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Private school plumbs new depths

(134 Posts)
Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 15:16:03

Well. I have browsed many a thread here about the depths that Queen Ethelburger's school/faculty/college will go to in the quest for pupils.

Here I am, one of the people least likely ever to use a private school, and today they sent me a mail shot.

My jaw hit the deck when I saw inside it a list, by full name, of their leavers, together with their university destination and course, and full A level results.

Would anyone here ever send their DC to a school that sent that information out to randoms? Really? Here is my email to them, but I am wondering whether I should also report them elsewhere. Has any other Guardian-reading southerners been sent this rubbish?

I am horrified that you have mail shot me. My children are far too important to me to take the risk of educating them in any school that needs to send out mail shots to people who have never expressed any interest in your school.

However, as a teacher and parent, I am even more horrified that you sent the names, A-level grades and current university of your leavers in a mailing. This alone shows me that you have no respect for the personal data of your pupils and show scant regard for the most basic safeguarding procedures. You can show destinations without names, you know. Any good school or college can do this. 

Do not contact me again. I am a member of the mailing preference service. Do not pass my data on to any other organisation. The reference on your envelope was jhjhjhjhjhjhjhjhj Please confirm my email that you have deleted my details and that they will not be passed on. I would also be interested to know where you got my address from.

mumblechum1 Sat 24-Nov-12 15:17:51

Isn't that a breach of the DPA?

Wandastartup Sat 24-Nov-12 15:23:28

I had it too- just wondered if it had come from mumsnet?

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 15:24:58

I've never posted on one of their threads, though, and Mumsnet doesn't have my home address. Talk about a stalkers' passport, though. Really worrying.

difficultpickle Sat 24-Nov-12 15:30:30

Caldicott (top boys prep school) publish leavers destinations by boys' names. I've always been a bit hmm but it at least informs me that ds needs to have a Chinese surname to be a King's Scholar at Eton grin.

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 15:37:40

That is just shocking. It's putting DCs on an advertising hoarding. Tacky.

But those former pupils are now outside the school, at uni. And easily identifiable by randoms. Sheesh.

LadyMaryChristmas Sat 24-Nov-12 15:39:39

I really doubt mumsnet HQ would have given this place your contact details, Wanda! grin Sounds like a mail shot. They may be short of pupils.

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 15:40:49

They clearly are, if they're mailing me.

difficultpickle Sat 24-Nov-12 15:46:11


LadyMaryChristmas Sat 24-Nov-12 15:46:32

Seriously, they wouldn't do that. Wouldn't it breach the data protection act for a start?

Xenia Sat 24-Nov-12 15:48:12

It is our local state schools - comps - who pick the few - saty 4 only children with remotely decent A levels. They put a photo up of the poor things and say where they are going. It is almost amusing as often their grades are nothing like all the good private schools so it is in effect an advert about inadequacy of local schools without the state schools realising it.

Many parents want to see destinations of leavers. Sutton trust has lists

If you go to page 235 or 29 of this pdf you can see the best schools in the country for destinations which wonderfully have my daughters' schools in the top 5. However an individual school can only name pupils with consent. Many such schools in both sectors seek such consent.

Believe it or not a parent and the child may want to show off little Johnny got AAAA and a place at Oxford to read medicine.

picturesinthefirelight Sat 24-Nov-12 15:53:18

All the schools state and private in my area publish this information in the local papers often accompanied by photos of smiling 6th formers waving pieces of paper

Can't see the problem.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sat 24-Nov-12 15:57:18

To mail shot is not a verb.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 24-Nov-12 15:57:26

I've just been around a load of secondary schools. Several of them provide full lists of leavers' full names, and university destinations. It's not a mail shot, but it's handed out to anyone who wanders in on an Open Day.

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 16:09:50

In all of the cases above, the data is provided for people who have explicitly requested information on the school. Local paper? Sure - but it's tomorrow's chip wrappers. Mail shot to gawd knows who? Different league.

Yes, thank you: I am well aware that I have coined "to mail shot" as a nice new verb. grin

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 16:14:52

In both the private and state schools where I have taught, the destinations data was always anonymised. None of them struggle to get excellent pupils.

Why do their names need to be there at all? It's as easy to lie with a list of names as it is a list of destinations.

IShallWearMidnight Sat 24-Nov-12 16:15:24

DH got this, I wondered what mailing list he'd got himself onto grin. Admittedly we have a DD in Y6, but we live in the SE, so if we'd been planning on sending her to board at age 11, we'd have been sorting it out before now. Do they have money to waste mailshooting totally random families?

breatheslowly Sat 24-Nov-12 16:15:30

I got one of those mailshots too. I have no idea where they got my details and it was in the bin until now. I doubt I will send DD there in the near future as she is only 2. I found the league table they made up at the front of independent co-ed day and boarding schools quite funny as they have split the school in two to enable them to put the more academic pupils into one school higher up the league tables than the other. I would be furious if my A level grades, university destination and name were published in this way.

Mintyy Sat 24-Nov-12 16:17:10

"It is our local state schools - comps - who pick the few - saty 4 only children with remotely decent A levels. They put a photo up of the poor things and say where they are going. It is almost amusing as often their grades are nothing like all the good private schools so it is in effect an advert about inadequacy of local schools without the state schools realising it."

That really is an exceptionally poor, even unfathomable, sentence from you Xenia. Hopefully the outstandingly expensive schools you sent your dc to have done a better job on their education.

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 16:17:46

Lots of us on the list, then. They must be really, really desperate for pupils if they're taking so little trouble to target their mailings.

Glad I'm not alone in finding it distasteful.

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 16:18:44

I'm looking for the "like" button for Minty's post. Vintage Xenia!

LadyMaryChristmas Sat 24-Nov-12 16:19:30

Are you all in that area? wink They may be working their way through the telephone directory.

hf128219 Sat 24-Nov-12 16:20:26

Yo can usually find this info on any school web site.

Lemonsole Sat 24-Nov-12 16:35:56

LadyMary - not in the phone book. Wouldn't put it past Jonnie Boden to flog addresses.

The info is usually anonymised on websites. All schools publish it - I've got no beef with that. It's the full list that makes them contactable via their university department, combined with it all being sent unsolicited to Randoms, that leaves me feeling rather uneasy.

LadyMaryChristmas Sat 24-Nov-12 16:39:52

Some companies do pass on addresses to third parties. You have to look at the small print and usually you have to opt out.

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