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AIBU to think it's unfair DS didn't get a scholarship?

(31 Posts)
parksidewestley Thu 15-Sep-16 16:24:17

DS is very athletic and smart. He has always been very intelligent and was one of the top children in his class (not a stealth boast!) He plays relatively highly in a particular sport and is in competition teams for 2 others. We went for a scholarship at a private school, but didn't realise that the prep school attached to it practise for the exams from Year 3 confused specifically for scholarships and prepare them for it. I don't see how that's fair. He scored very well in his athletic assessment but not so well in the academic side of things, he did very well but obviously not the best, due to being so unfamiliar with the exams they set, unlike the children who got the scholarships (the 2 that got it already attend the school hmm) he also didn't do certain technique they were looking for in a sport, yet this special technique is only something they look for and the children who go to the school are already told what it is and practice it angry

19lottie82 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:29:06

I understand why you feel he may be disadvantaged, but that's life I'm afraid. Plus I'm sure they will have had to offer a certain number of scholarships to those who didn't attend the prep school, so I'm afraid you'll just have to accept, no matter how intellegent he is, there were others who performed better than him..... Sorry.

fussygalore118 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:30:02

We are looking at private school for DD going into year 7 which offers scholarships, ..these scholarships are open to all children ( external and those already attending the school) I have no doubt that there is a lot of prep work going on to prepare for them. We have our DD doing past papers and seeing a tutor weekly in readiness ( mainly because I don't want her freaking out in the exams! ( 3 x 1 hour and 1 x 40 min exams).

Did you do no preparation?

ToxicLadybird Thu 15-Sep-16 16:30:13

In my experience the kids who win scholarships like this would win them whether they were tutored or not.

NataliaOsipova Thu 15-Sep-16 16:30:58

Being a bit cynical, this is probably how they sell the prep school....!

parksidewestley Thu 15-Sep-16 16:34:06

We did a little bit of prep, but couldn't do papers, as they have their own set one, so we looked at some GCSE work, etc.

It was an odd paper.

The sports was assessed in an odd way, it was an academic/sports scholarship which had 75% fees paid! sad

Yeah, I know they performed better, it's just a bit disappointing at how much prep they get!

Good luck to your DD

fussygalore118 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:34:33

I think you are right toxic.

I don't think my daughter will get a scholarship..I just want her to understand what she will be faced with on the exam front ( entrance and scholarship exams are one and the same for our school choice) .

Whynotnowbaby Thu 15-Sep-16 16:34:54

What prep did you do with him? What things came up that you couldn't possibly have anticipated? Were there no past papers available? If you just sent him in for a scholarship exam with no preparation I'm not sure why you're surprised that those who did prepare did better and yabu but if there was a paper on something like Latin that he was very unlikely to know about unless he went to that school then yanbu.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 15-Sep-16 16:36:50

But surely you did verbal and nonverbal reasoning papers etc.

parksidewestley Thu 15-Sep-16 16:37:02

Well, the science paper was a bit ridiculous.

At his state primary, there were no use of Bunsen burners or anything like that, he just watched plants grow, etc. This science paper seemed like what I sat for my GCSE Chemistry!

fussygalore118 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:37:09

Cheers park...that's a great scholarship 75%!
DD is only 25%fees. I'm not hopeful
she's bright but works hard much the same I'm sure as most kids! ..

2014newme Thu 15-Sep-16 16:37:12

What was the value of the scholarship? Some can be as low as 5% of fees.
Can he still go the school?
Unfortunately you are a little naive to think that being one if the top ones in his school would enable him to beat similarly academic children who gave been coached for the exam. Sorry.

NerrSnerr Thu 15-Sep-16 16:38:12

I hate to say that you get what you pay for. The parents of the prep school would have paid thousands a year and part of that would be an expectation that they do well at the entrance tests.

FreckledLeopard Thu 15-Sep-16 16:38:52

One thing to point out and apologies if you know this already, but have you enquired about bursaries if things may be financially difficult? These are totally different from scholarships and not based on academic or sporting merit in the same way.

parksidewestley Thu 15-Sep-16 16:41:54

No, we didn't do those kinds of papers...

We didn't look at bursaries either!

akkakk Thu 15-Sep-16 16:42:35

Sorry to hear this, and can understand how it feels unfair - possibly the best option if hoping to apply for a scholarship is to talk to the school about what they are looking for / ask for sample old papers / ask what your child might not have covered in their school / etc. Most schools would be very happy to provide that as they want the best children - they don't want the tests to disadvantage some, but the school can't control the environment for those not at its prep, so the parents must...

That might have helped in understanding the techniques they would have sought in the sport / the academic levels across different subjects etc.

WankersHacksandThieves Thu 15-Sep-16 17:03:01

im very limited e, if he was talented enough at the sport thenthe results of his tests wouldn't really matter, they'd work round it. I know a child that was bottom of the class in a not very academic rough state primary school and sat the entrance exam several times and failed it completely for a private school. Parents don't have a pot to piss in. Child however is likely to end up playing internationally at his sport.

He got full scholarship and bursary.

unfortunately OP I think your child must not be quite good enough from either academic or sporting ability in order for them to discount the other from their reasoning. Jack of all trades in a way.

Hoppinggreen Thu 15-Sep-16 17:15:49

Might just be a one off with that school both children who got the academic scholarships at my DD's school did NOT come from the prep.
The exam did involve burners and other things DD hadn't done at Primary but she said a lot of it was common sense. Her 11+ prep helped as well I think

YawningKasm Thu 15-Sep-16 17:26:39

We went for a scholarship at a private school, but didn't realise that the prep school attached to it practise for the exams from Year 3 confused specifically for scholarships and prepare them for it. I don't see how that's fair

Welcome to world of neo-liberal choice.

By going private, you're buying into into a system which gives those with socio-economic advantage economic advantage as well. YOu can hardly complain when it doesn't go your way.

There is nothing "fair" about an education system which is divided by the ability to pay. You're just learning that.

exexpat Thu 15-Sep-16 17:27:33

That school sounds unusual - the ones I have experience with seem to use scholarships as a way of attracting very able new children to the school, so more of the scholarships (academic, sport, music etc) go to outside candidates than internal ones, who are likely to stay at the school anyway.

The children at DD's school did no preparation for the scholarship exams in the junior school, and in any case the exams were standard verbal/non-verbal reasoning type papers, plus creative writing, so did not need much specialist preparation. The school dropped the maths paper from the scholarship tests a few years ago to make it more of a level playing field for children from state schools, and from what I have heard of the sports scholarship assessment, it is based on general athleticism, coordination etc rather than skill at a specific sport.

It sounds like for some reason the school you applied to wants to favour internal candidates for the senior school scholarships - does it have a problem with the most able children leaving after the prep school to go elsewhere?

I hope you found a better school for him.

ItsJustNotRight Thu 15-Sep-16 17:44:13

If you support a selective system it is clear there will be winners and losers. If you support a system that restricts entry based on wealth, talent or intelligence don't come crying if you are told you are not rich, talented or intelligent enough to join. Don't cry that it's not a level playing field because it never is. The whole point of private and selective education is to give its pupils advantages over others. Unfortunately on this occasion you are on the losing side, the private school pupils had the advantage. Why are you surprised?

Witchend Thu 15-Sep-16 17:53:47

Actually in my experience they'll be much more likely to give them to one who didn't go to the prep, even if they didn't do as well, because the chances are the prep children will still go to the school. Whereas with your ds there's a good chance he'll be applying to others and will go elsewhere if he likes it better or they get a better deal.

Similarly with siblings.
My dsis got a scholarship.
They admitted they wouldn't give one to me because they would be pretty certain I would go anyway. With dbro dm made lots of hints of preferring a rival and hey presto he got one too.

yabvu Thu 15-Sep-16 17:54:59

I hate to say that you get what you pay for. The parents of the prep school would have paid thousands a year and part of that would be an expectation that they do well at the entrance tests.

Yes. At the senior school attached to my sons' prep, children from the prep are given a 'bonus' when sitting the senior school entrance exam. Private schools are a business and making the fees at prep more attractive long term is a perfectly reasonable strategy.

I believe that only state schooled children can apply for scholarships either academic, sports or arts.

There is nothing "fair" about an education system which is divided by the ability to pay. You're just learning that.

The same can be said of catchment areas or faith schools. There is nothing fair about a world which is divided by the ability to pay. Surely no adult is still learning that.

@OP - your son lost out to stronger student. As frustrating as that may be, with his intellectual and sporting prowess, I've no doubt he'll go far in life no matter what school tie he wears.

oldlaundbooth Thu 15-Sep-16 17:56:50

Would you have said it was odd if he'd have been offered a scholarship?

HereIAm20 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:58:10

Most schools have sample past papers on their website and we just printed those off for our son to practice before the actual exam. This was so he was used to the format and the time limit.

There were questions that were age appropriate and some other harder questions towards the end to separate out the gifted from the prepared!

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