Private school...would you?

Hi ladies and babies!

I started back at work today (boooo) and walked past a private school on the way in. A lady at my work sends her child to the school and says the fees are around the same as what she use to pay in childcare for her nursery, and that childcare vouchers cover the use of school fees too.

Now, don't get me wrong, I only pay Childminder fees because I have to, and we just get by (if that) having to pay this. But I can't help feeling like private school may be a good idea, especially as education is suffering the recession.

So my question is, if you are paying nursery fees now, would you consider paying school fees?

I came from a very 'working class' background and went to my local 'non denominational' school so I'm a bit apprehensive about 'private schoolies' as we used to scoff at them like they were all toffs..but the reality is they got better and more grades than us, and especially with higher education becoming more competitive I don't want to hinder ds's future. God he's not even one yet! Haha

thoughts ladies? Should be interesting as there are quite
a few teachers x
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  • I think we would struggle financially, but it is something we would definitely have to consider if the local state schools in the area were not any good (the school we are in the catchment of is really really awful and there is no way Haiden is going there. Saying that we will be moving next year and probably will have to move towns anyway)

    As you say though, they do have a bit of a stigma and I would be conscious of that xx
  • i teach at a private school but i dont think i would send my child, (although if money was no object then maybe i would!)
    i actually find the parents at my school hideously competitive and the little boys all talk about whose dad drives the fastest car etc etc! They all go skiiing in the easter holidays and spend the long summer holidays at their homes in southern france or Italy!....ah...maybe im just jealous!!!?

    no...in all seriousness i would like my children to grow up surrounded by children of all backgrounds, and not live a sheltered life thinking everyone is the same and as fortunate at them!

    of course there are still a lot of children i teach who are fabulous and very grounded, and are just reaping the benefits of small class sizes and lots of one to one...

    oh there are lots of pro's and con's.....!!!!!

  • Grace is nearly one and has started at the Nursery department of an independent school; I intend to send her there until she is 11.

    The nearest state primary school to me has great results but is Catholic, and, as we are not, DD will have no chance of a place. The other local schools are really no good at all.

    We are not rich, and most of my wages will be used going forward for Grace's education. I think that childcare vouchers can only be used until the term the child would be starting school anyway at age 4/5 but I could be wrong!

    The nursery fees for 3 days per week (I will be working p/t for the time being) are just over ??8kpa and school fees are around ??9-10kpa plus before/after school care where needed. Such a lot of money, eek!

    If we moved house, to an area where the state primary schools were good, then I would most likely send Grace to one of those. As it is, it's unlikely we can afford that before she is of primary school age so I would likely keep her at the independent school to avoid upheaval and hopefully move to an area with a good secondary in case.

    I went to a state primary and was lucky enough to get a scholarship to an independent high school, otherwise there is absolutely no way my family could have afforded to pay fees.

    Sorry for the essay! So many hard decisions! I shall keep any eye out for the replies image

    Em x
  • I would if we could afford it! But with 3 lo's I think we would struggle. We are lucky that ours all do (or will!) go to a very good state primary school - people move house to get into that school!

    I could talk for hours about the state of education! I have talked for hours about the various schools in our area, and which ones our children have got a chance to get into - it's a nightmare! And what shockedmummy says about some private school children is right - it's not just about the money to pay the fees - there is also considerable pressure to lead a 'rich' lifestyle - skiiing in half-term etc!

    My ideal - and what we are working to - is to be in the right area for the children to be in a good state school. The grammar schools in our area are easily as good, if not better, than private schools. I see private tutors to coach them through the 11+ in our future!!

    xx
  • I would love to send Tegan and Leo to a private school but unless we had a big win on the lottery this would never happen as we just couldn't afford the fee's.
    The primary school's around here are quite good but the secondary school is just disgraceful, they will definitely wont be getting sent there in which case we will more than likely move to a another area where the schools are better xx
  • I went to a private school for 13 years, although that was in the US so the implications are slightly different, although I do know what you mean about the type of people who can dominate a private school. The short answer for us is yes, we probably will, although possibly not for primary school. If we are still living in the area we live in at the moment, we will be in the catchment area of a reasonably good school and with a fighting chance of getting him in to an excellent one. If we move, it may become more of an issue, but I'm not sure if there will be any appropriate private schools in that area anyway, so the point may be moot.

    But there are two excellent independent secondaries in our area and, while the state school has an excellent reputation, I'm not entirely convinced (we live next to it and the students don't actually come across as either particularly bright or particularly polite, but that could just be my bias after dealing with them smoking all over my clean laundry. :rollimage We are very lucky to have the financial option when the time comes, and will do for any future children as well, less because we are incredibly wealthy than because there is some inherited money on my side which is going (via my father) towards the children's education in the first instance.

    Oh, and I'm afraid he will be learning to ski as well! image But mainly because my sister lives and works in the Colorado Rockies and is insisting that she will be teaching him when he is old enough. I'm not sure this is what is meant by it being who you know rather than what you know, though! :lol:
  • I have taught in private and state primary schools and I think there are good and bad schools in each sector. A good primary school is as good as a private school. The advantage that private schools have is the small class sizes, and also parents who are more educated (generally) so they are pushed more at home to do educational things.

    If money/catchement area etc were no object I would send my children to a good state primary school, then a state grammar or private secondary school.
  • Sorry totally gatecrashing from TTC, but this is something I have thought about already... :roll:

    I feel very strongly that I would not send my child to a private school. It's likely that OH and I would be in a position to afford it (at least for one or two children) as we both have professional careers. However for me it is a moral thing as well as a practical thing. I don't think it's right that there is a two-tier education system where those who can afford it pay extra for it. To me, excellent state education is a right (and privilige) of living in Britain, and it's up to all of us (politicians, education boards, parents and pupils) to help make it that way. That may be idealist but if you don't reach for the stars you'll never get off the ground. So I will be fully involved in my children's education, teaching them at home as well as being really involved in the school (i'm not saying others won't, i'm just saying, i'll do my bit).

    Secondly, I think about the cost of private education, and what that could pay for outside of school. Dance lessons, music lessons, cultural/learning holidays and a decent house... Children do well not only because of their school, but because of the support and lifestyle they have at home.

    Thirdly, hubby and I both went to what would probably be termed "awful" schools in "terrible" catchment areas (as a chipper young woman recently told me at a party "ewww the school you went to is simply dreadful, how on earth could you stand it?" I said that I enjoyed it, there was a broad mix of people and certainly a broader mix than those I currently spend my life with as a lawyer...ie her!!!) I don't want my children to mix with others who are all from priviliged backgrounds, and I never want to foster in them an attitude of judging others on their school (like at law at school where it was made up of 80% private schoolers who never talked to you again once they realised you weren't like them.. horrible snobbery).

    Finally, my mother, sister and many friends are teachers in the state system and are fantastic - I would love for my children to be taught by such high calibre teachers. They have a theory that (on occasion ONLY - this is not a generalisation) teachers who are not as good and can't control kids eventually migrate to private school for the easier ride... who can blame them if they do :lol:

    Discaimer: All of the above is my opinion only and is subject to change when its time to send my own kids to school image

    Cent
  • Definitely would, but unlikely to be able to afford to as we hope for three children and would want to do the same for all of them.

    I'm from a very working class background but got a music scholarship to a private secondary school. I now work in a state secondary, and even though it's an outstanding school (both in Ofsted and real terms, imo) the quality of education, the facilities and the opportunities the kids get don't compare to those I had.

    I think a lot of it has to do with class size. It doesn't matter how great a teacher you have or how much money has been spent in a department - 20 kids in a class are going to get more individual attention than 32 are.
  • I wouldn't, not in a million years! I can't help but think, "Why would I?" As coco says, there are good and bad in each sector. I fully expect to battle my way into a good primary school for my son, but I'd never pay for private school because I don't see how it's better. They have more resouces, sure, but that's it really. Class size is way better in some, but I don't know whether a class of 10 is actually better than being one in 30.

    As for the high quality of teaching - is it? Really? Private schools - as far as I understand, please correct me if I'm wrong - don't have to follow the same curriculum, or keep up to date with new initiatives, so can't they just end up stuck in the dark ages?

    All just my thoughts, no slur on anyone, happy to be referred to info that tells me otherwise!
  • I went to private schools right through. I was extremely lucky and had an excellent education. However I strongly believe that at least some state schools are as good as private schools and have their own advantages. In some ways I wish I had gone to a state school for primary school - I led a very sheltered life in those early years and had a major culture shock when I went to university.

    I personally don't think that primary schools are worth the extra money to go private if there is a good state school available - the area where we used to live in in London had awful primary schools and I would not have sent Toby to any of them. That's one of the reasons we left, as it was either move to a different area or look at private schooling, and we didn't feel we could afford private school at this point in our lives.

    The area where we live now has excellent state schools and I would be happy for Toby to go there. However if we can afford it I would love for him to go to the same (private) secondary school that I went to as I had such a wonderful time there and definitely had educational advantages - the difference in resources we had compared to state schools was significant.

    So to answer the op, in an ideal world Toby would go to a good state school for primary school and then my old (private) school for secondary, but I am also happy with state high schools in our area.

    C image
  • No. Mainly as hubby is so against it its not even an option. Plus we couldn't afford it.

    I have no issues with private schools my mums best friends son went to one he is one of those grounded ones though, he was just lucky enough to be an only child meaning his parents could afford it. But I want Dylan to mix with people from all walks of life and get a well rounded view of the world and the people that fill it!

    xx
  • if i could afford it without it being a worry/strain then i would seriously consider private school, but i suppose it depends on what the local state schools are like, if they're great, good reviews and reports etc then i wouldn't bother, but if the local schools are bit on the rubish side and could afford the private school then i'd definately go for it. mind u, up until i moved to belgium i was dead against private schools, don't knwo why really, jsut a prejudice i must've had, but in belgium all schools are private in the fact that there are no 'free' schools, and they are sort of worked around what sort of back ground u come from, ie, if ur family are all construction workers and of a low income, u'd got a tech school that would train u in a construction based job, unless u got fantastic grades where u could get a scholarship to go to the more academic schools, i still find the thought of that highly unfair as u've no chance really of changing ur future, basically if ur parents are working class u go to a working class school where u will learn a working class trade, unless u get fantastic exam results. i kinda like that about the english schooling system really, i took my 11+ and failed, but my secondary school had a grammar stream too and by the time i was 14 i was in those classes and stayed ont o do a levels, giving the opportunity to go to uni, had i grown up in belgium, i would've been stuck at the bottom as would all of my class mates, as it happens my secondary school class resulted in some teachers, doctors, carpenters, electricians, hairdressers a real mix, whcih is great.
  • Hi, I'm gatecrashing too - you have such interesting debates in Baby!

    I just thought I would share a story with you:

    Where I went to school (state comprehensive) there was also a private Catholic school, run by nuns but not especially Catholic that I could make out. Anyhoo, when I got into 6th form quite a few people joined my school from the private school, because my school offered a wider range of A levels. I remember a friend from the private school in our first A Level art lesson. She was amazed that we were using BLANK paper to draw on. She was truely gobsmacked. I asked her what she had been using at the private school and she said that they had had to use the back of paper that had already been used - like using the back of old letters the school had made too many copies of, or the back of drawings/paintings from the previous year's classes. At the time her brother had just started in the first year at the same private school, but by the end of the term my friend had convinced her mum to transfer him to my school.

    So, where you would think that paying for your child's education would guarantee a certain level of service, this might not necessarily be the case, clearly in this instance my friend, having experienced both private and state education, preferred what she got at my good old comprehensive!
  • I went to private school from the age of 6 as our local schools were really pretty poor. I was lucky and received an excellent education as I received a scholarship as my parents would not have been able to afford to send my sister and I otherwise (my sister got a bursary), so I would point out that not everyone at private school is 'privileged', some received sponsorship or have parents who sacrifice EVERYTHING to avoid a very poor state cachment. My Mum and Dad also worked with us at home and we benefitted from that too, but the local school wasn't just poor educationally, it was poor socially. Idealism is brilliant...yes we are all entitled to a good education paid for by our taxes, but I will not risk my child's education to achieve that.

    Sorry, long story short...we bought our house knowing the local schools are excellent so our son and any subsequent children will most likely go to state school, however if we couldn't have lived so conveniently I would definitely consider sending them to private school. Not all of us are lucky enough to live in great areas and I would not send my son somewhere judged to be below average unless I had absolutely no other choice.
  • I would consider it. Our local primary school is ok, but the secondary school is not good at all. We're lucky enough to have two excellent grammar schools near us, so that would be a good option if DD passes the 11+. Otherwise we would look at sending her to a private school.

    I went to private school from the age of 11. I think there are differences between schools in the private sector as there would be in the state sector. My school wasn't very flash, the majority of us came from average backgrounds, but it achieved good results. I would be less inclined to send my children to a public school.
  • We have already decided our children will be going to state primary, if the local primary where we are living is good (DH is RAF so we could feasibly be moving about a bit!), but will be sending them to private secondary - which my parents have already said they want to pay for (which I thought was awfully nice of them ha ha!!!). If they dont, we will find a way of paying for it ourselves, as its something I feel quite strongly about.

    This is what my parents did for me and my brothers, although my middle brother insisted on going to the local state school...and is the only one without any qualifications at all (me and my other brother both have degrees) and still has never had a proper job, at the grand age of 35, despite being married with kids. Yet ironically was the one who was deemed "clever" at primary and moved up a year. Obviously this is specific to our family, and the fact that the local state secondary at the time was a complete sh*thole at the time, but DH went there too nearly 10 years later when it had supposedly been overhauled, and came out with only a few Standard Grades (Scot equiv of GCSE), as the classes were so big, 60 kids per class, and he sat quietly at the back, he was plain ignored! As he did lots of sport, and behaved himself, he said he was just left to sit at the back of the class and doodle away happily to himself.

    This is the main thing for me with private to state - many state schools are just so big, with huge class sizes, its just not physically possible for the teachers to give the right level of attention to all the kids - its just the exceptionally gifted and the troublemakers who get all their attention. I worry that the same that happened to DH could happen to my children, that they get left behind, sitting at the back of the class, being average and well behaved...and ignored because of it! I know that as a parent their educational abilities and attainment are something I should be aware of, but surely the whole point of school is that they should be taught, and brought on, by professionally qualified teachers, not by me at home outwith school hours - otherwise I'm as well home schooling them!
  • I went to a private school, but we weren't well off, my parents went without a lot and were very stretched to send us there - I know we were lucky though as many would not be able to afford it even going without a lot, myself included now, I can't see where we could spare that amount of money. I grew up in the catchment area of a really awful school though, and moving to the best catchment area in our town wasn't an option for personal reasons - so I can see why my parents made the choice they did. As for mixing with people from different walks of life, I don't beleive we missed out on that - the area we lived in was certainly not filled with 'private school kids', and my mum insisted we did activities away from school to meet different people - and not everyone at the school had lots of money!
    Now I;m a parent, I sort of agree with centurion to an extent (I like the part about changing your opinion when it comes to your own children!) - I don't think there should be a need for private schools, but in some areas there is, yes education should be a right, but I don't see how putting your child in a bad school to support the state education system is best for them or actually helps the system.
    Where I live now isn't the best area but the local secondary school is actually pretty good, and schools would always factor for me when choosing where to live. If we did opt for private school. the one I'd choose is quite a way away.
    Basically I wouldn't say no to private schooling, but I'm really hoping not to go down that route.
  • G/C here! Cent, i'm in same line of work as you and I had the same experience at college of law, it was very clear who the public schoolers were as they didn't want anything to do with the likes of us! As it stands we all got training contracts and many of them didn't so their parents must have been very disappointed!

    I think there are good and bad in every sector. What annoys the hell out of me is that all of the school round by me are all religious schools, which I object to massively considering I have no religious and wouldn't want my child being taught catholicism/coe as if it was "the right religion". I would rather send my child to a private independant school rather than a religious one! x
  • My MIL wants us to send Abby to a private school, but I am dead against it. I would much rather find a good state school.

    I want Abby to grow up surrounded by a mix of different people, and to be secure with who she is. Not to feel like she doesn't belong, or like she's not as good as everyone else in her class.
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