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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:
gwenneh · 28/06/2015 09:23

I've just done a very large database migration for a recruitment/consulting firm and the majority of CVs I imported have schools on them. Just went back in to have a look at the 20+ year professionals on the file, and the overwhelming majority (about 78%) have schools on.

I know it's anecdata, but I'm just saying I've rarely seen a CV without an education section giving schools. The older professionals tend to just give names and dates where those who have just come out of education also tend to give results. I've also had at least two post-grad jobs where not only was I asked about my education, but I had to provide a copy of my degree (and for the one in Ireland, a copy of the results with all of my grades).

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 09:23

I think that many send them with that view in mind Taz-especially if they were state educated themselves. My friends who were privately educated are using the state system because they can't afford private. The ones who are using private were state educated themselves and perceive it to be an advantage. Since the 'children' are now between 20 and 35 yrs you can see that it hasn't made any difference.

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 09:29

Trying hard to think why a 45 yr old architect,with a fantastic portfolio, would need to list his schools before he was 18 yrs - or why anyone would care. If he had been to a grotty school it would work hugely in his favour- showing grit and determination, rather than well heeled parents.

gwenneh · 28/06/2015 09:35

Can't give you the reasons why, I can only say that they do -- I'm looking at a STEM-specific recruitment database, but again, even though it's a fairly large sample I'm not reading too much into it. I don't know if the agents or companies that use the database are looking at that data but it's definitely there.

The reason I ask if it's a "thing" is that I'm not a UK native, so CV writing isn't something that comes naturally to me.

Taz1212 · 28/06/2015 09:36

Mehitabel6 That is just depressing. I'm not from the UK but we went private because I was less than impressed by the Scottish Curriculum for Mediocrity and one of the big selling points for the private schools where we live is that they are not bound by that curriculum. It had nothing to do with buying the "right" education so my DCS can have the "right" life. I'd run a mile if I came across someone like Lotus IRL- no offence to Lotus I don't think she's approve of me either. Grin

(I was state educated at a fantastic state school. I was supposed to go private because everyone on my father's side goes private, it's just the done thing. I refused and sat at the school interview refusing to answer any questions. I don't think my mother ever forgave me for that. Grin )

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 09:45

It isn't actually depressing. It is being made into either/or when in reality it is merely an extra choice if you can afford it.
Lots of people use both- either because they can only afford a few years private and they decide where it has the best advantage, or they start and run out of funds.
Many use a state 6th form, because contrary to what Lotus says, it can help get into universities who want to be seen taking more state entrants.
Some people send one child and the others to state. I looked into it for one child because it would have benefited him,but in the event the comprehensive got their act together and it wasn't necessary.

Whether you put schools on CVs is irrelevant - I can't see that it matters and may well work in your favour if you went to a state school, speak nicely and don't keep your coal in the bath! It shows that you didn't have a special advantage.

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 09:47

My nephew has been in private education from 3 yrs to 18yrs. He is very pleasant and has done well. You can't distinguish him from state educated DC of friends.

gwenneh · 28/06/2015 09:50

Lots of people use both- either because they can only afford a few years private and they decide where it has the best advantage, or they start and run out of funds.

That's our plan. We decided to use the local independent school through lower juniors as we can afford it and figure that's the best place for DS to be while he's learning how to learn. As I said earlier I'm not from the UK and DH went to private schools so we had absolutely no experience with state schools here, and so we just decided to stick with what we knew.

Nothing to do with behaviour, accents (although my MIL did admit some years ago that's why she sent DH to specific schools, the one my DC attend being one of them) or advantages.

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 10:00

My nephew's father can afford it because he has a top job in London, even though he went to a secondary modern school. He has always spoken nicely and had good table manners etc despite this!!

LotusLight · 28/06/2015 10:11

It's not a major issue and we all know very successful clever people in good jobs who earn a lot who went to state schools and if you are the best, best exam results, most impressive CV etc then it is not a big deal but yes sometimes it comes up and people check on linkedin to see school and university and want to speak to you on the telephone or see you on a youtube video to check if you sound like someone who will fit in with their particular client base. I am happy however confirm that my son's school and university were not relevant when he was recruited by Royal Mail for the job as post man, at least as far as I know.

Taz1212 · 28/06/2015 10:13

I think it's depressing to try to manage your child into a certain path in life- I.e. The right school with the right people into the right university to the right job.

LotusLight · 28/06/2015 10:18

That is the opposite of private school! For me schooling for the children was enabling them to haev a massive choice of hobbies - the girls have done polo, riding, swimming, choirs, the boys had/ have music scholarships and they have had some lovely inspiring teachers, beautiful grounds, lakes and the like. It is about education for life. I am not saying you don't get those things in state schools - you can if you pick carefully, but no way have I sought to buy a posh £100k job for my children. I have no problems with the £20k postman son and if he's not materialistic - that's brilliant. You need to find what makes you satisfied in life and private schools enable that better than state schools. They give more choice as of course does your mother earning a lot of money or being happy or being healthy or all 3.

WhattodowithMum · 28/06/2015 10:18

When we say "school" we mean secondary school, right?

Obviously people put down their degrees and where they got them.

My DH both have master's degrees. We both include undergraduate institution/degree, and master's degree/institution. Neither of us puts down our secondary school (He went private, I went state.)

Taz1212 · 28/06/2015 10:34

In most of your posts, you give the complete opposite impression,Lotus.

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 10:40

I can't believe the time I am wasting! I shall go back to smile, nod and ignore.
For those reading, with youngest children, there is no need to be depressed - private education is just an extra choice for a minority. You can do just as well without it. Your degree and work experience count. Your school does not and could just as easily work against you if employers are trying to prove they are not using the 'old boy network'.
I am not against private schools, I can see occasions where I might have used them. In fact when I was in the grammar school area with one child I was going to and had done all the preliminary groundwork. There was no way that I was sending him to a grammar or sec mod.We then moved to an area with excellent comprehensives and I had more children so couldn't afford it. If I lived in London I think I would scrape together enough money, if I could, but thankfully I don't live in London.

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 10:42

I am astounded that you can say 'hand on heart' that you are happy he is a postman. I can only assume that you think it a short interim.

Littleham · 28/06/2015 10:48

We would definitely struggle to find a polo club. Darn it. Holding up the white flag. Wink

Starbrite00 · 28/06/2015 11:05

My husband went a famous private school and the stories he tells me Confused I would never have gotten away with the things they did.
Also my grandmother taught at the local private school and the shops on the town had restrictions on the children at lunch and break times because they had a lot of thefts.
Just because you go to private school doesn't mean the children will be better behaved.
Money doesn't by class.

Starbrite00 · 28/06/2015 11:06

My husband went a famous private school and the stories he tells me Confused I would never have gotten away with the things they did.
Also my grandmother taught at the local private school and the shops on the town had restrictions on the children at lunch and break times because they had a lot of thefts.
Just because you go to private school doesn't mean the children will be better behaved.
Money doesn't buy class.

Littleham · 28/06/2015 11:15

Tell the stories, tell the stories. Bored Littleham waiting in for builders

LotusLight · 28/06/2015 11:21

Hang on I have never used the phrase "hand on heart". It sounds a rather working class kind of phrase so please don't attribute it to me by putting it in quotes and saying I said it!

Like all normal parents I want the children to be happy. I think it's wonderful my immigrant cleaner's son is doing the LPC course my daughters did and my son is a postman - that is real social mobility in both directions. I am not against it at all.

Yes, I think my son would find it easier to buy a house in the SE if he were not a postman but I am always more interested in people's happiness and health and the things that make me and most people happy are eating healthy foods, sunshine, walking, carrying heavy loads and the like all of which you get in spades as a postman. If I were ashamed or disappointed in him I'd not be saying he was a postman. It would be some kind of dark secret. You give your children as much choice and opportunities as you can and then they choose what suits them. It is about allowing them to make those choices as their own choices without parental meddling. I am a very hands off parent in some senses. My parents were the same - they bought us our education and then left us to get on with it.

Littleham · 28/06/2015 11:47

I didn't know 'hand on heart' was a phrase confined to one group of people. Shamefaced LumpenproletariatBlush

Mehitabel6 · 28/06/2015 13:30

I never suggested that you did use the phrase, Lotus, it was my phrase. Quite fascinated to find it is a working class phrase.
It doesn't surprise me at all that if someone gets a highly paid job to send their child to an expensive school to get a high paid job to have children to send to an expensive school to.......... That at some point one doesn't get off the wheel and think ' there has to be more to life..... '

WhattodowithMum · 28/06/2015 14:59

Ah! Found a link to selection by class, very interesting:

A quote:
I think a lot of what they're looking for when they're looking for with social skills—or “polish”—is conformity to this particular way of interacting that's very common in upper-middle-class, upper-class social circles.

A professor from the Kellogg School of Management (a prestigious institution in the US) basically backs up Lotus's view of how the world works. To be fair the prof sees it as a problem to be fixed.

Sparklingbrook · 28/06/2015 15:01

I hand on heart cannot believe this thread is still going. Grin

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