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Major Public Schools

115 replies

Izwizi · 05/10/2022 12:16

I myself went to a major public school (Cheltenham Ladies) and haven’t chosen to do the same for my own children for various reasons.

my SIL, who can be a bit highly strung, has two sons who currently attend a nice state primary. She has announced that she’ll be sending them to the (big name) boys public school about 15 minutes away. I have. A lot of experience with this school and I do not think her boys are the right fit. They are lovely boys who I adore but I don’t think they’d cope there. My SIL has hit the roof. IL’s tend to pander to her a bit and Have suggested to her that I was unreasonable in my advice.

DH and IL’s attended a good Grammar school and I just don’t think she appreciates how robust they’ll need to be to jump straight from a cosy village state primary to a major public school. Happy to be corrected if people feel I’m being unreasonable?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

XelaM · 05/10/2022 12:18

Have they passed the entrance exam? If not, your "advice" is very premature and unnecessary

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Softleftpowerstance · 05/10/2022 12:19

Won’t the school make this decision via admissions? Unless it’s not selective and is under subscribed, in which case they’ll be fine.

You sound like you want SIL to stay in her lane.

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Izwizi · 05/10/2022 12:19

Yes they are bright but they will be eaten alive there.

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HappyHamsters · 05/10/2022 12:20

Why dont you think they will fit in

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Lovemelovemydoggie · 05/10/2022 12:20

Eaten alive? In what sense?

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TeenDivided · 05/10/2022 12:20

Are you saying the school has a bullying problem?

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Izwizi · 05/10/2022 12:21

‘Stay in her lane’? That’s an interesting comment. She is choosing the wrong school for the personality of her children. I suggested other private schools (which perform better academically) that I felt would be better. I just want my nephews to enjoy their time at school.

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TeenDivided · 05/10/2022 12:22

How up to date is your knowledge?

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Izwizi · 05/10/2022 12:23

not necessarily bullying but extremely prestigious with very very wealthy children. Extremely robust boys. DN’s are sweet, sensitive and not into sport. She has already said she would not be able to stretch to the kinds of school trips they have. She’s picking the school for all the wrong reasons.

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iloveruby · 05/10/2022 12:23

It depends on the school but I don't think it is unreasonable to worry about such a move - I would expect culturally it would be a very big change for your nephews.

That isn't to say they couldn't adjust but they may need more support than those coming from a prep etc.

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Splutteramo · 05/10/2022 12:24

You gave your advice now leave them to it.

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Izwizi · 05/10/2022 12:25

I left school in the early 2000’s but have friends who send their kids to school there. The vast majority of the boys board and she does not plan for them to board.

I held back but tried to explain that grammar schools and very traditional boarding schools are not similar. There are lovely schools in abundance that would be perfect for them.

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iloveruby · 05/10/2022 12:25

Just seen your update - if she can't even afford to pay for them to do the school trips etc then I think she is setting them up for a pretty hard time.

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Newusernameaug · 05/10/2022 12:28

This has zero to do with you - this is just your opinion and no one asked for it. In future I’d mind my own business!

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Izwizi · 05/10/2022 12:29

I disagree newuser, ask for my opinion and I’ll give you an honest answer.

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iloveruby · 05/10/2022 12:30

Newusernameaug · 05/10/2022 12:28

This has zero to do with you - this is just your opinion and no one asked for it. In future I’d mind my own business!

This isn't a random person the OP met in the supermarket - this is her family, who presumably shared their plans with her.

What should the OP do, just say nothing and let her nephews suffer the consequences?

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HappyHamsters · 05/10/2022 12:32

Its obviously better if they go to a school that offers their interests but they will need to pass exams for boarding and grammar schools and may not be offered a place in either. How old are they now. What does their dad and the boys, think is best.

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HappyHamsters · 05/10/2022 12:34

What reason does she have for wanting her boys to go to that school has she taken them for a visit, are they down for their prep school.

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Anothermother3 · 05/10/2022 12:34

Your motives sound correct and your arguments are thoughtful and valid. Finding a school where a child thrives vs just about survives would be the obvious choice. Hopefully she will see your motives when she’s calmed down.

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Whatacarryonthisis · 05/10/2022 12:36

Doesn’t matter what we all think

You’ve said your piece of your sil doesn’t want to listen then that’s up to her

she can always move them at a later date if she realises her error

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Palmfrond · 05/10/2022 12:43

I went to a major public school, a long time ago now. I’m sure many many things are radically different, but coming from a middle middle class background (parents did not pay any where near full whack), yes the discrepancy between me and the fabulously rich, entitled and often either braying or snide wankers I went to school with was difficult. I did quite well socially during term time, but during the holidays they were partying together in Chelsea, Chamonix, the Bahamas, I was shopping for new undies with my mum in Brixton arcade.

BUT DONT WORRY IM NOT BITTER!! ha ha

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latetothefisting · 05/10/2022 12:51

It depends did she specifically ask you for your advice? In which case she can't complain. Or did she say she was thinking of x school and you jumped in?

The way you've worded the advice is that the boys are not the right fit for the school. She could have taken it as criticism of her kids. Might it have gone better if you'd instead criticised the school e.g. "oh really? I haven't heard great things about that school, my experience is that kids who don't board and can't afford to go on all the school trips are excluded. Plus you know it really focuses on sport - x is so good at music it would be a pity if he missed out."

But really its not your business. You've provided your view, she's the parent, it's her decision. Besides which the kids might not get in. If they do get in they might thrive - lots of kids who dont have all the private or grammar option you/she has go to a "lovely gentle primary" and then have to sink or swim in a giant, rough comp. If they really struggle they can always transfer to a different school.

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LuciaPopp · 05/10/2022 12:52

I think you should massively back off. It's one thing to talk about your experience of a school (and it's not clear to me in what capacity you have this experience- if it's as a schoolgirl knowing boys 20 years ago, it's probably not very helpful), quite another to do so in terms that make other people "hit the roof". Why should you be the person to determine where your nephews should go to school rather than their own parents?

Plus, if you phrased it in terms of "I went to a major public school and therefore know more about it than a mere grammar school girl" I imagine you came across pretty poorly.

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BBBBMushroom · 05/10/2022 12:58

DH went to a major public school, he was very sporty and ended up in the rowing team for his Cambridge college his family were wealthy but his best mates Dad was CEO of a bank and lived in a Manor House with full staff DH family
had a big house with a housekeeper.

There will always be someone richer but I know the kind of school you mean because DH has talked about it in detail. DH said he would never send DS to a boys school. Our local mixed independent school is crap so we sent DS to the local comp because the closest decent mixed independent school is miles away. DH has always thought that he was on the back foot because he hadn’t mixed with girls much when at school.

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ChnandlerBong · 05/10/2022 12:59

It's not really you're business though and surely your knowledge of the school is 20 years out of date?

Plus surely no one can go straight from a village primary to a big public school -where will they go for year 7 and year8?

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