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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:
formidable · 24/06/2015 19:32

Doesn't everyone choose a primary school on the basis of the feel of the school as you go round it?

Including the behaviour of the kids?

I'd choose a state primary with polite, well spoken kids over a state primary with rude, sweary kids any time.

The fact that the school is private in this case is irrelevant.

DawnOfTheDoggers · 24/06/2015 19:33

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yarp · 24/06/2015 19:34


She didn't go round the school. She was in a playground at end of school

besttalk · 24/06/2015 19:34

Haha, how ignorant of you OP.

My DD goes to a state school and she is the most well behaved, polite and respectful child (but I'm bias).

You teach a child all of the above. I could say the same as you have said, OP, about the local prep school. Some of them are ridiculously obnoxious, entitled and rude. BUT the majority are very nice children.

formidable · 24/06/2015 19:35

Yes,I'm get that Yarp.

Which is why I said it was a snapshot. But, if she goes round the schools and notices the same thing, then why not choose the school with the better behaved kids?

Wellthen · 24/06/2015 19:35

Children can be horrible in one hundred ways. The lovely prep school kids may be nasty emotional and psychological bullies. Perhaps they steal or destroy other people's things. You can't know.

It can be depressing to think 'my child will be subjected to that' but remember negative experiences are part of life. They need to learn to deal with all types of people.

I wouldn't base your choice on this alone. Is it worth the money just so they learn 'fuck' at 13 rather than 7? They'll learn it eventually.

Yarp · 24/06/2015 19:36


Yes, fair enough, if she did that, then I'd agree.

UglyBugaz · 24/06/2015 19:37

You can teach your children not to be like that though, completely up to you what school you put them in. If you can afford it then go ahead

formidable · 24/06/2015 19:38

Believe me, the kids at our prep know the word fuck.

They also know that they don't yell it around the park or they get in trouble.

Are we going to get 200 posters who say that their child goes to state school and is polite, therefore the OP is BU?

Because that would be pointless and prove nothing.

vindscreenviper · 24/06/2015 19:38

Jassy I've just been reading about that, what were they thinking!

SamVJ888 · 24/06/2015 19:39

Think you need to base your decision on more than this one day. I was state educated and my parents taught me right from wrong, manners and respect. Daughter is privately educated and I taught her the same, she's been in private education since she was 3 (she's now 13) because it was the best school for her but I can assure you there are kids at her school (and patents) that I'd cross the road to avoid!

Yarp · 24/06/2015 19:39


Much like the OPs premise is pointless and proves nothing...

LapsedTwentysomething · 24/06/2015 19:39

Save your money and choose your state school carefully. My DD's primary is full of lovely, respectful and considerate children, and the older children take such good care of the younger ones.

That said, I would never send my DCs to the state secondary I have just taught in. Poor discipline does have a massive impact on education, not just results. I will be looking very carefully at pupils' behaviour in public as a general indicator before I decide where to send them. Private is not an option for us.

By the way, don't invest too much in an Ofsted label. DD's school is about to be downgraded to adequate but I'm more than happy with it.

SamVJ888 · 24/06/2015 19:40

*parents (bloody predictive text)!

BrilliantDayForTheRace · 24/06/2015 19:40

You can't afford it therefore YABU.

Fees rise every year. + trips and lunches and uniform.

If you can barely afford pre prep you won't be able to afford prep and secondary and then you'll be in a really hard situation

IonaNE · 24/06/2015 19:41

LuisSuarezTeeth: One of the most important lessons you can teach your child is not to judge a book by it's cover.
Or even its cover?

YANBU, OP, I would also send my children to private schools if I was in the position of having to make a decision about this.

To the posters who suggested that parents have the biggest influence on children: children spend most of the day at school and peers have the biggest influence from about age 8 upwards. The best thing you can do for your child is to ensure the peer group holds the same values as you do.

Mrsjayy · 24/06/2015 19:42

And yeah what others said manners and behaviour come from home, i had boys in front of me last year effing and blinding 1 saw me and said to his pal stop fucking swearing Grin and said sorry to me for swearing

Timetoask · 24/06/2015 19:42

It really depends on the school and general education of the families that go to the school (not all state schools are the same and not all private schools are the same) but yes I would say that the behavior and manners of the children at leisure time is a good indication of how they behave in general and yes I would choose a school that looks to instill the values and ethos I believe in.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds · 24/06/2015 19:42

I don't think you are being unreasonable.

I think you should look for the school that is the best fit for your child and your family. That could be independent, it could be state, religious, or not, sporty, academic, close to home, etc.

If your experience today means your interest has been piqued about the independent sector, I would just say that that is one more factor to consider and maybe one more school to investigate.

Britain has some of the best schools in the world - and I include state schools in that statement - and we are lucky to have so much choice.

Coconutty · 24/06/2015 19:43

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yarp · 24/06/2015 19:43


It wasn't really necessary to point that out, was it really/ Did you do it to be patronising? Go on, admit it Wink

OddBoots · 24/06/2015 19:43

If you want to and can afford to send your child private then you are not being unreasonable, whatever the reason.

It's a very expensive option though and most of us get by just fine bringing up our children to behave how we want them to while using the state system.

BreadmakerFan · 24/06/2015 19:43

Ha ha ha ha ha

My child is at an independent school. There are some really badly behaved kids there. Also, there are badly behaved kids at the local state school too.

What a surprise. Badly behaved kids in all situations Hmm.

Cumbrae · 24/06/2015 19:45

You can send your children to any school you want but IME good behaviour and manners are taught by parents not schools.

My beautifully behaved and well mannered child told me on the way home from a recent garden party that thanks to the 9 yo privately educated daughter of another party attendee she now knew the words fuck and shit so personally I'm still happy with our decision to state educate.

ASAS · 24/06/2015 19:47

"the prep school kids we met were universally respectful and friendly to the toddlers,"

Of course they were Hmm

As breadmaker states, good and bad in all situations. Plus the older your son gets the wilder he'll get in the park. Although I am sorry another child broke his toy, that's definitely not very nice for either of you.

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