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What would you do - stay at state primary or go to private prep?

(48 Posts)
3sEnough Fri 31-Aug-07 08:16:20

Hi - I have a conundrum (a nice one as they go!) My ds is a lovely, chatty, sensitive lad - emotionally quite young and with a small speech comprehension problem. He has some good friends at his current state primary (which is fabulous and one of the 'best' in the county according to Offsted)and has settled in really well after being appalling from a social and academic sense for the first year. The school were and are fabulous with him. He is about to go into Y3. He has the opportunity to go to an equally good private prep school and could go back a year (he's just had his birthday), which I feel would help on several levels - maturity, confidence etc. The classes would be almost halved in size, the facilities are amazing, etc, etc. My problem in essence is that I can't see my way past his current school as he and I love it, he's really happy and I have some pretty rotten memories of primary school - constant bullying (we're pretty similar at this age) I am petrified that he'll go to this new school and have problems. Should I send him if I have the opportunity or should I leave it well alone? P.S. The schooling is associated with my dh job, so ds would eventually HAVE to enter the private sector no matter what. I'm going round in circles!!!

frogs Fri 31-Aug-07 08:23:33

I would leave him where he is, if he's happy and you're happy. A good state school that is good at dealing with children with some 'issues' is worth its weight in gold. Some private schools can also be fabulous with children like this, but many are not, and may be less inclined to cut him slack. My cousin's ds sounds like yours and is at a prep school with similarly small class sizes and fab facilities, blahdiblah, but I am constantly slightly shocked by the stories I hear of the school coming down very heavily on what sound to me like very minor behavioural issues, which would be dealt with with a much lighter touch in my dc's primary school. He also has large quantities of what seems to me very dull and repetitive homework, which I think is also not ideal for a young and immature boy. Which is not to say that your ds's experience would be the same -- simply that private schools may have priorities and procedures that you may not be able to get a feel for from the outside, and which may not necessarily gel with your ds's needs.

I'm also not completely sold on the idea of going back a year -- he'll always be one birthday out of sync with his classmates, which is an issue at that age.

If it ain't broke, I wouldn't try to fix it.

3sEnough Fri 31-Aug-07 08:30:43

Thanks frogs - I just don't know what to do - my head says 'just send him - you're being silly' but my heart says 'don't send him, just see what happens'. A crystal ball would be really handy at this time.

3sEnough Sat 01-Sep-07 08:40:54

Anyone else?

ThreeGs Sat 01-Sep-07 08:56:48

No, I wouldn't move him. Most importantly, he is happy. I'd leave him where he is, until one of those natural breaks i.e. when they would change school anyway or when he absolutely needs to be in the system.

I taught at a very nice private school, that had a brilliant prep. Good friends put their son in but went on to move him into the local state primary. He thrived in the latter and had cried every day at being left at the former. I think you know your son best, so follow your instincts.

NannyL Sat 01-Sep-07 08:57:42

IF he is happy where he is leave him be

strangely enough my nanny friend and I were both having an in depth converstaion about children changing schools, and how we felt when we changed schools.

We both agreed that changing schools was stressful and when possible should be avoided unless obviously their is a reason to change. (which if you child is happy and doing well and it is a good school, it doesnt seem like there is actually a reason to change)

ghosty Sat 01-Sep-07 09:02:48

What would happen if you sent him for a year or two or three and then something happened to your DH's job and you could no longer afford for him to go Private?
That would be the deciding factor for me ... circumstances change and if he spent 3 years in a year below his right 'age' year and then had to go back to state school they would have to put him in the right year group. Which means he would miss out on a whole year IYSWIM? That happened to my brother and it affected his whole school career.
AND, I would also add, if he is happy keep him there ...

ghosty Sat 01-Sep-07 09:04:28

And yes, I agree, moving schools is stressful - we had to move our DS this year (through a job move and relocation) and it has been hard on him (he is same age as your son)

Sidge Sat 01-Sep-07 09:46:45

I would leave him where he is. It sounds like a great school and crucially HE IS HAPPY THERE.

Maybe move him to private school when he is older, a little more mature and is ready for more academic pressure.

Judy1234 Sat 01-Sep-07 09:51:08

If it's a good private school not a bad one then swap him. We found private prep schools the best options for all 5 of our children for all kinds of reasons too numerous to set out here.

Judy1234 Sat 01-Sep-07 09:51:57

...and let's not assume it is husbands' jobs that pay school fees. Wow what a sexist assumption in 2907 when many mothers earn more than their men and pay the fees out of their own earnings.

LIZS Sat 01-Sep-07 10:15:15

I'd move him, assuming funds are no issue . ds would have been lost in state primary but copes well with smaller classes and the range of the curriculum on offer at his prep. Do you want him to repeat Year 2 ? How would he feel about moving ?

ghosty Sat 01-Sep-07 11:04:30

Xenia ...
I never presume anything ... I quote from the OP:
"The schooling is associated with my dh job, so ds would eventually HAVE to enter the private sector no matter what"

So don't accuse me of being sexist ok?

<<narrows eyes in a 'don't mess with me' type manner>>


ghosty Sat 01-Sep-07 11:05:21

And you are looking pretty good for over 900 wink

ThursdayNext Sat 01-Sep-07 11:17:47

He's happy, you're happy, moving schools is pretty unpleasant for most children. It may help his maturity and confidence to go back a year, but it micht knock his confidence to change schools.
Seems like the sensible thing is to leave him where he is.
Why does he eventually have to go to a private school?

Reallytired Sat 01-Sep-07 12:11:51

Having a happy child is worth a lot. If your child's school is considered to be one of the best in the country then you are mad to move him.

Not all private schools are as good state schools. Your son's primary school sounds truely outstanding.

I think that going down a year and changing schools might make him unhappy.

Judy1234 Sat 01-Sep-07 17:20:59

gh, sorry. You have better attention to detail than I have.
If he's going to enter the private sector then it may be best to start sooner. Even the Sutton trust which pays for children to go to schools at 13+ feels it has to pay for them at a private prep from I think 11+ or younger so they aren't so very behind when they go to the schools at 13.

3sEnough Sat 01-Sep-07 18:03:47

Thanks for all the replies guys - ds will have to enter the private sector because dh job is in the private sector. The next job move will be to a senior spot in the school and our children will HAVE to attend that school. I do have to stress that the private school we are deciding about is very, very good - another outstanding school - that's why the decision is SO hard.

wheresthehamster Sat 01-Sep-07 18:10:46

Out of interest why do your children have to attend the private school?

Is it because it would look bad on the school if a senior master sent his children elsewhere?

3sEnough Sat 01-Sep-07 18:44:38

In essence - yes - he should be advertising the school and if he didn't send his own children there, it would be seriously strange.

Cammelia Sat 01-Sep-07 18:49:10

And there was me thinking that the numerous children of teachers at dd's private school was because they got a discount wink

Hurlyburly Sat 01-Sep-07 18:52:53

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

superalienstitch Sat 01-Sep-07 18:54:56

if i could afford it, then i would send my dc to privat in a nansosecond.
however,i am not particulalry happy with their state school.
if you are happy with ti, then leave titfor now. save yoursefl some money in the bargain.

3sEnough Sat 01-Sep-07 18:58:59

Cammelia - LOL!! Thanks all - as I suspected, nobody agrees!

Judy1234 Sat 01-Sep-07 19:12:50

We were connected to many schools and none required your children to go there although our son did from 5 - 13 and got virtually free fees. In fact sometimes children of some teachers don't pass the entrance tests actually and I know one who was thrown out, not very bright so it's not always possible they can go.

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