Private school vs state school - the two tribes

(98 Posts)
UrbanDad Tue 19-Oct-10 14:17:53

I have been walking DCs to their (state) junior school and have noticed a marked difference in the two tribes on either side of the road (girls' independent and prep school on one side, state junior and comprehensive secondary on the other).

These two streams of humanity mark themselves out in the following way:

1. Private school kids hop out of SUVs, whereas there are scooters, bicycles and shanks' pony for the state school kids.
2. No dads or grannies taking private school kids to school - it's almost all mums and nannies.
3. Private school kids look like pack-horses with sports kit with hockey stick, racquet etc., school book bag and occasionally a monstrous musical instrument (sometimes several times the size of the child) whereas the state school kids carry a book bag or nothing at all.
4. Private school girls' skirts are so short they would not be acceptable in the state school (which is odd - there are no boys to impress at the private schools anyway - maybe a girly competitive thing?).
5. Immaculately coiffed hair is de rigeur for the girls' schools, although state school kids have more adventurous hairstyles (e.g. corn-braids, spiky hair).
6. Private school girls are much more diverse in height (some very little, some very tall), but state school kids seem to cluster around the mean.

arizonagirl Tue 19-Oct-10 14:45:07

Fantastic thread grin.

My heart kind of sank when I saw your post as we are proably changing from private to state after a great deal of thinking (4 children - say no more). I assumed you were going to say that the state children were not presenting as many manners as the prep children (I apologise for such an assumption and am glad I was wrong).

Your post made me chuckle as I can so relate to what you say; particularly point one which made me laugh out loud.

Will enjoy following this thread.....

minipie Tue 19-Oct-10 15:07:26

Interesting. I went to a private girls' school and we definitely fitted the state school characteristics you describe way more than the private ones.

Mind you it was in London, very academically selective and gave lots of bursaries/assisted places etc, so maybe it was an atypical private school.

emy72 Tue 19-Oct-10 15:12:17

mmm I guess this is meant to be tongue in cheek ;o)

You should see the length of the skirts at our local state secondary, I often wonder whether they are just wearing tights and a blazer!

thirtysomething Tue 19-Oct-10 15:22:30

At my DD's private school skirts have to be knee-length (no exceptions!) and far more dads and grandparents collect the girls from school than was the case at the state school DD used to go to, where it was all mums and nannies.

Plus the cars were far smarter (and bigger!) at the state school....at DD's private school everyone seems to be using their last bit of cash to pay the fees; therefore many parents use the public bus to/from school. I obviously don't live in the same part of the country as you!

JeffVadar Tue 19-Oct-10 16:04:03

Private school kids do have a lot of clobber smile!

On Monday mornings DS goes into school with:

Tuba in large black case
Music case
Net bag bulging with games kit (plus cricket bag in summer)
Zip up A4 ring binder
2 or 3 excercise books for prep, plus corresponding text books
Reading book

The days in between are OK, but obviously it all comes home again on Friday.

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 16:14:24

And the bitter OP's attitude is exactly why I wouldn't send my kids to state school! hmm

If you were talking about someone's religion or race you would probably be banned from this site. To have such a mean attitude towards children is pretty cruel.

Litchick Tue 19-Oct-10 16:15:43

Gotta admit that my kids are weighed down with kit...instruments, music bags LAX sticks, kits bags, rucksacks etc

But apart from that, DD goes on the bus and is religiously told to unravel the waistband of her skirt and bloody brush her hair wink

GollyMissMolly Tue 19-Oct-10 16:16:26

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Litchick Tue 19-Oct-10 16:17:53

Do state schooled kids not play music or sports in your neck of the woods OP?

singersgirl Tue 19-Oct-10 16:21:40

I guess it's tongue in cheek, particularly the bit about height! Have one at private prep, one at state primary and there are SUVs and scooters at both, dads, grannies and nannies at both, musical instruments at both (though much less sports kit at the state primary) and children of vastly different heights at both.

<considers the variety of height of children in DS's class. Looks at his guitar. Consider the look of pack horse that happens on Mondays.>

Not sure why I am letting myself post on this thread. DS at state school obviously.

exexpat Tue 19-Oct-10 16:42:38

Aha - so that's why my two DCs were always a head taller than their classmates at their state school - they were obviously always destined to go private.... hmm

exexpat Tue 19-Oct-10 16:44:09

... but it sounds like I need to neaten up their hair and stop walking to school buy myself a bigger car.

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Oct-10 16:49:00

UrbanDad, you are one of those parents who turn up really early to collect their kids, and have time to observe the differences, aren't you.

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 16:54:36

Yes I noticed the vast amount of paraphernalia the private school kids lug about.

Also some are dressed up in some sort of combat gear sometimes - obviously private school is more dangerous than state school.

Private school uniforms always seem horrific to me - huge blazers and tartan calf-length skirts.

In terms of height, local private school kids are ENORMOUS!

Hence the SUVs.

UrbanDad Tue 19-Oct-10 16:56:06

GollyMissMolly - confused by your posts. I'm bitter about nothing and may even send my DCs to private school later in life. I just thought I'd share my observations - not drawing any conclusions from them and it looks from some of the other posts that they may be atypical (except the pack-horse thing - that seems to be well-founded wink).

threetimespink Tue 19-Oct-10 16:58:09

Mummy: Darling lets do our homework
5y.o DS.: Mummy, why bother if nobody wants to see it
Mummy: How many teachers did you see today (class of 30)
DS: Just one, and yesterday
(there are 3 on payroll)

Enough said, moving to a private school next year from what is "one of the best state schools around"

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 16:58:48

I fort you was just havin a larf

<state school educated>

sue52 Tue 19-Oct-10 16:59:10

Depends where you live. In London that's probably par for the course, but here in Kent you are just as likely to be knocked over by a hard faced bottle blonde driving a brand new 4x4 emerging from either a state school or a private one.

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 16:59:29

And here we go again...

preghead Tue 19-Oct-10 16:59:57

I agree generally apart from the paraphenalia, in our area there are lots of both types of school and they all seem to have a lot of stuff but it is the local state junior that seems to have the most, and the most ridiculously massive book bags on their backs.

sue52 Tue 19-Oct-10 17:02:29

Gollymissmolly Leave Arizonagirl alone, she's just a bit stressed out and pregnant.

boyanddogs Tue 19-Oct-10 17:06:35

The private (and alternative) school my son goes to presents a very different picture! There are some SUVs and well-groomed mums, a few dads in definitely up-market cars, most arrive walking or by bike or brought by either parent in rather shabby old cars. My son complains that some of the mothers (and some teachers) "wear curtains", as he puts it. No uniform, so kids generally wear "whatever" -- I'm glad to say there doesn't seem to be a lot of showing off when it comes to the kiddies' clothes. As there is a lot of emphasis on music, we do see little 'uns staggering under their cello or bassoon, but equally some just have a recorder stuffed in their bag. No sports gear at all ... everything is played in ordinary gym kit: shorts or sweat pants, tee-shirt and sweatshirt (colour is specified by the school). So I don't think one can really categorise!

CommanderCool Tue 19-Oct-10 17:06:58

What is it with the uniforms? Can someone explain?

Why not just wear a polo shirt and a skirt/trousers? cheap and practical? Why wear all this stuff?

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