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Decadence in London fee paying secondary schools(57 Posts)
Is there a culture of decadence across the independent sector secondaries?
It is angst because you care so much about doing the right thing for your son! We just went through it at 16. At 11 we made a totally right decision for our first daughter who knew exactly where she wanted to be, and probably a wrong decision for our second. The second daughter's decision was too much influenced by sibling rivalry (to be where her sister was) and results, but then the main issue was that she was ambushed by a particularly notorious cool group in the year, it wasn't so much the worry she would be influenced by them as all the mind games and low level bullying. However in making that decision at 16, with big sister involved, we decided that you had to put aside worries about the cool crowd, or "strong characters", or unpopular/boring teachers, you get those anywhere. So we focused on curriculum, extra curricular, facilities, transport etc. We even did a decision tree, DD1 being a geek, weighting all the relevent factors according to how much they mattered to my daughter and how well she scored each school for each. It was a thing of mathematical beauty but my second daughter went for the school that scored least (and which my gut feel has always felt, at 11 too, was right for her) .
Some state schools ,esp the grammars, in affluent parts of London and SE have significant numbers of pupils who have very decadent lifestyles as parents can pay for exotic holidays, parties, possessions,second homes, cars as they're not forking out for school fees. There are private schools where the main focus is academics so partying is not such a big focus of pupils lives and other schools which attract the rich and famous and the accompanying lifestyle.
We are the people our parents warned us against.
I look back at how I carried on with the gang of Yah's I was friends with doing my A's and its NO WONDER we were glared at by every sane person.
But we had a blast and grew out of it. And edited our CVs
My DS has come from state primary to independent school in London. He started Year 7 in September. He is aware of the wealth -the ipads, iphones, etc. but definitely still very sober, and aware. He actually said to me, "don't suddenly buy me a surprise birthday present of an iphone mum."
My DS has come from state primary to independent school in London - grandparents paying. He started Year 7 in September. He is aware of the wealth -the ipads, iphones, the cars etc. but definitely still very sober, and realistic about what we can and can't afford, so far. He loves his new school, but I think coming from state primary has really grounded him. He actually said to me, "don't suddenly buy me a surprise birthday present of an iphone mum."
We're an hour out of London and get a lot of this in year 8 - eg one delightful child told my daughter's best friend (who later had to leave because the fees became too much) "isn't it funny how you're the only person in our class with a small house". Nice.
And higher up the school, there are some hideous children too, although thankfully once they get to senior school, the nicer ones do seem to learn how to stay out of their way, or else just laugh at their ridiculousness.
There are children in my daughter's Y3 class who have iPads AND iPhones as well as Wiis, DSs, their own laptop, their own flat screen TV (in their bedroom), the list continues. They are only 7 and 8 year olds. It is a state primary hundreds of miles from London!
I think this is what a lot of people with a bit of money believe is the right thing to do for their children, ie buy them tons of "stuff".
I am always surprised at these stories of wealthier children being so nasty. I went to school (in a different country) with very very wealthy people (sons and daugthers of ministers, famous journalists, royalty) and was by far one of the poorest by a huge stretch and never once had a comment or made to feel different. Maybe this is the legacy of the "new riches".
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