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Private education - would you?

(77 Posts)
BegoniaBampot Mon 28-Jan-13 23:22:48

If you could easily afford private education, would you choose it for your kids? Have a son starting secondary school in September, husband is keen on private, I'm not so sure but worried I'm making the wrong choice I might regret. The local high school we have applied for is fine with a relatively good rep, not considered crap and son is quite happy with it. Hate that we are running out of time.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:27

Sounds to me like your DC will very likely be very happy and successful at the local comp, will have lots of local friends and can take part in lots of local activities. Why upset that? Why throw money at an alternative which leads to a less happy, stressed life for you all? Don't try to solve a problem that doesn't exist!

If anything goes wrong with the school, look at private schools then. Even in the high pressure SE, places do regularly come up even at the top academic schools in-year as people move away. It is a lot harder to move from private to a heavily oversubscribed school after the main intake as, once they are in, parents will go to great lengths to avoid letting the place go.

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 13:18:00

DS recently made the water polo squad. Their coach was part of the Olympic coaching team so we are expecting great things for the team. Last year DS and his senior school orchestra performed at the Barbican in London and in the summer they will be touring Germany. The senior players are Grade 8 or Diploma level so the concerts are usually quite impressive. It's a different world from my WC comp all those decades ago

As for the parents, ours isn't one of those favoured by the Chelsea crowd so the parents tend to be rich but 'normal'. To be honest, after reading regular threads on bitchy (state) school gate politics I laugh whenever anti private posters go on about the so called snobby indie parents.

Anyway, if you can afford it then you should go for it.

BegoniaBampot Tue 29-Jan-13 13:29:12

Totally - I was hoping you were going to say they were at the local comp!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:38:18

If money was no object, mine would be at Boarding school and I'd be off galavanting around the world actually.

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 13:41:33

smile at Begonia. In a few years time I may look at the sad state of my so-called retirement fund and wish that they were at the local comp.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 13:46:25

"sad state of my so-called retirement fund and wish that they were at the local comp."
Congratulations Totally at last you have a retirement fund!!

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 13:47:29

Sorry Totally meant to say at least you have a retirement fund!!

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 13:55:17

happy - you obviously didn't pick up on the 'so-called' bit smile Who knows? One day they might find oil under the patch of sand that I own in Dubai. Until then I suspect that my 'fund' isn't too dissimilar to yours.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 13:59:01

Just keep telling yourself that its only till 18 and of course that its worth every penny.

HormonalHousewife Tue 29-Jan-13 13:59:29

this september ?

I think you have left things a bit late tbh.

Iff your last statement comes true and I hope it doesnt then you can always review your options then.

Succubi Tue 29-Jan-13 14:01:57

OP in answer to your question, yes and I do.

Elibean Tue 29-Jan-13 14:17:15

I would, if it was a better school for my particular dc.

Personally, I plan on taking my (now Y4) dd1 to visit a few schools that dh and I are ok with, both private and local state, and see what she feels. But she's the kind of child who wants lots of information and knows what she wants!

I wouldn't put her in a crappy state secondary if I could avoid it, or in a crappy private school if I could avoid it. BUT I would not choose private over state per se (and haven't, so far) even though we can afford it.

racingheart Tue 29-Jan-13 16:50:48

begonia I would/am. I looked at all the schools, state and private, and chose the schools I liked best for DS to apply to. The best were private.
Like you I went to a big inner city comp. Looking back, I see the teachers were good and some were excellent. I was very lucky in that respect. What wore me down was the low expectation of fellow pupils, their hatred of any overt enthusiasm for learning and their aggression to anyone who succeeds.
When I got into Oxford (with no help from school at all - helped by boyfriend and a private tutor) I was amazed when I took part in a uni wide event and people from my college turned up to cheer me on, people I didn't know. That sort of support was unthinkable at my school.
I don't believe my DS will do significantly better academically at an indie, I just think he'll have a happier and more supportive environment, where staff and pupils encourage each other to aim high and work hard.
It's the academic atmosphere, not the social one, or the exam results, which I am paying for.

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 16:55:51

I would... but only if we could comfortably afford it.
We could sacrifice our standard of living and do it now but we don't.
Perhaps we are selfish? But on the other hand I wouldn't want to put that much pressure on my dds.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 17:20:31

"We could sacrifice our standard of living and do it now but we don't."
I suspect the vast majority of parents make some sort if sacrifice to pay school fees. Not many people have £34 000 a year (and thats for one child) kicking around that they just don't know what to do with although obviously I accept that some do.
Assuming you still putting food on the table, paying the bills etc, able to afford clothes etc even an annual cheap holiday then is it that much of a "sacrifice" if your child is getting a fantastic all round education? If we weren't paying maybe I'd have a couple oif expensive holidays, pay into a pension scheme (showing my age here) DH would go to the opera and maybe I'd go back to horses, eat out in restaurants more often but none of these things really matter in fact not owning horses any more is a positive blessing. By paying and not having these things I ensure one of the people in my life who I absolutely adore and who matters a million times more than all this other stuff mentioned above gets a fantastic once in a life time education. To me its a no brainer and as I've said above only goes on for a short period of time relatively speaking.

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:35:33

Happy children are getting a fantastic all round education! They also travel the world, take part in lots of activities, have their uni fees in an account waiting for them. They are happy and achieving well in a comp grin

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:42:08

Actually the big sacrifice would be where we live. Where we live housing is expensive partially because of school catchment areas. In this respect we DO pay for dd's education.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:52:54

On our current incomes, to pay for both ours to go to the selective day school, we'd have to give up all holidays, shop ONLY at Aldi, give up booze, give up music lessons, sports lessons, the gym and stop paying down the mortgage.
I could somehow find extra work but mine is seasonal so its tricky. And I'm already VERY tight on fripperies.
So I have them at the comp but with all the MC trimmings and they have lots of friends at the fee paying schools.

On the other hand if I had the funds I would probably move them.

happygardening Tue 29-Jan-13 17:55:56

Impty it all depends how you as an individual define a fantastic all round education and what your expectations are and also what you want from education. There is no right or wrong definition/expectation its what you want and are happy with and maybe something different to me.
I do know the opportunities available for my DS are not available in any state school how ever good and thats what we as parents want and we're happy to spend the money make the sacrifices and not "travel the world". So for us its worth every penny. Ok no uni fees in an account waiting for him but we'll meet that issue when we get there I suppose ultimately we'll just carry on paying as we have done for the last 9 years.

impty Tue 29-Jan-13 18:14:29

Happy... You are right to choose what works best for you, of course.
We cannot afford to send our dd's to private schools without huge sacrifice. We can provide them with other things. We travel when we can, but this can reflect our income year on year. Fees each and every year are beyond our means.
Ultimately if I in the lottery on Saturday I will be looking at private schools on Monday.
However, my dd's are doing really well, are happy and high achieving despite a state education. wink

TheFallenNinja Tue 29-Jan-13 18:16:11

Yes. Without hesitation.

BegoniaBampot Tue 29-Jan-13 20:28:22

Thing is I know they won't necessarily do better private rather than at a comp, maybe more likely to do well and encouraged with lovely facilities and grounds and that the kids will naturally have high expectations. Guess part of it is about the experience. I was impressed at the comp we applied for though. The head boy and girl gave very heartfelt and articulate speeches as did younger children. The pupils showed us round and were so polite and enthusiastic it was a million years away from my old comp. buildings are tired though, sports facilities basic and obviously bigger class sizes.

TBh, would be much easier not to have the choice.

Umeboshi Tue 29-Jan-13 22:06:09

Begonia, I'd say the important thing is to look at the ethos of the schools on offer. Treat each school individually: it's not about state versus independent; it's about which school is the most perfect fit for your child.

happygardening Wed 30-Jan-13 09:41:50

Begonia if you and your DC like your chosen school be it state or independent were impressed by the children and staff you met go for it. As they say "if it ain't broke don't fix it". There is no perfect school out there regardless of how much you pay and every school will have fantastic teachers good teachers and the odd crap teacher this is life and as your DC goes through his senior school career you may have periods where you fall out of love with his school this too is life. As parents we make mistakes the school we thought was going to be wonderful doesn't meet our expectations or the school we were unsure about turns out to be fab. If your chosen school doesn't meet your expectations then move your DC if you can afford it try independent ed. Chosing schools is hard hence so many postings on MN where one child thrives another is miserable you can stand in any school and find happy parents but even at the best there will be unhappy parents too. Trust your gut instinct.

WentworthMillerMad Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:21

Great posts happygardening!
Luckily I live in Glasgow where it is a bit cheaper on the fees! 7k rather than 34k!

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