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Does anyone have experience of educating some do privately and some in state sector?

(30 Posts)
Copperkettle Thu 07-Jan-16 17:36:34

Dc1 is at a private school for a variety of reasons. In a nutshell couldn't get into state school he wanted and we weren't happy with other options.

Dc2 ( same sex) is in year 6. Doesn't want to go private. Won't get into the outstanding state school so would have to go to the level 3 ofsted local comp . He wouldn't know anyone.

Both equally academic. It feels like a major social experiment to take two similar dc and send one to an amazing selective school and another to a failing state school.

Financially though it would be preferable as we have 2 younger dc and I feel as though our decision for dc2 will impact where they go and frankly 4 lots of school fees would cripple us.

I'm still resentful about it all as if dc1 had got into the school with all his friends they all would have. It's our closest school and very good.

Copperkettle Thu 07-Jan-16 17:37:11

Typo in title blush

choirmumoftwo Thu 07-Jan-16 22:17:53

We've ended up doing this by accident. Both DC went to state primary initially then to a prep school which they had to attend as cathedral choristers. Chose private school on a music scholarship for DS at 13, which became an academy a year later - he's still there in 6th form. DD has gone to a private school. Both schools were the best fit for the individual child and assuming they're being honest, neither seems resentful of the other. Ultimately, your DC need to be happy with their school, and hopefully their natural academic ability will stand them both in good stead.

PettsWoodParadise Thu 07-Jan-16 23:15:33

I had a friend who did this. Her DS went private from second year of secondary as he needed some extra support he wasn't getting in the state school. The DD was the type to thrive anywhere so she stayed in the state system. They didn't really make a big deal of it with the children, they always just explained it as being the best match school for each of them. I don't think their DCs however got to choose which school, one was more the default local state school, the private school one nearby that happened to have the right fit. Both DCs are grown up now and close as siblings and not scarred by being in different sectors whilst at school.

Clavinova Fri 08-Jan-16 08:13:57

Have you taken dc2 to look around the local comp and does he like it? Or is he under the illusion that he might be going to the outstanding state school with the other children in his class? You will probably decide within the first term or two whether the local comp is working out - you obviously have the financial means if necessary to move him into the private sector and then worry about dcs 3 and 4 later.

Copperkettle Sat 09-Jan-16 08:24:38

It's tricky. I think it would feel less wierd if they were boy/ girl.
Dc1 is struggling to settle without his friends. The local outstanding secondary would have been a better fit socially for him and I'm devastated on his behalf there. He certainly wouldn't have thrived at the allocated school where he knows no one.

I've made it clear to dc2 that he won't get into the school his friends are going to. He's adamant he's not going private so we are left with the local school that's not popular. I don't think he would be as phased about having no friends though.

There are ' good' schools a little bit further away but honestly I don't know how I would cope with 4 of them spread far apart. My hunch is to send him but move him if he's not happy/ failing. I need him to be clear that he made the choice and we've not pushed him into it.

We can't afford to send 4. Well let's put it this way we would be doubling my hours at work, eating beans on toast, driving 20 year old cars etc. ds4 is only 3 though so it's a long time away. Local primaries are fantastic thank goodness.

roundaboutthetown Sat 09-Jan-16 11:23:27

What sort of personality does your ds2 have? Is he fairly driven or does he prefer to go with the flow? Why is he opposed to the private school? Is it because his db is unhappy there, or because he thinks it's too expensive for the family, or because he hasn't liked it when he's been to visit? Are you 100% certain ds2 won't get into the state school you like? Do you know other families who have children at the school he will probably end up at?

Copperkettle Sat 09-Jan-16 11:48:02

Ds2 is quiet and sensitive but clever and hard working. Being with friends not as important to him . He wouldn't know anyone at the school.
He has looked at all the schools. He seems to be basically against private school. Not sure why.
Funnily enough his best friend will be going to the private school.
He won't get into the outstanding school that we wanted. It's the school the majority of their primary go to and out closest but massively oversubscribed. We failed our appeal last year for ds1 despite IMO having a good case. If he'd been in the year above he'd have got in so we were given a false sense of hope.

wickedwaterwitch Sat 09-Jan-16 11:52:41

Why does dc2 get a choice? (Genuine question!)

wickedwaterwitch Sat 09-Jan-16 11:56:10

If the private school is the best and the right school for ds2 then I'd be sending him there. My dd didn't want to go to the school we've sent her to but it was the best school and the right choice do she's there. And loves it. Although we listened to her, we made the final decision as her parents.

3nationsfamily Sat 09-Jan-16 11:58:35

We have one DS at a private school on an academic scholarship and bursary, and his older Sister is at the local high performing comp. She didn't want to apply for the private school as her main passion is a sport which is pursued outside of school for kids in both sectors which is expensive to support, and she wanted to stay with her friends. Both DC are doing very well and each school is the best fit for them. He is being stretched academically and doing tons of extra curricular, she is excelling academically amongst her peers without having to compete with her little brother and has a great group of friends. Both are happy and not jealous of each other's opportunities since as a family we have always done lots of travel and cultural activities and set high expectations for academic and work ethic.

Clavinova Sat 09-Jan-16 12:19:13

Will he sit the entrance exam for the private school? He may change his mind in March when the school allocations come through.

3nationsfamily - the op's ds2 is likely to be allocated an 'unpopular', requires improvement school, not a 'high performing comp'.

roundaboutthetown Sat 09-Jan-16 15:29:46

Isn't level 3 requires improvement? If so, the school will be under huge pressure to improve to avoid having its destiny taken out of its own hands by the Secretary of State. This could mean the school will improve rapidly and end up an excellent place to be (or alternatively, could result in lots of stressed staff voting with their feet, depending on the quality of the leadership). Has it been a level 3 for long? And how long has it had its current HT? If it is a community school, it will be getting a lot of attention from the LA at the moment to support it and help raise standards as it is not allowed to stay forever in that category.

It isn't always a bad thing for a child to go to a requires improvement school - it can mean an awful lot of devoted staff fighting to retain control of a school they feel loyalty towards. Better than a school that everyone thinks is amazing as a result of past performance but which has lost its way without anyone noticing for a few years... I've better to catch a school on the way up before anyone else twigs on!

roundaboutthetown Sat 09-Jan-16 15:30:58

ie not I've...

Copperkettle Sat 09-Jan-16 15:55:49

The state school is getting a new HT at Easter. I suppose it could improve. Unfortunately most of the schools catchment don't go there and it's filled with out of area. Children from the areas that I worry have less desire to learn and unsupportive families etc. I think the school needs to get its pupils back to really improve but will need to prove itself for that to happen.
The private exams are next week. Ds2 showed no interest in doing any practice books. He's never done verbal reasoning. He is clever but would be up against children that have Ben tutored or have been to private primary. I didn't really want him to sit the exam unless he was engaged and keen to pass. If he didn't get in that would be worse as no standby option.
I suppose if we didn't have 2 younger I might have pushed more but I can't help being terrified of the commitment for 4. I think if ds2 goes private we sort of have to do it for all 4 then. Or do we? I don't want the younger ones ( also boys) to feel like they aren't as important. We aren't rich by any means!

roundaboutthetown Sat 09-Jan-16 16:35:07

The two schools do sound very different! What do you think your ds2's real reasons are for not wanting to go to the private school? It seems very unusual for a boy so young, whose brother already goes to the school, to be ideologically opposed to private education! How well do your ds1 and ds2 get on?

Could it be fear of failure (not wanting to work towards the entrance exam or get to like the school if he might fail and not get in, anyway, so preferring not to try in the first place)? Or not wanting to be in older brother's shadow? Or older brother having confided that he's not happy there? Or knowing it is a financial stretch for you and not wanting to feel he's adding to your burdens (you did say he is a sensitive boy)? Or negative comments from peers at school? Or something specific about the school that is putting him off? Or a mix of those things? Or a genuine belief that private education is wrong?

I think you need to understand a bit better what is motivating your ds2 to take the position he is on this before you can decide whether it is going to cause problems in the long term. Going to a different sort of school doesn't have to be problematic - it depends on the real reasons as to why it happened.

Copperkettle Sat 09-Jan-16 18:29:08

Interesting question.
Funnily enough its ds1 who worries about the cost. I think they know that private was never the plan. Up until we failed the appeal it never crossed out mind so he may see it as a last resort. And of course he sees that ds1 doesn't love school and has been having a hard time settling in. Plus he worries about being snobby!
Quite why he'd be so keen to go to the other school I have no idea. If money was no object I think I'd be pushing him into private but as its a nagging concern for me I'm kind of thinking well if he wants the state school go with it. But then I'd never forgive myself if he failed and ds1 achieved as their starting point is the same.

Clavinova Sat 09-Jan-16 18:45:52

You have already made the decision then - ds2 will miss the entrance exam for the private school - is there a 13+ option? If you decide later on that the local comp isn't improving will you enter ds3 and ds4 for the private school exam? Are you likely to move or inherit money before ds3 or ds4 start secondary school? Personally, I think there are several scenarios in which ds2 could end up feeling resentful especially as you don't sound at all keen on the local school. Does ds1 have to stay at the private school for sixth form?

Copperkettle Sat 09-Jan-16 18:59:02

Ds1 could move to state for sixth form. I suppose in theory ds2 could move to private sixth form.
I think he could sit the exam later in the year. Ds1 didn't sit until July after we failed the appeal. Assuming they still have places. They do have an intake in year 8 and 9 as well I think.
I don't think we will inherit money before ds3 goes. Well I hope not really as mine and do parents are all around 70 so not old by today's standards.

HPFA Sat 09-Jan-16 19:01:05

My daughter in Year 6 suddenly announced that she "didn't believe in private education" .I was a bit surprised as I had no idea she even knew what it was. I'm not particularly for or against so I don't think she'd picked that up from me.
I did find out later though that her Year 6 teacher had been making a lot of fuss of the children who had passed for a very selective private school (more or less saying "A and B are going to the best school in the county" i.e much better than all those ordinary schools the rest of you are going to!) but I don't know if that was the reason.
She still says she doesn't approve of private schools - so clearly children this age can have their own ideas about this.

Copperkettle Sat 09-Jan-16 19:30:32

Yes peculiar. I mean do and I were state educated and that was always our aim but I don't think we ever really discussed private eduction with the boys around. Ds2 seems to think he's a mini Jeremy Corbyn whereas ds1 wants to live in a mansion with a swimming pool.

Clavinova Sat 09-Jan-16 19:45:42

How old is ds3? What will you do if he's adamant that he wants to go to the private school with ds1?

Copperkettle Sat 09-Jan-16 20:08:27

He's year 3. Ultimately I think if any of the younger 3 wanted to go we'd have to let them. If ds2 wanted to we wouldn't have stopped him.
I wouldn't feel comfortable 3 private and one state. Easier the other way around. Taking money out of it as that's a huge factor but one for myself and dh not the boys.
We could afford to tutor at state school but it's about more than just grades its 2 completely different experiences.
My school was a large inner city comp. I loved it and learnt some life lessons. But then it didn't offer me some things. No sport for example. Not even picking up a tennis racket.

roundaboutthetown Sat 09-Jan-16 20:44:54

Provided your ds2 isn't bullied, there is no reason your ds2 couldn't do extremely well in a requires improvement school, if he wants to do well. It's not as if it's an inadequate school. What are its main weak and strong points, or is it just resoundingly RI in every way? Have you looked around it and got a feel for it, or not yet taken seriously the prospect of your ds2 going there? Do you know what school the new HT is coming from and what reputation that school had? Even though a lot of children from outside the area go there, surely a fair number of other local people must attend? Do you not know any parents with children already at the school?

Getting better acquainted with the reality would be a good idea, to see whether you can, personally, cope with the reality! And don't forget that money saved on school fees is money that could be spent outside of school, whether family holidays and activities or individual extra curricular activities, or even extra tuition if a child is not getting enough support in school for a particular subject. How easy is it to organise after school activities? Would you have trouble getting your ds2 to or from these if they weren't based in the school itself? Or is he not interested in after school activities?

roundaboutthetown Sat 09-Jan-16 20:51:57

Do you look at your ds1's school and dearly wish you'd gone somewhere like that, instead of your inner city comprehensive? Was a lack of tennis something you now sincerely regret? If not, your ds2 might not unreasonably wonder why he is expected to covet it so much?

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