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just accepted by local first school (who'd rejected us)- should we accept or go private??

(12 Posts)
MissChief Thu 31-Mar-05 09:56:53

- further to my earlier thread on reasons to go private at reception age - we've now been accepted by the first school we wanted, having originally been rejected!
Thing is, I now know what's out there in terms of private provision - and have been impressed. DH wants to avoid the school fees (as we want to reduce debt). Fortunately, he earns a v good salary so we could just about justify fees even with our debt - I'm still not sanguine about sending ds to an okay school but don't want to put too much financial pressure on either. I had wanted to send him to a nice, small, good quality school such as I attended myself (which I note achieves A stars, unlike our local ones)- maybe I'm just not living in the real world!

MissChief Thu 31-Mar-05 10:22:28

bump, anyone in similar position (or is it my ante-natal worry hormones in overdrive!)??

LIZS Thu 31-Mar-05 10:31:03

We've had similar dilemmas as were trying to coordinate 2 kids into one private school and for a while they couldn't offer ds a space. You need to consider what it is about the private school that is impresing more than the state and how that figures in your priorities for education and how the cost of that might in turn impinge on your lifestyle priorities (holidays, new car etc).

For us it is the small class sizes and specialist teachers and facilities, although am still unsure as to how ds is actually going to be able to cope and what support they may offer as he has to make a transition form one system to another and has motor skill issues. On balance we felt that the opportunities available on site to both there were more suitable. However the state schools they have been offered places at weren't bad either and more local (got our first choice ones so it isn't an easy choice.

MissChief Thu 31-Mar-05 10:40:35

IKWYM - small class sizes & specialist staff really appeal. On the other hand, wondering what difference this really makes age 5 and whether I'm being too precious.
Anxious though about letting my little one loose into a huge class - behaviour/language or others and whether focus would be too much on the trouble-makers rather than those keen & able to learn.

dinosaur Thu 31-Mar-05 10:43:12

FWIW my DS1 (quite a delicate little flower and on the autistic spectrum) is thriving in our local state primary (in Hackney - not exactly a posh area).

MissChief Thu 31-Mar-05 10:47:51

Great to hear it - fellow delicate flower then! (actually think that's me rather than ds at the moment)

victoriapeckham Thu 31-Mar-05 10:57:02

Save the money for when it is a much tougher choice - ie secondary level.

But child experiencing good social mix at an early age is important too. Lots of private primary school kids i meet are a bit precious with no knowledge of life beyond their priveleged bubble, which I think is a shame and will not be helpful in real world.

And if state school really isn't working by time child is 7, many private schools do 7+ entry so you can switch then.

frogs Thu 31-Mar-05 10:59:47

I'm with dinosaur on this. Also in Hackney (different school, though) and we've found that both my older two, very different in character and ability, have gained tremendously in confidence and streetwiseness from their school experiences. They've been much more resistant to peer pressure than some private school kids we know, because their classes are so mixed that they have to develop strategies for defending their own opinions, and are much more resilient than I think they would have been in thge more protected and maybe slightly precious environment I've encountered in some London private schools.

Yes, it's had its moments, particularly for my older one who is very academic and does get bored, but overall it was still the right choice. As long as you're prepared to keep a reasonably close eye on the child's schoolwork, and make sure you support him with reading, learning tables etc, you should be fine. In the end the educational aspects of primary school, particularly in the infants consists of learning to read, learning to write and learning basic maths. None of it's rocket science.

And if if doesn't work out, it's not that hard to move them at 7. We did consider moving dd1 at 7+, and she was offered places by lots of schools, contrary to the rumour mill that says you have to register them when the little blue line appears on the pregnancy test...

Good luck!

dinosaur Thu 31-Mar-05 11:00:04

I agree about social mix. I like the diversity of DS1's school.

Jimjams Thu 31-Mar-05 11:02:52

similar dilemma here for ds2. the local state school is huge and won't let us look around, the next closest he may/may not get into (and if he gets in ds3 may not- we're out of catchment). this school has o pre after school care and ds1 is at a special school and delivered to and from home by taxi. drop off right when i would need to be at school.

the little small local private school has specialist teachers, small classes and pre and after school and holiday care. it would make our lives much much easier. like you dh's salary is ok but we're carrying debt. on the other hand the fees aren't much more than we're paying in therapy for ds1 at the moment. I've startedf working from home in the hope that we can pay school fees and reduce debt.

Jimjams Thu 31-Mar-05 11:05:06

we're the opposite. we still have good grammer schools here (not as hard to get into as the kent ones) so I'm hoping ds2 will get a place there- won't need to worry about coinciding with ds1's taxi by then!

marialuisa Thu 31-Mar-05 13:34:38

Wrote a long post explaining our recent decision over a similar (completely unexpected as we hadn't applied to a state school)dilemma but realised it just boiled down to "yes, we are very precious about what we want for DD". Some of the benefits of state schools simply don't apply in the semi-rural area where we live, there is no ethic/cultural diversity and very little social diversity, DD does not need to be streetwise or able to handle herself....On a financial tip, we are (I suspect) on a much lower income than many MNers, but there are only 3 of us, we can still afford a holiday and a couple of trips every year, a smart car would cause arguments and we're happy with a bog standard house. We cannot think of a better way to use the money IYSWIM.

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