Is it a waste of money ? ask Shuggy and Chris Dillow.
I married into a family with a fair few doctors among the brothers-in-law and cousins. They were all state-educated - and all of them educate their children privately. Then I thought about other doctors I know. These are all NHS doctors - and I don't know a single one with children at state secondary. I'd say the majority used state primaries - but the moment the kids hit 11 they were sitting the entrance exams.
Maybe the NHS is recruiting only from stupid people. Or snobs.
UPDATE - "maybe they do it because they can afford it" says Shuggy in the comments - my reply's there too.
Chris Dillow wonders if the kids wouldn't prefer the cash, invested in a high interest account. I went through exactly this calculation before deciding to send my youngest son private. Reasoned that giving him the money equalled giving him a fish (or admittedly, rather a lot of fish). Giving him the education equalled teaching him to fish for himself.
It's sad - when I was a grammar-school boy we looked down on the 'publicans', characterising them as 'thick rich kids'. In those days the doctors sent their kids to the state grammars. But 'a grammar school education for all' turned out to be a lie.
John at the England Project bit the bullet too.
"And screw anyone who tells me that we, and 60% of other parents of children in my sons school, are doing it because we have fallen for a confidence trick. We are parents who saw an alternative to the future offered by the state and jumped at the chance…..even if it means financial worries and serious risk for a decade or so and a likely end to successful pension planning. It’s called being a parent. It’s called taking risks."