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To think this is a ridiculous reason for requesting a voluntary payment

(110 Posts)
NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 06-May-16 09:38:26

A school local to me has been in te local paper because it is requesting a voluntary contribution towards GCSE exams the suggested donation is £40 something pounds per exam or the average cost of a child's exams.

It's a grammar school.
The head is quoted in the paper as saying "we receive next to no pupil premium or additional learning support funds like other schools do"

Then going on to explain that because they don't have this they are on a tighter budget than other schools.

The only 'additional learning support funds' I can think of are SEN/ECHP funds and my understanding of PP funding is that if you have the kids who qualify then you get it (same as the ECHP funding).

It seams very silly that a educated headmaster would not realise that if he does not get the funding this means he does not have the kids who qualify in his school and then winge about it.

If he did have it would he use it to fund the GCSEs and then the kids who need it would not have it used for them?

Junosmum Fri 06-May-16 10:09:12

What?! The school wants parents to make donations for doing gcses?

mumeeee Fri 06-May-16 10:12:23

YANBU. Parents should not be asked to pay for their children's GCSE's

acasualobserver Fri 06-May-16 10:15:44

This government seeks to reduce the cost of education to the state. Expect more stories like this.

AgeingArtemis Fri 06-May-16 10:18:46

I went to a private school and we had to pay for our GCSEs, I thought it was standard?

whois Fri 06-May-16 10:21:11

They get no additional support because I bet they only take in nice and clever middle class children, being a grammar!

ReallyTired Fri 06-May-16 10:21:34

If the school has tiny numbers of Sen/ pupil premium children then it does not need the funds.

Maybe the grammar school need to think how it can make itself accessible to bright pupil premium kids. Maybe 5% of places should be reserved for kids on free school meals. I am sure it would not reduce standards if bright pupil premium kids only had to complete against each other rather than children who have tutoring/ attend private schools.

Shock horror! The grammar school would be giving bright kids from a low income background a leg up as originally intended. The school then would get pupil premium money.

MattDillonsPants Fri 06-May-16 10:23:34

Artemis you do realise that Grammar schools are not private?

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 06-May-16 10:23:36

Paying for the GCSE's is not my issue

What is is using the excuse that you don't have lots of lovely funding because you don't have kids from very poor households or LAC (think they qualify for PP) or kids with additional needs.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 06-May-16 10:23:51

If you don't ask you don't get. Fine have a grumble but just don't pay it.

t4gnut Fri 06-May-16 10:24:21

School budgets have been hammered (yes if you voted tory last time it is your fault).

However, examination entries should have been budgeted for adequately long in advance. This is poor financial management. And if he thinks low PP is the reason then he's an absolute twat.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 06-May-16 10:25:20

If they want this funding they should make the school more accessible to children who qualify for it.

t4gnut Fri 06-May-16 10:29:57

What does the idiot think PP is normally spent on? It ain't GCSE entries!

School has to publish how it uses PP to meet the needs of those pupils entitled to it.

He's a pillock.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 06-May-16 10:33:42

If you don't ask you don't get. Fine have a grumble but just don't pay it

My kids don't even go there! All my kids are in indie schools and I'm more than happy to pay for any exams.

I just think he's been a bit of a tosser not noticing why his school has no kids that qualify. Not wanting these kids in his school to start with but then moaning about missing out on the funding those kids come with.

It would be a bit like me bitching because one of my none disabled kids does not qualify for DLA and doing it in the local paper whilst being in charge of educating kids.

catslife Fri 06-May-16 10:35:19

As the PP has suggested PP and additional learning funding has to be specifically spent on those children who qualify for it. so it can't be used for GCSE entries or any other activity for all children.
They may have less money than other schools, but one of the main responsibilities of a Head is to make sure that the school spends and allocated its budget wisely.

herecomethepotatoes Fri 06-May-16 10:37:30

No harm in asking.

If they want this funding they should make the school more accessible to children who qualify for it.

At my school, if you were predicted below a c you had to pay for your own exam and were an external candidate. That's how they published amazing results and charged parents a fortune in fees.

AyeAmarok Fri 06-May-16 10:37:56

Agree, they should try and get children from poor backgrounds etc in if they want PP.

But then they'd have to spend the money to help them with their issues, it's not just "free money" to subsidise all the other children, which the head doesn't seem to understand

Envigi Fri 06-May-16 10:41:20

Even if they had kids eligible for the funding, the money wouldn't be used for GCSE entires, can't believe the head went to the papers and actually said that, I get they might need funding because of all the cuts but he should have addressed it differently

RaeSkywalker Fri 06-May-16 10:42:05

I did 10 GCSEs. Some of my friends did 11 or 12. A lot of subjects had more than 1 exam though- so they're asking for well over £500 per pupil as a suggested donation hmm

MyKingdomForBrie Fri 06-May-16 10:43:12

My grammar school was like this, hideously underfunded (15 years ago..) we had some of the same text books my mum had used at the school (I know because her name was in them) tennis rackets and other sporting equipment at least ten years out of date because they couldn't afford new! My brother went to the local comp and they had everything of the very latest and no expense spared.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 06-May-16 10:43:42


A C or below pupil wouldn't even get near the gate of this school, and I know of at least 2 SEN kids who were forbidden from using scribes during the 11+ exam held on the premises (but will say they did provide a single room and did allow regular breaks)

CremeBrulee Fri 06-May-16 10:47:55

I agree the reasoning given is nonsensical, the head teacher should never have mentioned lack of pupil premium funding.

However I think the idea of asking parents to pay for GCSE entries on a voluntary basis is a good one as long it is made clear that it is a voluntary contribution towards the costs.

sparechange Fri 06-May-16 10:49:32

My state sixth form college did something similar.
Any students who it deemed to be 'not trying hard enough' in Upper Sixth had to pay for their A-level exams (including those doing well but not doing as well as the teachers thought they could)

They loosely justified it by saying it was to motivate students to work harder, but it ended up being a sizeable chunk of the year who ended up having to pay.

We also suspected it was to allow them to manipulate the league tables, because self-paying students could be counted as independent students ( like home ed kids who have to take the actual exam in an invigilated setting) and therefore discounted from the results table.

dailyfailrag Fri 06-May-16 10:53:41

Will nobody think of the 'squeezed middle' and their problems? What do you want this headmaster to do - start admitting poor children? Pft. The parents need to cough up.

carabos Fri 06-May-16 10:55:30

DS1 was at an independent school right through to 18. We were never asked to pay exam fees.

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