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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.

justone Sat 23-Feb-13 09:31:53

If you told the school that you needed 100% bursary or near that mark, then it sounds as though they have misled you. If that is the case then your disappointment is not unreasonable at all.

As you say she did very well, so don't give up if this is what you want for her. Do they do an 8+ entry she could try again next year? Are there other schools she could try for a bursary? As her primary is very good it may be worth waiting and trying a few schools at 11+

Good luck and try not to listen to other mum gloating - it isn't her fault your DD didn't get the amount you needed but I can see why hearing her story would wind you up smile

everlong Sat 23-Feb-13 09:33:01

If she's super bright she will be fine. Especially if the state school is as good as you say.

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 09:33:24

FarBetter - The wording of your post suggested that it was the school's fault that the son wasn't being pushed. Hence my (slightly sarcastic) response.

But as I went on to say, if it is the son, moving him to state school isn't going to make him work hardier. Having said that, the shock of the sink or swim tough love may give him a wake up call but I doubt it.

frogspoon Sat 23-Feb-13 09:35:49


Did the bursary application form not ask about any other sources of income/ other people who could pay e.g. grandparents? Because as another poster has mentioned, this is a common question.

If it was a question on the form and the other family gave incorrect information (i.e. did not declare grandparents had offered to pay the fees) then unfortunately whilst what they did was wrong, there isn't really anything you can do about it.

If there wasn't a question about it, then they had no obligation to declare it.

Also lonnika (is that a capital I or a little l? has a point, probably best to just keep quiet about these things.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:38:48

Little l smile. I know that my dd is getting more than others at school but never ever mention it as I know it will upset people because it would upset/annoy me! I also suspect others getting more but again they don't say so I don't know for sure and can't get upset about it x

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 09:39:48

Interested to see references to the DD."doing well anyway".there is more required for doing well in adult life than academic results and I speak as one with top marks at A level.ability to build good relationship s with people,to persevere,to read a situation,to know when to work hard etc are the true building blocks for success and match this with a solid state secondary school and prob pretty much best you can get.also v hard to have gone as far as OP. did only to fall at final hurdle.May have been ill advised but do sympathize.

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:48:49

I rather suspect the "doing well anyway" comments originate from people who suffer from inverse class snobbery and dislike as a rule people who went to private school.

The facts speak for themselves, privately educated children do much better on average than those who are not. I didn't go to private school, and I've done alright in life, but to suggest that this is due to a state school background is faintly ridiculous. I certainly would have done academically better at private school, as evidenced by my private schooled younger sibling who has similar academic ability and character traits to me (ie a bit lazy) has done much better in his exams than I did and hence will have more opportunities open to him as a result (obvious example taking medicine at Uni).

Unless they have an exceptional local state school, any parent worth their salt would choose private schooling every time if finances weren't an issue.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 09:56:06

Dangerous ground zwisch dangerous ground

MrsKeithRichards Sat 23-Feb-13 10:00:16

So you Credit private school for your brother's success but in the same breath say your success has nothing to do with your schooling because it was state?

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:02:07

Agreed re.choosing private if money no object.but,think that academic results are not be all and end all.private does not automatically lead to better results, but may raise odds of doing so.think it probably does also give a polish to kids which will help in many jobs

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 10:03:27

I think you can do well wherever you go smile. However, for us my dd can't get the same opportunity in a state school so no brainier for us - don't think any better for her academically. Indeed local secondary school good and we have a GS close by which is exceptional x

frogspoon Sat 23-Feb-13 10:03:35

zwischenzug: I think the "doing well anyway" comments are simply made by well meaning people who want to give the OP who is upset something positive to think about.

I made one of these comments. I went to private school. shock

And I'm not sure I would choose private schooling. My parents put every penny towards my education and my sister's education (full fees). I felt significantly worse off than most other students, and often didn't get to go on the school trips my friends took for granted "Why can't you afford to come? It's only £X"

If paying for private education meant I could afford the fees, the uniform, and nothing else, I'm not sure I would choose private. I might prefer to spend the money on moving into an area with better state schools.

Greythorne Sat 23-Feb-13 10:06:26

I loathe the 'if the DC is bright, they will do well anywhere' comments.

There are bright children who are lazy, bored, get in with a bad crowd, prefer to cruise to avoid being called a swot, get bullied.....and end up not doing well at all.

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:08:02

Feeling like the poor relation is not good for self esteem.really it is wrong that there should be such a disparity between state and private....

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 10:09:08

"So you Credit private school for your brother's success but in the same breath say your success has nothing to do with your schooling because it was state?"

My relative success was more due to being fortunate enough to be gifted with a high level of natural ability, and finally knuckling down when I got to Uni and getting a good degree (albeit from a poly, not a red brick uni) and working hard ever since.

I clearly could have done much better at school, but was never pushed. I failed mock exam after mock exam (I got several U's in maths past papers we were set for example) yet never once was I told "you can do better" or encouraged to work harder. It was fairly clear to them I'd get all A*-C's, and that was good enough for them and their league tables. My brother teachers on the other hand reacted totally differently to him doing to same, getting pretty angry and having words with my parents on several occasions. It's a whole different ethos. There is no "good enough" concept there.

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:09:13

Get bullied at private schools too....

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 10:12:31

really it is wrong that there should be such a disparity between state and private....

That's the core problem unfortunately, and it's a disgrace, but those in power have enough money to go private, so as long as they can give the illusion of improving state education, they don't actually care if it improves or not. It's just a political football to them.

hwjm1945 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:17:17

Agree about the big push to get A to C . Agree lack of pushing . Parents need to be more vigilant at state and be prepared to push etc. See Nick Clegg and his apparent volte face 're private versus state

MariusEarlobe Sat 23-Feb-13 10:19:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fromparistoberlin Sat 23-Feb-13 10:22:45

sometimes fate deals us cards we dont like

i do think if you have DC its for the best that not just one is at this school

spend the £££ on tutors, and try not to dwell

can see why you are sad, but try and move on

i know alot of happy and sucessful state school educated ppl

cory Sat 23-Feb-13 10:26:26

zwischenzug Sat 23-Feb-13 09:48:49
"I rather suspect the "doing well anyway" comments originate from people who suffer from inverse class snobbery and dislike as a rule people who went to private school."

Not necessarily. I'd be thinking of dh who did get a scholarship to an excellent private school, enjoyed excellent teaching and still failed his exams because he wasn't working hard enough. I have read his school reports and it is clear that his teachers did try to push him, but that he wasn't mature enough to respond.

Which imo goes to show that even the best of schools can only do so much. If you aren't mature enough to make yourself work in a state school, there is a slight risk you're not mature enough to work in a private school either. Even the best of private schools won't be doing the work for you.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:29:48

Sorry you are so upset, but really if the other child got a bursery that is a separate issue and the grandparents financial situation is irrelevant. I don't know many others who would not have accepted it.

DonderandBlitzen Sat 23-Feb-13 10:34:49

zwischenzug Why did your parents send your younger sibling to private school and not you?

maddening Sat 23-Feb-13 10:35:14

Tbh imo really if you want to send your dc to a private school then focus on secondary school - aim for a scholarship or a grammar school. You could get extra classes for your child now or join clubs - maths, science, languages etc to encourage as much as possible and be in a position to apply at secondary.

I think a good state primary can be as good as a private primary.

Also to shagmund - we should as a country focus on ALL children's needs - whether they are low or high achievers - the high achievers are needed for the future - as a country we need them. Not at the expense of other children who equally deserve the best chance to for their ability.

BarnYardCow Sat 23-Feb-13 10:48:34

You can often get your child sponsored by "old boys or girls" who have done well for themselves, and wish to put something back into the school that they attended. Maybe look into Christ's Hospital at Horsham,who do a lot of places for bright children who need bursaries, and or sponsorship.

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