A senior manager at work today explained to me the reason why he was targeting the top private versus public schools for his sons and I was left a little flabbergasted. His two small children are still in nappies but they were gearing up for the massive investment to give their children “the best education possible.” It meant a strategy of paying off the mortgage in 5 years so that for the next 12 all their income will be directed to private education. Benefits cited were the old boys alumni and lasting networks that will secure a successful career.
What a load of bullocks!
Sure I want my kids to be successful too and have the same opportunities as your kids but the common denominator here is the kid.
Your kid may have some learning difficulties, excel in sport, pursue a less dignified career, start their own business without the MBA or just decide to do a trade at 16. They may mess up, get expelled, fall in with the wrong crowd or just never learn to talk to girls. Am I selfish to say why would I waste 12 plus years of significant earnings for my retirement to send my kids to a school with exorbitant fees that give me no guarantee of a return of my investment?
Instead in the past few years I have heard of alternative strategies of families like you and me. One colleague confided that although he had attended a nice Catholic boys school that he was sending his son’s to a very good public co-education secondary school. The contributing factor was they liked to travel. With flights to Australia quite affordable, savings made from not sacrificing their life for a top private school meant a trip overseas every two years. For mum it meant a new kitchen renovation perhaps and for the family an upgrade to the family home.
What made you decide private versus public schools debate?