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Are The Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph for real?

(38 Posts)
Erebus Mon 18-Feb-13 19:26:34


It continually stuns me how we are supposed to believe that private education is so amazingly fantastic for The Country, how we should all revere and support it- when the reasons include the widely held beliefs that, for instance:

-State schools must learn from private schools (um- like how to ensure your quality by excluding 93% of possible candidates due to lack of money? By interviewing each and every child and their parents? Like making sure there are no SN DC in a class, with 'oh, we couldn't provide for them so they must go elsewhere'; Like providing scholarships to ensure you can poach the best academically performing DC from the state sector in order to boost your league table position; like providing small classes filled with the similarly abled DC of like-minded families- NOT overlooking the tremendous 'social diversity' brought in by Chinese (middle class) children, and Indian (middle class) children, of course....). Yup, I reckon my DSs school could do very well if it were permitted to choose its intake.

-That it is an affront to the natural order of things, that somewhere along the line, Russell Group unis have had to recognise that 'well-tutored' doesn't necessarily mean 'The Best'. It may have been politically engineered (being allowed to charge £9K p.a), mind, rather than altruistically minded.... but they are having to recognise some hard truths.

I am genuinely mystified as to why it is that such clever, so often privately educated themselves commentators cannot see how stupid they come across as when they decry that of course the RG unis must only choose on raw A level score (plus more or less professionally written Personal Statements) coming from brimmingly confident 17 year olds well tutored in interview technique, often by (moonlighting?) university admissions officers in order to ensure they get The Best students whilst also acknowledging that that many, many DC from these private schools may very well be B grade students hand-fed and nurtured, and tutored, and guided towards that A, therefore may not necessarily be 'as good' as the A grader DC from an 'average' comp who had to sit through 5-7 years of low level disruption, a very mixed class academically, 30 DC in that class and so forth.

I would actually have far more time for these people if they came right out and said "I am angry that my DC on whose education I have lavished quarter of a million pounds cannot be more or less guaranteed a Russell Group university place that will, in turn, guarantee them a well paid, influential job that will provide for them the power that will ensure their own offspring benefit, regardless of their actual ability or worth to society".

I have a good friend who plucked her DC from an average state Infant School at 7 to send them £12k p.a. private. Her reason? "I want my children to have the best leg-up in society they can possibly have, we have money, I want to buy them advantage. I want them to shine above other children so they get the opportunities that will guarantee them a comfortable life, a life that allows them to be in powerful positions of choice, an education that buys them confidence- and so be it if others regard that as arrogance"...

"My DH works hard" (presumably unlike the rest of us grin) "to provide this, I expect my DSs to benefit from this so that they, too, have all life's choices before them, and if you (putative- she is my friend!) don't like it, well, work harder and send your children private too." She doesn't work, as an aside grin.... However, she wants to send her DSs to a top-performing state 6th form to maximise their RG chances, incidentally, and is in direct conflict with her DH who feels such spoon fed privately educated boys might disappear sans straight A*s in the maw of the teeming state 6th form thus wants them to continue private to 18.....

I don't like what she says, I don't like her openly playing the system but I have far more time for the blatancy of what she says than this ridiculous 'We must all love private schools because they apparently educate the best which makes us all competitive in the 'global market', etc etc.

Actually, as an aside, I think there'd be considerable less of this apparent anti-private school 'bias' that is allegedly rife if our esteemed 'leaders' weren't proving to be so spectacularly out-of-touch with most peoples lives and weren't all from the upper ends of the private sector themselves!

diabolo Thu 21-Feb-13 10:54:22

From wiki : "The term has its origins in the Romani word chavi, meaning "child"[3][4]. One 2010 book surmised that "chav" was an abbreviation for "council housed and violent";[5] however, this is a backronym".

TotallyBS Thu 21-Feb-13 00:53:42

I always though 'chav' stood for Council House And Vulgar.

We ( in the Midlands) use the term to describe low income people who combine Primark with expensive bling items.

diabolo Wed 20-Feb-13 12:48:04

dapple - where I live a "scrote" is a slang name for any person taking part in criminal behaviour.

I find that far less insulting than "chav" which originates from the Romany word for child I believe. It's a nasty word with lots of nasty assumptions behind it.

What kind of person thinks it's OK to assume I am a snobby hooray Henry for privately educating, and then admits quite happily she pays extra for a private holiday villa to keep away from "chavs"?

Hypocritical in the extreme.

Far worse snobbery from this OP than I ever hear at DS's Prep school.

Copthallresident Wed 20-Feb-13 12:28:22

OP has disappeared since evening of ranting colourful rhetoric. Hasn't come back to engage in any fact based debate. Perhaps wine was involved wink

happygardening Wed 20-Feb-13 10:10:08

Surely dapple both terms are equally offensive and insulting? The OP gets on her high horse about independent ed but without any qualms insults others many I'm sure who can't afford the education she so despises.

Abra1d Wed 20-Feb-13 10:08:10

Scrote means 'scrotum', I believe.

dapplegrey Wed 20-Feb-13 09:57:31

Seeker - are you reading this thread? If so, are you more shaken by the OP referring to people as chavs or by an earlier poster on another thread calling comprehensive pupils scrotes?
Tbh I had never heard the word scrote before so I don't know if it as much of an insult as the word chav.

happygardening Wed 20-Feb-13 08:20:35

OP it is so easy to sit on the internet pontificating and casting chippy aspersions at to why parents choose to send their DC's to independent schools rather than use the local state school.
Im not denying that there are people out there like your friend whose motivations however honest are unsavoury but there are a whole raft of other reasons why people do it some may be as equally unpalatable, some people believe its better and have the money, we wanted super selective environment but also like what a proper boarding school provides and some parents genuinely feel they have no choice because for them their state school option was not viable.
The bad news OP is that many of those children from independent schools who go to RG universities would have gone form a state school as well I'm sorry to shatter you illusion but not all are "distincly average Hugo" with a "polished personal statement". It is by the way completely beyond my comprehension why a state educated child cant also produce a polished personal statement,Is it surprising that people turn to independent ed if its that important?
You also need to look at Nick Cleggs history (i'm not fan I can assure you) . He went to what many justifiably consider the best academic school in the UK with a very long history of academic excellence (unlike Eton who've only become academically selective in the 1990's) he truly knows what it means to be in a school where academic excellence is the norm where there is no limit on what you can achieve. Its hardly surprising that he wishes his DC's (I've no idea whether he has boys or girls) to experience the same thing.

TotallyBS Wed 20-Feb-13 07:21:53

OP - are you sure that your "good friend" said all those things to you or have you merely cut and paste some interview and are now attributing it to personal experience?

I mean, it's a long word for word quote. I'm guessing you don't have a habit of sticking a voice recorder onto a friend or transcribe a conversation, just in case you need to quote them later.

Xenia Tue 19-Feb-13 15:15:04

It si hard to generalise but no one tends to think there child is intrinsically better. It is an IQ think. There are very thick children in the private system who go to schools just about anyone can get into. We all know our local pecking order. There are other private and state grammar schools where most children have no chance of getting into and yes the children there are very bright.

The 7% of us who pay fees tend to find our children do pretty well and most of us are happy to pay fees. If the children are bright they may well go to a good university and if everyone in your school is very clever and all going to the same sort of places that peer pressure on teenagers and high expectations is well worth buying.

However we all know if we have a child who does no work then whatever sector they are in they are not likely to pass any exams.

Nothing wrong with the Telegraph. It writes words of truth on these issues.

You cannot turn a thick child into an A student by just paying fees. Look at Prince Harry's A level grades. It simply cannot be done and parents don't expect it. However some (not all) state schools rae not very good and they may well fail a mediocre child in a way a private school may not. Thus your criticism should be at the uselessness of some state schools in bringing on children who need that encouragement - not criticising those private schools who do well with those children who need extra attention and help. You should be applauding the fact in our private schools we have some of the best schools on the planet in the UK. We are all very proud of them.

diabolo Tue 19-Feb-13 14:32:59

OP - you really shouldn't refer to people as "chavs".

It's not very nice.

And there are children with SEN at all independents I know personally. The schools actually pride themselves on the quality of their SEN provision.

grovel Tue 19-Feb-13 09:42:10

Eton offer places without meeting the parents.

wordfactory Tue 19-Feb-13 09:06:53

OP, people send their DC to rpivate school for all manner of reasons.

And I can absolutely assure you that I am completely in favour of universities using contextualised data.
Some extrememely disadvanatged DC need to have their situation taken into account.
However, if you actually look on web sites, you will see that the contextualised offer is not that much lower, anyway.

Most DC from private schools will still go to Russel Group universities.

Knowsabitabouteducation Tue 19-Feb-13 08:50:45

Jealousy is a terrible thing, op

TotallyBS Tue 19-Feb-13 01:27:16

... typical of indies...

TotallyBS Tue 19-Feb-13 01:25:56

Erebus - waiting for an overseas phone call so I've got a few minutes to spare you.

So many stupid things said so where do I start? How about scholarships? Typically about 3 academic scholarships are offered per year at our school. This number is fairly typical. With an intake of 150 kids the impact of these kids on league tables are negligible so it's a bit stupid to post that indies poach these bright kids so that they can improve their league table rankings.

Copthallresident Tue 19-Feb-13 00:16:59

Erebus I suggest you brief your friend, and quickly that universities do not distinguish between candidates at good state schools and good private schools and that fair access strategies which take into account contextual data are aimed at those who suffer disadvantage as a result of poor schooling, poverty, poor parenting, carer responsibilities, learning difficulties etc. etc. They are perfectly capable of spotting a middle class parent has moved their DC to a good state sixth form which will enable them to achieve good results. The governments new Officer for Fair Access is being won over to change any formal quotas that may be imposed (there are none at present) to reflect the strategies that have been shown to work in terms of levelling the playing field for disadvantaged pupils who go on to perform better than their contemporaries from good state and private schools.

I have to say you come over as quite chippy in your OP. Here's some factual reporting for you to start understanding the rather more complex situation. It's not all black and white.............. And Wouldn't normally link a Tory rag but what it reports is accurate and too late at night to find the Gruniad article wink

I honestly can say that DDs peers got to the universities they should regardless of where they went to school. It isn't all confidence building knowledge cramming in private schools either, some emerge with less confidence than they would have gained if they had been top of the heap in a state school.

TotallyBS Mon 18-Feb-13 22:57:22

And why is it that people who choose to live in predominantly white MC burbs keep going on about how they value diversity and that is why they won't send their kids to a private school?

Schmedz Mon 18-Feb-13 22:36:58

Why is it that the people who are fortunate to live in catchment areas of good or even satisfactory state schools seem the most vehemently opposed to private education and the most ignorant of the myriad of reasons for choosing a particular independent school?

FillyPutty Mon 18-Feb-13 22:35:49

No, erebus, that was the application procedure.

The sum total of research I did prior to applying was:

read Good Schools Guide cover to cover
read school website (probably better than your local comp)
go to Open Day and speak to teachers I was interested in (SENCO, maths, various others)
visit other schools' Open Days for comparison
engage with parents online and offline about the schools and other options
speak to head, SENCO, other teachers of current school
consultation with Educational Psychologist (£595)
investigate assessment procedure, help DS to prepare for it (e.g., prior to interview drill on possible questions/answers, practice test papers, etc.)

Now that my son has a confirmed place I am doing further research prior, potentially, to paying a deposit to confirm the place.

As a matter of fact I applied to various local comps, and I can assure you they didn't require that much parental interest to put them down on the form.

The procedure to get in to the best private schools does filter out less motivated as well as less monied parents for sure, but there was not an interview.

TotallyBS Mon 18-Feb-13 22:29:32

Erebus - you managed to infer that I was aghasted from one sentence? grin

Get over yourself. You said that you never used the word 'snobby'. I merely said that I never claimed that you did.

Erebus Mon 18-Feb-13 22:23:25

filly you selected a school on that?

Bloody hell, our local comp expects a higher degree of parental interest than that!

Erebus Mon 18-Feb-13 22:21:52

Q: BS: "So why suggest that someone who is on £100k+ sends their kids private for snobby reasons?"

Please argue your point more intelligently! Why do you consider what I said as 'possible reasons why someone might send their DC private' as snobby'?.

You very much implied that what I said was 'snobbery' yet look all aghast when challenged. These, the bulletin points I raised, are all absolutely valid reasons for sending a DC private!

The POINT I made in my OP was entirely that there are a large cohort of Private/Public School Heads who are outraged at the fact they are being vilified, that challenges are being made regarding their evident god-given superiority, based entirely on their assumption that the children they mould ARE BETTER than the rest of the populace. They are incensed that RG universities are, albeit for political motives (being 'allowed' to charge top whack for their degrees) being required to realise that getting straight A*s from a public school just may not mean they are actually getting 'the best' pupils, just 'the best' coached. The private/public school Heads are very upset that the Natural World Order is being challenged. That parents just might demand to know what they're paying for if 'Distinctly Average' Hugo's guaranteed place at a RG uni is being challenged by some Johnny-come-Lately from a nasty comp- who may well have, actually achieved the same grades but whose 'Persona Statement' wasn't so polished?

TotallyBS Mon 18-Feb-13 22:11:51

Erebus - I say again, you are basing your rant on the premise that these people are typical.

FillyPutty Mon 18-Feb-13 22:11:05

Erebus, the assessment procedure recently for two senior schools was:

School 1: drop DS off at school with 1000 others, pick him up, wait for offer/rejection
School 2: drop DS off at school with 1000 others, pick him up, wait for interview or rejection, go back for interview, about 20 parents given brief talk with head round a table, some parents asked questions, most did not.

There was no 'chat' in either case, and parents were completely anonymous in school 1, and very anonymous in case 2- there was no practical way of the head knowing the the parent asking a particular question was the father of a particular child.

We did of course meet various teachers, months or even years before on the open day, but we did so again anonymously, there are hundreds or thousands of families looking round, and they are not making notes on you!

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