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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    I was Co-ed educated the whole way - wouldn't change it - you need a mix in classes personally speaking, i think it stretches a child more and prepares them for life.

    Went to a private international school for two years abroad, then returned to UK and went to a small village primary school and a larger state high school.

    International school is amazing, full of a diverse range of people and caring teachers anyway.... not generally a choice, unless you live in a major city.

    personally will try and send my kids to the biggest school possible, most primary schools in the UK have 1 class per year, teachers stay at the same school forever, clichey, no way of avoiding teachers etc. NMS, but there isn't much way of avoiding it in the UK, as private schools tend to be smaller.... However, I did really enjoy my time at a small school for the most part.

    Will definitely look into Montessori, Waldorf etc style schools.

    For high school, if I can afford it I will definitely look into private, at least for the last few years, or at least a specialised sixth form college (for 17-18 year olds) as I believe the prep is far better for university, as the oldest child going through a state school to university, with parents who were unsure of the system as I, it was a hopeless disaster. The school did not push me, or allow me to reach my full potential. Which is a shame. But I wouldn't change where I am now.
    Last edited by emilylou; April 27th, 2013 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Northern England
    Quote Originally Posted by oliviasarah View Post
    I'm in the UK here, so it's obviously a bit different.
    My mum wanted send me to a private school, but my dad is very very strongly against any form of paid education. He lived abroad for a lot of his childhood but was sent to some very posh boarding school back in the UK and really hated it, and on top of that now works for a charity providing free education to children in East Africa.

    They deliberately sent me to a very small primary school in a not-so-nice part of town. It was such a lovely school and I genuinely really loved it.
    I'm currently now at a state/public high school that is very highly ranked in my area, and I really like it. There is a huge mix in terms of social/economic backgrounds, since the primary schools in both the not-so-nice areas and the very upper middle-class areas feed into it.

    My little sister has a mild learning disability and my parents decided to send her to a Steiner Waldorf school, which are totally free but hard to get into. The philosophy is pretty complex, but in brief they focus a lot creativity and have a more holistic approach, which was really great for my sister. But honestly the philosophy, whilst very successful, is based on a very weird background of beliefs, borderline-cult, and just got weirder and weirder as she got older.
    My parents took her out and she went to a mainstream primary school after 3 years of her Waldorf school.
    But I digress.
    I just realised half of my message was deleted before I posted it.
    I meant to say, that I would never even consider sending any child of mine to a private school. I believe that education should be free and available worldwide to all. And I think that supporting paid education is purely contradictory to that belief.
    If I had the money, I'd rather use it to pay for children abroad who can't otherwise afford any form of education, than on my own child who by law will be *required* to go to school, fully funded.

    The least socially and emotionally capable people I know are all in/have been in private education. Obviously this is not representative of all privately educated people - but even stereotypes do tend to be based on actuality.

    A very high percentage of my primary were either from lower-income or 1st generation immigrant families (ie. poor or non-English speaking) and there was a huge level of tolerance and kindness, which is something I feel that privately educated children are not exposed to enough. There were parts of the school week dedicated to Arabic, Pakistani, Polish, Nigerian, especially for non-English speaking children. I was never afraid of the 15 minute walk through the council estate on the way home, like my parents' friends thought I should have been. After all, 'those people' are all 'thugs and murders', are they not?
    I just don't think that it's healthy for children to be only exposed to a certain type of people ie. upper class and white-British. That's not the real world, and young, easily influenced children shouldn't be taught that it is.

    I understand that private education provides more opportunities. But their competitive nature is unhealthy, and the teachers have the same qualifications as in state schools.
    Rosemary / Briar / Evangeline / Sibyl / Alba

    (im twenty and live in london. names calm my soul.)

    Isidore / Emmett / Hugh / Wilfred / Oberon

  3. #25
    renrose Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by oliviasarah View Post
    A very high percentage of my primary were either from lower-income or 1st generation immigrant families (ie. poor or non-English speaking) and there was a huge level of tolerance and kindness, which is something I feel that privately educated children are not exposed to enough. I just don't think that it's healthy for children to be only exposed to a certain type of people ie. upper class and white-British. That's not the real world, and young, easily influenced children shouldn't be taught that it is.
    I totally understand what you're saying, people should definitely mix and kids should know about other cultures etc but in my primary and secondary school and in the area where I live we didn't have a choice in the matter: 99% of people in my village are white British. There was one black boy in my primary school when I was in reception and then when he left to go to high school I didn't see another person of a different race until a Pakistani girl joined us for two years whilst she was receiving funded medical treatment in the UK.

    In high school there was one girl of Indian origin, one mixed raced boy and everyone else was white (either middle class or working class.)

    I think what I'm trying to say is that in some cases, even in non private schools, mixing solely with people of the same race/socio economic background to you can be - sadly - unavoidable. And despite this, I've definitely not grown up with a lack of kindness or tolerance towards others
    Last edited by renrose; April 27th, 2013 at 07:09 PM.

  4. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Okay, I'm on my computer now and ready to contribute! As I said in an earlier post, I'm a teacher and have taught at various schools in Australia (both private and public; single sex (girls) and co-ed). I think private schools are better. Plain and simple. That's not to say there aren't good public schools out there (of course there are). I've taught in (what's considered to be) the best public high school in Adelaide, but, in my experience, private schools are better. Even the best public school in the city was lacking in many areas. Of course, a driven and talented child will excel no matter which school they attend, but I think private schools have a lot more to offer than just academics (although their approach to academics is generally more focused than public schools). Somebody posted that there's no point spending lots of money on private education because students can get the same education for free (or very little cost) at the local public school. I don't think it's the same education at all. Attending a good private school is an amazing life experience. It's a community that students will be part of for the rest of their lives, long after they've finished high school. In my mind, what separates schools is the atmosphere and ethos of the school. This is, of course, almost impossible to quantify. Sometimes the most elite private schools are not as good as other private schools. As a parent, I'm sure it's hard to judge, especially when you're basing your decision on a brief tour of the school and an interview with the principal.

    Okay, now onto girls schools! I've taught at two, one of which was considered the best girls school in the city. This school was amazing. Seriously, it's the best school I've ever taught at. The girls were remarkable. Seriously, I cannot speak too highly of this school! Oh, don't worry, it costs to send your daughter there ($20,000 per year)! Unfortunately, my daughters will never attend such an expensive school, but I completely understand why parents who can afford the fees would send their daughters there. The atmosphere and education was second to none. The environment was fantastic for the girls, especially the shyer ones. There have been studies showing that girls do better academically at single sex schools (see link below). Also, I don't think girls who attend single sex schools are being denied a "real world" education. They still interact with boys (most single sex schools have brother/sister schools) and in their lives outside of school (hobbies, part time jobs, etc). They have plently of male role models - male teachers, fathers, brothers, cousins, friends, etc. Likewise, I don't think sending your child to a public school makes them more ready for the real world and a private school makes them less ready. Personally, I attended private schools throughout my schooling and was as prepared as anyone else for university and the real world.

    Okay, that's it! Sorry, I'm probably taking this thread a little too seriously, but this is a subject that matters to me! I feel like, as a teacher, I have a good perspective on this issue. Anyway...

    Here's a link to an article about girls performing better in single sex schools. It's an article from a British newspaper. Couldn't be bothered finding an Australian version or a link to a study, but I'm sure they're out there!:
    ~ Violet Elizabeth Rose ~


  5. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Thank you all very much for your responses/opinions!

    @sarahmezz Thank you for an up to date view of Australian schools. I don't live in Adelaide, but I'm sure the consensus for all of Australia would be fairly similar.

    @chicamerlin Thanks for the positive outlook towards Private School kids! I was one and I don't feel as if I lack knowledge about the real world. But inner-city kids paint a slightly different image for me...maybe I'm wrong but the few that I have come across seem to think that the world owes them something. Your comments are very helpful though!

    I think Australian Schools are quite different to schools in the UK and US. But your experiences at both are helpful nonetheless. The opinions on the pros and cons of both Public and Private have given me something to think about. We live in a fairly high-socioeconomic area, but I really don't want my children growing up thinking less of people who are less fortunate, balance is good for kids. The kids at my school were mostly easy-going country kids, yes most of us did come from fairly wealthy farming families but we all understood the concept of hard work, dedication and being self-sufficient, qualities that I am desperate to instill in my children!

    I guess we have 3 years before Bugsy starts school but the choice still makes me uneasy!

    Hmmm... I have a month off before my baby comes so I might just go and look at some schools. I think getting the "feel" for different schools is the only way for me to truly decide.

    Thanks again, keep it coming! I find this topic quite an interesting point of discussion.

    Last edited by goldielocks; April 28th, 2013 at 12:09 AM.
    Mama to Bugsy William, Jem Richmond and Tallulah Dorothy.

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