Who is being unreasonable here regarding school fees?

(84 Posts)
Scitteryscattery Wed 23-Oct-13 23:39:38

Friend A and friend B both send their DDs to the same private school. Both receive a bursary though A gets a larger amount than B. B scrimps and saves. A does as well and must be on a lower income to receive a higher bursary but does sometimes appear to be a little less careful and to have more cash floating around I think she gets into debt quite a lot too

I've just had friend B around this afternoon incandescent with rage as A has been telling her all about her holiday plans this year which consist of a 3 week trip to Japan. Now her DH sometimes has to travel there for work but on this occasion A and the 2 DCs are also going. I understand that work will pay for his airfare and hotel room for the 2 weeks he is working but not the other 3 fares nor the extra week. The grandparents are helping out however.

B tells me that the school have a bursary policy which states that expensive holidays are incompatible with a bursary. Apparently they also consider if other family members are in a position to help with fees though how they work that one out I'm not sure. She is considering reporting them to the school. shock

I have tried to suggest that she doesn't really know A's financial circumstances, that the school may not care anyway even if they do know and that there isn't much point in reporting anyway as the school are bound to find out - they can hardly get their DD to pretend she was on holiday for 3 weeks in a tent in Skegness. B feels the school will take more note if someone complains. Worse still, I've pointed out that the school might actually take it really seriously and stop the bursary. In which case, how will B feel if A can no longer afford to be there? Either way its likely to be the end of their friendship.

I feel a bit stuck in the middle and glad the DCs are still pre-school. Who is being unreasonable here, A or B? I suspect that when B calms down she is unlikely to report A but it has occurred to me someone else might. I am not too aware of how private schools operate anyway and how seriously this would be taken. A can be a bit avoidant about money issues and may have ignored the fact this could cause her problems. Should I tentatively ask A about the bursary policy when she next mentions the holiday to me?

scarevola Sun 27-Oct-13 14:22:37

"Surely one of the points about boarding is that then it doesnt matter so much exactly where the school is."

It does to many. If you're abroad or postable anywhere, then proximity to eg grandparents is very important for some families.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 15:33:10

"If you're abroad or postable anywhere, then proximity to eg grandparents is very important for some families."

Possibly, but then being within, say, 50 miles in all directions of the Grandparents would in many areas still offer far more choice of private schools than in the state system (I have a choice of 1 school).

Norudeshitrequired Sun 27-Oct-13 16:02:48

Why is it laughable that my DCs should get some sort of assistance from an educational system which allows my DCs to struggle in such a poor school?

Because universities would not recognise the extra points. If anything children at schools awarding extra (unearned) points would be further disadvantaged when applying to university because the universities would be justifiably dubious of the qualifications obtained at those schools.
Perhaps you should concentrate on the fact that those poor schools need to be improved as simply handing out additional points doesn't improve the standard of education that the children have received and doesn't increase the likelihood that those children will be able to manage the level of work required at university.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 16:45:19

Yes, the poorest schools need to be improved but what in the mean time? As I posted up thread, pie in the sky ideas about school improvement are of no help to my DCs. They have to deal with the here and now.

Saying that nothing should be done for students now is essentially saying 'tough shit' to my DCs.

The student from the poor school may need help at the start of a degree course to level the playing field in terms of topics covered but that doesnt make the student less capable intellectually.

I would be interested to know how many admissions tutors at RG universities come from a selective education background themselves. A significant proportion I would hazard which would make me suspect that they have little insight into the reality of just how bad bad schools are.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 27-Oct-13 17:02:07

You haven't grasped the fact that universities will not overlook the fact that a child at a school which gives extra points has actually reached whatever grade their qualifications suggest. The university will penalise students from schools who just give extra unearned points.
Children at schools who 'gift' extra points will be further disadvantaged when applying to university. The university will take students from schools where the qualifications are legitimately earned, because they know that the grades are a true reflection of the standard which the student is capable of.
Student who cant keep up and drop out are of no financial benefit to a university, so the university will not take students with falsified grades. I really don't think that anything about that is difficult to understand.

holidaysarenice Sun 27-Oct-13 17:43:52

Tbh her 3 airfares and one week in a japanese hotel probably cost less than 4 people on a staycation in say centreparcs in August.

Honestly, stay well clear of the situation. It will blow up.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 18:34:06

It doesnt need to be a points system and they shouldnt be awarded by the school (or at least not by my DCs school as it would abdicate all responsibility for educating anyone).

The points idea is used figuratively. It could be discounting system based on the league table - of course this would require the anomalies of the league table to be resolved.

Who says that a student from a poor school having had poor advice from home and school on subject choice is intellectually less capable of a degree course than a student from a private school who has been tutored all the way?

Only someone who wants to keep university access for a privileged few.

Mummyoftheyear Mon 28-Oct-13 07:31:42

BIBU
She should be grateful for what she has and stop making assumptions and judgements about others. Jealous madam!
I'd stay out of it!

GenericNWFucker Tue 29-Oct-13 19:57:47

Ok, not relevant to OP's dilemma, but felt the need to weigh in with a comment for Worry and Norude 's debate. Some food for thought for you: the research says that level of achievement at university is directly inversely proportionate to amount of money spent on pre-university education. In other words, the more money you spend on a child's education, the less well they will do at university. DCs from schools like Worry 's DC go to, achieve very well when they actually get to uni, because their results such as they are, are the fruits of their own labours, not the result of spoon-feeding by helicopter teachers and parents.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now