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those who started at state but then changed to private

(11 Posts)
mollysmum82 Fri 14-Oct-11 19:37:55

...do you regret starting at state? I just can't decide what to do. We have a lovely private school just round the corner and I'm not keen on our catchment school. I don't know whether to chance the oversubscribed schools or travel a distance to the undersubscribed ones (if we get in that is) or just go for the private school. It would be a big financial strain but I would do it if it would make DD happy.

Would love to hear any experiences! x

mollysmum82 Fri 14-Oct-11 19:40:19

by chance the oversubscribed school I mean chance getting in

KTk9 Fri 14-Oct-11 23:09:11

Of course it depends on your child and what the best environment is for them and you may not actually know that until she starts school. i.e. How many in the class, is she distracted, would she need the help of smaller classes, or is she the sort of child that will do well anywhere?

We have just moved our dd in Year 2 to a private school and to be honest, it seems to really suit her and personally I feel it is one of the best decisions we have made, it is early days, but she is enjoying it and seems much happier generally.

There is so much to consider, not just the money, the travelling distance, where you live in relation to friends, the extra school work that usually goes with it.

I would suggest you visit all the possibles, including privates and then apply to the oversubscribed ones - if they are good ones, you can always make a decision at a later date.

Private schools however do tend to ask you to put down a deposit (£2/300), if you want to reserve a place, which you would lose if you then don't take it up.

Alternatively, try the state schools until Year 3 (juniors), this is the time that a lot of children start Prep school, but then your dd may have to sit an exam, which she wouldn't have to do to go in Reception.

Personally, I wish we had put her straight into Private, as there is some catching up to do now, however, those two years at State, gave us some idea as to what she needed and gave her the time to form friendships in our local community, which we will keep going, as her school now is quite a long way from where we live and the children who go there come from a wide area.

I thought our Outstanding State school would be as good an education as Private, but I couldn't have been more wrong!

Best of luck, choosing a school in the first instance and then deciding whether to move her, have been two of the biggest decisions we have had to make regarding our dd and the hardest, resulting in many sleepless nights! I don't envy you.

whenIgetto3 Sun 16-Oct-11 10:00:46

I would look at all the options and as KT says you can always reserve a place at the private in the chance you don't get into the state one you want. When you pay the deposit check if you can defer it, we did with 2 of ours (moved to US for 2 years with DH job so didn't want to leave the DC behind) they let us say they would be coming in 2 years time with no loss of deposit. Maybe if you decide to go to the state primary you get you could then defer to Yr 3 (which is when ours started) and see how it goes, at least you have a while to decide then. We moved DD into yr5 and it has taken her a year to catch up, not sure how much is that she was educated in the US for 2 years or that the private school was just way ahead. Both DSs went into Yr3 and they have had no problems they love it, say they would never go back to a state school now.

Hard decision to make so it is worth visiting, asking questions, talking to other parents etc. Good luck smile

TipOfTheSlung Sun 16-Oct-11 10:04:33

Yes and No

Don't regret it was dd and ds2 who have found state school to be ok. Completely regret it for ds1 who had a horrible time at two state schools. Couldn't really change it though as he goes to prep which starts at year 3

TipOfTheSlung Sun 16-Oct-11 10:04:55

* don't regret it for dd...

fridayschild Sun 16-Oct-11 18:34:25

We moved Ds1 into private for the start of year 3, and DS2 at the same time (year 1) because it was easier just to have one school to go to. I would have preferred to stay in the state system but got collywobbles about secondary, so thought we would go private sooner rather than later.

There is no question but that DS2 is getting a "better" education than DS1 had, in terms of the staff/student ratio, the opportunities to learn a musical instrument and the way they just seem to teach self-confidence at a private school. However it is obviously not good an education in terms of social mix. And the playground is smaller.

I don't think DS1 has suffered at all from being at a state school for 3 years. It was and still is a good school and we have made some lasting friends. He did have to work a bit harder in his first term, which came as a bit of a shock, but he has got used to it. He slotted into the private school pretty much in the middle of the class, which is where I thought he would be.

So I don't regret it at all, but I was happy with the state school we started at, and I'm not sure that you are, from your post?

Chrysanthemum5 Sun 16-Oct-11 20:36:41

DS went to our local school in P1 and moved to private for P2. Our local school has a great reputation but it was very overcrowded and the teachers were honest that decisions were being made based on numbers rather than what was best for the children eg there weren't enough chairs for all the children so they couldn't all do activities at the same time, not enough Reading books to go round etc.

DH hated the school and was keen to move DS. I struggled with it because DS had made friends and had cousins at the school. In the end we accepted the place and I've not regretted it, but I did work hard to help DS settle and find new friends plus help him keep his old friends. DS is pretty clever so he has done fine at his new school but there was quite a gap between him and the other children in terms of Reading level, writing etc. Also his old class had been so noisy the children had been taught to whisper when asking questions so it took him a while to learn to speak in a louder voice.

I don't regret the year in the state school because I really felt it would be the right choice however I'm glad we moved.

Things to consider include how near the school is to you and will he ever be able to walk to his friends houses? What will the fees be like from age 7/8 because they tend to take a jump then. Can you afford the extras like uniform books sports kit musical instruments etc it all adds up.

DD is now in the private preschool and will go straight in to P1 and I'm happy she won't have the changes and disruption DS had.

TheOriginalFAB Sun 16-Oct-11 20:38:28

You can't decide on the basis if it will make your child happy as s/he hasn't started yet so you don't know how they will feel at any school confused.

mollysmum82 Tue 18-Oct-11 14:12:21

Thanks so much everyone for your replies, you've really helped and I do appreciate it. Its such a hard choice to make but you've given me lots to think about.

lovingthecoast Tue 18-Oct-11 17:51:44

We started in private then moved to another part of the country and we didn't like the private option so they went to the state primary and are now back in a different private school.

It really depends on the child and the school. The school they started off in was amazing and they were well ahead when they entered the state system. They struggled with the larger classes and ratios and missed all the extras such as twice weekly music etc. The state primary was a very good school but simply could not compete with what they had left.

However, the private school that we rejected when we put them in the state primary was, IMO, a bit rubbish. Academically it was nothing special and whilst it had very small classes, its facilities weren't that great or that much above what you would expect in an excellent state primary. I also found the teaching and lessons seemed uninspiring when we went for two visits.

So I guess it really depends on the school. Private isn't always better so whilst you are pretty much guaranteed small classes, there's no guarantee of better quality teaching or learning. All I can suggest is go and visit all the options. Ask about extra curricular stuff if that's important to you and the wider curriculum such as music, PE and Citizenship. However, I have to admit that an excellent private school really is fab and my kids thrived in that environment.

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