Saturday, February 10, 2007

Votes Please

As a commenter on the previous post suggested, let's try to get a rough idea of what percentage of State Teachers would send their kids to Private School.

We'll make a couple of assumptions:

1) You can afford the fees.
2) There isn't a superb State School nearby.

Combined with the fact that not every teacher reads this blog and I've no idea how genuine the responses are, it will obviously be slightly artificial, but then all polls are. Only certain types of people stop to answer questionnaires in the street, fill in forms or even vote in elections. I suspect that it will be interesting though.

State School teachers or former ones only please. We'll tot up the scores after a week.

I'll start the ball rolling:

Mr Chalk: Course I would.


Anonymous said...

Monkeyflump : Undoubtedly.

Anonymous said...

buster said...
Three of my four children went to comprehensives and all have jobs that they are happy in but are not terribly well paid. One of them has a local university (it was a polytechnic when I went there 20 years ago) Arts degree.
My other child went to a selective girls school and has a BA from Liverpool and an MSc from Oxford. She earns more than any two of the others combined despite choosing to work for charities in the public sector.
You can't beat small classes and specialist instruction, but who can afford it on a primary teachers wages?

Sorry posted this on the other thread

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm not a teacher, and it was a stretch to find the fees, but yes, I did.

Anonymous said...


i'm currently scrimping and saving to send my two children to a private school because the school i teach at is - it pains me to admit this - appalling. i don't even mind naming the school: the nicholas chamberlain school in bedworth, warks.
we haven't had a foreign holiday or new car in over a decade but i consider those sacrifices well made.

i ought to say, i would much rather send them to a state school and i'm not a private school idealogue. i also feel very very sorry for the children who have to attend the nico as their lives are almost over before they start - a fact some of them realise. this is very painful to witness and i used to feel guilty about it, until i realised there was nothing i could do to help them when 10% of the class can hold an entire lesson/term/school year to ransom.
now i just feel depressed.

Jennytc said...

2 of my children went to private school, one because if he hadn't, he would have ended up wasting his undoubted intelligence and talents as the discipline and quality education simply weren't available in the local state school and the other because she was a bright, intelligent girl and recognised that private secondary education would give her the best start towards her career in medicine. By the time the other 2 were ready for secondary education, I was able to enrol them in a very good state school.

Anonymous said...

I send my child to private school. I teach in the state sector (not far from the school named in a previous post).

Anonymous said...

I bitterly regret not going on the game while I was still young enough to earn enough at it to send my kids to an Independent School.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for doing this topic - I wondered about it after reading this blog entry about a survey on NHS doctors using private health insurance -

I'm not a teacher, or even a parent, but if I did have children and money, I would certainly look at the private schools, for all the usual reasons - smaller class size, better discipline and order. However I know they are not always better.

Then if it turns out your child has problems of any kind e.g. dyslexia, then that's another huge factor to deal with. I suppose very high intelligence could also be regarded as a problem.


Anonymous said...

Would I send my kids to a private school?


Because I teach in a state secondary school and I despair of what they have become.

Anonymous said...

I am lucky in that I live in Gloucester where we have grammer schools and both my children gained places. If I had to I would have sent them to a private school.

I teach in the primary sector and I regularly witness how the brighter children are sneakily sneered at by the less able. These children learn to 'hide their light under a bushel'.

My eldest child suffered the most and came home from school bored and frustrated, often resulting in destructive behaviour (thankfully only at home). There is no way I could have watched my intelligent, thoughtful child be crushed during his secondary schooling as well.
Within a month at grammer school he was a different child - the little boy I had originally entrusted to the state system was back!

I am very very lucky as I would have had to pay for my children to receive this sort of education in other parts of the country.

I have to admit that if I had been told, 20 years ago, I would be saying this I would have been insulted!!!
Gee Bee

Anonymous said...

OFSTED described my daughter's school as "excellent" and the secondary school she was due to attend (and at which I once was a head of department) as "outstanding."

When my son reached school age, we sent them both to a public school.

It takes my entire salary to pay their fees (it is a very famous, prestigious and expensive school) but I just don't trust the LEA with my children.

Since going there, my once shy, nervous and defensive daughter has blossomed into a self-confident, vivacious young lady. And my young son is displaying the sort of happiness and joy for life that simply never happened to his big sister when she was in primary school.

They are both being educated to live life to the full, rather than trained to serve the state. So it's worth every last penny.


Anonymous said...

By the way, why assume that there isn't a superb state school nearby?

It is when there is a choice between an "excellent" state school and the independent alternative that the sacrifice of paying fees means something.

After all, when the local state school is crap, it is always cheaper to move house to a better area and commute.


alanorei said...


If that's what it took to get them into a St John's environment instead of St Jude's

Anonymous said...


The state system comprehensively fails as many children as possible.

I'm fortunate in that I can spend time helping my children "not let their schooling get in the way of their education" (Mark Twain, I think) but if I could afford to have them in an environment where the schooling helped too, I'd be much happier.

Anonymous said...

I don't have children but I do teach, so if I did I would (send them to a private school that is!!)

Anonymous said...

"There isn't a superb State School nearby."

Sorry to hog, but if there isn't a superb State School nearby, it's fair to assume that you aren't living within the ctachment of an inner-city sink comp.

Anonymous said...

Yes, without a doubt. Especially at secondary level.

Flutewise said...

We offered our children private education and they opted for state. They (and we) haven't regretted it at all; good exam results, superb musical experience and they've come out of it all very socially aware and caring.

Anonymous said...

If I could afford it YES.

My daughter attends a school that is supposed to be "outstanding" and yet there are far too many days when she has been taught more about being "socially aware and caring" than improving her knowledge i.e. she acts as an unpaid teacher to the less able in her class!

When I mention this I am treated as a traitor. Apparently teachers who are parents do not have the same rights as 'ordinary' parents!!!

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Anonymous said...

I can make money with paid surveys? So much for twelve years of private schooling followed by four years at a private university and now graduate school! God bless the Internet.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I would definitely send my kids to private school if a) I could afford it and b) could persuade my husband it's worth the money. We were both state school educated, but I worked in private schools for 18 years and now I know the difference! He still has illusions that the local school is the same as when he went to it.

My brother went to a private all-boys school and has done much better financially than me, though I doubt he's any smarter.

Anonymous said...

The catch there would be IF I could afford it. Would not hesitate for a second if I could - but unfortunately, I can't : (

Anonymous said...

too true. My daughter went to a state primary school which was brilliant but as for secondary...if circumstances were different' she'd never have set foot into the local comprehensive.

Anonymous said...

If I ever had children and could afford it, yes.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. I work in a large English city which has 29 secondary schools. Of these only 5 provide anywhere near the level of education, pastoral care and safe learning environment that I would consider acceptable for any child. If for any reason I could not find a place for my child at one of these state schools I would fund a place in a private school for them BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. (Within the law of course :~) )

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm not exactly a resounding vote of confidence in state secondary schools so far, is it.

Anonymous said...

We scrimped and saved to send our son to private school - no foreign holidays and an old banger but it was worth every penny and personal sacrifice. My wife is an assistant head in a state school and I have been only too well aware of the lack of committment that many of her fellow staff have to both school and pupils. Lets be honest the only way teachers will get the sack once qualified is if they are stupid enough to do something sexual with a pupil. Incompetence seems to be rewarded by promotion. The contrast with the staff at the private school could not have been more
stark. I was dubious about sending my son to a private school but my wife persuaded me. Thank God

Anonymous said...

Definitely, I've two children who are in Primary at the moment and the eldest girl is doing fine and will probably sail through school. However, the youngest is a boy and needs all the help he can get (like most boys!), which he is not getting at the moment and will probably get less in secondary education. However, being a teacher myself there is no way we could afford it. I'm just hoping that it'll finally click with him!

Anonymous said...

Ten years ago I was dead against private education.

After almost a decade in state schools, I wouldn't hesitate to send any putative offspring of mine to an independent school, and I understand completely why people are driven to make huge financial sacrifices to this end. The majority of state comprehensives are bear pits, and I would rather chew off my right arm than send a child I cared about into their dubious charge.

Anonymous said...

A big YES to private schools.
Taught for 2 years in state schools qualified and left as I never seen so much arogance and ignorance combined in my life.
I come from an Eastern european country where education is valued, I would send my kids there for their education.

Anonymous said...

First time poster to this blog as I'm a copper and read the 'Big 2' and and would gladly send my 2 boys to a private school if my wages stretched to it. I almost cried when I read the comments on this post as they are EXACTLY the same frustrations and disappointments in your job as we experience in ours. Why do we do what we do? Are we REALLY making any difference to people's lives?

Anonymous said...

I'm a primary school teacher with a 12 year old son of average intelligence. He seems very happy at the local comprehensive school and I've no concerns over either his social or educational welfare. In fact, I know of many privately educated youngsters who have emerged arrogant and with an outstanding knowledge of drugs.
Surely it depends on the individual child? However, currently, I would not pay for my son to go to a private school.

liz ward said...

too right I would!