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Would you send your gifted child to private school but not the others?

(77 Posts)
bogeyface Fri 20-Jul-12 16:41:59

DD2 is gifted.

DS1, DD1 are 21 and 14, DS has SEN, DD1 is average (infact above average in ability but her lack of confidence holds her back in achievement) DD3 (7) is over a year ahead of her class in most things and has a reading and writing age of 11, DS2 (6) is above average in ability but not outstandingly so, his mucking about lets him down, he is very Just William! and DD4, we dont know yet as she is only weeny!

So......ex and I are considering putting DD2 in for scholarships at our local prep, which is also nationally renowned (no pressure then hmm grin) as we feel that a private education would help her make the best of her gifts. But, we would only just be able to do this if she got a scholarship and bursary, there is no way the others would be able to go. If DD3 showed the same level of ability and also got a scholarship and bursary then we would have 3 years of paying, admittedly reduced, fees and I am not sure if that would be doable. Although I would be back at work full time by then which would make a big difference.

So would you send one in the knowledge that you could do it and play by ear for the other child? Or not send one if you cant be sure you could afford to send both? I am erring towards the latter as I feel that truly gifted children will achieve anywhere if they have the mindset......but then I wonder if I am selling DD2 short by not applying?



bogeyface Fri 20-Jul-12 16:44:28

Sorry, that should be reading age of 11, writing age of 9 for DD3

Lucyellensmum99 Fri 20-Jul-12 16:45:56

You really have to ask?? hmm what sort of message would you think this would send your other "less talented" children.

Lucyellensmum99 Fri 20-Jul-12 16:47:14

Oh and private education isn't always best for children with specific needs, if your child is G&T they may well be better in grammar school.

Pagwatch Fri 20-Jul-12 16:50:11

I have two children in private school and one in a state school specific to his asd. They went to three different schools.

I sent each of my dc to the best school I could find to meet their needs. <<shrugs>>

tabulahrasa Fri 20-Jul-12 16:50:16

Nope - I also think that if they're gifted they should be fine anywhere.

PropositionJoe Fri 20-Jul-12 16:51:42

No. I have an extremely bright DS1 who has always been right at the top of his year. We sent him independent at eleven. But DS2 who did not seem exceptional when younger has passed all his entrance exams and been assessed level 5 in English, 6 in maths in the year 6 SATs. He will be going to the same school. But had we tried to call it when he was 8 we would have judged him wrongly.

Lucyellensmum99 Fri 20-Jul-12 16:57:12

Pag, i think that is a bit different though.

I went for a job in a private school a few weeks back, and i was shock at the lack of facilities for science and even more shock when they proudly told me that it wasn't a particularly academic school. It was more about the experience and kudos. It was a lovely old school, wonderful grounds and i honestly think that must be what sold the place to the parents because the teaching quality and facilities (where it mattered - they had a firing range so that clearly made up for it hmm) were ropey to say the least. I have however done some work in another private school (with less kudos actually) and their science department was fantastic. So it doesn't always follow that private education will be better for a academically gifted child.

Pagwatch Fri 20-Jul-12 17:04:26

Why is it different?

DD very nearly went to a state school because it was fab. She only went to a private school because it was closer, it was way better re sport/pe and I probably wanted single sex.

DS1 was always going private because he hated mixed schooling and there were not any state schools we liked for him.

I would have happily sent one private and one state if the particular schools were right for the particular child.

NoComet Fri 20-Jul-12 17:05:37

I think with 7 and 6 year olds to consider I'd wait.

If you can't afford to send both of them and they are that close in age, it's just too decisive a decision to send one and not the other.

If at 11 DD is clearly streets ahead, then I'd let her try for a scholarship. At 10 you will know if the younger one stands a chance and do will they.

Had she wanted to I would have let DD2 try for the Grammar school, even though her Dyslexic big sister didn't, but I didn't push her.

Had she been the eldest she'd have no choice, but to do the 11+.

In theory I think we should educate each child to their abilities, but in reality unless you can easily afford private for them all it's difficult.

yousankmybattleship Fri 20-Jul-12 17:07:17

No! But then I wouldn't send any of my children to private school ,whether gifted or not.

ChickensHaveNoLips Fri 20-Jul-12 17:14:15

No, I wouldn't. I want both my chicldren to be given the same opportunities. I want a level playing field.

5madthings Fri 20-Jul-12 17:16:52

we had this situation with our eldest, he is very bright and he could have had a bursary to a very good private school and we DID consider it, what put us off was the idea that our younger ones wouldnt be able to go, so far they also seem very bright but i really didnt want a situation where one of our children would have a private eduaction and the others wouldnt.

also i wondered about the pressure the younger ones would feel under to be the same as ds1 and get the bursary (no way we could send them otherwise) tbh tho evne with the bursary which covered 100% of the fees, there was all the extras, the uniform the sports equipment, trips, extra curricular stff etc and it all added up! you would be amazed by how much!

in the end we decided he would get a more rounded education at the local high school, it is a good school anyway, and he gets to mix with a broader range of the general population which i think is important.

Pagwatch Fri 20-Jul-12 17:17:51

Hmmmn, I think the interesting thing is that so many would see a state school as a lesser choice without exception.

I think state schools can be brilliant and private schools can be crap.

I would chose by the specific school and the specific child.

5madthings Fri 20-Jul-12 17:32:57

well in the end we werent sure that the private school was the best school for ds1, from an academic pov it would have been, but there is more to consider than that i think and i did have to consider the rest of the family and the implications it would have, just logistically for one thing!

gelatinous Fri 20-Jul-12 17:35:56

It's a bit different to your choice though Pag, as here, the op can only afford to make the choice for one one child (or just maybe two). Are you sure for example that the dd1 wouldn't have benefited more from a private education (it may have helped her confidence issues) than the dd2 would. It is a tough choice, but the safest thing in terms of family unity is to use state for all of them.

Viperidae Fri 20-Jul-12 17:38:16

I think private schools are often better for children who need more support, confidence-building, etc as it is often the "value added" they excel at. A really academic child imo will do well anywhere.

Pagwatch Fri 20-Jul-12 17:42:39

No, no - you are right.
I am musing in general that I chose the best school to suit the child but of course I could afford if they all chose private.

I am just interested that so many dismiss state as a poor 2nd choice when for some children the local state may be better.

I am also interested because in my family my eldest brother was sent to a private school (full scholarship and relatives helped with uniform etc) but the rest of us went to the local comp. We never saw it as anything odd. We absoloutely understood that he was sent when they were choosing for one but once the other 7 of us turned up, private was not possible.

We just saw it as our parents doing the best they could and those choices changing as their lives changed.

DontEatTheVolesKids Fri 20-Jul-12 17:44:33

I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable, equality is making sure the children's needs are equally well met to the best of your ability, not that they have equal opportunities & equal experiences.

BUT, I would need to be firmly convinced that the private school was hugely better suited to my DC who went there over any state school option. I just am not convinced from what you've written that the private Prep offers anything she can't mostly get in a state school.

5madthings Fri 20-Jul-12 17:48:01

pag as an adult you can look back and see their situation changed, but honetly as a child of say 10/11 did you really understand that they did what they could for your elder sibling and then it was just different for the rest of you (8 altogether, wow! smile ) there was no point that you felt it wasnt fair? i guess the majority of you went to the state school so you all felt the same and had kinship in that? did your privately educated sibling feel that he was left out of things you all shared going to the same school? not a criticism btw just wondering of the logistics of it and how much you understood it as a child?

Technoprisoners Fri 20-Jul-12 17:51:03

Try not to think of it as state/private, try to think of the best fit for the child. I have 3 dcs and would have each in a different school if they needed it. If you are sure the school you're thinking of would be best for DD2, then give it a try. Nothing is set in stone, and by the time your youngest starts school, situations may have changed.

Technoprisoners Fri 20-Jul-12 17:51:49

I believe if parents maintain a 'fair' ethos in the family in general, different schools will not become an issue.

Pagwatch Fri 20-Jul-12 17:54:51

No. Honestly. smile
It was just the way things were.
I also didn't envy him because I thought his school seemed horrible.

I understand why you say that but it was just the way things were. Didn't bother us at all. I think in fact we felt a bit sorry for him. I think children are far less pre occupied with valuing things that cost money than we are.

I know one of ds1s friends was angry and upset when he was sent to ds1s school and his two siblings were to continue through the local state school. He resented it for years.

I am sure many would understand the financial side and resent it. But equally a lot would just want to be at school where their friends are or wherever they serve the best lunch. <<stares hard at DD>> grin

hectorthestandbyhawk Fri 20-Jul-12 17:58:17

It's difficult,an independent school might not necessarily stretch a very gifted child far enough. Yes-a selective one will take children of above average ability but why should that mean they'll stretch you exceptionally gifted child? I think you see the difference once they're doing GCSEs and levels.

I don't agree with Chickenshavenolip's statement 'I want a level playing field'. As each child is an individual, all going to the same school will not offer them the same opportunities. Children suited to that school environment might thrive and those less suited might not.

5madthings Fri 20-Jul-12 17:59:46

fair enough, yes i can see it would work, i would have felt happier doing it if we could then have afforded the same opportunity, (even at a different school or if there was more choice re state schools) but there really is only the choice of one good state school near us (which we are lucky enough to live in catchment for) and a couple of othesr that are not so good, and then the one private school.

others would require complicated travel arrangements etc which would just not be feasible ie logistically.

and i have to say my ds2 is very quick to pick on anything he thinks is the teeniest bit unfair and would most def kick up a stink over the financial aspect of it! its all down to personalities and dynamics of families i guess.

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