Going to private school is a choice that many parents and children make some years into their education. If you are thinking about a move from state to private, you are far from alone; every year many parents make the decision, for a wide variety of reasons, to enrol their child in a private school after they have spent some in a state setting. Here at Aldwickbury we welcome boys from a wide range of backgrounds; if you’re thinking of moving your son from a state school to a private setting, we can offer information and advice based on our own experience.
Benefits of combining state and private education
School fees are a significant household expense, and for many families it’s sensible to weigh up whether private education from nursery right through to Sixth Form is worth the cost. Many state schools offer outstanding educational opportunities, in some cases superior to their fee-paying rivals, and are an excellent choice – so parents might opt to move from state to private education, or from private to state, at some point during their child’s school career.
While state education might be a good fit at primary school, you may feel that private education will better prepare your child for GCSEs, A Levels and university. Or perhaps after a year or two in a state setting, you might decide that smaller class sizes and a more individual approach to learning are important while your child is still young. Much will depend on the quality and educational philosophy of the state schools local to you, and their independent alternatives.
It’s not uncommon at Aldwickbury for boys to join our prep school in Year 3, having gone through infant school in a state setting. In addition, we receive a number of boys in Year 7 after completing their primary education in a state school. This gives them time to preparing for the entrance exams they will take in order to complete their education at a private secondary school.
Tips for parents on making the transition
The transition from a state school to an independent one needn’t be difficult. Parents should consider the following when making the decision to move their child from state to private education:
- Admissions criteria. If your child is not entering the school at the pre-prep stage, independent schools are likely to be selective, choosing new students based on both their performance ability as well as potential. Find out in plenty of time what is expected of children at your child’s stage of education, and make sure they are fully prepared for any tests or examinations they may need to sit. That being said, our entry assessments at Aldwickbury require no preparation, as we are merely trying to gauge whether the student will cope with our curriculum.
- Value for money. Fees for private schools vary, so it’s worth comparing a few different establishments to get an idea of which may offer the best value for money. Don’t forget to research any grants or means tested bursaries that may be available through the school.
- Extra-curricular activities. The move to a new school is an exciting time for any child, and if it will involve time spent pursuing their interests, it’s more likely to be enjoyable. Find out what extra-curricular activities and facilities are available at the school of your choice.
- Single-sex vs co-ed. Single-sex state schools do exist, but they are more common in the private sector. Think about what type of learning environment would benefit your child; many parents make the transition to private school because they feel an all-male or all-female learning environment will suit their child better.
If you are considering a new school for your son, Aldwickbury is a happy and friendly community with a focus on excellent pastoral care. Find out more about our prep school and our admissions process.