Is private school worth it?

Right now students up and down the country are studying away and taking their final A-Level exams. Mrs YFG and I have carefully observed the mortal panic of colleagues and friends as their kids sit their exams. Good results and the fruits of all the schooling will have paid off. Bad results and it will be back to the drawing board for their future university and career plans.

The stakes are high. Not only because these results will determine what universities and jobs these children will be able to get. But also because Mums & Dads all over the country have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds putting their children through private education. Will it all be worth it?

Giving your children the best possible start

Almost all parents want to give their children the best possible start in life. They want to see their children succeed in the world and enjoy happy lives. For many people, private school is a way of ‘ensuring’ that their children have the best possible chance to succeed.

Both Mrs YFG and I went to pretty dodgy comprehensive schools. Going through state education didn’t hold either of us back. We both got good grades, went to a top Uni and nabbed high paying jobs. Likewise, we know people who went to the best and most expensive private schools only to tumble out with little to show for the huge sums of money spent on their education.

So giving your child an expensive private education is no guarantee of success. Not having a private education is not a guarantee of a life of mediocrity.

It’s all about the money

Unfortunately for Jessie J, when it comes to private schooling it very much comes down to the price-tag.

In doing some research for the article I came across a few estimates for the cost of private schooling your children from nursery through to college.

According to Killik & Co, an investment advisor company, the cost to put a child through private school between 2002 and 2015 was £174,000 to £236,000. They estimate that the cost has ballooned and from 2015-2028 the cost will be £286,000 to £468,000.

I also did some calculations using data from the Independent Schools Council and it could cost between £160,000 and £350,000 to put a child through private schooling from 2004 to 2018 (more on this in a bit).

These are, without being Cpt. Obvious, huge sums of money! Many of Mrs YFG’s colleagues still live pay-check to pay-check despite earning 6-figure salaries. In part, because they are forking out massive sums to keep Tarquin and Octavia in private schooling.

Is it worth it?

One of the biggest factors in me reaching FI was that age 16 my father passed away and I inherited a small 6-figure sum. Rather than blowing it all away, I invested it, with aim of retiring early (having seen how fleeting life is) by saving over 50% of my salary I was able to quickly multiply my stash to the point that working is now optional. In that respect, I was massively lucky (even if that fortune arose through tragic circumstances).

Having money behind me at a young age has given me an enormous advantage in life (along with many other leg ups). This got me thinking. Instead of spending that money on a private education, what if you invested it? Surely a huge stash of money at a young age is as big of an advantage as you could ever hope for in life?

*WARNING MATHS AHEAD*

Without further ado, I am proud to present Young FI Guy’s Super Private Un-education Numerical Kalculator.

I ran some numbers based on the following scenario:

  • Tarquin Jr. was born in 2000.
  • Since 2004 (nursery) he’s been put through private education (through to Sixth Form).
  • Now it’s 2018, he’s about to finish his A-Levels and his schooling.

The questions are:

  • How much would it have cost to put Tarquin through his schooling? and
  • If instead of private schooling you invested that money instead what lump-sum could you have given him today?

Here is the summary:

The cost

I came up with 7 different cost scenarios, these are:

  1. You could fill up your stocks and shares ISA each year from 2000 to 2018. The limit in 2000 was £7,000 up to £20,000 this year. This has a total cost of about £190,000.
  2. If you are a high-roller you could fill up two(!) stocks and shares ISAs, for a total of c.£370,000.
  3. I took the high and low estimates from the Killik & Co research (these refer to an education cycle of 14 years from 2002 to 2015, so pretty close to Tarquin’s 2004 to 2018) and divided them evenly across 14 school years (Reception to Upper Sixth). The cost for these is c.£170,000 to £240,000.
  4. I also went through the annual ISC survey data adding up the costs for each year according to the survey. Tarquin was in Junior school from 2004 to 2011, Senior school from 2012 to 2016 and Sixth Form from 2017 to 2018 for a total of 15 years of schooling. There are three estimates: Boarding School (the highest cost), Day-Fee at a Boarding School (the middle) and Day-only School (the lowest). The costs totalled between £160,000 and £350,000.

In summary, the total cost of the various options ranged from £160,000 to £370,000 with the ISA subscriptions matching the costs pretty nicely. Both in total and by stepping up over time, commensurate with school fees increasing.

Investing

The next thing I did was to say that instead of spending that money on the school fees what if on each January 1st you put that money into an index fund tracking one of three indices: FTSE-All Share Total Return; S&P500 Total Return; or MSCI All Country World Index Gross. I then deducted 0.5% fee lump sum per annum at year-end to roughly simulate investment costs.

The figures are staggering and speak for themselves. In the “lowest-case” scenarios Tarquin Jr. would have over £250,000 to spend on cocaine and strippers his future. With the “best-case” scenarios he’d have over three-quarters of a million!

Investing in the FTSE-All Share, you would have increased your money by only 60-70%. However, investing in the S&P500 or the MSCI ACWI you would have roughly doubled your money.

What’s most impressive

There are two things particularly impressive about these figures:

  1. This was one of the worst times to have invested: you hit both the dot-com bubble and the financial recession, yet your stash still increased enormously.
  2. These returns are back-loaded as the costs of schooling are highest in most recent years (and the ISA limits are highest in the most recent years). You made stacks of cash on your investment despite putting most of your money in relatively late.

If you want to play around with the numbers, you can! I’ve uploaded the spreadsheet which you can access here!

It’s not a fully fledged model (as it’s fixed to cover 2000 to 2018) but I’ve left space to change the cost assumptions, fee assumptions and you can tinker with the market returns.

[p.s. I can’t guarantee it’s fully accurate or doesn’t have any mistakes, if you spot an error let me know!]

Over to you…

I’m pretty against private schooling, but I think that even the most fervent supporters of private schooling might think twice if they could give their child a £780,000 leg-up.

If you had the decision to make, would you rather your child had a private education or a lump of between £260,000 to £780,000 on their 18th birthday?

 

All the best,

Young FI Guy

[p.s. I’ve stuck purely to numbers here without taking in to account the non-numerical aspects. I’m not a crazy numbers-sociopath (or am I?) It’s hard for me to talk about some of the qualitative aspects of parental education choices as I’m not a parent! Many parents will strongly (and perhaps rightly?) argue that private schooling confers many non-educational benefits such as developing discipline, ethos etc. Likewise, none of this takes into account that the most important thing (in my view) is spending time with your children!]

25 thoughts on “Is private school worth it?

  1. Neither! It is a cool and elegant post and set of maths but I’d say go public school and mom and dad add the savings to mom and dad’s retirement fund. Nobody owes their kid a six figure head start on life and in many cases it would be the worst possible gift/curse imaginable to put that much wealth in the hands of a muddle brained twenty something. You were brilliant and wise when you got that inheritance but most of us couldn’t have handled it nearly as well as you did. My kids will all get seven figure inheritances some day but I hope is is a long time off!

    1. No it’s not worth it. We did. My thoughts:

      We are a part time doctor (wife) plus IT contractor (self). Nevertheless we paid for private education. At a cost of 180k for each of our two children, eldest just turned 18.

      Not counting the opportunity cost of the returns if we had invested that money instead, that was just the raw cost.

      Reasons?: Was not well off as a kid and got a direct grant place to public school. It was great, changed my life. Not because of conferred social cachet (was none IMHO) or great academic achievement (was none for me!) but because it was a great community, the teachers cared, and encouraged thought. I wanted similar quality for my kids. Wife from well to do family, expected similar level to what she had experienced.

      Broadly, their schools have delivered: professional, attentive, kindly quality education.

      Would I do again? Definitely not. Cumulative reasons, with benefit of hindsight:

      1) Fee inflation >> RPI for many years. Private education is less affordable in real terms, is more now for the very upper middle than the middle classes. Also, Fee inflation includes cost of community facilities for schools to keep charity status.

      2) State school provision where I live was poor … but has consistently improved. Likely in part because of middle class parents sending their kids there, for reason 1). Many examples of this local to us.

      3)Universities now effectively discount grades from a top school, apply premium to grades from a bad one. Fair enough.

      4)Home life and parental example is the major influence on the outlook of a child. This is clearer now.

      5) Everyone thinks, their kid may be doctor or lawyer or go to Oxbridge. But it is a fact, most kids will not go that route. You don’t know this up front. You find it out later however, once you are committed. Of our kids, one very academic, one not. Both are humanities students of distinctly non-commercial bent. The career advantage conferred there by private school, is less. The “A doctor or oxbridge lawyer” was never explicitly in our minds, but sort of hovering around the edges as an inducement somehow.

      6) It really is a life changing f*ck of a lot of money. If even part invested for them, their pensions and future homes would have been sorted. Instead, they are, as a rational decision, taking out max student loans that will likely never be paid back.

      Our lifestyle never inflated: never a new car, tend to buy in charity shops, usually UK holidays (often camping). None felt like sacrifices particularly: we I suppose are not really very materialistic, tend to live in our heads a lot, and very defensive and cautious with money. In retrospect a looser freedom there, would have given our kids more life experiences from travel. Obviously that is education too, of a kind.

      Also I would now be retired instead of working. But you pays your money and makes your choice.

      1. Thank you for such a great comment B.A.M.B. It’s very interesting to hear detailed thoughts from someone who’s ‘been there and done it’. I can confirm your point (1). Looking at the data, the price increases were quite shocking. There was only one year where the cost fell (that was, I think, due to a change in methodology). Pretty much every year was a 4%+ increase. That’s magnified by the fact that costs appear to get higher as well the older your child is.

  2. Hmmm I wonder if Tarquin Jnr would be grateful for the fantastic educational investment when his ‘future’ looks so much more fun with the money invested elsewhere!!! Haha
    I don’t think a private education means a better education…but I do think a private education buys you into a potentially-prestigious circle of contacts (friends and their parents)… or at worst something nice for your CV – it’s definitely not worth the price-tag though.
    Our eldest went to our local highly-regarded (non-fee) paying local grammar school. With it’s tough-to-pass entrance exam it has an excellent reputation and set of results. He landed the first apprenticeship he applied for, based pretty-much on the fact that he went there, I reckon ….if he was up again the local comp kids, he had a little something more to add. Similarly his peers who stayed on to do a-levels got great Uni offers before even sitting their mocks.
    I’ve posted recently about how the education system is just not moving with the times, and have just posted a blog post on the (lack of) financial education Mr Fu and I had in school… Thirty years on, not much has changed despite campagins and a change in the curriculum.

    What financial advice do you think a teenager should get in schools?

    1. Hi Mrs Fu! Thanks for commenting. The Little Fu’s are very fortunate to have such caring parents looking out for their future!

      I think you are right on the “prestigious circle of contacts”. I worked with a few Old Etonians and Old Harrovians. Having that network can be a help in your career, particularly in the City. Then again, most of those people I met were talented, hard-working and smart so I’m pretty sure they would have done fine regardless!

      I got a notification about your post this evening and will sit down to read it tomorrow. Financial education in schools is something I feel quite passionately about. I hope you don’t mind, but let me go away and think about it a little before I get back to you.

      1. FYI, I’ve responded to Mrs Fu’s call to arms on financial education in schools over on her blog: http://fiukmoney.co.uk/financial-education-in-schools-or-the-lack-of/

        Here’s what I wrote:

        When I was in school (a bit over a decade ago) there was no financial education (and pretty much no sex education). What I’ve learnt is solely from my parents, work and self-interest.

        I’ll share my thoughts on financial education. Although, having thought about it last night and tonight, I’m not sure I can do it justice in just one comment, so I might follow up with a post myself (if you don’t mind!).

        1. It was great that financial education was made part of the curriculum but it’s not examined. Schools are very focused on exams and so I can understand that it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

        2. There’s no set list of learning outcomes for financial education. For example, I’m a member of the CISI and they do a schools/college level starter course (https://www.cisi.org/cisiweb2/cisi-website/schools-colleges-universities/schools-Colleges). Each qualification has a defined list of learning outcomes (you can read the schools qualification one here: https://www.cisi.org/cisiweb2/docs/default-source/cisi-website/education/level-2-award/fundamental-of-financial-services-syllabus-v2-1-(final)-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=2). Without having a set programme I can’t see how even doing financial education will work as there’s no definition about what should be taught.

        3. If we’re going to be teaching kids finance (and economics), why aren’t we getting, say, the CISI or ICAEW involved? They’ve been educating professionals for decades. We could tie in any GCSE/A-Level exam into the various qualification pathways giving students the option to continue to pursue a profession outside of university.

        4. I’m also reluctant about the idea of making maths “real world”. It’s not really the point is it? If anything, I don’t think we teach enough “pure” maths. Things such as logic, abstraction and pure algebra. The issue I found most in work was not that people couldn’t add up, but they couldn’t logically solve a problem. There’s a risk when you mix and match subjects like this you end up not teaching either. Finance is different from maths. Much like Business is different from English. We need to ask ourselves, what is the point of education? Is it for the pursuit of learning or to prepare for the world of work? If you want to do both, which is challenging, you need to separate subjects, not try and merge them together.

        5. I’d really favour a practical type of financial education. I’ve got issues with how budgeting is taught (see my recent post for example). I think we should teach things that you otherwise learn by trial and error. For example: how to buy a house; how to read a payslip; how to calculate your income tax; how to read a credit card bill; how to open an ISA; what an investment fund is etc. It’s all good teaching abstract ideas such as compound interest, but that kinda misses the big things. I had no idea how to buy a house, or even how to calculate tax when I left school. Those things affect everyone!

  3. Hi there YFG. Mrs. CC and I have debated the merits of private eduction. We know of parents who have gone down this route and sing it praises. As new parents, we’ve really been on the fence about all, although Mrs. CC leaning more towards against. Having read your post, I am now of the view it is better (in my opinion) to invest the money, not withstanding the intangible benfits private schooling provides. Thanks for the write-up!

    1. Hi Cashflow Cop (I like the name!).

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and it’s helped you to form your thinking. The article isn’t the only way to think about it but as both Mrs YFG and I have managed to do very well out state school it’s definitely possible to be successful without spending large sums on education. I guess we probably wouldn’t be anywhere near FI if our parents had spent their money on private school fees instead of giving it to us in other ways (birthdays, savings, wedding and just their time). Having had a great upbringing, I think everything comes second to parent’s spending time with their children and being personally devoted to their education (I’m thinking about parents who throw money (au pairs, nannies, private tutoring) but not spend time with their kids).

      1. Thank you about the name. Took me quite a while to come up with it.

        You’re right. There is definately something to be said about some parents who out of choice decide to splash on our their kids education (with all the after and pre-school activities etc) as a way to transfer responsbility away from spending time with their children. Of course, not everyone who send their kids to private education fit into this perception. Hypotheically speaking (I did not have a private education), but if I were still a child, I would pesonally prefer my parents to work less hard (even if it means no private education) if they could spend more time with me. I wonder if kids in private education were given this choice, what would they choose? More family time or a fancy school to go to? I’m not too sure what they’d choose.

  4. “Both Mrs YFG and I went to pretty dodgy comprehensive schools.”

    Same here – I was shocked when I went to uni and there were people on my course who had had expensive private educations and there’s me getting there for free!

    Those numbers are staggering but when some of those people are keeping up with the Joneses with their children’s education, it’s unlikely to be something they would consider.

    As I don’t have kids, I guess I’m going to be against high fee paying schools but it does annoy me when I read about though who are ‘just managing’ who have chosen to pay these high fees.

    As mentioned by @steveark, there aren’t many people in your position who received an inheritance so young who wouldn’t have blown it all by now. I have a friend who has received a couple of small inheritances (probably in the mid 5 figure mark) – on both occasions, she used the cash to renovate her house. She still has no pension plans!

    1. Hi Weenie!

      I completely agree on the “just about managing” families who are spending large 5-figure sums each year. At the same time, disabled people are continually getting kicked down – those are the people who are really “just about managing”.

      I’m really thankful for comments like Steveark’s (and yours) because they remind me that most people don’t think like I do. And having reflected on Steveark’s comment overnight, I’ve remembered a few people now who’ve ‘blown’ 6-figure inheritances (including family members). It’s always good to bear in mind we, in the FI Community, are a minority. We very much act against the grain!

    2. Haha @weenie yes I’m just about to inherit a sum (not sure how much ) and am considering house renovation or investing The difference between the being i have decent sums in both savings and pensions

  5. There’s a use-case where the local state schools are bad and you can’t afford to move. I would wager quite a few are in that boat. It would be hard to be sat on 100s of k watching your kids have a miserable time of it.

    Judicious dispersement over time also key, several 100k at 18 could be a monumental omnishambles for many.

    1. Hi Rhino!

      There is potentially a use-case. But then again, I grew up in one of the poorest towns in the UK and went to awful First and Middle Schools. My High school was a bit better (being the best of a bad bunch, ironically it’s now the worst school, the others being turned into academies and being much better). But we’re still talking about an upper-middle-class family’s nightmare. I didn’t enjoy school, despite being smart, I caused trouble and was a bit mischievous. I did enjoy college, which was seperate for me. The college I went to was pretty good as it had a very large catchment area and most of the chaff had been seperated by that point. I think a lot of it is what you make of it. I don’t want to delve into politics too much, but ‘wealthy’ families taking their kids out of the state system perhaps exastberates lots of the issues with state schools. My mum and dad were always very involved both in my education and being involved in the schools. It’s possible to get a top education even whilst going to ‘bad schools’. Perhaps I’m being overly sanguine. I’m seeing my mum in a few weeks time, I’m gonna speak to her and see what she thinks.

      Having reflected on several of the great comments so far, “Judicious dispersement over time also key, several 100k at 18 could be a monumental omnishambles for many.” seems very smart. The numbers I ran were based on the parents’ ISA limits so entirely possible to keep control of the money. Potentially helping out down the line as needed (house etc.) Other options are for discretionary trusts or even pensions (utilising the tax free lump sum). Perhaps it makes the case for Junior ISA’s less appealing (given the child has unrestricted access at 18).

  6. I think character is a huge variable in the equation. This dilemma can apply to us adults too and with the same difficulty. Once when my career felt stuck in a rut, I was torn over re-training by doing an MBA and totally changing direction from my original qualifications and work experience up until then. It was a life-changing decision in more than one sense though, because it would mean blowing my life savings and years to do something I wasn’t 100% sure was suited to my character. (if it was ‘me’)

    So seeking wisdom, I went to a colleague who had just done precisely that and then used it to get a great job, so basically he’d been in my situation and the gamble had worked for him. A few years later he was in a position to leave that firm with some of its discarded ideas and clients and set up on his own. After ~10 hard years more, he sold the only idea that worked to a company with the resources to develop it further; soon it may be a medical device. The lawyers and accountants are grinding through the gears freeing up the money, but it’s just made him FI. He’s nearing 60, but still grateful as it was never a guarantee it would ever happen and these days in the UK you would be courageous to rely on the state pension alone, if it’s even still there before you die.

    He told me that judging now, he didn’t need that MBA to get the skills to do all the brilliant things he accomplished getting a product from idea to fruition, but, he wasn’t sure he’d have had the confidence without it. So I chose not to, more from being too scared to lose the money as I wasn’t sure enough it was my ‘thing’. Ironically, later when I left the corporate world, I took a ‘sabbatical’ for over a couple of years, learned a DIY MBA off the internet and also achieved FI early. Believe it or not, he now asks me how to invest his savings because the rigid curriculum of his MBA only taught them to regurgitate the neoliberal dogma that caused the crash, not how to think for yourself, be totally flexible and therefore change if the circumstances do.

    1. Hey FI Warrior. I always look forward to reading your stories. I know your comment is slightly at a tangent, but it touches on a really important thing: confidence.

      I’ve got a lesson I learnt as young lad relating to education, private school and confidence. I’m still mulling over how to frame it (I don’t want it to come over all negative), but it is a counter-argument to this post.

      The value of an MBA is a also a completely different matter. From the people I know who have done an MBA the feedback is mixed to say the least. From what I gather the real value is in the network it can help to create for you.

  7. Hi YFG. You’re very welcome, I get plenty of pleasure talking to interesting people, so it’s all good for me too. Perhaps you’ve uncovered the not-immediately-obvious crux of the matter in ‘the value is in the possibility of a network’. The few MBAs I know well enough (for them to tell the truth) did theirs part-time, like a bit correspondence, a bit night school, so never met others involved or had the time to bond if they did. Maybe then they are unsure of the value because theirs ironically came without the active ingredient.

    Extrapolating to private school or other privileged organisations, I reckon the education is similarly secondary to connections. I went to a diplomatic school, yet don’t feel it made me any more confident, but there was no network because in an expatriate environment friendships are mostly fleeting and transitory; everyone scatters to the whole world sooner or later. A buddy from varsity on the other hand flunked after a year but is now doing best out of our entire group because daddy was rich and inducted him into his lodge, privately he’ll admit that obviously being connected to hell and back’s a massive competitive advantage over the herd.

  8. Hey YFG,

    I guess I come from the other side of the fence, being a private school kid. I think I was a good example of a ‘use case’, coming from a very disparate background to your own. I grew up in a very wealthy rural (but commutable to London, hence the wealth) area. I went to a very good state primary. I started in the local Grammar secondary (Grammar in name alone given that it was the only choice), and had a miserable time. Due to the wealth of the area, anyone who could afford it would put their children into private school. This drained all of the academic, motivated kids from the state system. Granted there were a few who couldn’t afford it, but this was perhaps 10% of the year. The wealth disparity in the are, rural deprivation and lack of jobs meant most families sending their kids to the Grammar didn’t give a toss about education, so neither did the kids. Without motivated children or families, the motivated teachers left to work at the private schools (who would pay them more). After three years of bullying, underachievement and general misery my parents opted to use some inherited money to send me to a local private school. I estimate the following 5 years probably cost them in the region of £60-80k in fees (which increased during my time there). They have said it was their best investment. The state secondary became an academy, but still flounders. My brother went to a different state comp, 20 miles away.

    Would I have ended up where I am now had I remained at yon shitty Grammar. I doubt it. The raw materials were the same, but my direction and motivation would be different. I have had no network of contacts out of the private school (though I think if I worked in finance in London I might). I was ultimately far happier at the private school, as it fitted my character.

    I think the worth it is not just financial, it’s emotional wellbeing. In my opinion a goalless, aimless and hopeless kid with a £500k trust pot is a riskier proposition than a motivated, happy but broke kid.

    FireShrink

    1. Hi FIREShrink – thanks for dropping by. And more importantly, providing a counterview point!

      I’m really sorry that you had some bad times at school. I think it’s really terrible how so many children have such horrible school experiences. It reflects badly on us as a society. But I’m glad it worked out in the end – and I’m sure private school is the ‘right answer’ for lots of people.

  9. I am child-free, so I never had a dog in this race. Gut-wise I am with you – private education is a horrendous misallocation of capital, particularly as capitalism delivers an increasingly winner-takes-all such that probably only the upper 20% of people has any hope of selling their time and/or skills for a useful return in a First World country, if that is what these kids will grow up into.

    OTOH would I have the cojones to make that call if I did have a dog in the race? All these folks are looking to privilege their kids by stamping down on the others trying to snap at their heels, but when it comes to the fruit of your loins the end always justifies the means. That’s the world these parents are creating, let’s hope their kids will thank them for it 😉

    1. Yep exactly Ermine. Whilst writing I was continually thinking I’ve got “no skin in the game” (definitely #1 most used term at the moment…) It’s a tough call. And like many other tough calls, I’m bloody glad I don’t have to make it!

  10. I am late to comment but here we go.

    We have 3 children, all of which have been accepted at Russel group universities. Two of them are getting confident 1sts, the 3rd starts the autumn and is as smart as his siblings so should be alright.

    None of them went to private school which by my calculation 15 years ago was not worth it and instead maximised my future pot, in our case maximum pension contributions, pension currently 1.65M or thereabouts. I was a director of a small company but on a very small salary and I figured that always if I kept my salary low we would be entitled to anything we could get at the time, tax efficiency and using system legally to my advantage was always my mantra and I wanted to sock it to the ‘man/govt’ hence my moniker ‘BeatTheSystem’ as it happened the company did rather well and we sold it and now have a similar sum outside the wrapper of pensions so sitting pretty.

    So now, I am using my money to partially support my children through university in the form of paying their rent and emergency hand outs when they are desperate. This year I think I will pay out around 30K to them in the form of rent, one of them is at UCL and the rent of a Bloomsbury squat is outrageous.

    So now I am feeling what it must be like to pay private education, I don’t resent it now because I have been lucky and as a family we value university education greatly. It does not mean they will all get high paying jobs, but the value of education cannot be underestimated. Probably we are heading for a new era with radical yet to full predict changes on the horizon for careers and how we remunerate people, and perhaps mathematically it makes no sense to have a university education, but the currency of intelligence and a trained mind will always be in high demand in any scenario.

    Probably if we structured things differently we could have sent our spawn to private school but my pension would be a fraction of what it is now that’s for sure, and because we are not likely to spend it through retirement we should be able to help with house deposits if and when required.

    Some people send there kids to private school because their linage has always done and have a shit load of money, its their culture.

    Some people send their kids to private school because they have done well as plumbers / fly by night stock brokers etc, but fundamentally, deep down, they know they are a bit thick and have to get someone else to educate their kids. I sort of get this, if you have loads of money and that’s the best option then I guess that’s what you do.

    My wife and I are from working class backgrounds and in our hearts quite socialist – not that I always practice what my heart tells me I admit. We chose not to send them as growing up I remember how the private school kids thought they were so much better and did not want to raise our children being well, shall we say, chinless wankers. However we knew that to get the most out of the state system it is necessary to invest parenting time!, consistently, and enthusiastically with them which many parents simply fail to do. All it takes is reading to them every night from a very young age, getting them interested in art, science, taking them to interesting places and just general interaction and having radio 4 on in the back ground.

    We are really proud of my children because against all odds they are doing incredibly well, and are not intimidated by the coke snorting over entitled little shits that seem to come out of private education, not all are like that but a large number of them don’t seem to do as well at university when the advantage of being beasted / hot housed is not there. Far better to foster enquiring minds.

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