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The old private v state - we have to choose!!(57 Posts)
If your dd (year 8) was at a good local comprehensive school but had been offered a scholarship and bursary to a good local independent school, what would you do?
She's extremely sporty (hence scholarship and bursary).
But she's lovely!! She's so calm and kind and tolerant of all kinds of people. She has loads of friends. She's on the school council and she's bright and confident. She likes the boys and they like her. She finishes early (3). Teachers really seem to like her. She's making good academic progress. I don't want her to change!
Indie is single sex, competitive and results are far better as much as you can compare. Sport is very good. It's mainly boarding but they have a few day who integrate well (a day girl is currently deputy head). It's pretty posh. Huge amounts of extra curricular. Staff seem very happy and smiley. Girls too, although I know there's a few wild ones, loads of smoking by year 11 (I have a friend with a dd there).
I don't know what to do!!
Dd wants to go but has reservations, probably because I am in two minds. Dh is in doubt private school but is a bit worried about the (tiny!) cost.
That's what I want to do I think. I could kick myself for even starting this.
Keep her where she is, there are various schemes you can only get on (justifiably) if you are at or went to a state school. There will be students smoking by year 11 at all schools.
Oh & most high level sport is out of school anyway, if you play county netball or hockey the training is in the evening.
It's the sport really. It's so draining driving her everywhere and the school can manage this (will take her to her club as well as providing more school opportunities)
Go with her preference.
That you think she'll stop being lovely is a reflection of your prejudices and priorities, not hers.
She can always swop back for sixth form if she decides she doesn't like it. But nothing in the way you describe her suggests her opinion on where she wants to be next is at all likely to be duff.
You're just having cold feet - if you didn't want her there you wouldn't have gone through with the exams/assessments/intrusive bursary form etc.
And just think how you would feel if you had gone through a detailed selection process for a new role, had been successful, and then were told you couldn't do it, even though you still wanted to and you know they want you too.
In all honesty, having had a DD who has suffered friendship issues, if she is settled, happy and is achieving well I really would be reluctant to move her to an unknown. Her being settled and happy is so very important.
Ultimately though, let your daughter make the choice but sit down and have a frank conversation with her about your concerns.
Is it the private school that will support her more in the sports? if it is then, that would be really good but unless the private school is better for her in other ways too, I'd keep her where she is because she sounds like she is really happy there. Although if you do move her, I'm sure she'd make lots of friends there too. I think children's happiness is massively important in education so I think it depends on where she'd be happier.
If she's happy where she is and doing well, don't move her.
Not saying it is true in your case, but she's also at the age where girls tend to change a lot and may start to lose interest in activities they've previously loved. (12 is a the big drop out age in girlguiding, for example). If the main reason for going to this school is the sports scholarship and the sports support, what if she decides she's not interested in sport any more? Or not at such a competitive level?
If DH is worried about costs, make sure you work out what they are - as well as fees there will be incidental extras, uniform (plus presumably lots of sports kit!), trips etc.
How big is the school? is it known for its sport? how many girls in regional development squads? will your dd continue to play with her club? (some schools dont allow this).
Are you prepared to say which school?
Knowing what I know now I would never move a happy child.
why did you apply? there must have been a reason.
The school's overall results don't matter, and often just reflect how selective it is at entry. The question is whether your dd will achieve her potential at her current school.
If she is happy and thriving where she is you'd be mad to move her.
Re the cost, if say it is £20k/year fees and you have an 80% discount, that is still £4k to find, plus trips/uniform/extras. That's a family holiday...
and don't underestimate the cost of sports kit and how many sets she will need!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'd be inclined to leave her where she is.
Don't underestimate being happy, settled, well liked, confident and doing well in sport and academics on top.
My Dneices all went to a private school. The eldest did well (but not exceptional) and went to uni. The second did well (again not amazing) and is now at uni. The third struggled.
The middle Dneice is thriving at Uni and admitted to me last year in private that she didn't really enjoy her private school and felt she didn't fit in. Having met a huge cohort of state comp kids at uni she feels that she would have enjoyed a good comp much more.
It's horses for courses, but your dd's current school sounds great and more importantly she sounds really happy there.
Without being goady, why did you start down this path? I’m assuming you contacted the school and applied for a place? What was driving that? Are those drivers still relevant?
I do get the apprehension, our DD joined a private school as a boarder from her local lovely comp. at sixth form. Before we agreed to her applying we thought long and hard about whether we could agree to her going if the school offered the right package (no way to afford it otherwise).
But the point is we looked at all the advantages and disadvantages at the time of applying.
If DD had changed her mind part way through then fair enough, but I felt it would be unfair to her if we changed, after she had done all the work to get there.
You don't mention anything about the academic results, which is a bit strange to me. I went on a music scholarship to an independent - it was an up and down experience but the biggest advantage to me was that as a fairly average student academically I was still able to achieve excellent results at GCSE and A level because of the extra resources of the independent school, and the higher standards. The results I got would have been some of the top ones at my (decent) state school, and I was not a top set student.
Going where I did opened up so many more doors at university level, it's worth considering this too.
Can she give it a try? Would she be able to move back if it didn't work out or will her place be taken? How oversubscribed is her current school?
These decisions are really tricky and you'll never know how it would have worked out if you took the other option. Girls do change a lot from year 9 anyway - as some have said, they often start to drop things they've been interested in, start to struggle more with image and self-confidence. We found year 9 to be relatively hard compared to previous years. Our dd had a few patches where she didn't want to go to school, having always loved school in the past. I'm pretty sure it was nothing to do with school - she was suffering bad acne and she also started to worry academically, with the start of GCSEs on the horizon. Also, some girls in her year started to change - parties with alcohol came in and she felt uneasy with some of the behaviour.
I say all this so that whatever you decide - if things start to get difficult next year, you won't assume it's because you made the wrong decision! From friends with girls the same age as my dd, things do start to get more tricky from year 9 onwards anyway.
As to what you should do - it sounds like the only real reason to move her is to make things easier for the family practically. That's quite a significant reason though. If she was going to be equally happy socially it would probably be worth it. Also, she can potentially keep all her old friends too so she'll have double the socialising opportunities! Of course it may not work that way. Good luck with your decision whatever you decide!
Is she an only child? How will the decision affect your others if you have them? I would sit down with your daughter and go through all the advantages and disadvantages (unknowns) and decide together.
Thanks all. I started down this path because dd wanted to go there when she was in year 7. She had an OK start to secondary school but found the lack of sport frustrating and had some friendship issues, plus it's massive and she was just overlooked really. But now she's really found her feet and I don't think she realises how well she's doing tbh.
I haven't compared them academically which is a bit stupid. The comprehensive does very well, lots off to Russell group. I'll look.
Over 25% of exams awarded 7 or above - comp
44% 8, 9 or A* at the private school
Impossible to compare like for like really.
I think you can compare but are chosing not to. 44% A* or equivalent whereas the other only has 25% A and above so considerably lower.
It is clear you do not want her to go private from the way you are posting. Eg. That she will no longer be lovely (why wouldn't she?)
She clearly wants to go there but from yiu earlier post your views are clearly making her dither now.
You need to support her education and if you don't feel able to do that if she goes privately then leave her where she is and give her support.
I don't understand why you started this route if not invested in it. Also be prepared for backlash later if she doesn't go and feels she missed out.
That's a huge difference academically. And she wants to go, and it will play to her strength in sport and help you manage logistically as a family.
At this age she will likely change friends anyways, there are lovely girls everywhere, and smoking will certainly happen at a comprehensive too. It feels like you have personal concerns about independent education, perhaps?
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