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State or private? Help please!

(14 Posts)
artiface Sun 12-May-13 22:04:00

We will be moving house regardless, just my boy and me, and it now turns out the house is worth more than I thought, just enough, at a squeeze, to pay school fees. He was offered a place in Reading at a private school but the bursary wasn't what I had hoped, but now we might manage it. We have a state school place offered in Hampshire.
Independent school although educationally excellent would be financially tight, no trips, moving into a less than salubrious area. The worry that he might be the odd one out.
State school, who knows about the education. Would make friends who may live nearby (unlike the inde where I think many may travel in)
I feel like I have to make this huge life defining decision on my own and I can see good in both. I'm floundering. If you have anything to add, please do! Thank you

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 12-May-13 22:05:59

It's impossible to answer without knowing which schools you are thinking of.

artiface Sun 12-May-13 22:09:42

Sorry - I didn't think it was relevant - I know both schools are appealing, just very different.
Leighton park in Reading (a Quaker school) and Eggars in Hampshire

basildonbond Sun 12-May-13 22:14:59

If it's financially tight now, what's it going to be like in 5 years time when school fees have gone up, and up, and up ....

when one of my dc started at private secondary the full fees were just over £11,000 per year, they're now £16,000 per year - remember, fees will never go down, or stay the same, they'll always keep on inexorably rising and unless your income is rising too that's not going to be pleasant ...

greyvix Sun 12-May-13 22:53:39

Eggars is a very good school- outstanding I think. I don't know anything about Leighton Park, but it would need to be a lot better, in my opinion, to warrant paying fees. Alton also has an excellent sixth form college, that attracts students from the private sector too. (I'm obviously biased towards state school so no help!)
Good luck withe the decision.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 12-May-13 23:01:35

If you have access to excellent state schools then there's no need for you to go down the private school route. If the state school fits your child's needs better then why pay for it?

happygardening Sun 12-May-13 23:15:45

OP I very much doubt you'd be the odd one out and even if you were as the school is a Quakers school one would hope with their ethos this would not matter.
bazillion is right fees rise year on year year and there are extras our are about £350 per term.
I don't know Leighton Park I've read about it on MN and its high standards of pastoral care are frequently mentioned do you feel your DS needs this? If you have a good state option why do you feel Leighton Park will be life defining it's not a super selective with awesome results and a high percentage going to Oxbridge. What do you think it will offer your DS that the state sector won't? Is it the Quaker ethos you like or more sport or a specific sport not offered in the state sector or an extra curricular activity? I've spent 13 years in the independent sector and have learnt that it is not always better I pay for boarding and super selective selective and know believe it's better but frankly wouldn't waste my money (especially if if was tight) on a fairly non selective school if I had a good state alternative free on my doorstep and I had a place.

If money is tight and the state school is good then I would go with the state option. This isn't an ideological position as my children currently go private but we can comfortably afford it and our state school choices were a bit more problematic.

If you go with the good state school, then you will have spare cash to supplement his education, pay for the skiing trip wink and sports clubs. I know some parents do cut back to pay for a private school but if you have a good alternative then I do think the private school would need to offer something special to justify the impact on your standard of living.

TeenAndTween Mon 13-May-13 12:42:46

The money you save can pay for:
- supplementary tutoring if you find you need it
- school trips / more exciting holidays
- extra curricular activities
- etc.

PatPig Mon 13-May-13 12:43:09

I didn't like Leighton park at all. Way too liberal for me.

happygardening Mon 13-May-13 12:46:00

"Way too liberal for me."
I all for a liberal education and maybe thats what the OP likes about it and why she thinks it will "life defining."

PatPig Mon 13-May-13 14:54:06

'Liberal education' refers to the curriculum, I was thinking more liberal in terms of attitudes.

happygardening Mon 13-May-13 15:12:17

I personally like a liberal attitude as well. smile

SoldeInvierno Wed 15-May-13 22:51:13

I really like LP but if money is going to be really tight, I would stay at state school. It is not fun being at private school if you can't afford any of the pay-for activities

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