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How to help children feel that state isn't second best

(80 Posts)
FlimFlamMam Tue 13-Dec-16 20:04:57

Hi,
any advice welcome I have twins in y6. A significant minority of children at my children's primary are going to private secondary schools. We can't afford to send our two but they are acutely aware that some of their friends are going private and there has been lots of talk about how much better private schools are, nicer facilities, better results, smaller classes. How can I make them feel ok about the education that they'll be getting at the local comprehensive? Thanks.

Irontheshirts Tue 13-Dec-16 20:40:34

At the local comprehensive you get qualified teachers. A private schools you don't always.

Waggamamma Tue 13-Dec-16 20:46:15

Lots of famous successful people have come from state schools.

You get to mix with a much more diverse group of people which gives you good people skills for the future.

You don't need to do as much homework 😂

simpless Tue 13-Dec-16 20:51:32

What a bizarre attitude. Private schools are no better - many get far poorer results than state schools. It's like saying private medicine is 'better' than the NHS. No, it isn't - you might get a private suite if you pay, but the doctors are often exactly the same people, who trained at the same institutions.

I would tell your children they'd be miserable at private schools as things they take for granted would all need to be paid for at a private school. And that kids who claim that private schools are better are snobs.

I wouldn't send my child private if I had all the money in the world. Too much money can lead to drug problems, bullying etc.

TheBogQueen Tue 13-Dec-16 20:55:32

I'm sure there are lots of great things about the school they will be attending - I'd just chat to them about the opportunities that will bring.

Id say that you also have to be smarter, more independent and more disciplined to achieve well at state school and these skills will serve them well throughout their lives.

And they get a greater understanding of how their peers might struggle due to home circumstances, due to poverty and other difficulties. They get a broader education.

And it's free!

BroomstickOfLove Tue 13-Dec-16 21:01:26

My friends went to a variety of types of school. But when I look at the ones who have the sort of lives I would most wish for my children - the ones who are in happy relationships, who have jobs they find rewarding but which don't dominate their lives, who are active within their communities, those ones have all come from similar backgrounds, and had comprehensive school education with parents who were very involved in their education, and in the community around them. My local comprehensives are all very good indeed, though, so private schools here tend to be either for reasons of snobbery, parents working long hours or because a child has had problems in their local catchment school.

sirfredfredgeorge Tue 13-Dec-16 21:07:43

"Yeah, it's a shame little Billy's parents are so worried that he's going to fail that they need to spend 50grand on his education. Even if we had the money it would be a lot better if we gave it to you as cash in 8 years time to spend on what you want."

Sweetwater Tue 13-Dec-16 21:08:56

I once worked at a quite famous private school. The headmistress had a bell under her desk that she could press with her knee to alert all of the teachers if a parent was in the building. We then had to do a certain lesson so she could talk about it when they came round. Then she would remark 'oh, I see your computer is broken' when in fact it had never worked.

maizieD Tue 13-Dec-16 21:09:49

State educated children who enter Uni with the same qualifying results as privately educated children tend to get better degrees.

BertrandRussell Tue 13-Dec-16 21:11:30

Maybe stop thinking it yourself?

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Dec-16 21:14:59

>>At the local comprehensive you get qualified teachers. A private schools you don't always.<<

What an absolutely ridiculous statement to make. Plenty of benefits to state at senior level, but I can assure you I have never heard of one private school where the teachers are unqualified.

The op wasn't asking you to make random stuff up to make her feel better, she was asking for actual real things, 😂

FanDabbyFloozy Tue 13-Dec-16 21:15:00

I would stop the private v state education talk, and instead stress how everyone needs to find the right school for their child. For some, that will be sport, others drama, yet more academic. But no one school will suit everyone.

I think it's a little unclassy of the parents to big up facilities in this way though.

BertrandRussell Tue 13-Dec-16 21:18:47

Also there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that this is something that you as a family can't afford. They are in Year 6, not 6!

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 13-Dec-16 21:36:04

You can get unqualified in both
www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-32160792

lunchboxtroubles Tue 13-Dec-16 21:43:18

Some private schools are better than some state schools. They have on average more money per pupil, smaller class sizes and better facilities. Perfectly reasonable for them to understand it isn't something you can afford and you just need to find some things about their secondary school to "big up" - local, staying with their friends, broader mix of people, any particular facilities that they have.

sirfredfredgeorge grow up

Witchend Tue 13-Dec-16 21:47:11

Rather than dishing the other schools, much better to big up the school they will go to. If you dish the other schools, firstly they will probably say it back to the other children, which could end up pretty nasty, and secondly they may well turn round to you and say "well that isn't true, see..."

If you say "I like your school because ..." then that will help them feel much more positive about it.

lljkk Tue 13-Dec-16 21:49:28

diss... not dish. dis is short for disrespect.

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 13-Dec-16 22:03:31

When I have discussed the difference with my children, who both have friends at private schools, I have been honest about the benefits that private schools offer (eg small classes, lots of sports and music groups) and about exactly how much the fees are. I have also told them the honest truth that I don't think these extra things are worth spending that much money on. I have also been very clear with them that I am confident they will do very well at their existing schools and we will be better off as a family if we use our money for other things.

They seem quite accepting of this explanation. It also helps that their privately educated friends are quite jealous of some of the things offered at a state comprehensive (eg food technology, no latin, a relatively relaxed uniform and going home at 3:15!). Conversely, my kids are highly relieved that they are not required to play hockey on cold Saturday mornings even if they are no good at it, or attend chapel at the weekend. So the advantages of state education are not actually all that difficult to sell to them!

cheekyfunkymonkey Tue 13-Dec-16 22:11:54

Why would you think a state school is second best? Sounds like you need to change your attitude if you don't want them picking up on it.

Fairenuff Tue 13-Dec-16 23:12:59

How would the children even think of that if an adult doesn't put it in their head?

FWIW my dd got A*A*A for A levels at state school compared to her cousin of the same age who got ABB in private school.

Depends on the child, not the payment.

golfbuggy Wed 14-Dec-16 07:54:58

Surely this is a simple case of the "different families do things different ways" answer. Plus a candid explanation of why you've picked the school you did (assuming they paid at least some part in the choosing).

I think it's a real shame that your DC have got the view that private schools are "better". We are on the edge of a grammar area and I've explained very clearly to Y6 DD why we don't want to consider grammar school but talking over some of the reasons why some of her classmates have. Private schools are not on her radar, but if she asked i'd also explain why we didn't want to consider private school. The word "better" would not feature in any such conversations.

dairymilkmonster Wed 14-Dec-16 08:33:18

I would just say that different schools suit different children- you will pick the right school for dc.

ALso, this sounds a bit of a 'my x is better than your x' conversation kids have - will blow over!

I think things like pointing out that one child you know at state school did well whereas one at private did less well is absolutely ridiculous. CHild A might be naturally brighter, more motivated, luckier with teachers that year etc etc. child B might have done less well in state school, have health problems, socially struggled elsewhere etc etc.

I went to state secondary, dsis 6yrs later to private. I did massively better academically than her but it was not really related to the schools - we are different people and very definitely had different needs at that point.

Stillunexpected Wed 14-Dec-16 08:39:29

What is a "significant minority"? Surely the majority of children will be going to state school? And who is engaging in this "lots of talk" about how much better private schools are? If the children are saying it, it is all driven by the parents!

claraschu Wed 14-Dec-16 08:47:31

I think the problem is in the idea that we compare things in such a stupid way. Nasty and idiotic comments about the crappyness of private schools just feed into the absurd attitude of everyone needing to think that their own school (religion, skin colour, way of life) is better than everyone else's.

OP, I would just point out how silly it is to think this way, and mention some of the good points about your children's future school.

SixthSenseless Wed 14-Dec-16 09:00:19

Who on earth has been spreading that message to 10 year olds? Other 10 Yos, or their parents?

Why on earth should a child feel worried that they will not do well at a type of school that educates the majority of the country?

Is your child really thinking about this? When the majority are going to the state school?

Slagging off any aspect of private schools is not the way to talk to children, IMO. Talk about the factual aspects of the range of schools we have in this country and who can go to them, faith, selective, private, etc but what parent promotes prejudice, snobbery (including inverse) and divisiveness?
However on a factual level , sorry Bluntness, my brother taught in a private school with no qualification. (He has now gained qualifications which he has used to shoot to HoD level in a challenging comp and supported astonishingly good results. He was always a good teacher, but definitely not qualified when he was employed in the private sector)

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