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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:16 pm
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Hi - I have two boys, aged 11 and 13. My youngest was just offered a place at St Albans, and we couldn't be happier and are so proud of the hard work he put in to get there. His older brother, while talented in many ways, didn't have quite the academic skills and is at Verulam where he is doing quite well.

In order to send the youngest to an independent school, the family is going to make some serious financial sacrifices. The eldest is very proud of his younger brother, but I am concerned he might resent the financial commitment we will be pushing towards our youngest.

Am I worrying too much? Any advice?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:00 pm 
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What a lovely older brother! Sorry I don't have any advice to give. I just wanted to say that.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:15 pm 
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A lot of people think you should treat every child the same. I think you should treat each child as an individual, but yes, there is a risk that DS1 will feel in the future that DS2 had opportunities he did not, particularly if the whole family has to make sacrifices. It's a tough one & I wish you luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:32 pm 
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I have to say it still rankles that my parents paid for my brother to attend an independent school while my sisters and I had to make do with the local comp, and do without holidays. I'm in the camp of treat all children the same, as far as possible.

However, if I had to ration family resources, I would offer the financial support the child that needed it most, which could be the least accademically gifted or the most.

Is there any reason why your younger DS would not thrive at Verulam?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Another vote here for treat all the kids the same - both independents or both local comps.

I would only pay for academic fees for one child if he/she needed further support that was not provided at the local support. (i.e less academically able)

Whilst your older son is being very sweet and supportive now, who's to say how these emotions will manifest as young adults?

Of course, if later down the line, your younger DS has a 'better' job, or goes to a 'better' university your older DS might build up some resentment.

It's a tricky one. It could all be completely fine, but I would personally send them both to the same school, to avoid potential problems later on.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:23 pm 
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Thanks for the advise so far, all.

As far as how my youngest would do at Verulam - we like the school over all, but have felt very clearly for the last two plus years that it is not the place for him. Verulam is a fine school for the right person - we find it sort of rough-and-tumble and very much for very social and out going boys. My youngest is quite the opposite. He is quiet and likes to be alone and read. We essentially look at paying for the independent school as very much a situation of paying for something he needs - more pastoral care and smaller, quieter classrooms.

I have a hard time justifying potentially restricting the advancement of one son - a "better" education or "better" job - just to assuage the hurt feelings of the oldest. The oldest gets plenty of attention - music lessons and quite expensive musical instruments, etc and we will always make sure he gets to go on all "optional" trips - so hopefully it won't be too bad.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:05 am
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We will have a similar quandary in 2 years. Ds will be going to St Albans in September but dd (yr4) is not academic and absolutely insistent that she will not go to a single sex school. We will feel that it is unfair to give one the opportunity of an independent education but not the other, but will have to recognise that they are very different characters with very different needs and preferences and dd wants to go one of the local comps.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:54 am
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I believe in finding the right school for each child, whether indie or state.

It seems as St Albans wasn't an option for your older ds, not because of financial reasons but because he was less academically able. So you chose the best school for him.

If you you think St Albans would suit your younger ds better than Verulam, it would be foolish to give up his place because his older brother MIGHT be resentful in years to come.

If finances allow, could you put away a small amount of money each month for your older ds, university fund for example?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:13 pm 
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It absolutely depends on the individual child, I was sent to private school after three years at local comp. both my older sisters completed the comp. it was the right thing for me, and my parents decision to make. My parents felt they did the right thing for each of us. It wasn't a decision of intellect or chances or privilege, it was purely based on what was right for me at the time. If my sisters feel hard done by, they haven't said so to me. One of them lives in New Zealand and my parents have spent loads on visiting her, that's fine with us, it's just the way it is.
So do what is right for each child, life isn't fair, as in 50-50 everything, but your parents can generally aim for 'just'


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:21 pm 
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I'd never contemplate sending one child to a private school and the other not. No way.

I have some personal experience of this with close family and it has definitely led to resentment and damaged the relationship between the children involved. For me, that would be too high a price to pay.


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