School friends from deprived families

(456 Posts)
poppytin Mon 09-Dec-13 10:48:25

DS1 just started reception in September. We didn’t get our first choice of school which could be seen from our house due to oversubscription and sibling rule. DS1 now goes to second choice school which is in a more deprived area although the school has performed rather well and been improving. We’re 7th on the waiting list for first choice school which has very low turnover so chances of getting in are pretty slim. I have no issue with the school as given its circumstances ie high FSM and SEN its performance is very good. However I can’t seem to make myself like the families of the children there. At the school gate I’ve met people in their pyjamas, with cigarettes on their fingers, piercings on etc. I’ve seen people shouting/swearing at each other in the playground while waiting for their children. DS was invited to a birthday party of one of the boys in his class and it was the worst house I’ve ever set foot in. Mom was in nightie with a cig on when we arrived at mid day. DS1 appears to be academic, loves reading and writing, both DH and I have masters from redbrick units and are in professional jobs, our house is walled with books and CDs.

DS loves his school and teachers which is the main reason I’m using to calm me down. However I worry whether the environment where his friends grow in would have an impact on him and his education.

Any opinions?

Att100 Thu 26-Dec-13 15:56:22

It's not just about grades but emulating what they see in terms of everyday behaviour and attitude ....move your child ...to private it that's what it takes and you can afford it ....don't take the chance as your instincts are probably right. You can have very ambitious. clever poor children who get onto grammar school so not it's not all about socioeconomics but the behaviour I would be worried about. Primary years are so formative.

hertsmum10 Fri 27-Dec-13 18:47:09

I agree with you, this would bother me too but I don't think being from a 'deprived' family is the issue you are getting at. It's about class, manners and respect. You can have manners and be from the poorest and deprived family.

I think my 10 year old son and I would be considered a deprived family we have used food banks, I do not have a degree, my son and I, I guess have looked a scruffy at times, we don't buy new clothes, but I do not wear jogging bottoms to the school gate, unless I am about to go for a jog and certainly would never smoke at a school gate (if I could afford to buy them and wanted to smoke that is!) and I do not swear in public, not load enough for anyone to hear anyway. My son is not top of his class by any means but we read a lot (we do not have a tv) we have lots of books in our house and he is polite and speaks well.

call me a snob too but if the majority of the families at my son's school was as you described I would try and move them. I would also not let my child round someone's house if they smoke inside. I have friends that smoke they would not smoke in the same house as my son, they would go in the garden, I have never even had to ask. Please don't mix up 'deprived' with rude and ignorant we are not all the same...despite what Jamie Oliver might tell you.

tricot39 Fri 27-Dec-13 20:34:22

I agree with hertsmum low income doesn't automatically = poor manners, ambition or attainment. The trouble is that deprived areas do tend to have lower levels of education and higher levels of crime. I live in one of the most deprived wards in the country and it is a worry now that I am a parent. I know that it is possible to stay here and our kids to turn out OK, but in then end it isn't the sort of area that anyone would aspire to live in and outcomes depend very much on the individual. We will be keeping an open mind about whether or not to stay as our DC develop and their needs become clearer. I can't blame anyone else for doing the same.

In terms of friends for our DC I will follow the lead of my friend who grew up in Islington: it might be a long time before they get out on their own and they can't go to someone else's house until I know everything about them and who else is in the house. To some people that will sound over the top, but in densely populated London that is a sensible and necessary precaution. I just can't help be sad that my kids can't have the same freedoms that I had as a child because of where we are living.

Att100 Fri 27-Dec-13 22:39:01

There is a lot of peer pressure at that age ...so yes, I would be worried too...but again on grounds of behaviour more than anything else. Rude and ignorant attitudes (and drugs etc.) are also prevalent among some rich people....so not a question of affluence vs poverty but unwanted influences.

Blossom8 Thu 02-Jan-14 16:29:26

My DD goes to a private catholic school mainly because we want our daughter to be brought up with well mannered, polite and eager to learn children.

I sometimes do the drop off/pick her up with my joggers mainly because for me it is more comfortable but I do get the odd glare from the "well dressed" parent. To be honest I don't know where they get the time to get dressed up for school pick ups!

We are no snobs whatsover and my DD has friends from state and private primaries. However, I do agree with OP. I certainly do not want my child to be around bad mouthed parents with lack of morals. Nothing to do with their status, just bad manners which seems to be lacking in today's society. Children look up to their parents as role models! There are so many kids out there with lack of respect for their parents, teachers and authority.

BaconAndAvocado Fri 03-Jan-14 23:58:00

Agree with hertsmum

My DCs go to a primary school which attracts a real mixture of social backgrounds. It is an excellent school but some of the parents' behaviour is appalling, as in shouting/swearing at or around their DCs and there's also been a couple of fights between mums at the school gates.

I am from a working class family but would never dream of behaving like that. As my mam always says, manners cost nothing.

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