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


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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.

Some independent schools won't throw less able pupils out. They simply don't let them take examinations at the school. Doing this ensures that less able students don't bring down the results of the schools.

Most independent schools are selective and only take on the more able pupils. Doubtless a few bribe their way in, but if they aren't able they won't get the grades anyway.

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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. ;)

Ahh the evils of state control ..

My School was truely terrible .. They would take whatever talent or enthuiasm you had and beat it out of you .. We had a Kid who was a genius with cartoons, a wonderful style of drawing. He got caned for doing a drawing in Geography with an american with "too big a hat". This was the early 80's and there where two things that were on middle class parents minds .. lack of Dicipline and "Computer addiction" and my school catered for both .. By having not only no IT but also baning any computer related "Paraphenallia" (I was of course computer mad and used to write basic programs on bits of paper, for which I was severely punished).

The real low points of my school career are as follows ..

In my first term my dorm was next to the conencting door to the housemasters part of the house .. Every now and then he would have a barney with his wife .. then he would hit her and she would cry .. then the baby would wake up, then he would come and beat 40 bells of shit out of us for "waking the baby".. Usually it was my friend Dave who got it the worst as he was a heavy sleeper (the rest of us would run and hide, which would mean he would come rampaging through the building kicking the shit out of any 11 year old he met on the way). After I left that house he broke a kids arm on one of these rampages and the parents didn't seem to kick up a fuss. Eventually he had to leave when his wife left him (bad example to the boys!).

On two seperate occasions two of the masters were involved in prolonged fist fights in front of the boys. No action was taken ..

A really nasty (and I suspect mentally ill) teacher was asked by one of the boys if he could go to the toilet. Teacher said "NO" and turned on a tap in the sink (we were in a science lab) he then took 20 minetes off from "teaching" us to humiliate the boy into pissing himself in front of the whole class. Then he told the "filthy ****" to leave his class and go back to the jungle where he belonged.

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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.

I find private educated people tend to be much more confident. I don't think it's to do with state schools not teaching confidence, but more to do with private schools indoctrinating their pupils into thinking they're being turned into fantastic people so, when the time comes, they'll send their kids to the same school. It's how all private schools have traditionally run their businesses.

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

Nonsense. Just what would anyone gain by doing that. If you are a tutor, you genuinely want the smartest possible students to teach. There is no point putting them under arbitrary pressure, or checking if they can eat asparagus with the right fork.

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, (....) And so on and so on.

The applicants typically get several interviews, and then at two or more different colleges.

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.

Just what social class do you think the tutors come from? It's not as if they are necessarily even British.

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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.

I don't think it is an "elite" way of talking - it is more about being engaging and taking an interest. My eldest is into his first year at a private prep school and the transformation is immense. I was in two minds about the place, but when we went to look round, the headmaster just handed me over to a 12 year old (who introduced himself in a quite un child like manner), and said "little Johnny will show you round the school". This child was confident, articulate, engaging and you could have a decent conversation with him. Now you might say that there was only one child like it, and he had been trained to within an inch of his life - but there were loads of parents being shown round by 12 year olds, so the head man had quite a supply of them.

In terms of our eldest, he's suddenly become more questioning, able to hold a topic for longer and is polite. I nearly fell over when he opened the door for someone without prompting.

If we are in a future where everyone is going to get 10 As at A level, what will differentiate people? The ability to engage and be liked and hold a decent conversation. Some friends are smugly telling us that they get a fantastic state education for their little darling - who is a gurning inattentive child, bereft of the most basic social graces. They'll learn.

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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."

But there are lots of talented kids whose parents can't / won't pay who will be pipped to the top places by richer thickies.

The similar A-level results is the important bit. You can coach to a better A level grade, but you sure as hell can't coach what they are looking for in Oxbridge interviews.

Everyone applying to Oxbridge has really good grades so to be honest they don't really care about them. If someone from a comprehensive applies with slightly lower grades, more often than not they will get an interview. The people looking after admissions at these universities are not stupid, they know some people are coached and others are not.

I had the coaching - It was useless - because you can't coach understanding and insight when presented with a new situation.

Edit - I don't understand how people can afford private school nowadays. Some places are £30k per year!

Edited by LJAR
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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?

The fee paying schools are not teaching confidence directly, they are just teaching them correctly, i.e.:

  1. Expecting them to learn their subject properly rather than just cramming for exams.

  2. Expecting a standard of presentation of work rather than a "that'll do attitude"

  3. Teaching them how to behave rather than letting them run riot.

and the confidence then flows from that.

It's not rocket science (I suppose it is brain surgery of a sort) and it's what the better non-fee paying schools do.

The problem is that the above conflicts with the prevailing liberal "prizes for all" attitude which dominates too much of mainstream education.

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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.

This is because the schools are judged by a very basic standard - how many of them get 5 grade A-C GCSEs - which in reality is a pretty modest achievement.

If you're as thick as pigs*** they'll ignore you as beyond help.

If you're capable of getting 10 x A* then they'll ignore you because you'll still get 5 grade C's

Only if you're a C/D grade student will you actually get any attention, since those are the ones that can be moved from fail to pass.

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.

+1.

What it would lead to is different types of schools, some smaller, some bigger, specialising in different areas. Parents could then decide what they want.

I read last week that something like 50% of pupil funding disapears at the local education authority level, getting rid of that layer of buracracy must surely be a good thing.

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I find private educated people tend to be much more confident. I don't think it's to do with state schools not teaching confidence, but more to do with private schools indoctrinating their pupils into thinking they're being turned into fantastic people so, when the time comes, they'll send their kids to the same school. It's how all private schools have traditionally run their businesses.

When you send your kids to private school, you are buying confidence.

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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."

But there are lots of talented kids whose parents can't / won't pay who will be pipped to the top places by richer thickies.

Friend the other day: 'Lots of people can afford private school. It's as little as only six grand a year for one child, and even if it's more, people are prepared to go without just so their child gets the best education blah etc . . .'

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.

Is it just low interest rates keeping these places going?

There are private schools and private schools. The most academic of them (those that almost certainly supply those percentages) can be very difficult to get into regardless of how much money you've got. I've known seriously loaded parents who still failed to get their kids into the schools they'd set their hearts on. Competition for eg. the best London-area day schools can be savage.

At the other end are privates that will take any thickie whose folks can pay the fees. The sort of school that will take a rich thickie is unlikely to turn him/her into someone who swans into a Russell Group uni.

IMO the average bright kid who's prepared to work will probably do just as well at a reasonable state school as at a middle-road private. And some universities do discriminate nowadays against privately educated kids so they might ultimately gain some advantage.

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There are private schools and private schools. The most academic of them (those that almost certainly supply those percentages) can be very difficult to get into regardless of how much money you've got. I've known seriously loaded parents who still failed to get their kids into the schools they'd set their hearts on. Competition for eg. the best London-area day schools can be savage.

At the other end are privates that will take any thickie whose folks can pay the fees. The sort of school that will take a rich thickie is unlikely to turn him/her into someone who swans into a Russell Group uni.

IMO the average bright kid who's prepared to work will probably do just as well at a reasonable state school as at a middle-road private. And some universities do discriminate nowadays against privately educated kids so they might ultimately gain some advantage.

+1

Sent my kiddies to private......Yer, I know, I'm a rich cc*****,

One did exceptionally well and unhappy, the other is a content drifter. (Cost me £80K to buy a drifter....Sigh, such is life)

Both are confident though.

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I really don't blame parents for sending their kids private instead of a failing comprehensive with practically tenured and poor teachers

Got to love all the propaganda about how wonderful the state system is, if it is there would be no demand for 25k a year schools which I imagine takes up a big chunk of the discretionary post tax income of even a professional couple

There's a reason they do it.

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sorry; posted just before your post - not meant to follow yours - it was a general question

No need to apologise...an excellent quesion - I thought.

I came to the conclusion a few years ago, that money really doesn't make you happy (A cliche, but true). I had the means to send my kids to a better school, so went for it.

Was it value for money? Probably not. One kid did really well, the other not so well - but it doesn't matter.

We have the worst system in this country. A small private system for the wealthy elite; 9% of the population for private education and private health. It's not good enough.

If we stopped spending on illegal wars and waste wate waste etc, we could all benefit on better education and healthcare.

We are allowing ourselves to be degraded, so the rich can hold onto, and increase their wealth.

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I don't think it is an "elite" way of talking - it is more about being engaging and taking an interest. My eldest is into his first year at a private prep school and the transformation is immense. I was in two minds about the place, but when we went to look round, the headmaster just handed me over to a 12 year old (who introduced himself in a quite un child like manner), and said "little Johnny will show you round the school". This child was confident, articulate, engaging and you could have a decent conversation with him. Now you might say that there was only one child like it, and he had been trained to within an inch of his life - but there were loads of parents being shown round by 12 year olds, so the head man had quite a supply of them.

In terms of our eldest, he's suddenly become more questioning, able to hold a topic for longer and is polite. I nearly fell over when he opened the door for someone without prompting.

If we are in a future where everyone is going to get 10 As at A level, what will differentiate people? The ability to engage and be liked and hold a decent conversation. Some friends are smugly telling us that they get a fantastic state education for their little darling - who is a gurning inattentive child, bereft of the most basic social graces. They'll learn.

Being able to pronounce a flipping "Th" sound without turning it into an F at the start of a word or a V in the middle of one would be worth 9k a year I think!

Mrs Twin is currently "in the family way" and I am looking to move jobs (to increase earnings) and save more in order to have the option to send the little'un to a fee paying school.

Living in certain bits of the SE unless you are prepared to pledge your soul to some sect of sky-fairy believers, (which I will not do) its private or take your chances with the proper low end grunts because those who can go religious/private/Catchment surfing do so.

Arms race.

Edited by Lone_Twin
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