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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:53 am 
A very small fraction percentage of children are educated in the independent (private) sector, less than 1:10, yet by the time top university places (Oxbridge) are allocated five to seven years later the ratio is approximately 1.2:1 i.e. more than half from private sector.

Are we saying only more intelligent children attend independent schools? Is the private sector a vastly superior education system? Are top universities biased? Should the state universities be exclusive to state educated children, thus the private sector can create their own universities?

All being well my daughter will have a choice between a top independent school and a top grammar school in two months time. I would really appreciate your thoughts …

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:20 pm 
If both the independant and the grammar schools are on the same level then I will put my child into the Grammar school. I will save the money otherwise I will pay to the private school towards my child's future.

If your daughter is intelligent then it is possible that she will excel even in the grammar school. Analyse the results of the grammar school and compare with the private school. Also look at the number of children who have been offered places in Oxbridge in the past years. If you are satisfactory with the results then state grammar school will be a good option. On the other hand, if you have spending money and require a 'private school' badge then may be the independant school is the one for you.

I am not against private/independant schools. But if there is an equally good cost effective option then certainly that would be my option.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:39 pm 
Trouble with some grammar skools is that they dont ask if a kid is well bahaved or not and some have real probs with behaviour. i no i went to one that had terrible behavour probs. they may be clever but they mess about in class - go private.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:13 am 
To the previous guest. I can't believe you went to a Grammar school your spelling is atrocious!!! LOL

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:39 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:01 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Richmond
I went to a grammar school, which quadrupled in size when it went comprehensive ( I was 14 at that time.) Learning had been valued and behaviour, certainly in class was good. In the comprehensive, learning was sneered at, the teachers could not control the classes. The school is now a 'sink school' and parents who want a learning environment are forced, if they can afford it, to pay for private education.
I went to university, but children from that school do not now go to university, so has severely hampered the prospects of those scholdren who want to learn but whose parents cannot afford private education.
When I was at the grammar, hardly any private schools existed in that city, there are now many.
For my own children, all I want is for them to in an environment where learning is seen to be a good thing. If they get into the (one!) local grammar, then fine, otherwise we will pay for them to go to a school where they will mix with children whose parents instill a respect for the school and learning - most will not be rich snobs, ( can just anticipate flames on this) but people who are prepared to prioritise their spending to education.
Sadly, cannot help those who simply don't have them money - shame that successive governments continue to let those people (who bear proportionately the hifhest taxes) down.

Best Regards,

 Post subject: Independent vs State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:45 am 
I would send your child to the independent school only if you can comfortably afford it. I struggle to keep both my children at an independent primary school (we left the state sector due to bullying). Although I can just about scrape together enough money to pay the fees, there are always extras like music lessons, trips etc to pay for. A lot of the families there can afford expensive toys, holidays, cars etc, which we can't and my children feel a bit left out.

However I would look at both schools very carefully. I went to a grammer school myself which was academically very good but the pastoral care was non-existent. I think the main problem with state schools is that it is very difficult for children to have individual attention and if they fall behind in a particular subject they are just written off. In my experience if you are paying for education and complain, something gets done about it. Complaints are not taken seriously in the state sector, it is just "take it or leave it".

You are right that bias continues up to University level. I got into a top University on my own merits but was shocked that a lot of the students had had tutors or been to crammers to get the right A' level grades.

I also think that independent schools seem to instill confidence and encourage pupils to develop the appropriate social skills which allow them to do better in the University and indeed the jobs market.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:00 pm 
I don't think you can generalise. It depends on which grammar school and which independent. Obviously the financial aspect is a big, and possibly the only, consideration. Many independents have children coming up from Year 6 so your child will be mixing with children who've already been at the school for several years whereas at the grammar everyone is new. This might be a factor for you. It may be that there's a wider spread of ability at most independent schools (even the 'top' ones) as again children who were 'selected' at age 7 might not necessarily make it into a grammar school at age 11 (if they were put in this position).

Look at the extra-curricular activities and the pastoral care. Class sizes will most likely be smaller in the independent sector - this may be important depending on your child. I think if you can afford the independent school then it comes down to which of the particular schools you're looking at is best for your child and this is largely, in my experience, as much down to instinct as anything else.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:39 pm 
I have been shown round a number of independent schools, all of which do extremely well academically. In the area in which I live there are grammar schools and I found that in every independent school the children showing me round didn't get into the grammar school. This was why they were there. They may have been borderline children in the grammar 11+ but they certainly perform very well in exams, as one of the schools does much better academically than the best grammar. However, I do ask myself how they can do this. Is it because the children are worried about what their parents would think if they didn't do much work? Or maybe the school pushes them very hard. I don't know the answer to this, but it does worry me a little, as I have a child who is about to sit the tests for an independent school. I want her to do well, but I also want her to be happy and not to feel over burdened with homework, or pressure. It is a difficult one and I am just going to make the decision when she gets her results. I am hoping that I will feel a bit more enlightened by then and ready to make the decision - state or independent. I only have one child, so I am not too worried about the fees, although I also feel that I pay so much tax, it annoys me that I have to consider a private education. My daughter is very bright and very bored in school at the moment. I sometimes wish I had sent her to independent school earlier, as the state school she attends doesn't really challenge her very much at the moment. Anyway, she has done her grammar school test, now she will just do the independent school tests. She actually enjoys these tests and has found the work more challenging than school work.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:34 pm 
There is not that much difference between the two sets of children at the outset however with the benefit in the independent sector of smaller class size (20 or less in independent vs 30 or more in grammar schools), better equipment, better library, more computers, better sports facilities and discipline for the next 7 years means that at thet finishing line the Independent Schools are way ahead of the chasing pack of Grammar Schools and Comprehensives. The independent schools have the facilities to treat your child as an individual and state sector is a system in which your child has to sink or swim.

Do not forget that to the independent sector your child is a business - his or her success is directly related to their own success and justifiable fees.

What you need to consider is the bottom line, which I saw in another part of this forum:

Fees at £15,000 a year = £25,000 pre-tax, which over 7 years = £175,000. So would you rather spend £175,000 on your child's education before they enter university or use that for their graduate and post graduate education? It boils down to the depth of your pocket.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:19 pm 
I just wanted to add to this discussion: whilst children in independent/private education sector get better A levels for the reasons that Romeo (real name?) suggests and therefore fill the better universities on the whole, once they are there students from a state school on the same courses tend to get better class of degrees as they a more independent/self reliant etc; in fact in the Times there was an article that for every £10,000 spent p.a. on education the degree was one classification (grade) lower!

The optimal solution, if available, therefore is to attempt a grammar school.

All the best - merry Xmas to all.

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