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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:45 pm
Posts: 212
Location: Lincolnshire
Apologies in advance,as I know this forum is primarily aimed at state versus grammar.
However, I have a question regarding primary education some of you may be able to help me with,having never before ventured into private schooling myself.
Youngest son,currently yr3,is in state primary. Same one his siblings attended. Under the new head it has really gone downhill.
Both older siblings travel out of catchment,one to grammar,one to large comp,both are happy.
We have the opportunity to move a few miles,release a little(very little !) equity,by buying a cheaper property & placing the youngest in a newly opened private school. It's website is obviously glowing,but ignoring that,I know & trust the family involved in the new school,who's main aim seems to be 11plus excellence,as they don't feed into private secondary.
He's a bright lad,musical,but shy, & reasonably happy where he is. But,this new school seems to offer far more than he's ever going to get in the state system.
Eldest two will be more or less unaffected,same travelling distance,simply different direction.
I guess my question is this........
Do I commit myself to 3 years of expense & hope he passes the 11plus with flying colours,then cross my fingers he gets a place,or,do I tutor him myself knowing from past experience what an unlevel playing field
the 11plus is ? Am I being horribly unfair to the others,who never stood a chance of private education ? Whilst it's just an idea,they seem pretty non-plused by it,but will they resent the huge outlay on the baby of the family ? This is a lot of money,which could finance a lot of school trips,holidays etc,or just make life easier for everyone.
14yr old in grammar informs me, there is no noticable difference in the work ethic etc of any of the boys in his year who came from private schools. They all 'muck in' together. Don't know whether to be reassured by that,or fear it could all be a huge waste of money ?
Just to throw a last spanner in the works.14yr old will be off to uni the same time youngest will hopefully be starting grammar. Regardless of where he chooses,should I just be looking to put the money in a pot for that instead :roll: Plus, I have two grown-up children-one of whom lives abroad-who we help out as much as we can financially. One wouldn't mind in the slightest,but the other would undoubtedly be upset,as thier childhood was a struggle (first marriage was no fun :cry: )
Life was so much simpler when I was a child (cue Hovis advert theme tune) you went to the nearest school then left & got a job. Sorted !
I await your advice :)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:13 pm
Posts: 283
If it is going to be a struggle or you have to make sacrifices , I would personally not do it at this stage . Given he is in year 3 , you have at least 3 years to support his learning at school with a tutor , or DIY at home with him writing short stories and working on some key stage maths revision books . The bond books start from age 6 and you can start him off on the easy stuff first and build this up.

You can spend the extra cash on things like music and language lessons . Most private music tuitions are out sourced so you can do the same and find him other things to do to compliment his education .


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:21 am
Posts: 439
Every child is different in both ability and personality. I would probably try to establish his ability level and act accordingly. If he has above average ability a small amount of tutoring will probably be enough. Reading a lot of different type of books to improve vocabulary is essential from an early age. Some parents might just chose private because of ?pastoral reasons.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6685
Location: Herts
Hello, you absolutely do not need to go to private school to increase your chances of getting into selective education. In fact I would say at our semi selective school some of the prep students are at a disadvantage as they have a disproportionate opinion of their own ability and are used to getting a lot of help and not having to audition for everything. If you start doing a little bit of work every day with your Y3 ds and make sure you do lots of research on the format of the exams you have every chance of securing a place. There are lots and lots of parents on here that have done this and have dc's thriving in selective secondary schools. Our primary school did nothing for us, we did it all ourselves and it just became part of our daily routine. What is it exactly that you think this new school will do for him that you cannot? I also have a 14 yr old and we are very underwhelmed by the prep school students in the year. Every year I hear Y6 prep school parents discussing how they cant understand how their dc's did so badly in the state entrance exams and so well in the local indy ones. They seem to assume that their dc's are "better" just because they got their cheque books out and will just walk into selective state education. What sats levels is your Y3 son on? DG


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:45 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
Our current primary is positively anti 11plus-i've mentioned this on another thread. We had no support at all with our now 14yr old,except from his class teacher who backed our appeal,then promptly left to teach elsewhere. I didn't really tutor him,unless you count one book from WHSmiths,as the 11plus was an unkown quantity to me back then.
Youngest DS is bright,& very bubbly with those he knows,though lacks the confidence of his siblings oddly enough. His reading is great,just like his brothers & the school really can't be bothered to change his reading books or write in his reading record book. I could probably write in it that he was being sold into slavery at the weekend & not to expect him back on Monday & no-one would notice a thing :roll:
The private alternative is shiny & new,set in acres of woodland,with classes of twenty,they're already very involved in local speech & drama competitions etc,who wouldn't want that for thier child ? And hey,the uniform with those little hats is just sooooo cute :lol: Apologies,this was actually a very serious & possibly family changing subject :oops:
I think the one thing that stands out a mile though,is-& this may well give me away to anyone local reading these forums-one of the govenors of the school is our now failing schools previous head !!!
Under his leadership,the local primary may not have had shiny new buildings & pretty new carpets,but it did have a happy atmosphere,a great work hard ethic,& a band of very happy teachers,most of whom have now jumped ship & gone elsewhere,or taken early retirement to be replaced by a load of NQT's who's primary concern seems to be do they get a reserved parking space :evil:

I'm not saying anyone has to go private to get thier child into grammar,I proved that with my eldest.
I'm simply asking,if,given the opportunity what would others do ?
Tabasco-given that I know who is involved with the new school,compared to where he is now,then,yes,the pastoral care would undoubtably be better. Reading at home is a given though. My late Mum was an english teacher & we are surrounded by books,they are possitively devoured here :D

Lefol-the money would only be free to use if we moved from here,thus releasing some from the sale of our house. It would have to be earmarked specifically for his education,so appart from that,life would 'plod on' as penny pinchingly as before,which is something I don't wish his siblings to resent.
I guess the biggest disaster would be if we moved,invested in his primary education & then he failed the
11plus ! He would join his older sister on the bus to the comp,which he could do from here anyway :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:21 am
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Although sending DS to this indie might improve the chance of success in the 11+ exam, it is not a guarantee. If it is for me I would get DC assess first before making this important decision. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
My dd's do local speech and drama competitions every year. You just sign up. Yes it would be great to do it through the school but it is also good to prepare at home yourself and pit your wits against those who have had the school do it all for you. It sounds to me like your home environment is ideal, you just need to do some technique planning. Don't waste your money and disrupt your family. Look at the threads on here from people who have done it themselves and have become a closer family unit because of it. Older son can help loads by bringing stuff home from school. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Strikes me this is two separate issues.
Firstly, you have issues with the current school and feel it is failing your child, possibly not just academically.
If it was just academically and in other ways is a nurturing school where he is happy etc, I'd say if you have the time and your child is open to doing some work at home, do that.

However, if it isn't just academic and your child isn't thriving, then you need to consider moving him. If anyone is really not happy with with their child's school, then they usually have to tackle the school if possible and if that doesn't work out, move the child.

The second issue then is where to move him to.
If you have no state primary alternatives that you would be happy with (and get a place at) then an independent is the only alternative. The one you describe sounds like one you would be happy with. The older siblings were lucky enough to be the then all was rosy in the garden. I'm sure if explained they would understand.

I wouldn't see the 11+ as the be all and end all of your decision making process though. As you quite rightly point out, state school children do get into GSs and you have managed this yourself.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:45 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
Nice & straightforwardly put Tinkers.

I've never really touched upon the thought of private education for any of my children until now,& this would definately be a 'one off'.
Short of selling up & living in a tent,funding a private education beyond primary level is unattainable.
This would only be possible for 3 years providing we move house.
You're right in that my older children were lucky enough to have had mostly the best out of state primary before it went downhill,so maybe that would be an argument to put to them should I need it.

I wish there were a state alternative locally which offered a solution. Anywhere even half decent is oversubscribed, or in the wrong place to allow the middle two to travel to thier respective schools,& they're definately not moving !
I know only too well how the 11plus can consume your life,so I understand you saying that it shouldn't become the be all & end all. But he hasn't a hope of even taking the exam if simply left where he is.
The other alternative which has come out of this 'argument' is that we stay put & I tutor him,or maybe get him a tutor ? I'm not sure I have enough belief in my own ability,& of course,if we stay put there wouldn't be enough cash available for a tutor........I'm going round in circles here :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:57 pm
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Your dilemma is too personal for me to advise, however, having older children at university LOTS of money is needed when they go to university (if yours later choose to do so).

Just to give you an idea, assuming no grants, you will need to pay for their 'keep' (minus rent) per week! This may range from £60-£100+ per child per week! This is something we didn't even think about until ours entered sixth form but definitely something we should have thought of when they were born. :shock: (Those Americans Moms and Dads saving for Kids' College fund springs to mind).

DD1 has intimated she would like to do a Masters degree - fees £9,000 + rent + 'keep' and the funding rules change post graduate. She may have to leave for a few years, work, and then go back? Would love to have had some money tucked away to help her at this stage of her education. She went to a state primary (about 15 to 20 passes out of 100 pupils.) and then a grammar.

It seems your issue is more to do with getting your DS through the 11+ and in to a grammar. Do you really (really) need to do move him to do this? Maybe... maybe not...

I would first state the clear objective and then list what other things you could do to help achieve your goal before moving and spending lots of money that could be very useful later on. Even if he doesn't go to grammar, he can still go to university, do a masters, do a PHD and will need the money then.
Good luck with your decision.


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