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What were your reasons for choosing private over state?

(20 Posts)
user09876543211234567890 Sun 08-Jul-18 23:27:49

And would you do it again? Do you think it's worth the money? If so, what makes it worth the money?

OP’s posts: |
schoty77 Mon 09-Jul-18 02:55:51

Yes, I think it's worth the money. In private school my DCs were never given the option of opportunity not to do their homework, to muck around in class, or opt out of an exam. I think this prepared them well for uni. DD#2 is at Princeton, DD#1 has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, DS#1 is currently studying Engineering and my youngest is doing well at high school. I don't think this would have been possible without sending them to a private school, and this is coming from someone who has worked in several public schools in our city.

This being said, I do not live in the UK, and I understand there is a massive difference in cost between public and state over there.

PettsWoodParadise Mon 09-Jul-18 06:42:51

We chose private for primary. At first DD was happy but in the end we pulled her out and home educated forva short while . The bullying was horrid,, the teaching good mostly but not for maths and almost destroyed DD’s liove of the subject., I think you have to take each school you are looking at on its merits and choose not based on the sector but on thevschoolvand how it suits your DC. . DD is now very happy in the state secondary school and thriving.

ThalassaThalassa Mon 09-Jul-18 07:00:25

Currently trying to make this decision for secondary, so following with interest.

Lenazayka Mon 09-Jul-18 11:48:39

We also trying make a decision for a right secondary. It is so hard. Our DS at his 9 already knows 😎what he want and how it should look: We have already attended three independent, two grammar and going to look at three part selective and one private schools in Autumn. The boy already rejected one private( St Edmund's - no discipline and less academic) and one grammar (Latymer - not interesting presentation, boring teachers and tired children 😴). He added " Those schools do not look like a place where children loved as they are". Even more, DS put the grammar Latymer lower than part-selective Goffs Academy.

stringmealong Mon 09-Jul-18 11:55:39

DD been in private since year 3 but changed schools in year 8. I teach in various state schools. My experience is that private has given DD independence she wouldn't have otherwise got (most of the state secondaries around here are glass boxes) & the opportunity to study extracurricular to a very high level. You might be surprised to hear we moved dd at year 8 because the private school she was at expected too much (she was an academic scholar) & she wanted more balance.

As someone who works in state, I think kids who can keep their head down can do well academically. But much of the pastoral care found in private is missing. There is also a severe lack of competition in state as we are often not allowed to show a students strengths as an example to others as they must be treated equally.

SpoonsAndForks Mon 09-Jul-18 11:57:53

That's interesting stringmealong - so would you say that kids get better results at private schools but maybe at the expense of pushing kids too hard and not giving them balance?

tickingthebox Mon 09-Jul-18 11:58:03

You have to start by recognising that there are good and bad schools whether you pay or not, so I'll qualify my answer by comparing a "good" state school to a "good" private

So private has generally
Smaller class sizes / more individual attention
More focussed, willing to learn kids/Better discipline
More emphasis on life preparation / less chance to hide and be mediocre
More opportunities / more diverse trips

glitterbiscuits Mon 09-Jul-18 12:21:53

We did state education for our more academic DC but the middle ability one is in private. I feel this will bring out the best of their abilities. They would have been lost on a large class state school. Not weak enough to warrant attention not bright enough to be self motivated.

stringmealong Mon 09-Jul-18 15:46:15


Every school is different. We chose DD's current private school because of it's very long school day & ethos to make sure all needs (music, drama, sport, politics etc) were catered for. Here she has thrived & is much more willing to stand out from the crowd. Her old private school had a huge focus on academics, bused them all home at 3.30 & didn't offer anything much beyond academics. There are many different types of schools within the private system which is the glory of it. State schools are far too focussed on the EBacc & what ofsted thinks of them.

ReservoirDogs Mon 09-Jul-18 15:55:57

As said before there are good and bad of both.

It is the all round aspect of the independent school that youngest DS has attended that I think is worth the money.

As another poster said there are no/minimal disruptions, it just doesn't even occur to people that they don't have to do their homework and the teachers can teach without the constraints of a curriculum but whilst covering all topics required for gcses (but usually in more depth).

There is ample opportunity to do extra curricular activities in all sorts of areas not just drama, sport, music actually at school as well as a lot of minor sports.

Joining after school activities is not seen as uncool or geeky, working hard is not seen as uncool nor is being clever.

GoldenMalicious Mon 09-Jul-18 16:20:05

We opted to send DS1 private at 11, and DS2 will follow the same path from September. We live in a grammar area, so our choice of state options is already a bit different to the norm.

DS1 is highly academic, but lacked some of the social skills - our rationale for sending him private was far less to do with academic achievement (he is on track for excellent GCSE grades, but I doubt there would be any material difference in outcome compared with what he could have achieved in the state system). However, we did think that the private option might just give him a bit more opportunity to grow and develop his social skills, particularly with the co-curricular opportunities. Personally, I didn't much like the local grammar which he would otherwise have gone to, so opting out of state was an easier decision for me. I also will confess that I thought it would probably do DS1 the world of good to be exposed to children whose parents work in industries and job roles which might lead to better opportunities in the future - his 'black book' of contacts if you like. There is also quite a strong network of former students who might be able to provide different opportunities and contacts.

For DS2, the decision was somewhat different. He missed out on the 11+ (narrowly) and also on the entrance exam for his brother's school, but passed a couple of other schools' entrance exams. He is a much less academic child, and also rather more sensitive than his brother. So for him, the advantages of private school are more likely to focus on the smaller class sizes, less opportunity to drift (which I suspect would have been a likely outcome in the local 'secondary modern' state options), and a nurturing pastoral care team. We'll find out more once he starts in September, and hopefully the choice will prove to have been a good one.

Would I do it again? Well, yes, and I am doing it again for DS2! It's a huge financial commitment so it is difficult to say if it's 'worth it' - I don't think we'll ever see a clear £ benefit that we can point at and say that it was directly linked to a private education. But I am grateful that I can make the choice.

stringmealong Mon 09-Jul-18 16:29:02

In reference to the "is it worth it?" question - to us it was much more about quality & enjoyment of life than anything else. Education should be enjoyed & I felt our local state school options were more of a process to get through with little focus on enjoyment.

Cblue Mon 09-Jul-18 16:56:02

Small class sizes so more attention
Similar results to grammar school
Excellent pastoral care
Help if SEN or just falling behind
Everyone does their homework (parents are probably more engaged and value education hence they are paying for it)
What makes you popular is being nice/kind/doing well at exams/sporty/arty NOT mouthing off to teachers or bitching
Lots of non academic opportunities- sport, trips, music, drama, robotics clubs, debating etc etc
Girls (she goes to an all girls school) are competitive and it's encouraged but they are still supportive of each other. They celebrate personal bests not just winning- but they still learn to loose gracefully!!!
The school treats them as mini adults - good manners are expected
The years mix due to house common rooms
GCSE and A Levels - lots of choice and freedom (they will run a course even if it's only one or two kids who want to take it)
And last, but by no means least, I live in a nice area in a really rough borough (think yardies, knife crime, drugs) and it also has grammar schools so many of the remaining state schools here are pretty bad!!!

Hoppinggreen Mon 09-Jul-18 18:14:02

State comp is rubbish, just been rated inadequate and might be turned into an Academy. The teacher supposedly in charge of pushing the more able children there basically told me not to send dd there .
There are lots of other issues with the school I am aware of as dd has friends there and I know the parents
Dd did get a Grammar place but it’s a bit far away and her School is at the end of the road
She’s doing brilliantly and loves it - it was absolutely the right decision for us.

Rioiscalling Mon 09-Jul-18 20:25:08

Opportunities in terms of extra curricular. Sport. Longer day. Smaller class sizes. Selective.

SomeonesRealName Mon 09-Jul-18 20:40:36

I dont know if I’ll be able to send DS private but the main positive for me of being privately educated was that when I was first looking for employment after university, many of the organisations I applied to saw the old school network i had access to as a benefit for them - and I got into a competitive sector where I might have lost out if I hadn’t had that card to play. I have more than occasionally tapped into that network so they weren’t wrong.

Jorah Tue 10-Jul-18 08:14:28

Moved from state to two different private schools.

First seemed great then realised it was badly run and broke. It ended up being absolutely no better than the good state options.

Second was brilliant, well run, well funded and would do it again in a heartbeat.

The sport is a massive deal breaker for me. Dd2 does an hour of sport every day as standard. She's 15, almost certainly wouldn't want the commitment of an out of school club, isn't particularly amazing at it, would almost certainly skive or try to avoid it at state school. Deffo not one of the really sporty talented ones. But she has to do it every day, so is fit, sleeps well and has discovered she loves swimming and hopefully that will be something she can do all her life. Not many 15/16 year old girls at swim club or hockey club out of school, apart from the ones who are amazing at it.

Jorah Tue 10-Jul-18 08:17:06

What makes you popular is being nice/kind/doing well at exams/sporty/arty NOT mouthing off to teachers or bitching

Yes this. Dd3 is currently at state school and there seem to be very different reasons for popularity confused

QGMum Tue 10-Jul-18 08:57:59

Main reason for choosing private secondary was dc happy to coast at state primary, and allowed to do so even although at a highly sought after school.

They only made an effort when teaching was high quality. Dd1 had a string of excellent teachers at state primary and did well. Dd2 had a string of mediocre teachers and didn’t achieve anything like her potential. Now both at private and no coasting allowed at all. Dd2 in particular now doing much better academically. This plus the extracurricular and work hard ethos is what I am happy to pay for.

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