Only afford to send one to private school

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Only afford to send one to private school

Postby SendOne » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:44 pm

Hi Everyone
I've registered under another name for obvious reasons.

I have two children - an elder boy and a younger girl. I can only afford to send one of them to an independent school and now that we're looking at secondary options I'm wondering whether it is ever OK to only send one down the private route.

I don't want to get into an argument about state versus private, just that I can see my son might benefit more than my daughter and I'll never be able to afford both of them to go.

I'd love some advice from parents whom have done this and whether it ever stored up any resentment - I can imagine one of them might feel a bit favoured.

Thank you.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby Mummy2b2212 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:43 pm

Yes this happened to me and my brother and it did cause huge resentment once we were slightly both with my parents and between us. It affected us in many ways including educational opportunities but also lifestyle as the opportunities are different.

I can only talk about my personal experience (and a friend who had the same) but I think it’s a bad idea I’m afraid. Both your children will get different things out of private school and not what you necessarily think when you first enrol them, therefore it’s difficult to make the call that one will benefit more than the other. If one suffers more than the other would you be blaming that decision? If one is more successful than the other would you blame your decision?

It’s hard being a parent and knowing what the right choice is for sure but my personal experience tells me this would be a bad choice and one i’d Never make for my own children.

Happy to share more personal info over PM if you’d like, but good luck as I know being concerned about your child’s future is really difficult! X
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:07 pm

My best friend experienced this. Her parents paid for her younger brother to go to an independent secondary and she went to the local comp. for much the same reasons you describe. Her brother was considered more academic and would get more out of it etc etc. It did so much damage.

My friend is very insecure, she has always felt her brother was favoured and still is.

I don’t think this is the case, she has wonderful parents who love her very much but who definitely regret their bad decision.

I would definitely never consider the huge financial commitment of independent education if I was not confident that I could easily afford it for all my children throughout their education.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby JTeach » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:11 am


I can only speak from experience and can say that sending one over the other will not have a positive effect in the future when they are understanding of the different opportunities tje other has against the other etc etc. I think it is a good idea to send both to a state secondary (there are so many good ones that have students being accepted to very reputable universities) and use the money that would have been used for the private school to then provide your children with extra curricular activities and tutoring if needed. Of course you will make your own decision however just think about their future relationship and how that will be affected.

Good luck with the decision x
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby LastMumStanding » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:27 am

I was the only one out of four children to go to private school and there was no way my parents could have afforded to send both of us. It was never a problem in any way.

I believe you do the best you can for each of your children according to their individual needs and your resources at the time - and the available options (not all
Private schools are equal - nor are the state schools - and the entrance requirements do chance). I was very unhappy in my secondary school at 12 and had to move. My brothers from state comprehensives all got lower offers from universities than I did and went on to Cambridge, Imperial and the Mackintosh institute for Architecture.

I don’t resent them and they don’t resent me - we are a close and loving family with strong relationships that were there before any schooling choices were made and will last long after we make the same choices for our children.

Good luck
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:31 am

When you say your son might benefit more, I’m assuming you mean he’s the brighter one? If this is the case, it may be that he’ll get on fine wherever he is and your daughter would benefit more.

I think it’s ok to send only one if the other one doesn’t get in. But you have to give them the same chance.

Agree with the above post about using the money for extra curricular activities instead. If you are stretched financially by sending your son private and this affects family holidays etc. then that will cause even more resentment.

Best of luck - the secondary school transfer stage is a bloody nightmare...
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby TrulyMadly7 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:34 am

My brother was sent to private school and I wasn't and for years this upset me, and I very much felt like my brother had been favoured over me. My brother was sent as he was exceptionally bright and they knew I would get through whatever.

I did get through but with very low self esteem and I never fully believed I was worthy of high academia.

My daughter has just started private school and there is NO WAY I wouldn't send my younger one: They both must have access to the same education. If one chose the state option, then it must been done knowingly and after been given the same access to the private exams too. A conscious choice by the child (which I know of families who have done this).

Good luck, not an easy decision, but think very carefully about only sending one.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby SW12Pops » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:44 am

Don’t do it.

All that will come out of it are years of therapy and emotional upset for the one who doesn’t go, guilt for the one who does and people referring to you as “the family that favour their bright kid”

Seriously. Bad. Idea.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby sunshine100 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:21 am

I understand the complexity of this decision but would absolutely advise you not to do this - I was in this situation with 2 brothers who were both educated privately and I was not. Different schools do suit different children yes, but paying for one and not the other is not the best route for family harmony in later years and I would unequivocally avoid it if I was in your situation.

The irony of our family is that the one who has the cheapest education (i.e. me) has gone on to achieve the most academically and professionally and the one who had the most expensive the least, but I still wouldn't advocate it for my own children - far better to give them equal opportunity whatever that opportunity may be.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby Schoolplacements » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:44 am

Hi, what a difficult dilemma you have. On a personal level this happened in my family: my brother went through the private sector whilst my sisters and I went to the local comp. It caused some resentment as we got older, particularly as my brother didn't even complete his degree, and dropped out.

On a professional level, and I should declare that I am a school placement consultant, in addition to scholarships some private schools offer sibling discounts and may even be able to assist with a further bursary (these are generally means-tested to ensure the right families are getting assistance). Financial assistance might make it possible for you to send both children.

In addition to the comments you have already received, bear in mind on a practical level that if one is private and one state then they will have different holidays, which may not always overlap. Private school holidays are always longer too which may impact on your childcare arrangements.

Alternatively you could consider state education at 11+ and private education at 16+ for both your children, as this would give you time to prepare financially and would remove any likelihood of sibling resentment.

Happy to speak to you if you wish to private message me when we can talk about this in more detail.
Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby pie81 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:18 am

Interesting that everyone is assuming the son is brighter and that's why private is being considered.

I would have assumed the opposite, i.e. you might consider sending your brighter child to state but your struggling child to private, for an extra "boost" or smaller class sizes that the brighter one doesn't need so much. I still think this would be difficult to justify to the children, but more so than sending the brighter child to private (I can't see why you would ever do that tbh).

If one child has moderate to severe SEN that only a specialist private school could cater for properly then I think that would be justifiable. Otherwise, I wouldn't.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby Pemberley » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:27 pm

We have two boys 7 and 9 years old; the older goes to a local independent and the younger a state primary. At the time the first was going to school we were not sure where we would be working/living so we decided to send him to the independent.

It would have been a big stretch to send both to independent as I would have had to return to full-time work but we were advised by many friends/parents to send the younger one to a state primary as he has ASD. I must say, both are doing well and in fact the younger one is doing somewhat better than we could have ever expected.

My master plan was that the older would be prepped at the independent to get into a good grammar school but things are not looking that way and we are in a similar position to OP as to whether we continue down the independent route for the older or send him to the local state. I’ve come to realise that you can’t really have a master plan as such as each child is so individual and approaches life so differently. The older has anxiety issues from the pressure of 11 plus and we now feel we shall have no option but to choose an independent secondary for him.

While I have bouts of guilt, the boys are oblivious to their differing circumstances. I know this will not be the case as they get older so I have to seriously look at options for the younger one, who is very sporty and grasps every opportunity he gets. I have often wondered if he would have appreciated the opportunities an independent school would offer him more so than the older one but you never know how their personalities will develop.

We do have issues with the holidays already but we compensate by making sure the younger one is doing lots of extra curricular activities. I dread the day the younger one asks why we pay for his brother’s school and not his.

If we could start again, I would put the older in a state school as well. Although I feel we lack in high quality state secondary schools where we are, primary schools are all very good.

Good luck.
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby actuallyadad » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:28 pm

Do state schools for both and use the money for extra tuition, music lessons etc etc
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby 2009Kat » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:24 pm

Difficult. My nephew (elder) is at private secondary school, his sister isn’t.
To be fair he has a massive bursary and his sister tried the entrance test for the school twice and for various reasons didn’t get a place. They can’t afford any other private school than this one. I dont know how this is going to play out but it concerns me. Poor girl having to go from her state comp to see her brother at school for the sorts of ceremonies/activities she will never get to do. I actually think my family is being somewhat sexist (it was apparently unthinkable that the boy may have to go
To the local comp but fine for the girl!).
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Re: Only afford to send one to private school

Postby petal » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:22 am

Before I even finished reading your post I knew it would be the boy who was chosen for private school... as I’ve have seen this scenario play out more than once with people I know.
It might not be sexist at all ( apart from maybe and in a subconscious way), but it’s still sad and unfair in my eyes... and sadly predictable. (And I’ve read this week my company has a gender pay gap of 30%, hmm all starts at home ? I digress )
I would personally not want to give one child special treatment and obviously depending on the character of your children you will know best how they will take it.
Be aware that they might be OK now, but it could cause tension later on.
Children all want to be fairly treated and I imagine this is showing It in quite a big way.