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Private parents, please will you talk to me about results?

(43 Posts)
SantanaLopez Tue 11-Mar-14 19:45:08

DH and I are talking about having DC2. We could definitely afford private for 1, but probably only private secondary for 2 DC.

Except.... Do you ever feel like your DC are letting you down if they don't get good results? I can't help but think how much money it is. I know that I would have felt guilty if my parents had paid so much for my education.

DH thinks I am worrying too much. He says that we'd be paying for the experience and ethos as much as results.

diabolo Tue 11-Mar-14 19:54:40

I think it depends on what you are looking for.

If you have clever DC then you would expect them to achieve their academic potential whatever school they attend, state or private. If DS came home with poor grades when he could achieve better, yes, I would be unhappy with him, but not because we pay for his education.

It also depends on what type of private school you choose. If you pick a highly selective, top 20 school, results are obviously one of your key motivators for choosing private. If you pick a more all-round, less pressurised environment, then perhaps, along with a fantastic education, you are looking for breadth of experience, sports, activities and value these just as much as results.

I've never once felt let down by DS, either at his old state primary, his prep or his current senior school, but he does tend to do everything quite wholeheartedly.

If that changes in the future, I won't think "what a waste of money", but I will still put a rocket up his arse, because he will be letting himself down.

TessRA Tue 11-Mar-14 20:40:37

My step son has said going to a private school has really helped in getting good employment even though his results are on par with any decent state pupil. He said the contacts he made via friends' parents and family have been invaluable, if that's any help.

urbancupcakes Tue 11-Mar-14 20:44:25

SantanaLopez...Oh gheez, I'm a bit like you, although I do envy the likes of your husband and @diablo who have a more laid back approach (I'm sure there's a better a word) and see it more as an experience. If I was shelling out huge amounts of dough that I didn't exactly pick from a tree I would expect better results too (does that make me a bad person????).

I've had my dd in both state and private primary and she did far better in the private but then it wasn't the best of state schools so not exactly a fair comparison.

Hulababy Tue 11-Mar-14 20:51:33

I would never put that pressure on my DD.
As parents we made the decision to go independent for DD. That was our choice. We do not expect DD to perform over and above just because of that.

We do expect her to work hard at school and try her best, and to try and enjoy as much of her education as she possible can - but we would expect this anywhere.

But I am very uncompetitive/non pushy naturally, so it wouldn't really be something I would ever think of. DD is very much like me.

SantanaLopez Tue 11-Mar-14 20:51:43

Yes, I worry that it makes me a bad person too! blush

My DC1 is just a baby, so I don't really have any experience of schools or 'expectations' (again, need a better word). But we kinda do need to think about it now. Argh.

SantanaLopez Tue 11-Mar-14 20:52:33

Yes, I think I would expect her to work hard and well anywhere, that's a good point.

pussycatdoll Tue 11-Mar-14 21:05:28

I went to a private school with a good reputation

Some of my peers were very high flying & are now in top jobs , politics etc

Some though came away with 4 gcses & they're parents sent them to a local college to retake at more expensive

It is a gamble I'm afraid

SoldeInvierno Tue 11-Mar-14 21:25:39

DS has definitely achieved more at prep school than he would have done at his previous state primary. He really benefited from the small classes and personalised attention. But having said that, he is still weak in some subjects and probably always will be. The important thing is that the teachers had the time to acknowledge his weakness and helped him find strategies to always his best.

purpleroses Tue 11-Mar-14 21:50:22

I think if you'd really like to have two kids then you should. Otherwise what happens if, say, your DC doesn't turn out to be very academic or for whatever reason better suited (or only gets in) to the local state school, but you're feeling that you've missed out on having a second child in order to give them those opportunities that they don't want/can't use/waste? I think regretting not having another child could be a much bigger regret than the money you might have spent on private school.

But to answer your question, my DD has been at state school so far and will be at private secondary next year. She's very much been involved in that decision so yes I would feel let down if she was lazy and didn't try to get the most out of it. She knows it's costing a lot. I don't want her to feel stressed by that but feeling that education is a privilege to be valued isn't a bad thing.

SantanaLopez Tue 11-Mar-14 22:35:04

Still loads to think about, but thanks to everyone, you've been very helpful flowers

Martorana Tue 11-Mar-14 22:48:11

I cannot imagine a child ever wanting to go to private school rather than have a sibling. I cannot imagine anyone being so terrified of the state sector that they think it would be better not to have a child if that child had to go to state school sadangry

duchesse Tue 11-Mar-14 22:48:22

DS, DD1 and DD2 all got the results they deserved, very much commensurate with the amount of work they put in. Varying results, but they also did a wide variety of extra-curricular things. We do not resent paying for DS's slightly less than stellar results because the alternative was for him to be a basket case. He was happy, which is had not been in mainstream state school. That was worth every penny of the cash.

We never felt we were paying for results (although the ability for them to achieve top results in good company was a very good motivation for us- the girls got mostly A*s, and as they had equally clever friends they never had to feel like freaks).

SantanaLopez Tue 11-Mar-14 22:55:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Quinteszilla Tue 11-Mar-14 23:02:17

We let our ds1 sit exams for a few selective independents for secondary. We are very happy with our choice of state for primary, and private for secondary.

He got a good education in the state system, and is a rounded and grounded boy. There is nothing wrong with being educated together with children from all walks of life and varied ethnicity (well as varied as you can be within a Catholic school).

I am also so far very happy with his secondary school. I am not putting pressure on him regards results, but I am expecting the grades for effort to be high as I want him to always do his best and not slack and lag behind.

Have two children, and let them go private for secondary, that is my advice to you. Good luck. smile

TheBeautifulVisit Tue 11-Mar-14 23:38:25

Is this thread for real? You might curtail your family because you don't want your offspring mixing with the proles (who make up 93% of children in the UK). <boggle>

diabolo Wed 12-Mar-14 07:39:53

Nowhere does the OP say that she won't have more children. She says she will only be able to afford private secondary education for 2.

She doesn't mention not mixing with "proles" etc. it seems like some of you are attributing words and motivations to her of your own making for the sake of causing a row.

higgle Wed 12-Mar-14 07:52:37

Why private secondary for 2?

I tackled this problem by sending my two private up to 11 and then to grammar school. The importance of getting the best possible education from 4 - 11 cannot be over estimated. Once you have got them started and enjoying learning, doing an extra language, being taught by the very best teachers and learning the discipline of doing prep after school from age 7 they have very good habits that last into adulthood.
Mine both did their homework without being told straight after school when they transferred to state school.

My two got excellent A levels at Grammar Scool and the eldest went to Oxford, got a well paid job with ease and is off ( fingers crossed ) to do a fully funded Masters next year . DS2 is at an excellent redbrick uni. doing an interesting and unusual subject.

A trawl through the results columns in the local paper showed that the ex prep children from my sons classes that went to the local private secondary did not do as well as the gramar/high school pupils.

If it is results you are looking for I think there is a strong argument for private first and as good a state school as you can get into for secondary. Friends of ours who have moved their children from state to private at 11 have found that the change in expectations is a lot of pressure, and if they are not used to the discipline and high expectations it can be a bit of a shock to the system.

higgle Wed 12-Mar-14 07:58:10

And another thing! I found there was greater social diversity at the prep school than the state grammar. There were the children of Russians, local farmers, a few army people, a rock star's children, some children from less affluent backgrounds who had scholarships from age 4, Black, Chinese and eastern european children all being educated in a very rural bit of this country. I'm afraid by comparison grammar school is very white and middle class.

Quinteszilla Wed 12-Mar-14 08:11:44

Higgle is right, if you are in an area with grammar schools, this may be your very best bet.

Martorana Wed 12-Mar-14 08:38:27

Bearing in mind that even children from private schools sometimes fail the 11+. Shocking, I know, but true. I'm sure Michael Gove will have sorted out that little anomaly soon but until that happy day.......

Quinteszilla Wed 12-Mar-14 09:01:53

Yes Martorana sometimes they do, and it is no doubt as devastating to them and their parents as when a state educated child fails. We would have been upset if our son had no offers so I can fully empathize with everyone in this situation.

OP is simply wondering what is best use of her finances and how to make their funds stretch to private education for two children. She deserves honest answers, not irrelevant responses from people with an axe to grind with private education.

Martorana Wed 12-Mar-14 09:05:45

And suggesting that she solves the "problem" by moving to a grammar school area as if she will then get a "free pass" into a grammar school is just daft. It's a gamble. And a gamble she might lose.

Quinteszilla Wed 12-Mar-14 09:09:39

Yes she might. Nobody knows anything for certain. Op is asking for experiences. Care to share yours, rather than just pick on others?

SantanaLopez Wed 12-Mar-14 09:13:35

Sadly no grammar schools around here, although we might have to move south in a few years so it's something to keep in mind.

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