Eton On The Cheap

(92 Posts)
peteneras Thu 31-Jan-13 11:54:25

Here's an alternative and cheaper way to access the services of the great School!

directaction Thu 31-Jan-13 14:28:10

Hmm, interesting! Act as sponsor to a free school - how very noble! However, ensure said free school is in uber expensive catchment, has boarding places that need paying for, and we have selection in the name of no selection. We'll have a school, just like its education sponsor, that produces results that look impressive, but realistically nowhere near as impressive as they should be considering their intake (just like its sponsor).

Now, place that school in Slough and I might just start to be impressed. That would be truly aspirational! Perhaps a little too brave for the political classes.

happygardening Thu 31-Jan-13 14:32:51

"as boarding places that need paying for,"
I believe all boarding places in the state sector need paying for not sure how the fees will compare with other state boarding schools.

directaction Thu 31-Jan-13 14:36:36

That's kind of the point though - it's a bit of a cop out! A day comprehensive school in Slough would be much more impressive but much less safe! It's a half hearted gesture at best.

JoanByers Thu 31-Jan-13 15:55:37

This is just another state school for the rich.

7 years, 275 day places, so that's 40 day places per year, and 32 boarding

This state boarding school (which does extremely well, results wise) takes 68 day places and 32 boarding:

www.gordons.surrey.sch.uk/

It is vastly oversubscribed and the catchment is around 1/2 a mile in a small village (not an urban area).

I don't think the boarding costs as much as £12k, but they are impossible to get unless you can prove you 'need' it.

This new school with only 40 day places will be hugely exclusive, and with the price of a boarding place comparable to a good day private school, it is clear that there will be a lot competition for those day places, while the boarders will be the same kids who would go to private school anyway.

So basically a semi-private education for the rich, funded by the state.

Whoop.

Abra1d Thu 31-Jan-13 16:00:19

So 275 children living locally--chosen on a non-selective basis--will have state-funded access to Eton's teaching and facilities? Why is this bad?

JoanByers Thu 31-Jan-13 16:18:07

It is a selective basis, the basis for selection is living within a few yards of the school.

Living in this area would be easy if you are upwardly mobile, but very hard for most people since house prices are/will be obscene.

Clearly both day and boarding places are reserved for middle class parents who could just as well pay for a private education.

I am not sure they are the best target for public money.

grovel Thu 31-Jan-13 16:24:37

From the Press Release:

. Of the 500 pupils, the plans are for a minimum of 28 boarding bursaries. The plans envisage an
additional 21 boarders will be pre-care or looked after children. The admissions policy has priority for
not less than 20% of the day pupils being subject to the pupil premium. These pupils aggregate to a
minimum of 104 such pupils who will attend Holyport College.

grovel Thu 31-Jan-13 16:37:47

Directaction, Eton already do stuff in Slough. From their website:

Closer to home, we are proud to be a member of the Eton, Slough, Windsor and Hounslow Independent and State School Partnership (ISSP) with six local state schools (two comprehensives and two academies in Slough, a comprehensive in Windsor and another in Hounslow). The ISSP aims to raise pupil achievement; improve pupil self-esteem; raise pupil aspirations; and, improve professional practice across the schools. Since it was founded in 2008, this partnership has provided numerous opportunities for academic collaboration through Saturday Schools and other academic workshops and mentoring; collaboration in the arts and sports; and opportunities for teachers’ professional development. The collaboration has contributed towards improved results in the state schools at GCSE level, in particular.

JoanByers Thu 31-Jan-13 16:44:49

How do they propose that 20% of day pupils will be subject to the pupil premium?

directaction Thu 31-Jan-13 17:03:50

Ok, so if they are so sure of their product why don't they open a free school/become an academy sponsor in Slough?

They are making the right noises about pupil premium etc, but where in Holyport are they going to find children who fit that category? Or will they be providing free transport? Sorry, but saying all the right things is one thing, but actually doing something aspirational is another!

grovel Thu 31-Jan-13 17:26:29

I imagine they'll get children from Greater Bracknell as well as Maidenhead.

I don't want to be an Eton apologist on this subject but will be interested in a debate (based on fact). Eton are only education sponsors for this project - I imagine they feel they can also help with the boarding aspects.

I know that Wellington have financially sponsored an academy but learnt yesterday that they could only do so because a parent stumped up the cash. I'd be interested to know whether charitable-status indies are restricted in the use of their own funds?

IndridCold Thu 31-Jan-13 17:57:38

If you click on the link 'Free school wins borough approval' it explains why the Holyport site was chosen, rather than one in Slough.

meditrina Thu 31-Jan-13 18:02:11

If it's boarding, then they'll be looking to attract Forces families (who attract pupil premium). There is a definite move to encourage Forces families to use State boarding, as that's cheaper on the public purse than private.

HanneHolm Thu 31-Jan-13 18:02:44

christ dont go ANYWHERE near the state school sponsored by Wellington college.

meditrina Thu 31-Jan-13 18:03:27

(and it's permitted in Admissions Code to prioritise children from Forces and certain OGD families for boarding, though not day, places).

happygardening Thu 31-Jan-13 18:14:50

Without a doubt schools like Eton have a lot to offer to the state sector but what they cant do and also I suspect wouldn't want to do it create a free Eton. I'm unsure as to how much influence they have have just looked at Wellington Academy Wiltshire's website the hand of Seldon is so obviously all over it but is this as far as it goes? Or does it extend into everything?

happygardening Thu 31-Jan-13 18:34:43

"I know that Wellington have financially sponsored an academy but learnt yesterday that they could only do so because a parent stumped up the cash. I'd be interested to know whether charitable-status indies are restricted in the use of their own funds?"
According the Wiltshire academy website
"We have designed a unique 21st century school, part of a £32million campus serving as a learning hub for the whole community. Outstanding features include a 300 seat theatre and twin boarding houses for 100 students."
Don't know who came up with all that money but I'm sure the Wellington College parents wouldn't want all to have come from the school!!

grovel Thu 31-Jan-13 18:43:29

The Wellington parent came up with £2 million - the basic contribution, I believe.

grovel Thu 31-Jan-13 19:44:56

HG, by that (the "basic contribution") I mean the ability to name the school and influence its policies.

No, Eton won't ever create a free Eton as a separate entity (it has duties to itself/parents etc). The word is that it wants to become "income-blind", in is own right, like American universities.

happygardening Thu 31-Jan-13 19:58:13

The thought of Seldons influencing the policies of any school my DC's attended would bring me out in a cold sweat!
Eton St Paul's Winchester and others I'm sure are all trying to become income blind and very commendable it is too but ultimately they obviously can't make every place income blind especially the boarding schools.

Copthallresident Thu 31-Jan-13 20:37:19

My DDs school also is part of a local partnership that encourages swapping of teaching expertise, shared activities, mentoring, shared revision classes with local schools etc. It is hugely beneficial to the pupils, especially of the indie, opening their eyes to how the other half live and get educated.

However for all that dd's school has a lot to offer the local state schools (which were Ofsted failing, now making good improvement) I wouldn't let them near having any governance, or influence over teaching and pastoral strategy of the local state school . Teaching super bright girls from affluent families is entirely different to teaching mixed ability classes, and especially catering for the needs of lower sets/ low attainers, especially with any proportion of pupils from backgrounds of social deprivation (not that some of the girls in dds' school don't have behavioural problems, but I suspect that dds' school could learn a lot from the state schools in the sensitive and effective handling of behavioural problems). Of course it will be Gove's wet dream, a state school that will embody his strategy of enabling the academic and discarding the rest.

difficultpickle Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:15

Eton already lets other schools use its facilities. I'm not sure what Holyport will have that will make it special compared to other schools. There are quite a few boarding preps in the area so I wonder if it will appeal to those who don't want to pay full senior boarding fees.

Holyport is not an overly wealthy area when compared to the areas surrounding it.

directaction Thu 31-Jan-13 23:02:27

Holyport is wealthy, as is its surrounding area.
Slough is not.

That's the point.

As for the incredibly convenient article about the council wanting users for the site and oh so generous Eton just happening to come along and offer its generous facilities and educational knowledge and conveniently provide secondary places that may be needed sometime in the future, well how lovely! Come on, we all know that these decisions are far more complex and involved than that. I haven't researched yet, but I'm sure there must be schools not too far away in need of sponsors to turn around failing standards, but perhaps Eton doesn't really have the courage for that?

Opening a partial boarding school in an affluent area is hardly aspirational.

They talk about Eton staff teaching at this new school - will part of their pay packet then come from the tax payers pocket? How shocking!

difficultpickle Thu 31-Jan-13 23:31:49

Slough does not border Holyport, unless it has moved since I did the school run today!

As others have already said on this thread, Eton does lots with other schools too. I am sure a lot of the publicity generated about this is from Simon Dudley who doesn't seem to think about the massive conflict of interests he has here.

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