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Sending our only girl to private school to give her an advantage

(38 Posts)
SouthPole Sat 04-Nov-17 06:40:48

We have three kids. Boy 4, girl 7 and boy 9.

We are considering private school but it is looking likely that we'll only be able to manage it for one of them now, perhaps two.

There's obviously a lot for us to think about on that front, cries of favouritism etc in the future but I went to private school and my sister didn't and it's all ended ok there.

So I don't want this post to be about sending one sibling and not another, nor the virtues of private v state.

My husband would like to send our girl. She's not very confident but is a talented artist and story teller. She's also extremely quick -
Picking up on the elder one's work and answering the questions when we do homework or spellings. But the reason is her confidence.

Girls do better in all girls schools.

He wants to send her to give her the head start that will bring her into line with her male counters. It's not an argument I've considered before but I am now.

What do you think?

Now, time for me to go back to deciding what to do / one in private and the others not or all three remaining in state so that I can't be accused of bias.


meditrina Sat 04-Nov-17 06:49:20

Have you actually looked arond any secondary schools for any of them you?

Are there any single sex state schools nearby?

Mattresstestermax Sat 04-Nov-17 06:58:22

I would look at schools very very carefully. Although a long time ago my mum felt like her private girls school really dented her confidence. They weren’t in the same position financially as her peers (how do you feel about paying for trips etc that your boys won’t be offered?) and at the school in question there were too “types” - sporty and high achievers. Girls not in these two groups were definitely second class citizens.

This will vary a lot from school to school but I would be wary of thinking a private school is automatically confidence boosting

Needmoresleep Sat 04-Nov-17 07:05:47

If you can only afford one, I would save your money until one really needs to be moved, whether as a result if buying, failure to be stretched, subject choice or whatever.

Your motives sound odd. The MN cliches that single sex schools are better for girls, and that paying for education buys a child advantage are not necessarily true. Paying buys choice but look at the choices first.

MonkeyJumping Sat 04-Nov-17 07:08:56

I was at a private girls school and a friend was there with her brother in state school because the parents had decided girls needed the advantages. They were an openly very activist/feminist family - in fact I vaguely knew the brother as well and he seemed v supportive of the decision.

It makes sense to me: if you can only afford to send one, then look at your schools, look at your children and decide who would benefit most.

MonkeyJumping Sat 04-Nov-17 07:10:37

Posted too soon: a girl with less confidence may well benefit from being in an all girls school, although as PP has said you can't assume that and it will depend on the school.

Stressyseller Sat 04-Nov-17 07:12:46

I know you said you don't want comments about only sending one but obviously that has to be a major issue to consider. I've known families where everyone was fine with that, but also families where there ends up being major jealousy.

I don't think I would have liked an all girls school - for whatever reason I seem to get on better in mixed environments and currently work in a male dominated profession. So I think while many girls do very well in single sex ed it isn't necessarily best for all girls.

I've sent my dc to co Ed private schools up to 18 as I want them to be able to learn to manage with the opposite sex from prep up, but I know it's a very personal choice.

tinypop4 Sat 04-Nov-17 07:14:42

I agree that girls can do better in an all-girls environment but there are a lot of excellent Mixed state schools around. In your shoes I would be looking at what I could do to access excellent state comps (is she Grammar material?) so that you were not in the position of choosing private for 1 out of 3 children- this could cause resentment later if your girl does a lot better than your boys and they perceive this as a direct result of her being allowed a better education. I have seen this situation occur.

SandSnakeofDorne Sat 04-Nov-17 07:15:06

Girls do do better in single sex schools, but girls also now perform better than boys overall. So if it's about academic achievement then it may be that one of your boys would benefit more. I think you could only make that decision based on the schools available to you locally and their fit with your children's personality types. Personally unless any of them are unhappy or underperforming I would spend the money on a fair distribution of extra curricular activities and have private school as a back up plan in case one of your kids needs it.

cozzietoes Sat 04-Nov-17 07:16:53

I couldn’t send 1 out of 3, or worse 2 out of 3.

And certainly not purely because one child is female.

That will breed resentment for sure.

In this day and age you do not need to pay for education to bring a females in line with males hmm

Unless you are going to give all three the same opportunities and financial backing I would forget it.

Ohffsmalcom Sat 04-Nov-17 07:19:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leilaniii Sat 04-Nov-17 07:20:28

I would disagree that your DD is disadvantaged because she's female. Girls have been overtaking boys academics calls for a while now.

I would not send one if I couldn't afford to send them all.

Bluntness100 Sat 04-Nov-17 07:25:59

I think it’s very hard to ask people to comment on this without considering the wider context.

I privately educated my daughter, I did it to give her every advantage I could, however I would not have done it had I more than one child. I strongly disagree a girl is disadvantaged against boys anymore, in fact the tide is turning the other way.

For me it would be all or none.

sashh Sat 04-Nov-17 07:29:06

Find the right school for each child.

I went to an all girls school (state) but it was not the right school for me and took my low self confidence down to 0. I was miserable there.

There is also how will she cope if she is the only one at private? Will she feel pressure to out do her brothers?

Have you considered state boarding schools? They are mostly but not always grammar schools, the state provides the education you just pay for the boarding part. It might make it more affordable for all three. I know you didn't say boarding you said private.

But as I said, pick the right school for your children.

user1499786242 Sat 04-Nov-17 07:30:56

Is this a joke?

Believeitornot Sat 04-Nov-17 07:31:33

On average girls do better at single sex schools.

That’s on average. Which means that some do worse and some do better. Plus some do better at mixed schools.

Wait until your dd is older before making a judgement.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 04-Nov-17 07:42:45

I was the only one in my family who went to an all -girls private school. I definitely did better doing that than I would have done at a mixed state school, but probably also better than at an all girls state school as well. We did have that option then, but friends who went there didn't have the advantages I did being at the private school.

My siblings did not go to private school - they didn't want to, and one of them would quite probably not have passed the entrance exam. But they absolutely did NOT want to go. They went to the mixed comprehensive instead.

I don't for one second think they envied me - in fact they probably got more than I did in other ways because my parents tried to even things up; but it may have created yet another divide between us.

SnowyBerries Sat 04-Nov-17 07:42:52

I think private school as a back up if things are going badly for any of them in the state sector is a good idea.

Believeitornot Sat 04-Nov-17 07:44:03

On average girls do better at single sex schools.

That’s on average. Which means that some do worse and some do better. Plus some do better at mixed schools.

Wait until your dd is older before making a judgement.

VeryPunny Sat 04-Nov-17 07:44:16

You say it all turned out okay wrt your sister and you being at different schools. Does your sister share that opinion?

I must admit that since our DD started school, the scales have well and truly fallen from my eyes regarding private schools. You’re paying for many things, and a lot of it is social cachet. I don’t think you get the best teaching in privat schools - it’s far easier for a mediocre teacher to get good results with smart children and parental support.

Basically what I am saying is as parents I think many people don’t really know what constitutes a good education, or teaching. But fundamentally I would struggle to send one private and the others state, unless there were a very compelling reason.

flyingpigsinclover Sat 04-Nov-17 07:45:57

I we t to a private, very competitive girls school and it wrecked my self esteem so I'd say no, have a careful look at the schools and their ethos.

Believeitornot Sat 04-Nov-17 07:46:22

On average girls do better at single sex schools.

That’s on average. Which means that some do worse and some do better. Plus some do better at mixed schools.

Wait until your dd is older before making a judgement.

Believeitornot Sat 04-Nov-17 07:46:24

On average girls do better at single sex schools.

That’s on average. Which means that some do worse and some do better. Plus some do better at mixed schools.

Wait until your dd is older before making a judgement.

madeyemoodysmum Sat 04-Nov-17 07:55:51

All the girls that love the girls school near us at 11 yo. Outstanding ofsted etc hated it by the time they were 14 due to cliques and bitchness.

I'd think very carefully about girls school if it's self esteem your worried about. They can be even more competitive than a mixed school.

Are there not any excellent mixed near you?

Also I think it would cause long term resentments along the way.

cakeandcustard Sat 04-Nov-17 08:27:22

I also have two boys and a girl and the option to send the girl to a single sex private school (only as I would get a discount on the fees due to working there)

We decided against as I couldn't live with the sheer financial investment in one child over the others, it just doesn't seem fair.

Although the school is lovely and gets good results, my DD will be just as able to achieve at the good comprehensive down the road. I also worry that even though the academic outcomes are good in a single sex environment, back in the real world girls have to compete with men and segregating them at an early age does not equip them with the life skills and confidence necessary. They are wonderfully cared for but as a result possibly not very resilient.

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