Private or State Primary?(6 Posts)
Hi, it may be a massive stretch but we could possibly do Private Primary for DC1, is it worth it? Assuming that the school is good (I know not all private schools are) and knowing that the state schools near us are not great we are looking at this option. We are looking at getting DC off to good start so that the secondary school exams are better prepared for so that we may not need to pay for that (either scholarship (!) or good state). What's been your experiences? You get small class sizes, excellent extra-curricular activities, pastoral care, and (hopefully) like-minded parents whose kids are keen to work and play hard. OR is this rose-tinted glasses! Totally baffled... Thank you.
Are you in a grammar area? If not, and you can afford private primary or secondary but not both, I'd say state primary, tutor from year 4/5 and then private secondary.
It depends on the school.
Mine started at state primary. it wasn't a very good state primary: disorganised, poor leadership, uncertain future, bad communication. i waited three years to transfer into the good state primary (which was also our closest school). at Y3 gave up waiting and transferred instead to closest independent school instead. far better organised, much more fun, far more opportunities, far better knowledge of the individual children, nice playful ethos, far better school overall. but in my opinion, no better than the local good state primary. if i had a choice, i would have chosen the good state primary over all else, and tutored in year five and six.
For us DD was floundering in an all ability school so a selective junior independent was the right choice for us as she was stretched and more fulfilled. Class sizes were not that much smaller - 24 from Y3 but I know others do smaller classes. We then prepared her for eleven plus (ourselves rather than tutor) and she passed with flying colours. It was a struggle financially but worth it for us and to see our daughter thriving rather than frustrated and bored.
It really depends on the schools you are choosing between.
And also if you can afford it for all your children.
Private was the best choice for my family. It may or may not be for yours.
I agree, it depends what you are looking to achieve. When you say secondary school exams, do you mean entrance exams (like 11+ or equivalent) or do you mean GCSEs etc? Certainly where we are (with entrance exams) the format (moving away from a format which children can be 'prepared for' in order to be a genuine test of ability / intelligence) means that there is no (or very little) general advantage to attending a private prep from a results perspective. Also the transition from a private primary (with small class sizes with lots of 1:1 support) to a state secondary school (with much bigger class sizes, less support and an expectation of independent learning) can be very difficult. So you need to bear in mind education upto 18 when making the decision, not just to 11.
However, if your child would benefit from smaller class sizes (in terms of attention, confidence etc) then it might be something to consider. It also depends on the schools you have on offer, and the child. I think you've made quite a few sweeping statements there about the parents / activities / care you get at a private school or a state school (not my experience at all! I certainly wouldn't say that a prep school (over a state school) can be the difference between getting a scholarship or not).
You need to visit the schools that you have on offer, think about whether you can potentially fund both primary and secondary (and you only mention DC1 but what about other DC) and make an informed decision once you have all of that information.
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