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


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I always said that I will leave the UK the day I have to pay for private education (if state education is not good enough). I am monitoring very closely the quality fo my children's education and will leave the UK indeed the day I feel they need to go private... we will see, it is only their first year at school.

Having said that, what is education? What is it caring and willing parents can't teach by sitting down with there children a few hours a week? Core education is foreign language, grammar, maths and physics, that is what you need in life. The rest is nice to have but forgotten very quickly and not really needed apart from specialists jobs (history, geography...) and these can also be taught easily by going to museums every now and then or watching BBC documentaries like the History of Britain by Sharma.

Replying more specifically to the question, I would rather spend my money on quality time with my children and teach them life, rather than on private schools...

Edited by frenchy
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I have always felt superior to others and if anyone tried to drill it out of me, I'd tell them where to stick it. And I was brought up in a council estate in Hackney.

At independent schools, children are actively encouraged to be involved in charities and to help those less fortunate than themselves.

I don't believe those who attend independent schools do necessarily think themselves superior. Most of them are simply getting on with life, making friends, studying hard, trying to do their homework and so on. Working hard and achieving their potential should be what they try to do.

we are all encouraged to do charity.

You are entitled. feel the love. I know now that no-one going to a fee paying school feels they are superior...Its the Hackney council estate boys with their £500K council houses that feel this way.

I stand corrected.

just wondering what a"potential" is.

Edited by Bloo Loo
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I always said that I will leave the UK the day I have to pay for private education (if state education is not good enough). I am monitoring very closely the quality fo my children's education and will leave the UK indeed the day I feel they need to go private... we will see, it is only their first year at school.

Having said that, what is education? What is it caring and willing parents can't teach by sitting down with there children a few hours a week? Core education is foreign language, grammar, maths and physics, that is what you need in life. The rest is nice to have but forgotten very quickly and not really needed apart from specialists jobs (history, geography...) and these can also be taught easily by going to museums every now and then or watching BBC documentaries like the History of Britain by Sharma.

Replying more specifically to the question, I would rather spend my money on quality time with my children and teach them life, rather than on private schools...

And where would you go ? The French state system of learning by rote has been slated as tedious at best damaging at worst.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/news/7132024/Third-of-British-2012-Olympic-athletes-privately-educated.html

A third of the medal winners in the last British Olympic team went to independent schools, including Chris Hoy.

I suspect that if you add on those who went to University it would be around 50%.

I believe that those who attend state schools are often just as talented and able, but without the necessary encouragement and development, end up achieving less.

I also suspect that most of the highest achievers in lucrative/pestigious areas of life went to independent school, except footballers.

There will always be exceptions who buck this, but overall I would say that it is not necessarily the most talented that wins. It is often the best developed.

Sporting potential is spotted young and at most schools but to turn potential into reality is the difficult bit. The mentor is all important and this doesn't have to come from school(s). Most schools, never mind how much you pay or don't pay, won't have the expertise at the right level to help with the improving the skillset of gifted kids. That is where specialist sports clubs come in. What i do agree with you on is that the right school can provide a positivity that may help in achieving success. Unfortunately poor schools don't have that and there are many of them.

BTW 50% plus kids now go to University so you would expect similar rates or higher of success . Also footballers Jamie Redknapp and Frank lampard went to good (fee paying?) schools. So stats don't always help when making decisions in sport/life. Wonder who Jamie and Franks mentors were?!!!!

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And where would you go ? The French state system of learning by rote has been slated as tedious at best damaging at worst.

and what exactly do you know about the French system? Have you or your kids ever studied there? Have you got french teachers amongst your relatives?

I didn't think so...

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and what exactly do you know about the French system? Have you or your kids ever studied there? Have you got french teachers amongst your relatives?

I didn't think so...

Would you like to let me answer the question before you presume to know the answer ?

I studied alongside French students at university so I do know about the education system there and soul less was the word they used to describe it. My children also have a real French teacher at their school which was seen as an advantage in the prospectus but frankly he's the worse teacher i've ever come across, cannot control the class and so takes it out on the children he sees as weaker.

We also have German friends who don't rave about their education either, I've been educated in Australia, nothing to write home about there and my brothers attend school in the USA where they were grade A students, in the UK they might get A's when they could be arsed which wasn't often.

So comparing the British system to others I don't think it's the worst by far.

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Sporting potential is spotted young and at most schools but to turn potential into reality is the difficult bit. The mentor is all important and this doesn't have to come from school(s). Most schools, never mind how much you pay or don't pay, won't have the expertise at the right level to help with the improving the skillset of gifted kids. That is where specialist sports clubs come in. What i do agree with you on is that the right school can provide a positivity that may help in achieving success. Unfortunately poor schools don't have that and there are many of them.

BTW 50% plus kids now go to University so you would expect similar rates or higher of success . Also footballers Jamie Redknapp and Frank lampard went to good (fee paying?) schools. So stats don't always help when making decisions in sport/life. Wonder who Jamie and Franks mentors were?!!!!

It would probably be far higher than 50% in that case.

With footballers there is a big difference in that clubs will scout for the best talent and pay for it. It is very egalitarian, as only the best get picked up by clubs and developed. Your background does not matter. However, 95%+ never make it to play at league level, never mind premiership.

With other sports that don't have the finance that football has, the development is down to schools and sports clubs. Many independent schools have sports centres at their hub and when talent is recognised can assist in nuturing it. Some state schools do as well, but it happens less.

I totally agree that parents can help develop children. Sebastian Coe started at a secondary modern and through his father's coaching became one of the greatest athletes in the world. His father, Peter, was an engineer who applied those principles to coaching! Andy Murray is another example of strong parental influence. However, I have desisted from this type of encouragement as I feared turning into one of the mad dads bawling from the sidelines on a Saturday morning.

Edited by arrgee1991
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Would you like to let me answer the question before you presume to know the answer ?

I studied alongside French students at university so I do know about the education system there and soul less was the word they used to describe it. My children also have a real French teacher at their school which was seen as an advantage in the prospectus but frankly he's the worse teacher i've ever come across, cannot control the class and so takes it out on the children he sees as weaker.

We also have German friends who don't rave about their education either, I've been educated in Australia, nothing to write home about there and my brothers attend school in the USA where they were grade A students, in the UK they might get A's when they could be arsed which wasn't often.

So comparing the British system to others I don't think it's the worst by far.

Is that it? since when is university "education" by the way? As for the Real french teacher who is no good... I have a real tin of english custard at home, it is disgusting, what should I make of it?

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Is that it? since when is university "education" by the way? As for the Real french teacher who is no good... I have a real tin of english custard at home, it is disgusting, what should I make of it?

The French students were over here studying having been through the French education system themselves so yes I think I can take their opinions to be accurate.

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It would probably be far higher than 50% in that case.

With footballers there is a big difference in that clubs will scout for the best talent and pay for it. It is very egalitarian, as only the best get picked up by clubs and developed. Your background does not matter. However, 95%+ never make it to play at league level, never mind premiership.

With other sports that don't have the finance that football has, the development is down to schools and sports clubs. Many independent schools have sports centres at their hub and when talent is recognised can assist in nuturing it. Some state schools do as well, but it happens less.

I totally agree that parents can help develop children. Sebastian Coe started at a secondary modern and through his father's coaching became one of the greatest athletes in the world. His father, Peter, was an engineer who applied those principles to coaching! Andy Murray is another example of strong parental influence. However, I have desisted from this type of encouragement as I feared turning into one of the mad dads bawling from the sidelines on a Saturday morning.

But one of points I was making is that even in football your background does matter in giving you a chance of success. A talented guy with a poor family background and gang connections might lose his way without first hand support that even rich premiership cannot provide. Someone who is interested in developing the individual outside of the sport is essential Joey barton is not a role model and probably neither was his father but we only see the few who make it, not the ones that might haves.

Agreeing with you on a lot of things though.

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Core education is foreign language, grammar, maths and physics, that is what you need in life. The rest is nice to have but forgotten very quickly and not really needed apart from specialists jobs (history, geography...) and these can also be taught easily by going to museums every now and then or watching BBC documentaries like the History of Britain by Sharma.

This is a really interesting comment.

I am an ex-secondary school English teacher, and have taught in Britain and in Europe, both GCSE and IGCSE, and I have to say I am not totally sure of the real merit of many GCSE courses at all -- and I would include English literature and history in that. I really do not know why we teach Shakespeare at 14/15/16.

These days, and I know this is really weird, I do think that what would be far more beneficial would be to go back to the medieval and classical concept of teaching the trivium -- grammar, logic and rhetoric -- and then renew the old quadrivium so that it covered maths, science (including chemistry, biology, physics and geology), a foreign language and art/music (and I say this having gone to a bog-standard comprehensive).

But then I was always very focused on the idea that education should teach children how to do something (construct an argument, think critically, write a polemic, work out the angle of a triangle, speak French, play an instrument), rather than teach them about something ("in 1441, so and so did this").

Part of my reasoning for this is the sheer inaccuracies you get when teachers teach children about subjects. Sometimes, the information is just plain wrong (rubbish about the Suffragettes and female emancipation are my particular bugbear).

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I know of children that are receiving the best education possible.......the risk is they mix with the rich and entitled, they start thinking they are better than the rest of society and are 'rather special' important and deserving.....it is very important that they learn and understand they are no better than any other child...or they could well wake up to life with a long and hard shock...be humble. ;)

As someone who went to an independent school in the late 1980s and early 1990s I didn't see any evidence of that sort of attitude. My family were above average in wealth ( 4 bed detached decent area ). There were people at school who were loaded but I can't remember them looking down on the poorer kids. If anything it highlighted the differences in society as I was friends with both someone with a swimming pool in his back garden and someone who was properly poor ( who got in through the government assisted places scheme ). The only real difference happened when we got to the sixth form and the rich[er] kids got cars and were suddenly able to give you lifts, but that probably happens everywhere.

However as society is more materialistic now than we used to be, perhaps it my experiences no longer apply.

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I know of children that are receiving the best education possible.......the risk is they mix with the rich and entitled, they start thinking they are better than the rest of society and are 'rather special' important and deserving.....it is very important that they learn and understand they are no better than any other child...or they could well wake up to life with a long and hard shock...be humble. ;)

Aye, but there's another side to this, Winkie -- as there always is.

The risk of going state is that your children mix with the dispossessed and troubled, and they start thinking they can achieve nothing in life and aren't special or have anything to give at all.

This happened to my oldest friend who went to the same comp as me. She got pregnant at 15, a typical single teenage mum. She now looks back and finds it absurd and very strange that, at the time, she went through with the pregnancy because she didn't ever feel she would amount to much else and having a baby was the only thing she could do. She does blame the ethos at the school for making her think she was useless and hopeless, that she was stupid and would never amount to much.

It took her eighteen years to finally go back to school and get her A levels, and she starts her degree in September. Turns out she is a rather talented playwright, and has recently won an award for one of her pieces ... but all she can think about is those years she has lost and what might have been.

I, personally, think it is better for a child to be arrogant and get knocked-back by life, than it is to think you are hopeless and will never amount to much.

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As someone who went to an independent school in the late 1980s and early 1990s I didn't see any evidence of that sort of attitude. My family were above average in wealth ( 4 bed detached decent area ). There were people at school who were loaded but I can't remember them looking down on the poorer kids. If anything it highlighted the differences in society as I was friends with both someone with a swimming pool in his back garden and someone who was properly poor ( who got in through the government assisted places scheme ). The only real difference happened when we got to the sixth form and the rich[er] kids got cars and were suddenly able to give you lifts, but that probably happens everywhere.

However as society is more materialistic now than we used to be, perhaps it my experiences no longer apply.

...I think it is more that the poorer kids start to think they are better than their contemporaries, the ones they think they have left behind.......like you my friends at school have been very wealthy, living in huge houses, carriage drives indoor swimming pools, etc, but I have also had friends that have lived in council houses with little spare money and being brought up by a single parent......so yes, a very wide range of society....it sure opens your eyes somewhat and it has shown me that money does not bring happiness and you must never judge a book from the cover. ;)

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It seems mostly pointless to recount anecdotes as, if my education serves me correctly ;), we'll tend to pick ones that support our arguments and ignore those that don't.

My best mate went to a private school, came out with a single D. Bright guy by all accounts - thankfully went on to do good things despite the 1000s his folks "wasted". My Mrs went to a comp sat on the edge a council estate and came out with 4 As at A-level and went on to get a 1st. We all have a story to tell...

Core education is foreign language, grammar, maths and physics, that is what you need in life.

You might be right but this talk really struck a chord with me

The point around how our education system hasn't really moved on from Victorian times was particularly interesting. We still value the subjects that were important 100 years ago despite decades of change. It just seems counter intuitive to me to think that we shouldn't have progressed in this time.

I appreciate that HPC is generally against the Arts but if we have a society that can support musicians, poets, writers, sportsmen etc then I think this is a good thing - we simply don't need generations of clerks anymore, we seem to accept that we don't all have to farm our own food yet we still don't seem to be over the problems that were solved decades ago.

My job involves very complicated mathamatics - but that's what my PC is for. The computer frees me up to do more creative things in the same way that tractors and irrigation freed our ancestors from toiling the land.

It's time to move on!

Edited by Orbital
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Personally I would ban all state schools and give the money to parents to pay for the education they want.

The 9k a year tution fees look like a good precurser to this. The same "why should I pay for someone else's education which I got for free" idiom will be used to justify it.

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.

More like they'll select the only school they could afford, which kind of defeats the objective really. Plus there will be those who will simply not bother sending their children to any.

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Aye, but there's another side to this, Winkie -- as there always is.

The risk of going state is that your children mix with the dispossessed and troubled, and they start thinking they can achieve nothing in life and aren't special or have anything to give at all.

This happened to my oldest friend who went to the same comp as me. She got pregnant at 15, a typical single teenage mum. She now looks back and finds it absurd and very strange that, at the time, she went through with the pregnancy because she didn't ever feel she would amount to much else and having a baby was the only thing she could do. She does blame the ethos at the school for making her think she was useless and hopeless, that she was stupid and would never amount to much.

It took her eighteen years to finally go back to school and get her A levels, and she starts her degree in September. Turns out she is a rather talented playwright, and has recently won an award for one of her pieces ... but all she can think about is those years she has lost and what might have been.

I, personally, think it is better for a child to be arrogant and get knocked-back by life, than it is to think you are hopeless and will never amount to much.

That has nothing to do with the schools, but more to do with your grounding, upbringing, stability, security, routine....kids love routine....if the basics are there only good can grow from it, that is not to say that things can't grow from uncertainty, change, disruption, and chaos.....but it takes a certain type of kid to overcome the hand that they were dealt in life ;)

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The 9k a year tution fees look like a good precurser to this. The same "why should I pay for someone else's education which I got for free" idiom will be used to justify it.

More like they'll select the only school they could afford, which kind of defeats the objective really. Plus there will be those who will simply not bother sending their children to any.

I don't think the money should be given directly, but the cost of educating a child can be quantified and without the cost of the middle men (LEAs) it should provide better value by giving the money direct to the school.

I think there should be a better choice of school. I will be interested to see what happens with Free schools. I suspect that like the US charter schools they will be run by a corporation and not necessarily be any better than comprehensives (much like privatising council services), but who knows, maybe some good schools will be created.

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Another anecdote; someone I know from a low income household won a full scholarship to a private secondary school. He did well at GCSE, 5A*s + 5As and then I think he got 3 As at A level. He was rejected from one of his university choices because the average GCSE result at his school was 7A*s + 3As so they said he should have got at least 7A*s given the school he went to.

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I send my daughter to private school. Private school fees simply tell you how expensive education is. The fees are often less than a state school spends per pupil.

As far as I am concerned it happened by accident. Firstly my wife went back to work and we had to put our daughter in nursery daycare from about 6 months old. Then if we sent her to the local private school at 3 the fees for daycare actually fell. So we just fell into it.

The state schools in the town in which we lived were rubbish, so we just ended up keeping her there...13 years and counting. I often say to my wife that rather than giving my daughter a great education to earn enough to buy a house, we could have just given her the money and not take the risk.

I didn't go to private school myself and I object to paying for it. However, it does avoid the residential apartheid that exists. My brother rather crowingly goes on about how he sent his kids to the local state school. But to achieve a decent education he bought a house in a nice area away from town (Bearsden and works in Glasgow). So not only does he get a great education but he also has all the benefits ploughed into his house price appreciation without ever having to mix with the hoi polloi.

Whilst better education exists you have to do best by your kids. The middle classes are very good at playing whatever rules exist. 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.

Why not just let people spend their own money on their kids if they so choose, eh?

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