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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?

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

Education is undeniably a hugely emotive subject.

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 18:14:44

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 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?).

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?

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

happygardening Sun 20-Apr-14 19:12:29

Well it's nice that we agree for a change martorana is this a first?

Martorana Sun 20-Apr-14 19:00:42

I have been involved in recruiting at 3 very different schools-
and we were looking for very different people- none of them could have done the other's jobs. If you see what I mean- that is a rubbish sentence!

mrz Sun 20-Apr-14 18:52:47

I don't think that is what I said happygardening

rabbitstew and of course as we grow older what makes us happy can change

rabbitstew Sun 20-Apr-14 18:45:36

What we are weak at doesn't always change, either, mrz, and living and working in inner city London bears exceptionally little resemblance to living and working in Hampshire. Some people prefer the former, others the latter. Only a fool would deliberately work somewhere that made them unhappy if they had a choice.

happygardening Sun 20-Apr-14 18:35:10

Yes I agree mrz but your saying teachers should be equally competent in all fields I don't accept this.

mrz Sun 20-Apr-14 18:30:31

I think being an expert in your field is very different to being able to apply that expertise in different settings happygardening. We can't all be good at everything but what we are good at doesn't change because we moved from Hampshire to innercity London

rabbitstew Sun 20-Apr-14 18:28:49

It's lucky that some people do enjoy it, happygardening! And understandable that even those who do, can't do it forever.

happygardening Sun 20-Apr-14 18:24:05

rabbit in my profession I and others thrive on being constantly taken out of their comfort zones, we love it! But eventually after being constantly abused by our employers and Joe Public, drowning under the weight of more paperwork, expected competences, physically and mentally exhausted we run out energy of to continue (its reckoned after about 10-15 yrs) then we seek the quieter life.
Although when that phone rings ........

happygardening Sun 20-Apr-14 18:17:52

The other problem is that teachers, SWs, nurses, doctors etc are under increasing pressure to be brilliant in all areas but we don't need more Jack of trades we need experts real in their fields if we are to maintain high standards.

rabbitstew Sun 20-Apr-14 18:17:38

I have also seen the effect on some peoples' mental health of being taken right out of their comfort zone and challenged. There is a time and a place for being challenged and taken out of your comfort zone, and some people need that time to be one that fits with a reasonably stable and happy time in their private life and in a place where they feel supported, not left to sink.

happygardening Sun 20-Apr-14 18:15:08

"Sometimes it does us good to be taken out of our comfort zone and challenged"
Not IME of mine and other inter related professions. Some people definitely dont thrive on the front line, many people don't like being in stressful situations where you have to make lightening quick assessments and make decisions especially when it comes to children. They make the wrong decisions repeatedly and then burn out. It's horses for courses no one person can be good in every single area.

rabbitstew Sun 20-Apr-14 18:14:32

mrz - I know that because we are all human, and because I am now old and jaded enough to have seen how many people are actually not brilliant at their jobs: people like the one you describe are rare in ALL walks of life, not just teaching.

happygardening Sun 20-Apr-14 18:09:59

Maybe teaching is different from my profession mrz where we can choose to concentrate on often very different fields that interest us. But I know that for many years when I was younger and full of energy and enthusiasm, not jaded and cynical like I am now, I would not have been good at the mundane routine stuff that plenty of my exceedingly competent colleagues have always enjoyed.

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