Advanced search

Grammar schools or independent schools?

(46 Posts)
Estaa Wed 06-Nov-19 10:18:18

Good Morning everyone!
I’m in a real dilemma so can you lovely ladies help me out? My daughter passed the 11+ test.
My husband is adamant she has to go to a grammar school (we live near one) I want her to go to an independent school, I think they are much better, if she gets a scholarship (She will have an interview soon and I realise it’s difficult to get a scholarship) as she’s very intelligent. We are therefore having arguments as he’s not even happy for her to even attend the interview and now it’s affecting her. This morning she told me she hates her father! I was horrified. What’s the best option? Has anyone had an experience with the schools and which one is better? Please help me as I’m so stressed out! Xx

Trewser Wed 06-Nov-19 10:20:15

This is an impossible question to answer.

All i can say is that private schools are very expensive and it's probably nicer to have a good standard of living and a grammar education rather than the finances being stressful at private.

afternoonspray Wed 06-Nov-19 10:23:27

Surely it depends on the school and the child. It's certainly not true that all independent schools ar ebetter than all grammars or vice versa. We live near one of the famous super selective grammars. DC visited it twice. I really wanted them to love it and for us to love it too but we all hated it. Really hated it. We visited several independents and loved just one of them. But again, the whole family fell for the same school. So this was a strong indicator that it was the right place for our DC and it turned out to be true.

I do advise you not to show your DD that you and her father are fighting each other about suitable schools. That's a huge stress to put on her. Look at all schools with an open mind. And also explain to her that going to grammar not independent might mean there's a big pot of extra money to help with driving/uni/house deposit after she finishes school, not to mention a more comfortable standard of living while she's there. It would have been a lot cheaper and easier for us in many ways if our DC had loved the grammar, as they were just about brainy enough to scrape a place there. But it wasn't the right place for them.

Estaa Wed 06-Nov-19 10:44:29

Thank you for your time. smile

Estaa Wed 06-Nov-19 10:46:20

Thank you for your time and help! I appreciate the points you’ve made from your own experience. I feel so much better now. Xxxx smile

JoJoSM2 Wed 06-Nov-19 16:27:07

Yes, you can’t say that grammars are better or indies are better + it’s about the right fit for your child and family finances too. The noticeable difference between the two tend to be class sizes, facilities and co-curricular provision. But then it boils to whether that’s something a particular child will benefit from or not. Eg if your daughter is super sporty, plays a couple of instruments and gets easily distracted, then an indie with a range of successful sports teams, orchestras and music ensembles and small classes might be the better option. However, it’s then about weighing it up against your family finances to see if it’d be better to pay a little bit for activities outside school but not overstratch yourselves otherwise.

Velveteenfruitbowl Wed 06-Nov-19 16:31:46

I don’t think that her father has the right to dictate like that to her. At that age the child has the right to some input (albeit not absolute choice). Has he given a reason for his stance?

LIZS Wed 06-Nov-19 16:33:40

If she dies not get a scholarship, and many schools now only often a token amount, can you afford it for next 7 years? If not is he worried about raising her hopes, should she get a place but not be able to go. No harm otherwise in sitting and making the decision in March,

AlexaShutUp Wed 06-Nov-19 16:38:06

Has anyone had an experience with the schools and which one is better?

Given that you haven't named either of the schools that you're considering, I assume you're asking a general question about whether independent schools are better than grammar schools. This is a fundamentally flawed question, as it clearly depends on the individual schools and on individual children.

You said in your post that you think independent schools "are much better" but you don't say what you're basing this judgment on. It sounds like a blind statement of faith rather than a well researched conclusion.

I suggest that you look for a school that can help your daughter to develop good critical thinking and analytical skills. That could be an independent school or a grammar, but then again, a state comprehensive might do just as good a job.

BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Nov-19 16:39:40

My DD got a place in a grammar school but she went to an independent boarding school because it was better for her. No pressure for a scholarship from us. She actually chose the school from our shortlist. As she was sleeping there we involved her in the decision. She was more than capable of having her own views and logically thinking through pros and cons. The results were similar but the independent was smaller and had a more personal feel to it. It was the best decision for us.

However we didn’t need a scholarship or bursary and didn’t go without anything. If I couldn’t afford it easily, I wouldn’t have done it. DD wasn’t under any pressure to go one way or another. We didn’t discuss money with her.

So, have a sensible discussion where money is removed from the conversation. Draw up a table of pros and cons for each school that actually apply to your DD. Don’t include fancy sports facilities if she’s not interested in sport. (DDs school had 27 tennis courts but they were irrelevant to us). Include what she is interested in. Then weight each pro and con. What’s most important. Then factor in the money if it is an issue.

If your DD really wants the private school she could perhaps articulate this to her Dad. However don’t let her get upset by your arguments. That’s just not fair. However you don’t want her holding a grudge against her dad either! So tread carefully.

converseandjeans Wed 06-Nov-19 16:41:51

Grammar schools only select on intelligence. Independent schools have a test but they need the money so will have a more varied intake in terms of ability.

I can't understand why you would pay when the grammar school is nearby. With the money you would save on fees you could build up a fund for when she wants to buy a house or use it for some amazing experiences while she's in school.

Depends how rich you are I guess?! Do you work btw? Maybe DH does not want such a commitment financially.

Hoppinggreen Wed 06-Nov-19 16:47:42

Dd was offered a Grammar place and also a part scholarship to Private
We chose Private for the better facilities, location and smaller class sizes - but none of those things may apply to the 2 schools you are considering
Your husband is being an arse but as I’m assuming you would need his input to pay for Private school he gets a big say here

Beemail1 Wed 06-Nov-19 16:48:44

Might be helpful to name the schools

sue51 Wed 06-Nov-19 17:00:15

Scholarships only provide very limited discounts as most funds are for bursaries. I think to send a child to a private school , both parents must be totally committed to that and your DH clearly is not. The arguments are obviously upsetting your DD and your choice is not between the independent or the poorly performing comp. For family unity I would go with the grammar .

BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Nov-19 19:19:32

What does DD want? If she’s been “sold” the independent school, then her Dad might be taking away from her something that she was looking forward to and dearly wants. These decisions are never just about the adults and their posturing.

Also some Grammars are better than others. Plenty of independent schools get better results than Grammars. So the decision on academics is never 100% in favour of a grammar.

Also parents can afford private and not have to go without anything! Mine also have property funds. It’s not necessarily all or nothing.

Estaa Wed 06-Nov-19 19:51:42

Thank you to all of you lovely ladies for being so helpful and giving me your time. I’ve never used mumsnet before but now I feel like I’ve got some really lovely friends! X
My husband thinks he’s got the right to make all the decisions as he’s the sole bread winner. That’s the problem he doesn’t think I’ve got a right to give an opinion as I’m not working!!
He’s very childish at times and other times really amazing so that’s even more strange! If I don’t listen to his opinions, he stops talking to me for days so I’ve learnt to ignore him whilst his on his high horse. I was a really confident person and now I feel scared to talk to people especially strangers. I want to work but the thought of giving interviews freaks me out and I feel sick! My husband is highly educated whilst I managed to only complete my A levels( when he argues with me, he sometimes throws that in! angry)😡
My daughter is still upset this evening. I told her just to wait and see if she gets a place in one of the grammar schools as she scored well but she wants to give her interview (she reckons it will be an experience even if she doesn’t get a scholarship) I also thought it will be a full scholarship but read here that it won’t be the case! I just don’t know what to do regarding the interview?! Do they interview all students or only the ones who do well? Any further help will be greatly appreciated! 😭😥

sue51 Wed 06-Nov-19 20:18:39

My daughters were both offered academic and music scholarships at well known schools in Kent. The value was around 30%. I remember they scored highly in the entrance tests, then had to play a pre prepared piece of music and finally an interview with the head teacher and head of year. The scholarship value is now 5% at one school and at the other is now just honorary. The girls themselves decided they preferred the grammar school, though DD1 chose to move to a private boarding school for 6th form.

If you manage to get your husband on board, would you be eligible for a bursary? Thats where all the funds are going these days.

whattodo2019 Wed 06-Nov-19 20:23:23

My DD passed for our local grammar but she also was awarded a scholarship to one of the top girls boarding schools in the country so she opted to board.

She's in her 3rd year and loving it. I wouldn't change it for the world.

whiteroseredrose Wed 06-Nov-19 20:36:20

It very much depends where you are and the schools in question. Here the Grammars are seen as preferable to the Indies, which are generally full of DC who didn't pass the 11+ but whose parents didn't want them to go to the comps!

We looked at a selective Independent Grammar School briefly but scholarships were only for those with a v low household income. Check what would be available at the school you're looking at.

converseandjeans Wed 06-Nov-19 20:48:21

DH might be concerned about financing it. Could you go back to work and aim to earn the same amount as the fees? So for example if she got a bursary you might need to find £10,000 a year?
It's a big commitment and I think he is right to question whether it's worth the outlay if there is no obvious advantage. I think if the dilemma was an awful school in special measures with behaviour/drugs problems then your decision would be easier.
I don't agree with how he is talking down to you - however if you're not prepared to go back to work then I think he should not be expected to finance something he's not 100% in favour of.

Estaa Wed 06-Nov-19 21:20:18

Thank you everyone! You’re all really amazing! 😊😘
The grammar school is actually King Edwards Camp Hill school and independent school is Edgbaston High School (both in Birmingham) xx
King Edwards has a very good reputation but I don’t really know much about either of them.
I’ve been to their open days and that’s about it.

BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Nov-19 21:33:14

I feel that decisions on finances should be a joint decision and the power should not be wielded by the one with the most money. It’s a partnership! I’m sure the OP pulls her weight in other ways! Just because she doesn’t earn money doesn’t mean her views are worthless and her DH should be grateful he’s supported so well he can work effectively and, one suspects, be well paid and not have to worry about household and child tasks. He has to accept that women, even if they don’t work for money, work! I bet the op does everything in their house.

OP: you must find out what the procedure is for gaining a scholarship. You need to know what the money deal is, the selection process and what the advantages are of this school. You need to sell it to him but only if it’s educationally the best for your DD and she would thrive there. If going there is just for snob value, then it’s not worth the agro. However you need an honest discussion with DD if DH doesn’t come on board.

Estaa Wed 06-Nov-19 21:43:31

Many thanks! 😊😘

Estaa Wed 06-Nov-19 21:46:56

You’re absolutely spot on as I do everything from school runs, school clubs, food shopping to cooking and cleaning! 😔

converseandjeans Wed 06-Nov-19 22:06:11

Just did google search & King Edwards Camp Hill is best school in Birmingham.
I don't think it matters who earns the money. But I honestly can't see what would make someone pay lots for an independent school when you can go for free to the best school in a big city like Birmingham.
People travel miles nowadays for that opportunity. DH probably thinks there's no point spending money when you have been given an amazing opportunity already.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »