I think it’s entirely down to what you are looking for for your children. And it is not comparing like with like, it is hardly comparing apples with oranges but more peach with a pineapple!
Our children went to state primary and feepaying secondary. Money aside, we are very happy with the decision we made and more importantly our girls say that they are very thankful that that was their path in life. Each one of them have said (while in secondary school), when they compare themselves to their peers who were at private primary and private secondary, they feel they wereat a huge advantage in terms of their understanding of life and their ability to interact with different people, be more flexible and adaptable, be prepared for the wider world and the people they meet and have a better insight into life (two of them are at university now). For them – and for us, this life education is of great value. They say they can always tell which girls in their class went to the prep – not academically, but in terms of their outlook. If for you this is an advantage then go private. If it’s a disadvantage go state. If he will be happier if your children have less exposure to poor behaviour and differing approaches, go private. If you would like a more homogenous rarefied and like-minded set of parents and children, go private . However if you quite like fruit salad, and want to spice things up a bit – go state. My children say that some of the best and funniest memories they have of life are in their primary state school- though at the time we found many of those instances quite alarming!
In my experience when comparing the education that friend’s children’s got a primary feepaying school, it doesn’t compare! The pressure on the teachers and the resources of the school cannot be compared, so what you receive will be very very different. We used to tear our hair out at and times over the teaching, and at times we were very happy. We made up the gaps through tutoring, which is an absolute must.
Good luck with your decision and know that whatever you choose it all comes out in the wash! Also know that whatever you choose you can change.
As the previous responder wrote, you can start wherever you wish and then switch. This can be very disruptive for the children but nevertheless always a possibility