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Has this board always been dominated by questions about private schools?

(327 Posts)
minifingerz Fri 19-Feb-16 17:56:00

... and the Education board?

I'm sure I remember this board being relevant to most parents even as recently as last year.

Wouldn't it make sense to have a separate board for private education, rather than having these ones silted up with queries about fee paying schools, given that it's of no relevance to 93% of UK parents?

PirateSmile Fri 19-Feb-16 18:01:38

It's very Londoncentric IMO.

MEgirl Fri 19-Feb-16 18:06:29

Doesn't it cycle through depending on the date the time of the year? Private and state have different entrance exam dates, different deadlines etc.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 19-Feb-16 18:09:32

It's that time of year. There's about a month when all the London private schools interview and send out offers, and there's a bunch of threads about it. In two weeks time it will be state Secondary offer time and you'll hardly see another private thread for months.

MilkRunningOutAgain Fri 19-Feb-16 18:21:08

Tbh I suspect the content reflects where mumsnet children send their kids to school quite fairly.

Bigbiscuits Fri 19-Feb-16 18:32:12

It's cyclic. Always peaks at this time of year when offers are out.

And there is always at one thread that suggests that private is split off into a separate board wink

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 19-Feb-16 18:32:24

It's a seasonal thing. This usually happens in February as parents get the results of the entrance tests for independence tests, and then it calms down again. March is often more about state school offer queries and questions about appeals.

TeenAndTween Fri 19-Feb-16 18:33:48

I agree with MEgirl and Lady there are a lot at the moment, but it will die down and another topic will come up.

private schools
London grammar schools
GCSE options
choosing A levels
choosing a secondary
preparing for secondary
settling to secondary
how do I know if they are making progress

all come around regularly. Then there are GCSE and 6th form support threads which there aren't many of, but get full and have to have follow ons.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 19-Feb-16 18:57:38

I'd be amazed if only 7% of parents on MN were using private schools...

The demographic on here isn't representative of the U.K. as a whole

happygardening Fri 19-Feb-16 19:12:23

I'm always surprised by the number of threads about private schools and in particular the very big names, when in the grand scheme of the things only a tiny number attend these. I don't notice it being any more so than usual. I think it's been proposed to MN that a seperate section is created but they didn't agree. Perhaps they'll come on here and say why?

happygardening Fri 19-Feb-16 19:13:54

Just to add that I don't live in London neither do quite a few who regularly post in the sort of thread about independent ed.

LittleBearPad Fri 19-Feb-16 19:16:51

There's too many topics already. Most threads re a specific school will name it in the title. Just ignore it if you aren't interested.

ArkATerre Fri 19-Feb-16 19:19:47

You can't 'silt up' an active board on a fast moving website.
Private is an option in the UK, just like any other secondary ed option. You can usually tell by the title if it's a relevant thread. Hide or scroll down.

DSClarke Fri 19-Feb-16 19:35:30

There are also lots of issues that private schools and state schools have in common so it does not make sense to separate them. Or do you think that the private school threads would be akin to the M&S Food ads?

"It's bullying, but it's not ordinary bullying. It's independent school bullying"

Gruach Fri 19-Feb-16 20:40:02

Wherever would you put the very frequent threads that invite comparison between a state and an independent school?

Or theoretical discussions about the merits, uses and future of both?


Lurkedforever1 Fri 19-Feb-16 20:52:12

The big names being mentioned is pretty logical. Chances of finding someone on here with an opinion or insider knowledge on 'lurksville small no frills independent' is quite small. Ask about one with a national catchment, or a population heavy catchment like some London schools, and you'll probably find someone.

Plus agree re it being independent entrance season.

Think too that it's more grammar heavy than independent on here. But with both of those, if you can access them you can choose between them, so it's worth discussing. Whereas with comprehensives, many people don't have much choice as to which they pick. And again, insider knowledge will be in a small locality.

whatwouldrondo Fri 19-Feb-16 23:07:15

It is driven by the parental angst that takes over London parents from Year 4 onwards. In many parts of London there is a shortage of good state school places, in some places parents get no offers of a school place or none at their preferred schools. So as well as the parents who would have always privately educated their children there are many who feel it is their only option, or needed as a back up. In some boroughs, and not just the most affluent, the proportion of privately educated pupils is over 30%. Many of those parents posting have DCs in state primaries and Mumsnet may be their only access to knowledge of the process. So be patient, they will regain their sanity come March......

BeeppityBeep Fri 19-Feb-16 23:17:30

Oh dear, just wait until you get to the further education threads. It's Oxbridge or nothing there. (Well, maybe, if you really stretch it then Durham, etc might be ok) What gets me is how agnst'y parents of extremely bright and capable kids can be.

There are 2 and a quarter million university students in the UK and only 40,000 of them are at Oxford or Cambridge. You really wouldn't think it from Mumsnet.

BeeppityBeep Fri 19-Feb-16 23:34:50

Sorry I meant higher education threads not further education.

fabhead Fri 19-Feb-16 23:42:49

It's way more than 7% in and around London and the Southeast - an area disproportionately represented on MN I would imagine. Mainly because there's a massive schools places shortage which doesn't seem to be the case in other areas of the UK, plus all the rich city workers, lawyers, and foreigners are obviously concentrated there.

It's not dominated though, its just the main independent school discussion point is Jan/Feb. Come March it will be Grammar or State? Then it will be we didn't get into our desired state school and then months of state school appeals up to the summer.

daphnedill Sat 20-Feb-16 00:24:41

I think it depend where people live and the local situation. I really can't blame people for taking the necessary steps to making sure their offspring get a decent education. I did it myself by moving into the catchment area of a good secondary school. It all worked out well for my DD, who now has an MA from a Russell Group uni and a good job. I'm still on tenterhooks about my DS.

I think that anybody who lives in my area is totally bonkers if they decide to fork out for private education, because it doesn't offer anything better than the local comp. The children who benefit from a private education (in my area) are the ones who can't cope with big classes and spoon feeding. Some of them have special needs (according to parents). They'll find that university is totally different. Of course, some of them can fall back on family connections, which have absolutely nothing to do with educational attainment.

I often read the threads on MN and have a giggle. Unless the local school is truly terrible, I really wonder what kind of benefit people think their offspring will gain from a private school. Those offspring will still have to face the job market and real life one day.

BackforGood Sat 20-Feb-16 00:29:11

I've often thought that, OP - Considering such a small % of the population use private schools, there really is a massively disproportionate number of threads about them, and I regularly think it would be helpful to make the 'Education' topic into 'Private Education' and stop the 'Key Stage' Education threads getting clogged up with stuff () + % of us know nothing about and aren't really interested in. That way, we could add it to the topics we 'hide' if we wanted to.

roguedad Sat 20-Feb-16 07:10:23

When it came to picking a secondary school we were open minded about private vs independent and ranked them together. Don't see much point in separation myself. Isn't it just the period following any private offers but before state comes in so it's a bit of a peak of private chat? I'm not sure what's so hard about ignoring threads of no interest.

AnotherNewt Sat 20-Feb-16 07:15:28

Yes and no.

It always look like this at this time of year, because it it the peak of the private school admissions round.

Roll back to when state 11+ is taken, when state applications deadline occurs and when state offers are made, and it'll be dominated by questions about state schools, (and how to appeal effectively if you don't get the offer you want).

It's just one of the invariable rhythms of MN threads.

There was a suggestion for a separate board for education based on how it is paid for, couple of years ago. It was not taken up. There's too much cross-over. And this current private school admission peak is not representative of the whole year anyhow.

meditrina Sat 20-Feb-16 07:33:59

This came up before, unsurprisingly also in February at the height of the admissions round.

There wasn't really much support for segregation, and MNHQ turned down both that, and the other (rather more popular) suggestion at the time of a separate 'reviews' board for specific schools.

Incidentally, as I post this, the threads 5 each side of it are all but two are about named state schools (of the others, one is about BTecs in general, and the other about a private school).

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