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what are the most racially diverse london schools?

(108 Posts)
lhc2 Thu 04-Jul-13 22:14:55


We are currently living in NYC (we are from spain) and we are moving to London next year and i've been looking for schools for my daughters.
One of my dds is black and diversity is very important to me as i don't want her to be the only black girl in her class and judging by the london schools websites i didn't see any black girl at their schools.

I would like to know based on your opinion which london single sex private schools are more racially diverse?

Thank you very much. smile

ConesOfDunshire Thu 03-Dec-15 22:32:57


Themodernuriahheep Fri 27-Nov-15 17:01:14

If you are prepared to venture south if the river you will find the prep schools v diverse, in Clapham and Dulwich, as Tea says. And despite another poster's views, the Dulwich senior schools are ethnically diverse too. I am afraid you get teased a bit if your hair is red, but I know of no other prejudice, indeed the kids are very anti prejudice and you only have to see the teams, activities, trains and buses around to realise that.

She might be the only person with her particular background, but in DS's class there are lots like that. 1 Ghanaian, 1 Nigerian,1 Pole, 2 Czech, 1 Korean, 1 Malaysian one or two Afro Caribbean, ( Grenada I think, and Jamaica), 1 Macedonian, some British/caribbeans. 1 Spanish, etc. with masses if different bits added in.

we worked out last year that out of the class, only four had both sets of grandparents born in the UK. And of those, one set came from a former colony, and one set from Russia. And none was " pure" English.

MN164 Fri 27-Nov-15 16:34:27

Thanks TP. Good to know how "with it" I am .... wink

talkinnpeace Fri 27-Nov-15 15:16:22


MN164 Fri 27-Nov-15 15:05:42

For what it's worth, I have seen a much higher proportion of non-white students at every and any central London state school than at any independent. In particular, this is true for academically selective grammar state schools vs independent schools.

The idea that fee paying schools are more ethnically diverse seems laughable, as far as London is concerned. It self evidently isn't true.

manicinsomniac Thu 26-Nov-15 00:15:42

I'm really surprised to see that there are London independents that aren't ethnically diverse.

I teach in a rural independent prep in the home counties. The village C of E primary school over the road is 100% White British. The village itself is approx. 98% White British. The independent prep is now up to about 15% BME/immigrant/international. Up to 35% in some of the younger year groups. It has grown hugely over the last few years.

So my experience is that, if you want ethnically diverse, pick an independent. If you want socially diverse, pick a state. There's ability diversity in both types round here tbh, the privates don't tend to be academically selective. Ours very definitely isn't.

I'm amazed that this isn't even more true of London than for the rural surrounds.

The OP didn't say she wanted a diverse school, she said she wanted an ethcnically diverse school - for the sake of her own DD, not for some general/moral ideal. So why berate her for her choice of an independent? Especially when moving into London after state school places have been allocated!

I'm sure OP has long picked her school and settled by now but it's still an interesting discussion.

tashatash1 Wed 25-Nov-15 22:54:40

This is bullshit and it seems to me that you are the one with the bias. So because their are racist she should send her child to a state school. No. And my daughter is also of mixed hertiage, I am black her father is white and she had no problems getting into top private schools as we have the money to fund it. Their are also a lot of indians at private schools now a days and they fit in fine with their white peers. We have young black boys attending harrow and other top boy schools. Private schools is class more so then race

Needmoresleep Wed 10-Jul-13 14:39:53

A class full of Xenias might be quite interesting smile

Moominsarehippos Wed 10-Jul-13 14:35:43

I let that one slide! Our school has a good mix of allsorts. Some won't set the world alight but how boring would a class of brainiacs be?

burberryqueen Wed 10-Jul-13 14:16:41

In fact I pay to ensure my children are only mixing with children with a high IQ
sometimes Xenia you come out with something that is just laughable.
my daughter is a lovely accepting and non judgemental person with a v high EQ, sad for your children that her score on an IQ test would mean they wouldnt be allowed to talk to her.

Moominsarehippos Wed 10-Jul-13 14:12:05

Ah, I thought it was an anti-brit thing! We are all labels though I suppose. Do you think this was a windy up then?

Copthallresident Wed 10-Jul-13 09:58:35

moomin because they are proud of it not being possible to be labelled.

OP and coki have not returned, perhaps they didn't get the stereotype reinforcing gratification they expected to find?

Moominsarehippos Wed 10-Jul-13 09:01:11

The problem is that racial/country mixes can change quite radically. We are still mainly french but the big groups have gone from - arab-speaking to americans to russian to chinese. The changes reflect where companies and embassies recommend.

If the OP really is looking for black (still not sure if she wants american-afro, african, carribbean, or 'darker skin' types. If she goes to school where we are, she will be the 'American kid' as most of the kids are 'foreign'. It really isn't an issue.

I haven't come across anyone (black Brits or foreigners) who has sought to find a school along race lines - language maybe (our school does CNED so its popular with french families). I love the fact that in class when they do a project which includes a foreign language or food or culture they say 'Mexican, eh? Hey Maria! What do you eat for breakfast in Mexico??'.

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jul-13 07:09:52

"Most of the children are from expat families."

Yes, this is very true of the central London preps - though of course that means all nationalities. OP is seeking one with a specific reputation for attracting children (and staff?) with whom she believes her DD will fit in. This may be harder to establish.

The best bet, OP, is to compile a short list of schools and then visit them. Will you be having a recce visit before your move?

Moominsarehippos Wed 10-Jul-13 06:44:17

That's what I was thinking!

ljny Wed 10-Jul-13 00:16:14

Or you could just send your child to the nearest state school. In inner London....

In inner London, they have a snowflake in hell's chance of getting into the nearest state school.

Moominsarehippos Tue 09-Jul-13 22:11:19

Why would things be thrown?

Copthallresident Tue 09-Jul-13 21:27:14

My experience of a Selective London indie, there are ten 17 year olds giggling in my garden, they have parents from Africa, India, Singapore, China, Italy, only one has two English parents and she has French and Irish grandparents, and is ginger. I think there may be some very un PC jokes going on but they are also planning some amazing gap years. I think if I went out and asked if they were British, things would be thrown at me. I think they are great and the world needs kids like this who understand that they are part of a global community, not a tribe. I just wish that was on the agenda in all schools.

Xenia Tue 09-Jul-13 18:27:31

Ah, minif - keeping children away from poor children.. Well she wants a high achieving fee paying school. London has a lot of very good private schools. Why not pay if you can afford it particularly as said above class matters more than colour in the UK and fee paying schools tend to aid children inr elation to class type of issues. In fact I pay to ensure my children are only mixing with children with a high IQ at school. So that's not to separate them by race or religion or class but by intelligence.

MusieB Tue 09-Jul-13 18:25:07

My DD is at Eaton Square School on the Pimlico/Belgravia border (co-ed pre-prep and prep). It is incredibly diverse in terms of nationalities and there have been times when she has been the only child in her class with 2 white English parents. Most of the children are from expat families. A large number are Spanish and there are lots of French and American children, plenty from other European countries and also a reasonable contingent of children of Asian (both Indian and Far Eastern) and Arab extraction. There are few children of African/Afro-Carribean origin but there are/have been some. I would say the school, the children and (generally) the parents are completely "colour-blind". The headmaster is white but his wife is a (stunning) black lady and their younger children are at the school which I guess helps to reinforce this ethos. We have been very pleased with it and our DD loves it there.

I would hazard a guess that the girls only preps in the area are significantly less racially diverse.

granita Tue 09-Jul-13 15:48:24

The Lambeth schools I refer to are state schools.

granita Tue 09-Jul-13 15:43:26

In Inner London it is true that the largest non-white ethnic minority groups are black African and black Caribbean.
These numbers are in no way represented in the private schools. There might be exceptions. But on the whole, the number of black children in academic private schools is tiny.
The OP is pointedly asking about the numbers of black children. She does not want her daughter to be the only black child in the class. She is not asking about diversity in general.
Someone mentioned the bursary system as a way of broadening access.
When most schools are giving just one or two, 100 per cent bursaries per year, the idea that this will even things up is just ludicrous!
I know my experience is anecdotal, but when I've toured the private schools, or gone to performances by friends' children, I've not seen many black children. Are they hiding them in the cupboards?
When ringing up the schools the OP should ask if the children of different races mix after school. Do they visit each other's houses? Do they go on shopping trips together? Sleepovers?
Southwark (containing lots of selective independents) has the highest black African population in inner London. (Some one mentioned up thread that I'd not considered Dulwich state schools. This is because the OP asked about private schools.) Croydon the largest black Caribbean population. Lambeth has the biggest total black population. In Lambeth you might find schools which are predominantly black. (These are largely avoided by the white middle classes. Behaviour and poor academic scores are given as reasons.)

Minifingers Tue 09-Jul-13 13:41:48

Or you could just send your child to the nearest state school. If it's in inner London it will be incredibly ethnically diverse.

It depends whether keeping your dc away from poor children is important to you.

Moominsarehippos Tue 09-Jul-13 13:09:04

I agree there! The school usually reflects the local make-up. Where the op is looking, she will have well to do expats around her (I'd say mostly french and americans with a smattering of the rest of the world). She probably won't meet an actually born and bred 'Brit'.

Colour is the least of her worries - I'd look more closely at the 'culture' of the school. Some schools around here seem to have the most awfully behaved children! I mix with them because of school and clubs and the way they speak to/treat their nannies is just dreadful. Horrible snobbishness - then you meet the parents (rude, arrogant, me me me me me, loud, showy)! I'm sure the OP is lovely though!

If you want happy kids, look at St Nicholas next to Hyde Park - not a hard hitter academically (it's strength is in sliding kids back into whatever academic system they have come from) and you won't meet many british kids there. They focus on the kids being happy and confident.

Thomas' (up the road) has a good academic record and a fair boy/girl ratio.

Hill House, I have found american parents think it's too strict. I have found their Admin 'lacking'. It has 'snob value', but probably not as much as it did have when my relies were boys there (Prince Charles went there).

Newtons (over the river, one train stop from Victoria) is relatively new but large and funky.

It depends what you want from the school. If its mainly a colour balance, then you are missing out on an opportunity for your girls to go to some great schools.

My son (mixed heritage), his best mates - Italian, Tunisian, Indian and French all looked extremely similar when they were in nursery/reception (there was a joke that we'd end up taking home the wrong kids). They really all looked the same in their uniforms (especially when caked in mud).

If you live very central, and you will get a very mixed lot of kids.

If you are going to be here long term, you will need to start looking at which secondary you'd like them to go to and consider the 'feeders'.

Talkinpeace Tue 09-Jul-13 11:43:06

As I said way up thread,
racism is much less of an issue than is class in the UK.
nouveau is much worse than dark skin wink

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