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Why do people make comments about my choice of State school?

(25 Posts)
user1494757343 Sun 14-May-17 11:40:14

Our local state primary is brilliant. DD loves it. In our close family friends 4/5 started with private schools. No prob . Their choice. The one in the state primary has moved her DD to private last year. She spends zero time doing any work at home with her DD, so she slowly slipped into the bottom sets. They thought private school means they don't have to do anything at home. Their choice for their child. I'm happy for them.

Dh and I both have 6 figure incomes. We send our child to a local state primary because it's good, and DD learns to adjust with people from all backgrounds. Its actually a brilliant school academically too. We do a bit of work at home everyday so DD is in the top sets .

Now the problem is, these friends have all started to say mean things about state children, state schools in general. Its strange how people who never experienced state education just judge it. They say things implying we are saving money at the cost of my child's education. No! We aren't! Some of these friends barely afford the fees. So somehow they are better parents than us because they are paying someone to teach theirs kids and I'm not.

How do I react to all this?
My DD is sitting 11plus this year. She goes to group tuition with these kids. She does better than 4 from this group. And is at the same level as the other one. So I'm not imagining, my state school is really good!

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 14-May-17 11:43:41

Can't you make friends with some of the state school parents instead of these snobs?

Some of us are really nice despite less than 6 figure incomes .

You never know, you might have no problem "adjusting" to adults from "all backgrounds" too.

BabyHamster Sun 14-May-17 11:47:33

They make comments because they are trying to justify their own choices.

I'd respond by distancing myself a bit, and making new friends!

multivac Sun 14-May-17 11:48:38

Why so defensive, OP?

user1494757343 Sun 14-May-17 11:56:05

I do have other friends. But this group of 5-6 families is who we hang out with very often. Our kids go swimming together, take music lessons from our hevsame teacher, attend 11plus tuition together. So we meet very often.

EssentialHummus Sun 14-May-17 11:56:12

They make comments because they are trying to justify their own choices.

Yup. Deep breath and "Everyone needs to do what's best for their child". Otherwise just feign interest in their kid's extra-curriculars/love of violin/trip to Paris.

user1494757343 Sun 14-May-17 11:57:02

Multivac, am I being defensive? About what? I really don't know .

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 14-May-17 11:58:37

Honestly, if these twits think sending your child to state school (like 90%+ of the rest of the population) is harmful or abusive, then you need to dump them.

They sound dreadful.

user1494757343 Sun 14-May-17 12:05:36

Bibbitty, no they don't say if it's harmful or abusive. Its subtle and then 1 remark about how state school children aren't very academic or they don't have the "polish" or how they will never fit into elite oxbridge.

These friends are really helpful people otherwise.

grasspigeons Sun 14-May-17 12:11:19

My friends children in private schools aren't like this at all...I do know people like this though. There is a particular state school locally that people want to get their child too. So they move house, fake religion etc and some of them can be quite mean about my childrens school. But they aren't my friends ...I avoid that type of person. I feel sad for you as it looks like some people you liked aren't as nice as you hoped and that always hurts.

Witchend Sun 14-May-17 12:21:55

Are they actually making nasty comments or are they genuinely wanting to find out why you made that choice?

We've chosen a less common secondary (still state) for our dc and around school application dates we get a lot of people coming to ask us our reasons for "choosing the less successful/popular school".

It's often framed in a way I could take as a criticism, but it is a genuine question as they are wanting to know our reasons to help their decisions. A number of people do go and take a look after listening to what I have to say, and a good proportion of those then do follow us there.

Thing is in our situation, we have 3 secondaries that we reasonable had the choice of. One has a reputation of being strong, good on academics and the one people move for. Another has a deadbeat reputation and one people say "anything but...". We went for the one in the middle.

It's strange though. The first one has had appalling A-level results (whole classes getting 2-3 grade lower than estimated grades) and their GCSE results for the last 2 years have been way below the other two (apparently according o them this was because the exam boards are marking harder and it isn't fair-funny it hasn't effected the other two schools who use the same exam boards) and I generally know around 4-6 children every year who move schools due to bullying (their anti-bullying policy is basically we don't have any so we don't have to deal with it). Oh and they also don't really believe in SEN even when there is medical evidence, or food allergies (told one child who is coeliac that she couldn't go on the residential all year 7s go on unless she bought her own food)
Whereas the "avoid at any cost" school I haven't hears anything but praise at the way they have dealt with any bullying or emotional needs, and they seem to put themselves out to help children tat need it.

Reputation is a funny thing.

BabyHamster Sun 14-May-17 12:31:51

Its subtle and then 1 remark about how state school children aren't very academic or they don't have the "polish" or how they will never fit into elite oxbridge

As someone who didn't go to private school and doesn't intend to send her kids to private school...I agree that the people I came across at uni/work who went to private schools did as a general rule have more 'polish' (there were plenty of exceptions, obviously). It was a confidence and self-belief which a lot of state school pupils didn't have.

I have no idea if that's still the case though, I get the impression things have changed a lot since I was at school (20+ years since primary). But I can understand why they would say that.

As for the oxbridge thing - did you go to oxbridge yourself? Aren't around 50% of their intake state educated? So I'm not really sure how state educated pupils would fail to 'fit in' given they make up half of the student body.

user1494757343 Sun 14-May-17 12:40:54

Babyhamster - Dh and I studied abroad. I thought the polish factor came it at A levels or GCSE levels. Not at primary level? I'm happy to be corrected though

BabyHamster Sun 14-May-17 13:07:44

I don't know when exactly the polishing occurs grin

I suppose my point was that I can sort of see why they would say certain things. They must think that private school is better or why would they spend £000s sending their kids there, no point pretending otherwise. Just as you've made the active choice to send your kids to state school because you think it's best in your situation?

Doesn't justify them being condescending or critical, just trying to add a different angle.

CrazedZombie Sun 14-May-17 18:14:22

They want to feel that their money wasn't wasted so are on the attack.

Were these parents privately educated and went to uni? I think that a lot of private school educated parents want to do what their parents did and provide the same for their child regardless of the quality of private school and would perceive themselves as failures if they didn't pay. They are not going to publicly admit that they wished that they saved their money and went state. 😂

There are a lot of myths about schools. Reality is that there are good and bad in both sectors. Private school kids currently make 12% of Sixth Formers but 50% at Oxbridge. Private school kids are more likely to go to uni. That's it.

Oxbridge have 50% ish of students from state schools. Your child has every chance of being one of those kids in the future.

BackforGood Sun 14-May-17 18:20:44

If you hang out with people a lot, then, as a group, you tend to talk about things you have in common - when you have dc then education choices, etc is bound to be one of those topics. I'd call it conversation rather than comments.
As has already been said, you just say something neutral about how we all make choices according to what we think is best for our dc and family generally, then move the conversation on to a topic that doesn't upset you. I am surprised that it is still something they question 6 years in though.

Oh, and people can "get polished" in lots of different places at different stages in their lives. Confidence comes from all sorts of things.

user1494757343 Sun 14-May-17 19:14:51

Babyhamster - absolutely valid point. Just the way they think private is better, I think my state primary is as good. Just by paying money you don't always get better quality. For example, Henrietta Barnett school is a state secondary school. Its better than MANY private schools - although I know there are some brilliant private secondaries too that could be better than HBS. You see my point?
I'd like proper infrastructure, a big playground and a lot of activities in a school. Prep schools my friends send their kids to - are houses converted to schools. No playground. Its all about 11plus prep there. They are happy with it. I won't be .

My DD is academically as good and is still getting to do a lot of extra curricular activities in a school that has a proper play ground, drama room, sports facilities etc. Just that I made a different s choice - I know a lot of parents make this choice if they had the options I had. Just that they don't live in the catchment of a good state primary or they believe they get better quality because they are paying - their choice , their problem. But its very annoying to hear them constantly put "state schooled kids" down.

I don't think this constant noise about my choices is going well with me. As someone suggested here, I will try to hang out less with these people.

Squishedstrawberry4 Sun 14-May-17 19:26:22

They are trying to justify their own educational choices. They are putting your educational choices down because it makes their expensive choices feel better. Your DD has clearly done very well in state education and this gets their backs up.

Just tell them your extreamly happy with the school. The academic, pastoral and social side. You couldn't have wished for more. Tell them the money aspect is irrelevant

bojorojo Sun 14-May-17 22:21:07

There are people and children who will keep thinking you should be like them and won't understand your choices.

Our DD was the only state primary educated child at her private senior school. She was continually asked by the other children whether there was violence at her school, whether she was scared of some of the pupils and whether we had just inherited some money! You just have to suck it up! However we had the satisfaction that our state educated child was as good as the ones who had never stepped into a state school and better than most.

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 15-May-17 15:30:57

I get this from the other side/other way round.

Ds has been privately educated since year 3 and is at a super selective private secondary.

Friends with super bright kids at state secondary who are on course for similar grades as my DS constantly criticise our choice of sending him through private education but don't realise it is not merely the academic side of things that we sent him to private school. He has had (compared to state schools in our area) better sporting opportunities and a range of extra-curricular activities to tap in to that would be difficult to access out of school.

It is about choice and I would never criticise another person's choice (but get a bit hmm when they think it ok to criticise me.

As mentioned above there are good state and good private and bad state and bad private. At the end of the day what school suits your child is what matters most.

JanetBrown2015 Mon 15-May-17 19:31:48

It doesn't ring true to me, this thread for some reason.

MilkRunningOutAgain Mon 15-May-17 19:47:52

Rings true to me, it's a minefield talking to parents of yr 6 children at my daughter's primary. Everyone seems to want to justify their choices and frequently to the detriment of other people's choices. Happened with my eldest child and is now happening with my youngest. I hide and avoid certain parents a lot.

roundaboutthetown Mon 15-May-17 20:00:24

They are spending a lot of money on their choices. You are making them feel less secure about those choices, because you have not followed their lead. Do what you think is right for your child and ignore ignorant people's opinions on something they know nothing about - ie your children's education (not theirs). I went to state schools and on to Oxford and did not at any point feel insufficiently polished! Perhaps, by mixing with these people and their privately educated offspring, some of their "polish" will accidentally rub off on your dd for free. grin That would annoy them!

SoupDragon Mon 15-May-17 20:11:23

You are being just as sneery about their choices though with comments like "DD learns to adjust with people from all backgrounds."

Iamnotminterested Mon 15-May-17 20:26:11

Because they're fuckers; find new friends.

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