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State -v- Private

(299 Posts)
aim1ee Tue 03-Feb-15 12:51:41

Having experienced both I feel in a position to comment. Our views - the assumption that because you are paying independent school fees that the education and care must be better, is an absolute myth. State education is excellent; provided by qualified teachers often with teaching assistants/trainee teachers in the class together, after school clubs and sport, breakfast clubs, regular sight of books, pastoral care and parental involvement. Especially good advice on internet safety and how numeracy and literacy are taught - even parents' lessons! Most special needs and disabled children are integrated into a happy community. On the other hand we found private schools are elitest, one or two really rude and nasty parents, inadequate leadership by Heads, only one class teacher (sometimes unqualified), short staffed, absent pastoral support, inadequate school reports downloaded from the internet with a few chosen phrases slotted in, school's own policies not adhered to, expensive uniform some of which went missing, overlong holidays. Without doubt State is best.

Bowlersarm Tue 03-Feb-15 12:54:14

Sorry you had a bad experience OP.

Our DSes prep school was just brilliant. Couldn't fault it in any way.

Hoppinggreen Tue 03-Feb-15 13:02:54

My private school experience was very different to what you describe.
I appreciate you are commenting based on what you have experienced but State is best is totally inaccurate and so is Private is best.
Some state schools are better than some private schools and vice versa.
Each school needs to be assessed on how it meets the needs of a particular child and that could be either state or private.

MMmomKK Tue 03-Feb-15 13:05:02

Nice to see that you are not extrapolating you specific educational experience to judge ALL state and private schools in the country (or were you talking about the whole world?)...

Hakluyt Tue 03-Feb-15 13:08:12

Yep. . Basing your judgements of an entire sector on your personal experience of a couple of schools is such a good thing to do..............

AmIIndecisive Tue 03-Feb-15 13:08:20

Sorry to hear you have had such a bad experience at your private school, we have had an entirely different experience, I think it proves the point that you can't make such rash generalisations from one single experience.

PatriciaHolm Tue 03-Feb-15 13:13:52

You clearly have a bone to pick with a specific school, given your only 3 posts on the site are all similar rants. You can't possibly tar all private schools with the same brush!

invisiblecrown Tue 03-Feb-15 13:28:59

There is such a wide variety of both types of school though.

There are crap private schools, and excellent states - this isn't rocket science. It is why you visit before you send your kid there.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 03-Feb-15 13:37:28

There are good and bad schools in both sectors it is impossible to say that every school is better in one sector then every school in the other sector.
My family's experience of both sectors has been the total opposite of yours.

Mashabell Tue 03-Feb-15 16:24:04

Nice to have my views confirmed by someone who has experienced both.

Any government that is keen to reduce man-made inequalities would not give private schools charitable status. The parents who opt out of the state system help to make it worse, because they deprive the state system of their support.

The interest of better off, well educated, articulate adults helps to make schools better. Most parents who send their children to private schools are in that group. So the state system loses out by them opting out.

Private schools help to make Britain the very unequal country it is.

holmessweetholmes Tue 03-Feb-15 16:30:19

Obviously each school is different . There are good and bad state schools and good and bad private schools. But I've taught in supposedly great state schools (rated outstanding by Ofsted - not that that means anything much) and a very good private school. And there was simply no comparison. The private school was better in every way that I can possibly think of.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 03-Feb-15 16:50:29

sorry op but have never heard a less balanced view!

The parents who opt out of the state system help to make it worse, because they deprive the state system of their support.

here are around 2,500 independent schools in the UK, which educate around 615,000 children, being some 7 per cent of all British children and 18 per cent of pupils over the age of 16

So a tiny percentage of parents who pay for private are holding back state schools in some way - depriving them of their support.

Really? Nonsense. There are plenty of parents who cannot afford but would love to send their dc private with dc at state schools.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 03-Feb-15 16:51:12

And plenty of parents who dont care a jot about private schools with dc at state schools who still want them to do well!

Hakluyt Tue 03-Feb-15 17:05:33

"The private school was better in every way that I can possibly think of."

Well, apart from closing its doors to the vast majority of the population. And not providing an education to children from disadvantqged backgrounds.

And, incidentally, having loads of money can help a school quite a lot...........

holmessweetholmes Tue 03-Feb-15 17:49:14

Well obviously. They have money and a totally different intake. They are able to offer things which a state school never could. I wasn't saying it was fair - I was merely commenting on what they provide.

Incidentally, my children go to their local state primary and will go to their local state secondary. And it is true that if private schools didn't exist and everyone had to attend their local school, then state schools would almost certainly improve massively.

stealthsquiggle Tue 03-Feb-15 17:54:03

There are lousy private schools
There are brilliant state schools

Is this supposed to be news confused

In other breaking news, there are also lousy state schools and brilliant private schools. hmm

Those stupid enough to assume that they are getting a great school merely because they pay fees get, occasionally, what they deserve. Unfortunately their children also get what only the parents deserve.

Being in a position to pay fees gives you the luxury of being able to choose from a wider selection of schools. It doesn't remove the need to look hard and do your best to make the right choice for your child.

Mashabell Tue 03-Feb-15 18:18:12

if private schools didn't exist and everyone had to attend their local school, then state schools would almost certainly improve massively

and Britain would become socially less divided.

Every parent who sends their child/ren to a private school should at least be aware of that.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 03-Feb-15 18:24:19

And not providing an education to children from disadvantaged backgrounds .

You mean monetarily disadvantaged - not generally, as of course general life tribulations do affect children with money too.....

stealthsquiggle Tue 03-Feb-15 18:26:41

Mashabell - do you think they are not, on the whole, aware of that (unproven) theoretical argument?

However, back in the real world, very few parents would choose to sacrifice their own child's happiness and well being for the greater good. So if they honestly believe that they have found the best school for their child, and that happens to be a private school, then that's is the choice they will make.

I do know several parents at my DC's school who are also governors at local state schools, because they want to contribute.

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 03-Feb-15 18:28:06

And it is true that if private schools didn't exist and everyone had to attend their local school, then state schools would almost certainly improve massively.

How so...when the majority of parents in the uk send their dc to state schools, how would a small cohort make any difference.

Whilst investing money in a childs education without doubt shows an interest in that childs education it doesnt necessarily mean the parent wants to have to fight with heads and teachers and schools.

Sometimes it means I am paying ££ for this top dollar school, you educate my child...

Whereas most of of us with dc at state school, already know we are expected to do lots at home.

Toughasoldboots Tue 03-Feb-15 18:28:32

My child with SN is thriving in a private school after two state schools allowed her to be bullied to the point that she wanted to die.

I am sure that the state system is much happier without her being there to be honest.

Does the unfairness apply to ownership of housing and nutrition too? Or is schooling more important than a stable home?

KnittedJimmyChoos Tue 03-Feb-15 18:30:05

I am extremely happy with my dc primary I think its excellent.

And its taken me three years to be won over after being failed at primary level myself.

If we won the lottery - I am happy enough with the school, its ethos her friends and the community to keep her there, and I have nothing against private schools, But I am lucky, not many are.

Grrmum Tue 03-Feb-15 18:33:05

We sent DS to a private school because I wanted him to be in a class of 15 not 30, with four staff members in the class. There are 2 children with significant special needs in the class. They teach a curriculum informed by the national curriculum but are not slaves to it. He is incredibly happy.

Jackieharris Tue 03-Feb-15 18:36:56

OP- I had the same experience! It's so refreshing to hear someone else say it. So many people are being conned into paying crazy amounts of money for what is often an inferior product.

Sunflower123456 Wed 04-Feb-15 01:09:08

I agree that only parents who changed their children's school from state to private, and vice versa could compare and judge their differences. However, their findings and conclusions are only applicable for those schools they had encountered, and not for every state/private school.

We previously sent our daughter to a GDST private school, and it was awful. We were abhorred by their HT and Trust, and they disregarded their complaints procedure to protect themselves. Our daughter now goes to an outstanding state school, and it's much better than that private school in every respect.

Private schools are generally over rated. On paper, their performances look amazing but that's because they filtered out kids from poor (usually not so well educated or successful) families, and they would only enroll brighter children. Also, many pupils in private schools attend additional tuition after school as well. So it's unfair to compare state and private schools performances when choosing a school.

State schools are not businesses, unlike private schools, and they are answerable to the government. Private schools are only answerable to themselves, profit first, and they can behave quite lawlessly as we had found.

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