Monday, October 09, 2006

Private Education

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."


Shuggy said...

Maybe the NHS is recruiting only from stupid people. Or snobs.

Or simply because they can afford it.

Although you say this as if it's ridiculous that doctors in general are unconcerned with social status, which is itself pretty ridiculous, if you think about it.

Your in-laws excepted, of course.

Anonymous said...

It is simple really, private education offers an education where there is strong discipline, traditional values, children who want to learn, and parents who are supportive. Just like state education used to be I remember it well

paul ilc said...

We educated our daughter privately, though we would have used the state sector if we had deemed it suitable. We were encouraged to do so by my father-in-law (retired Headteacher of a Comp). And the headteacher of our local primary sent her daughter to the same private school our daughter attended.

State near-monopolies provide mediocre services, at best. Health and education should be opened up to market forces.

Laban said...

"Or simply because they can afford it"

But why would they want to do that, simply because they can afford it ?

They can also afford to burn fivers and buy all their food from Harrods. Yet in other areas they look for value for money just like the rest of use. They use Tesco or Morrisons like everybody else. Maybe they think the education's worth it.

Snafu said...

A private education also tends to price some of the more anti-social and disruptive children.

Squander Two said...

No, it's a myth that anti-social children are poor. Some are, but plenty of trouble-makers come from wealthy families. What private schools do is give the parents a very different attitude towards discipline: when you misbehave at a private school, you are efefctively throwing away your parents' money. So the "How dare those nasty teachers criticise our lovely Brian" attitude vanishes.