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?

MidniteScribbler Thu 24-Oct-13 02:32:32

I think that B sounds like a jealous bitch.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 24-Oct-13 05:09:57

B really doesnt know A's circumstances. It is perfectly possible that A is doing this trip to Japan on airline and hotel points. I know that when I traveled a lot these can really add aup without having a genuine cash value as not exchangeable.

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 24-Oct-13 05:14:28

Honestly though, dont get involved. It is very easy for people to make judgements about other people's finances and to have totally overlooked some fact which flips the whole thing on its head.

JellyMould Thu 24-Oct-13 05:19:32

B is being unreasonable - keep out of it though!

rootypig Thu 24-Oct-13 05:24:07

Nobody is. A is possibly taking the piss - but self interest is what private education is all about, isn't it? so B is annoyed that she's not winning the game. She wants the rules applied - so she can go ahead and report, her choice, fair and square. It's life. They should both just have sent their kids to the local comp grin

Ignore. If A or B asks anything about it, say, I am choosing to ignore.

SavoyCabbage Thu 24-Oct-13 05:25:53

B is being ridiculous! She sounds mad as a hatter to be carrying on like this.

They might be doing it on airmiles, they might have won it in a competition, they might have taken out a loan, they might have eaten beans for a year.

Her dh's company might be paying.

Perhaps they are thinking of moving there.

Sunnysummer Thu 24-Oct-13 05:47:49

B sounds bitter and a bit crazy. She is being U, I'd also agree that you probably don't want to be involved, anyone who wants to take a step like this is not likely to be a great friend in the long term, and is likely to cause you a whole lot of drama in the meantime.

Neither of you know A's circumstances, it could be a bequest, a work and air miles thing, or a holiday of a lifetime that they have scrimped and saved towards for years and years (or a combination of the above).

middleclassonbursary Thu 24-Oct-13 08:11:08

Usually bursaries are confidential and this is a condition of being given once. I have never told anyone at my DS's school that we even receive one let alone the amount. If someone was crass enough to ask me if I was on a bursary I might say yes because I'm crap at lying but I would be very reluctant to give details of the amount.
Bursaries are also complex; assets are taken onto consideration at varying levels, at some academic ability effects the size of the award, even when your DC starts has an impact because the school may have more money one yr to the next. The age of other children, dependent relatives etc etc also come into play when figures are worked out.
Of course B feels jealous and bitter, and she's right sizeable contributions from family members are usually considered an income but as already said she doesn't know the full picture or how in debt A is to go on this holiday.
Telling the school probably would result in A being investigated if the school didn't know, maybe they do, because I think they would have no choice but to me the concept of grassing up what I'm assuming is a friend is pretty hideous and also there is a risk both families could loose their bursaries through breech of confidentiality even if nothing was found to be amiss.

EdithWeston Thu 24-Oct-13 08:24:00

As middleclasonabursary says, this sort of thing is th reason why, in most schools, bursaries are kept confidential (and a school normally reviews all awards annually).

It is extremely unlucky that the circumstances of a school less hot on confidentiality and shit-stirring parents have come together.

Let your friend vent. But then stand clear. This is not your business. B may or may not decide to report; that is her decision and hers alone and she can base it only on her personal morals (would she tell a spouse of other spouse's cheating; report cannabis users; report possible benefit fraud; report school admissions address cheats?) and how sure she is that the information is true and a fair reflection of circumstances. I wouldn't try to influence her either way on those points.

Scitteryscattery Thu 24-Oct-13 08:54:44

Poor B! I think she would freely admit she is bitter grin she's not normally hard work but A does constantly complain that she has no money for food on the table whilst we're out for dinner and I think B had a couple of hours worth of A describing the holiday and how the grandparents would pay half the fares and the 'rest can just go on the credit card'.
I don't think she'll really report when she's calmed down though as I say, I am a bit worried about someone else. However I think the smile and nod policy might be best for me smile

May09Bump Thu 24-Oct-13 09:10:04

I'd keep out of it. People are sometimes so jealous they forget kids are involved. Imagine the impact if this kid has to be removed because of this. Very sad.

middleclassonbursary Thu 24-Oct-13 09:33:08

Here's a possible scenario; A and family get the possibility of a fantastic holiday, A's DH's work are already paying most of his bill, A tells her parents they agree to make a sizable contribution and A has to find the rest I'll max out my credit cards thinks A. She's an honest person gets on the phone to school "I've got this opportunity to take the whole family on a holiday of a life time I know your views on expensive holidays, we'll have a staycation for the next two -three yrs if we take this holiday, DH's work are paying for him, grandparents are contributing etc etc. Bursars are only human who wouldn't say you go? It might be different if they were having expensive holidays all the time but a one off followed by no holiday for 2-3 yrs is that so unacceptable?

Biscuitsneeded Thu 24-Oct-13 13:59:12

I think it's nobody else's business. B's bursary will be calculated on her family's means and A's on her own, different situation. If B is scrimping and saving to maintain private school fees then that's her choice. And if A is benefiting from her husband's work, grandparents' generosity and is willing to max out her credit card, then that's her choice too.
I can't afford private school, although I wouldn't say we are poor. We have friends with kids at private schools, friends at the same state school who can afford two weeks in a villa in France AND a posh ski-ing holiday each year, and friends on a very modest income with 4 kids who just accept that they can't have birthday parties. To be honest if I ever felt that our different material circumstances got in the way of our friendship I would be really disappointed in myself and in my friends. I think your friend B should calm down and consider whether she wants to ruin a friendship over a jealousy issue.

derektheladyhamster Thu 24-Oct-13 16:55:26

They could also have done something like re mortgaging, to extend the term, just like we have

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Thu 24-Oct-13 16:58:30

but self interest is what private education is all about, isn't it?


OP - I shouldn't worry about it. Not your problem.

GinAndIt Thu 24-Oct-13 17:14:32

B is being ridiculous, and bitter. A one-off holiday, paid for by company, grandparents and maxing out the credit card, doesn't mean you're in any way able to pay full school fees for however many years are remaining of the child's school career!

If they were doing it twice a year, every year, then obviously B would have cause to feel hmm. But even then, it would still be none of her business. Surely getting a bursary herself, she knows how thorough the forms are? It's pretty hard to hide spare cash. And what exactly is she hoping to achieve by reporting anyway - how would she feel if the child did have to leave the school? Not worth it.

Having said that, though, A would do well to be a little more discreet.

JoannaBaxterLovesBumsex Thu 24-Oct-13 17:16:53

B = bitter and twisted. She should be grateful she has a bursary and will look a prize twat to dob A in with the school.

JoannaBaxterLovesBumsex Thu 24-Oct-13 17:18:00

Anyway I think it is not the done thing to discuss who has what in bursary allowances. It is nobody's business but between the parent and the bursor. (sp?)

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 24-Oct-13 17:22:21

I think you need new friends.

LittleBairn Thu 24-Oct-13 17:42:33

TBH if it gets out around the school that she's going on expensive holidays then someone else might just report her. There are probably plenty of other families in the school that could use the school bursary too.

rootypig Thu 24-Oct-13 18:43:52

*but self interest is what private education is all about, isn't it?


Yes, Exit. Play the game, be prepared to lose. B chose to enter a money carousel. Suck it up, or get off.

TheBuskersDog Thu 24-Oct-13 18:59:08

What does B hope to gain, does she think she'll get a bigger bursary if A loses hers? Is she usually obsessed with money and what people have compared to her, why have they even discussed how much both families get?

"Incandescent with rage" about her friend going on holiday, seriously? Most of us would feel slight envy and think how lucky our friend was to be going on a fabulous holiday, we might even wonder how they manage to afford it but rage about it, no.

Tell B she sounds jealous and to mind her own business.

Scitteryscattery Thu 24-Oct-13 19:26:52

Interesting so many people have said its almost against the rules to discuss whether you have a Bursary or not, though I guess as my DCs are not at the school they might be a bit more open about it with me. I have noticed before that people with children at expensive private schools tend to be a bit preoccupied with money when its clearly stretching their budget so didn't think anything of it to be honest.
I think GinAndIt has it when she says A should be a bit more discreet as she tends to be very vocal both about how little she has and about any extravagances she then spends on.
I spoke to B again today and she isn't going to be making any anonymous calls to the school thankfully for all the reasons people have mentioned. I think she does feel that there is one pool of money that gets shared around according to need and feels aggrieved that A gets more of it despite appearing to have greater spending power and knowing A I can sympathise a bit with that! Still I'm very glad it looks like it will blow over and hopefully no one else will complain

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Thu 24-Oct-13 21:09:18

Do you have issues about private education rootypig?

::head tilt::

Viviennemary Thu 24-Oct-13 21:17:03

I'd let them get on with it. And do their worse. They sound a pair of charmers!

rootypig Thu 24-Oct-13 21:18:11

Yes. Is that allowed?

::eyebrow arch::

I have restricted my comments to what is material, that is, if you choose to enter a system that is explicitly governed according to ability to pay, a world that revolves around who has what, then don't start bleating about fairness if it's not going your way. It's laughable. Don't get me wrong, I think B should report or not report as she sees fit. I just don't think what A or B is unreasonable, given the morally vapid context. It's private education and a fucking holiday in Japan, people. Get your head out of your arse.

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Thu 24-Oct-13 21:29:36

But the view is great!

rootypig Fri 25-Oct-13 00:36:20

Ha. Some may think so smile

Sunnysummer Fri 25-Oct-13 01:08:04

Another thing to consider is why you are so involved and whether this is making this worse. If you are not actually B in a vague disguise, then why are you discussing this all the time - and are you perhaps fanning the flames of what is ultimately a petty little feud? Whole thread has a bit of a nasty taste to it hmm

IHaveA Fri 25-Oct-13 01:25:49

This is the type of thing you should keep out of completely. It is really gossipy and not very nice. I would tell your friend that you regret letting her discuss it with you and that you don't want to hear about any of it ever again. In future, I would not discuss people's finances.

Easy !

Norudeshitrequired Fri 25-Oct-13 09:14:14

Maybe B should be thankful that she gets a bursary too as there will be lots of families paying full fees and struggling to do so and making sacrifices. The way some schools work out bursaries means that those just over the threshold for any help with fees will have no more disposable income than those in receipt of a bursary. Why doesn't B just be grateful for the help that she is being given and stop being a jealous cow.
At the end of the day if the school withdrew As bursary it wouldn't mean that B gets a bigger bursary.

lainiekazan Fri 25-Oct-13 11:00:09

I'm thanking the good Lord that my dcs are not at private schools.

Who doesn't want things to be fair and square? It's all very well to say that B is bitter, and that it's none of anybody else's business, but if you are shelling out hard-earned cash on fees and you see another family who you perceive to be not playing things with a straight bat, then it would be odd if you weren't extremely peeved.

Blu Fri 25-Oct-13 11:46:48

Does B think that the school witll take the money off A and give it to her?

Stay well out of it, refuse to discuss it, say 'this is none of my business, I don't really wnat to hear about it, if you have a problem with it why not ask A?'

handcream Fri 25-Oct-13 13:41:54

I have a friend who said they got a scholarship to a leading private school. Then she let slip that actually they got a busary too. They are both self employed and both run flashy cars. Couple of hols a year etc.

TBH - I am not sure how they did it. They live in a £600k house. Would I dream of reporting them? No, I wouldnt. If the school is giving out busaries without making proper checks that's their own fault!

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 15:32:21

The only thing that makes me go hmm is if, if the school is using its bursaries or the giving of them as a route towards maintaining its charity status, which of course may not be the case.

IF it is the case, it just could be argued that A is sort of defrauding 'all of us' in that the VAT that the government could collect on fees isn't payable because the school is a charity.

Just a random thought.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 25-Oct-13 16:54:42

IF it is the case, it just could be argued that A is sort of defrauding 'all of us' in that the VAT that the government could collect on fees isn't payable because the school is a charity.

If the school didn't give any bursaries then they could well lose charity status and have to pay some taxes, however, the cost of giving all the bursary recipients a state education probably far outweighs the private school tax breaks (especially as the largest part of the schools income won't be considered taxable). Private school Tax breaks only amount to around £2-300 per pupil per year. So actually bursaries don't deny the tax payer anything really.

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 17:05:25

It's not the sums, actually, it's the principle. And £2-300 per year, multiplied over 7% of school aged DC isn't nothing, is it?

Sorry, but I don't buy into the 'we private parents are doing the rest of you a favour' argument. 'Be grateful'. But please overlook that we are ensuring our DCs advantage over yours and that the bursary may well be depriving a state school of a good, solid pupil, one who at its basest, might improve the league table position, the same league tables private opting parents cite as being a reason why they must go private... I am not confusing bursaries and scholarships (which are more iniquitous in that regard) but the sort of parent who seeks out and goes through the hoops to get a bursary, and even plays the system to do so such is their 'commitment' might be the sort who'd be very involved and committed to a DC's education, maybe an asset to a state school?

I am not entering into a state versus private argument, just establishing some facts, and stating why I think the 'it's no one else's business' isn't maybe quite 100% accurate.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 25-Oct-13 17:06:46

I have just checked and the tax breaks that private schools collectively get are worth an estimated £88m per year. There are an estimated 500,000 pupils currently in private schools across the UK so the tax breaks really are minimal when you consider the cost per pupil. Each one of those pupils would cost around 5k per year to be educated by the state. So I don't feel the argument that Erebus puts forward is very valid.
Tax would not be payable on the tuition full fees paid if schools didn't have charitable status because like any business they can deduct essential expenses from the fee income (teachers salaries, energy costs etc). Only the profit element would be taxable.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 25-Oct-13 17:09:16

erebus where would you educate those 7% of pupils when many state schools are bursting at the seams. Additionally where would the extra almost £5k per year to educate each of those 7% come from?

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 17:20:35

So... um... why have so many private schools made such a big deal about potentially losing their charitable status if the money involved is negligible? Why would they, sometimes to the evident irritation of their fee paying parents, open their facilities to the locals? Share teachers with local state schools? Why would they do that if the tax break wasn't worth the paper it was written on?

And oddly enough, most western economies manage to state educate their young.

Is it just possible that the status quo is being maintained? And that if a government came along that a) removed the charitable tax break, b) insisted state universities took the context of pupils exam results into account in offering lower course requirement grades for DC from poor areas etc- suddenly we might find, amazingly, that the state can afford to educate those DC after all! Especially as many of the sorts of parents who could previously afford private would be baying for a higher standard of state schooling.

Just a thought or two.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 25-Oct-13 17:27:14

So are you saying that university's should be taking into account where a pupil was educated and being more lenient and having lower expectations of state education students?
If that's the case then you really have a very low opinion of the ability of state schools and the children that attend them.
Have you any reason to believe that a state school can't get children through with straight A's?

meditrina Fri 25-Oct-13 17:30:21

" the VAT that the government could collect on fees " .. is zero, because education (other than at a few specified types of crammer) is an exempt item.

A charitable school "saves" about £200 per pupil per year on VAT that would otherwise be payable on sundry items in the wider accounts. That could be compared to the £6000ish per pupil per year that the Government isn't spending on providing those school places.

meditrina Fri 25-Oct-13 17:33:38

"So... um... why have so many private schools made such a big deal about potentially losing their charitable status if the money involved is negligible?"

Because under the law as it stands, you cannot just relinquish charitable status (they'd be queuing up to do it if they could). Unless and until there is a change in the law, they would have to close in accordance with the usual rules for winding up a charity, sell off all major assets and donate proceeds to a charity with similar aims. I think it is understandable that they don't want to shut.

handcream Fri 25-Oct-13 18:06:18

Some just think that if privates were abolished it would be fairer on the rest. Where on earth would the pupils be placed? There would be no extra money from these pupils just a demand to give them a place.

Some people live in cloud cukoo land and pretend its not the money - its the principle.

handcream Fri 25-Oct-13 18:10:04

Giving state school pupils 'points' just for going to a certain state school! What rubbish... Surely we should be looking at why the privates get such good results and not have such low expectations of some state schools. Lets fix them first.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 25-Oct-13 21:02:37

Giving extra points to students attending certain schools would benefit those students now.

My DCs attend a school which is in the bottom 20 in England. This school has been crap for years and we dont have a choice about where to send the DCs as it is the only school in the town.

Pie in the sky ideas about improving the worst schools are damn all use to my DCs. I want my DCs to get some sort of help now.

Unless you have experienced it yourself I think that very few people realise just how bad a bad school is.

Norudeshitrequired Fri 25-Oct-13 23:36:06

I have experienced very poor schools and chose to do something about improving my children's education.
We can't go giving extra points to kids because the 'school is crap' otherwise you open the floodgates for everyone to argue their school is crap.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 26-Oct-13 07:52:45

So what is this magic 'something' which can be done about my DC's education on top of the normal parental things of supervising homework, listening to reading, visiting museums etc?

Oh and it has to cost no money because I havent any left

Also these 'somethings' have to be available to students to access directly where their parents/guardians arent able or interested in accessing them on behalf of their DCs.

I suspect that if you did offer extra points to students who attended the poorest schools in the country then wealthier parents would choose to move their DCs to these schools. This would have a natural effect of improving the school (the hidden extra funding which comes from wealthier parents, more 'establishment' parents to fight for resources etc etc).

happygardening Sat 26-Oct-13 08:29:17

Worry whilst I feel sorry for you problems with poor quality state education I'm afraid you are deluding yourself if you think parents stumping up £34 000+ a year in education would choose to move their DC's to the poorest schools to get extra points (which of course would be removed as soon those sort of parents arrived because it would no longer be a poor school).
There is no point in attacking independent schools. It's not their fault that there are poor state schools or that they can offer so much more the fault primarily lies with government, of any political persuasion, they decide how much taxes etc that we all pay and what to do with this money. They also continuously interfere in education. Other factors also drive MC parents to the independent sector, local admission processes seem unbelievably complex and illogical, post code education, lack of sporting opportunities worry many, lack of after school clubs and many more, none of this is the fault of independent schools.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 08:35:15

Teaching them yourself by getting resources from free places such as the library?
Getting a family member who is capable to give some tuition for free?
Taking the school to task about areas of deficiency and involving the board of governors if necessary.
You can't do those things for all children, you can only do them for your own children. So the argument about parents / guardians who aren't interested is a non-starter.
My parents were not able to help me at school because they are illiterate and the school I attended was in the bottom 10%, but I still got decent GCSE's because I practically taught myself. I was hardly ever in lessons at school because they were pointless but I taught myself at home with library books. Motivated children and parents can do this that cost nothing.

They wouldn't be able to give additional points to students at so called 'below average schools' because it is immoral and wrong to do so. How would you decide which children deserve extra points? How would they cope at university when they have been handed extra points which suggests that they are more able and have learnt more than they actually have?
Any decent university would be wise to these extra given points and wouldn't take children from those schools, so parents from other schools wouldn't be clamouring to send their children there at all.
What you suggest is impractical, unworkable and quite ridiculous.

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 11:54:49

"Surely we should be looking at why the privates get such good results and not have such low expectations of some state schools. Lets fix them first."

Privates get good results because they select. In- and out.

Did you know that?

It's quite an easy concept.

Sorry I'm being so patronising but I CANNOT BELIEVE that there are people who don't get that. I just don't.

If every comp in the country could kick out its less clever, its disruptive, its disaffected, its SEN- guess what?

I think you know what.

However, the state has a responsibility for all DC, not just those of the rich and motivated, as it serves the needs of the entire country, and its future for that to be the case.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 11:59:54

the local comprehensive state does not take responsibility for ALL children and I wish people would stop stating that they do.
we have special schools, PRUs and in extreme cases specialist boarding units for severe behavioural problem children. A child with very severe learning disability or very severe behavioural issues cannot attend the local comp - they do not take ALL children. They do kick out the most disruptive (its called permanent exclusion).T
There is a clause in the education act enabling all state schools to refuse a child a place if that child is likely to cause disruption to the education of the other children.
The state does cater for all children, but not necessarily at the local comp.

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 12:15:29


Hugo goes to St Bigmoney's. He's quite lazy, of average intelligence, but passed an entrance exam and he's been checked for SEN, behaviour, attitude and so forth via interview with both him and his professional parents, themselves both privately educated and in-the-know and an extensive report from his Prep school headmaster. There are 15 DCs in every class at this school which costs his parents £11000 a year. There no misbehaviour, and everyone is of a similar ability so the teacher barely has to differentiate between different learning styles at all. He gets set at least an hour's homework a night which gets checked and remarked upon each time. He has learned good and early that he has a squadron of adults on his case. Where he struggles, his parents are up at the school to get it sorted; he's given extra tuition either at school or separately out of school. His every academic move is monitored, tweaked, directed. His exam technique is honed to within an inch of its life. As a result of this forensic interest in him, Hugo gets 10 GCSEs. His 'innate' intelligence would have gotten him 'C's but he's been 'managed' to some 'B's; let's say 2 As, 5 Bs, 3 Cs.

Tyler goes to the local comp, Chuckemins. He's of above average intelligence. His single mum works 2 jobs to make ends meet. She left school at 16 with practically nothing. Chuckemins is in a socially deprived area. He sits in classes with 29 other DC, many of whom struggle with English, with behaviour, with attitude, with attendance. The teacher does her best to help him but spends a fair bit of her time 'fire-fighting'. Tyler tries his best, always does his homework (though some slips through the marking net), watches 'educational' TV when he can, reads, but as for 1:1 guidance, there's not the time, money, education, insider-knowledge or will to provide it. He does what he can, with the bit of additional support his teacher can find time for, and stumbles up to his GCSEs and actually does quite well, very much against the odds, he gets 1 A, 5 Bs, 4 Cs

There's one place at the good local 6th form college.

Who should it go to? Who is more likely, given their track record, to be 'a success'?

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 13:08:36

Your examples are not representative though, because Tyler is of above average intelligence and will therefore be in the higher sets and learning with children of similar ability to himself. Most comps do set and mark homework and hand out punishments if it isn't completed.

A lot of what you put in your argument is related to parental apathy / inability and regardless of a schools cohort you will never be able to change those things. Do you really think that having a lot of middle class children taken from the local private school and put in Tyler's school is going to change his home life and his parents ability to assist him?

To be honest your opinion seems to me that working class and attendance at the local comp = poor behaviour! attitude and attendance. Your attitude takes no account of people being individuals and having the ability to do well for themselves. Your comments also insinuate that all private schools are good and all comps are poor. There are many many comps that are good and some private schools that are poor.
There are many supportive and engaged parents of children in comprehensives. There are many parents of children in private schools who didn't do well themselves at school and are not very academic.

Not all parents who choose private schools do so purely for academic results, there are many other reasons.

I think you are making too many negative assumptions about state schools. I (as already stated) went to a bottom 10% state school where a C grade pass was seen as outstanding by the teachers. My parents were illiterate and couldn't help me. I still got into an RG university on a course that had 2000 applications for 50 places. How do you explain that based on your fictional examples?

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 13:45:44

But it's not impossible to extrapolate that a DC is a poorly performing comp could well do worse than if he were in a high performing private, is it?

It's possible to put some numerical values onto things like: FSM, value adding, indicators of social deprivation present in a school, local house prices etc. It might not be easy to do so (but also just might be easier than we think!- If the will to do so was there).

My 'example' was made tio illustrate a potential situation, engineered to make clear the differences between the 2 DSs lives. Most DC will fall somewhere between them.

My own DSs comp wouldn't get any leeway for poor results as it's leafy, MC, low FSM etc.. I'd have no problem with a DS like Tyler being extra 'brownie points' for his results, gained as they were against a difficult background. He'd be an asset to a FE institution, and a future employer, wouldn't he? Bright, motivated. I don't think my ability to get my DSs into a great comp should allow my DSs glittering prizes over and above other DC if other DC warrant the prizes more. That's more fair and equitable, isn't it?

As for 'No parent would move their DC into a lower performing school just because they might get more leniency with their results!'- A good friend of mine is doing just that- out of a £13000 secondary and into a state sixth form. There's been a lot of discussion at the private school of the possibility that top unis might be required to have quotas for private versus state DCs.

RedWineAndCheese Sat 26-Oct-13 13:49:30

Both of them deserve to have their bursaries revoked for revealing the amounts they receive, both to each other and to you.

Every bursary situation I have come across makes confidentiality an absolute requirement.

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 13:51:25

"Do you really think that having a lot of middle class children taken from the local private school and put in Tyler's school is going to change his home life and his parents ability to assist him?"- well, yes I do, actually. It's called critical mass. If Tyler's teacher had more school-ready DC in her class, and few C with issues, she'd have more time to teach Tyler and the rest - bear in mind Tyler already did quite well despite his background, though I didn't say his mum didn't care or was apathetic, just she was too busy working and did not have the education herself to help him. His 'home life' isn't necessarily dysfunctional or neglectful, any more than the lives of working class children's were when grammars first came along. Those DC's parents would largely have been completely educationally out of their depth with a GS curriculum but they valued education and supported their DC studies so those DC did well.

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 15:28:56

The thing with private schools is that nobody actually knows anybody else's financial arrangements.
Many families are blissfully aware of their own arrangements.

At primary school I was the only child of a single parent in the school (as such things were v v rare then) and we lived in a crappy cold flat, she worked full time and I had a latch key.
My fee cheques were coming from elsewhere in the family.
If predictions had been made about my outcomes based on observation of my home they would have utterly missed the wider picture of my background.

Do not judge books by their covers.

Especially the results at selective schools wink

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 17:04:07

Erebus - what about children at poorly performing private schools; should they be given extra points too or are they less deserving than a child at a poorly performing state school?
You seem to be missing the point that there are poor schools in both sectors and good schools in both sectors.

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 17:14:49

what about children at poorly performing private schools
Private school is a luxury, if parents are daft enough to keep paying for a substandard product, more fool them.
My parents hit the roof when they realised how much of what my school had been telling them was lies.
The Head departed not long after.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 26-Oct-13 18:37:26

The problem for the Tylers of the education system is that they are failed all ways round. They will not get the advice they need to make good choices at GCSE, parents with lower educational achievements themselves may not be able to see the longer term benefits of core subjects. How many Tylers find themselves on BTEC courses because their family is pushing them to get an apprenticeship and get into a trade?

If your children are at a poor private school then you have the free choice to take them out and move them somewhere else.

If your children are at a poor state school then moving them is more than likely not an option.

Tyler would probably be a huge asset to any school and would make full use of a bursary which allowed him to attend St Bigmoney's. Problem is that Tyler's mum knows nothing of bursaries and no one at Chuckemins is going to suggest an application is made as Tyler is a pleasure to teach.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 18:42:19

And what if they cannot move the children as all the comps locally are full and there are no other independents available within commuting distance or space within the appropriate year groups?
Moving schools isn't always as easy as 'Im not happy with the current school so I'll see what good ones are available nearby and choose the best'.
Whether the child is currently at private or state then moving to a good state school is not easy in most areas.
No one is arguing that private schooling is anything but a luxury, but your arguments are all biased and don't take into account the fact that there are good and poor schools in both sectors and that moving isn't always easy.

ithaka Sat 26-Oct-13 18:51:51

Because under the law as it stands, you cannot just relinquish charitable status

A bit factually misleading, this. You can be reclassified by the Office of National Statistics and then could continue to operate as a business, without the tax perks.

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 20:26:14

My crammer charged VAT on the fees ....

NonnoMum Sat 26-Oct-13 20:33:30

I'm with rootypig

scarevola Sat 26-Oct-13 20:42:03

ONS surely has no role? They gather and publish data, and have no other executive function.

It's all down to the Charity Commission, and they publish the rules about winding up a charity.

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 20:44:35

Winding up Charities is an effing nightmare : I'm involved with some dormant ones at the moment and getting the assets transferred is turning the rest of my hair grey
breaking covenants on educational buildings costs an utter fortune

the CC can threaten deregistration, not sure where or how the ONS would get involved.
Companies house maybe as many have subsidiary companies

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 21:27:36

Q: "Erebus - what about children at poorly performing private schools; should they be given extra points too or are they less deserving than a child at a poorly performing state school?"

Sorry, sympathy fail. If you have the ability to exercise choice as many absolutely do not, you live by your choices. The moment you step beyond yer local comp, you have assumed the mantle of responsibility, thus live with the outcome. If your daft enough to carry on paying fees to a rubbish private, your DC will be burdened with the consequences, as you have made an active choice. Which is different from having no choice and, in addition, possible not having the wherewithal, knowledge, education and so on the make any changes if the 'local comp' (or SM) isn't performing at all.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 22:28:30

Erebus - your attitude is precisely why some of the parents who can afford private education don't give two hoots about the standard of state education. There is as much snobbery as there is reverse snobbery. A real sense of 'I don't care about anyone who has more / less opportunity than myself'.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 22:31:01

And even people without the choice of private education often have some choice - home education, a longer school commute, move house, take grievances to the governors / the LA.

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 22:43:35

Which attitude? That if you're mug enough to pay for rubbish service you're your own worst enemy?

Is that 'attitude' the one that drives parents into the arms of private education? confused

You might need to explain a bit more.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 26-Oct-13 23:03:50

Norudeshitrequired I disagree that there is choice in the state system. There is none where I live. We have the choice of one school (in the bottom 20 in England). The school has been academied so the LA is no use. We complained to the school about various issues with minimal results.

Anyway this isnt about complaining that there isnt enough maths homework. The school is a dismal failure.

So the choices available to me are to home educate (where will I fit that chemistry lab?) or move house. Both of which are expensive solutions.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 27-Oct-13 09:25:55

'Which attitude? That if you're mug enough to pay for rubbish service you're your own worst enemy?'

The attitude that some kids should be given extra marks because they are poor and attend poor schools and are therefore more deserving for the marking system to be extra lenient and that kids whose parents have gone private (perhaps having little choice) deserve no leniency despite how poor their school might have been.
Are you aware that lots of service families use the private education system? They might not be wealthy and might not be paying very much towards their children's education, they might also prefer to use the state system as it might have better schools, but they might be using the private school because their time spent abroad for work purposes means their children have to board at school - they don't have a choice.
Some People in both sectors have limited choices. Obviously most people in private schools do have more choice and most will do something about it if they are not satisfied as people are not generally that thick to continue paying for something that is substandard.

But as you originally argued about your children's school being poor and you thinking that they deserve to be given extra points - it's still very laughable and unrealistic and no credible university would be jumping through hoops to enrol children coming forms schools that give extra points because the university would realise that a grade A from that school is really only a C.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 14:16:00

I would be interested to know just how many forces families are forced to send their children to sub-standard private schools. Surely one of the points about boarding is that then it doesnt matter so much exactly where the school is.

Anyway, all quite irrelevant for my DCs. I checked the league tables to see how many of the schools below my DCs are private. Dont worry, it didnt take long because it is an exceptionally small number of schools which have managed to be even more crap than my DCs'.

Funnily enough none are private. So I still claim points for my DCs.

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?

There just needs to be better recognition that a string of A grades from a selective school is only to be expected and anything less is an under-performance by student or school.

A student from a poor school achieving a handful of reasonable grades perhaps in non-standard subjects (btecs and the like) may well have had to struggle against a background of little support or advice from from school and home.

That student should not be rejected by universities at the first cut for not fitting in with the normal exam progression.

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

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.

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