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I am happy with my children's state education but every so often I find myself talking to a 'private education' parent and just feel totally stressed

(315 Posts)
Twiglett Sat 12-Jul-08 17:16:46

that there is no way my children can have the same quality and range of education and range of experiences and access to extra-curricular activities

poo-bum willy-faced bollox

meemar Sat 12-Jul-08 17:20:16

Don't get stressed. People with more money will always have greater access to everything in life.

It's what you do with what you've got that counts.

frogs Sat 12-Jul-08 17:24:56

Neither will they be sobbing over their mountains of homework aged 6 (real example). Or get teased because they don't go skiing at feb half term and to the carribbean at may half term (also real example). They will know darn well how lucky they are, and won't assume the world owes them a living. They also won't acquire the kind of accent that makes random people want to beat them up.

Remember private-school parents have a vested interest in talking up the advantages -- they're paying through the nose for them. You can afford an awful lot of music/sports/drama lessons for the £10K a year it would cost you for private school fees.

Honestly. I'd love my kids to have the acres of playing fields and on-site swimming pool, but as it is they take themselves to the local swimming pool on a saturday afternoon, which is probably much more fun, and requires more independence. I'd pay for sure if the alternatives were truly dire, but failing that I think they'll live with the shortfall.

ahundredtimes Sat 12-Jul-08 17:28:52

There's no need to feel rubbish about it. It might be better, it might not. It probably doesn't make any difference to them in the long run. And besides, just because it's offered, doesn't mean its taken up iyswim.

But have to say, I don't know a group of people who talk up their school or how marvellous their children are nearly as much as a middle-class parents at a state school. Jeez. You'd think they had a point to prove or something. wink

Amphibimum Sat 12-Jul-08 17:31:04

know what you mean.

i am almost jealous of my dc's education/school/environment. not jealous really, just in awe. tis nothing like my experience.

my little sister went to private secondary school, shes the youngest of 4 and we all did badly at our school, so she was sent there like a last ditch attempt to get one 'right'. she was pretty unhappy there tbh. then again, i was pretty unhappy too... but not with school. school, the place, was my haven, where my friends were. shame the support to get me any qualifications was just not there really.

her school, a girls school, was a hotbed of eating disorders and angst, which just wasnt the case at my inner london state mixed school. sure, we had problems, but they were just different ones. real ones i guess, like being skint. lol.

my mum did transfer me in the 4th yr to a posher state school in a richer area, which had better 'results'. i lasted 2 days there, long enough to be offered all sorts of drugs my lot couldnt dream of affording! i dunno why im burbling like this, but i just want to say, the grass (or concrete) is not always greener.

Miggsie Sat 12-Jul-08 17:31:52

I looked at private schools and decided I could not send DD here as then I would have to mix with the parents, they were all a bit precious, and a lot of the kids were obnoxious...I send DD to the local theatre school each saturday morning, she has a whale of a time and it's a LOT less than £10,000 a year.
Yes, and the parents HAVE to tell you how great it is as they are insecure and look at everything in terms of monetary value, they also have a desperate desire to show off and let people know they are great (even though they are not).
I just say to these people "send me your bank statements and the brochure about how much fun your life is if you must but do stop talking to me"

Amphibimum Sat 12-Jul-08 17:33:59

blimey miggsie, generalise much? wink

2sugars Sat 12-Jul-08 17:34:15

I know exactly what you mean. DD1 is due to start secondary the year after next, and is desperate to go to an independant school. Made the mistake of sending off for a prospectus, which made me even more envious of all those fresh-faced, not a care in the world girls.

I'm kind of tempted to let her sit the entrance exam, just so we can draw a line under it, but I'm torn between letting her realise it's not a possibility and also thinking that that may be cruel. The admissions criteria say that it depends on the entrance exam and a copy of their school report. I didn't recognise dd from her report - without wishing to blow her trumpet it was really good - not necessarily on her academic achievements, but more on how she tries, listens, is a good learner, incredibly kind to her peers .... ad nausem. But I have never seen a report like it.

Anyhow, at the end of the day, we don't have enough money, regardless of the fact that her sister has said she'd like eventually to go where her friend goes (the local state school).

And, when I posted about this a couple of days ago, someone quite rightly said she may feel out of place if she doesn't have the 'right' car/holidays/house.

Amphibimum Sat 12-Jul-08 17:43:09

my sister did feel like the pauper that was 'allowed' to join the school. when a bunch of girls got caught smoking a joint outside of school, my sister got the blame even though she wasnt smoking it. and at least one parent even banned her from their house for being a 'bad influence' sad. going there made her more aware of 'them and us' of economic status i guess. mind you, now, as an adult, she feels more comfortable in both arenas iyswim.

she went on an assisted place, for which she had to get v good entrance exam results etc. might be a possibility, 2sugars, if you havnt looked into it.

slayerette Sat 12-Jul-08 17:43:50

I knew I shouldn't have clicked on this thread.

I am happy with my son's private education but every now and then I find myself on a thread with a 'state education' parent and just feel totally stressed.

But why waste energy like that? I shall just go back to being precious and insecure, spending time with my obnoxious child, showing off to others about how great I am (even though I'm not) and working out how much everything in my life is worth in a material sense. Happy to stop talking to you, Miggsie - I'm guessing we really would not get on! grin

UnquietDad Sat 12-Jul-08 17:45:51

I sometimes feel the same. If state schools were really as good as the government likes to claim, then we'd all have access to the facilities which those at the "independent" schools have.

PrimulaVeris Sat 12-Jul-08 17:46:45

They are justifying how their money is spent.

Of course they have fab facilities but:

- music - county music service here is brilliant (Ok still have to pay), if you're into music of course

- sport - umm they do deffo have edge here in facilities. But my dd's secondary school has just thrashed local big-name independent school in athletics, so they are whooping it up big time

- drama - well we use local arts theatre. Cheap, professional and wonderful

The kids who use private school facilities to full extent often 'live' there 12 hours a day. I think it's good to have life outside personally. Life's what you make it and too short for wishing it were otherwise.

ahundredtimes Sat 12-Jul-08 17:47:17

Yes, it's hard 2shoes. All this stuff is hard. I wouldn't let her sit for a place if she isn't going. But is it worth looking at bursaries? Thought, once again, it might just seem better, without actually being better.

All this house/cars stuff depends on the school. Not all of them are packed with mad, status conscious snobs. Though god knows, a lot of them are.

combustiblelemon Sat 12-Jul-08 17:48:46

What you introduce them to and encourage them to continue with will have a far greater impact than whether they're exposed to it at school.

ahundredtimes Sat 12-Jul-08 17:51:53

Yes. The lemon is right Twig.

findtheriver Sat 12-Jul-08 17:52:03

When you're paying tens of thousands of pounds, you are hardly going to admit that it's not making a huge difference to your child are you??

southeastastra Sat 12-Jul-08 17:54:13

it's easy twig, just don't talk to them grin.

i get equally annoyed with people moaning about how badly behaved the children are at the local comp whilst comparing them to the children from the new religious school.

it's like segregation

motherinferior Sat 12-Jul-08 17:54:17

Oh, I know what you mean. But hey, your children and mine are adorable, and bright, and light up any room they occupy.

Thank you, frogs!

combustiblelemon Sat 12-Jul-08 18:02:04

BTW there are so many private schools that it's hard to generalise about 'types' of parents. Yes, there are schools where entrance is very much about what school your parents attended and there are schools where cash is the main entrance requirement.

There are also specialist schools where entrance is based on e.g. musical ability and a large number of private selective grammar schools where entrance is based on academic ability. They have a much greater mix of pupils.

Many of those schools are a world away from the image of 4x4s and Easter in Chamonix.

ahundredtimes Sat 12-Jul-08 18:03:28

I like this volatile lemon. She's right.

Mercy Sat 12-Jul-08 18:06:41

Not everyone who attends private school ends up being a high achiever, fully-rounded person etc.

I can think of several examples within mine and dh's family, and family friends.

Even if I were in the position to afford it I don't think I would contemplate private education for my dc.

motherinferior Sat 12-Jul-08 18:07:41

Well, my children get virtually no academic stimulation at home either, so they're buggered either way really.

psmith Sat 12-Jul-08 18:09:21

I went to a private school and there were hardly any facilities. We had a nice big field but we didn't have extensive sports equipment. Our labs were fairly run down, in fact the whole building was. We didn't have any computers at all. There was hardly any extra curicular stuff because there weren't enough people to be involved. (although this was in the days when you got the bus home and let yourself in. Nobody stayed in school for childcare reasons). There was also very little choice on what subjects you could take for GCSE as it wouldn't be economical to teach a subject for 2 years with only a few pupils.

The nice things were the small class sizes and people were generally nice and respectful to each other. People were very well behaved in terms of not disrupting lessons etc.You have to be nice when there is only 20 in your year group as oppossed to 200. There was a few eating disorders but it wasn't endemic. Drugs were a problem, mainly due to teenagers having too much disposable income.

I did stuff outside of school and even if my school had the facilities to do the same activities in school then I still would have done them out of school. I think its an advantage to have different circles of friends rather than being dependent on one small group of girls for your entire social life.

My parents are not precious or insecure. They are lovely. I am not obnoxious afaik.

Mercy Sat 12-Jul-08 18:10:10

I find that very hard to believe MI!

motherinferior Sat 12-Jul-08 18:11:45

It's true, Mercy sad I read to them sometimes, that's about it.

(Sorry, I'm having one of those profoundly 'crap at being a parent and indeed a human being' phases, I'll get out of it!)

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