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Private shools- one but not the other?

(9 Posts)
ClareMandy Fri 11-Apr-14 13:03:37

Hi everyone

Bit of background info! So my DCs are in year 9 and year 11. Both went to the local state primary school with the original plan to keep them there until year 6 and then send them both to private secondary schools. However DS was being bullied so we decide to move him for the start of year 3 to the private school he would have gone to anyway for year 7. DD was happy at primary school so kept her there until the end. She then started at a small all girls private.

DH and I made the decision a while back that we would send them to state 6th form. The fees are just too high at their schools plus there are very few pupils so we thought it would better prepare them for uni going to a bigger school. However my son has now been awarded a bursary to stay on, meaning we can afford it. He was never bullied in secondary like he was in primary but he is a very sensitive, quite timid lad and it's only really been in year 11 that he's formed a close group of friends and actually has a social life. I was always anxious about taking him out anyway so now a lot of the fees can be paid for him, I would love to let him stay.

But is this fair on DD? I know we won't be able to afford for her to stay on at her school and she is very very happy there. She's only in year 9 but already talks about how much she doesn't want to leave. Would it be wrong of me to let one DC stay on in their private school and make the other leave? I'm really torn as to how to approach this. What do I say to ds? "Sorry I know it's possible for you to stay but it's unfair on your sister?"

It's partly to do with how happy they are but also the education itself. I'm nervous that after 5 years of very small classes and a lot of one on one help, DD may struggle in a bigger sixth form meaning her grades may be affected so is it fair that DS won't have those issues? And chances are will get slightly bette grades considering there's just around 45 in the whole sixth form? I feel so conflicted!! Any input would be really great smile

LadyStark Fri 11-Apr-14 13:06:21

Two years is a long time away, is there any chances that your finances will be/could be in different shape by then?

I think it's very harsh to say that DS can't stay because DD may not. Any chance DD would get a bursary?

redskyatnight Fri 11-Apr-14 13:10:58

By the time DS is in Y12 you will only have one lot of fees to find - doesn't this make it more affordable?

Madcats Fri 11-Apr-14 14:33:16

I was the youngest of three. My eldest (superbright) brother went to public school on a scholarship, then my other brother passed his 11 plus and had a daily cycle and train ride to the nearest grammar school. 5 years later (grammar schools long gone), I decided I wanted to stay with my friends and walked 1/2 mile to the local comp. I suspect my parents 'encouraged' that decision, but I really don't remember.

Yes, we had a fair sized age gap between us, but I really didn't resent my brothers needing a bigger share of the family budget. Perhaps I was a bit of a bloody-minded girlie swat, but I was determined to get better A levels than my brothers.

eatyourveg Fri 11-Apr-14 16:59:52

ds1 had a bursary and 2 scholarships and stayed on for the 6th form although like your school it was very small and perhaps not the best preparation for uni whereas the local grammar where he also had a place may have been but school was better for him pastorally. If he was comfortable and happy in his environment then we figured his results would reflect it.

ds2 is in Y11 and won't be staying on for 6th form - just can't afford it and even if he had the bursary and the scholarships his db had, it wouldn't suit him, he needs to be in a bigger environment.

Its not a question of what is fair, its more about what is best for each of your dc. Is there any reason why the school if they have offered your ds a bursary for the 6th form, wouldn't do the same when the time comes for your dd to move up?

I think I must be missing something. Currently you are paying for 2 children. From next year you will be paying for 1 and a bit thanks to the bursary and by the time DD reaches the 6th form it's just her. Surely things are getting better?

FatFrumpyFilly Mon 14-Apr-14 03:01:27

Does DS's school offer the sixth form subjects he wants to study? Small schools can be good but they're under enormous financial pressures and will only offer the standard subjects. DD left her small school for the local sixth form college because of this very reason. DS was set to stay at his school for sixth form but decided he liked his sister's college instead. By the time they reach sixth form, its got to be more about what they want as if they're not happy they won't study to their best ability. Class sizes are really not that different in sixth form from our children's independent schools. No class was larger than 20 pupils. My DS is also quite shy but the state college has been wonderful for him.

Talk to your DD and explain why DS may be staying on at his school. View alternative sixth form options with her. This is something I presume you've done with DS as it may well be too late to apply anywhere else anyway? Please don't stress about one child being treated differently because they are different children with different needs. By the age of 16 they're old enough to understand that.

Wooodpecker Tue 15-Apr-14 17:59:10

But surely you will be able to afford it as you will not be paying the full fees for your DS, plus by the time your daughter is in that year your son will be in the last year or have left?

MillyMollyMama Tue 15-Apr-14 18:28:56

I think once you have gone private you should stick to it. Why would a state school be better in the 6th form anyway? Changing schools can bring down results if DCs are not comfortable with the change. You should really have budgeted all the way through to avoid these unsettling dilemmas. If your DD wants to stay, I think you will have to find the money as you have created the problem. However, small 6th forms don't necessarily get the best results. It's the quality of teaching and learning that matters, private or state.

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