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Private schools - want to shout IT'S NOT FAIR!

(1000 Posts)
Yermina Mon 04-Feb-13 10:59:22

Went to PIL last night and heard all about sil's children's school. One of her boys is already attending a fantastic private school. Just found out his two brothers have also got places at very good private schools.

In the mean time my dc's are in classes of 31 at the local state school. My youngest needs additional support (sn) but isn't statemented (diagnosed but no statement) so doesn't get it. SIL's middle child has got into a mainstream private school that has outstanding support for children with dyslexia, which he's been diagnosed with. And will be in classes of 18.

Our middle ds is musically talented but there is really poor provision for music teaching at his state school and very few children there are learning an instrument. We struggle to pay for music lessons for him outside school.

Is it wrong of me to feel eaten up with jealousy and anger at the unfairness of a school system which privileges the children of well-off people so openly and seemingly without anyone else seeing it as something that's wrong or deeply, deeply unfair?

How would you explain to a group of children: you lot over here will have XXXX spent on your education, and lots of opportunity to develop your talents, and you lot over there will have about half as much spent on you, and will have much less attention from the teacher because there'll be twice as many of you in the class. Oh, and you kids with sn or specific gifts - unless your parents have money, you probably won't get the help you need to thrive educationally.

I know it's the way the world is but at the moment I feel bitter about it. Really really bitter. And jealous

Every time I go to my PIL's and have to hear about all the amazing thing SIL's dcs are doing at their school, their academic achievements, I want to go home and hide under the duvet and cry.

We'll never, ever be able to afford private education. We'll never be able to afford to move to an area with really good state schools. We'll never be able to get our children into church schools as we're not church goers, and our local grammar schools (2) are bursting at the seams with children from the local private prep schools, who bus their students in to take the 11+ en mass.

It's just so fucking unfair. It really is. I just want to get that off my chest.

That is all.

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 17:30:14

I know it happens in real life because schools are measured on A-C grades.

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 17:31:04

You do know ever so much about state schools and what happens in them, narked.

seeker Tue 05-Feb-13 17:32:55

Schools results are put in league tables as a*-c, yes. And this tells you that someone predicted a B is told that's good enough exactly how?

Saski Tue 05-Feb-13 17:34:17

And why is it better to pay private school fees by saving up (I won't use the word "sacrifice" in this context) than by earning megabucks?

Certainly in the context of this thread it seems relevant (whether private schools are "fair" or not). Part of what seems "unfair" about private schools is the idea that they're out of reach for normal people who themselves didn't go to private schools. People who maybe didn't have hugely advantaged backgrounds, making financial sacrifices (I think you'll find the word is fitting - why do you take exception?) and sending their kids privately because the state alternative is sub-par- certainly does turn this notion of exclusivity on its ear.

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 17:36:29

Well as the child of a teacher with 2 aunts as teachers and family friends who have been like aunties to me, yes, I have some experience of the teacher's side of the state system.

What do you think happens at schools where the teachers know that the same DC seriously disrupting their lesson will be back in their classroom within two weeks even if they're screaming abuse in the teacher's face and shoving them?

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 17:38:08

The focus point is those on C s and D s. Getting more DC in the A-C bracket is better for the school, so that's where the focus is.

Jamillalliamilli Tue 05-Feb-13 17:41:21

I had to argue to get my dd to be allowed into GCSE revision classes because they said she was a 'secure middle C' and therefore didn't need them, after working out how the marks are given we argued she was a low C annd not 'secure' and she got in but revision classes only available for students with D's. (She got a B btw and there was muttering about bloody parents blush)

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 05-Feb-13 17:42:01

But by that logic they'd never bother teaching to an A, would they, if all they cared about was the A*-C bracket?

Jamillalliamilli Tue 05-Feb-13 17:42:38

only normally available

grovel Tue 05-Feb-13 17:42:55

What sanctions/punishments do secondary teachers have at their disposal nowadays? Genuine question.

Jamillalliamilli Tue 05-Feb-13 17:46:27

TOSN they do teach to the A standard and the very bright one's get it at that level, others make more mistakes and need more help, which is provided by the one's getting A's. our school did mixed ability for A-C Then D and E.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 05-Feb-13 17:48:37

How do you mean, provided by the ones getting As, Just?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 05-Feb-13 17:49:36

Grovel detention, exclusion/isolation, suspensions, and ultimately - rarely - expulsion, IME.

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 17:51:00

What JustGettingOnWithIt said.

Jamillalliamilli Tue 05-Feb-13 17:52:14

By the time ds was old enough he couldn't get into 'not great but ok if you put in enough effort' school, dd went to. More private housing had displaced the kids out of the one better than hers, into hers, and that displaced us out of that one for ds.

Spamspamspam Tue 05-Feb-13 17:53:06

"People who pay for private also for a state school place they don't take up" now that's their choice, you see. If they choose not to use state education that's up to them. If they wanted to they could.

So a bit like choosing private education then, a lot of people could afford private education but choose not to. Or they choose not to work an additional job or additional hours or sacrifice holidays, clothes etc but choose not to.

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 17:53:23

The children who with more help could turn a C into a B or a B into an A are failed.

Jamillalliamilli Tue 05-Feb-13 17:55:41

The kids getting A's have to work with the kids getting B's and high C's while the teacher did the one's getting low C's. Because they were peer marking my dd was getting awarded middle C's so not getting the teachers help, but actually she was low C's and should have been.

TuftyFinch Tue 05-Feb-13 17:56:52

I used to teach teenagers that had been excluded from school... guns, knives, drugs all normal, dealing in lessons, gang issues, refusing to remove iPods, walking out of lessons, swearing at teachers, refusing to put phones away and on and on. Most of them were bigger than me. I did my best but they were so disaffected and removed from what was 'normal' because their behaviour had been left unchallenged for so long, by parents, by school.
Management would never do anything effective to get rid of them because they're worth too much money in funding.
They were, and will continue to be, failed by our education system. The issues faced by kids like this are so entrenched that without a massive shake up of society, welfare, the world these kids will become adults and parents.
and so it will go on and on.

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 17:57:54

There are areas where you're better off sending your DC private because it's cheaper than buying a house in the catchment area for a good school. I have relatives who are in a town where they've been told they won't be offered a primary place for their child because the council has sat around for the past 10 years watching the population increase and not increased provision of places.

Jamillalliamilli Tue 05-Feb-13 17:59:11

DS school peer marking meant they wrote 'F for fucking wanker' on his book and the head gave me all the spiel about disadvantage and building trust in each other through tolerance.angry

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 18:03:03

That's the point. All those DC should have been getting the teacher's help, not just those at risk of missing a C grade.

Phineyj Tue 05-Feb-13 18:09:36

OP, your info about house rental costs is incorrect. Bromley (which has good state schools, and an excellent youth music trust) has 4 beds to rent under the figure you quote.

Narked Tue 05-Feb-13 18:11:05

My relative as a NQT went into secondary moderns where the prevailing attitude was that you were acting as a safe place for them; a holding ground before you turfed them out as grown ups. The experienced staff felt there was no point trying to get Shakespeare or algebra into them when they were destined to work on factory floors.

Decades on the attitude seems to still be there in some schools even though the eventual jobs aren't. The schools that seem to thrive are the ones that push discipline and aim high, particularly in tough areas where the DC have much more to deal with outside of school.

TuftyFinch Tue 05-Feb-13 18:11:41

most people wouldn't want one of these children in their DC's class and may choose private to avoid them
If there were no private/ grammar/ selective these children would go to school with more of an even mix and more of them would get a chance. Private allows you to avoid kids like this up to a point but you cnt send them private in life.

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