DD1 was initially booked in to private but instead we chose a public school with a really good reputation. I talk to quite a lot of teachers and they all agree they hear great things about that school. I actually think a majority of the kids there "could" be going private. DD1 loves it. Nice teachers, nice kids, I'm friends with a lot of the parents and we all catch up regularly, so she still sees her friends on holidays. If I became unhappy with it I would probably go private though as I don't like the other options around here.
Also with DD I previously had a little girl who was delayed and hated learning but I have spoken to her teachers and now she is loving school and interested in learning. They tailored some of her activities to make it more "her". She is still delayed but now she is actually interested I am seeing such an improvement