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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.

maddening Sat 23-Feb-13 19:01:36

I went to a selective school at secondary and the only difference from the ones that had come from the juniors private was they had done French.

countrykitten Sat 23-Feb-13 17:46:16

You are right - I should have qualified that rather better.

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 17:41:33

I find it hard to believe you'd choose a poor indie over a good state school confused

countrykitten Sat 23-Feb-13 16:50:38

And in my middle para I meant good state and poor state vs good indie vs poor indie not state vs indie necessarily.

countrykitten Sat 23-Feb-13 16:38:27

I would not be too concerned that she is not in private ed at this stage. There are very many excellent primary schools in the UK and it seems that she and you are happy with where she is so all good.

I would be looking to senior school if I were you - if you are still keen, try and get her in at 11. It is at this level that the differences between schools (state or indie) start to have a big impact.

I am pleased confused to see the usual anti private school propaganda on here that you usually encounter on MN - it is a shame. Having taught in both sectors I have to say that I would choose indie over state every time so I understand your disappointment.

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 15:56:30

I had to sit down when I bought ds's uniform for his new school. I was gobsmacked at how expensive it is. If you have a good primary school then I would stay there and consider private for secondary school. Fees are higher so qualifying bursary levels will be higher too.

expatinscotland Sat 23-Feb-13 15:49:00

YABU. Plenty of time, too, to save for secondary schools if you want to go indpendent.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 15:45:31

That's fine - I know all this really. The uniform is so sweet though <sob>

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 15:39:17

Apologies if I came over as a bit unfeeling.

My friend from nursery put her DC into prep while I put mine into state. Both our DCs now ride the same bus to the same selective school.

Ok, her DC had smaller classes than mine but since my DC wasn't struggling, that wasn't an issue. Ok she went through a book a week at school but I compensated by reading with DC every night.

Your DC is bright, she goes to a good primary, she has two educated parents who are obviously involved. It's nowhere near the end of the world.

Secondary school is where you get more bang for your bucks and it's where you should plan ahead for in terms of saving money. A good prep just gives you bragging rights about DC's reading level smile

Dozer Sat 23-Feb-13 14:46:04

Is good that DD isn't too bothered by it all.

If this school hadn't awarded a bursary to the DC with the wealthy grandparents, they still probably wouldn't have given your DD the level of bursary you want, they may have given it to someone else, as another poster has said they may advertise the possibility of 100% bursaries but hardly ever award them.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:45:48

neither can I !!! Don't beat yourself up. We all want what's best for our kids it's natural - we have a saying in our house - no one is better than you, just temporarily faster, richer, happier (insert as necessary)

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:44:57

emin receives it gratefully and shuffles off stage left..

amck5700 Sat 23-Feb-13 14:44:09

amck5700 passes a grip to eminemmerdale

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:42:57

and I clearly can't spell half the time!!

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:42:09

Not really appropriate to the thread but it's a lot to do with my mother and her belief that we should be 'better' than everyone - I feel like a fool having thought we could get her there and now it's all come to nothing. I went to a superb state school and dh went to Grammar in a differnt part of the country - i missed out on the 11+ by a year here. He says I am over reacting massivlely and I most probably am. I need to get a grip and get on with it.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:42:06

Dont think you are delusional maybe a bit naive - I am a cup half empty type of person, so, although we knew DD could get a 50percent scholarship for her sport - we worked on the premise of her getting 25 as we thought that was more realistic.

Now you know what is realistically available maybe you could look again for next year smile.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:38:41

I know I know I know - sorry sad

TiffIsKool Sat 23-Feb-13 14:36:22

OP - Let me get this straight. Your DC is 7. Your state primary is the best in the city. Both you and your DH are graduates, him being a Cambridge grad. And DC is 'stupidly clever'.

93% of the population are in state schools. Many are in schools that aren't that brilliant and have parents that aren't particularly well educated or involved in their children's education.

Sorry OP but I can't get worked up over your situation.

BoffinMum Sat 23-Feb-13 14:35:47

I am in and out of state and private schools all the time, and the teaching varies a lot in both, depending on the quality of the head etc. Paying for something does not necessarily mean it's better, and just because it's free at the point of use does not necessarily mean it's crap. However one thing does matter and that is how many bright, engaged kids there are in a school. If there's a critical mass, then other bright kids do fine.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:33:03

Actually dd is a lot less concerned than I am! And had we got the full bursary we had worked out the extras, and could have done it. It's not the other child I am bothered about, it was the blatant crowing by the parents that they had, (to my mind at least, I know many people have and will disagree with me,) pretty much got money from the school pot that needs to be stretched, by false pretences. I was actually very quiet about the whole procedure, a few close friends knew we were doing it and dd did discuss the times she had spent at the school with her friends of course - when we told her that she had passed the exam and was certainly clever enough to go but sadly we didn't have enough money, she was a bit cross for a while but then satrted talking about what she will be doing in year 3 at her current school. It's more me and my 'delusions' I guess grin

difficultpickle Sat 23-Feb-13 14:23:17

Ds's school apparently offers 100% bursaries but when I enquired I was told that they couldn't remember the last time they'd actually awarded one. I didn't enquire any further as I'm pretty sure my income would be above any bursary level for prep school. However I shall definitely be applying for senior school as ds wants to go to a full boarding school and there is no way I can afford that level of fees.

Feelingood Sat 23-Feb-13 14:21:50

I too think you should have priced what you must know to be expensive even with a bursery to see if you could afford it. Before you went to visit even. I think it's terrible you've out your dd through all that for nothing.

I don't understand why you are so bothered about other child either.

eminemmerdale Sat 23-Feb-13 14:18:24

We don't have grammars in this area - they were abolished in 1974 - until I joined mumsnet, I really didn't know they still existed!! But yes, there are some great schools around here.

lonnika Sat 23-Feb-13 14:14:28

Who suggested it to you ? Can i also say - playing devils advocate that if my parents we paying my child's fees because we couldn't afford them and someone else with similar finances to ours got a full bursary I would be annoyed and feel unfairly treated. As others have said look carefully at your options for when she us 11 - a grammar wold be ideal by the sounds of it x

Dozer Sat 23-Feb-13 14:12:06

Although it sounds OP as though you have good state schools for your DD, which although not your preferred option is a good position to be in.

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