School Fees - what we will do as parents for kids !

zagatoes30

Centenary Club
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11,774
Being of a certain age and living where I did I was fortunate to go to a very good state grammar school. It was focussed on academic achievement its success rate of getting students into good universities was only slightly behind the best private schools. I was lazy and needed pushing and boy did they do that and did alright from it.

However that pressure was at a cost, I lacked any soft skills wasn't a particularly good mixer and this has stayed with me ever since although less so in later years.

We have decided not to fund a private school but have decided to give the children as many extra activities as they want, sport, music, outdoor activities (guides & cubs) etc. and I am pleased to see that they are all developing well. They are all socially aware are happy to be dropped into new circles and adapt quickly and we have found this is having a positive impact on their school work, their relaxed nature seems to allow them to take things in their stride, they pick up new ideas quickly and have become the go to points for other school mates who need a little bit more support and explanation.
 

Scaf

Member
Messages
838
I would love to have been able to send my kids to private school but I had enough trouble keeping a roof over their heads at the time.
I have already made provision to fund any grandchildren I may be blessed with.

I agree that the network and confidence factor is as, if not more important than the education itself.
 

linescanner

Junior Member
Messages
60
Both mine are at private, and sometimes I have questioned the value. On reflection, it is a good choice if you find the right private school as there is value in them. Both kids have a level of confidence and maturity over their friends that they went to state primary with.

There is a level of drive that sometimes gets missed in the state system for the less academically/sporting able.

Not cheap, but I think will prove to be a good investment for their futures. That said, I went to a scabby comp, no A levels or Uni, ended up as a Pilot and now have own businesses.

Lots depends on who you are and the drive you have.
 

JonW

Member
Messages
1,823
Interesting thread... my two kids are both at a private school, and if I’m honest I would do it again in a heartbeat... even though I’d love to have an extra £40k p.a. of taxed income to play with!

For me personally, it’s not about the academic results, or even the extra sporting opportunities. It is however about the confidence and the breadth of personality that they are both developing.

For example, my son is 14, and I love the fact that he can happily chat to anyone, about anything, and he feels comfortable in a really wide range of social circumstances. This ability to connect with people, on their level, and to come across as interested, engaging, and funny means that I have no doubt he will find his way in life, whatever he does or doesn’t achieve academically.

I accept that it’s possible he would have developed that confidence and life skills if he went to the local state school, but I doubt it would be to quite the same extent, and I agree with those who said it’s normal to want to do the best for your kids.
 

mjheathcote

Centenary Club
Messages
6,406
Back in the late 70's I went to a private school from 13, purely because the state school at the time would not allow me to take any O levels all CSE's.
Worked out well came away with 12 O levels and 2 A levels and continued onto college etc.
My sister 2 years later stayed in the state system and did equally well...
Fortunately we live in a good area with excellent state schools, but we do pay for it in the house prices.
 

linescanner

Junior Member
Messages
60
Interesting thread... my two kids are both at a private school, and if I’m honest I would do it again in a heartbeat... even though I’d love to have an extra £40k p.a. of taxed income to play with!

For me personally, it’s not about the academic results, or even the extra sporting opportunities. It is however about the confidence and the breadth of personality that they are both developing.

For example, my son is 14, and I love the fact that he can happily chat to anyone, about anything, and he feels comfortable in a really wide range of social circumstances. This ability to connect with people, on their level, and to come across as interested, engaging, and funny means that I have no doubt he will find his way in life, whatever he does or doesn’t achieve academically.

I accept that it’s possible he would have developed that confidence and life skills if he went to the local state school, but I doubt it would be to quite the same extent, and I agree with those who said it’s normal to want to do the best for your kids.
Fully agree here. What convinced me was a friend who has kids a little older than mine, could happily conduct themselves in adult company in a way that was beyond their years.
 

alfatwo

Member
Messages
4,119
40k school fees... wait until you get into care home fees, they'll make your eye's water!

Dave
 

3leftovercrest

Junior Member
Messages
147
Very very interesting breadth of views and all a right as there is no real wrong. We are dealing with so many factors when adding in a human personality that for some at a particular school , it works and for some, it does not....

My eldest daughter is taking GCSE’s next year and she was lucky to get into Colchester County Girls Grammar school which is top of the country (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/0/secondary-school-league-table-search-top-schools-gcse-results/) BUT....... having seen this school at work, it really works for some and DOES NOT for the rest. Kids at 14 having counselling and private tutors. WTF?

Luckily for mine, she went to a local primary, decided she wanted to do the 11 plus herself and has a bit of a “myopic FU” attitude which seems to be working in her favour at the moment...

However, for our youngest who is 8, we do not think she would survive at the school (even if she did get in) as although very clever, just not wired the way of the eldest. The School pushes and is committed to getting the best results,,,,, for the kids or themselves,,, I do wonder sometimes....

So for her, she will probably go to the comp in Suffolk as it seems to suit her personality based on feedback we have got from other kids who already go there...

It’s really important to have the most rounded of “upbringings” which does not exclusively equal “education”.... a lot has been mentioned about “soft skills” and I fully agree that we are bringing up kids to be able to support themselves in adult life and education “alone” will not give you that.

One other angle to mention is that of location... we don’t live in a large city but we have friends in London who would be ok to send their kids to state school but just will not in London ......... for their own private and personal reasons...
 

mattjevans

Junior Member
Messages
333
A lot of great comments here. Both of mine are at private (my daughter was actually the first girl to attend the school which was established in the late 1800’s). My son is not conventional in personality or conventionally academic, so he’d have disappeared at state with large class sizes. The priority when we looked at secondary was fit with him as a person. Meant he had to board as there wasn’t the right day school near us. We could move but there is daughters schooling and friends and wife’s business/commute to consider (I commute into London so wouldn’t have made much odds to me) plus loss of social circle which we rely as we have no family near.

Hard decisions all, no right or wrong just best attempts I generally think.

We chose to keep renting (admittedly living in pretty decent houses) rather than buying in order to have the money for their education.
 

rivarama

Member
Messages
419
Lots of interesting POV - and obviously very personal.
My wife and I have struggled with it. We are lucky enough to be in a position where we could send both our kids to a private primary school and it wouldn’t change our lifestyle - just reduce our saving rate a bit.
Nevertheless, our young kids were admitted to a local outstanding ofsted rated primary school and have gotten to really enjoy it. They made many friends and are invited to a lot of play dates by people of very different background than ours. Do we feel guilty not having sent them to private school while we could? Yes a little. Will we look back thinking we could have given them the best education and taken no chance on their future? I hope not but may be...
The point is I am not sure the private schools provide a better education and our children seem happy where they are today. We were also a bit concerned about having them join a school where all kids get dropped off a brand new 4x4 and all sharing the same sociology-economic background.
We do however spend a lot of time talking to them, playing with them and teaching them stuff at home. This is as - if not more - important than abdicating educative responsibilities to a school - whether it is private or public.

Secondary school will be a different story and I believe we will send them to private
 

linescanner

Junior Member
Messages
60
Very very interesting breadth of views and all a right as there is no real wrong. We are dealing with so many factors when adding in a human personality that for some at a particular school , it works and for some, it does not....

My eldest daughter is taking GCSE’s next year and she was lucky to get into Colchester County Girls Grammar school which is top of the country (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/0/secondary-school-league-table-search-top-schools-gcse-results/) BUT....... having seen this school at work, it really works for some and DOES NOT for the rest. Kids at 14 having counselling and private tutors. WTF?

Luckily for mine, she went to a local primary, decided she wanted to do the 11 plus herself and has a bit of a “myopic FU” attitude which seems to be working in her favour at the moment...

However, for our youngest who is 8, we do not think she would survive at the school (even if she did get in) as although very clever, just not wired the way of the eldest. The School pushes and is committed to getting the best results,,,,, for the kids or themselves,,, I do wonder sometimes....

So for her, she will probably go to the comp in Suffolk as it seems to suit her personality based on feedback we have got from other kids who already go there...

It’s really important to have the most rounded of “upbringings” which does not exclusively equal “education”.... a lot has been mentioned about “soft skills” and I fully agree that we are bringing up kids to be able to support themselves in adult life and education “alone” will not give you that.

One other angle to mention is that of location... we don’t live in a large city but we have friends in London who would be ok to send their kids to state school but just will not in London ......... for their own private and personal reasons...
Which comp in Suffolk you looking at?
 

linescanner

Junior Member
Messages
60
Lots of interesting POV - and obviously very personal.
My wife and I have struggled with it. We are lucky enough to be in a position where we could send both our kids to a private primary school and it wouldn’t change our lifestyle - just reduce our saving rate a bit.
Nevertheless, our young kids were admitted to a local outstanding ofsted rated primary school and have gotten to really enjoy it. They made many friends and are invited to a lot of play dates by people of very different background than ours. Do we feel guilty not having sent them to private school while we could? Yes a little. Will we look back thinking we could have given them the best education and taken no chance on their future? I hope not but may be...
The point is I am not sure the private schools provide a better education and our children seem happy where they are today. We were also a bit concerned about having them join a school where all kids get dropped off a brand new 4x4 and all sharing the same sociology-economic background.
We do however spend a lot of time talking to them, playing with them and teaching them stuff at home. This is as - if not more - important than abdicating educative responsibilities to a school - whether it is private or public.

Secondary school will be a different story and I believe we will send them to private
There is always the Daddy got me a........for my birthday issue at these schools. Some kids come from backgrounds where parents have worked hard and cut things to afford to get them there, where others have come from a moneyed background. We have found it does not cause too many issues.
 

iainw

Member
Messages
2,653
Easy to see both sides to this question and there will be lots of personal experiences claiming the benefits of either option. Thing is you need to do what is right for your family and that depends on where you live and what your children are like.

Bright kids can do well at any school but some schools can bring out the best in kids who might otherwise drift and some schools offer strong extra curricular programmes that help turn out well sorted and engaging young people - this is measured not just in exam performance and higher education destinations but also whether they can hold a conversation with an adult. Without this high achieving academic performance means nothing as they won’t ultimately hold down a decent job. Personally I pay for my kids education and feel I get value money from it. Doesn’t mean it’s right for you though!
Agree with Bob here. It’s about so much more than just the education. It’s always going to divide opinion, and everyone is entitled to their views. The key is to respect everyone’s choices. I was lucky in coming from a working class background - and my parents gave up the chance to have nice cars and a big house to pay for an amazing education. The best manchester could offer!. My wife (who went to state school) was more vocal and we sent my daughter to private school. I did extol the merits of a 488 pista instead, but it fell on deaf ears.
 

iainw

Member
Messages
2,653
Very much a personal choice issue this one. But on the academic front, it's no secret that the top private schools send a disproportionately high percentage of their pupils to Oxbridge and the Russel Group Universities.

But it's not just about the academics. The soft skills matter. As does the confidence. Plus who you meet, the old-boy/girl network, the introductions, etc. You have to look at the full picture over the long term, and then decide whether its something you want to commit the money to or not.

All that said, most importantly, the school has to be right for the child (and vice versa). Push a child into the "wrong" school, and it'll all end in tears irrespective of whether you've paid for it or not.
I agree with this Ewan. I just wonder now though if it is an advantage to go to a private school to get into Oxbridge. I was a white middle class heterosexual Private school educated applicant who was fortunate enough to go to Cambridge. I often wonder now due to quotas if I would have a chance.
 

3leftovercrest

Junior Member
Messages
147
There is always the Daddy got me a........for my birthday issue at these schools. Some kids come from backgrounds where parents have worked hard and cut things to afford to get them there, where others have come from a moneyed background. We have found it does not cause too many issues.
Thomas Gainsborough as the comp. if private, then St Mary’s in Colchester or the Hospital School in Ipswich....
 

bigbob

Member
Messages
7,491
I agree with this Ewan. I just wonder now though if it is an advantage to go to a private school to get into Oxbridge. I was a white middle class heterosexual Private school educated applicant who was fortunate enough to go to Cambridge. I often wonder now due to quotas if I would have a chance.
That is the delimma now, however, a good degree from one of the other Russell Group Universities is good enough to get you most places (personal experience) and, anyway, for Medical School these days females are much more successful than males.
 

slay

Member
Messages
203
All very wise and valid comments from everyone, really depends on the kids and personal preferences, location and the quality of the state schools available...etc.

I am sure one thing that we can all agree is this level of school fees would certainly make the depreciation costs of our cars look insignificant ! It will probably be easier to justify the next purchase without even using man maths!
 

midlifecrisis

Moderator
Messages
6,121
I've not got kids so can only comment on my own experiences as a kid.
I was bright at junior school, nearly top of the class in most years, passed the 11+ (I was in Conservative Trafford which still had Grammar Schools) and went to the local Grammar school, the facilities were poor, crumbling 60's building, full of asbestos, two school computers and a head master who thought he was running Eton. We had a lad in our class as he broke in, started a fire and nicked the top loader video player. Some of the teachers were great, others were awful. I didn't exactly help myself in the final year but scrapped enough to get into 6th form college in Eccles in staunch labour held Salford. It was completely different. Teachers treated you like adults, and were your friend. I struggled with the curriculum as i didn't do half the stuff Salfordians did at their Comprehensive especially in Pure Maths. I even learnt to play rubgy without flankers.

What I'm trying to say is State Schools are a mixed bag but parents must get involved with their kids education, ensuring that both the parents and the teachers push, help and guide the child. Some parents blame the schools 'for not teachin them nuffink' but like charity education starts at home.
 

BL330

Junior Member
Messages
702
I was also going to raise the Old Boy network advantages. I was not part of it and chose a performance based career in sales, but it was known in Sydney that the best jobs were often kept for those who went to the right schools.