Undeserved bursary

(314 Posts)
Hamstersball Sat 16-Mar-13 23:13:20

I know a child that has been offered a very substantial bursary at my dd's independent school. She has passed the academic selection process and on the surface can be very charming, able to talk to grown ups at ease etc. However we have known her for several years as dd1 and her are in the same brownies pack and her behaviour has always been dreadful: picking fights with other dc, racist and foul language, lying when confronted, bullying other children. I can only conclude that her school lied between their teeth about her when they gave her a reference to support her bursary application as several mothers who know her at school say her behaviour is also dreadful there. I'm really tempted to inform dd's school about the true nature of this child and want to know if anyone has done something similar and what was the outcome.

corlan Sun 17-Mar-13 23:25:17

Absolutely bonkers!

I love the idea that independent schools are handing out bursaries to not very bright, racist bullies. I know several of them at my local state secondary and I'd be thrilled if an independent gave them a bursary and took them off our hands.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 07:59:33

I'm not at all sure why OP wants her DC in the school if she thinks that the Head is so dim that she needs to put him 'right'.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Mar-13 08:00:42

Or maybe put 'her' right.

Needmoresleep Mon 18-Mar-13 09:19:29

A short note asking that, if possible, the two girls are kept separate is enough. Schools are used to it. You might also suggest a girl that you would like your daughter to be with so the note stays positive.

You have really been given the full Mumsnet treatment which I am not sure is strictly necessary. You could be right, and the girl is a nightmare. However beyond asking that your daughter is kept separate and being alert to future problems, there is not much you can do.

If there is a genuine problem, others will be doing the same. If the school gets several such letters they will know there is an issue they will need to manage. If you make too much of a fuss the school will perceive it as a problem between your daughter and this girl. You don't want this.

If they are kept separate there should not be a problem. Your daughter is forewarned and will know to steer a wide berth. If there are problems it is more likely to be with girls who are not aware of past behaviours. Giving the school a gentle indication that this has happened before will enable them to respond quickly, should, and this is a conditional, should things happen again.

Girls change a lot between the ages of 10 and 13. They settle down, find their own groups and start leaving others alone. They can also over-dramatise day to day conflicts. I wont be the only mother to have a DD who suddenly proclaims that the girl she has done nothing but moan about, is now her new BFF. (Luckily she has an older brother who rolls his eyes, meaning there is no need for us to say anything.) All you want, and all you can ask for, is distance.

If things are then a problem you can escalate. But keep your powder dry till then. And rely on the fact that if you have a problem others probably do as well, so no need to rush to the fore.

On bursaries I would say in your defence that at primary level kids boast to each other, so we tended to know who had bursaries at DCs prep. At secondary it is completely different. DD knows that one of her closest friends is on a 100% bursary, and DS might guess, but would be too disinterested to ask, that a couple of his close friends receive financial support. Beyond that we have no idea.

There were also a couple of rather tactless/insecure mothers who felt the need to tell everyone what reduction in fees their child would be getting at senior school. Given others are making sacrifices to afford fees, or would dearly love to send their children to an indie but cannot afford to, this can really grate, and can inevitably cause people to wonder why one child is more deserving than another. Truth is you are not privy to all the facts, and even if the school has made a wrong decision, there is not much you can do about it.

Tasmania Mon 18-Mar-13 16:34:23

I, too, think that the OP has been treated rather unfairly. I would be rather annoyed if someone who does not match the "exemplary behaviour" criteria gets a bursary. Of course, it might well be the case that this girl has serious problems at home, and is thus acting out in public. It might well be that the girl will grow up to be a responsible adult rather than remain the annoyance she is now.

But always saying she's just a child is a cop-out, IMHO. The Bulger murderers were essentially also just children.

The girl's two-faced behaviour would worry me slightly - that is often a symptom of abuse OR sociopathic tendencies. It has been said that sociopaths can easily turn on the charm when needed... which is how they get through life easily. Read the book The Sociopath Next Door.

Tasmania Mon 18-Mar-13 16:38:57

P.S.: One of the other known things about sociopaths is that more often than not, they are remarkably intelligent... which often is what makes them dangerous.

SoupDreggon Mon 18-Mar-13 16:47:28

Oh FFS hmm

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Mar-13 16:49:07

You have diagnosed a child as a sociopath based on her alleged behaviour at Brownies?

That is fucking hilarious.

KatieMiddleton Mon 18-Mar-13 16:52:16

It's official. I've seen everything now.

Tasmania, are you having a giraffe or what?!

"alleged behaviour at Brownies"

That is funny MrsDeV grin

TheRealFellatio Mon 18-Mar-13 16:56:17

Look, schools offer bursaries and scholarships to academically able students a) because they have to, to keep their charitable status, and b) to encourage very bright children into the school in order to keep their results high.

I'm sure they don't really care whether you think she is a nice girl or not, at this stage. Let them find out in their own time.

seeker Mon 18-Mar-13 16:57:26

"I love the idea that independent schools are handing out bursaries to not very bright, racist bullies. I know several of them at my local state secondary and I'd be thrilled if an independent gave them a bursary and took them off our hands."

Oh, I'm sure they've got one or two of their own...........

TheRealFellatio Mon 18-Mar-13 16:59:22

To be fair, I diagnosed an 11 year old to be a sociopath/psychopath aged 11. It was just my gut feeling.

Now he is 17 and he has murdered someone. Sometimes you just know.

KatieMiddleton Mon 18-Mar-13 16:59:47

I am tempted to make a diagnosis of over active imagination.

TheRealFellatio Mon 18-Mar-13 16:59:57

Not that I am saying that this Brownie is a murderer. grin

KatieMiddleton Mon 18-Mar-13 17:00:20


MrsDeVere Mon 18-Mar-13 17:07:48

Yeah but TRF you actually knew that person.

This is taking diagnosis by internet to new levels.

Mind you, a liking for military uniforms and strange mushrooms could indicate something serious....

Floralnomad Mon 18-Mar-13 17:11:47

TBH this child would probably be better off at another school as by the time the OP spouts her venom at the school gate she will have little hope of making friends and getting on well .

TheRealFellatio Mon 18-Mar-13 17:13:56

Oh sorry MrsD - I didn't read the thread properly - I thought it was the OP making the diagnosis.

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Mar-13 17:20:54

Well the op has only seen her at Brownies...

Tasmania Mon 18-Mar-13 17:35:27

Oh FFS, I was not making a diagnosis. I said that it COULD be the case that the kid is normal (but a spoilt little brat who never gets told off at home as the OP indicated). BUT there's also a chance the kid is not.

As everyone says, none of us know the kid in question... and yet, everyone on this forum - over the internet, may I add, MrsDevere - "diagnoses" this kid to be "normal", and the OP mean-spirited.

I was merely pointing out that there are kids out there that ARE freakin' scary - who do not have the ability to feel empathy, guilt, regret... and love. Yes, it is difficult to imagine that, because it goes against our protective nature as mothers. But sadly, they do exist.

Obviously, for some, ignorance is bliss.

Floralnomad Mon 18-Mar-13 17:44:21

I don't think we have all diagnosed this child to be normal , what we have said ( on the whole ) is that the OP has made this assessment by being a helper at Brownies and on gossip and hearsay from other parents and children that she knows at the child's current school . The OP is an adult , the child is a child , and who the school give a bursary to is not her business . As lots of people have said she can ask for her child to be in a different class , and hopefully keep her opinions to herself until she sees how the child behaves when she starts at the school . According to the OP ,she is the only person not taken in by this girls charm , I doubt that .

LIZS Mon 18-Mar-13 17:59:28

Given that all we have to go on is the op and her 3rd hand hearsay most are simply giving a 10/11 year old child the benefit of the doubt. Had Brownies been so bad wouldn't you have moved pack ?

Tasmania Mon 18-Mar-13 18:18:29

I am guessing that - given the OPs involvement with the Brownies - she is emotionally invested in the pack. Hence, the reluctance to move. It is very unfair that it is often the victim that has to moverrather than the perpetrator... that's how bullies often excuse their behaviour - because the whole universe seemingly revolves around them to accommodate them.

Although - note to OP - if the kid is really that bad, rest assured, your dd WILL be fine moving to another school/Brownie pack. People often assume moving kids about is bad for them, when in reality, it's the parents who find it more difficult to cope.

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Mar-13 18:57:46

You can't diagnose 'normal'

Of course the kid could be a sociopath, she could win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2025 based on the information in the OP

She could have shingles, swim the channel, be fluent in An obscure East Indian dialect.

She could be a perfectly ordinary child and the op motivated by snobbery and envy,

For all we know

Which is nothing

Which is only slightly more than the op knows

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