- Excellent education normally offered, however do check! They can vary.
- Many extra-curricular activities offered, but very high cost.
- Often a snobby attitude - my car is bigger than yours types. Horrible.
- Often "new money" and some pretty rough, superficial types.
- Can encourage some children to become spoilt.
- Bullying often focused around wealth/cultural upbringing. Problems with the size of Christmas presents etc. In both sectors, of course, but predominant here.
- Depends on quality of school - I have found grammar schools to be much much better at educating than private - selective public is best, otherwise consider private.
- Rough, tough and more bullying normally present. Life skills learnt the hard way, in my opinion better.
- You have to be much more proactive in getting involved - extracurriculars are not handed to you on a plate, you have to find them.
- Perhaps fewer wide ranging activities, again you have to go out and suppliment in things like rare musical instruments, dancing, horse riding etc.
- Creates all rounded people.
In my personal opinion, the best thing is to send a young child to the local village primary school and if you have the money, suppliment the child with extra tuition from a teacher outside of school. They will have their friends all living in the same area and it will be much more pleasant and easier for all. Also, the extra tuition is more than comparable to the difference between schools and would be MUCH cheaper. (About £20 an hour, £30 max.)
Then, at secondary age, send them to a private school for 5 years, until the start of year 12. It will give them a massive boost in the GCSE teaching and give them the opportunities a private school offers.
Then, at the age of 16, move them to a very good state public school for ALevels. University entrance is slightly easier coming from a state school than from a private school in the UK to fill quotas. However, if they want to stay at a private school, let them do so because the extras could outweigh the quotas, esp. for Oxbridge entry. However, if they stay at a private school, make sure they get involved in the community with people from rougher areas and state school children through something like VSU to give them a taste of real life - too sheltered is awful, trust me!
Hope that helps