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Moving from prep to state secondary and feeling a little sad...

(19 Posts)
Movingonmymind Sat 21-Nov-15 17:37:30

Just that really. Anyone else in similar position? I know it's the right thing to do, for dc moving into year 7. Prep fees are manageable but private state secondary ones really aren't for us. Shame though as most classmates carrying on to the linked secondary with which they are all familiar with its phenomenal facilities/ethos/extra curricula stuff/results etc. The local state options are good but nowhere near as good . Dc quite sad to be leaving friends and not to be attending what clearly is a fabulous option.

Ladymuck Sat 21-Nov-15 19:34:28

Unfortunately I think that it is more difficult with a linked prep than normal, as usually children are heading off to a variety of schools at 11. But what you will find is that the school they will be attending has children coming in from all over the place, and most schools do an excellent job with induction. I would look at some of the aspects that the state school offers over the independent eg often a wider range of practical and technical subjects, shorter day so easier to do after school activities, more theatre trips. And you'll be saving fees, so this might be a good time to start up an after school activity or two which might have otherwise been a stretch.

Movingonmymind Sat 21-Nov-15 19:40:00

Thanks yes, you're right. Just part of me feels we should prioritise education and make further economies to do so. Having seen the other side, am loathe to put dc through the mediocre comp education i had. Which is not to say that's typical, just my fear. I know things have tightened up hugely since the 80s in terms of quality and finding in education, but still.

AmeliaEarhartinBerlin Sat 21-Nov-15 20:04:05

oooh - I do feel for you... it's can't be easy to move a child when they like their school and they have a nice group of friends.... we moved ds from private to state for gcse... just felt like the fees were too high and he had a good enough work ethos to just get on with it ... we supplemented state school with (outside) activities that he was interested in - costly but not costly like the private school fees.

ultimately, he recognised that as a family we had to economise somewhere - especially if we are going to help with uni and/or a deposit on a house.

Having said that though, we did have to fork out for a private tutor on one of the subjects (and we helped with others .. purchasing revision guides, writing revision schedules and always being there with bags of encouragement)

best of luck - it will work out! ... what's more, you could always move back to private for Y10 & 11 (GCSE) - or for 6th form... lots of people move their kids at these years...

Movingonmymind Sat 21-Nov-15 20:07:01

That's a thought, yes, thanks. smile

SisterViktorine Sun 22-Nov-15 11:21:40

Have you investigated bursary options? I would have a frank conversation with the Bursar before making the final decision to leave.

Movingonmymind Sun 22-Nov-15 15:01:31

We hsve but dc's talents doesn't fit, sadly. Mayve we should call the bursar..

talkinnpeace Sun 22-Nov-15 16:23:43

DCs comp takes about 15 a year from the various private schools
by year 11 you'd be hard pressed to guess which as they integrate fully

do not let your memories of school 30 years ago prejudge how schools are run today (private and state)

Movingonmymind Sun 22-Nov-15 18:11:45

Don't think I am esp as eldest at comp! Good tho this school is, the private option which i am talking about is, imho, clearly the better one. Which is not to say private is always better, of course not.

SueDunome Sun 22-Nov-15 18:28:59

Have you considered state boarding? You only have to pay for the accommodation element (so possibly lower than the Prep School fees you are used to); there are some amazing schools to choose from.

talkinnpeace Sun 22-Nov-15 19:26:49

Have you considered state boarding?
Hens teeth

Movingonmymind Sun 22-Nov-15 19:53:51

Well, I would in the right circs, if we had to for some reason, or overseas, but wouldn't be without dc at home.
To be frank, I am neither side of the debate, right school for the individual child, no matter whether state or private (as long as it is affordable). But yes, this is all grounded for me in an abiding horror of comprehensive schools after having attended a direly experimental one in the 80s. I want nothing like that for my dc, no apologies for that. But I do see that standards have improved vastly since then and ofsted, for all its faults, does ensure some degree of quality control. Which is why we sent eldest dc to a good one, their choice also over a private option.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 22-Nov-15 20:59:50

We handed in notice to DD's indie which is a selective independent and they dearly wanted her to stay but it just isn't the right place for secondary for her. She will be home educated for the last term of Y6. In our area we have grammars which add a different dimension to the choice but the additional experiences she will no longer get are a major worry. At the indie she has had secondary quality science teachers, languages (x5), visits to Oxford, inter-school events at a very high level. The buildings are refreshed, the sports facilities great and the opportunities amazing.

We have a choice of moving to a highly, highly sought after grammar with tired buildings, massive debts, class sizes of 32 and teaching that is good sometimes, also mediocre sometimes. The school 'taps' parents for substantial amounts each month and still doesn't make ends meet. DD is also enamoured with an independent a short train ride away which gets amazing results and does the IB. To achieve this we would need to take a mortgage out for 25 years and it would cost us £1,000 a month for each of those 25 years. Which is what we are paying now but is a major major struggle.

I sympathise with the dilemma. We are perhaps more fortunate in a grammar area having a good fall back but with all the interference that the Government is making in education at the moment - keeping them at arms length through a combination of the IB (some state schools do) and Independent does make me feel more confident about how DD may reach her full potential.

fleurdelacourt Mon 23-Nov-15 10:57:30

it's so tricky isn't it? I have filled in the CAF for ds - he has scored highly in the grammar school tests. But a large part of me knows I will struggle to send him to a grammar when most of his classmates will be continuing in the independent sector.

Pettswood - that is some mortgage to pay for that independent choice though? Is that a boarding school?

Sorry I have nothing more insightful to add OP. In our case, I think we'd feel easier about our choice if there were more chance to look around the state school -is that an option for you? It's not for us because they are very much in the one open day a year camp.

Tomatoesareyum Mon 23-Nov-15 12:29:16

I've done it with one and will do it with my second. The prep is fabulous, the secondary is also fabulous but its results are not stellar. 1/2 to 2/3 of the year 6 class will leave and the state secondary which mine go to / will go to is extremely highly regarded and has slightly better GCSE results and incomparably better A level results than the private school. It's a faith school and therefore not an option for everyone.

The prep school has it on their lists of schools parents might like to consider and the usual reaction is "we so wish we had that school as an option" and therefore there's no stigma around it. It does help that mine both both loved it at first sight. However, we chose the school as it was the right school which happened to be state rather than for financial reasons so I guess that's a different mindset.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Mon 23-Nov-15 12:49:16

Moving will be tough short term, but I know parents who regret having made huge financial sacrifice to send their DCs to Indys when they see the similar results and experience friends DCs have had at the admittedly very good local state options.
What are your DC's interests? The best thing about prep schools is they really do get a chance at everything with excellent coaching so they tend to have already discovered what they like. Are there local clubs, organisations you can join?

Autumnsky Mon 23-Nov-15 13:15:07

Yes, it is a little sad, but that's the life, sometimes, we just can't have the thing we want. We will move DS1 to a state 6 form college afte he finish Y11 in his lovely independant school. We can still pay the fees if we really need to, but as DS2 is going to start secondary soon, and think about the University fee. We think we would benefit for a 2 year break without paying a huge fee. I have told DS1 that, and some of his friend will do the same, so hopefully he will have some friends to go with.

On the other hand, going to secondary is a big change anyway, DC normally makes new friends very quickly. DS1 started secondary with 5 other childrens from his primary school, which included one of his best friends. But soon he made a group of new friends. So I think you don't need to worry about the friendship ect.

PettsWoodParadise Mon 23-Nov-15 14:12:18

Fleur, no the upfront fees would be a bit over £160,000 and that is day rather than boarding which is a lot more. Annually it would be £21k which I just can't afford, boarding is over £30k. The amount as a mortgage depends on the rate you get and I have been conservative with this amount, but who knows where interest rates will go and also there is a question as to whether some might expect us to have a shorter term as I am in my early forties as so should retire technically at the end of the new 25 year term, but some like earlier retirement ages. So I have added a bit of wriggle room. We went through a bursary application process and were told we would have qualified in previous years for a portion of help but they got a lot of applications this year. Fair enough, we could technically afford it but would rarely be able to go on holiday and DD wouldn't be able to participate in any of the school trips so am leaning towards thinking we have a good alternative so it may be too high a price to pay to go for the independent. We will cross that decision bridge when we get the results of the entrance test and any scholarship options.

Devilishpyjamas Tue 24-Nov-15 14:54:58

Yes we are with ds3. (and we did with ds2 as well, ds1 was never in private schooling). I'm counting down the months tbh - circumstances have changed since ds2 and ds3 started at the school and we are broke.

Most of ds2 and ds3's contemporaries move onto state schools. DS3 is a little worried as he is likely to be the only one going to his secondary - but both our first choices take from a wide area and don't have specific feeder schools, so I'm sure he'll soon settle.

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