Join TSR now to have your say on this topicSign up now

What are the real benefits from private school? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Basically, i've never really understood why parents choose to send their kids to private school, I can guess to a certain extent its because they want their children to achieve better results etc but surely if someone is that bright they could achieve good results at any normal school?

    I went to a normal public secondary school and sure we wern't always the most well behaved kids or didn't always complete the work but at the end of the day, but most people I know left with decent results 11 A*-C.

    Hope someone can shed some light into this if you've been to a private school or share my viewpoint?

    Also it seems from the children i've met who have been to private school on holiday etc don't seem to have a great concept of the 'real world', but that might just be the ones i've met (not saying all private school kids are stuck up!) surely normal secondary schools give kids better social skills to an extent too?
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by _SussexStudent)
    ...but surely if someone is that bright they could achieve good results at any normal school?
    Yes, if a student is generally bright then they can often do well at any school. However, if a child is not that bright or needs a positive environment in which to work and so on, then sending them to a private school might allow them to get better results than they would do otherwise.

    Also, as someone who didn't attend private school but goes to a university which seems to have quite a high proportion of ex-private school students, there also seems to be an advantage for those who have gone to such schools in the sense that they are often more confident of their own abilities and tend to come across well. Of course not all students who have gone to a private school are like this (in the same way that there are very confident students who have gone to comprehensives) but from my personal experiences they tend to know how to present themselves better and can come across particularly well in professional environments. To put it another way, there seems to be almost a lack of self-doubt in these individuals, as though they know they'll do well because they always have done.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Parents who can afford to send their children to private schools generally tend to have careers which take over more of their free time. It's convenient then to be able to pick up your children from school at 5-6pm after you've finished work, on your way home, rather than having to pick them up at 3 o' clock like when most state schools finish.

    Also in private schools they tend to have smaller class sizes, on average 12-20 pupils in a class. Whereas state schools can have as many as 35 (maybe more). So more individual attention for each pupil.

    Private schools can have better facilities when it comes to science. Like in the local private school in my area they have expensive equipment that allows the sixth formers to put a glow in the dark gene from a jellyfish into a plant. Whereas I asked my teacher why we couldn't d anything like that and she told me that the government's funding for schools didn't cover that kind of equipment.

    I went to a private school for 6 years, now I'm at a state school for sixth form. Having experienced both worlds in hindsight I would not send my future children to a private school even if I had the money to do so. Like you say, I had no concept for the real world. People were partially judged on their parent's earnings and whether they had this that and the other. Less kids at private school had a job or did stuff for themselves compared to state school and as a result tended to be more self-absorbed, shallow and less down to earth.

    For me, everything has improved since going to a state school: My confidence, my relationship with my teachers, the quality of my friends and me as a person. My grades were always good and they have continued to be.

    I got offered a scholarship to continue on into sixth form but I turned it down. I can honestly say, even if both schools were free then i would still pick the state school I'm in now to the private school.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Better facilities
    Better work ethic
    Better attitudes
    Better on discipline
    Better in terms of educational achievement
    Better opportunities
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    There are very few rough ignorant scumbags at private school.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by _SussexStudent)
    Basically, i've never really understood why parents choose to send their kids to private school, I can guess to a certain extent its because they want their children to achieve better results etc but surely if someone is that bright they could achieve good results at any normal school?

    I went to a normal public secondary school and sure we wern't always the most well behaved kids or didn't always complete the work but at the end of the day, but most people I know left with decent results 11 A*-C.

    Hope someone can shed some light into this if you've been to a private school or share my viewpoint?

    Also it seems from the children i've met who have been to private school on holiday etc don't seem to have a great concept of the 'real world', but that might just be the ones i've met (not saying all private school kids are stuck up!) surely normal secondary schools give kids better social skills to an extent too?

    Absolutely, and state school students starting with the same A level grades do better than private school students at University. State school education therefore seems to offer a better basis for higher education.

    Could be something to do with the fact that state school teachers have to be properly qualified whereas in the private sector some schools have unqualified staff. Also often teachers in a private school are there because they want an easy life whereas state school teachers have more of a 'calling' and are dedicated to doing the best for ALL children.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Smaller classes, more experienced/qualified teachers, individual approach to every child, a supportive environment when it comes to uni applications, few/none unruly kids.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for the replies, One thing I was going to say is that although children do misbehave a lot more in standard comprehensive school as opposed to private school couldn't you argue this is just a part of growing up?

    I mean a lot of 'kids' go through a stage in year 8/9/10 where they get more confident and bolshy with teacher and misbehave in class etc but thats how they develop into adults surely? In private schools I can't see them having this independence, almost in a way that they're never get to have the sort of confidence to stand up to people in the 'real world', but again that may well just be my view point.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by _SussexStudent)
    I went to a normal public secondary school and sure we wern't always the most well behaved kids or didn't always complete the work but at the end of the day, but most people I know left with decent results 11 A*-C.
    You say that 11 A*-C are "decent results", and most normal state schools seem to use A*-C as a kind of benchmark for success. The thing is, I think this makes the pupils who attend those schools consider B grades and C grades to be satisfactory, and they won't be overly disappointed if they get a few B's and C's.
    The thing is, some private schools will consider anything less than an A to be an epic fail. They will quote that most of their pupils received 11 A*s or A's, and will never use A*-C as a benchmark of success. In fact, the one I went to would ask you to leave if you didn't get at least 6 A grades. Getting all A*-C grades was nothing special.

    Of course, that won't be true for all private schools, only the very best ones. And I assume it will also be true for the very best state schools - so this point isn't specific to private schools. But I think that the benefit of this is that it makes pupils aim higher and work harder, simply because they're not satisfied with "just" getting 11 A*-C. Rather than thinking that A*-C is satisfactory, they'll think anything less than an A is unacceptable.

    By seeing the high grades that other students around them are all achieving, by constantly being reminded that their parents are spending good money on their education (so they'd better not waste it), and by being told that an A is the cut-off point for an acceptable result (rather than a C), it's only natural that a pupil will automatically feel a greater incentive to work hard, than an equally intelligent pupil at a normal state school. And I think success is mostly determined by how hard you work, which is mostly down to how high you've set your own aspirations.


    I suppose it's like how currently, a 2:1 is sort of seen as a cut-off point for a "good" grade for a university degree. Most graduate schemes set this as their minimum requirements for applicants, the league tables calculate the percentage of students getting a "good" degree by seeing how many got a 2:1 or higher etc. Whereas if these cut-off points were all set at 2:2 instead of 2:1, you'd naturally see people getting less good grades at university, just because more people would be satisfied with a 2:2 rather than a 2:1 - people just wouldn't feel the need to work as hard. And the reverse would be true if the cut-off point was set at a First.
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    You say that 11 A*-C are "decent results", and most normal state schools seem to use A*-C as a kind of benchmark for success. The thing is, I think this makes the pupils who attend those schools consider B grades and C grades to be satisfactory, and they won't be overly disappointed if they get a few B's and C's.
    The thing is, some private schools will consider anything less than an A to be an epic fail. They will quote that most of their pupils received 11 A*s or A's, and will never use A*-C as a benchmark of success. In fact, the one I went to would ask you to leave if you didn't get at least 6 A grades. Getting all A*-C grades was nothing special.

    Of course, that won't be true for all private schools, only the very best ones. And I assume it will also be true for the very best state schools - so this point isn't specific to private schools. But I think that the benefit of this is that it makes pupils aim higher and work harder, simply because they're not satisfied with "just" getting 11 A*-C. Rather than thinking that A*-C is satisfactory, they'll think anything less than an A is unacceptable.

    By seeing the high grades that other students around them are all achieving, by constantly being reminded that their parents are spending good money on their education (so they'd better not waste it), and by being told that an A is the cut-off point for an acceptable result (rather than a C), it's only natural that a pupil will automatically feel a greater incentive to work hard, than an equally intelligent pupil at a normal state school. And I think success is mostly determined by how hard you work, which is mostly down to how high you've set your own aspirations.


    I suppose it's like how currently, a 2:1 is sort of seen as a cut-off point for a "good" grade for a university degree. Most graduate schemes set this as their minimum requirements for applicants, the league tables calculate the percentage of students getting a "good" degree by seeing how many got a 2:1 or higher etc. Whereas if these cut-off points were all set at 2:2 instead of 2:1, you'd naturally see people getting less good grades at university, just because more people would be satisfied with a 2:2 rather than a 2:1 - people just wouldn't feel the need to work as hard. And the reverse would be true if the cut-off point was set at a First.
    a*-c was selected by government as the statistic to report in school league tables, so comparisons would be easier. This is why you see it so often.
    Being the most commonly bandied stat, it seems to have morphed into a government target point... perhaps with unexpected consequences.

    You do seem to be discounting the effect of selection at 11+ which is probably in place at most of what you regard as the best private schools. Expelling pupils who fall below target is needless to say another selection and also a way of maintaining a good looking exam result stat. The state's got to educate everyone regardless of ability and background. Telling everyone you expect them to get an A is unlikely to work unless you select.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The quality and ethos of private schools vary as much as they do for state schools. There are sink private schools, and I don't understand how they operate because frankly, who would pay for that? There are middle-of-the-road private schools, there are special schools, there are excellent private schools, too. Some parents send their children for social climbing (sad but true), some people may live rurally or work in a demanding career and send their children to private boarding schools, some may want single sex schools and all the nearby state schools are co-ed or vice versa, some may have to send problem children to privately run rehab schools. Some might send their children to their old schools. Some parents may find that their nearby private school has a closer community (more stay at home mums, compulsory parental involvement, whatever). Some will be special schools, like for dyslexic children or for choristers or budding ballerinas. In some areas the private schools are just plain better.

    There are some schools which are academically selective, or run great gifted and talented programmes so families with clever children may be drawn to them.

    In my case, the only secondary school within an hour was a private school! (Although, admittedly, I also went there for primary when there was a perfectly lovely state one down the road).

    My mother is firmly in favour of co-ed, state education. My father (state educated) is firmly in favour of single-sex private education and eventually he won. Now, over a decade later and four children down the track, my father and uncles got together and discussed whether they made the right decisions. They said they were happy they did what they did because even if it was a waste of time (and for one cousin, it was) they had a peace of mind that they opened every door they could and helped in every way they could.

    Of course, you don't have to send your kid private to do that but my uncles felt that was how they could do that. For my father, it was more of trying to make sure we were more successful at school than he had been.

    If you want to see why private schools think they are better, looks at their brochures. Normally, they advertise:


    Academic Results
    Playing Fields and Sports Grounds
    Other School Facilities
    Highly Experienced/Skilled Teaching Staff
    A Community Feel
    Uniforms (!)
    Co-curricular Activities
    Pastoral Care
    Longer/More Flexible Schools Days
    (Sometimes) Boarding

    and for specialist schools

    How They Will Help Your Child
    Why They're Better Than Mainstream
    Specialist Teachers
    Specialist Facilities

    There are some state schools that are better than many private schools. But getting into them is hard (academically selective grammar, in-demand catchment zone, etc).

    In my opinion, if you have a satisfactory nearby state school, you don't need a specialist education and you're on a middle or low income, you're wasting your time going private (unless the private school is so AMAZING it blows the state school out of the water). If you're on a high income, chances are you'll be eyeing up the big name schools.

    However, every child, family, town and school is different. Heck, what's right for one twin could be a disaster for the other.

    This post was a looong sleep deprived ramble, but I hope I included some good (or amusing, or mildly interesting) points.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joinedup)
    a*-c was selected by government as the statistic to report in school league tables, so comparisons would be easier. This is why you see it so often.
    Being the most commonly bandied stat, it seems to have morphed into a government target point... perhaps with unexpected consequences.

    You do seem to be discounting the effect of selection at 11+ which is probably in place at most of what you regard as the best private schools. Expelling pupils who fall below target is needless to say another selection and also a way of maintaining a good looking exam result stat. The state's got to educate everyone regardless of ability and background. Telling everyone you expect them to get an A is unlikely to work unless you select.

    There are probably some private schools like that. However, most prep schools are not academically selective (outside major cities) and a lot of minor name schools (so not Eton or Winchester or anything) struggled in the recession and dropped entrance tests. Its a constant battle between balancing the books and looking good, so many don't expel underachievers, but help them out or recommend tutors. Am I saying that teachers at Cheltenham Ladies College have it tough the same way that inner city London school teachers do? No, of course not, but every school has its challenges and in the end kids are kids everywhere. Academic results can't just be bought. What I'm trying to say is, your comments are valid but untrue when applied to many private schools.

    Edit: just noticed you said best private schools so, assuming that you mean the best public secondary schools (which are all selective), my comment, whilst still true, doesn't make a lot of sense as a reply to yours. Sorry.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by _SussexStudent)
    Thanks for the replies, One thing I was going to say is that although children do misbehave a lot more in standard comprehensive school as opposed to private school couldn't you argue this is just a part of growing up?

    I mean a lot of 'kids' go through a stage in year 8/9/10 where they get more confident and bolshy with teacher and misbehave in class etc but thats how they develop into adults surely? In private schools I can't see them having this independence, almost in a way that they're never get to have the sort of confidence to stand up to people in the 'real world', but again that may well just be my view point.
    Not really. It's not that the students don't grow up and become more confident-I mean, think about it, is it all the children in classes disrupting the lesson or just a few? At private schools, the risk of expulsion is much greater, as are the consequences for being a distraction. Plus, you'll get far less "respect" from peers from it since most of us feel bad if our parents have to pay without us getting the most out of it, and there's quite a motivation to do well. Like someone else said, there's a lot of pressure to get all As and A*s, so if somebody starts acting up then the rest of us would be enough to tell them to stop.

    Not really, no. Although I've got no idea why, I've actually found that people at private schools tend to be more confident around adults and can present themselves better. And I'd hardly say joking around in class is equivalent to standing up for yourself in the real world. It's more like shirking off duties at work.

    [


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by _SussexStudent)
    ?
    OP, have you seen this thread http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...rivate+schools

    It's about how bright students are failed by many state schools so maybe worth a look for trying to understand why some families go private.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by llacerta)
    Yes, if a student is generally bright then they can often do well at any school. However, if a child is not that bright or needs a positive environment in which to work and so on, then sending them to a private school might allow them to get better results than they would do otherwise.

    Also, as someone who didn't attend private school but goes to a university which seems to have quite a high proportion of ex-private school students, there also seems to be an advantage for those who have gone to such schools in the sense that they are often more confident of their own abilities and tend to come across well. Of course not all students who have gone to a private school are like this (in the same way that there are very confident students who have gone to comprehensives) but from my personal experiences they tend to know how to present themselves better and can come across particularly well in professional environments. To put it another way, there seems to be almost a lack of self-doubt in these individuals, as though they know they'll do well because they always have done.
    Completely agree.

    As someone else was saying class sizes as well make a difference. The biggest class I was ever in was with 12 other people, in my other classes I had 4-10 people. Having smaller classes is beneficial as you tend to be at the same ability level, having passed the entrance exams (if you have them), so the teacher is able to teach the whole class without having to cater for radically different needs of all of the students.

    I think it provides a much calmer learning environment, at least compared to my mum's classes (state school) where she is teaching around 30 people at a time.

    Better facilities and opportunities in general. More IT equipment, better trips, more specialised equipment, new buildings every couple of years, wider range of sports (lacrosse, horseriding, swimming on site, iceskating as well as the usual)

    The reason I went was because I liked the atmosphere when I visited and my parents decided it was my choice where I went to school (if it hadn't been there then I would have just gone to the local state school)
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joinedup)
    a*-c was selected by government as the statistic to report in school league tables, so comparisons would be easier. This is why you see it so often.
    Being the most commonly bandied stat, it seems to have morphed into a government target point... perhaps with unexpected consequences.

    You do seem to be discounting the effect of selection at 11+ which is probably in place at most of what you regard as the best private schools. Expelling pupils who fall below target is needless to say another selection and also a way of maintaining a good looking exam result stat. The state's got to educate everyone regardless of ability and background. Telling everyone you expect them to get an A is unlikely to work unless you select.
    I'm not discounting the effect of selection - I agree that it's a major factor in determining a school's overall results. What I'm referring to is an individual child's results, rather than a school's overall results.

    I think that, all other things being equal, if you were to take a child and put him in an average state school, his results are likely to be not quite as good as if you were to put him into a selective school, just due to being surrounded by high achieving pupils, and teachers who have come to expect high achievement.

    Even when a pupil is perfectly capable of getting an A* or an A with enough work, if he's always surrounded by people getting C grades, if just getting a B grade is enough to guarantee that he's top or almost top of his class, if he's always hearing about the "A*-C" benchmark as though that's what constitutes a good grade, if all his friends' parents have "got by just fine" without getting A*s and A's and work in very average jobs etc. then I don't think this pupil will mind so much if he gets a B in his final exam. He might even be happy about it - because the structure around him is setting the bar too low for him. There isn't quite as much onus on him to really work hard for that A* grade as their would be, if all his peers were getting 10 or 11 A*s quite comfortably, and if a B grade was considered as an utter fail in his school community.
 
 
 
Poll
If you won £30,000, which of these would you spend it on?
Useful resources
Uni match

Applying to uni?

Our tool will help you find the perfect course

Articles:

Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

Quick link:

Educational debate unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.