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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ClayDavis Tue 24-Dec-13 00:49:45

I'd totally agree with that collumn.

I was lucky enough to know what I wanted to do from the age of 13. It was just a case of knowing what I needed to do and getting there. Most people I know didn't know as a teenager what they wanted to do. They just followed their strengths and interests. They've ended up doing all sorts of things they might not have considered at 16 or 18.

I think I'd add that circumstances you can't control come into play a lot as well. Illness/disability has no respect for class or ambition. Despite being as middle class as they come and knowing what I wanted to do I've ended up doing something completely different. And probably not something I would have chosen to end up doing.

columngollum Mon 23-Dec-13 22:36:05

It's maybe worth focussing a little on emerging adults who for some reason just know what they want to do in life.

I've met just over half a dozen who knew before the age of eighteen: If we discount the girls (and one boy) who wanted to be photographed that cuts it down to four. (One just wanted to be rich, and almost had a good stab at it, until he ran off after an ex girlfriend and ruined everything.) One wanted to be an engineer, and is a very good one. And one wanted to be a chef, and still is. (And one extra one wanted to be a dancer and works in a shop.)

Most of the other people I know, in and out of uni, had no idea what they wanted to be and ended up doing various things.

If I had to advise my children I'd advise them to be good at (but unqualified) in lots of different things, study a professional discipline at a good university, with no intention of joining the profession, meet the person who they'd like to marry

(but not necessarily marry them)

live quite a bit

and then find out what they'd better do to make a living...

vkyyu Sun 22-Dec-13 20:55:33

By the way not everyone had MC class upbringing with highly academic qualification ended in some kind of well pay or high power position. Many of them only ended in very average jobs often totally irrelevant to their studies. One needs to have a clear direction in life to stand a better chance to get into a career that is meaningful to that individual. I've worked with a big firm charter accountant who never went to uni but got only professional qualifications. He said went to private school and left full time education at 16 knowing accountant was what he wanted to be so he started to work and take professional exams since. Around the same time his friends finished unis he was already a qualified accountant. My own brother didn't want to go to uni but he knew he wanted to be an engineer he focused on all the necessary professional qualifications to get into the career that suits him.

I feel it is equally (if not more) important to encourage my dcs to think about what they want to do or are interested in as their future vocations. It is about making learning meaningful to them. Perhaps I am only talking common sense...............

Tapiocapearl Sun 22-Dec-13 10:32:06

It's swings and roundabouts. Firstly you are the main influence in your child's life during the infant years. Secondly I can understand the need to feel comfortable sending your child on various play dates at people's houses.

However my boys attend an extremely middle class school with excellent top grades and poor discipline. The other parents have a wide variety of educated backgrounds but there are still houses I'm hesitant to send my kids to. Kids that boundary push to the extreme and are a poor influence.

Some kids will do well where ever they are but other easily led kids won't. It's just a case of finding the right environment that suits your son, what ever that is.

If you are really worried you could always homeschool, which can be very social. Or alternatively look at other schools or just wait till a space comes up.

It might be worth getting to know some of the school parents a little better though as people can be nice/have a good work ethic yet be skint.

OsmiumPhazer Fri 20-Dec-13 20:08:34

Well I for one would agree from the sounds of it

Bumpsadaisie Fri 20-Dec-13 16:45:51

Is your masters only from a redbrick? TBH we prefer our kids to play with children of Oxbridge grads like we are. It's only natural to want to be with your own type of person after all.

littlecrystal Fri 20-Dec-13 15:46:00

I fully understand what OP means. I am chasing that MC school dream myself - I am intending to move from deprived to MC area.

Main reason is that my DS1 (5yo) has some character traits and tends to pick up/copy the bad stuff. So he really, really needs to be in a positive environment to copy the good manners. DS2, I believe, will do well in any enviroment, so we could live in the midst of deprivation and I would not worry so much.

It depends so much on a child.
I also would hate seeing smoking, swearing, undressed parents in the playground. Thankfully, our school is not like that. Or, I don't see, because I go to work every day.

vkyyu Sat 14-Dec-13 23:31:36

Children in MC families can afford to stay away from a lot of troubles or MC parents can afford to keep their kids away from many sorts of troubles. Many MC kids do do extra after school enrichment activities. Also MC parents are more able to support their kids academically as well as provide more comfortable environments. MC parents more able to use and share their life experience and knowledge to assist their kids to get ahead in school and work.

I didn't know anything about 11+ until my own dc1 started yr 5. My parents didn't and couldn't care a monkey which secondary school I was going to.

When I started my first job in an office where most people come from MC homes only then did I realise the cultural differences between WC and MC. I mean most of my colleagues went straight from schools or private schools into unis and many didn't stop until they reached Master degrees or PHDs.

Blueberrypots Sat 14-Dec-13 21:04:27

Lack of aspiration and common manners are sadly not just a trait of the underclasses, as described in a rather dark kafka-like manner in the OP..

I have had children in working class mixed with council estates, middle class and upper middle class type schools and lack of aspiration and common manners was firmly present in all three.

You'd be surprised for example how many very rich people have poor manners (including swearing, defrauding, and generally being obnoxious) and poor parenting skills; you'd also be surprised at how certain members of society have very little ambition for their daughters;
and you'd be surprised how many middle class people think their children will be fine as long as they are happy, therefore not raising them with any aspirations beyond the next Xbox or Wii.

If I were you, I would try and look beyond the surface...what you say might be totally true, but you must look beyond the façade and dig very deep.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Sat 14-Dec-13 19:39:19

'swearing, pijamas at noon, fags on the doorstep, violent dogs, lack of aspiration and common manners.'

I agree that the last two here are not good. The others: why do you lump them in with lack of aspiration and common manners? Do you honestly think that only people with those two traits ever swear, stay in their pijamas, smoke on the doorstep (I'm particularly struggling to see the problem with THAT one tbh) or own 'violent dogs' (by which I'm assuming you mean certain breeds or types)?

If so then your thinking is crude and simplistic and I'd personally find it hard to take your views seriously.

Brummiegirl15 Fri 13-Dec-13 21:19:19

Hah I actually went to a Russell Group University and I went to an all girls Grammar School and I STILL had to see what a Russell Group University was!! #saysalot

I've not been on MN that long, am 37 and will shortly be TTC #1 with DP. But 3 things I've noticed about MN is that for all information, anything ad everything, MN is the place to come. I'm also amused by quite frankly some of the ludicrous names on the baby name threads. Do people really choose these names?

So I've not nticed people being snobby, But one thing I've noticed, and sadly so, quite how horrifically bitchy some posters can be. Most seem lovely, but wow some really need to wind their necks in!! It seems to be across all threads which is a shame. I just think "really, was that response necessary?"

MrsDeVere Fri 13-Dec-13 10:52:29

It couldn't have been that bad.
I don't even remember it.

AlbertGiordinHoHoho Fri 13-Dec-13 10:49:36

Message pre-deleted by AlbertGiordinHoHoho for being about to break the Talk Rules - they aren't guidelines. Replies Encouraged.

MrsDeVere Fri 13-Dec-13 10:45:17

What the hell was I deleted for?

columngollum Fri 13-Dec-13 10:44:16

Certain kinds of people only like being with other people who are similar. And, clearly, people from separate races have differences. But a legal framework which outlaws racism (and discrimination on the grounds of race) will indeed curb the effect of racism mightily. The motivations for being racist don't disappear. But a lot of the behaviours which go along with them do.

On the other hand, traders, writers, designers, students and cosmopolitan folk of all kinds flourish in cities where different races mix. And obviously, for them, an enforced policy of racial tolerance is a bonus.

MrsDeVere Thu 12-Dec-13 18:22:24

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 12-Dec-13 17:51:23

Mrs Devere and love- I agree that racism exists across all classes, but is more overt when it comes from certain pockets of society. I'm not sure whether overt racism, subtle racism or institutionalised racism is worse.
I have experienced all three types - the overt racism is shocking and makes me feel immediately threatened, the subtle racism is very nasty and challenging it often brings a chip on the shoulder type reaction and the institutionalised racism is so inbred in society that it will take a long time to see any change, the Macpherson report did little to really change things.
However, not all things perceived as racist always are and it's about balancing things objectively.

AmberLeaf Thu 12-Dec-13 17:36:44

Answering the question upthread, in my country any self-respecting school will ask the persistently disruptive child to leave as in "exclude on the grounds of poor behaviour". Bad schools do not care

Here, in good schools, they will address the problem by finding out what is causing the 'bad behavior' and do their best to solve the problem and support the child.

Children don't behave badly for no reason.

There is always something that can be done. A child shouldn't be written off.

Loveroftherussianqueen Thu 12-Dec-13 15:56:48

Mrs, not in my personal experience but yes I know that that happens. I wonder if (generalising here) professional people who work in jobs with colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities are generally more tolerant of other because it would be expected by their employer and also they work together, get to know each other and mostly get along alright.

Anyway, I don't want to digress from OP which imo was worded in a provocative way. Actually it sounds like a reverse aibu...

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