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Private Schools vs State Schools

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
  • View Poll Results: Would you consider a private education for your children?
    If I could afford it I'd consider private
    207
    71.38%
    I'd never consider private
    61
    21.03%
    I'm really not sure
    22
    7.59%

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    Two thought provoking articles:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...ate?CMP=twt_gu

    and

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...private-school

    What do the students of the UK reckon?
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    (Original post by ChrisN)
    Two thought provoking articles:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...ate?CMP=twt_gu

    and

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...private-school

    What do the students of the UK reckon?
    Ideally I prefer a good state school mostly because I like the idea of saying that the grades achieved were as a result of my hard work not because of the school I attended which is what seems to be the default reaction the second someone mentions that they went to a private school. The cost is also another issue. Although it's clear that some leading private schools have a bit more to offer than some good state schools but I just don't think the difference is so great to warrant near 100k difference in cost. It seems excessive.

    The catchment area is what is the big problem. There are areas where there simply isn't any good state schools and for someone to get a half decent education they either have to go private or buy a new house in a good area. It just seems like it was a ploy to ensure that the 'status quo' remains.
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    Anyone who says a state school education is superior is simply delusional. There is so much snobbery from judgemental, 'high-horse' parents who send their kids to state schools, who try to justify their (perfectly legitimate) decision not to give their kids the best start possible in life - unless of course they can't afford it, which is an entirely different matter. I have experienced both private and state schools, and the gulf is massive. Public students do not live in a bubble, very few are actually snobs and they are almost all very well mannered and polite due to the discipline enforced by their school.

    My experience of state school was living in fear every day because I was an above average student and was threatened daily for trying to make something of my education. My fellow students were primarily obnoxious wannabe gangsters who spent their time beating each other up and dragging their knuckles along the floor. The idea that you get a more balanced education, learning about society is absolute *******s; it is simply the excuse of the parents who decide to send their kids there. At my school there are kids from all different backgrounds, about 30% are on scholarships and others have parents who sacrifice a large proportion of their income to send their offspring there. Unless you have experienced private schools, I'm afraid you have no right to comment, and vice versa.
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    People I have met from private school including my cousin do sort of live in an arrogant snobbery bubble some to larger extents than others but I wouldn't say it's that bad most people from private schools I have met seemed nice people and weren't to removed from normal society (although some of the stuff they said was extremley snobbish but they didn't really mean it in a bad way) the first article paints a picture that private school kids would become scared mingling with commoners or walking down a London street which just isn't true. Private school is clearly a better way of Education as the grades are better and from the private school kids I have met I have noticed they are allot more confident and well manered than state school kids so the idea that private school makes kids turn into some sort of social outcasts is completley wrong.
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    I didn't read the article on Private Education.

    Just going to place excerpts out of the State school article:

    "It's quite possible that if I had spent a fortune on them, they would have got an extra grade A GCSE here and there, and a rugger trip to Johannesburg along the way"

    "So don't be frightened of your own community; your children will amaze you with their resilience and adaptability and fluency in African-Caribbean swear words"

    "My kids both walked to their local school with classmates they never would have met on the private bus to Dulwich College...................My kids rubbed along with classmates of all races and classes. They know the other people in their community...............There is a world of difference between studying Islam and going to school with lots of Muslims"


    I went to Private School. I didn't go on a rugby trip to South Africa. There are black and Muslim people at Dulwich College and the Private School I went to.
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    (Original post by Amhorangerdgerriug)
    Anyone who says a state school education is superior is simply delusional. There is so much snobbery from judgemental, 'high-horse' parents who send their kids to state schools, who try to justify their (perfectly legitimate) decision not to give their kids the best start possible in life - unless of course they can't afford it, which is an entirely different matter. I have experienced both private and state schools, and the gulf is massive. Public students do not live in a bubble, very few are actually snobs and they are almost all very well mannered and polite due to the discipline enforced by their school.

    My experience of state school was living in fear every day because I was an above average student and was threatened daily for trying to make something of my education. My fellow students were primarily obnoxious wannabe gangsters who spent their time beating each other up and dragging their knuckles along the floor. The idea that you get a more balanced education, learning about society is absolute *******s; it is simply the excuse of the parents who decide to send their kids there. At my school there are kids from all different backgrounds, about 30% are on scholarships and others have parents who sacrifice a large proportion of their income to send their offspring there. Unless you have experienced private schools, I'm afraid you have no right to comment, and vice versa.
    I experienced exactly this. I have never been to a private school - so as you say have no place to comment. My parents could not afford it.

    However, I did quite enjoy my state school despite the extreme lack of discipline and disproportional numbers of idiots. It taught me that I did have to work if I wanted to achieve anything, and I'm glad I learnt that.

    I then went onto a 6th form college where quite a few private school students went. I made friends with a fair few and they didn't seem to have been in "some sort of bubble". However they all seemed to be doing a fair amount worse in A levels than they did in their GCSEs compared to those who went to state schools. Obviously I have no evidence for this, but do me this seemed like they were not prepared for the work which was required in larger class sizes with less individual attention.

    Of the ones I made friends with, within the first 3 weeks of college 4 of them went back to their old private school 6th form because "the teaching wasn't good enough" at the college.

    I can't comment on what goes on within private school, but that is my experience of some their students.
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    if i could afford it of course i would send my children to private school
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    I have been to both private and state schools.
    The facilities in the private school were far superior yet the teaching I experienced in the state school was better.
    The classes in the private school were about half the size but some of the teaching really wasn't that great.
    Tbh, if you could afford it why on earth would you not send your child to a private school? Also the comment that your achievements are based on the school and therefore make them not as impressive is also questionable.
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    I went to a private school on a scholarship and I wouldn't send my kids to one in a million frickin years. I'm not that cruel. I could afford it.

    The extra stuff you do undoubtedly get through private school: sports facilities, D of E, extra tuition, drama and music, etc etc, you can get anyway through local organisations if you have the gumption as a parent to find out.

    The main thing a private school gives you is a posh accent and a CV that will impress other private school graduates and will effectively buy your way into certain jobs.
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    I went to Private school in London and loved my time their and had a brilliant education.

    My parents however always said that if they felt that any state school could guarantee the quality of education provided by the top of the independent sector they would have sent us there.

    However since the decline of grammar schools they didn't feel they could trust the state sector. And it was particularly important to them that we got a good education as my Mother went to a dreadful school and as one of the few academically inclined children was a social outcast and was determined that her children shouldn't have to deal with that. Equally my father went to one of the best Grammar schools in the country (RGS Newcastle as it was) and took the view that anything with lower quality than he received wasn't good enough.

    My parents wanted excellence for their children they felt that paying for it was the only way they could get it.

    It's also much less of a lottery with private schools. My bother and I were bright enough to pass the entrance exams for our first choice schools but even if we hadn't there are other very high quality independent schools around where we live.

    But if you have missed out on getting into the best local state school you have very few other options, you'll have to settle for second best.

    I think part of the reason parents are willing to spend money on Private education is because it allows them to have more say about their child's education than the state sector does.

    In addition, I was in no way educated in a bubble of arrogance and privilege. My school was very ethnically diverse, with girls from every religion (in my closest friendship group there is a Hindu, a Sikh and a Buddhist Girl,a girl from St Lucia, from Ireland and from Latvia).

    There was also a huge number of girls on bursaries and scholarships, many of whom came from very underprivileged backgrounds. No difference was ever drawn between fee-paying girls and bursary girls and the school did everything they could to help the girls with difficult home lives.

    From my school I actually have a much more broad view of the world than, for example, my cousins who both go to state school in a wealthy suburb of Newcastle.
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    (Original post by Amhorangerdgerriug)
    Anyone who says a state school education is superior is simply delusional. There is so much snobbery from judgemental, 'high-horse' parents who send their kids to state schools, who try to justify their (perfectly legitimate) decision not to give their kids the best start possible in life - unless of course they can't afford it, which is an entirely different matter. I have experienced both private and state schools, and the gulf is massive. Public students do not live in a bubble, very few are actually snobs and they are almost all very well mannered and polite due to the discipline enforced by their school.

    My experience of state school was living in fear every day because I was an above average student and was threatened daily for trying to make something of my education. My fellow students were primarily obnoxious wannabe gangsters who spent their time beating each other up and dragging their knuckles along the floor. The idea that you get a more balanced education, learning about society is absolute *******s; it is simply the excuse of the parents who decide to send their kids there. At my school there are kids from all different backgrounds, about 30% are on scholarships and others have parents who sacrifice a large proportion of their income to send their offspring there. Unless you have experienced private schools, I'm afraid you have no right to comment, and vice versa.
    My parents teach in state schools. They could afford to send us to private school but that would be massively hypocritical of them and would not say an awful lot about their own professional ability 'my teaching is good enough for other people's kids, but not my own' that somehow their own work isn't actually the 'best possible start in life'. They weren't on 'their high horse' they were simply backing their and their colleagues own professional ability.
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    (Original post by roh)
    My parents teach in state schools. They could afford to send us to private school but that would be massively hypocritical of them and would not say an awful lot about their own professional ability 'my teaching is good enough for other people's kids, but not my own' that somehow their own work isn't actually the 'best possible start in life'. They weren't on 'their high horse' they were simply backing their and their colleagues own professional ability.
    I agree, it would be hypocritical and would not be a good advert. However, not all parents teach at state schools and for those who don't, I stand by my post.
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    (Original post by Amhorangerdgerriug)
    I agree, it would be hypocritical and would not be a good advert. However, not all parents teach at state schools and for those who don't, I stand by my post.
    But if it's acceptable for my parents who teach there to believe that in their particular situation state education can match private education, obviously this varies from school to school, why can't others who don't work in education believe the same thing?
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    (Original post by roh)
    But if it's acceptable for my parents who teach there to believe that in their particular situation state education can match private education, obviously this varies from school to school, why can't others who don't work in education believe the same thing?
    Your parents can't realistically claim that private schools provide a better education, as they are providing it, whereas others can. I appreciate your parents have to stand by the state system, but other parents don't.
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    (Original post by Amhorangerdgerriug)
    Your parents can't realistically claim that private schools provide a better education, as they are providing it, whereas others can. I appreciate your parents have to stand by the state system, but other parents don't.
    I'm not saying they have to, just that they can look around plenty of different schools and come to the same conclusion. Even looking at league tables that could be the case, in Birmingham the top school is King Ed's Camp Hill, ahead of the independent KES.

    It's not always automatic that the local private school is better than it's state equivalent when you weigh up the various pros and cons, even excluding cost.
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    I think the government should make a huge effort to improve the standard of state education in this country through more funding, and a look at the quality of teaching in the schools and how to improve it. Then we might get to a stage where many more state school students can compete with the public school students, and parents won't have to feel forced to send their kids to public schools, but they still can If they choose to.

    But that's obviously not gonna happen since Gove wants to privatise the whole thing.
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    I was incredibly lucky that I managed to get a hefty bursary and a good inheritance from my grandmother which allowed me to pay the fees for my private school education. Whilst my grades aren't standout and there are definitely state school students who have better ones than me but I got what I needed to get into the course I wanted to go to at the uni I wanted to go to. The experiences I got in an extra-curricular environment were second to none. I started music and by the time I'd left school I had 3 instruments at grade 8 level with 20hrs a week orchestra etc. experience. I'd also played for two school first teams in sports I enjoyed and had completed bronze to gold DofE. I would never have had any of those if I'd gone to the local state school which I had a place at. In fact, I doubt I would have gotten the grades I got and I definitely wouldn't have got onto the course I did at the uni I did.
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    The anti-public article seems to imply that all private schools are like Eton, i went to a private school in Manchester and had plenty of contact with the "outside" world.
    • there were more Asian people than there were white
    • I'm not rude to waiters
    • the bus i took to school had students from state schools and we got on fine
    • I know plenty of African-Caribbean swear words
    • the school offered numerous charitable programs that were aimed at the local community


    My main beneficial experiences of private school were having access to fantastic sporting facilities, top notch teachers with a ton of experience and knowledge and supportive head of years who took an active interest in my progression and helped advise me on extra work i could be doing to improve. I can say with complete confidence that if you can afford to send your kid to a private school then you should, they are completely worth it.

    I know this is the Guardian so it shouldn't really be taken that seriously but:

    [public school boys who get good jobs] are only there because of connections and an entitlement and self-confidence that is not matched by their ability to do an excellent job.

    Is just a perfect example of what kind of article this is, the guy is a self righteous left wing zealot with no clue on how 95% of private schools function and frankly i feel sorry for his children because he is letting his ignorance and prejudice rule how they should be educated and could be depriving them of a better education and a better overall educational experience.
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    I think if I had children I would look at the local state schools and if they were good send them there and if not then would start to consider private schools if I could afford them, so they would be a possible option but not something I automatically thought of.
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    Not sure how much of an advantage private schools give, since no-one in my family has ever been. However the extra-curriculars seem far above and beyond anything at state schools, so would definitely consider it..

    But I'm on placement at the moment, and by total coincidence there's a girl on placement with me, who's from the same home town, goes to the same university (albeit one year above), but went to a private school. So technically, my family 'won' in that regard, since both of us have achieved the same academically, despite us paying nothing, and her parents paying goodness knows what.

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