To be ridiculously upset about dd not being able to take her place at private school

(169 Posts)
eminemmerdale Fri 22-Feb-13 23:41:06

DD(7) is super bright - I am not being a pfb mother, she is number 3 with two older siblings but she is stupidly clever. Because of this, we, on advice, put her in for an entrance exam for our super selective local prep school. It started off last summer when we went to the first open day, then did the interview with the head, taster day, pre-test and finally the entrance test. She was awarded a place - we were told she had done 'exceptionally well' and got one of not that many places. We had, from the start, said we would need a significant bursary, and applied - we fulfill all the criteria and were pretty much led to believe that we would get a good enough one. However, although we got what would probably be thought of as a lot of money off, we just couldn't match it (unless we stopped paying utility bills and eating!) I asked if it could be negotiated and they did do their best but clearly the funds weren't there - cue lovely e mails and calls from the head and deputy head, regetting that we couldn't take the place sad Her primary is one of the best in the city and I know that a few other children from her year have been offered places, which is great. However, I now find out that one of them has been offered and accepted a bursary, but the parents are laughing their heads off because the grandparents had offered to pay full fees but the parents kept that quiet! How is it fair that the money they are taking means that my dd can't take the place? If they had been honest and said grandparents would pay then dd could possibly go - how many more are doing this? I could (in fact, have) cry. It is fucking horrible.

amck5700 Fri 22-Feb-13 23:44:30

looking at it from another perspective, is that the kind of people that you would want her mixing with?

Is there not a limit on the bursary available to each child? I doubt that another child not taking a bursary would mean they would have given more to your child.

I received a scholarship based on my achievements despite my parents not applying for it and they would have been happy to pay for me.

Squeakygate Fri 22-Feb-13 23:45:10

Try not to link the two events and deal with the loss of our daughter's place in isolation.
If she is already at a great school, be grateful for that.

katrinefonsmark Fri 22-Feb-13 23:48:07

That's awful for you but I don't understand how your daughters place would be dependent on the other child not taking their bursary.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 22-Feb-13 23:48:08

Sorry you are upset, I hope your dd is ok.

I'm not sure I understand. How would your dd get to go to this school if the other child didn't accept a bursary? Do you think they would allocate all the available money to fewer children if less people applied for a bursary?

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 23:49:41

In reality there are X places no matter who pays for them. The children who have bursaries are, from your perspective, unfortunately brighter than your child, who is down the pecking order.

What you are actually jealous about is the fact that you child didnt get a place. If she were that 'super bright' they would have found a way to have her.

RedHelenB Fri 22-Feb-13 23:50:41

Yes but the grandparents aren't the ones whose income counts. I think YABU, you say she's at an excellent primary so I don't see why it is such a bad thing that she hasn't got a place. You could always apply again when she is approaching secondary age if private school is important to you.

DonderandBlitzen Fri 22-Feb-13 23:50:42

Why does them being given a bursary mean that your dd can't take her place?

The OP means that the school has limited resources. Say it had enough for 10 bursary places. If they only awarded 9, because only 9 dcs needed them then they could divide the 10th share amongst the 9 and thus all would get a bit more. I agree OP that this is pretty crappy. Not much to be done about it - but you could point out to the other parent that it's lovely they aren't stretching their resources but if they had been more honest about their funds then children such as your child might have benefited. Don't expect them to care though. They are clearly amoral. (because it is amoral to apply for funding when you don't need it)

Softlysoftly Fri 22-Feb-13 23:58:42

Dsis works at an independent school, their scholarships are 50% down to 10% dependent on the scores of the entrance tests, I think that's fairly standard.

In fact a lot of children and parents don't even know they are likely to get scholarship, they are just based on the test scores that the children take anyway therefore those parents were clearly willing to pay full price anyway iyswim.

It's likely that the child didn't apply for a bursary but was given one on test scores,the grading system means it would have no impact on your daughters place.

It is awful for you but I have to be honest you should have worked out your finances and the maximum funding available before jumping through the hoops and getting your, your daughters and the schools hopes up.

RedHelenB Fri 22-Feb-13 23:58:48

But they did need it din't they? And if they hadn't got it they may well have offered the bursary to another child.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 23-Feb-13 00:00:09

Wouldn't they be more likely to offer the 10th bursary to another child, rather than dividing it between the other nine though?

RedHelenB Sat 23-Feb-13 00:00:20

The consolation is OP that you have a super bright daughter & I'm sure with you to back her she will do well no matter what school she's at. Private schools are of most benefit to those who maybe aren't as bright.

whateveritakes Sat 23-Feb-13 00:01:27

HollyBerryBush Isn't it that the children with bursaries have families that are poorer than op. Therefore she is pissed off that their "family" isn't that poor. I agree with the poster who said do you really want to mix with people like this.

Op If you are that concerned there must be other schools? She is super bright - what are you worried about?

I agree Clouds that's what would have happened - but I can see why the OP may feel otherwise.

whateveritakes Sat 23-Feb-13 00:04:20

There is a difference between scholarship (clever) and bursary (poor but bright/family history/famous mum etc)

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Feb-13 00:05:25

Maybe they don't want to sponge off their parents?

I know I wouldn't want my parents paying for my choice of school for my kids.

I'd much prefer they enjoyed their savings/pension.

Fleecyslippers Sat 23-Feb-13 00:07:52

But surely you should have done the maths before you put her through the entrance exam ?

Pickles101 Sat 23-Feb-13 00:10:47

YABU for reasons others have stated above.

From another perspective, I am one of 3 daughters, one of whom was sent to private school for also being 'stupidly clever'. My other sibling & I still feel resentment to my mother over this - we were never worthy of that educational investment. But I'm the one with an Oxford degree grin

MrsKeithRichards Sat 23-Feb-13 00:13:04

Or asked super bright dd to have done the maths for you?

olgaga Sat 23-Feb-13 00:15:50

How is it fair that the money they are taking means that my dd can't take the place?

You do know, don't you, deep down, that this isn't necessarily or even likely to be the case?

You really will have to let this go, and remember you're luckier than most to have a really good state school for her to attend.

pollypandemonium Sat 23-Feb-13 00:25:35

As long as we have a segregated education system nothing will be fair. It will always be about who has most money and who is the pushiest.

frogspoon Sat 23-Feb-13 00:45:04

Bursaries can be anything from 10% reduction to 100%. You do not know how large a bursary this other family is getting, and you do not know if the grandparents may still be supplementing the remainder of the fees.

Ultimately it has been decided that a family of your income would benefit from a certain reduction in fees, but your family's outgoings mean you are unable to pay the remainder. Some families will take drastic measures e.g. second mortgage/ sell the car in order to make up the difference, however I assume you are not in a position to do this. I am also assuming that there are no other things you could cut back on to make up the difference.

I'm sorry, it's unfortunate. Take some consolation from the fact she is in a very good school, and doing well.

blindworm Sat 23-Feb-13 00:51:29

I would accept a bursary if it meant my parents didn't have to pay school fees.

Callthemidlife Sat 23-Feb-13 01:20:42

At DCs school, the ability for fees to be met by the extended family is specifically explored and this family would be refused entry if found to have made a false declaration in this regards...

Doesn't help you, of course.

FWIW some of the very best schools in the country hold back generous yr7+ scholarships/full bursaries which are awarded only to children state educated up to that point, so you could look to these potentially at a later stage. I'd also say that IME the educational advantage of private only really starts to kick in around yr 6/7. Before that its mainly bells and whistles (and good support for struggling kids). But that's just my own experience of indie.

Want2bSupermum Sat 23-Feb-13 01:33:10

I would tell the school that you are very keen for your DD to attend and if funds become available in the future you would be very keen for your DD to be considered for a place.

I would also ask the school if they are aware of any other sources of help. I went to a school supported by a guild in London. They supported many children who went to schools they didn't run. Try the Worshipful Company of Drapers as they have a lot of money and are vested in educational projects. If they can't help you directly they will probably know who will.

Mimishimi Sat 23-Feb-13 07:15:43

YABU to blame the other parents. If they had not taken up the bursary, it is likely to have been offered to someone else, not given to your DD as a full bursary. YANBU to be upset that your daughter cannot attend.

kitsmummy Sat 23-Feb-13 07:23:52

So you want your DD to go privately but you can't afford it? Oh, so pretty much the same situation as the rest of the country then?

And fwiw, I don't think there's anything immoral about the other family taking the bursary as the other family obviously can't afford it either. Why should the grandparents pay if there is a bursary on offer?

Shagmundfreud Sat 23-Feb-13 07:31:08

Luckily for your dd she's so clever and so well supported she'll THRIVE in the state sector at a good school.

It's your less bright children you should be thinking about.

Would you spend/are you spending the equivalent of what you'd spend on your youngest bolstering up a bursary, on providing extra tutoring for them to help them reach their potential?

It seems all wrong to me.

Shagmundfreud Sat 23-Feb-13 07:33:04

Why are charitable funds being made over to boost the opportunities of the brightest and best supported children in the country, when these are the children who do well to start with?

Why aren't educational charities focusing on the children who FAIL in the state sector.

They're the ones who need financial and educational support. Not the bright, high achieving ones.

YABU to send only one of your 3 children to private school. My parents did this (sent the girls and not the boys) and it has created so many problems which have lasted long after we all left school.

ll31 Sat 23-Feb-13 07:49:35

Think yabu for reasons stared above, also you know what people say at school gate isn't necessarily true. .. personally what is think is amoral is private education-say you got bigger bursary and sent your dd, how is that fair to another brighter girl whose parents can't afford it?

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 07:50:33

To those saying the child will thrive in a state school, you are deluding yourself it you think state schools have any interest whatsoever in exploiting the potential of the best and brightest kids. Every government initiative only focuses on kids at the other end of the scale. There is no political capital to be gained from pushing the minority of high achieving kids.

OP, you are right to be upset, but I would look at what you can do for your dd outside of a school setting to make the most of her potential.

Branleuse Sat 23-Feb-13 07:56:44

maybe move to an area with a grammar school?

Coconutty Sat 23-Feb-13 08:01:54

The other people's bursary may be something like 10%, and expecting grandparents to pay is asking too much imo.

Coconutty Sat 23-Feb-13 08:03:34

Also, if your elder two are at a state school you may be causing untold problems by putting the youngest in private.

CaptainMartinCrieff Sat 23-Feb-13 08:07:21

I'm afraid YABU... They've been offered a bursary and accepted it. Something they are totally within their rights to do. You too were offered a bursary but can't come up with the extra fees, that is not their fault. People have money available to then or not, that's life. sad

I'm sorry you're upset. Support your dd in other ways, I'm sure she'll do well.

Timetoask Sat 23-Feb-13 08:08:27

Op, there are countless threads here on mumsnet talking about how amazingly well clever children do with their state education, even better than private.
So please don't worry, your dd will thrive wherever she is, please don't show her you are upset or you will simply set her up for years of resentment.

RedHelenB Sat 23-Feb-13 08:09:39

Zwis you are very wrong, most teachers love teaching bright children & want them to do as well as they can!!

Shagmundfreud Sat 23-Feb-13 08:10:26

"To those saying the child will thrive in a state school, you are deluding yourself it you think state schools have any interest whatsoever in exploiting the potential of the best and brightest kids."

The vast majority of children at Oxbridge and Russell group unis are from state schools.

It's insulting to say that bright children can't do well at any state school, even the good ones filled with other bright children.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 08:12:26

Hi I think u r suffering from jealousy which we all do tbc!!! I agree it sucks but that is the way of the world unfortunately. IME where there is a will there is a way - if you really really wanted it you would find way. As for the other family they are doing nothing wrong IMO as not there's but grandparents money !!! Hope all works out for all three of your children x

Abra1d Sat 23-Feb-13 08:12:31

'also say that IME the educational advantage of private only really starts to kick in around yr 6/7. Before that its mainly bells and whistles (and good support for struggling kids).'

I agree. No need to go private before year six.

potatoprinter Sat 23-Feb-13 08:14:40

OP came here looking for support not to be criticised....

OP I am sorry that you are so upset. Obviously you went through the process expecting to get a place/bursary and you didn't. Please contact the school and say how much you loved it etc etc and ask if DD could be considered for a full bursary if anyone else drops out. I don't know if this is feasible but at the private school my kids attended some parents worked in the school (admin, finance etc) in return for a place for their kids. Perhaps you can ask.

Otherwise keep her in the state school until secondary transfer. If you live in a grammar school area try for that or try the private secondaries for a scholarship/means tested bursary.

Frankly in my experience a good state primary is superior to a mediocre prep school. The school sounds like a hot house for pushy parents and tbh you are better off away from people like the unpleasant family who concealed their position to get a bursary - they will end up making themselves very unpopular at the prep school believe me if they keep boasting about it.

I do not agree that state schools are only interested in bringing along mediocre children. You can always ask for extension activities if your DD is not being challenged in class. I would also get your DD involved in activities outside of school such as music, the arts generally or sports. Apart from anything else you get to meet a variety of other parents and it is useful for sussing out various schools and also how people manage to get bursaries etc later on.

MrsMushroom Sat 23-Feb-13 08:16:26

I'm trying to make you feel better now...my DD went to a selective private school on a full bursary. she's G&T and they grabbed her at age 4...she'd been to their nursery basically and the HT called me in to offer a full bursary when she went up.

She attended until age 8...I took her out as A we had had another child and couldn't pay for her and B Her social life was suffering due to extremely snobbish parents who didn't invite her for tea once they'd realised we live in a 3 bed semi.

She's now at a very good primary and so happy...plenty of friends. She can sit for Grammar (if she wants) later on and I don't feel we've lost anything.

We walked away from a full bursary because the school wasn't EVERYTHING to us....and she wasn't enjoying it by then.

TandB Sat 23-Feb-13 08:16:58

It is a great shame that things have turned out this way.

But I think that YABU to put it down to the other family when you don't know exactly how the system works. It may well be that they always offer x number of bursaries, or that the other family's bursary, if split between the other bursary holders, would only add a very little extra to your share of the pot.

You seem to be sort of assuming that your DD is high up the rankings for bursary money - you don't know this. If the other child didn't take her bursary, it might well be that there is someone else that the school would rather give the money to. Or they might genuinely be desperate to have her and not able to find the money. But I do suspect that the money they have offered is all that they are prepared to offer, no matter what.

I went to private school - on a full scholarship and a uniform bursary - and there were girls there whose circumstances changed. Some of them finished up leaving, but there were some who stayed because the school found the money somehow - one of these was super-bright. One had very unusual and tragic circumstances.

I think you have to accept that this is how much they are prepared to subsidise your child's place and not try and work out complicated reasons why they haven't offered more.

Out of interest, did they ever actually tell you what the maximum bursary would be? Did you ask? You say that you "were pretty much led to believe that we would get a good enough one" - that does sound a bit vague. Did you pin your hopes on her doing so well that they would offer full fees?

You're incredibly lucky that she's in such a good state primary school - things would be much more upsetting if she was in a school where she wasn't getting on at all well and then missed out on a private place that was your last hope.

MrsMushroom Sat 23-Feb-13 08:18:16

Potato is very right when she says a good state is superior to a mediocre prep...that was our experience.

We can't believe how gorgeous the state school is. It's very academic and kids are looked after emotionally too.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 08:28:35

Ok, ok I get that some people have been sarcastic and some people think I am being U. Thank you to those who get where i was coming from. DD seems fine about it - I will be, yes we should have thought it through more.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 08:31:23

kitsmummy The other family were positivly gloating that theire parents were going to pay, had offered to pay, wanted to pay. That seems a bit vile to me.
The school in question does offer up to 100% and we were clear we would need almost this - to the head, to the bursar.
I am sorry if iIseems grasping or entitled, it wasn't meant to sound like that.

RubyrooUK Sat 23-Feb-13 08:32:00

Sorry you are feeling so crap OP. I do understand it is disappointing.

Try to focus on the positives though. My secondary state school was brilliant and as I was classed as very bright (G&T), did lots to support me and stretch me. I loved school, met boys and girls who are still my best friends today and achieved very well academically (top 1% nationally - including private schools). I mention that because I didn't have lots of exam coaching or anything but I was always encouraged to enjoy learning by the school. So state schools can do a great job too. Hopefully your bright daughter will also have a similar experience.

malteserzz Sat 23-Feb-13 08:35:24

Just because it's a private school doesn't mean it's any better than state she would probably have had problems with friendships and fitting in, my children would have hated to go and are very happy and doing well at the local state school

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 23-Feb-13 08:36:10

State primaries offer a fantastic education and I have no issues whatsoever with mine going to a state primary. If I could get private secondary, I would, but I can't afford it so that's the end of that.

The main reason you're being u IMO is because you have three children yet you're willing to pay for private education (albeit with a bursary) for only one of them. Very unreasonable.

bbface Sat 23-Feb-13 08:40:16

I am sorry you are upset, and I would be too.

However you do not have much justification. If the school really really wanted your daughter, they would offer her a full scholarship. Period.

And I too would take a bursary if it meant that it would lessen family financial obligations.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 08:41:14

Just to add about my other two - one is out of education (being in her 20's!) and the other is perfectly happy at the local secondary - he absolutely shuddered when we asked him if he would ever want to go to a private school grin My final thoughts - I guess I have been a bit over the top - and I am sure she will be fine, it just seems that however much independant schools big up their bursary system and promote the thought that 'anyone' can go, they can;t always live up to it, I know it isn't the other families' 'fault' and the pot isn't limitless, it's just a shame. Thank you for all your comments

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 08:42:57

bbface there is no such thing as a full scholarship at year 3.

Badvoc Sat 23-Feb-13 08:47:42

Private education is not fair full stop.
So, although I can understand you are upset yabu on that basis alone.

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Feb-13 08:52:28

My friend is taking her very clever son out of one of the best private schools(in the top 20 of private schools) because he's not actually doing enough work to get good A levels. He's been in private eduation since age 5.
Another friend's 3 clever children all went to Oxbridge via comprehensives.

Your daughter will do well where ever she is and going to a good private school is not a guarantee of success.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 08:53:01

When my DS got in I was positively beaming. After the test DS had told me that he missed out a number of questions so I thought that was it. So when we got the offer I was so surprised and relieved. If you.were around me that day you probably would have thought that I was gloating. I suspect that the other parents were just relieved that their DC was in and they didn't have to take the fees money from their parents.

I seem to be in a minority but I don't think that the other parents did anything wrong if they were truthful about their incomes in the nursery application. The fact that a relative would have stepped in to pay the fees should the bursary be not awarded is neither here or there.

hackmum Sat 23-Feb-13 08:59:22

OP, I do feel sad for you. I know where you're coming from. Clearly this school only takes brighter children so is going to stretch them a bit more than an ordinary state school. (Even in good state schools, it's hard to meet the needs of all the children.) It sounds like it would have been a lovely opportunity for your DD. And I can understand why you're upset at the other family taking the bursary when they didn't need to.

But the positives are: if she enjoys her state school, she will probably continue to do well there. You can find activities out of school that will stretch her. Quite possibly, as another poster said, the behaviour of the other child's parents is indicative of the kind of person who sends their kids there. The advantage of the state system is that she will have the opportunity to mix with a wider range of people than she would in a private school, and actually the ability to mix with people from different backgrounds is a skill worth having.

TandB Sat 23-Feb-13 08:59:41

I assume bbface means a full bursary, given that you just posted that the school does offer up to 100% bursaries.

I think you are being a little unreasonable to criticise the school promoting their bursary system. "Anyone can go" doesn't mean "anyone who wants to go can go every single year" - it means that low income isn't necessarily a bar to going. Presumably some of the other recipients of bursaries have been able to take up places that they wouldn't otherwise have been able to access.

It is a shame to get so close and not get what you needed, but I think you have to simply accept that, for whatever reason, the school weren't willing to offer a 100% bursary to your DD. Maybe there was an even brighter child whose family had a lower income than yours who took a big chunk of the pot with a 100% bursary. Maybe there were two 90% bursaries. Maybe all the children were broadly on a level and they offered ten 50% bursaries. Maybe there's another family in a similar position, also in negotiation with the school. There's no way of knowing. But the bottom line is that you were offered what you accept was a large sum of money - many people don't get that opportunity. There could be someone else out there thinking "I've heard that loads of children from that really good state primary have been offered bursaries - my child's at a crap school and hasn't been offered one. It's not fair."

I think once you start thinking in terms of it being "unfair", it's going to prey on your mind. You tried, she did well, but possibly just not quite well enough to be offered what you needed. Or maybe she did do very well, but in a year when several other children also showed the same promise. It doesn't make it unfair - it just means that the system didn't quite work out for you.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 09:04:53

confused at FarBetter's comment.The school is in the top 20 but the DC isn't being worked hard enough by the school? Makes me wonder how they got to be on top 20.

Methinks it's not the schools fault that the DC is not on track for his A levels. In which case, is placing him back in the state system going to solve anything apart from saving some money?

TandB Sat 23-Feb-13 09:05:06

But I do think it is worth looking at other sources of funding. There are all sorts of organisations which offer small top-ups on the basis of various criteria.

Slightly limited, obviously, but the masons would have covered the cost of my uniform if I hadn't got the bursary, because my grandfather was a mason and he and my gran were my legal guardians because of my particular family circumstances.

It might be worth doing some research to see if you can squeeze into any criteria for funding.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 09:08:14

.. not going to solve anything....

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 09:09:11

I have taken on board everyone's comments and I know I am being unfair and bitter - it's such a shame though - she did so well and got so near.

bbface Sat 23-Feb-13 09:09:30

Yes, I meant full bursary.

Sorry if I seemed harsh, someone said that the of posted here for support not criticism. No, the OP posted in AIBU, a thread that is not exactly known for it warm embrace.

My point was that the school would offer your child 100% nursery if they really did not want to lose her. Sounds like she is a very clever girl that will do very well, but perhaps not quite so exceptional that the school will offer more.

And I stand by my opinion that the parents who have accepted a part nursery but with grandparents who would provide the whole amount are doing absolutely nothing wrong. I would do exactly the same. Who knows how family financial circumstances can change, or if one grandparent became very ill and all swings had to go towards care. Then what happens to the child's education?

Mimishimi Sat 23-Feb-13 09:12:36

Yes, do you have a father or grandfather in the Freemasons? They often help out with this sort of thing, especially if the child has already been offered a scholarship.

Eminem, we considered private for dd - but again the bursary and scholarship combined would still have made things difficult for us once uniform, transport costs etc had been taken into account. We wouldn't have been able to afford any extra curricula stuff for her. Instead she goes to a very good secondary who really are doing all they can to stretch her and it means that we can (with the help of the school) give her the music lessons that she wants so much. In the end it has turned out to be a really positive thing I feel.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 09:17:57

I know - I felt very brave doing an AIBU grin fully expected criticism and support - and am genuinely grateful for the responses. I need to 'get over myself'. She's clever enough to do well anywhere - hopefully..And in some ways, it would have been hard, we would have constantly had to justify to the school their investment, done without, and yes, she may have hated it. It was more the attitude of the other family that sickened me -'we have the means, but don't have to use them - clever us'

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:18:39

I can see things from the other side. My very talented DD was offered a 50 percent scholorship for a private school (sport related). - we were pleased with this BUT knew it was going to be a struggle financially - we didn't qualify for a bursary. A few weeks later another family were offered same level of scholorship but did qualify for bursary - what got to me was other family had new car, the mum didn't work so she could spend more time with kids - I work ful time and basically my salary was now going to,pay school fees!! It got my goat I can tell you!!! Anyway this mum kept saying how her son would get 100 per cent of fees paid because he was sooooo talented etc. He didn't get offered that and is not at school - my dd sat entrance exam and was offered an academic scholorship as well of 30 percent so we don't have to pay as much as we thought !!
Sorry long post - BUT as I said before - where there is a will there is a way and why should I have to pay more than you UNLESS your child is sooooo much better than mine xxxx

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Feb-13 09:20:27

TiffIsKool
The school is on his back constantly.
They phone his parents twice weekly.
They can make him sit at a desk, but as the saying goes' you can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink'.
Apparently, he is trying to work out how little effort he needs to put in to get good results!
But by the time he has worked that out, it will be too late to catch up.
Not all kids come out of good private schools with As, no matter how clever they are.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 09:27:32

lonnika - we had to put the age and value of any cars on the financial form, were both expected to be working and were asked about holidays and 'luxuries'! it was an eye opener for me to be honest, cos I'd had no idea how little we actually spend on ourselves!

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:28:31

Zwis you are very wrong, most teachers love teaching bright children & want them to do as well as they can!!

I'm sure they do, and they want all children to do as well as they can, bright children may get lots of "pleasure to teach" comments on their report card, but teachers do not as a rule go out of their way to stretch these children to use their potential. All the extra tuition and 1-on-1 time goes on 'problem' children, and the government (and general public) wouldn't have it any other way.

The vast majority of children at Oxbridge and Russell group unis are from state schools.

7% of children are privately educated, yet around 40% of Oxbridge students come from a privately educated background. Pretty clear that a private education gives you a vastly greater chance of getting to the top.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:28:57

Should also say - best things for anyone involved in scholorship/bursary situation is too keep quiet then these issues don't arise because you don't know what anyone else is getting !!!

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:31:02

Just to clarify my first comment meant teachers in state schools.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:31:37

Ahh maybe hat is why the family I am talking about didn't get what they wanted - think we both suffed fom same ting - other family 'gloating' In my case it didn't work out for them. Hope all works out for you, am sure it will x

justone Sat 23-Feb-13 09:31:53

If you told the school that you needed 100% bursary or near that mark, then it sounds as though they have misled you. If that is the case then your disappointment is not unreasonable at all.

As you say she did very well, so don't give up if this is what you want for her. Do they do an 8+ entry she could try again next year? Are there other schools she could try for a bursary? As her primary is very good it may be worth waiting and trying a few schools at 11+

Good luck and try not to listen to other mum gloating - it isn't her fault your DD didn't get the amount you needed but I can see why hearing her story would wind you up smile

everlong Sat 23-Feb-13 09:33:01

If she's super bright she will be fine. Especially if the state school is as good as you say.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 09:33:24

FarBetter - The wording of your post suggested that it was the school's fault that the son wasn't being pushed. Hence my (slightly sarcastic) response.

But as I went on to say, if it is the son, moving him to state school isn't going to make him work hardier. Having said that, the shock of the sink or swim tough love may give him a wake up call but I doubt it.

frogspoon Sat 23-Feb-13 09:35:49

eminemmerdale

Did the bursary application form not ask about any other sources of income/ other people who could pay e.g. grandparents? Because as another poster has mentioned, this is a common question.

If it was a question on the form and the other family gave incorrect information (i.e. did not declare grandparents had offered to pay the fees) then unfortunately whilst what they did was wrong, there isn't really anything you can do about it.

If there wasn't a question about it, then they had no obligation to declare it.

Also lonnika (is that a capital I or a little l? has a point, probably best to just keep quiet about these things.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:38:48

Little l smile. I know that my dd is getting more than others at school but never ever mention it as I know it will upset people because it would upset/annoy me! I also suspect others getting more but again they don't say so I don't know for sure and can't get upset about it x

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 09:39:48

Interested to see references to the DD."doing well anyway".there is more required for doing well in adult life than academic results and I speak as one with top marks at A level.ability to build good relationship s with people,to persevere,to read a situation,to know when to work hard etc are the true building blocks for success and match this with a solid state secondary school and prob pretty much best you can get.also v hard to have gone as far as OP. did only to fall at final hurdle.May have been ill advised but do sympathize.

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:48:49

I rather suspect the "doing well anyway" comments originate from people who suffer from inverse class snobbery and dislike as a rule people who went to private school.

The facts speak for themselves, privately educated children do much better on average than those who are not. I didn't go to private school, and I've done alright in life, but to suggest that this is due to a state school background is faintly ridiculous. I certainly would have done academically better at private school, as evidenced by my private schooled younger sibling who has similar academic ability and character traits to me (ie a bit lazy) has done much better in his exams than I did and hence will have more opportunities open to him as a result (obvious example taking medicine at Uni).

Unless they have an exceptional local state school, any parent worth their salt would choose private schooling every time if finances weren't an issue.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:56:06

Dangerous ground zwisch dangerous ground

MrsKeithRichards Sat 23-Feb-13 10:00:16

So you Credit private school for your brother's success but in the same breath say your success has nothing to do with your schooling because it was state?

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:02:07

Agreed re.choosing private if money no object.but,think that academic results are not be all and end all.private does not automatically lead to better results, but may raise odds of doing so.think it probably does also give a polish to kids which will help in many jobs

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 10:03:27

I think you can do well wherever you go smile. However, for us my dd can't get the same opportunity in a state school so no brainier for us - don't think any better for her academically. Indeed local secondary school good and we have a GS close by which is exceptional x

frogspoon Sat 23-Feb-13 10:03:35

zwischenzug: I think the "doing well anyway" comments are simply made by well meaning people who want to give the OP who is upset something positive to think about.

I made one of these comments. I went to private school. shock

And I'm not sure I would choose private schooling. My parents put every penny towards my education and my sister's education (full fees). I felt significantly worse off than most other students, and often didn't get to go on the school trips my friends took for granted "Why can't you afford to come? It's only £X"

If paying for private education meant I could afford the fees, the uniform, and nothing else, I'm not sure I would choose private. I might prefer to spend the money on moving into an area with better state schools.

Greythorne Sat 23-Feb-13 10:06:26

I loathe the 'if the DC is bright, they will do well anywhere' comments.

There are bright children who are lazy, bored, get in with a bad crowd, prefer to cruise to avoid being called a swot, get bullied.....and end up not doing well at all.

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:08:02

Feeling like the poor relation is not good for self esteem.really it is wrong that there should be such a disparity between state and private....

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 10:09:08

"So you Credit private school for your brother's success but in the same breath say your success has nothing to do with your schooling because it was state?"

My relative success was more due to being fortunate enough to be gifted with a high level of natural ability, and finally knuckling down when I got to Uni and getting a good degree (albeit from a poly, not a red brick uni) and working hard ever since.

I clearly could have done much better at school, but was never pushed. I failed mock exam after mock exam (I got several U's in maths past papers we were set for example) yet never once was I told "you can do better" or encouraged to work harder. It was fairly clear to them I'd get all A*-C's, and that was good enough for them and their league tables. My brother teachers on the other hand reacted totally differently to him doing to same, getting pretty angry and having words with my parents on several occasions. It's a whole different ethos. There is no "good enough" concept there.

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:09:13

Get bullied at private schools too....

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 10:12:31

really it is wrong that there should be such a disparity between state and private....

That's the core problem unfortunately, and it's a disgrace, but those in power have enough money to go private, so as long as they can give the illusion of improving state education, they don't actually care if it improves or not. It's just a political football to them.

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:17:17

Agree about the big push to get A to C . Agree lack of pushing . Parents need to be more vigilant at state and be prepared to push etc. See Nick Clegg and his apparent volte face 're private versus state

MariusEarlobe Sat 23-Feb-13 10:19:10

I agree Greythorne but OP has already said how excellent the primary is and she's got plenty of time to look for secondary where higher bursaries are available.

Op I don't blame them for keeping quiet about Grandparents offer to pay, I've worked in a private school and the amount of people who ended up leaving because Grandparents needed the money suddenly for nursing care, family rifts and such.

fromparistoberlin Sat 23-Feb-13 10:22:45

sometimes fate deals us cards we dont like

i do think if you have DC its for the best that not just one is at this school

spend the £££ on tutors, and try not to dwell

can see why you are sad, but try and move on

i know alot of happy and sucessful state school educated ppl

cory Sat 23-Feb-13 10:26:26

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:48:49
"I rather suspect the "doing well anyway" comments originate from people who suffer from inverse class snobbery and dislike as a rule people who went to private school."

Not necessarily. I'd be thinking of dh who did get a scholarship to an excellent private school, enjoyed excellent teaching and still failed his exams because he wasn't working hard enough. I have read his school reports and it is clear that his teachers did try to push him, but that he wasn't mature enough to respond.

Which imo goes to show that even the best of schools can only do so much. If you aren't mature enough to make yourself work in a state school, there is a slight risk you're not mature enough to work in a private school either. Even the best of private schools won't be doing the work for you.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:29:48

Sorry you are so upset, but really if the other child got a bursery that is a separate issue and the grandparents financial situation is irrelevant. I don't know many others who would not have accepted it.

DonderandBlitzen Sat 23-Feb-13 10:34:49

zwischenzug Why did your parents send your younger sibling to private school and not you?

maddening Sat 23-Feb-13 10:35:14

Tbh imo really if you want to send your dc to a private school then focus on secondary school - aim for a scholarship or a grammar school. You could get extra classes for your child now or join clubs - maths, science, languages etc to encourage as much as possible and be in a position to apply at secondary.

I think a good state primary can be as good as a private primary.

Also to shagmund - we should as a country focus on ALL children's needs - whether they are low or high achievers - the high achievers are needed for the future - as a country we need them. Not at the expense of other children who equally deserve the best chance to for their ability.

BarnYardCow Sat 23-Feb-13 10:48:34

You can often get your child sponsored by "old boys or girls" who have done well for themselves, and wish to put something back into the school that they attended. Maybe look into Christ's Hospital at Horsham,who do a lot of places for bright children who need bursaries, and or sponsorship.

JenaiMorris Sat 23-Feb-13 11:01:48

any parent worth their salt would choose private schooling every time if finances weren't an issue.

Bollocks.

YANBU though OP, I'd be disappointed too. My dn has a bursary and scholarship which fully covers all fees - there were questions asked about grandparents' income as well as parents'.

Adversecamber Sat 23-Feb-13 11:06:12

DH went to a top public school, his sis went to a bog standard comp, he was sent because he is ridiculously clever. His sister is resentful to this day.

I can understand why your upset, parents generally want the best for their dc but life is very unfair.

FIL was a scholarship boy at Charterhouse, he is from a very humble background. He didn't fit in and developed a stutter, that still appears in times of great stress. Okay that is him and not every other child. We did consider sending our DS to private school but though we could afford it we are not in the we have a Bentley type levels of income so that alone put me off due to FIL experience.

edam Sat 23-Feb-13 11:16:09

You have every right to be upset - your expectations were raised and have been dashed and that's miserable however legitimate the reasons may be.

But your dd will be fine, honest. Private primaries are a luxury that don't make much difference. Even secondary - in adult life you can't tell the difference between me and my friends who went to an independent secondary and all the other people we socialise and work with who didn't.

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 11:24:05

"zwischenzug Why did your parents send your younger sibling to private school and not you?"

I am the 3rd of 5 children, the younger sibling I'm referring to is the youngest. I guess if they'd sent me both my younger siblings would have expected to go, and my parents wouldn't have been able to afford that. My older siblings who had a fair bit of potential have turned out quite badly (over 30 and have never held down a job) and I suppose my parents didn't want the youngest to go the same way.

Funnily enough, I'm not resentful over this particular decision, although I do have a bit of a problem with other unequal treatment they have dished out over the years.

WilsonFrickett Sat 23-Feb-13 11:25:38

any parent worth their salt would choose private schooling every time if finances weren't an issue

Bollocks to that.

OP, I do feel sorry for you actually, you seem to have bought into the 'any child can come here if they're bright enough' hype that private schools put around to help them maintain their charitable status. It's simply not true - or else they have classes filled with bright children on scholarships and wouldn't make any money on fees.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 23-Feb-13 11:28:19

Practical thoughts; Have you looked at other sources of funding e.g. the Directory of Grant Making Trusts (all sorts of eccentric and very specific sources of funds in there, may hit your case, may well not, worth a look), also support from 'old boys and girls', any other charitable foundations?

Have you talked to the school about what score your dd actually achieved? If they go up to 100% bursary for the brightest, why are you not being offered 100%? Is it that she did very well indeed but not truly exceptionally? Or is it that they judge you could pay more than you think you can? Is it worth discussing that, if only so that you understand?

Have you looked at options from 11 and can you work towards a full scholarship, or bursary combination for that stage, if you think she would really benefit?

Can you think about how you can use any money you would have put towards the fees to provide extra-curricular activities, tuition, interesting days out etc? She could achieve a lot by being stretched in these ways, adding breadth as well as some depth, without seeing it as 'school', so possibly having more fun and feeling less pressured or competitive (and if you're going to say she thrives on being driven, well, you can do that too, through music lessons, maths tuition etc).

Essentially work with what you have a be positive, bitterness will eat you and doesn't sound all that well-founded anyway. Presumably the other family's bursary would not have been transferred to your dd, at best it might have been divided between all the bursary recipients, or, it would have gone to the next child down the list. The school has criteria, that family met them. The school is not omniscient, no-one is, nothing is perfectly fair.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 23-Feb-13 11:36:06

Also, you are very lucky that the state primary is a good one, count your blessings. If you want to act in support of your dd's education you can always go on the PTA and support the school in other ways.

If you really want to feel outraged at others playing the system to the disadvantage of your child and channel this to some effect, look into tax avoidance, consider the difference that many, many millions could make to state education and join a campaign group.

cory Sat 23-Feb-13 12:06:05

I think parental expectation has a lot to do with anybody's success.

What happened with dh, I suspect, was a combination of his own immaturity (clearly nothing to be done about that) and MIL's belief that the one thing that mattered was getting into a good school and that he could now relax.

Viviennemary Sat 23-Feb-13 12:14:48

I can see why you are upset. But the point is nobody can stop grandparents helping financially and their money won't figure into the calculations of entitlement to bursaries. Some state comprehensives are excellent.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 12:22:01

I am being very irrational I suppose. But it is a good point that we got suckd into the charitable status idea - The bursariese also have nothing to do with how well the children did on the exam btw, it is purely based on finances. Anyway, I am extremely lucky that her primary is excellent ( several pupils are going to various prep schools next year - the wealth of some of the parents whose children go there is quite staggering!) and her teacher is hugely supportive of her and her abilities so we will just wait and see what happens at age 11. Thank you all for giving me a kick up the bum and a clearer perspective.

sue52 Sat 23-Feb-13 12:24:16

YABU. For not wanting to treat your children equally. Make sure your DD reads everything and anything and she will do just fine at a good state primary.

DD has joined a well known public school for 6th form having been state educated up to now. There is no big gap between her knowledge and that of her fellow pupils most of whom have been privately educated from the age of 5.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 12:36:09

That's a little unfair. It has nothing to do with not treating my children equally - as I said eldest left school many years ago, having gone to the right school for her, our middle son would rather gouge his eyes out than go to a private school and this dd would, I am sure, have thrived in the atmosphere of the school we would like her to have gone to. all children are different and benefit from different challenges. I didn't just wake up one morning and think oh, I know, lets send dd to an independant school and make the others feel less worthy! They were equally proud of her when she passed and sad that she can't go - it doesn't lessen their achievements or individuality. The rest of your post is right - she does read, absorb and learn independantly and loves it.

ImperialBlether Sat 23-Feb-13 12:54:58

OP, I hope you're not thinking that everyone going to private school is bright and hardworking and those who go to state schools are not as clever.

There will be many, many children who are lazy and entitled at an independent school. There will be many with a really bad attitude to those in state schools, too. I've met these children and they are truly vile.

If your child is incredibly bright, she will do well wherever she goes. The trick is getting her into a good secondary school where she'll be set with children who are as bright as her.

ImperialBlether Sat 23-Feb-13 12:56:05

I've always believed that spending money on a private education is a waste of money; you're better off spending that money on moving to an area where there are good schools.

hackmum Sat 23-Feb-13 12:59:21

zwischenzug: "7% of children are privately educated, yet around 40% of Oxbridge students come from a privately educated background. Pretty clear that a private education gives you a vastly greater chance of getting to the top."

A bit more complicated than that. All private schools are selective, in that they select by money - only richer families can afford to send their kids there. And some are academically selective, so they take only the higher-achieving kids. As a general rule, wealthier kids do better educationally anyway, even in the state system, because they come from backgrounds where education is valued, their parents will usually be highly educated etc. So once you've taken that into account, the value the private school is adding isn't necessarily that great. Of course in the top public and private schools (Eton, Winchester etc) you are getting the added benefit that comes from making contacts that will give you a shortcut into the best jobs. But you're not necessarily getting a huge amount of added value educationally, particularly in the more ordinary private schools.

RedHelenB Sat 23-Feb-13 13:01:50

Well I know children who gained a*'s at schools where most people on this thread will recoil in horror at the idea of sending their children there due to poor ofsteds & low a-c passes. I also know that at my sixth form those who had come from private schools did n't do as well at A'level as those who were at the comp school all the way through.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 13:07:36

My dn went to the same academically selective school in the 1980s-90s - on a government assisted places scheme, as the family was very poor. I guess I kind of thought a bursary scheme would be similar. Of course many children in private schools will be challenged and find it difficult and everyone tells me that dd will 'do well anywhere'. Maybe she will - I hope so, we may not be wealthy but we do value education - both of us are graduates - dh from cambridge so we are aware of the benefits of a good education, I just sort of despair at the state of the country and how difficult things will be for all our children in the future.

PrettyKitty1986 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:09:58

I do think yabu.
It's along the same lines as ds1 with his speech therapy. He waited 12 months to get to the top of the list for NHS, so my dad paid for private speech therapy in the meantime. We continued with the private when he started being seen on the NHS so you could argue that we were taking the space of another child.
Just because another family member wants to contribute though doesn't mean you should turn down the original offer of assistance. You 're still just as entitled to it.

Lafaminute Sat 23-Feb-13 13:14:37

Your daughter is very clever - she will do well wherever she goes. It's a shame but she will still achieve more than the average student - lucky her for being so bright.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 13:18:33

Thank you lafa I hope so smile

amck5700 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:25:14

I know this isn't going to sit well, but surely one of the benefits of you both being graduates (one from Cambridge) should be that you have a better earning capacity - that possibly being one of the reasons that you want your child into an academic school. So on that basis then the argument for it doesn't stack up if you can't afford to educate one of children privately even with a generous bursary.

I may not fully grasp this issue though as my own background and that of my OH is that we were brought up on rough council estates went to the local school (OH didn't go very much for the last couple of years) and left with no prospect of Uni as despite decent grants in those days, our families needed the income from our wages.

......and we could afford (just) to send our 2 private with a bursary if we chose.

so what exactly is the benefit of a decent private education? Surely it's about more than just that, it's about a strong work ethic and commitment and whatever else and those are things you do at home, and you don't only expect them to be taught in school....private or otherwise.

Not having a dig here, just generally bemused.

Coconutty Sat 23-Feb-13 13:29:38

Also, your DD is very young, she may still end up at a private school if that's what you want for her later on.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 13:31:11

Fair point, but for lots of reasons, neither of us are in very well paid jobs - we didn't actually meet till we were 'older' and have only been buying our house for a few years. Absolutley we should have taken more advantage of our educations but life doesn't always work out that way!

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 13:33:14

I had a bit of a go at DH the other day about this very same thing blush. he basically messed about with travelling the world, taking silly jobs and doing very little until we met - he thought he was going to be an eternal bachelor grin

mysteryfairy Sat 23-Feb-13 13:33:29

If the bursary amount is based purely on financials the amount the school are asking for you to contribute is based on them leaving you with a liveable amount of money so could you relook at the rest of your budget? Presumably as its based on your own financials whether the other child goes or not makes no difference to your entitlement so I wouldnt waste any more angst on that.

You mentioned you are both graduates, one from Cambridge. Is there anything you can do to improve your incomes? 10 years ago I accepted places for my oldest two DCs at a prep with small bursaries attached to the places and also had DC3 in full time nursery. It was a massive leap of faith as I honestly had no idea how we would pay and at first used to feel massive relief every month when we just scraped the direct debits for three lots of fees and the mortgage. It gave both DH and I the incentive to work incredibly hard. I work in IT and switched there and then from coding to management thus massively increasing my future earnings. DH started his own business and now earns more than we could ever have anticipated back then. I'm glad the school fees bills gave us the push to do that. Realise not everyone has the opportunity to do this and I'm not trying to suggest they could but with your advantages and no younger children to worry about have your thought through all the possibilities to improve your incomes? Apologies in advance if ill health or other misfortune makes this impossible.

mysteryfairy Sat 23-Feb-13 13:35:32

Sorry took so long to post its kind of covered. We were 30 when we took on the commitment but would have done the same thing 10 or 15 years later too.

amck5700 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:38:15

Maybe it's because we both came from poor backgrounds that although we didn't meet until almost 30, I had bought my first property at 18 and my OH at 19. Basically the only way to get a room to yourself in a large family is to move out. Didn't have children until I was mid 30s and OH knocking on 40. neither of us is in really well paid jobs either but we are virtually mortgage free so could easily mortgage the house and pay school fees but for many reasons we wont. Boys are both very bright and could, I am sure, get bursaries/scholarships if we chose too.

Private education is definitely not everything and the values you instil in you children in the home are worth so much more I think. You've already said her current school is good - you don't need the private school any more than you think the other family need the bursary.

tiggytape Sat 23-Feb-13 13:38:18

"You have every right to be upset - your expectations were raised and have been dashed and that's miserable however legitimate the reasons may be."
I agree with edam's point on this.

Whatever the reasons behind your choice, you would presumably never have entered her knowing that a 100% bursary could definitely not be offered. It wouldn't be fair to get so attached to a school (private school selection processes encourage lots of visits and emotional investment) if it was never an option

From the school's point of view, had she been the only one asking for financial help or the only one from a less wealthy family scoring top marks, you may have got nearer 100%. As things are at the moment though, they probably have a lot of prospective and existing pupils experiencing hardship. They only know in advance how big the pot is not how many will ask for assistance. I am sure she will continue to do well but don’t blame you for feeling upset about this.

VincenzaOfSaragossa Sat 23-Feb-13 13:39:33

I don't know if you're being unreasonable (maybe you are), but I'd also be ridiculously upset in your position (maybe I'm unreasonable too!)

I suppose you can either spend a gazillion hours trawling around on the internet, trying to find funding sources (which is what I'd do), or you just have to think that it wasn't meant to be, and that your DD will benefit in other ways from her current primary school. Not easy, though.

RedHelenB Sat 23-Feb-13 13:40:37

Did you or your dh go to private school?

amck5700 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:41:10

Sorry I didn't mean it to come across as trying to tell you how you should have lived your life, but you pays your money, you takes your choice.

The benefit he got from his time travelling is a view of the world that not many people have a chance to get. Passing some of that onto his children is definitely worth as much as a school that you don't even know that your child would be happy in.

Baiji Sat 23-Feb-13 13:44:28

You are in no different a position from me, and thousands of other people - you can't afford private schooling.

The only difference is that you chose to proceed for a while as though you could, so it feels for you like a 'near miss'. You probably shouldn't have put yourselves and your daughter in that position.

I knew it was never a realistic option for mine, so I never looked any further into it, but instead concentrated my energies on making sure I chose the best state options available and gave mine good extracurricular activities and travel with the money we'd saved.

My eldest is at med school, and 2nd has an Oxford offer for October this year, so I guess we didn't do too badly.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 13:44:38

We have thought of ways to increase our income - including selling the house (but the equity is negligible and the area is ridiculously expensive!) working even more hours etc, and maybe that may be possible over the next few years - for me certainly, I could probably get a job that paid more but dh is in such a specialised area and is not too far off retiring (theoretically anyway, practically he will be working for a long time!) We are going to look at putting a tiny bit away some months when it's possible for her to perhaps have a chance at 11.
My gripe about all of this though is, as people have said, the expectations we were given; and the apparent way others can still hide their means. If independant schools really want to live up to their promises they should be more transparent from the beginning. I wish we'd not started the journey now.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:48:59

But they haven't hidden their means, the grand parents income is irrelevant- they may have many grand children for example so I wouldn't expect the school to take this in to consideration.

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 13:54:57

If your dd passed scholarship exams is there no possibility of the bursary being topped up with a scholarship award? I would be pretty cross if I had made it clear to the school that I would be unable to accept a place unless my dc was awarded a X% bursary. I assume you worked out the percentage based on the guidelines of the school? Some schools are open about bursary levels. If you fitted the bursary level and weren't seeking more than the likely award then YANBU to be upset.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 13:56:56

there was a section on the bursary form which asked for other ways in which we may be able to pay fees (including grandparents, trusts etc) I remember saying to DH that a lot of grandparents do help out - we know people in such a position - not that they should of course, but if you know that your parents have made provision and expect to be paying, than say so!

amck5700 Sat 23-Feb-13 13:58:35

I have to say as the youngest child of 7 in my family, I don't think it's fair to compromise the opportunities of your other children (e.g. nice place to live/holidays etc) to spend the money on one child where it is isn't a life or death situation. Your daughter could do well or not in either school, you don't know what the future is. She may not even thank you or be grateful for the sacrifices or make the most of the opportunity.

Personally, I'd forget it and move on and make the most of you family. My OH came to education late in life and has 2 degrees and has done various jobs in his life - including being a SAHD for a while. He now chooses to do a fairly low paid manual job as it is something he enjoys. Your daughter could have a a brilliant academic education and then realise she enjoys working in a job where she uses none of it

FlouncingMintyy Sat 23-Feb-13 13:59:58

See? the private school system is awful!

LIZS Sat 23-Feb-13 14:00:34

Have you already declined ? If not go back to them and tell them unfortunately you would need further financial support and ask them to let you know if they are in a position to offer more funding (you may not be alone in this position after all) be that now or in the future. If they really want your dd they may be able to do so.

As to the other family presumably if gp's fund or part fund the that would be money the family may not benefit from later on. Try not to bear a grudge. A local prep school recently had to clarify its expectations of bursary funding so that new cars, second homes, exotic holidays etc would not be the norm for its recipients.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:01:25

I think you need to stop feeling like the other couple have hidden THEIR means. he means weren't theirs they were from their grandparents. Them taking a place makes no difference to whether or not you could afford it!! You can't afford it they can - even if they didn't get bursary their child would be able to go due to grandparents, however tHey got bursary so they don't have to rely on that. I would like a bigger house but can't afford it, myncousinsngreat aunt has justbdiedmand left her a shed load of money so now she is going to buy a big house -'life is not fair. We choose how to spend our money and some of us have other family members to rely on. TBH why did you even look at a private education if you couldn't afford it??? As I take it you went to them not the other way round!! And if I was working 2 jobs to pay for my child to go to that private school and your child came in with a full scholorship I would be annoyed!

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 14:06:00

lonnika scholarships have nothing to do with income. They are awarded on merit alone.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:08:10

Bursary then sorry not scholorship smile

Dozer Sat 23-Feb-13 14:08:19

This other couple do sound awful, but IMO it would be very difficult for private schools to take grandparents' means into account, because that money is not at the discretion of the parents applying to the school for their DC, and the grandparents could, at any time, change their minds or be unable to pay (eg due to the need to pay for long-term care).

Agree with everyone about the school unfairly raising expectations. They are not required to be at all transparent about how they award bursaries (or much else, e.g. number of applicants for places - making it difficult to establish how selective schools actually are and how much is hype - how many bursaries are given out to what value etc). But if they are a charity, their annual accounts should show how much in total they pay out on bursaries and such each year: you can compare this with annual fees and make a guess at how many DC it might pay for.

Have done this for a couple of schools near me, it revealed that they don't actually give out much £££. Some probably goes to DC whose parents have paid fees but run into trouble.

On the "bright child will do well anywhere" argument, have never been convinced. I was a bright child at a comprehensive and got straight As, Russel Group uni entry etc, but think I could've done even more/had more subject and career options/a better experience at a different school. For example, the school was crap for science (dire teaching) and many with talent underperformed, or chose other subjects or paid for tuition.

When looking at secondaries for a bright child I'd be trying to get info on grades / numbers of students by subject for GCSE and A-level, and leaver destinations, to see if there is a reasonably-sized cohort of high-achieving DC. There was a list published recently of schools where no students got entry into the top universities: there must've been promising, bright students at those schools.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:10:21

LIZS yes we've done all that. You're right amck, it was a risk we took and we need to move on from it. lonnika - the reason we went for it was because the school stated that 100% bursaries were available and it was suggested to us that we should try to get her a place.

Dozer Sat 23-Feb-13 14:12:06

Although it sounds OP as though you have good state schools for your DD, which although not your preferred option is a good position to be in.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:14:28

Who suggested it to you ? Can i also say - playing devils advocate that if my parents we paying my child's fees because we couldn't afford them and someone else with similar finances to ours got a full bursary I would be annoyed and feel unfairly treated. As others have said look carefully at your options for when she us 11 - a grammar wold be ideal by the sounds of it x

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:18:24

We don't have grammars in this area - they were abolished in 1974 - until I joined mumsnet, I really didn't know they still existed!! But yes, there are some great schools around here.

Feelingood Sat 23-Feb-13 14:21:50

I too think you should have priced what you must know to be expensive even with a bursery to see if you could afford it. Before you went to visit even. I think it's terrible you've out your dd through all that for nothing.

I don't understand why you are so bothered about other child either.

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 14:23:17

Ds's school apparently offers 100% bursaries but when I enquired I was told that they couldn't remember the last time they'd actually awarded one. I didn't enquire any further as I'm pretty sure my income would be above any bursary level for prep school. However I shall definitely be applying for senior school as ds wants to go to a full boarding school and there is no way I can afford that level of fees.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:33:03

Actually dd is a lot less concerned than I am! And had we got the full bursary we had worked out the extras, and could have done it. It's not the other child I am bothered about, it was the blatant crowing by the parents that they had, (to my mind at least, I know many people have and will disagree with me,) pretty much got money from the school pot that needs to be stretched, by false pretences. I was actually very quiet about the whole procedure, a few close friends knew we were doing it and dd did discuss the times she had spent at the school with her friends of course - when we told her that she had passed the exam and was certainly clever enough to go but sadly we didn't have enough money, she was a bit cross for a while but then satrted talking about what she will be doing in year 3 at her current school. It's more me and my 'delusions' I guess grin

BoffinMum Sat 23-Feb-13 14:35:47

I am in and out of state and private schools all the time, and the teaching varies a lot in both, depending on the quality of the head etc. Paying for something does not necessarily mean it's better, and just because it's free at the point of use does not necessarily mean it's crap. However one thing does matter and that is how many bright, engaged kids there are in a school. If there's a critical mass, then other bright kids do fine.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 14:36:22

OP - Let me get this straight. Your DC is 7. Your state primary is the best in the city. Both you and your DH are graduates, him being a Cambridge grad. And DC is 'stupidly clever'.

93% of the population are in state schools. Many are in schools that aren't that brilliant and have parents that aren't particularly well educated or involved in their children's education.

Sorry OP but I can't get worked up over your situation.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:38:41

I know I know I know - sorry sad

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:42:06

Dont think you are delusional maybe a bit naive - I am a cup half empty type of person, so, although we knew DD could get a 50percent scholarship for her sport - we worked on the premise of her getting 25 as we thought that was more realistic.

Now you know what is realistically available maybe you could look again for next year smile.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:42:09

Not really appropriate to the thread but it's a lot to do with my mother and her belief that we should be 'better' than everyone - I feel like a fool having thought we could get her there and now it's all come to nothing. I went to a superb state school and dh went to Grammar in a differnt part of the country - i missed out on the 11+ by a year here. He says I am over reacting massivlely and I most probably am. I need to get a grip and get on with it.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:42:57

and I clearly can't spell half the time!!

amck5700 Sat 23-Feb-13 14:44:09

amck5700 passes a grip to eminemmerdale

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:44:57

emin receives it gratefully and shuffles off stage left..

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:45:48

neither can I !!! Don't beat yourself up. We all want what's best for our kids it's natural - we have a saying in our house - no one is better than you, just temporarily faster, richer, happier (insert as necessary)

Dozer Sat 23-Feb-13 14:46:04

Is good that DD isn't too bothered by it all.

If this school hadn't awarded a bursary to the DC with the wealthy grandparents, they still probably wouldn't have given your DD the level of bursary you want, they may have given it to someone else, as another poster has said they may advertise the possibility of 100% bursaries but hardly ever award them.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 15:39:17

Apologies if I came over as a bit unfeeling.

My friend from nursery put her DC into prep while I put mine into state. Both our DCs now ride the same bus to the same selective school.

Ok, her DC had smaller classes than mine but since my DC wasn't struggling, that wasn't an issue. Ok she went through a book a week at school but I compensated by reading with DC every night.

Your DC is bright, she goes to a good primary, she has two educated parents who are obviously involved. It's nowhere near the end of the world.

Secondary school is where you get more bang for your bucks and it's where you should plan ahead for in terms of saving money. A good prep just gives you bragging rights about DC's reading level smile

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 15:45:31

That's fine - I know all this really. The uniform is so sweet though <sob>

expatinscotland Sat 23-Feb-13 15:49:00

YABU. Plenty of time, too, to save for secondary schools if you want to go indpendent.

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 15:56:30

I had to sit down when I bought ds's uniform for his new school. I was gobsmacked at how expensive it is. If you have a good primary school then I would stay there and consider private for secondary school. Fees are higher so qualifying bursary levels will be higher too.

countrykitten Sat 23-Feb-13 16:38:27

I would not be too concerned that she is not in private ed at this stage. There are very many excellent primary schools in the UK and it seems that she and you are happy with where she is so all good.

I would be looking to senior school if I were you - if you are still keen, try and get her in at 11. It is at this level that the differences between schools (state or indie) start to have a big impact.

I am pleased confused to see the usual anti private school propaganda on here that you usually encounter on MN - it is a shame. Having taught in both sectors I have to say that I would choose indie over state every time so I understand your disappointment.

countrykitten Sat 23-Feb-13 16:50:38

And in my middle para I meant good state and poor state vs good indie vs poor indie not state vs indie necessarily.

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 17:41:33

I find it hard to believe you'd choose a poor indie over a good state school confused

countrykitten Sat 23-Feb-13 17:46:16

You are right - I should have qualified that rather better.

maddening Sat 23-Feb-13 19:01:36

I went to a selective school at secondary and the only difference from the ones that had come from the juniors private was they had done French.

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