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If I Keep Wondering 'how Can People Afford Private School?'


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Fees for local private school, day pupils only, Cardiff

Fees from September 2010 to July 2011

Nursery £1,994 per term (£5,982 per year) ; includes lunch

8am – 1pm - £27.00 a day (includes breakfast, a morning snack and lunch)

8am – 4pm - £34.00 a day (includes a breakfast, a morning/afternoon snack and lunch)

8am – 6pm - £45.00 (includes breakfast, a morning snack, lunch and tea)

Junior School £2,371 per term (£7,113 per year)

Senior School £3,210 per term (£9,630 per year)

Sixth Form College £3,273 per term (£9,818 per year)

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Many can't afford to continue sending their children to private school, a good state school is better than a poor private school...if your kids are bright they will make it to what they want to be whatever, private school is a more of who you meet than what you learn. :P

A couple of mothers I know are working full time to support their kids in private school, they obviously think it is important and therefore make sacrifices for their children's future.... ;)

But a good private school is FAR better than a poor state school, and most good state schools.

If you are lucky enough to get into a good state school, thanks to your proximity to the school and where you worship then that is great, but for most people it just isn't the case.

My wife & I attend mass weekly, and have put our son down for two religious schools, but his chances of getting into either are slim due to the school governers/councils redrawing catchment areas and deciding that all Catholics in our area should attend a lower achieving school which involves a round trip of over two hours.

Even at the two better religious schools, the work the pupils produce does not match the far higher standards of the private schools in our area.

As for private schools been more about who you meet, that is just not true. They achieve better results. There are richer, influential parents behind some of the children, but frankly they are unlikely to ever darken the school gates and would not speak to proles like me! Many parents are hard working professionals/tradesmen, who just want to give their children the opportunity to realise their potential.

No matter how bright your kids are, their prospects of achieving at a poor state school are very poor.

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Surely if someone is fantastically bright, they would apply to the good universities, isnt the application process fairly straightforward anyway? Also arent the very good uni's swamped with applications anyway? so why would they go searching for candidates and would the uni's even have the resources to do so?

I never got that either. Are people getting AAA or AAB or ABB at A-level (or however the current system works) against the odds really questioning whether to go to uni or not? I went to uni from 2000 to 2004 during the higher education boom and there were people there with very "average" results like DDE and lower. My friend got into Liverpool to do Clinical Engineering on quite frankly crap A-levels and dropped out 2 years later due to difficulty with the maths.

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It's the interviews that do it. They are designed to be intimidating.

The son of a family I know (perfectly respectable people) went for an interview at Oxford. The lad is a very gifted mathematician and has wanted to read Maths at Oxford since he was young.

He was asked to sit in a chair in a large room, with the interviewers having placed themselves so that he could never speak to all of them at any one time, and taking it in turns to ask questions so that his head was turning this way and that as he answered.

He has a strong Welsh accent, and they kept on and on, bringing this up "So, you're from Wales, are you?" As if that was relevant to his studying Maths to degree level.

And so on and so on.

Kids who go to private school pick up the right way to talk, the right attitudes to display, an understanding of the common culture of elite establishments. And, of course, they get coached on interview technique for Oxbridge.

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"Just over 7.2% of pupils in England attend private schools but make up over a quarter of the intake at the 25 most selective universities, and 46.6% at Oxford . . . However, research carried out for the government has shown that pupils from comprehensives are likely to do better at university than private or grammar school pupils with similar A-level results."

I'm getting sick of it of hearing this. But even sicker of myself to clinging on to my experience of private school being seemingly unaffordable to even the middle classes in the late 70's and 80's.

Private school fees aren't easily affordable. That said, it is perfectly possible to send your kids to private school on a household income of ~£60k pa. You'll have to budget, and resist the urge to buy some things you can live without. My partner and I are saving ~£24k pa on that income level. Having saved a house deposit, we are now putting money aside which could cover private education, uni fees etc if we have kids.

I've never fully understood the critiscism of private schools. Wealthier families are always going to be able to provide their children with an advantage early in life. If private school was banned, they'd crowd round the best schools left and pay for tutors instead. Leaving kids larger inheritances, farms, businesses etc also helps them.

What I find really amusing is when people (like someone on this thread) say they'd like to see private schools banned while they happily send their kids to them.

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Personally I would ban all private schools. I would then reinstate grammar schools - but for a majority (70%) with streaming. Then I would assign places by lottery not postcode to give everyone a fair crack at the whip and to even out performance over time.

The loss/death of the grammar schools has led to much of this. We have one boys and one girls grammar school in our area (and for all surrounding boroughs). Hundreds of children sit the examination, but last year they sat on two separate days due to the large numbers. However leaked copies of the papers meant that some pupils had got hold of the papers in advance of the test and the majority of those who were accepted sat on the second day.

The grammar schools in our area are totally unrepresenatative of the local population and are just for over-tutored children who can do the verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests. We had thought the grammar school was a good option until we attended the open day and were greeted by monosyllabic geeks, showing little or no initiative Only one or two of the pupils were articulate in any way. The children at our local comprehensive expressed themselves a lot better.

The comprehensive model would work if it didn't always cater for the lowest performers. My son and his friends have not developed much in the last three years at their schhol. One teacher for 30 of them whilst the children with special needs have more dedicated teaching. One has his own teacher! If you are good and meet the standard you are left to your own devices.

Personally I would ban all state schools and give the money to parents to pay for the education they want. This would probably lead to smaller schools, and smaller classrooms. Children and parents could then freely select the school tehy want rather than the current situation where catchment areas and religious beliefs decide it.

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It's the interviews that do it. They are designed to be intimidating.

The son of a family I know (perfectly respectable people) went for an interview at Oxford. The lad is a very gifted mathematician and has wanted to read Maths at Oxford since he was young.

He was asked to sit in a chair in a large room, with the interviewers having placed themselves so that he could never speak to all of them at any one time, and taking it in turns to ask questions so that his head was turning this way and that as he answered.

He has a strong Welsh accent, and they kept on and on, bringing this up "So, you're from Wales, are you?" As if that was relevant to his studying Maths to degree level.

And so on and so on.

Kids who go to private school pick up the right way to talk, the right attitudes to display, an understanding of the common culture of elite establishments. And, of course, they get coached on interview technique for Oxbridge.

Oxbridge colleges have many different ways of interviewing, and they vary greatly. My better half is Oxbridge educated, went to comprehensive school and is from an average household. She was good friends with many other students with normal backgrounds.

Public schooling is a benefit. As you say the ability to interview well, communicate confidently etc are all important and public schools tend to produce students who are good at it.

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My personal plan is to send any kids I am fortunate to have to state school and then, for the cost of my own time, also give them a bit of home education I'd expect be better than private school. I love teaching people things, always teaching my girlfriend stuff, and would probably be obsessed with teaching my kids stuff.

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But a good private school is FAR better than a poor state school, and most good state schools.

If you are lucky enough to get into a good state school, thanks to your proximity to the school and where you worship then that is great, but for most people it just isn't the case.

My wife & I attend mass weekly, and have put our son down for two religious schools, but his chances of getting into either are slim due to the school governers/councils redrawing catchment areas and deciding that all Catholics in our area should attend a lower achieving school which involves a round trip of over two hours.

Even at the two better religious schools, the work the pupils produce does not match the far higher standards of the private schools in our area.

As for private schools been more about who you meet, that is just not true. They achieve better results. There are richer, influential parents behind some of the children, but frankly they are unlikely to ever darken the school gates and would not speak to proles like me! Many parents are hard working professionals/tradesmen, who just want to give their children the opportunity to realise their potential.

No matter how bright your kids are, their prospects of achieving at a poor state school are very poor.

I would agree with that point......First I would like to know why some of our state schools are so poor, how can local councils allow them to exist, secondly how your child progresses has a lot to do with the parents as with the school........

It must be a worry and very stressful trying to find the best school for your children to attend, the system is not very fair, it is like a lottery it should not have to be like that...all children should have the same chances however rich their parents are or where they live....when I went to school you went to your nearest primary school and that was that, generally they were all of similar standard....how things have changed.

BTW..some teachers need to go back to school to learn how to teach......or should not be doing something they are not happy doing ;)

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You do this to get your kids into the school, rather than being religeous?

That is one of the saddest things I have read on here.

You have selected that quote and turned it on its head to make your point. What I wrote is that my attendance at mass has NO effect. So my religious beliefs have NO influence on getting my son into a school of my choice.

And as for people attending churches to get kids into school, I see it year on year. Every August/September we see four years olds getting baptised, and their parent suddenly attending church. However six months later once their kid get in they disappear until the next kid arrives.

People moving house and attending church to get into schools happens all over the place. Being religeous (sic) is not the point.

Edited by arrgee1991
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If you are lucky enough to get into a good state school, thanks to your proximity to the school and where you worship then that is great, but for most people it just isn't the case.

Frickin 'faith' schools get on my tits.

If feeble minded adults want to believe hogwash that's up to them. But allowing the next generation to be brainwashed is legalised abuse.

You can't even point that out to people nowadays without being acused of a 'hate' crime.

What the frickin hell happened to 'free speech'?

Why don't we all just dismantle all the infrastructure post 1900 and live like the frickin Amish or Taliban?

Edited by Colin
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I would like to know why some of our state schools are so poor, how can local councils allow them to exist,

secondly how your child progresses has a lot to do with the parents as with the school........

Some are poor due to area they are in, the family backgrounds of the children, and the standard of teaching on offer.

Local councils can have some influence but closing them down simply shifts the problem on elsewhere.

The progress of children these days does depend a lot on their parents. My parents did little to help me when I was at school, and I was fortunate enough to go to a good primary school where I was encouraged to develop my potential, sadly my secondary school was less good, but I was old enough to realise what I needed. I have spen the last year teaching my son at weekends and evenings to get him to a level to pass an entrance exam. Now he is head and shoulders (that's what he tells me!) above the rest of his class who have not had the same focus (they all live in the right area for the secondary school).

I have no plans to spend the next five years tutoring my son, especially in subjects I will know little of, so he will go to a school where his teachers will be responsible for his progression as well.

Edited by arrgee1991
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And if you read my post, I did put a question mark at the end.

Still, the fact that people DO do it is extremely sad.

It was written as a rhetorical question and then you wrote....

"That is one of the saddest things I have read on here."

You did NOT ask a question, and let me respond. You wrote that the post I had written was one of the saddest things you had read on here.

Edited by arrgee1991
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It was written as a rhetorical question and then you wrote....

"That is one of the saddest things I have read on here."

You did NOT ask a question, and let me respond. You wrote that the post I had written was one of the saddest things you had read on here.

c'mon, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you - you have to admit that your original post was a bit ambiguous. You wrote:

My wife & I attend mass weekly, and have put our son down for two religious schools, but his chances of getting into either are slim due to the school governers/councils redrawing catchment areas and deciding that all Catholics in our area should attend a lower achieving school which involves a round trip of over two hours.

To me, that reads that you attend mass weekly [in order to] put your son down for two religious schools.

even though my wife & I attend mass weekly our sons chances of getting into either are slim due to the school governers/councils redrawing catchment areas...

We are talking sematics, and my point that going to mass inorder to get your child into a religious school is particularly sad.

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Some are poor due to area they are in, the family backgrounds of the children, and the standard of teaching on offer.

Local councils can have some influence but closing them down simply shifts the problem on elsewhere.

The progress of children these days does depend a lot on their parents. My parents did little to help me when I was at school, and I was fortunate enough to go to a good primary school where I was encouraged to develop my potential, sadly my secondary school was less good, but I was old enough to realise what I needed. I have spen the last year teaching my son at weekends and evenings to get him to a level to pass an entrance exam. Now he is head and shoulders (that's what he tells me!) above the rest of his class who have not had the same focus (they all live in the right area for the secondary school).

I have no plans to spend the next five yearss tutoring my son, especially in subjects I will know little of, so he will go to a school where he teachers will be responsible for his progression as well.

...My secondary school was quite poor also, a kind of a culture shock.....there was no consistency in the teaching, there were a few very good dedicated heads of year, teachers that loved their job it was their vocation, they could spot and develop a childs' talent and breath into them enthusiasm making them want to know more. They made the lessons interesting and fun...all the pupils gave them their respect....other teachers well they were not interest one iota, basically you had a textbook to read and had to answer a sheet of questions...or and how to pass tests...nothing more nothing less, complete waste of time, many of the kids played up in those lessons...there was no control, some of the kids even made one teacher cry in the lesson.... the able and willing kids lost out mega. ;)

Good luck...I hope it all works out well for you and your son. ;)

Edited by winkie
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...My secondary school was quite poor also, a kind of a culture shock.....there was no consistency in the teaching, there were a few very good dedicated heads of year, teachers that loved their job it was their vocation, they could spot and develop a childs' talent and breath into them enthusiasm making them want to know more. They made the lessons interesting and fun...all the pupils gave them their respect....other teachers well they were not interest one iota, basically you had a textbook to read and had to answer a sheet of questions...or and how to pass tests...nothing more nothing less, complete waste of time, many of the kids played up in those lessons...there was no control, some of the kids even made one teacher cry in the lesson.... the able and willing kids lost out mega. ;)

Good luck...I hope it all works out well for you and your son. ;)

I think we went to the same school ;-)

Thanks for the good wishes.

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That was me. I tried to point out that you have to play by the rules that are in place. And therefore it is the rules that need changing. Not to expect individuals to change.

We see this issue in many walks of life. An example would bank bonuses where to compete they have to pay what others do. Or bank regulation to ensure that banks don't just up sticks. Or even buying a house by borrowing far too much.

It is competition that drives these actions and to stop it you have to regulate.

There is no need to ban private schools really, if you got enough free state school with as good or better outcome, the private schools will gradually disappear (though few snobbish want may decide to maintain the tradition a bit longer). We have not banned BMW / Ferrarri etc either.

Also, remember that Britain are competing against the rest of the world. Some of the private schools in UK are among the best in the world and attracted pupils from the rest of the world. Unless state school can get itself up to that standard, stopping private school is a silly thing to do.

Also, the outcome of the education cannot be measured by just the results of A levels or entrance to OxBridge. In most of the cases, you can tell who is from the private school - simply because they are more confident.

There are many people who MEW to fund private schools and there are specifically financial product for this purpose.

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There is no need to ban private schools really, if you got enough free state school with as good or better outcome, the private schools will gradually disappear (though few snobbish want may decide to maintain the tradition a bit longer). We have not banned BMW / Ferrarri etc either.

Also, remember that Britain are competing against the rest of the world. Some of the private schools in UK are among the best in the world and attracted pupils from the rest of the world. Unless state school can get itself up to that standard, stopping private school is a silly thing to do.

Also, the outcome of the education cannot be measured by just the results of A levels or entrance to OxBridge. In most of the cases, you can tell who is from the private school - simply because they are more confident.

There are many people who MEW to fund private schools and there are specifically financial product for this purpose.

Why is confidence not taught in public schools then? Presumeably it is raltively easy to be trained to be - particularly if caught at an early age?

I doubt that this is the largest difference.

I also doubt that the less able pupils are thrown out from public schools - after all, the perception is that upper class twits get sent there and get better grades, irrespective of their ability.

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