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To think most schools (state and private) have an element of financial selection in this country?

(18 Posts)
goodnessgracious Sat 08-Nov-14 13:45:50

Lately I have been hearing so many people moaning about private schooling. Lots of different arguments against them, including how snobby the schools are or how they give unfair advantage etc.

I hear these moans sometimes from parents, many of whom have spend huge sums of money to buy in catchment of an outsanding state. Is this not a bit 'pot kettle black'?

AIBU to not understand how people can complain about private school pupils having unfair advantage when many state school children also have an unfair advantage depending upon where their parent(s) can afford to live?

FyreFly Sat 08-Nov-14 13:48:34

Of course they do, it's just easier to go after private schools and make it an "us and them" thing because they are "other".

A good state grammar in a nice suburb is totally at odds with a failing inner city comp. Until the state sector is completely equal, with the same quality across the country, getting rid of private schools would be an exercise in futility.

forago Sat 08-Nov-14 13:49:46


redexpat Sat 08-Nov-14 13:51:01

Another one of these?

Not all schools have a catchment area. Some LEAs use a lottery system to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of getting into popular schools.

TsukuruTazaki Sat 08-Nov-14 13:52:54


It's easy for people to get on their soap box about how they morally only use comprehensive schools and how awful and divisive they think private schools or grammar schools are when they can afford to live in catchment of outstanding state schools.

Many of them would be singing a different tune if their choice was a poorly performing problem comprehensive or send the DC private.

There is a lot of hypocrisy around.

juneau Sat 08-Nov-14 13:52:55

No, YANBU. There are so many ways to gain privilege in this life. Private school is one. Buying a house within the catchment of a great state school is another.

Thrif Sat 08-Nov-14 13:53:48

I agree. At least with private people admit they're buying an advantage for their children.

I really don't understand why living close to a school is seen as the fairest way to decide places. I agree it's the most practical and it would be good if all schools were good enough that the nearest school to home was always the best proposition but why does having enough money to buy/rent a house by the best schools make it fairer than any other selection method?

goodnessgracious Sat 08-Nov-14 13:54:10


I said most, not all.

vickibee Sat 08-Nov-14 13:54:37

A school serves it's local community especially primary, most people want to live close to their schools and it would be ludicrous to travel miles when you have a school on your doorstep.

MarshaBrady Sat 08-Nov-14 13:55:12

Sure and London is pretty crazy now, with state school catchments getting smaller and the house prices close enough getting higher.

OddBoots Sat 08-Nov-14 13:58:39

How do we balance that out though? Lotteries that cause more school run traffic? School funding inversely proportional to catchment housing cost?

MarshaBrady Sat 08-Nov-14 14:03:14

I know, I wouldn't say lotteries are the answer in London. So chaotic and makes it harder to plan things in advance.

The whole outstanding thing though, I wonder if that throws things off even more. People who can buy up around those schools and skew it further. Not sure.

Andrewofgg Sat 08-Nov-14 14:18:15

Andrew's formulation:

It is socially divisive and unfair to give your children advantages in education which teachers can't generally provide.

So fees are out; so, probably, is buying in the right area; but having the house full of books and encouraging children to learn are in.

Thrif Sat 08-Nov-14 14:24:01

That's the thing though isn't it Andrew. A house full of books and parents interested in their learning give some children an unfair advantage over others too.

Actually, that's the main way parents give their children advantages. Unless you're going to send them to the very top public schools where their classmates are likely to be future Prime Ministers, most children's outcomes will be much the same whatever school they go to IMO. It's the support they get at home which makes the most difference.

SnapeChat Sat 08-Nov-14 14:24:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MrsHathaway Sat 08-Nov-14 14:28:14

Yes, it's disingenuous to pretend money plays no part in state admissions.

Our school is a community school in a naice village. No social housing in catchment. Very little renting, even. In a typical year maybe five children are admitted from outside catchment, usually from elsewhere in the village such as the naice new-build estate. FSM is so low they redact the figures.

That said, I went to a primary school with a catchment which was poor on paper, but which was in a university city. A typical family had one academic/university staff/student and one SAHP (ideological probably but also the 1980s/1990s where wraparound care didn't exist) so not loads of money, but fairly ethnically diverse and very committed to education.

So money doesn't tell the full picture.

skylark2 Sat 08-Nov-14 14:30:33

I'm trying to think of a single activity in this country which doesn't have some element of financial selection.

Even with an organisation like Scouts which is very good at funding kids who can't afford fees or uniforms, it's always going to be cheaper not to go.

goodnessgracious Sat 08-Nov-14 14:43:52

Well I was expecting a very different response. I see such scathing comments on here sometimes regarding private education.

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