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Which of these children would benefit most from an independent education?

(78 Posts)
earlycomputers Mon 18-Sep-17 09:17:06

I am due to fund one out of these three children to go to a good independent school throughout their secondary education. Which, out of these three, would get the most benefit if they went? I appreciate they could all benefit to some degree, but, who, in your opinion, would get the most out of it - just based solely on this info: Child A: bright academic high-flyer, ambitious to attend a top university, consistently top in most subjects; Child B: conscientious student who gives a lot of effort but is of average ability in most subjects; Child C: average ability, fairly modest ambitions for the future, very practical/physical learner (as opposed to book learner), has always disliked school lessons in general and is generally demotivated by academic stuff (Child C has had experience of both independent and state education).
Thanks in advance

Newtssuitcase Mon 18-Sep-17 09:20:25

A - but it all really depends on whether the school is an academic school.
TBH I'd say none of them. It will be divisive and unfair if the others will not be attending. If the others are being funded by their parents then I'd say just add your money to the pot so that you are not seen as a sponsor of one.

But in any event paying for a child's education like this is a bad move unless you're the parent. What if your circumstances change?

Seeline Mon 18-Sep-17 09:21:54

Which ever child can get the best school for them.

Just sending a child privately does not necessarily mean the best education for that child. the ethos, style of teaching, mix of pupils, range of facilities and extra-curricular provision will all influence the child's experience of education. If it's the right 'fit' it should get the best out of the individual child. That could be state or independent.

earlycomputers Mon 18-Sep-17 09:23:24

thanks Newtssuitcase, but these aren't my kids and the kids don't know each other, so no problem re fairness/circumstances.

ASDismynormality Mon 18-Sep-17 09:24:38

It sounds as if A will do well wherever they go so they would probably not be my first choice.
I would probably pick B.

oncewasawarrior Mon 18-Sep-17 09:25:55

My daughter is child b. We're sending her privately as we felt she'd get lost in the big local Comp- I think mid level attainers benefit more from the smaller class sizes etc. Really clever children will do well almost anywhere.

earlycomputers Mon 18-Sep-17 09:26:47

Thanks ASDismynormality - interesting choice - can I ask why you picked B as opposed to C?

earlycomputers Mon 18-Sep-17 09:28:11

Thanks oncewasawarrior

MollyHuaCha Mon 18-Sep-17 09:30:10

This order for me:

1. C
2. B
3. A

juneau Mon 18-Sep-17 09:35:17

Hmm difficult one! It depends too what schools these DC are currently at. As Child A is clearly already doing really well, is the state school they are at a good one? If so, they're probably going to do well anyway. Child B could go from average to great, if given the opportunity. Child C sounds like they'll just potter along wherever they are. Even a good private education cannot turn an average DC with modest ambitions into a genius. So my answer would probably be B, but with reservations, because if Child A is not sufficiently challenged by their current school then they could really benefit from going to an academic private.

earlycomputers Mon 18-Sep-17 09:35:49

Thanks MollyHuaCha - why would C get your top vote?

ASDismynormality Mon 18-Sep-17 09:36:07

It is the fact B tries hard and is more motivated, but the choice of school could make a big difference. If the school could motivate C and offer the physical/practical opportunities that they couldn't get at a state school then I wouldn't rule them out.

I have three children. DD is academic and did really well in her GCSES, DD2 has to make more effort and would probably struggle to do as well as her sister - both at same state school. DS is verbally bright but struggles to get this on paper - ASD/ADHD/ dyslexia and I am actually considering private for him as he would benefit from the smaller classes.

WineBeforeCake Mon 18-Sep-17 09:41:57

I have a child A and a child C. Each is at an independent school that best suits them. There are so many different types of independent schools - all three would benefit from the right school with the right emphasis (and in child C's case, specific training for a career as well/instead of A levels).

There is not a state school in the country that would suit my child C as much btw, (with the specific training she is getting) so in that regard she benefits more than my child A. But child C would flounder in a different sort of independent school.

Do you have a specific school in mind?

earlycomputers Mon 18-Sep-17 09:54:43

Thanks WineBeforeCake. What sort of school does your child C attend? It seems that most independent/state schools do not cater very well to the needs of a child C, as all of them focus on academic exams/non practical/non career training learning

ragged Mon 18-Sep-17 09:55:43

b/c ime the indie school will try to channel Child C into academic material that doesn't suit them -- just so school's results look better. Child A will self-motivate in any half-way supportive system. B is the one who would benefit most academically in an indie school. C will get more practical opportunities in state sector.

AnotherNewt Mon 18-Sep-17 10:00:26

It depends so much on what the independent school offers - is it the same one regardless of which DC? What are its strengths and weaknesses, what is its ethos? What about pastoral care and co-curricular?

What are their current school/s like? Which of then is currently having needs and interests least well met?

TheSerengeti Mon 18-Sep-17 10:03:31

Child C - if they currently don't enjoy school or learning then the chances are they won't do as well. Private school will most likely improve it.

frisbeefreedom Mon 18-Sep-17 10:12:29

B - a lot of my friends would have fit in to B, and I think it's taken a good ten years post-school for the ones at state schools to catch up career-wise to the ones who went independent. A will do well wherever they are. C could be better supported in the right independent school, but similarly may be pushed too far down the academic route and suffer for it.

Gumbubble Mon 18-Sep-17 10:19:04

I used to work in an academic independent school (not UK) and the head mentioned once that he felt that independent schools made the most difference for children like B, as children like A generally did well wherever they went and if they child wasn't reasonably motivated (like child C) then there was only so much the school could do. So based on that I'd chose B.

WineBeforeCake Mon 18-Sep-17 10:22:55

earlycomputers I can PM you the specific school, but there are lots of gentler independent schools around that focus very much on the whole child rather than academics.

Lily2007 Mon 18-Sep-17 11:06:00

I would definitely choose A assuming its an academic private which they all are round here. Around here average ability simply don't get in to private so B and C would be consistently the lowest achievers and that's not nice.

I was A and went to state comprehensive, got to Oxbridge but picked on for being clever (seemed to be a girl thing, bright boys weren't targetted) and private school kids still earned double after Oxbridge with lower exam results. They had a lot more confidence, more connections, more sporting opportunity etc. I would love to have been able to send both mine private but can't but at least DD has got into grammar where all the girls are bright. I was also the only person from my school to go to Oxbridge, whereas the public schools were sending loads. DDs grammar sends around 12 a year, I was the first ever so in about 50 years.

Second choice would be C if they have been better in independent than state.

Lily2007 Mon 18-Sep-17 11:22:04

What are the results at the school like. The privates and grammars around here get 75 percent of results at A Level and GSCE at A or A star. Rest tend to be B. Privates are easier to get offers from than grammars but you would still need to be in top 20 percent to be considered by private. There's exams and an interview.

Pippiisapuppy Mon 18-Sep-17 11:29:33

Which child needs it the most?

Which child is less likely to be given opportunities throughout their life?

Which child is statistically likely to suffer because of race, sex, social-economic circumstances or parental limitations to provide such opportunities?

BubblesBuddy Mon 18-Sep-17 11:49:24

Which child is likely to resent the money not being spent on them and seeing their sibling get all the benefits of an independent education? The expensive school trips, the expensive party invites, the sports coaching, the music, the excellent drama, the fantastic facilities, better behaviour, smaller classes etc. By the way, if the independent school does not have all this, then why are you paying?

How are you going to make it up to the others who are attending a large comprehensive that is so unsuitable for their special sibling? I know people around me choose a mix of private and grammar but this is setting up sibling rivalry big time!

Also, Progress 8 will tell you that not all bright children do well anywhere. I can certainly tell you that lower/average achieving children really do not make good progress in lots of schools either. A child that dislikes school is even less likely to do well. If there is poor teaching and lack of ambition by the school they will not do as well as they should. Peer pressure to not work too hard can be a real factor in some schools and can really affect bright children. Also consider low level bullying of clever chidren.

Some school teachers still think all universities are equal and the ambitious child ends up at the local university because that's where their friends go and the school has links with that university so no-one considers much else.

Save your money and make sure your children get equal opportunities. It is much fairer and there will be fewer squabbles. You may regret this divisive decision in years to come when the comprehensive children tot up your expenditure on one child and realise they came off a poor second and third.

1805 Mon 18-Sep-17 12:10:06

A. So long as the school will be an academic one.

Because then the child will be stretched to achieve their full potential. Many state schools do not have the levels of staffing or time in the curriculum, nor facilities to cover extra material for the bright dc.

We have an A and a B/C child. Sending dc A to a good prep school full of dc like him was the best thing we ever did. Then we thought we'd better do the same for dc B/C, and found a different prep school for her, but ended up putting her back in the state system. She is much happier with a shorter day and less work!

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