To go private or not to go private? Oh, what to do? It’s easy to stereotype the dinner table dilemmas faced by those middle class families who purchase their child’s education as if it were a luxury car or foreign holiday.

If the online responses and myriad cries of “hypocrite” aimed at SNP MP Anum Qaisar-Javed over her nice little earner teaching at a private school – while also vowing to fight inequality – are anything to go by, it’s clear private schools are a hugely divisive issue.

What school you send your child to is seen by many as a measure of what sort of person you are. It cuts to the core of your belief system. Do you want to live in a fair and just society? One based on merit not advantage. Or do you just want your child to be first in the queue, posh and rich?

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Such questions over-simplify what is a complex issue. And, of course, there’s always that old chestnut: you’re just jealous – if you could afford it, you’d pay.

Everyone wants the best education for their child, but when it comes to weighing up the interests of your child against those of society, then there’s no contest. Private wins, doesn’t it?

Well, not necessarily so. The idea of private versus principle is based on the assumption private is better for the child.

But is this always true? Yes, you could argue that from the point of view of delivering what their customers want (ie high pass rates, small class sizes, extra curricular activities etc) fee-paying institutions deliver the goods.

But what looks good on a school league table isn’t always the best option in reality. A well-rounded education that prepares you for the ups and downs of life involves more than just good grades and chums in the yachting club.

Yes, they may mingle with future bankers and politicians, and might indeed become one. But if you’ve only mixed with a small “elite”, then how are you going to understand, never mind empathise, with the plight of those in your community that have been excluded from your world.

I’m not laying the class struggle entirely at the gates of all private institutions, but it’s the old school tie that has fuelled the rotten “chumocracy” in government.

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Having just watched my son “graduate” from primary to secondary, the dedication and care shown by the teachers is proof enough that the state system is delivering. All the effort involved in making their last week special before they move up to the big school was a joy to behold.

Those qualities of “character” and “confidence” traditionally associated with private schools are being instilled just as well at our local school. I’ve seen my son grow, indeed thrive, over the years thanks to their work. So would spending £10,000 a year have resulted in a better outcome? No.

The decision to go private or state is very emotive, and can turn friends and families against one another. But what’s best for your child may not be as obvious as it first seems. Children are resilient and showing trust in their abilities is something money can’t buy.

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