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longtomsilver

New House Or Private Education?

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Our circumstances have changed a little from over a few weeks ago when we were planning on buying our second home near a good comprehensive school for our children. The mortgage company declined us for reasons unknown. We still have a lovely, modest home in an idyllic setting and the mortgage will be cleared with the deposit (£100k) and so will the remaining finance on my car. So outgoings are going to be minimum going forwards.

We'll put £15k in each of our ISAs this financial year and put £1,250 a month each into our ISAs for the foreseeable future. Which in five years when the first of our children start secondary eduction could be ~£200,000.

Question is... would it be worth putting our children into private school from 11+? (they are in an 'outstanding' village primary right now so in no hurry to change this.

I'm looking at the Girl's Day School Trust group of schools and spending ~£2,000 a month for the two of them.

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Invest in your children - they get to choose your care home

On a serious note - i've never understood people paying way over the odds for property in the catchment area of a good school - the school could go downhill or change it's selection rules and your premium would be lost.

Also, it's a decision you need to make nearer the time, (you don't say how old your children are) but the nearer they get to that age the better you'll known if they are academic/studious/have talents elsewhere or wasters - how many of us have met rich kids gone through the best schools only to be total bums - I've met several (who ended up working where I was, due to being 'the bosses son')

If I could (I don't even have kids - but take a keen interest in my 4 Godchildren) I wouldn't hesitate on paying for their education -

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Hello longtom...

I very often watch some of you savers in awe...congrats on putting yourself in a position where you can make those choices :)

As someone who went to a private school,I'll chip in a perspective:

Undoubtedly it gives your kids a different perspective on life and opens up some opportunities.

Having said that,i know some folks who had a private education and fared badly nonetheless, and some that had a standard education and did pretty well. Most important variable is that they get a stable upbringing and maybe you can pass on some of that financial sense...or so I think.

And if you look at private, make sure they understand the options as well as they can and it's their choice :) If they want to go to the local comp and try to be the drummer in a band so be it :)

You seem to be an eminently nice chap, I'm sure they'll be fine :)

P

I was born lucky and luck has followed me ever since. The savings have little to do with me... inheritance/successful wifey.

Thank you for your perspective and I'm sure you'd have been little different without the private education but it certainly instilled politeness and etiquette in you. Made me smile (for a miserable old soul anyway).

Invest in your children - they get to choose your care home

On a serious note - i've never understood people paying way over the odds for property in the catchment area of a good school - the school could go downhill or change it's selection rules and your premium would be lost.

Also, it's a decision you need to make nearer the time, (you don't say how old your children are) but the nearer they get to that age the better you'll known if they are academic/studious/have talents elsewhere or wasters - how many of us have met rich kids gone through the best schools only to be total bums - I've met several (who ended up working where I was, due to being 'the bosses son')

If I could (I don't even have kids - but take a keen interest in my 4 Godchildren) I wouldn't hesitate on paying for their education -

It's a decision I've seen made by others over the last year and on both occasions they gave failed to get their children into their desired school which was the whole reason for a relocation in the first place. So they've doubled the cost of a home for no conceivable benefit which is pretty much the gamble I was prepared to make.

As for the schools, our two local feeder schools have faired badly over the past decade with gcse results declining from 59% to 49% and 49% to 39% respectively whilst the state school we'd be hoping to get our children into has improved from 71% to 79% attaining five passes a-c with a higher proportion getting a*-b in maths and English on a par with some fee paying schools.

My daughter is studious so a paid for education wouldn't necessarily be wasted on her... my son on the other hand :/

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I was born lucky and luck has followed me ever since. The savings have little to do with me... inheritance/successful wifey.

Thank you for your perspective and I'm sure you'd have been little different without the private education but it certainly instilled politeness and etiquette in you. Made me smile (for a miserable old soul anyway).

It's a decision I've seen made by others over the last year and on both occasions they gave failed to get their children into their desired school which was the whole reason for a relocation in the first place. So they've doubled the cost of a home for no conceivable benefit which is pretty much the gamble I was prepared to make.

As for the schools, our two local feeder schools have faired badly over the past decade with gcse results declining from 59% to 49% and 49% to 39% respectively whilst the state school we'd be hoping to get our children into has improved from 71% to 79% attaining five passes a-c with a higher proportion getting a*-b in maths and English on a par with some fee paying schools.

My daughter is studious so a paid for education wouldn't necessarily be wasted on her... my son on the other hand :/

We're wrestling with this one at the moment. Both of us parents went to state schools but a couple of things are making us think seriously about private education for our daughter:

1. Our local state secondary school has just had an awful OFSTED report. Also, and more anecdotally, many of the pupils we know from there don't seem to be being pushed, or given any sense of drive or ambition. It seems that the school is solely focused on maximising the number of kids who get 5 GCSE's at A-C. If you're bright enough to do that easily, or unfortunate enough that it's unlikely you'll achieve that - you seem to be just left to your own devices. Hence university entrance stats seem pretty poor to me (in terms of the proportion of pupils from what is a middle class catchment getting into Russell Group Universities), while at the same time my wife and I know some kids who the school has effectively given up on at age 13.

2. I work in a field which is becoming increasingly the preserve of the privately educated - having witnessed first hand the power of the Old Boy network I'm amazed I ever got to the level I am without it, and it's becoming more and more pervasive.

Both of the above really annoy me, and part of me thinks I should be doing something to change the system rather than just opt out and write a cheque to look after my own daughter. I'm not sure if change is going to be that easy to achieve while so many people seem happy to go along with the status quo, and I'm not convinced that I should be sacrificing my daughters education for my principles is the right parenting decision.

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Both of the above really annoy me, and part of me thinks I should be doing something to change the system rather than just opt out and write a cheque to look after my own daughter. I'm not sure if change is going to be that easy to achieve while so many people seem happy to go along with the status quo, and I'm not convinced that I should be sacrificing my daughters education for my principles is the right parenting decision.

Don't worry, you'll be in good company with a slew of labour politicians, who decided to forgo their principles and send their children to private schools/grammar/fee paying.

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Boarding certainly fosters self reliance and self confidence in children, but knowing how to behave and the subtleties of etiquette in higher levels of society is more down to parents and home background. I think this also applies to the old boy network in a more subtle way than the majority realise. Many high fliers may have been independently educated, and that is sometimes an easy correlation to make; however, the really influentual backing behind them, especially at the start of a career, is more likely from family or contacts made through family.

Independent schools want pupils to go to good universities because it is an easy way to measure the standard of teaching and sell their services to well intentioned parents. No one is asking whether that university degree is really going to help the child concerned in a future career.

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Boarding certainly fosters self reliance and self confidence in children,

Don't know about the self-confidence trait necessarily

One particularly screwed-up bosses' son, went 'postal' and threatened to glass a work colleague when we were in the pub. The other guy was also public school but a 'Flashman' type and pretty much top of the food chain.

"it's guys like you who messed me up in school" he screamed, his hand shaking, as chirpy cockney sparra me gently disarmed him of the glass he was holding

I can't remember who said "if you can survive public school, you can pretty much survive anything" - i think they'd just come out of the Bangkok Hilton :ph34r: but I think boarding has some victims

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Parental effort and the early years are the key in my opinion. Get behaviour right, start learning early, and a instill desire for education before 10 years old and then, barring dire teaching and a truly awful school (there are bad state and private), a child should be equipped for secondary school life so that they do well whether it's public or state.

Whichever you choose, you won't know what may have come from the alternative.

There should be more opportunities at a public school, for sure.

I had experience of both. More nutters at private school, more bullies at the state. A higher % of better teachers in the state system - 35 years ago - when in the public system many were unqualified.

Although if you can't get a Grammar school go private. I'd agree with BossyBabe (below) about stretching.

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I'd go for the private school every time. State schools concentrate on the stupid, unsaveables because they are the kids with the parents who kick up a fuss/beat up the teachers when they don't get their way [parents and children]. Meanwhile, the bright kids of the responsible parents have their education neglected, because they conform to the schools' wishes and pick things up just fine in comparison with the others, but they're not STRETCHED.

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I went to a State comprehensive. It was probably the best one in the town.

I don't exactly look back on it fondly as if it was the 'time of my life' but it did equip me quite well.

I can't say whether, had I gone to private school, I would be happier or would earn more. I was perfectly ambitious enough and I think the nurturing of my intellect by my parents throughout was key.

So if they're happy where they are, and I was happy where I am (housing) then my inclination would be to spend the money on myself doing stuff I have always wanted to do.

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I was offered leniency though as it looked like I might end up in Sandhurst :)

P

Good Morning, Major Jesus. Your "weapons of peace" are in the post.

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I'd go for the private school every time. State schools concentrate on the stupid, unsaveables because they are the kids with the parents who kick up a fuss/beat up the teachers when they don't get their way [parents and children]. Meanwhile, the bright kids of the responsible parents have their education neglected, because they conform to the schools' wishes and pick things up just fine in comparison with the others, but they're not STRETCHED.

My 7 year old is in this position (not being pushed in state school) . Not that my wife and I are under any illusion about their abilities but they need pushing every step of the way to do any work. Unimpressed with the child's general study performance and seemingly dunce group in day to day activities we expected the worst at parents evening...

Only to be told that in the upcoming SATs, above average and good levels are expected across the board. Therefore the teacher was perfectly happy and did not seem at all interested in our concerns.

We rent in an area with a strong grammar school system. Competition for places is very strong and £1200 per year in extra tuition for the entrance exam seems to be the norm nowadays. At 7 years old, you start to wondr if it's worth the effort and what you do as a plan B, non-selective.

Hence we've bought a house not far from where we rent but certainly considered to be in a different area. it is far closer to a good non-selective school that seems set on pushing their pupils, almost guaranteeing us a place there in the future if grammar school is not an option.

Private school is no longer a realistic option.

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So you still staying with your burd ?

(Apologies if I have you mixed up with someone else !!)

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So you still staying with your burd ?

(Apologies if I have you mixed up with someone else !!)

I can't see us growing old together if that's what you mean... she'll probably dump me when my usefulness expires as the kids leave school in 10-12 years hence keeping the current house, ostensibly as a BTL. I'll come out of this better for staying with her in the meantime :)

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My daughter is studious so a paid for education wouldn't necessarily be wasted on her.

I don't understand this logic. Surely it would be better to put your studious daughter in a state school and your son in private if they behave as you've indicated?

A state school would bring out the worst in your son I imagine, whereas your daughter will do well either way.

That said, it would be better, in my opinion, to put the money into a trust fund and send them to a decent state school.

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I don't understand this logic. Surely it would be better to put your studious daughter in a state school and your son in private if they behave as you've indicated?

A state school would bring out the worst in your son I imagine, whereas your daughter will do well either way.

That said, it would be better, in my opinion, to put the money into a trust fund and send them to a decent state school.

Was going to say the same, a state school with possibly a little extra tuition in the final years might be a better option. You can't get more than an A* so if she is capable of it then doesn't really matter where it's done.

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Here's an idea, send them to a state school and only give them the money if they achieve certain grades.

A bad one unfortunately. Extrinsic rewards like that will not create an intrinsic desire for educational achievement.

The attitude of parents makes a massive difference to successful educational outcomes, and plenty of privately educated kids go wild when finally released into a university environment. Generally though the odds are in your favour with private education.

Given you are a house husband, I wonder if you have considered home schooling at all? Or state education with some private tutoring in key areas if your children need it.

Some friends of mine had exactly your dilemma - and their kids are turning out just fine (As and A*s across the board) in state schools - because the parents make sure they are around to support them as well as getting themselves on the board of governors etc.

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A bad one unfortunately. Extrinsic rewards like that will not create an intrinsic desire for educational achievement.

The attitude of parents makes a massive difference to successful educational outcomes, and plenty of privately educated kids go wild when finally released into a university environment. Generally though the odds are in your favour with private education.

Given you are a house husband, I wonder if you have considered home schooling at all? Or state education with some private tutoring in key areas if your children need it.

Some friends of mine had exactly your dilemma - and their kids are turning out just fine (As and A*s across the board) in state schools - because the parents make sure they are around to support them as well as getting themselves on the board of governors etc.

Baring in mind that their primary school has <50 pupils they wouldn't thank me for it. Additional paid for tuition is a consideration.

Looks like I'll save as planned and wait for a rental property to come up in our desires area with the fallback of private school if things don't work out as planned :)

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Got two in private school at the moment.

The tuning of the environment to capability is key to me. The eldest has always been studious and keen to please so has done well. The youngest is bright, but in years 3 - 4 was terminally lazy and distracted, so delivered nothing in class, but managed to deliver the results in class. The school have take the time to understand this, and the youngest is being pushed very hard to achieve his full potential - it is working and he is finally getting it. I fear that at the local comp he would have been dumped in the bottom of the class and ignored. Don't settle for 5 GCSEs or whatever - the averagely intelligent son of a neighbour has just banged out 11, mostly As and A* - this is clearly not a major achievement these days.

If you are expecting private schools to teach them manners, forget it. My two are feral when the get home at the end of term, and are just about knocked into shape by the end of the holiday. My dog has better table manners than several of the staff.

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My 7 year old is in this position (not being pushed in state school) . Not that my wife and I are under any illusion about their abilities but they need pushing every step of the way to do any work. Unimpressed with the child's general study performance and seemingly dunce group in day to day activities we expected the worst at parents evening...

Can't say that I felt particularly pushed at a grammar school. It affected the second half of my A levels but up until then I seemed to get by without needing to put any effort in, and that's not done me much good. I'm not blaming anyone but myself for the fact that I'm a lazy sod who struggles to do anything these days but it may explain (but not justify) it at least partially.

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I can't see us growing old together if that's what you mean... she'll probably dump me when my usefulness expires as the kids leave school in 10-12 years hence keeping the current house, ostensibly as a BTL. I'll come out of this better for staying with her in the meantime :)

Understood - good planning. :)

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My two are feral when the get home at the end of term, and are just about knocked into shape by the end of the holiday. My dog has better table manners than several of the staff.

"My brother ate my homework."

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Just buy a Lexus!

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