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Do you tell people that your DC's attend private school?

(151 Posts)
candleinthedarknight Thu 23-Jul-15 23:18:59


DD, 7, will be going to an independent school which specialises in Dyslexia this coming September.

The schools fees are very expensive and I'm hoping when I go to the special needs tribunal they would fund the school as I will not be able to fund this long term.

DD's mainstream school was ok, she had a lovely teacher and a good support network, though it became obvious that they were not equipped in dealing with her severe dyslexia, to the point she refused to do any work in school and over the past recent months it was evident that the gap between her and her peers were widening.

I looked at a number of schools, but not many SEN state schools that specialise in Dyslexia around my Borough, or even out of borough.

To get to the point, DD will be going to this fantastic specialist school in September. However, when a parent from DD's mainstream school ask what school is DD attending in September and I reply to say which she will be attending XYZ, an independent specialist school. I get a few judgemental comments.

Some of the parents think I'm showing off, or they think I view myself as "almighty" because DD will be going to this school.

I was a bit upset as I didn't mean or intended to come across that way. It's just apart of my vocabulary iygwim, my initial response if someone asked what new schools he will be attending in September as I would often get a blank look when I tell them the name of DD's school.

I should of just said that DD attends a specialist school, leaving out the "independent word".

But for the parents whose kids go to private schools, specialist or not. Do you get some sort of judgemental comments from people, parents and so on that your DC's go to a private school?

itsbetterthanabox Thu 23-Jul-15 23:23:16

People don't like it because only wealthy people can afford private school. It's giving some kids many more advantages than others based on their parents wealth. This is why it annoys people as a person choosing to send their kid to private school does impact negatively on kids in state school.

candleinthedarknight Thu 23-Jul-15 23:23:32

Ah! was meant to put "*but not many SEN state schools specialise in Dyslexia*" and she not "he".

candleinthedarknight Thu 23-Jul-15 23:29:45

I see itsbetterthanabox, but I'm not wealthy at all! and most parents know that. I literally had to save and save, fundraise, sell things etc. DD has other needs beside her severe dyslexia (even though that's her main need) and her needs can't be met in a mainstream school and they are very few state SEN schools that specialise in Dyslexia. I wish the parents could of seen that, instead of judging me.

Seriouslyffs Thu 23-Jul-15 23:42:34

I wouldn't volunteer it in RL, but when you meet people or old
acquaintances they do ask. I wish I had a blithe, 'I chose it for good reasons, they're happy, can we talk about something else'. TBH after 15 years and 3 children, I am beyond bored of the whole subject and other peoples' opinions!
Don't stress about it OP.

CamelHump Thu 23-Jul-15 23:47:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 24-Jul-15 00:45:08

I don't drop it randomly in to conversation, but at the end of y6 it became a common question. I stuck to the abbreviated version of its name and never mentioned it being independent, although it's well known enough most people know it's independent. The mums I'm friendly with have all been really positive saying she'll love it. As do my friends, neighbours, colleagues etc. A few mums have been clearly put out, but they've been that way with anyone whose chosen differently to the nearest one like they did, so it wasn't to do with picking independent. The few questions I've had on why there I've answered with 'because it seemed to suit her best'.

Iloveadrianmole Fri 24-Jul-15 00:54:36

I send both of my children to private school. I just give the name of the school they attend if asked. Most parents in the area know it's an independent school. I have had some negative reactions from other parents - I don't enter into a discussion about I just state that's where we chose to send our children.

Lookingforwardtoholiday Fri 24-Jul-15 07:33:53

I just say the name of the school. There's no need to mention that it's independent, it's irrelevant. The school mine are at is well known in the area and it's used for holiday camps and birthday parties so most people are familiar with it anyway. I wouldn't dream of adding that it's an independent school.

I have never discussed it with the children either, it's not important for them to have that information. The older one is aware now and asked me what the difference between a private school and a state school is and I said that it's simply that state schools get their money from the government and private schools get their money from the parents.

Neednewflowers Fri 24-Jul-15 11:40:48

Se people get twitchy when they hear your dc attend a private school.
I also just give the name of the school. I don't go into why, it's none of their business.

Crystal2002 Fri 24-Jul-15 12:00:50

Sometimes I just say the name of the school to local people who know its private get varying reactions. I don't enter into a debate about it (I'm just doing what I feels best for our children).

A member of my family who lives far away was curious to know what type of school my DS went to as comes across very confident. I was just honest and said its private. Sometimes being upfront aboit these things reduces any awkwardness

wigornian Fri 24-Jul-15 12:48:32

itsbetterthanabox - rather sweeping generalisation, we earn just over average annual salary my wife a bit less as PT and send our DS to private school, certainly not wealthy - I do the school run on a bike!

OP as others have said just say the name of the school, no need to say anything more unless asked, nothing to be ashamed of, so don't over-think it! Hope all goes well in September. smile

candleinthedarknight Fri 24-Jul-15 13:34:12

Thanks everyone, I don't drop it in randomly, but as most of the parents haven't heard of the school, the conversation usually goes like this.

( A parent, from DD's class, starts a conversation with me as she as head DD is leaving).

Parent: I heard DD is leaving! What a shame, she will be terribly missed, what school is she going to?

Me: She will be going to XYZ school.

Parent: Oh? I've never heard of that school, where is it?

Me: It's near YYZ

Parent: That's terribly far! Why so far? Why don't you move her to one of the schools near the area.

Me: It's not as simple as that, DD has dyslexia and she is struggling in mainstream, so I wanted her to go to a specialist school for children with dyslexia. But they are not many schools like that so I had no choice but to look out of the borough.

Parent: Oh I see! funny thing is our nephew has dyslexia, maybe I could tell the mum to put your DD's new school down on the school's admission form.

Me: Ummmm, it doesn't quite work like that.

Parent: Why?

Me: Cause your nephew will need to have a statement to get a place and you would most probably need to go to court to get funding--

Parent: Oh wait wait wait! Why does she need to go court..?

LA: Cause the LA does not want to pay to place a child in a special school..

Parent: But all specials schools are free!

Me: Not the private ones..

Parent: Oh...... so your DD is going to a private special school...if you don't mind me asking, how much is the school?

Me: it's £40 grand a year.

Usually the conversation drops after that. In hindsight, I shouldn't be telling people too much information, maybe I should just make up and excuse or tell a white lie.

swallowed Fri 24-Jul-15 13:40:09

I came across this when I went to private school at 11.

I was singled out in my state primary, which hadn't ever sent a child to private school before, the negativity came from the pupils, who bullied me, their parents, who shunned mine at the school gate, and the teachers who felt offended that the state secondary wasn't regarded as "good enough" for me.

It was very shocking at the time and some people in my local area still think negatively of it thirty years later!

I'll be sending DS private, but he's going private from 4, so he won't have that transitional phase. If anyone has got a problem with where I send child to school then they can kiss my ass, to be honest.

If I was to go through that transition with my child, I'd approach it very carefully. It's a sad thing to say but there's some horrid petty jealousy out there and you need to shield your child from that.

IamJeff Fri 24-Jul-15 13:42:39

Am I right in thinking that if you lived in the borough you would be much more likely to get funding?

I think in situations like these people don't like it because there are millions of children with SN who don't get to attend private schools. This could be due to lack of funds or maybe they don't have the strength or capacity to fight in court for funding which is more than likely to be turned down. It's almost impossible to win at a tribunal if you don't live in the borough.

Parents of children with SN might feel why should one child go to this expensive school when they're accepting what the LA offer them.

Fine if you're paying yourself for an independent school, but don't expect people to be over the moon about your child getting help.

swallowed Fri 24-Jul-15 13:56:49

IamJeff every parent in the OPs position can fight for the funding if they want.

Just because other parents make the choice not to push for funding doesn't mean that the OP should feel bad for making a different decision.

If someone goes for the funding but isn't awarded it, then presumably there is a reason for that and it shouldn't impact on other cases who do get it awarded.

The situation we should be aiming for is that ALL children with SN get the funding for the education they need. Just because we aren't at that point, should no one be awarded funding? Should every single child receive an inadequate education because some children receive an inadequate education?

I'd be fighting hammer and tongs for my child because my priority is the education of MY child, not child A, B or C whose parents choose a different path.

crumpet Fri 24-Jul-15 14:00:39

No need to lie - how they feel about the issue is not your problem.

But if you don't feel comfortable having the conversations, then it might be an idea not to share too many details - in the example you gave above, it would not have hurt to let the conversation drop and leave it to the other people investigate for themselves to find out whether/what/how the funding might be dealt with, rather than go into the "hmm, it doesn't work like that". A non-committal answer would have been fine.

JackShit Fri 24-Jul-15 14:01:22

Families who can afford 40K per year to privately educate their child aren't wealthy? On who's planet ffs? I realise you're looking to get funding, but you will be paying initially and for families on truly low incomes no amount of scrimping is going to raise 40 large.

Private schooling is socially devisive and grossly unfair. That's why people get the arsehole about it.

Neednewflowers Fri 24-Jul-15 14:02:31

No way would I be divilging that info OP.

You don't have to explain why your DD is leaving, just the fact that she is. If people ask why just be vague ' various reasons ' type thing.
And no way would I be telling them about the fees!

Nolim Fri 24-Jul-15 14:03:54

Watchin with interest. We are considering private education but even now there are social situations when i prefer to gave a vauge description of my well paid job when someone asks what i do for a living because i dont want to pass as smug.

swallowed Fri 24-Jul-15 14:07:03

Well people need to mind their own damn business JackShit.

I'm a lone parent and not especially well off. There are various reasons how and why I can fund my child through private school, not one of those is anyone's business except mine and the school's.

I'll do what's best for my child, as will the OP. You do what's best for yours.

Earlybird Fri 24-Jul-15 14:07:52

candle - sounds as if you are giving out FAR too much information to people you know only casually. If you are put on the spot, explain that your dd has complex learning needs. You certainly don't need to go into detail about everything else.

Whlle it is lovely to be truthful (and helpful), sharing lots of specific information allows too much scope for reaction / judgement. Share your information with people you know well, and people who care about you and dd - not people who are simply chatting to pass the time of day (and who could be nosy busybodies).

So in future, your conversations could go something like:

Parent: I heard DD is leaving! What a shame, she will be terribly missed, what school is she going to?

Me: She will be going to XYZ school.

Parent: Oh? I've never heard of that school, where is it?

Me: It's near YYZ

Parent: That's terribly far! Why so far? Why don't you move her to one of the schools near the area.

Me: DD has dyslexia and is struggling in mainstream school, so needs to go to a specialist school.

Parent: Oh I see! funny thing is our nephew has dyslexia, maybe I could tell the mum to put your DD's new school down on the school's admission form.

Me: It is quite complex, and really is a much longer conversation. But, there are various public and private options, so your relative will need to research them to decide what is right for her ds and their family......are you going to the end of year picnic (or something else innocuous)?

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 24-Jul-15 14:07:58

My daughter is at private school and no one has ever asked how much the fees are, and I wouldn't dream of telling them. Seems a bit bizarre that someone would ask.
I also never volunteer that she is at a private school as I find it quite embarrassing to be honest, and I don't want anyone to make negative judgements about my child (which people do- for example, if she is ever difficult, it's because she is spoilt etc rather than just tired).

swallowed Fri 24-Jul-15 14:10:39

I've had people ask me straight out how I can afford the school fees.

My stock reply is "gosh, that's a personal question!"

They are usually blushblushblush

Charleybarley Fri 24-Jul-15 14:12:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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