Private School

YamiKuriboh

Assistant Pro
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
127
Location
Birmingham
Visit site
Is it worth saving and sending kids to private school? I have searched the forum and I couldn’t find this discussed anywhere.

It’s a question I keep asking myself. I need to commit and start saving now if it’s something that I want to do. Golf is an expensive hobby and is something that would possibly have to go as well as long haul holidays and other ‘luxuries’. It would be difficult, but we could afford it possibly if we tried. We’d need to run through the finances in more detail

I’m quite torn. On the one hand the state schools near me aren’t that bad, on the other hand there are reams of statistics about how children who go to private school do better academically. Lower class sizes, great facilities etc. I want to a state school myself and did ok but then again a lot of people I went to school with are doing pretty badly. Then there’s options like private secondary rather than primary to save for a few years. Why are kids and education so confusing!
 

Dibby

Assistant Pro
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
693
Visit site
I don't have an answer, it's something I am pondering myself at the moment. Things I have considered:

  • Is the private school itself better, or is it selection bias in that the parents who send children to private school focus more on their child's education than (some not all) parents who send their children to state schools.
  • As above, private schools can choose what exams are entered so is there some selection bias in the stats?
  • Anecdotally the privately educated people I know tend to be more confident (even when wrong) and better at things like presentations. Are all these traits desirable, and are there other ways to achieve these?
  • The cost isn't just the fees, remember there will be kit, extra classes like music etc, sports and trips. Can you afford all these too?
  • Is it better to be the poorest kid in private school, or be at least average in a state school?
  • Could the money be better spent on other things, extra tuition etc,
  • Even non-academic items like holidays help children develop, through experiences, do you think it is worth giving up these?
  • What age does the benefit come, eg is it worth state school up to a certain age and then private.
There are a whole load more too, but these are the big ones that go through my mind and might be good discussion topics.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,195
Visit site
You will know your children - when they get to the age they could go to private school you will know whether they would be suited to a private school environment - or indeed whether they might benefit from the school-of-life exposure state school gives. Private school does not necessarily a perfect and rounded young person make. When a teen my son's circle of friends comprised both state and private educated lads, there was use of soft drugs in the group - the source of these drugs was not through the state educated lads. You just need to be aware...you will know your children.

And you need to consider how your children will want to be perceived by others...
 
U

User62651

Guest
Tricky one. I don't want my kids to board but would consider a fee paying private school if there was one nearby they could day attend. There isn't so that settles that for me.
Our local state school is ok but they're struggling for staff.

There is the age old UK class struggle tied into this. In Halls of Residence at Uni I stayed in the cliques of privately educated kids was obviously separate from state educated, clear as day. Some crossover but a definite social exclusion that can continue through life imo. See it with RugbyU v Football too.

Not a big fan of elitism and I abhor snobbery but I'm a realist, if there's a market for private schooling, which there is, then people who can afford it will use it both for possible better (if sheltered) education but I think moreso for status as a private school education does still open more doors for you in certain fields and social circles, even if it shouldn't in 2019. The 'old boy network' is still strong and impactful on openings, jobs and prospects in certain fields and does improve your chances of getting into certain institutions like Oxbridge for example. However I think if you are going into fields such as medicine or engineering or IT then what school you went to doesn't matter so much when job seeking as if you were going into the City/Banking or Estate/land management or Officer training in RAF/Army for example where background and accent still seem to have an impact, there is bias there.

The 'charitable' status of these expensive schools should be addressed, they are businesses and should pay tax properly imo, if you're taking in such large fees why is that charitable? - govt need to sort that but won't as it's full of alumni from said schools.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,195
Visit site
Tricky one. I don't want my kids to board but would consider a fee paying private school if there was one nearby they could day attend. There isn't so that settles that for me.
Our local state school is ok but they're struggling for staff.

There is the age old UK class struggle tied into this. In Halls of Residence at Uni I stayed in the cliques of privately educated kids was obviously separate from state educated, clear as day. Some crossover but a definite social exclusion that can continue through life imo. See it with RugbyU v Football too.

Not a big fan of elitism and I abhor snobbery but I'm a realist, if there's a market for private schooling, which there is, then people who can afford it will use it both for possible better (if sheltered) education but I think moreso for status as a private school education does still open more doors for you in certain fields and social circles, even if it shouldn't in 2019. The 'old boy network' is still strong and impactful on openings, jobs and prospects in certain fields and does improve your chances of getting into certain institutions like Oxbridge for example. However I think if you are going into fields such as medicine or engineering or IT then what school you went to doesn't matter so much when job seeking as if you were going into the City/Banking or Estate/land management or Officer training in RAF/Army for example where background and accent still seem to have an impact, there is bias there.

The 'charitable' status of these expensive schools should be addressed, they are businesses and should pay tax properly imo, if you're taking in such large fees why is that charitable? - govt need to sort that but won't as it's full of alumni from said schools.

I turned down the opportunity to go to private school (well Hutchie was considered a private school back then and I would have got a scholarship place as my parents couldn't have afforded it) as I didn't want to leave my friends - and didn't actually fancy mixing with the private school lot.

Where we live in Surrey we are very fortunate - our local state schools are very high achieving. Indeed when we went to the parent's evening before our eldest was to go the Head teacher told the assembled 250-odd parents that if they were actually planning sending their child to Private School - and they had put his school down as an outside chance 'just-in-case' fall back - then he would be grateful if they considered removing their child's application as there were many other parents and children very keen to have a place. He didn't mince his words. Too many last minute pull outs over the previous years as children with places didn't take them up and went to Private School as had always been planned - and that caused great issues for the school and disappointment for other children who had not got places and had had to go elsewhere.

And how did my children do? Daughter went to Manchester Uni - son to Sheffield Hallam - both got 2:1s. Both currently very happy with their current career paths.
 
Last edited:

Hobbit

Mordorator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
18,493
Location
Espana
Visit site
I was given the option at 11 to board but chose not to as the thought of not being at home scared the living daylights out of me. Going to a state school didn't do my career any harm, although its impossible to say what I might have achieved with different opportunities.

My youngest sister was in a state school until she was 12, when my father got a job in the Middle East that included education for dependents in the contract. She was shipped off to a very good boarding school, and from being an average achievers up to then her grades improved dramatically. However, she is a cold, unsociable, self-centred and a selfish xxyyxx who doesn't connect very well on an emotional level.

We're a large family, including aunts, uncles and cousins etc and she just doesn't fit in with anyone. Is going to a boarding school the reason behind it? To listen to her talk about what life was like outside of the academic hours I can understand why she is the way she is.
 

Bunkermagnet

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
7,636
Location
Kent
Visit site
If you want to buy your child’s post education, go for it.
Personally I would never have sent my girls to private school, it just reinforces class and elitism.
 

Midnight

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
2,611
Visit site
My thoughts on this are,

Just because they go to a private school doesn't mean they will turn out any better than a child who doesn't.

You mention the saving up, remember it's not just school fees, but the whole lifestyle I. E trips away, not wanting to be in the George clothing as all there mates are wearing designer gear.

Near me I have a few good private schools but in the end sent my kids to a state one where they are thriving.

I think only you can make the decision as everyone will have different conflicting views.

Good luck with what ever you decide mate.
 

Lazkir

Head Pro
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
741
Visit site
My oldest was offered a scholarship at the local Girls High School, we turned it down as we'd seen what was previously a lovely friend of hers turn into an absolute snob by going there.
Also as Midnight has mentioned, you have to bear in mind the school trips. These don't tend to be the weekend away camping or whatever, but are often skiing trips and the like costing £1000 plus!
If your child is one of a few that doesn't go because you can't afford it, then they will become a target. Children can be incredibly cruel to other children.
 

Mudball

Assistant Pro
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
4,228
Visit site
I think everyone has covered all the valid points. No one can decide it for you and not sure what age group the kid(s) are.

Key thing is 'what is important to you'... For us, quality of education is non-negotiable and we have cut out long haul holidays (sometimes the short ones too), downgrade other things to ensure that education needs are met. However fees is just one small aspect of private school.

There is a whole cesspit of snobbery and elitism within the private world too. There is a pecking order of which car, where do you do your holidays, where do you hang out for post-gym soya milk. It can drive kids mad equally you can channel this towards making it aspirational.

Education wise - You can expect private schools to be better resourced than state ones. However, it can be very competitive and people do go for tutors

Thank god for their charitable status. Labour has lost a lot of votes when they said they will impose VAT on school fees. If these kids move to the state system then God help everyone. This is a typical hairbrain political point scoring the consequences of which they dont care about.

Finally... dont assume that all those who send their kids to private schools are well off. Many of them come from families where both parents work extremely hard to ensure that their kid gets access to the private school privilege. Hopefully sets them up for life.

Good luck with your decision... probably the most important one you will ever make
 

pendodave

Tour Rookie
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
3,134
Visit site
It's complicated.
And depends a lot on where you live. We have decent state schools which most people use. In those circumstances I think the balance of pros/cons works in the state sector's favour. The few privately educated kids I know of seem to have limited local friendships as a consequence, which is definitely something to consider outside of purely educational factors.
Re. Labour and vat, I'm thinking that they might have a slightly larger core demographic to be considering. And any bright, motivated kids that move back to the state sectors can only enhance the environment at any school.
 
D

Deleted member 21258

Guest
There are a lot of private schools around us, not sure why, but there is in Shropshire.

Suppose you need to consider, what are you looking at, either Private with Boarding or Private locally with bus/driven to etc.

One of the nicest people I know, went to private with boarding and I was surprised the first time he told me, would never have guessed he went private school(& boarding), from the kind of job he does, wouldn't fit in with the typical thoughts of private education.

Also know someone who went private without boarding and again a lovely person.

Personally never done it, but can see the appeal but also disadvantages. We at one stage asked our son about it if he would want to and his answer was No, something else to consider.
 

ADB

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
2,719
Location
Sussex
Visit site
If you can afford it, definitely yes - the state system is on its knees and only going to get further stretched with larger class sizes and lack of funding.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

Major Champion
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
32,195
Visit site
It's complicated.
And depends a lot on where you live. We have decent state schools which most people use. In those circumstances I think the balance of pros/cons works in the state sector's favour. The few privately educated kids I know of seem to have limited local friendships as a consequence, which is definitely something to consider outside of purely educational factors.
Re. Labour and vat, I'm thinking that they might have a slightly larger core demographic to be considering. And any bright, motivated kids that move back to the state sectors can only enhance the environment at any school.

This is definitely an issue for the lad of friends of ours who is at private school. His best school friends live scattered all over the place and tend not to include him in what they do either individually or as a group of their local pals. Another bit of an issue for their lad is that he is developing a rather 'posh' accent - and that from his classmates. The area he lives in is not very 'posh' and he gets picked out quite a lot local to home as being a posh boy.
 

Mudball

Assistant Pro
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
4,228
Visit site
It's complicated.
And depends a lot on where you live. We have decent state schools which most people use. In those circumstances I think the balance of pros/cons works in the state sector's favour. The few privately educated kids I know of seem to have limited local friendships as a consequence, which is definitely something to consider outside of purely educational factors.
Re. Labour and vat, I'm thinking that they might have a slightly larger core demographic to be considering. And any bright, motivated kids that move back to the state sectors can only enhance the environment at any school.

I agree with the first bit.. putting private fees up is an easy and populist move for labour.. It will be seen as attack on the 'wealthy' or those pesky southern

Dont agree with the second bit... Any move from Pvt to State will only mean class sizes will go up, state resources will get further stretched. A class of 60 will need to accommodate 90 while keeping the same number of teachers. State students who are currently bottom of their class will be further left behind thus demotivating them further. The so called motivated pvt student (and not every private student is motivated or outstanding) may not thrive in an environment where he/she does not get the same attention as in a pvt setting thus de-motivativating them.

i see this move more directed at achieveing the lower common denominator rather than increasing the overall average.

If Corbyn is on this forum.. here is a contrarian idea.. Give a small tax break to those sending to private. This will allow some more children to move to pvt thus reducing load on state school. Spend some new money (or has Boris already promised it)) on Education. Take care of Children - they are our future..
 

jim8flog

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
14,543
Location
Yeovil
Visit site
It was something we considered for our son when he was about 7 but we were warned about all the costs and how much of along term commitment it would be.

Luckily we decided not to as when he went to secondary school we were able to put him in to a school which was large enough to have 3 classes for each subject at each age group and streamed within each subject so he was always amongst his peers which worked very well despite fairly large class sizes (30 plus).

Good school as from his group 8 went to Oxbridge.

However from his experience University becomes who you meet rather than how good you are at the subject. His job was lined up before he finished his final year.
 

adam6177

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
3,340
Visit site
I work in an industry (asset management) where what school you've been to is important. The circles you move in are also important if you want the top jobs.

My wife has worked at a private school for some years now, my son (who is 6) goes to that school, but we're lucky that we get 50% off of the fees. However, you can always apply to private schools for scholarships..... This could be 20-100% off of the fees depending on your situation.

My son's class sizes for the last 3 years have been 12-7-7 (that's the number of pupils in his class). He absolutely is getting the best opportunity to learn and has 1st class facilities available to him.

My family are working class, I went to standard schools (as did all of my brother's) and had a shocking education. I will do everything in my power to give him the best opportunity to learn and will sacrifice holidays etc to enable this.
 

Cherry13

Head Pro
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
717
Location
South Shields
Visit site
I work in the education industry so come across various reports/studies etc quite often.

There was a recent study I seen (think it was ipsos mori) which said statistically speaking, if it’s one or the other, then it’s best to send a child to private junior (primary) school.

I was shocked by this, but I suppose it fits in line with the formative years being most important.

The criteria for ‘success’ was elite unis, and then earning potential.
 
Top