I can't afford to send all my four children to private school. I could possibly afford 3 maximum, but two is more affordable.

Me and my husband have had to recently switch jobs and we are not getting as much income as we used to. Our three eldest daughters have been at private school their whole lives. Our youngest is starting school in September; we would really like to send her private like her sisters but this will not be possible.

Would it be better to keep the smarter children in private, or the ones who find it more challenging? (I am not in anyway undermining the public schools, but the one I would have to send my daughter to is not as good as their current school.)

  • Have you tried talking it out with them? What do they say?
    – user7953
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 20:23
  • Is your title wrong, given that a "public school" is a private school?
    – Ian
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 17:33
  • @Ian Amy.F is referring to what you would call a "state school". Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


It's certainly possible to do so. It's hard to say what the impact of doing so would be; it may be confusing to your youngest daughter why she's not going to the same school as her elder siblings, and she may resent it later in life if she's not doing as well as they are. But equally, she may prefer the public school, particularly if she makes close friends there.

One possibility is to use public school for K-8, and then send her to a private high school. By the time she's in high school, there will be only one child in private schools left, and the eldest will have graduated (undergraduate) college; the second will be close to doing so as well. Particularly if the elder two are able to fund college in part from scholarships, it's very possible you may be able to pay for private school by that point - which as you point out can be the most important part. Of course, you'll be separating her from her friends by doing so (unless they also go to private high school).

Another possibility is to look into scholarships; it's possible your private school(s) may be able to give her a scholarship to help offset the costs, particularly with so many children.

  • 2
    In addition to scholarships or grants, some private schools also have a system (although more often at the high school level) in which students can do some hours answering phones or something like that in exchanged for reduced tuition.
    – Acire
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 20:31

I think it should be all or none. Otherwise it will be perceived as favoritism by your children. As well as considering how it may impact them academically, you need to consider how it may impact their relationships with each other. It is entirely possible to get a very good education at a public school. However it may require a bit more dedication from the children, and more after-school guidance and encouragement from you and your husband.

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