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AIBU to want to send my DC to private school after seeing kids in park?

463 replies

Fishnchipsagain · 24/06/2015 19:16

DS is 2 so schools haven't really been on our radar yet. But the local primary is rated Outstanding so we just assumed he'd go there in due course.

This afternoon we met some friends at a park at 4pm. The park is close both to the state primary and local prep but is not one we usually go to (and we normally avoid parks at school turning out time).

The park is big but was packed with school children most of whom looked about 7 or younger, so was pretty chaotic. Most of the kids were dressed in polos and shorts or summer dresses and looked pretty much the same. However I rapidly realized that the children in one uniform were generally behaving far better than the others, so I looked at the uniforms to see which schools the kids attended.

There was a lot of pushing and shoving between the primary school kids, and one was utterly foul mouthed. These kids were also the ones who tried to shove the toddlers out of the way on the climbing frame, were clambering the wrong way up the slide, not waiting their turn or yelling at/pushing my DS and his friends if they tried to go in the play house. They took no notice of me when I suggested they wait. One picked up my son's toy and pulled the string so hard he broke it, then just chucked it down and ran off laughing. Obviously they weren't all like this, but a significant number were.

In contrast, the prep school kids we met were universally respectful and friendly to the toddlers, waiting their turn and not sliding into the child in front, one said sorry when he ran into my buggy and they generally seemed to be playing much more nicely together and have more social awareness.

AIBU to want to send my DS private after witnessing this or am I just not used to 4-7 year olds and this is normal? Ive looked on the prep school website and we could just about afford it if we scrimped and saved.

OP posts:
Sirzy · 24/06/2015 19:18

Your judging a school based on a short time in a playground after school? Yabu!

jacks11 · 24/06/2015 19:20

OP you are opening up a can of worms here!

IMO you are free to send your child to the school you feel would suit him best, whether that is private or state is irrelevant. I think judging it on the basis of this one experience may be a bit hasty though. When the time comes go and see both schools (if you can afford the prep school) and see what you think then.

formidable · 24/06/2015 19:20

Well it's entirely up to you to choose any school you want for any reason you want.

DS will be going to prep partly because the children I know from the school are lovely, confident, well behaved children and I aspire for DS to be like that.

I don't exactly think the kids at the primary are all thugs, but I've seen the school in public and the children aren't a fantastic credit to them. I know there are discipline issues at the school.

So, I wouldn't take a snapshot and decide on that basis, but getting a feel for the school and the kids is exactly how you should choose.

stevienickstophat · 24/06/2015 19:20

Oh dear, OP.

Put your fire retardant onesie on and retire to a safe distance...

formidable · 24/06/2015 19:21

Sorry I forgot to add YANBU (necessarily)

usualsuspect333 · 24/06/2015 19:21

Oh give over.

TattieHowkerz · 24/06/2015 19:21

It's your money, waste spend it how you wish.

Don't you think the greatest influence over your child's behaviour is you, though? Seeing a few boisterous kids in the park seems an inconsequential thing to base such a decision on.

EssexMummy123 · 24/06/2015 19:22

If you are seriously considering it then go and visit, a lot of schools have waiting lists so you might need to get your name down.

Yarp · 24/06/2015 19:23

Universally, you say?

That's a pretty sweeping statement! How many children were there?

Your little children whom you worry about, as we all do, will mix with all sorts of people in the course of their life. One or two will be foul-mouthed. You have over-reacted to what sounds like a bit of a stressful outing with a few not-very-well-behaved kids.

yellowcurtains · 24/06/2015 19:24

If you want your child to behave nicely, then you can teach him that yourself. I say that as someone that send their children to fee-paying schools.

Not all 'outstanding' schools are outstanding, not all independent schools are worth the money. It depends entirely on the individual schools concerned.

There are plenty of rude, selfish children that are privately educated.

LuisSuarezTeeth · 24/06/2015 19:24

One of the most important lessons you can teach your child is not to judge a book by it's cover.

kinkyfuckery · 24/06/2015 19:25

I think the parents need to take a lot more responsibility for their child's behaviour than the school do!

Mrsjayy · 24/06/2015 19:26

Our local private secondary has a huge drug problem send your child where youlike but you cant judge the state school on a few kids shoving and a swear word

Ange80 · 24/06/2015 19:27

Omfg, what a snob you are, just wait until your little darling is 7 years old, you'll see.

vindscreenviper · 24/06/2015 19:27

Are you only planning on having the one DC? Because if you have to scrimp and save there's not much chance that you'll be able to afford two sets of fees. And unless you want your DCs mixing with these rough types when they are older you are going to have to stay private the whole way through and fees can be almost double the cost of prep by age 13+.

BlinkingHeck · 24/06/2015 19:27

My children are educated at a state school (currently graded inadequate)
But they don't behave like that.
Privately educated kids can be brats too you know.

Artistic · 24/06/2015 19:28

YANBU! However if you look at the entire cohort you will find a few such kids at prep and vice-versa. Largely kids at prep are good on manners & speaking to younger children and adults. I must say that they stand no chance when it comes to 'fighting' for resources in a common playing field with primary school kids. They tend to get elbowed out due to 'waiting for their turn' and saying 'please'.Grin

Yarp · 24/06/2015 19:29

I don't think your sample size was statistically significant OP

formidable · 24/06/2015 19:29

The OP isn't suggesting all private schools have better behaved kids than all state schools.

But given two contrasting groups of children, I'd rather my child went to school with the generally more well behaved ones.

It sounds as though, in this case, from this snapshot, this private school may have better discipline and nicer kids, generally speaking, than that specific primary.

usualsuspect333 · 24/06/2015 19:30

That's exactly what the OP is suggesting.

JassyRadlett · 24/06/2015 19:30

I think a lot depends on the individual schools.

Private education is not a guarantee that your child will not try to nick artefacts from Auschwitz as a teenager.

prorsum · 24/06/2015 19:31

I think you've already made your choice. Judging by the tone of your post.

Yarp · 24/06/2015 19:31

I think she was, formidable.

I also think maybe she noticed the rude ones from the state school more than the non-rude ones. And maybe overlooked any bad behaviour from the prep ones. That's what people do when they are looking at a really small group of people, and interpreting on the basis of a pre-conceived idea 9and normal anxiety about 'big kids')

TiggyD · 24/06/2015 19:32

I've started doing a lot of work in a private girls school. Wow. I was initially creeped out at their consistent polite and courteous behaviour. There's not a doubt in my mind that if I was lucky enough to have the money, and had children, I would get them into a private school.

usualsuspect333 · 24/06/2015 19:32

You think state school children don't know how to wait their turn and say please?

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