Anyone know anything about The Student Support Centre?

(61 Posts)
Yurtgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 21:05:15

I have never heard of it before!
School sent home a leaflet today asking if parents are interested etc

I have found this website There are a few others as [I think] they have local centres

It all seems geared to get your child to pass exams and tick govt boxes.

The resources seem to involve dvds which the child watches then assessments that get marked

I am somewhat agog with astonishment tbh

What do others think?

Yurtgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 21:13:09


apostrophe Mon 09-Feb-09 21:30:14

I hear the tinkle of little coins. Isn't education the thing that the state provides through school. With your taxes?

I would be hopping, flaming mad if our school sent home promotional material for this type of set up.

Especially as it has an incorrect apostrophe in the very first line of its blurb.

DrZeus Mon 09-Feb-09 21:41:54

I filled in the form (no obligation obviously!) and now I get calls from them plugging their wares, probably every 6 months. I've told them a couple of times now that I'm more than happy with the boys' education now and don't need them but it doesn't put them off calling. Bit of a pain really.

OK, I was intrigued enough to go off and Google it as I could find no indication of pricing on their website, which is never a good sign.
This is what I found - nine reviews, most of which are negative. High pressure sales techniques and a three-year contract for which you either pay up front or take out a credit agreement. Doesn't sound good to me. I would definitely complain if our school was plugging this.

Yurtgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 22:04:21

Oh how I love mumsnet

I was suspicious too - as no mention of prices on the main website. I heard the clanking of large coins and rustle of notes

Also I am sick of my lo's coming home telling me about all the dvd films/cartoons they have watched......... they watch more tv at school some days then they do at home in a month angry

And then I get this..... when I go off and investigate its all watching yet more dvds

I am seriously not impressed and will tactfully be telling the school tommorrow!!!!

Yurtgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 22:07:05

OMG someone paid £2000 for resources she used occasionally............ angry

Yes, I was shock at a couple of those reviews - it looks like they make you take out a credit agreement before you even get the material so you are stuffed as there would seem to be no way of cancelling it. You can get very good workbooks cheaply from any good bookshop for much less money.

Yurtgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 22:17:44

Ok so I now need to compose my letter to the school..........

The note home isists that all parents respond tommorrow whether yes or no - very aggressive sales technique to ensure they try to hook all families......... urghhhhhhhh

You need to look at this thread

Yurtgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 22:35:27

Lady you are a true LADY = thanks for that

Now I now the school get money for each returned form I want to tear mine into pieces and give the school the same amount in cash angry

christywhisty Tue 10-Feb-09 07:55:50

The schools get paid a small amount for the returns they receive, but I wrote and told school I didn't agree with the school promoting a hard sell company. Headmistress said she would have a meeting with me but we haven't got round to it yet.

Yurtgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 12:28:16

I took my letter in this morning. I have to say I am rather nervous about the response!

NAB09 Tue 10-Feb-09 12:36:41

We had this yesterday and have sent it in. DH has ticked we are interested and now I have sent him this thread as I am worried now

apostrophe Tue 10-Feb-09 21:24:45

ugh. I've just googled some reviews for this, and spotted some obviously written by the company themselves. It's disgusting. I'm apalled that any school could promote education-by-DVD. I couldn't believe it when I saw that they promoted DVD teaching for little ones, when all the evidence points to television-based learning to be actually detrimental in the early years.

Yurtgirl Tue 10-Feb-09 22:29:59

Do you think apostrophe? How can you tell? Is it the really so glowing/ cheesy reviews

Surely thats utterly deceitful - the more I discover about this company the more I dislike them

If our head is defensive and basically tells me to stop fussing tommorrow I am going to say I think the SSC are so 'shonky' I think they ought to be invetigated by the Dept for Education or business or something.

apostrophe Wed 11-Feb-09 21:31:14

Ok, so looking on ciao, here's the first review you come across, written by an individual with no other reviews, who's no longer on ciao.

and here are the comments left by others on this review.

The other reviews are written in much more realistic prose, by people who have reviewed other things.

Other mentions on forums and blogs slate it, and one describes someone's court battle to retrieve the money she lost to this scam.

Yurtgirl Thu 12-Feb-09 17:08:57

Wow apostrophe I am impressed by your research I will check those out later!

Still no response from my kids school though

Yurtgirl Thu 26-Feb-09 13:55:16

Apostrophe - You are right! I finally got round to reading these properly today

Still no response from my children's school re my letter of complaint, though I have only seen the head fleetingly once.

I was expecting some sort of response!

Yurtgirl Wed 17-Jun-09 21:35:12

I thought I would bump this - as I would like to alert other MN to the potential problems with the Student Support Centre

The school head has never commented on my complaint letter shock

mumtoone Wed 17-Jun-09 21:43:23

Yurtgirl - I got the same letter from DS's school this week. I've already decided not to reply as he's only in reception so I have no interest in pressurising him. I didn't like the way the leaflet says you have to return it to say you've read it. I will not be returning mine as I don't want them to have my details. Why do schools send out this stuff. Do they get commission?

Yurtgirl Wed 17-Jun-09 21:56:05

Yes they do! commission for each letter returned, even if you tick no

The cost of buying their stuff adds up to £2000 and isnt good value or even very good!

Avoid avoid avoid

mumtoone Wed 17-Jun-09 21:57:53

I thought as much... Thanks for the information.

twinklytoes Thu 18-Jun-09 00:01:46

just say no and send back then the school get their money.

foolhardy Fri 19-Jun-09 19:01:45

It is a shame we did not know about this site before we got involved with the student support centre.We are paying £50.00 a month for a package that does not suit our child.
the student support centre does not want to know and when you ask for help believe us YOU DO NOT GET ANY HELP WHATSOEVER. We believed the school supported this service because the information came on headed note paper from the school.When we approached the school they did not seem to know much about it as a matter of fact they didn't even know what the package contained until we showed it to them. AVOID THIS PACKAGE LIKE THE PLAGUE!

Jumente Tue 30-Jun-09 11:08:52

How did you get on, Yurtgirl? Our HT was really defensive, and insisted she doesn't endorse it etc etc which is basically a get out clause for the school that the SSC have to put in the letter. (I think it's the same letter that all the schools send out, yes? Only signed by the HT and on headed paper for that school iyswim)

No more has been said...I just hope people haven't succumbed to the idea that it's any different to the kind of workbooks you can buy in sainsburys etc.

Makes me angry as it's so exploitative.

JFDI Wed 11-Aug-10 17:38:53

May I just add that the level of numeracy & literacy today does present a challenge for parents, children & teachers, and if there is support which can help, it should be considered, in this case costly perhaps-relative to needs/personal circumstances, effectiveness-relative to needs/improvement/results


Ladybird0143 Wed 18-Aug-10 18:02:51

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

trefusis Wed 18-Aug-10 18:18:33

Message withdrawn

Gustavos Tue 23-Nov-10 23:05:50

I used to work for the Student Support Centre but left when I realised what sort of company they are. Their reps are paid 15% of the total sale value and must convert one in three visits, with many of the 'consultants' earning in excess of £70k per annum

They have to work from a learned word-for-word script, that has been cleverly designed to persuade parents that to prohibit their children from this wonderful opportunity would be tantamount to parental neglect.

The DVDs are ok, but can be purchased second hand on auction websites.

I could say a lot more but I will close by saying that I would advise any parent to leave well alone.

Rachylemon Sat 05-Feb-11 16:44:15

I have just spent 2 hours with a rep. I wish I had read your reviews before hand because I wouldn't have wasted my time. IT IS A RIP OFF. There was no indication that I would have to enter a credit agreement. I have a special needs son who has very low self esteem. I was hoping this would give him more encouragement, it may have done, but, if it didn't I would have been stuck in an agreement I did want. Thank God I was brave enough to say NO THANK. The rep wasn't even prepared to leave any literature. That speaks volumes doesn't it.!

molly15 Sun 13-Feb-11 20:07:35

Dont sign up for this company!!

We got a letter from school and got a lady out to the the house to show us the package.Whilst at the house she asked us whether or not we thought that our son was dyslexic and advised us to see our health visitor, however she did say that this package would help him.
9 months later our son is no further on, the package is a waste of time and we are stuck in adisput with the student support centre and Barclays bank, neither have been supportive or helpful.We have sent letters from both the Dyslexic Society and also the school to say that the package would not support any chils even if they were Dyslexic!!
We are as parents at our wits end as we are paying for a £3000 package that is not fit for purpose for our son.
Has anyone else been in this position and could help.

bruffin Sun 13-Feb-11 20:22:25

Why don't you contact which or watchdog

molly15 Sun 13-Feb-11 20:32:08

I am going to contact Rip off Britain and the media tom and i am going to contact the Financial ombudsman with an official complaint.
Parents should not ahve to be placed in this position, hopefully i can try and stop this happening to others.
Thanks for your advice.

ladyrosie Sat 19-Feb-11 09:27:22

Yes we were taken in by the hard sell too!It was like being assaulted by a double glazing salesman on speed!!! Our programme is now gathering dust on top of our wardrobe!!! I am so angry as i feel we have let our children down ,which is exactly how the salesman?or should i say highwayman makes you feel right in front of your children iff you say no!!! They do not want to help at all, but we dont care iff it takes years we are going to send this rubbish back and get a refund iff it kills us!!! My advice is iff you want to spend thousands of pounds on your children then take them to DISNEYWORLD and see them smile!!! Then you will have had value for money,not upset children!! KEEP YOUR FRONT DOOR SHUT!!! and your hard earned money SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I need a drink now im so angry!!!!!

RadioResearcher Wed 23-Mar-11 16:08:12

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Zettelbox Wed 23-Mar-11 18:59:29

I don't have the heart to report the poster above as the Student Support Centre sound so scummy ...

baffledmum Wed 23-Mar-11 21:01:01

Stay clear, I say! I worked in a school office where we naively sent out the forms in return for the school receiving commission. I then saw the threads on mumsnet and was appalled. The school office was also pursued aggressively by centre staff wanting the forms back etc. etc. Dreadful experience!

psiloveyou Wed 23-Mar-11 22:50:38

We paid £3000 for our dd to have this several years ago. She used it a couple of times. It didn't suit her and is now still gathering dust in a cupboard.
Biggest waste of money ever.

Klingon Thu 24-Mar-11 08:59:37

I have this week been contacted by a journalist for a national newspaper about the Student Support Centre.

I would like to refer anyone who is concerned about this marketing strategy - and the £3500 per component fee - to this excellent discussion, which I then added to with my own experiences, including a 53-minute long video taped sales pitch with a sales man (who claimed he wasn't a salesman at all) arranged through the SSC. For privacy reasons, I cannot show the video, but the main points are covered in a report to the LEA I wrote, which can be seen later in the thread discussion:

banjosoo Tue 10-May-11 11:16:10

amyscloset Tue 21-Jun-11 14:21:06

I had someone out on saturday to explain that this package would make my 2 daugher's pass their GCSE'S (90%), it all sounds good not to say no to, so my partner signed up, after the salesman left I read reviews about it and found that everyone was paying around the same price as myself which was £3726 for 4 years, I thought to myself after, that my daughter's would only need it for 2 years, plus there is no way my daughters would use it for the 4 years, and apparently if they ring the freephone number for help, they would hardly get a reply, I called the company and asked to cancel within the 7 days (cooling off period), the salesman that came out on the saturday, called back on the monday to give me my deposit which he was not happy about, I would strongly advise not to use this company as they are a big CON, I will most probably buy the books off ebay at a fraction of the price.

uDolphin Sun 09-Oct-11 14:09:47

I had made an appointment for an Assessment vist for my son.
I booked the appointment for today 1pm. They asked me to prepare the school report, dvd player and tv.
As well as to make sure my husband and my son are also present for this event. Normally we go out a lot on weekends. We waited until 40 minutes past the appointment time. I received no phone calls from Student Support today to explain the lateness. Therefore I had to call them. Instead of apologising,
the telephone operator shouted at me, that I had to call them on Friday to reconfirm my appointment, eventough I had booked it. Apparently other families cancelled without calling. She is not right to assume that we would do the same thing. Most of she should have apologised instead of shouting.
They should have, if anything, called me to reconfirm.

vincentvangogh Sun 09-Oct-11 18:07:22

woah uDolphin. Count your lucky lucky lucky stars that they didn't turn up. Have you not read the threads here and on review sites about this company. People say they have been ripped off thousands of pounds for a crap product, they can't get out of contracts and there's a hard sell. Spend the money on a tutor.

ricky1972 Mon 10-Oct-11 21:35:38

with regard to the above comment try myowntutor works very well for our family.The site offers A money back guarentee and is very cost effective even in comparrision to a home tutor.The site even follows the national curriculum for maths and english and 1 subscription can cover upto 4 children at no extra cost.The site offers A no strings 2 week free trial no bank account details needed no strings or catches.when you sign up for a free trial they ask for a promotion code if you use code 1300 you get full acces to the site.they even have someone phone you to give you a walk through tour of how it all works.I can't recomend this site enough.5 stars for this site

Woolytoo Tue 29-Nov-11 12:15:55

I came onto Mumsnet to see if there were any threads on the SSC as they were advertising a sales job in my area which interested me. On the face of it the job looked good and ethical, but being a a suspicious person - and having found a worrying spelling mistake on their website - I decided to check them out. I would say that from a sales perspective it would be fairly easy to persuade people to buy this product but it is clearly an absolute rip off!! From my own experience with tutoring, both my children had private tuition in maths to ensure they got a high grade in their GCSE. At the end of the day nothing else counts except their GCSE result which is critical when applying to uni. It cost £20 an hour for 3 lessons each which was all that was required as they just concentrated on the parts they found hard. I would strongly advise anyone considering additional help for their children to contact the nearest Independent School and ask if anyone does private lessons. That is what we did, and it was much more effective and much much cheaper.

BooksnBeauty Tue 25-Sep-12 18:02:34

Let me tell you. A man came to our house and persuaded me to buy the product for three of my daughters. £100 a month. Apparently I'm not aloud to see what I'm buying which i thought was just maybe because they didn't want ideas stolen or whatever. i wasn't that suspicious because i was just thinking about how it would give my children a better education. My daughters are 11, the other two about to turn 14 and 16 and i was told that the packages were for the ages between 4 and 16 but i tell my daughter to start the book she was given, the 14 yr old, and she comes straight back to me telling me that she was given a 5 yr olds work. me being the mother believing adults over my child i tell her to go do her work and bring it back to me so i can mark. When i begin to mark what do i find? "12 + 440=?" is that really what they gave my daughter to work on? i take out the last book in the maths series and i nearly scream in shock! i cannot believe they scammed me into paying £100 a month for something that should £20 overall. i told my daughters to finish all the books so i can take my argument to them without them saying something ridiculus like "what do you know? your children havent even started." and if they refuse to give me my money back or stop then i will cause public problems for them. the schools that children go to will see that they should stop encouraging this. Has anyone complained and got a refund?

Winston831 Mon 03-Dec-12 16:23:33

I'm so glad I searched reviews on this site received a letter from school today with regards this company was accompanied by a letter from headmistress telling us we must fill in and return this form by Thursday at the latest even if we are not interested after being told by the school my youngest child was having difficulty with aspects of maths and English I was intrigued enough to search the company wow am I glad I did will defiantly not be sending my slip back to school nor will I be contacting this company thankyou for posting reviews it's been extremely helpful :-)

Sabina24 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:17:52

Hiya, I'm considering joining student support centre for my LO who is in reception now, the cost mentioned was nearly £2500, as you have two two children please could you shed some more light to this. I was hoping to see some positive reviews but you're right one bad experience and everyone knows but a good experience is hardly shared! So please could you share your experience and help me make a wise decision. If you have more than one child will they all be covered under the one cost? Have you ever contacted a tutor over the phone or through the 'silver board'? Do you generally get through to a tutor? As one of the review actually said you can never get in touch and to avoid it sad
Please could you help me. Thanks.

mnistooaddictive Mon 28-Jan-13 10:08:43

Thios is avery old thread so I doubt anyone will come back. Im my opinion, save your money.

Catriona100 Mon 28-Jan-13 16:30:22

When I researched this, I concluded it is more or less a scam. You got a letter from the head, right? And it seemed to strongly recommend SSC but when you look more closely, it has one line that says that the school does not recommend it (but it says it in such a way that you think its just a legal get out and they really do).
Then, when you are wavering, you'll get another letter saying that you need to sign something to say that you have been made aware of SSC and your child's teacher needs the signed form back this week.
What finally convinced me was when i saw ebay offers where people are asking £1500 or so and their listing says that only the first one or two have been opened.

stick01 Thu 14-Mar-13 10:42:08

i have received letters from ssc in the past from school and have had a visit from one of their guys who was lovely, no hard sell, it is not a scam at all, yes, it is a bit pricey but if people can afford it then i am sure it will work for them.

londonboy Tue 26-Mar-13 14:48:42

I have just been told about SSC by a friend who paid about £5,000 for 2 kids a few years ago, I cant for he life of me see how those books and cds can be worth that much, at best the books and dvds cant be worth more than £10 each. SSC isnt reinventing the wheel. They are a scam asthey do not allow you to see what you buy and deliberately dont put there prices up so that you arent scared aware. Keep your money and buy books fom the normal bok shops

baffledmum Tue 26-Mar-13 19:26:29

It's not necessarily a scam. However, in later 2011 I worked in a school office for a term and looked into the SSC. The school gets a small fee for each slip it returns so it generates income for schools. The SSC then has your data - to use to sell its services or to sell on further. IMO avoid! Avoid!! I have posted this before and I will continue to post it.

rayray33 Wed 19-Jun-13 14:25:25

OMG, i have just made an appointment for one of their 'colleagues' to visit. Thankyou Mumsnet, i shall be cancelling this evening. Also, top tip to suggest a local independed school for tutoring - will do! First post so, hope all is well. smile

Glamholic Mon 01-Jul-13 20:33:20

I didn't know what SSC is about and signed up for it two years ago as the school where my kids are going is a 'good', not an 'Outstanding' one. We definitely want to change the area for secondary school and I believe that when your children are above the average their chance to get a place in an outstanding school is much bigger. We cannot afford a boarding school at this stage. I also work full time and don't know what exactly they do in school apart from the funny leaflets the school gives at the beginning of any term. To speak with the teacher - I have to arrange an appointment after 3:15 hrs and I actually return from work at 5:30.
I agree with some users here, that additional support costs money and also think that the majority of the schools in London are not giving the level of education that is required for the pupils to be admitted in university. Another fact is, that only 10% of the children from state schools are accepted in universities.

I can tell from my own experience that it requires a lot of free time for the children and parents to sit, watch the dvd and do the exercises. Also, they need my support 50% of the cases as well as grammar and explanations are barely included. I will not recommend it to any parent that works full time as it takes approx. 1 hour per lesson+excercise. Lessons are good and progress is made, however it is big commitment. It is very difficult to keep up to date.
I think to enrol my children on Kumon after we finish with this one. Cannot stop the contract unfortunately.

jmspbro Tue 02-Jul-13 00:21:19

I am always surprised at the fuss.

The way the school 'promotes' the SSC is just the same way they 'promote' the school photos, but no-one gets all upset about the photos.

Buy the SSC from eBay. Do your homework and look at many ads and get a picture of what is what. Expect to pay around £750 for a full suite from reception to KS4. Half that for reception to KS2.

I MP4'd the DVDs and put them on the DS's tablets - they love it.

cory Tue 02-Jul-13 08:09:31

You could build up a very fine family library for £ 2500 and still have money to spare to take them to the theatre.

Freedomtree Thu 30-Oct-14 00:23:19

In my opinion The Student Support Centre are the worst company I have ever dealt with. I had been thinking of getting extra tuition for my son for a while and found a flyer in his book bag. It sounded good so I gave them a call. We arranged a meeting at my house where the teacher (salesman) proceeded to give both my son and I 4 hours of hard sell. He bondarded me with statistics and charts, gave my son an assessment and made me feel guilty if I refused to take out a contract.

At the time I was a single parent, vulnerable and worried about my 6yr old and signed up to help him with his schoolwork as I believed it was a reputable company.

I received the pack consisting of a box of videos, some workbooks and a chart. The pack arrived 1 week after the cooling off period!!!!. The videos were very boring and my son struggled with the work, as the initial assessment that was given to my son was so much easier. So not only was his confidence level low at school he also lost confidence at home and started calling himself 'thick'.

Enough was enough, we stuck it out for 3 months to see if it would improve and I decided to write a letter explaining the situation.

Cutting a long story short it took me 3 extremely stressful years and a warning to issue proceedings in Court to get out of the contract.

My advice is to invest your money in a private tutor which is what we did and are continuing to do so which is money well spent. My son is now 15yrs old and has caught up with his peers, which is all I ever wanted in the first place.

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