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Siblings at different type schools

(17 Posts)
mckenzie Sun 05-Jul-15 22:42:52

can anyone tell me please of their experiences of having one sibling at a state school and one at an independent school?
Have you found it causes friction? Does is divide the family?

happygardening Mon 06-Jul-15 09:59:29

Both mine were at boarding prep till 13 then DS1 went to our "outstanding high achieving" local state school and when DS2 left a year later he carried on full boarding. We, as in parents and DS2, choose DS2 school because it suited him, DS1 would be the first to admit that he would have hated his school, DS1 wouldn't have got a place at DS2's school.
I agonised over the decision, will DS1 turn round in 10 years time and say "you spent all that money on X's education and not on mine" but then a friend made a very valid point; alternatively DS2 could turn round in 10 years and say "X was at home and I was sent away to school". As parents we can never get it right.
I have a small age gap between them but we've always treated them as individuals they are very different in so many ways and it's the same with schools You have to choose the right school for your individual child. DS1 is "moderately" dyslexic and in my now very extensive experience they are sadly very poorly served in both sectors so we took the decision that we weren't going to pay any more for something we weren't going to get, so we decided that he should have free education and we would pay for help and support and also support and help him ourselves which is what we've done, we're waiting for A level results but frankly I doubt he'd have done any better if we'd paid and we've helped and support him all the way.
DS is super bright and ŵe felt would benefit from a broad intellectually stimulating renaissance education which is what his school offer. He would have achieved the same exam results in the state sector but not the same broad education it works for him.
There is no family divide or friction between them, well no more than occurs between teenage siblings, in fact from talking to DS1's girlfriend significantly less than often occurs. I watched them yesterday sitting in the garden relaxed and laughing together.

Cloud2 Mon 06-Jul-15 11:18:39

Happygardening, I think you are vey lucky to have an outstanding high achieving school as alternative. We are in a similar but not so lucky situation as you.

Both DS are very bright. DS1 has gone to a independant school and is very happy. Not only he is doing well academically and has made a group of lovely friend. But DS2 has special need , he would have speical support if he go to state school, but would lose this if he go to DS1's school. However, the state school is not so good. I think he can still achive very well academically with special support from school and our parents support. But I am a bit worried about friend issue, bully issue etc. The independant school DS1 has gone has a very good enviroment. All the children are in a friend group, no one is left out, there are rarely any bully issue. And also, there are so many clubs, you can always find something to do during spare time and lots of activities arranged by school, school life is certainly mroe interesting.

But, I think DS2 may feel more relaxed accademically if he is in state school, as he does has to make more effort to achive high. And money can be saved to support his future if he need it . So I am thinking about this all the time.

Cloud2 Mon 06-Jul-15 11:27:09

OP, I think it will depend on children's individual need and the school concerned. To be honest, some state school are quite similar to the independant school, only with less club and outings, you can easily make up this. So I guess siblings won't feel divided. But some state school are not very good , like the one close to us. Then the difference is huge. The attitude in students is different, school life is different. I wouldn't think about to put my children in these 2 different school if my DS2 hasn't got speical need.

happygardening Mon 06-Jul-15 13:12:47

Cloud not by any stretch of the imagination could anyone say that DS1's "outstanding high achieving comp" and DS2's big name boarding school are "quite similar" but that's not the point it's about the individual child and where their needs are best served.
OP as I'm sure you know children with "special needs" are poorly catered for in both sectors but as I said above IME the independent sector really don't want anything beyond "mild dyslexia" and its equivalents. Children with more complex problems are often asked to leave. If your DS2's educational needs will be _well met_in a state school then go for it.
I once met an autistic boy sitting in one of the counties poorest performing schools but with an attached autistic unit he'd won a place at Cambride to study chemistry, the vast majority of the school didn't even go to university.

TalkinPeace Mon 06-Jul-15 17:32:28

I know a family where one child went to world famous public school, one went to SS grammar, one went to comp

the angst is still present 15 years on
be very, very careful

mckenzie Mon 06-Jul-15 17:55:59

Thank you very much for all the replies.
Dc1 actually chose to leave his independent school as it didn't suit him and he loves the freedom and large friendship groups of the state school; he has mild Aspergers and dyspraxia which his former school staff were trying to help him with but they were learning as they went. As you rightly said Happygardening, they were inexperienced in special needs as they had managed, in the main, to keep such children out of their school. As a fairly small school, aware of the climate at the time, they saw the need for the school to be able to adapt and they did put some excellent measures in place. However, for DS it was too late and he left.

DC2 is also at an independent school just finishing year 5.
A different kettle of fish entirely. Fairly bright, very sporty, confident.
Our first choice of independent school would mean we would only be together as a family for about 2 hours in the evenings and 1 and a half days at the weekend.
I'm hearing alarm bells as I type that. sad
Or am I kidding myself that 15 yr old DC1 will be having anything to do with mum and dad and a sibling anyway so I'm worrying unnecessarily smile

I do wish someone would invent a crystal ball for occasions such as this.

happygardening Tue 07-Jul-15 00:53:06

talkin we can all find reasons in our past to cause us angst or we can see that our parents genuinely tried to do the right thing for us as individuals. My DS's know that they are loved and cared for, that we have done all we can to support them through to adulthood and that we will carry on supporting them as adults. We are not perfect parents we've made mistakes but the underlying ethos of treating each child as an individual, loving them, and being there for them through thick and thin is still there despite any errors we've made.
So OP your trying to decide whether to send DS2 to an independent school whilst DS1 is dyspraxic and has mild aspergers and his needs are being well met in state ed? You seem to be saying that your main concern is that DS2 will not be at home as much as DS1 and that DS1 won't like it? Frankly I wouldn't let that sway your decision, there's a largish gap between ?at least five years DS1 has his own interests circle of friends etc as he gets older he'll still want to be with his parents and siblings but also with hs friends so I wouldn't let this worry you too much.
Your DS1 went to an independent school but it didn't work out, he's happy and has friends his special needs are being well catered for in the state sector, he's thriving. You hope DS2 will thrive equally as well but in an independent school, you clearly don't think he'll thrive in DS1's school for what ever reason, treat them as individuals and send them to schools that fit them as individuals.

TalkinPeace Tue 07-Jul-15 08:25:48

I suspect - knowing what I know from your posts - that your boys will not have the issue

but this other family, ten years after leaving their respective schools, the differences in
- self confidence
- connections
- access to private work / social networks
actually ended up with the public school sibling using their connections to find work for the others

the parents did what they did for the right reasons
but do now regret their decision

FWIW all of my family went to private schools, but one of us went to a big name boarding school
and that one has far better connections and ultra self confidence than any of the rest of us.

happygardening Tue 07-Jul-15 09:38:47

I agree talkin in could be problematic in the future but many people have an find reasons in their past to cause them angst if they really want too.
Maybe your ultra self confident sibling with better connections (what ever they are) was just happy at the school it fitted them very well. But not all who go to big name boarding schools will emerge the same.
The OP has IMO a justifiable reason to have her DC's in different schools, her older DS has been to an independent school, it didn't suit him, in particular and as is so often the case they were unable to meet his special educational needs. So she moved him to the state sector where he's happy. What more can any parent ask for? Therefore it's a very good fit for him the fact that it's free is largely irrelevant. Her DS2 I'm assuming doesn't gave the same issues she thinks an independent school is a better fit she thinks he'll be happy there. To me it's a no brainer. She not sacrificing ones education for the others she finding the best school for the individual child.

mckenzie Tue 07-Jul-15 14:02:38

Thank you both for your extra posts.
I genuinely don't think it will bother DS1 either way and I do believe, like you Happygardening, that we need to choose schools based on the individual if we can.
But it's also got to fit us as a family hasn't it?

catslife Tue 07-Jul-15 15:01:57

I think it depends on the reasons for sending your dcs to different schools OP. My db has 2 dd dd1 is at independent school and dd2 is at a state school. The main reason why they are at different schools is that they had just moved house so dd1 didn't meet the criteria for their first choice state school whereas dd2 was offered a place at this first choice school. It isn't causing any problems at the moment.
In your case it sound to me as if your are doing your best to find the schools that best fits each child and the fact that dc1 chose to move school because it wasn't working out could have happened at any type of school (either state or independent) that didn't meet his needs.
Provided that your reasons for doing this are clear to both dcs and possibly the rest of your family then it shouldn't be a long term problem. Some families that have found it difficult long term are those who could only afford to send one child to a fee paying school and this has resulted in long term resentment between siblings.

happygardening Tue 07-Jul-15 16:25:26

It has got to fit family live but family life will run much smoother if you believe your DC's are in the right schools. Many parents sacrifice money, time with their DC's, or drive numerous miles for what they believe to be the right school in either sector.

summerends Tue 07-Jul-15 20:45:21

mckenzie it sounds as though you are worried about the commitment to Saturday school and longer school days and whether this will give the family less time to bond together.
I don't think that weekday evenings are a problem since activities and homework (especially for the 15 year old) means that realistically the brothers are only likely to be together anyway for the meal and after.
Weekends are more of an issue since a family has to engage with Saturday school, matches etc. One of the positives for your oldest DS is that he will have more time on his own with you. That could well compensate the loss of Saturdays all together. Also you are right, he is going to want to spend increasing time with his friends.
Ultimately you have to decide whether the suitability of the school for DS2 is worth the disrupted weekends (taking into account shorter terms).

basildonbond Tue 07-Jul-15 23:08:09

I have 3 dc, two were/are at independent schools, the middle one is at our local comprehensive. Ds2 would hate being at his siblings' schools and vice versa. Ds2 has the same diagnosis as your ds1, OP, and the school he's at suits him much, much better than the independent alternatives.

It's not caused any friction (so far). We've made sure he's gone on any appropriate school trip as we didn't want him to feel he was missing out.

The other two are both sporty, sociable, 'conventionally' bright and throw themselves into activities - ds2 is very different. They are both much more self-confident than ds2 and can be extremely charming - how much of that extra 'polish' is down to their education and how much is just them is hard to tell.

mckenzie Fri 10-Jul-15 18:02:04

Thank you all for the extra replies. I actually rather wish we had to decide right now rather than stew over it for even longer.
I bet even when we decide I have sleepless nights over it confused

Eversobusyeveryday Sun 12-Jul-15 14:17:20

I have one in one of the best comps in the country and 2 at prep. Eldest went to a state primary all through, we pulled the other two out. Plan is that they all go to the comp but middle one will also sit for independent exams as we feel the comp may be too big. No issues at all.

Eldest understands that the younger two are at prep as the state primary went into special measures and that they weren't getting the education he had at primary. He does all the ridiculously over priced extras offered at the comp, he's going on the ski trip and the France trip and the sports week. His school is vvv naice and middle class, only 2% FSM and many of his friends have siblings in private school so it's just not considered an issue and we haven't had to adjust our lifestyles to pay so he doesn't miss out on anything we would otherwise have done.

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