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Two tier education within state schools?

(82 Posts)
Katapolt Fri 27-May-16 22:34:13

DD is starting state secondary in September.

We are not well off, I'm a single parent of three DC.

The school is very big on drama and performing arts, which DD loves.

Reading through the welcome pack today there is a performing arts school during school hours. Pupils attend during normal lesson hours.

Most of the pupils attend, it has lots of benefits apparently, extra ucas points being one and getting further ahead in the subject being another.

The problem is it is £300 a year...

I just feel it's giving pupils of wealthier families a distinct advantage in the subject. fair enough having a club after school, but this is during the school day.


myownprivateidaho Fri 27-May-16 22:36:13

Yanbu, but I'd check whether there's a hardship fund or similar.

OwlinaTree Fri 27-May-16 22:38:54

Is your child pp? Maybe the school could meet the costs out of that funding?

ReallyTired Fri 27-May-16 22:39:02

If you are entitled to pupil premium then you might get the club paid for.

It's weird the club is during the school day, but I suppose it's no different to paying for music lessons.

OwlinaTree Fri 27-May-16 22:39:35

YANBU btw. £300 is ridiculous!

Katapolt Fri 27-May-16 22:40:54

Thanks, yes she does get pupil premium.

I just feel that the performing arts is a big part of the school and yet it's only fully accessible if you can afford to pay for it.

With 3 DC it would be almost £1000 a year shock

Balletgirlmum Fri 27-May-16 22:41:48

It is incredibly cheap depending on the hours per week.
I was paying over £400 per term for dds dsnce, drama singing etc.

CalleighDoodle Fri 27-May-16 22:42:08

It is less than £8 a school week so yes just like a music lesson. Can you not stretch to that?

CalleighDoodle Fri 27-May-16 22:43:07

It is also getting quite rare. So many schools dont have a performing arts department at all anymore.

Katapolt Fri 27-May-16 22:44:50

For one child I could likely stretch if I budgeted hard, but what about the other two?

I think state school should be an even playing field and that the school shouldn't really be operating a paid for subject 'exceleration' during school hours for those who can afford it.

timescrossword Fri 27-May-16 22:47:19

I agree. It stinks angry

CalleighDoodle Fri 27-May-16 23:23:46

Are all three going to be there this year?

acasualobserver Fri 27-May-16 23:35:49

You make a very fair point, OP. As a teacher, I often used to think about this in terms of private tuition. Some parents could stump up several hundred pounds for 1:1 lessons, lots couldn't - definitely a two-tier arrangement.

BackforGood Fri 27-May-16 23:50:28

I'm confused. If this is in lesson time, what do the dc who don't / can't pay, do ? confused
If it's an extra (like peripetetic music lessons) then its fair enough - possibly even a good deal, depending on how long they get / if its group or individual, etc.

I mean, life isn't fair. Perfect world we could all get everything we want for free, but that's not how life is.

sazza76 Sat 28-May-16 00:07:42

All schools should have a hardship fund and use of pupil premium budget so it doesn't turn into a 2 tier system. Have a chat with the head teacher

andintothefire Sat 28-May-16 02:10:53

I agree OP - it is completely unfair. I also think that private music lessons should be open to all students and not just those who can pay. How can we encourage the talented musicians and actors of tomorrow (from all backgrounds) if we limit opportunities to a few? If I were the government I would try to find a way to find music lessons on a 1:1 basis for every child who wanted them.

Hopefully you will be OK with PP but it still doesn't help those families who don't qualify but for various reasons can't afford that amount of money for all their children.

Katapolt Sat 28-May-16 07:24:08

Just checked, pupil premium doesn't cover it.

I'm really unhappy actually, especially considering it's a faith school and one of their hallmarks is 'The active promotion of equality and diversity and addressing any evidence of discrimination' angry

Teacherontherun Sat 28-May-16 07:30:36

I am responsible for pp funding allocation in my school and we always pay for music lessons and 1to1 maths/language tuition fees. I would first of all go on the school website and look at the pp policy-by law they must have on available. Then go back and ask for a contribution from the fund. I am sorry but at 900+ per student your child has a right to some contribution! Unfortunately there are some excellent examples of school using the funding well but so many absorb it into school fubds and blag their way with accounting for it

BertrandRussell Sat 28-May-16 07:33:52

How does it actually work? Is it at lunchtime?

Katapolt Sat 28-May-16 07:37:46

No, the pupils have a timetable and have the drama top up instead of mainstream lessons every week.

BertrandRussell Sat 28-May-16 07:38:59

So what happens to the ones that can't pay?

BoGrainger Sat 28-May-16 07:40:46

And what are they missing in the 'normal' day?

BoGrainger Sat 28-May-16 07:41:48

I thought the parents had some say in how pp was used.

Katapolt Sat 28-May-16 07:45:21

"If payment is not received your child will be removed from the timetable and partners will be reallocated".......

BertrandRussell Sat 28-May-16 07:46:26

What has the school said about it?

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