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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:11 pm
Posts: 7
The general feeling I have read from numerous post is that if your child is unsuccessful in securing a place at a Grammar School than Private is the only worthwhile alternative. Despite huge financial sacrifices, many whom have admitted in their posts that they can barely afford, they are still sending their children to private instead of state.
As a parent myself with twins, finishing their last year at Primary, one is off to local state and the other Grammar. The grammar is great and we are thrilled but the state also is a positive school. Academically not as strong obviously but, if the child is bright they should do just as well. Facilities are vastly better and is a short 5 minute walk, as apposed to a 45 mins journey to the grammar.
What am I missing here? Is going to a state comprehensive putting your child at such a disadvantage?
What is the big deal about paying 16k a year for a private education.
I am not criticising, if I could afford it all 3 would be off to private school, I just don't see why it's so more preferable to State.
If anybody can explain I would appreciate it.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:07 am 
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I'm with you, I don't see anything wrong with state schools as long as they are up to standard and you can get your child in. Unfortuntely a great many people don't have either and feel they 'have' to put their dc's into a private school to be given an equal chance. Others just like it because they can (and why not, if they can) whilst others still do it for the kudos.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:27 am 
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Location: Herts
This is something that it is impossible to generalise about. Many State schools are fantastic and if we had lived near one we would not have even thought about the long hard slog that it took to get a place at our local semi selective state school. But our local state school merged with a failing state school and now is the main feeder school for the primary that has the most at risk students in the County. It also only allows you to do one language, plays no girls sports at all on Saturday and does not offer Hockey and is empty at 3pm because everyone has gone home. Both my dd's did a class there at 3.30 and I could park right outside the front door because all the cars had gone. We had to walk down the main corridor carefully avoiding all the half eaten sandwiches and drink bottles. just lying on the floor. We know students who have left because they could not bear to be in the classroom with students who verbally abused the teacher and sneered at them for putting their hand up. One father told me in the first term of Y7 that only 7 of the 33 students in the class were doing any homework at all. But just a few miles away are great state schools and the early morning buses are overflowing with students who live near me going to those schools instead. But things can really change very quickly. A new Head with a crack down on discipline and parents would be queuing to get their children in as it has great facilities and is very close to lovely houses and walking distance to the station. It is all a question of making sure that your dc's have access to all the opportunities they deserve. I don't believe the "bright students will do well anywhere" mantra. I think it is a load of old rubbish. You can't be in the hockey or chess or debating team if there isn't one. You can't specialise in languages if you are only allowed to do one. You can't discover a love of Latin if your school does not offer it. You can't play in an orchestra, sing in a choir or be in the Athletic tournament if your school does not enter it. Your local school, your child, your job to make sure they have everything they need. If not, go elsewhere. We were lucky, other options were available on public transport. For some priviate or moving house may be the only other choices. DG


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:29 am 
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Location: Berkshire
When our youngest didn't get into the GS we briefly toyed with the idea of private. However wehne push came to shove, we just couldn't do it. For a myriad of reasons, the biggest being, I couldn't give to the youngest something we hadn't done for the others.

He's now year 10 at a comprehensive, and by all accounts doing really well. I am very hopeful that he will reach his full potential in a way that the GS didn't really address with my others who were also clever but in the middle , whereas my youngest is at the top of his cohort, and seems to be being pushed to achieve in all subjects.

He's had no bullying because he's bright, there are lots of other children like him, he has a lovely bunch of friends, all similar. He's an able musician, and the facilities this school has are far superior to the GS (which wasn't bad in the music dept either), this school though is a music college and has had funding because of this status.

On the whole, I think I am pleased we didn't go down the private route, we've had a few issues, but all have been solvable and the main thing is he is very happy. He wouldn't have been so, had he been in an all boy environment which was the private school we had picked, also we would have been totally skint so for us as a family it would have been a whole family sacrifice.

Ultimately though, we knew we had this good comprehensive as a back up - if we had been allocated another school it might have been a different story.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:37 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
I'd love to send my dc to private schools but can't afford it, with four children. When they left junior school, they wanted to go to school with their friends.

I have one in year 9, one in year 10. The comp. has a grammar stream and is huge - 1700 pupils - so they seem to offer every subject I can think of. Admittedly, their results aren't as good as a gs, but I invigilate there (maybe that's why I'm biased). I think it's a good school - but admit there is a big difference between dc in the top sets and those in the bottom. Not everyone can be academic. And not every school is as good as this school.

What I like about private schools is: small classes, recognition of different abilities and talents. I would have liked my dd1 to go to one - because she is not academic - but of course that means she probably wouldn't have passed the entrance exam.

I think nothing's wrong with state schools - but obviously some are better than others.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:29 pm 
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I am a little surprised to hear of these failing Comp schools, my DD is attending the local comp and I am quite positive about the situation. The school is improving, has brilliant facilities {far superior to that of my DS grammar school), is 5 mins around the corner as apposed to 45 mins for DS. There are numerous activities and clubs both before and after school. Madam is also attending with friends yet DS will be on his own so to speak. So with this all in mind my DD is in a good position.
I understand if your DC is bright and hard working but just misses out on a place at a GS and the only option is a dodgy local Comp then private school is essential, but In my DD case Its not necessary.
I just wonder if parents suffer the massive financial hardship and send their DC to private school even though local comp is adequate or good, to improve chances of obtaining place at a good university based on the reputation of the private school.
Its a shame that parents are faced with this financial dilemma to ensure a decent education for their DC.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:52 pm 
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Location: Herts
Some parents send their dc's private because they are prepared to pay so they do not have to police their education. I have seen really bright students fall by the wayside in education because someone or something distracted them and their parents are too busy at work to notice. There has been many danger points along the way with my dd's where a weak teacher or a silly friend has threatened to derail things. In private schools this much more likely to be picked up so if you would rather pay for someone else to police this then don't go to state school. There are some students from preps who then go into state who are simply not equipped to deal with some of the other students and are dazzled by them. Some parents who just don't want to be bothered with the details and who would rather go out with their friends than check homework would be wiser to go private if they have the money. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
I don't think it is very helpful to characterise schools by private/state nor parents accordingly, particularly in such a derogatory way. The long and short of it is that there are good and bad schools in both sectors and which one chooses to send ones DC to is result of a combination of factors, what the alternatives are being top of the list. Do not worry OP, there are loads of great comps and many people would choose a great comp over anything else, should they be lucky enough to have access to one. Good luck :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Totally agree mad?


DAO sad" In private schools this much more likely to be picked up so if you would rather pay for someone else to police this then don't go to state school."

Pastoral care is outstanding in many state schools. Just because you pay does NOT make it better and poor behaviour is just as likely to happen in private schools. Private schools are not always willing to tackle poor behaviour in my experience.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Location: Herts
Actually Mad if you revisit my post you will notice that I said "some parents, some students, some parents," and in my original post I said it was " impossible to generalise and "many state schools are fantastic" DG


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