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Help me get over my irrational fear of sending my children to the local state schools.

(348 Posts)
thedolly Wed 26-Aug-09 11:25:45

ATM we live in a semi rural area and the DCs are at a Prep School. We are very happy with the school but the money to pay for it will run out eventually and I will end up working to pay for school fees.

Should we just stay put (in our very nice house) and brave the local state schools or move to a place where house prices are very expensive but the schools have a good reputation?

I have also posted this in AIBU as I feel I need a good kick up the backside.

Has anyone gone from private to state? I suspect it is a bigger adjustment for the parents than the children.

LadyMuck Wed 26-Aug-09 14:26:40

Have you ever been to the local state school?

Do you not know anyone with children at a state school locally?

MrsBadger Wed 26-Aug-09 14:42:35

hang on, is your fear a) for your children re state schools or b) for yourself having to get a job? hmm

AMumInScotland Wed 26-Aug-09 14:49:08

Are you sure that the local state schools are something which requires "bravery", or are you just assuming that without any basis for it? If you have looked into them, and they are a nightmare of near-riot proportions then I would do whatever I had to in order to protect my children from that environment.

But if they are just decent schools with a wider intake than the independent school, then I think you should find out about them before making decisions.

bigstripeytiger Wed 26-Aug-09 15:01:34

Have you looked at the state schools?

ThingOne Wed 26-Aug-09 15:16:13

Visit the schools. Talk to the parents and children who use them. You'll almost certainly discover your fear is irrational.

thedolly Wed 26-Aug-09 15:17:35

The local state school looked good onpaper before we moved here but when I actually went to look at it (from the outside) I was really put off.

MrsBadger - I will have to go back to work eventually smile

mumblechum Wed 26-Aug-09 15:21:41

As others have said, you really need to look at them to make an informed decision.

(am sniggering up my sleeve slightly as our ds's state grammar wipes the floor every year with all the local private schools in terms of results grin)

GossipMonger Wed 26-Aug-09 15:26:56

Get a grip!

Lots of us have to 'brave'the state schools and our children are still here and happy!


Join the PTA. Get to know how the school works.

Go in and read with the children and get to know the teachers.

sounds like you dont have a choice anyway if your money is about to run out.

UnquietDad Wed 26-Aug-09 15:29:59

FFS, "brave" the local state schools. What planet are some people on??!

GreensleevesFlouncedLikeAKnob Wed 26-Aug-09 15:30:40

are you that blonde mother off Catherine Tate?

MrsBadger Wed 26-Aug-09 15:37:05

Oh yes, because lookign at the outside of a school is a notoriously effective way of determining things like atmosphere, class size, personailty of the Head, pastoral care, academic results, availability of extra-curricular activites and the quality of the teaching, isn;t it? hmm

get in touch with the Head and be honest about your situation - you're not the first and you won;t be the last

I read an article to this effect in one of the weekend papers but can't lay my hands on it - will rummage

thedolly Wed 26-Aug-09 16:14:48

What do you mean be honest about my situation MrsBadger?

UQD, 'tis a word which when coupled with 'irrational fear' makes sense. The planet that I am on is the one in which I want the best for my children - surely that is the same one as you?

UnquietDad Wed 26-Aug-09 16:17:44

OK, "what planet are you on?" is a bit glib. But come on - you must see that your OP makes state schools sound as if they are Borstals or something. 93% of people use them - the VAST majority. It's not like moving from a 4-bed house to a Council flat.

tiredemma Wed 26-Aug-09 16:21:54

Don't we all want the best for our children??

Cant state education be the best for our children. The word 'state' should not put the fear of God into us.

MrsBadger Wed 26-Aug-09 16:26:40

I meant tell the head that they are at the prep atm and you are out of cash

do not fudge and make excuses and say you have just moved to the area or you feel the prep isn't right for them any more etc etc

the article was in the saturday telegraph but doesn't appear to be on the website - was only a 'comment' snippet anyway. I think my mum clipped it for me so I would feel less bad about not being able to afford prep ever in a million years...

thedolly Wed 26-Aug-09 16:42:27

UQD - it's a bit like that smile

MrsBadger - I wouldn't dream of not telling the truth and up until now I hadn't even thought that the truth might be a problem - you've scared me now.

We've got about three years left of funding by which time DD will be 11, DS1 9 and DS2 5.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 26-Aug-09 16:49:56

I'm not sure what you want out of this thread? You are being a snob. You've dismissed the local education available to your children because you didn't like the look of the outside of the building. The fact that you admit that your "fear" is irrational seems to allow to absolve yourself from addressing your prejudices.
There is in all likelihood nothing wrong with your local state schools but if you don't go and visit them you can carry on with this wildly irrational course of action you propose - ie moving to a more expensive area in the hope of securing a better class of state school to send your children to without knowing anything at all about any of the schools in question.

mrz Wed 26-Aug-09 16:56:47

Perhaps your local state school won't want have places for your children because if it looks good on paper there is every chance it is over subscribed.

thedolly Wed 26-Aug-09 17:04:59

LGP - I am sure there is nothing wrong with our local school. But what can you actually know about a school until you send your DC there and experience it first hand. I don't feel that I am being a snob - I just have/had options which are narrowing by the minute and I want some advice on which is the best course of action to take.

bigstripeytiger Wed 26-Aug-09 17:05:08

Your local state school might be better than your prep school anyway. My local school is better (with smaller class sizes) than the private school in our town. Which is very nice for us smile
But you wont know if you dont look.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 26-Aug-09 17:14:41

Yes, but TheDolly you can tell a lot about a school by visiting it during the school day. You say your options are narrowing down but why, when loads of people on both threads have advised you to go and visit the schools, do you refuse to consider that as a way of helping you make your decision? It doesn't make sense.

thedolly Wed 26-Aug-09 17:15:52

What I do know about the local schools is that because they are village schools they double up year groups so YR1 and 2 are taught together etc. This cannot possibly be better than what my DC experience - can it?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 26-Aug-09 17:16:48

Yes, it can work very well. Go see.

hocuspontas Wed 26-Aug-09 17:20:54

Going by this and your other thread I don't think you will ever be happy in the state sector. You will always be thinking what they could be missing out on. Especially if you stay in contact with mums from your current school. Any slight setback will have you wringing your hands that you made the wrong choice. Why not take the plunge and WORK in the state sector, thus seeing how the other half live and at the same time fund the fees to keep your children in the private sector?

What does your dp think?

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