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To be ridiculously upset about dd not being able to take her place at private school

(169 Posts)
eminemmerdale Fri 22-Feb-13 23:41:06

DD(7) is super bright - I am not being a pfb mother, she is number 3 with two older siblings but she is stupidly clever. Because of this, we, on advice, put her in for an entrance exam for our super selective local prep school. It started off last summer when we went to the first open day, then did the interview with the head, taster day, pre-test and finally the entrance test. She was awarded a place - we were told she had done 'exceptionally well' and got one of not that many places. We had, from the start, said we would need a significant bursary, and applied - we fulfill all the criteria and were pretty much led to believe that we would get a good enough one. However, although we got what would probably be thought of as a lot of money off, we just couldn't match it (unless we stopped paying utility bills and eating!) I asked if it could be negotiated and they did do their best but clearly the funds weren't there - cue lovely e mails and calls from the head and deputy head, regetting that we couldn't take the place sad Her primary is one of the best in the city and I know that a few other children from her year have been offered places, which is great. However, I now find out that one of them has been offered and accepted a bursary, but the parents are laughing their heads off because the grandparents had offered to pay full fees but the parents kept that quiet! How is it fair that the money they are taking means that my dd can't take the place? If they had been honest and said grandparents would pay then dd could possibly go - how many more are doing this? I could (in fact, have) cry. It is fucking horrible.

malteserzz Sat 23-Feb-13 08:35:24

Just because it's a private school doesn't mean it's any better than state she would probably have had problems with friendships and fitting in, my children would have hated to go and are very happy and doing well at the local state school

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 23-Feb-13 08:36:10

State primaries offer a fantastic education and I have no issues whatsoever with mine going to a state primary. If I could get private secondary, I would, but I can't afford it so that's the end of that.

The main reason you're being u IMO is because you have three children yet you're willing to pay for private education (albeit with a bursary) for only one of them. Very unreasonable.

bbface Sat 23-Feb-13 08:40:16

I am sorry you are upset, and I would be too.

However you do not have much justification. If the school really really wanted your daughter, they would offer her a full scholarship. Period.

And I too would take a bursary if it meant that it would lessen family financial obligations.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 08:41:14

Just to add about my other two - one is out of education (being in her 20's!) and the other is perfectly happy at the local secondary - he absolutely shuddered when we asked him if he would ever want to go to a private school grin My final thoughts - I guess I have been a bit over the top - and I am sure she will be fine, it just seems that however much independant schools big up their bursary system and promote the thought that 'anyone' can go, they can;t always live up to it, I know it isn't the other families' 'fault' and the pot isn't limitless, it's just a shame. Thank you for all your comments

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 08:42:57

bbface there is no such thing as a full scholarship at year 3.

Badvoc Sat 23-Feb-13 08:47:42

Private education is not fair full stop.
So, although I can understand you are upset yabu on that basis alone.

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Feb-13 08:52:28

My friend is taking her very clever son out of one of the best private schools(in the top 20 of private schools) because he's not actually doing enough work to get good A levels. He's been in private eduation since age 5.
Another friend's 3 clever children all went to Oxbridge via comprehensives.

Your daughter will do well where ever she is and going to a good private school is not a guarantee of success.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 08:53:01

When my DS got in I was positively beaming. After the test DS had told me that he missed out a number of questions so I thought that was it. So when we got the offer I was so surprised and relieved. If you.were around me that day you probably would have thought that I was gloating. I suspect that the other parents were just relieved that their DC was in and they didn't have to take the fees money from their parents.

I seem to be in a minority but I don't think that the other parents did anything wrong if they were truthful about their incomes in the nursery application. The fact that a relative would have stepped in to pay the fees should the bursary be not awarded is neither here or there.

hackmum Sat 23-Feb-13 08:59:22

OP, I do feel sad for you. I know where you're coming from. Clearly this school only takes brighter children so is going to stretch them a bit more than an ordinary state school. (Even in good state schools, it's hard to meet the needs of all the children.) It sounds like it would have been a lovely opportunity for your DD. And I can understand why you're upset at the other family taking the bursary when they didn't need to.

But the positives are: if she enjoys her state school, she will probably continue to do well there. You can find activities out of school that will stretch her. Quite possibly, as another poster said, the behaviour of the other child's parents is indicative of the kind of person who sends their kids there. The advantage of the state system is that she will have the opportunity to mix with a wider range of people than she would in a private school, and actually the ability to mix with people from different backgrounds is a skill worth having.

TandB Sat 23-Feb-13 08:59:41

I assume bbface means a full bursary, given that you just posted that the school does offer up to 100% bursaries.

I think you are being a little unreasonable to criticise the school promoting their bursary system. "Anyone can go" doesn't mean "anyone who wants to go can go every single year" - it means that low income isn't necessarily a bar to going. Presumably some of the other recipients of bursaries have been able to take up places that they wouldn't otherwise have been able to access.

It is a shame to get so close and not get what you needed, but I think you have to simply accept that, for whatever reason, the school weren't willing to offer a 100% bursary to your DD. Maybe there was an even brighter child whose family had a lower income than yours who took a big chunk of the pot with a 100% bursary. Maybe there were two 90% bursaries. Maybe all the children were broadly on a level and they offered ten 50% bursaries. Maybe there's another family in a similar position, also in negotiation with the school. There's no way of knowing. But the bottom line is that you were offered what you accept was a large sum of money - many people don't get that opportunity. There could be someone else out there thinking "I've heard that loads of children from that really good state primary have been offered bursaries - my child's at a crap school and hasn't been offered one. It's not fair."

I think once you start thinking in terms of it being "unfair", it's going to prey on your mind. You tried, she did well, but possibly just not quite well enough to be offered what you needed. Or maybe she did do very well, but in a year when several other children also showed the same promise. It doesn't make it unfair - it just means that the system didn't quite work out for you.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 09:04:53

confused at FarBetter's comment.The school is in the top 20 but the DC isn't being worked hard enough by the school? Makes me wonder how they got to be on top 20.

Methinks it's not the schools fault that the DC is not on track for his A levels. In which case, is placing him back in the state system going to solve anything apart from saving some money?

TandB Sat 23-Feb-13 09:05:06

But I do think it is worth looking at other sources of funding. There are all sorts of organisations which offer small top-ups on the basis of various criteria.

Slightly limited, obviously, but the masons would have covered the cost of my uniform if I hadn't got the bursary, because my grandfather was a mason and he and my gran were my legal guardians because of my particular family circumstances.

It might be worth doing some research to see if you can squeeze into any criteria for funding.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 09:08:14

.. not going to solve anything....

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 09:09:11

I have taken on board everyone's comments and I know I am being unfair and bitter - it's such a shame though - she did so well and got so near.

bbface Sat 23-Feb-13 09:09:30

Yes, I meant full bursary.

Sorry if I seemed harsh, someone said that the of posted here for support not criticism. No, the OP posted in AIBU, a thread that is not exactly known for it warm embrace.

My point was that the school would offer your child 100% nursery if they really did not want to lose her. Sounds like she is a very clever girl that will do very well, but perhaps not quite so exceptional that the school will offer more.

And I stand by my opinion that the parents who have accepted a part nursery but with grandparents who would provide the whole amount are doing absolutely nothing wrong. I would do exactly the same. Who knows how family financial circumstances can change, or if one grandparent became very ill and all swings had to go towards care. Then what happens to the child's education?

Mimishimi Sat 23-Feb-13 09:12:36

Yes, do you have a father or grandfather in the Freemasons? They often help out with this sort of thing, especially if the child has already been offered a scholarship.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 23-Feb-13 09:13:05

Eminem, we considered private for dd - but again the bursary and scholarship combined would still have made things difficult for us once uniform, transport costs etc had been taken into account. We wouldn't have been able to afford any extra curricula stuff for her. Instead she goes to a very good secondary who really are doing all they can to stretch her and it means that we can (with the help of the school) give her the music lessons that she wants so much. In the end it has turned out to be a really positive thing I feel.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 09:17:57

I know - I felt very brave doing an AIBU grin fully expected criticism and support - and am genuinely grateful for the responses. I need to 'get over myself'. She's clever enough to do well anywhere - hopefully..And in some ways, it would have been hard, we would have constantly had to justify to the school their investment, done without, and yes, she may have hated it. It was more the attitude of the other family that sickened me -'we have the means, but don't have to use them - clever us'

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:18:39

I can see things from the other side. My very talented DD was offered a 50 percent scholorship for a private school (sport related). - we were pleased with this BUT knew it was going to be a struggle financially - we didn't qualify for a bursary. A few weeks later another family were offered same level of scholorship but did qualify for bursary - what got to me was other family had new car, the mum didn't work so she could spend more time with kids - I work ful time and basically my salary was now going to,pay school fees!! It got my goat I can tell you!!! Anyway this mum kept saying how her son would get 100 per cent of fees paid because he was sooooo talented etc. He didn't get offered that and is not at school - my dd sat entrance exam and was offered an academic scholorship as well of 30 percent so we don't have to pay as much as we thought !!
Sorry long post - BUT as I said before - where there is a will there is a way and why should I have to pay more than you UNLESS your child is sooooo much better than mine xxxx

FarBetterNow Sat 23-Feb-13 09:20:27

The school is on his back constantly.
They phone his parents twice weekly.
They can make him sit at a desk, but as the saying goes' you can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink'.
Apparently, he is trying to work out how little effort he needs to put in to get good results!
But by the time he has worked that out, it will be too late to catch up.
Not all kids come out of good private schools with As, no matter how clever they are.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 09:27:32

lonnika - we had to put the age and value of any cars on the financial form, were both expected to be working and were asked about holidays and 'luxuries'! it was an eye opener for me to be honest, cos I'd had no idea how little we actually spend on ourselves!

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:28:31

Zwis you are very wrong, most teachers love teaching bright children & want them to do as well as they can!!

I'm sure they do, and they want all children to do as well as they can, bright children may get lots of "pleasure to teach" comments on their report card, but teachers do not as a rule go out of their way to stretch these children to use their potential. All the extra tuition and 1-on-1 time goes on 'problem' children, and the government (and general public) wouldn't have it any other way.

The vast majority of children at Oxbridge and Russell group unis are from state schools.

7% of children are privately educated, yet around 40% of Oxbridge students come from a privately educated background. Pretty clear that a private education gives you a vastly greater chance of getting to the top.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:28:57

Should also say - best things for anyone involved in scholorship/bursary situation is too keep quiet then these issues don't arise because you don't know what anyone else is getting !!!

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:31:02

Just to clarify my first comment meant teachers in state schools.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:31:37

Ahh maybe hat is why the family I am talking about didn't get what they wanted - think we both suffed fom same ting - other family 'gloating' In my case it didn't work out for them. Hope all works out for you, am sure it will x

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