Some interesting comments.
When I originally wrote this post I deliberately did not use the word "better" for private education, I used the word "different".
I personally, and I can only speak personally, believe smaller class sizes, more teachers (one prep school I know has a teacher AND one full time assistant AND another part-time assistants per reception class of 20 kids) etc will give a better education.
However that is my opinion.
I think it's important that both sides are as objective as possible.
Yes a private education gives a narrow view of the world, in terms of diversity and role models.
But lets be honest, most private school timetables put most state school times tables to shame with the the variety of sport, drama, music, trips etc.
This is not a critisicm but something I've observed and its driven because the indy schools just have more money.
But I want to be objective so there are some real caveats.
What REALLY worries me (and I am becoming increasingly disturbed by this) is that if you have a daughter the grown up role models they are presented with are quite disturbing.
And by that I mean other mums.
Almost none of the mothers work ( I know some do but lets keep it to generalizations)
90% of the mothers a female pupil will meet as she goes about her day aren't working.
They ferry children to and from school, go to the gym and generally "keep house" (which I am not saying is not hard work. It is no mean feat when houses are probably plural and holidays need booking, side returns extended and tutors and music classes organised) however it does seem a step back from the world some of our own mothers "fought for" in the seventies and a world away from the "Lean In" mantra of the current workplace.
If I am honest I look at that and it makes me feel uneasy.
And as a child goes "higher" up the school in their school career the percentage of working mums falls off a cliff.
At playdates on a Friday my daughter sees almost every mother cook and keep house. (not actually clean, that's outsourced!
) and then hubby comes home from work.
She does not hear other mothers talk about their job, or what she's doing at work or the challenges she's had to face in the workplace.
A hard working hubby then comes home from the City, puts his feet up and generally unloads about how hard he is working.
Does that mean we are rearing girls who expect to be "kept" as many of the local mums are? The daughter of a friend asked (in all seriousness) why did she have to work so hard at school as "mummy didn't use her education".
Mummy btw went to a TOP US university and prides herself on being "equal" to any man in the workplace it's just she hasn't been in one for ten years.
So that is what really worries me.
And it worries me more the older my children get.