Private Schools – My Discovery
Making decisions about your children’s education can be a very stressful and hugely time consuming time. Going down the private school route can be quite be daunting if it is your first experience.
Three of our children have been educated in private schools. In fact, our youngest is still at a private school and so far, it is going well. I have found that there is good and bad in every school, but some unusual things, that I have discovered over the years, I wish I had known sooner. It would have enabled us to make easier and potentially better decisions for our children, at a time when they needed to be made, instead of rummaging around for information and learning by numbers. The fact is that people don’t always share some of the private school knowledge and for first timers, you have to rummage around to find out about some of the lesser known stuff.
If you are new to the world of private schools, which we were, as not many of our friends knew much about it, and our families certainly didn’t, because we were all state school educated. Although, my Mum started privately schooling my older brother, then, five children later, educating six children was too big a financial commitment for our parents.
So, I wanted to share some of my personal findings, some have little consequence, but they might be worth noting, depending on your own circumstances.
I would add pushy parents to the list, but there are pushy parents at every school. I would steer clear of the pushy parents if you can, as it can escalate competition and there is enough competition in our schools as it is. I should also mention results, but the league tables will give you that information, and of course, that can change from year to year, depending on the pupil’s achievements.
These are purely my findings and not everyone’s experiences and not all of these are applicable to all privates schools.
- If your child plays the French Horn, chances may increase with them getting a scholarship later, as it is often a more infrequently chosen instrument to play, which puts it in demand.
- If you work at the school, you often get a discount on your school fees
- If you chair a ‘PTA’ or ‘Friends Of’ the school, it is likely that your child will not be overlooked, often because the children are doers just as their parents are, or to make an acknowledgement and a thank you for the parents hard work on the PTA. It is not always fair, but It does happen at some schools.
- The costs can vary from £10,000 a year for a day school to more than £25,000 per annum.
- In some schools of easy influence, your family history can matter.
- If you have more than two children at the same school, you often get a discount for the third child.
- If your child does well at school, you might be able to have an award created for future prize days, under your family name.
- Lamy ink pens go down very well.
- You will be expected to be happy about any uniform changes and take the extra costs on the chin.
- They are not just for the privileged, they are for all sorts of children, including many parents who work extra hard to pay for the school fees.
- Sports and extra-curricular activities rarely get cut.
- They offer financial programs.
- Many private schools will often mirror family life.
- Most private school teachers are well qualified, but not all, so ask questions.
- Most private schools are diverse.
- Most private schools have excellent supervision.
- Most have zero tolerance policies
- They offer great educational environments
- Most private schools require admission tests, but it is not as scary as many think, don’t allow any preconceived ideas to put you off.
- Special needs is an area that many private schools have not got fully covered, but they are working on it.