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


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they don't get interviews at two or more colleges, unless they fail the first one in which case they may be picked up by one other in clearing

The first choice college will rarely make a binding decision sufficiently soon to cancel the second-choice interview(s). Even then, at least in some subjects there is a policy of interviewing even applicants who already have a place elsewhere. That way the scores awarded by different colleges become comparable, and this helps make borderline decisions fairer.

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I would say the order of outcome, if access to top university places is top priority, then the ranking is

1 - Elite state school

2 - Elite private school

3 - Run of the mill private school

4 - Religious free school

5 - Run of the mill state school

My personal experience is I went to a sink school until I was 16 then my parents moved and I went to an elite state school, the difference was enormous, my sister was doing so badly in the sink school she was pulled out and sent to a run of the mill private school, my father being a socialist refused to pay for this so my mum had to go back to work to pay for it. However by dad was happy to move to a nice middle class area with the best state schooling around and keep what remained of his socialist principles intact ! In the best state schools the educational standards are on par with good private schools with motivated teachers and students, however in my opinion the top universities need to take as many state kids as possible due to political pressure so admission is that much easier for the well schooled state kid with the same exam results, just ask Ed Milliband !

As for my own preferences, I will send my kids to the best schools they can get into, whatever the cost, be it buying the right house or paying the fees. Fortunately the cost should not be a problem, however if I was totally skint and I could not move to a decent area and the kids were facing a sink school then the only option would be to head to church on Sunday , at 52 hours a year to save say 8,000 quid a year looks like it pays about 150 quid an hour, plus I would have the nice feeling while in church that what I would be doing is undermining organized religion from the inside.

In short I think it is natural for parents to want to make many sacrifices for their kids, and also that you probably want your kids to be surrounded by kids whose parents are making sacrifices themselves rather than parents who don't care. I think many in the uk take a very class motivated view of what is right and wrong in education, all I care about is the best outcome for my kids and how to achieve that.

Edited by catsick
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I have three at prep school, firstly we get 3 for the price of 2 so that's a massive help, when number 4 joins we will also get 25% off his fees. We also pay in advance each year which offers another 5% discount.

I am lucky in that I can buy literally one set of uniform each, pass it down and whilst expensive at £30 a jumper, it lasts the quality is 100% better, I'd get through 4 M&S ones in a school year.

The private school offers so much for free, after school clubs, removing the need for childcare and activities I used to spend half my life driving to and from plus £500 at least per month to fund, we're actually not noticing too much difference.

The expectations and the academic performance from all three, even the little one is remarkable. My mother was a teacher is loathed to admit she can see a difference in everything from their handwriting to confidence.

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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.

I suppose that you can sigh when you look back on the 80k, but were you to start over would you still give them both the opportunity of a good private education? I would guess yes, as I think it would be better to give the opportunity and not take advantage of it in future than not to be given the opportunity and want/need it.

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It has a lot to do with where you choose to live......live in the catchment area of a good state school every town has one but you pay a premium for the house or cheaper house in a zone of a run of the mill school and use the often substantial saving on the bricks and mortar to pay the fees for private education.

Theres often 100k off a difference in price from one side of the street to the other depending on the catchment.

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I would say the order of outcome, if access to top university places is top priority, then the ranking is

1 - Elite state school

2 - Elite private school

3 - Run of the mill private school

4 - Religious free school

5 - Run of the mill state school

My personal experience is I went to a sink school until I was 16 then my parents moved and I went to an elite state school, the difference was enormous, my sister was doing so badly in the sink school she was pulled out and sent to a run of the mill private school, my father being a socialist refused to pay for this so my mum had to go back to work to pay for it. However by dad was happy to move to a nice middle class area with the best state schooling around and keep what remained of his socialist principles intact ! In the best state schools the educational standards are on par with good private schools with motivated teachers and students, however in my opinion the top universities need to take as many state kids as possible due to political pressure so admission is that much easier for the well schooled state kid with the same exam results, just ask Ed Milliband !

As for my own preferences, I will send my kids to the best schools they can get into, whatever the cost, be it buying the right house or paying the fees. Fortunately the cost should not be a problem, however if I was totally skint and I could not move to a decent area and the kids were facing a sink school then the only option would be to head to church on Sunday , at 52 hours a year to save say 8,000 quid a year looks like it pays about 150 quid an hour, plus I would have the nice feeling while in church that what I would be doing is undermining organized religion from the inside.

In short I think it is natural for parents to want to make many sacrifices for their kids, and also that you probably want your kids to be surrounded by kids whose parents are making sacrifices themselves rather than parents who don't care. I think many in the uk take a very class motivated view of what is right and wrong in education, all I care about is the best outcome for my kids and how to achieve that.

Hi Catsick,

If I remember correctly - you are in Singapore and from what I understand, Singapore takes an elitist view on education, completely opposite to that of the UK.

I would be very grateful if you can compare and contrast the two system a little bit.

Thank you.

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I suppose that you can sigh when you look back on the 80k, but were you to start over would you still give them both the opportunity of a good private education? I would guess yes, as I think it would be better to give the opportunity and not take advantage of it in future than not to be given the opportunity and want/need it.

If he/she is happy with their lot then consider yourself to have done well, you won the parenting game. Had you not spent the £80k you might have a traumatised drifter.

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Singapore has a system that is similar in some ways and different in others, for expats there is a good selection of private schools, the best ones have very long waiting lists, My daughter had to go on the wait list at six months old and just made it in, born at the wrong time of the year, no chance ! A decent day school will cost about 15,000 gbp , also to jump the queue if you are expat moved in from overseas with kids that need to go straight in will cost your company about 100,000 gbp cash each ! The shcools are charities so in theory all the money goes on education, but there is an arms race in facilities and as many as 25% of the places can be taken by kids of the teachers who get in free !

The state schools which the local kids must attend ( they are not allowed by law to go to the international schools ) are fairly good and super competitive, to get into a top state school will require massive amounts of extra tuition, its sort of like a grammar school system on steroids, I personally would not want my kids to be put through such a competitive system at an early age. At the end of the day though we may still return to the uk at some point for our kids schooling but will have to see how things pan out ...

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Are you serious? :ph34r:

That sounds more like the 1950’s than the 1980’s!

When I tell my German friends that in the 80’s some of my class mates got canned for fighting, smoking etc… they are truly shocked!

My mother used to try and frighten me into doing better at school by saying if I did not improve she’d pack me off to boarding school ( was an idle threat I learnt later as we could never have afforded it), she painted an image of hard beds, drafty dormitories, cold showers and bullying teachers, I thought she was exaggerating but looks like she was right!

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.

Edited by PricedOutNative
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Hi Catsick,

If I remember correctly - you are in Singapore and from what I understand, Singapore takes an elitist view on education, completely opposite to that of the UK.

I would be very grateful if you can compare and contrast the two system a little bit.

Thank you.

Don't know about 'eltiist' but from what I've seen (b-i-l married to a Sing. chinese in Singapore) , boy, do they make them work.

When she was only 3 one of the kids was telling me how tired she gets when 'Mummy makes me do my homework.'

In school hols they have online work set by the school every day, and that's in addition to what their mother gives them. And not counting the piano practice, etc.

Anyone see the S Times article about the relentlessly pushy Chinese mother? Can't say it was altog. a revelation since I'd seen some similar 1st hand, although nothing like this woman's strategies - pushing a young child out into the freezing cold because she wouldn't do her piano practice - threatening to burn all her soft toys, etc.

Having said that, I do sometimes think that too much of UK education has gone too far the other way.

Edit: might add that general discipline is much stricter, too. From what I've seen, bad behaviour, even whining, is simply not tolerated. Count to three and if you haven't stopped it, whack.

Edited by Mrs Bear
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Singapore has a system that is similar in some ways and different in others, for expats there is a good selection of private schools, the best ones have very long waiting lists, My daughter had to go on the wait list at six months old and just made it in, born at the wrong time of the year, no chance ! A decent day school will cost about 15,000 gbp , also to jump the queue if you are expat moved in from overseas with kids that need to go straight in will cost your company about 100,000 gbp cash each ! The shcools are charities so in theory all the money goes on education, but there is an arms race in facilities and as many as 25% of the places can be taken by kids of the teachers who get in free !

The state schools which the local kids must attend ( they are not allowed by law to go to the international schools ) are fairly good and super competitive, to get into a top state school will require massive amounts of extra tuition, its sort of like a grammar school system on steroids, I personally would not want my kids to be put through such a competitive system at an early age. At the end of the day though we may still return to the uk at some point for our kids schooling but will have to see how things pan out ...

Thanks Catsick. Looks like the queue is about as bad as HK nowadays. Teacher kids gets free..oh.. that is interesting.

I heard from SG friends that in their state school, 80% in exams are not good enough... 100% is always the goal ?

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Don't know about 'eltiist' but from what I've seen (b-i-l married to a Sing. chinese in Singapore) , boy, do they make them work.

When she was only 3 one of the kids was telling me how tired she gets when 'Mummy makes me do my homework.'

In school hols they have online work set by the school every day, and that's in addition to what their mother gives them. And not counting the piano practice, etc.

Anyone see the S Times article about the relentlessly pushy Chinese mother? Can't say it was altog. a revelation since I'd seen some similar 1st hand, although nothing like this woman's strategies - pushing a young child out into the freezing cold because she wouldn't do her piano practice - threatening to burn all her soft toys, etc.

Having said that, I do sometimes think that too much of UK education has gone too far the other way.

Edit: might add that general discipline is much stricter, too. From what I've seen, bad behaviour, even whining, is simply not tolerated. Count to three and if you haven't stopped it, whack.

How very true your post is, the pressure is intense, I would also add that there are similar non-chinese families in London: private school, tutors, extra work, extra curicular activities - the kids get very little time to relax..

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Don't know about 'eltiist' but from what I've seen (b-i-l married to a Sing. chinese in Singapore) , boy, do they make them work.

When she was only 3 one of the kids was telling me how tired she gets when 'Mummy makes me do my homework.'

In school hols they have online work set by the school every day, and that's in addition to what their mother gives them. And not counting the piano practice, etc.

Anyone see the S Times article about the relentlessly pushy Chinese mother? Can't say it was altog. a revelation since I'd seen some similar 1st hand, although nothing like this woman's strategies - pushing a young child out into the freezing cold because she wouldn't do her piano practice - threatening to burn all her soft toys, etc.

Having said that, I do sometimes think that too much of UK education has gone too far the other way.

Edit: might add that general discipline is much stricter, too. From what I've seen, bad behaviour, even whining, is simply not tolerated. Count to three and if you haven't stopped it, whack.

I'm not sure if this is the article that you refer to but it was mentioned on a forum but linked to the WSJ, I have to admit it's a very interesting read:

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.

read more...

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You think the chinese are bad ? My wife is Korean and they take it to another level ! There is a reason the Koreans top every table of school kids ability and it is massive parental commitment to do anything or pay any price for thier kids education,

My 7 year old korean nieces we in stitches laughing at the maths homework of their 12 year old English cousin, they could not believe how easy it was, I don't think its that great for the kids but they seem happy enough.

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You think the chinese are bad ? My wife is Korean and they take it to another level ! There is a reason the Koreans top every table of school kids ability and it is massive parental commitment to do anything or pay any price for thier kids education,

My 7 year old korean nieces we in stitches laughing at the maths homework of their 12 year old English cousin, they could not believe how easy it was, I don't think its that great for the kids but they seem happy enough.

I saw a programme about a Chinese school....did they work hard or what? Unbelievable effort from the kids.

If the Koreans are even more focused.....Wow !!

(We have gone seriously wrong somewhere in the UK :( )

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I saw a programme about a Chinese school....did they work hard or what? Unbelievable effort from the kids.

If the Koreans are even more focused.....Wow !!

(We have gone seriously wrong somewhere in the UK :( )

Taught Economics in London for 8 years and the last 7 in an International School in Hong Kong. The only hope in the UK is that free thinking and individualism is an essential ingredient for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, which in turn drive progress and prosperity.

If ultimately it is primarily to do with academic prowess and knowledge of the standard curriculum subjects and conventional teachings the West/UK is well and truly up shit creek without a paddle. The difference between drive and ability amongst the young in the East/West is vast and unquestionable.

Edited by desertorchid
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In my youth I used to wonder how anyone but the seriously rich could even think of running a car, or paying hotel prices.

It's the same principle. You have a familiar economic zone based on your own experience. But your experience is not universal: some people do run cars, some people do have big yachts, some people do send their children to private schools, and ... dammit, I even fork out hotel prices myself these days!

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we live in such a non linear world these days enabled by technology. Look at facebook. Pretty basic really. Theres loads of really cool and extremely difficult tech that goes nowhere. If your not open minded and free thinking you will hit these big wins much less. Whats the Koreans and chinese invented recently? Serious question. Ive had some exposure to the Koreans in telecoms. Claimed to be way ahead. Had this technology called coloring where you paid the network to play your own personalised ringing tone. Thats right, you dont ever hear it unless you ring yourself! It was a big success in Korea, and a huge flop everywhere else.

cheers

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How sad :(

I enjoyed school, I was academically OK but when I was walking to school in the mornings I was looking forward to seeing my friends and a glimpse of a girl or two I fancied.

What’s the point of life it you’re on a treadmill…

I saw a programme about a Chinese school....did they work hard or what? Unbelievable effort from the kids.

If the Koreans are even more focused.....Wow !!

(We have gone seriously wrong somewhere in the UK :( )

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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 ...

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.

+1

Twelve months ago I had no intention of sending my son to a private school, but having been to the independent and state schools in the area (one is a grammar) and been shown round by children, the enthusiasm and interest of the children at the private school was breathtaking in comparison to their state counterparts.

At the grammar school, the sixth former who showed us around was inarticulate and unengaging. We just left him behind talking with his mates in urban slang and looked around on our own in the end.

Only one state school impressed me, which is a foundation school open to Christians & Jews, where the pupils did have some sense of enthusiasm. We are on the edge of the catchment area for that and although we put it as our first choice, we don't expect them to accept our son.

When employers look at people, it is not qualifications that will land jobs as everyone will have them, it will be the other aspects such as their personality that will be judged.

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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.

How long is a piece of string?

There's no such thing as "interview technique for Oxbridge". Admission is handled by the colleges, and different colleges take very different attitudes to admissions. An "interview technique" that works well at one might fall flat next door.

My old college (Girton) certainly didn't do anything to intimidate a comprehensive school candidate like me. Quite the opposite: they did everything to put me at my ease. And to bring that up to date, my nephew's experience at Clare was that they did a great deal to level the playing field and flatten any benefits of private tutoring.

I expect that may be how links from the most elite schools to individual colleges arise. Maybe there's still life in them, but you really can't generalise.

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I hated it.lot of arrogance and a lot of the kids leave with an inflated sense of superiority.would I send mine?no way.yeah they may get some good results but you have to balance that with the life skills and friends they'll make in the real world with real people.

Very much my experience and conclusion too. The teachers were the worst, telling us that we were "the elite", lulling you into a false sense that simply by attending the school you were destined for greatness.

Of course, private schools can be a "nice" environment for kids, without the disruption caused by Special Needs kids etc. but real life isn't like that, and that can be a bit of a shock when you come out of that cosetted environment.

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I was a comp kid who into Oxford to read History. There's so much I could say on the subject, but I'll just say that I won't be paying for a private education for my two children.

I did the sums and thought that for the money, I could pay for private tutors, not have to work so many hours (so could spend time with them myself), have money for educational holidays, buy any educational things they want and still have change.

My father-in-law tutors maths and most of his students are privately educated at top private schools. So how have to wonder how much value it really adds.

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... I won't be paying for a private education for my two children.

I did the sums and thought that for the money, I could pay for private tutors, not have to work so many hours (so could spend time with them myself), have money for educational holidays, buy any educational things they want and still have change.

My father-in-law tutors maths and most of his students are privately educated at top private schools. So how have to wonder how much value it really adds.

It all depends on the schools you can send your children to. If your LEA decides your child is going to your local underperforming comprehensive whether you like it or not then you might consider that you have little choice but to pay.

In an ideal world I would send my son to a really good state school, but my LEA pretty much decides where he goes thanks to catchment areas. Notionally I have six choices on the form but in reality of the four schools we selected two were pipedreams as we are on the fringes of the catchment areas.

I also think the money I would spend could be spent wisely on tutors and so on, but the reality is that unless I have to pay it I won't.

Going back to the question of affordability, I guess it's just a matter of priorities. My in-laws have very nice cars/houses and probably spend £15K/annum on them. I drive a T-reg car, that I will soon be dumping and not replacing as I don't want to pay tax, insurance and maintenance on it. It's a lot, but fortunately I have a bit of cash squirrelled away and should be able to afford 5-7 years of fees without too much hardship.

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