 21-Apr-14 18:27:57

Interesting, Rabbitstew, that you made an analogy between education & religion: two subjects about which people get particularly emotive (despite the fact that religion is free, whereas not all education is).

rabbitstew Mon 21-Apr-14 18:43:30

Education is undeniably a hugely emotive subject.

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