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Has anyone done state till eight?

(140 Posts)
lifesobeautiful Tue 10-Sep-13 20:27:46

My DH and I are currently trying to decide what schooling route to take - state or private. I wondered if anyone had tried the state till eight thing - and if so how did it go? I also wondered if I could hear from anyone who was privately educated, but decided to send their kids to state schools - and how they found that.

I seem to be going round and round in circles! One minute thinking we should try the little local state school, then thinking no because of no playing fields etc (we're in central london). Then thinking yes, because we'll have more money for holidays and he'll meet a more diverse social crowd...then changing my mind..AARRRGH.

Any experiences/thoughts would be gratefully received.

Artijoke Tue 10-Sep-13 20:34:25

State 'til eight is quite selfish IMO. It's a real problem for our state primary. Middle class parents take highly sought places at a great school, take the best years the school has to offer then leave, the vacant place is then taken by new students who often are from less good schools or abroad, our school works its heart out trying to bring the new pupils up to speed before SATS etc but its very hard when a considerable cohort leave at the end of year 2/3. Its just not great. In an ideal world pupils would only take State places if properly committed to the State system.

kangarooshoes Tue 10-Sep-13 20:38:14

I misread this as "slate til eight", imagining children using slates and chalk only until 8yrs.

"How environmentally friendly, stops them wasting all that paper" I thought.

We're doing state until we don't like it, so probably secondary, perhaps sixth form. I want mine to get that magic self confidence/esteem they only get from the private system, coupled with the normaility you get from the state system.

HattyJack Tue 10-Sep-13 20:41:13

Kids only get self-esteem and self-confidence if they go to a private school? Oops. I'd better ditch this job that lets me spend time with DD and go and earn more money sad

sillyoldfool Tue 10-Sep-13 20:42:40

I agree with artijoke. That was how it was when I went to primary school, it was really rubbish.
I think children get that magic self confidence from being loved and encouraged in their passions by their family...
But I'd send mine to state school even if we were millionaires, so prob not the person for this!

prettydaisies Tue 10-Sep-13 20:43:19

My DD went to a state infant school and then went private when she was 7. DS went to a state school until the end of Y5 and then private. Both went to selective schools and have done very well - lots of A*s at GCSE between them and now both working hard in sixth form.
Both fitted in well. DD only knew a couple of children at her school, but DS already knew lots of children from playing rugby and cricket at local clubs.

kangarooshoes Tue 10-Sep-13 20:43:37

I was fully state educated, but yes, at uni etc and now as a mum, I see a magic light in those that have spent time in private education. I don't know how they do it, but they get an inner worth I've only seen in those from private schools. And not all private schools.

Mintyy Tue 10-Sep-13 20:45:18

Yuk! Fucking vile term and concept.

And, yes, people have "done" it in my children's school.

meditrina Tue 10-Sep-13 20:49:12

Surely if you are in central London, no schools have playing fields?

London's population density is so great, and the population so mobile, that there is a lot of churn in and out of all schools.

You need to go and look at the schools of both sectors near to to you and work out your preferred order based on what you actually see. Also, if you think you are staying put, what would you do at secondary?

Artijoke Tue 10-Sep-13 20:50:46

It is a very selfish concept. You are basically saying "I will take free education to make my LO worldly wise but I don't believe it's really fit for our family long term so I will whisk my LO away as soon as we have got what we want and to hell with the impact on the school and the other pupils."

FoundAChopinLizt Tue 10-Sep-13 20:50:47


if you concede that not all private schools impart the Magic Inner Worth to all pupils, is it just possible that some state pupils somehow attain this for free?

Bitzer Tue 10-Sep-13 20:51:36

Anecdotally, having been at both state and private schools myself, I contest the idea that private gives you some kind of inner confidence. Academically I breezed through school but have never had that kind of 'magic light'… Agree with sillyoldfool on how that comes about.

As for the state 'til 8 thing. I have known (albeit not personally) a few people who've done it but not round these parts (inner London) so much. I think people either go with state throughout or switch at end of primary. More of a rural thing perhaps?

FoundAChopinLizt Tue 10-Sep-13 20:53:24

Also, by that reasoning

Private 'til 8

would be a lot cheaper, and they would still have that ready brek glow of inner worth.

Artijoke Tue 10-Sep-13 20:54:09

We are inner London and it happens an awful lot at our state primary. KS1 is full of middle class kids, KS2 much less so (especially true for boys).

noddyholder Tue 10-Sep-13 20:56:10

Awful concept. It happened a lot at my ds primary. One of the mums was in my book group and when I asked her where her dd was she laughed as if to say You didn't really think I would send her there did you? Huge barney and never saw her again grin

HattyJack Tue 10-Sep-13 20:56:57

I am troubled by "we'll have more money for holidays" - it sounds to me like you can't afford to go private.

It was suggested I went to a grammar school (fee paying) at 11. I thought about how my parents would afford it, and decided that it would probably mean fewer holidays and less money to spend on family time - and worse Christmas and birthday presents for both me and my brother, so I refused to take the exam.

If you can't afford the lifestyle you want and the school fees, you can't afford the school fees.

Artijoke Tue 10-Sep-13 20:56:58

Kangaroo didn't say inner worth she referred to private schools imparting a confidence and I agree that the top public schools do tend to turn out graduates with an amazing confidence in their own abilities. I work with several old Etonians and I am very jealous of their lack of self doubt.

noddyholder Tue 10-Sep-13 20:57:56

Agree with silly and bitzer

kangarooshoes Tue 10-Sep-13 20:58:39

I've never met someone with what I'm talking about who went to state school. I'm not very good at explaining it, and it's not about money, and I don't know what it is, quite, but it's about the mask and the person matching. Anyway, that's a personal opinion, and it doesn't affect this thread, it's just a reason I'd like some private education for mine.

I don't think it's any more vile than moving out of a poorer catchment to a better one, or any other way parents have of ensuring the right education for their child. Children, and families are all different, and for some, putting their kids in state school until prep age is what is best for their families, describing it as "vile" is uncalled for. It's not what I intend to do, but I am thinking of private for secondary. I can understand why others would, and I can understand people disliking the disruption if their kids stay in the state class. However, no parent is ever really going to do anything except make sure their child is okay, it's natural.

It would be better for poorer performing schools to have some middle class mums to send their kids there and get involved, for altruistic reasons, but I'll bet none of you are going to offer.

friday16 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:00:46

I want mine to get that magic self confidence/esteem they only get from the private system

It might also be the magic self confidence/esteem that they only get from having parents who are interested, committed and well-off enough that they can afford to send their children to private schools. The control group is not state pupils in the large, but state pupils from affluent families who are motivated and committed enough to both get their children through the admission process and pay the bills.

Abra1d Tue 10-Sep-13 21:02:36

Why is it more selfish than sending your children to a local school knowing that you're going to be moving area by the time they're eight? Or sending your child to a school in England knowing that you'll be going back to Poland when your contract ends? Or knowing that there'll be a place in a state primary you prefer by the time KS2 starts?

kangarooshoes Tue 10-Sep-13 21:02:54

No, it's not that. But I'm sidelining the thread, and I'm sorry. Can we go back to the OP?

Bowlersarm Tue 10-Sep-13 21:03:40

Artijoke but surely the it is a) not a 'free' place as everyone pays through their taxes including the op and b) if OPs children leave at aged 8 that frees the places up for other chldren. And why is educating up to age 8 'the best years of the school'? What happens from 8 to 11 that is the worst of the school?

Abra1d Tue 10-Sep-13 21:07:37

I have done something similar--but moving at the end of year five for both sons--and it worked well. It's good to have local connections and friends.

Incidentally we made damn sure that we did a lot for the school while we were there: governors/PTA/helping in the library/marketing, etc. We tried hard to put back what we'd had and I think the head noted this, even if he didn't really approve of us going private. His successor doesn't mind at all if people only want to use the school for a few years.

sillyoldfool Tue 10-Sep-13 21:08:02

I find the line that everyone just does 'the best for their child' and doesn't/shouldn't take into account the wider community really strange and sad.
The more engaged and well educated parents who use the state system, the better the system will be for all, and the better society will be for my children IMO. A more equal society would be far better for them than any mysterious self worth or even A* grades IMO.

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