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Who is being unreasonable here regarding school fees?

(84 Posts)
Scitteryscattery Wed 23-Oct-13 23:39:38

Friend A and friend B both send their DDs to the same private school. Both receive a bursary though A gets a larger amount than B. B scrimps and saves. A does as well and must be on a lower income to receive a higher bursary but does sometimes appear to be a little less careful and to have more cash floating around I think she gets into debt quite a lot too

I've just had friend B around this afternoon incandescent with rage as A has been telling her all about her holiday plans this year which consist of a 3 week trip to Japan. Now her DH sometimes has to travel there for work but on this occasion A and the 2 DCs are also going. I understand that work will pay for his airfare and hotel room for the 2 weeks he is working but not the other 3 fares nor the extra week. The grandparents are helping out however.

B tells me that the school have a bursary policy which states that expensive holidays are incompatible with a bursary. Apparently they also consider if other family members are in a position to help with fees though how they work that one out I'm not sure. She is considering reporting them to the school. shock

I have tried to suggest that she doesn't really know A's financial circumstances, that the school may not care anyway even if they do know and that there isn't much point in reporting anyway as the school are bound to find out - they can hardly get their DD to pretend she was on holiday for 3 weeks in a tent in Skegness. B feels the school will take more note if someone complains. Worse still, I've pointed out that the school might actually take it really seriously and stop the bursary. In which case, how will B feel if A can no longer afford to be there? Either way its likely to be the end of their friendship.

I feel a bit stuck in the middle and glad the DCs are still pre-school. Who is being unreasonable here, A or B? I suspect that when B calms down she is unlikely to report A but it has occurred to me someone else might. I am not too aware of how private schools operate anyway and how seriously this would be taken. A can be a bit avoidant about money issues and may have ignored the fact this could cause her problems. Should I tentatively ask A about the bursary policy when she next mentions the holiday to me?

GenericNWFucker Tue 29-Oct-13 19:57:47

Ok, not relevant to OP's dilemma, but felt the need to weigh in with a comment for Worry and Norude 's debate. Some food for thought for you: the research says that level of achievement at university is directly inversely proportionate to amount of money spent on pre-university education. In other words, the more money you spend on a child's education, the less well they will do at university. DCs from schools like Worry 's DC go to, achieve very well when they actually get to uni, because their results such as they are, are the fruits of their own labours, not the result of spoon-feeding by helicopter teachers and parents.

Mummyoftheyear Mon 28-Oct-13 07:31:42

She should be grateful for what she has and stop making assumptions and judgements about others. Jealous madam!
I'd stay out of it!

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 18:34:06

It doesnt need to be a points system and they shouldnt be awarded by the school (or at least not by my DCs school as it would abdicate all responsibility for educating anyone).

The points idea is used figuratively. It could be discounting system based on the league table - of course this would require the anomalies of the league table to be resolved.

Who says that a student from a poor school having had poor advice from home and school on subject choice is intellectually less capable of a degree course than a student from a private school who has been tutored all the way?

Only someone who wants to keep university access for a privileged few.

holidaysarenice Sun 27-Oct-13 17:43:52

Tbh her 3 airfares and one week in a japanese hotel probably cost less than 4 people on a staycation in say centreparcs in August.

Honestly, stay well clear of the situation. It will blow up.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 27-Oct-13 17:02:07

You haven't grasped the fact that universities will not overlook the fact that a child at a school which gives extra points has actually reached whatever grade their qualifications suggest. The university will penalise students from schools who just give extra unearned points.
Children at schools who 'gift' extra points will be further disadvantaged when applying to university. The university will take students from schools where the qualifications are legitimately earned, because they know that the grades are a true reflection of the standard which the student is capable of.
Student who cant keep up and drop out are of no financial benefit to a university, so the university will not take students with falsified grades. I really don't think that anything about that is difficult to understand.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 16:45:19

Yes, the poorest schools need to be improved but what in the mean time? As I posted up thread, pie in the sky ideas about school improvement are of no help to my DCs. They have to deal with the here and now.

Saying that nothing should be done for students now is essentially saying 'tough shit' to my DCs.

The student from the poor school may need help at the start of a degree course to level the playing field in terms of topics covered but that doesnt make the student less capable intellectually.

I would be interested to know how many admissions tutors at RG universities come from a selective education background themselves. A significant proportion I would hazard which would make me suspect that they have little insight into the reality of just how bad bad schools are.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 27-Oct-13 16:02:48

Why is it laughable that my DCs should get some sort of assistance from an educational system which allows my DCs to struggle in such a poor school?

Because universities would not recognise the extra points. If anything children at schools awarding extra (unearned) points would be further disadvantaged when applying to university because the universities would be justifiably dubious of the qualifications obtained at those schools.
Perhaps you should concentrate on the fact that those poor schools need to be improved as simply handing out additional points doesn't improve the standard of education that the children have received and doesn't increase the likelihood that those children will be able to manage the level of work required at university.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 15:33:10

"If you're abroad or postable anywhere, then proximity to eg grandparents is very important for some families."

Possibly, but then being within, say, 50 miles in all directions of the Grandparents would in many areas still offer far more choice of private schools than in the state system (I have a choice of 1 school).

scarevola Sun 27-Oct-13 14:22:37

"Surely one of the points about boarding is that then it doesnt matter so much exactly where the school is."

It does to many. If you're abroad or postable anywhere, then proximity to eg grandparents is very important for some families.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 27-Oct-13 14:16:00

I would be interested to know just how many forces families are forced to send their children to sub-standard private schools. Surely one of the points about boarding is that then it doesnt matter so much exactly where the school is.

Anyway, all quite irrelevant for my DCs. I checked the league tables to see how many of the schools below my DCs are private. Dont worry, it didnt take long because it is an exceptionally small number of schools which have managed to be even more crap than my DCs'.

Funnily enough none are private. So I still claim points for my DCs.

Why is it laughable that my DCs should get some sort of assistance from an educational system which allows my DCs to struggle in such a poor school?

There just needs to be better recognition that a string of A grades from a selective school is only to be expected and anything less is an under-performance by student or school.

A student from a poor school achieving a handful of reasonable grades perhaps in non-standard subjects (btecs and the like) may well have had to struggle against a background of little support or advice from from school and home.

That student should not be rejected by universities at the first cut for not fitting in with the normal exam progression.

Norudeshitrequired Sun 27-Oct-13 09:25:55

'Which attitude? That if you're mug enough to pay for rubbish service you're your own worst enemy?'

The attitude that some kids should be given extra marks because they are poor and attend poor schools and are therefore more deserving for the marking system to be extra lenient and that kids whose parents have gone private (perhaps having little choice) deserve no leniency despite how poor their school might have been.
Are you aware that lots of service families use the private education system? They might not be wealthy and might not be paying very much towards their children's education, they might also prefer to use the state system as it might have better schools, but they might be using the private school because their time spent abroad for work purposes means their children have to board at school - they don't have a choice.
Some People in both sectors have limited choices. Obviously most people in private schools do have more choice and most will do something about it if they are not satisfied as people are not generally that thick to continue paying for something that is substandard.

But as you originally argued about your children's school being poor and you thinking that they deserve to be given extra points - it's still very laughable and unrealistic and no credible university would be jumping through hoops to enrol children coming forms schools that give extra points because the university would realise that a grade A from that school is really only a C.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 26-Oct-13 23:03:50

Norudeshitrequired I disagree that there is choice in the state system. There is none where I live. We have the choice of one school (in the bottom 20 in England). The school has been academied so the LA is no use. We complained to the school about various issues with minimal results.

Anyway this isnt about complaining that there isnt enough maths homework. The school is a dismal failure.

So the choices available to me are to home educate (where will I fit that chemistry lab?) or move house. Both of which are expensive solutions.

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 22:43:35

Which attitude? That if you're mug enough to pay for rubbish service you're your own worst enemy?

Is that 'attitude' the one that drives parents into the arms of private education? confused

You might need to explain a bit more.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 22:31:01

And even people without the choice of private education often have some choice - home education, a longer school commute, move house, take grievances to the governors / the LA.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 22:28:30

Erebus - your attitude is precisely why some of the parents who can afford private education don't give two hoots about the standard of state education. There is as much snobbery as there is reverse snobbery. A real sense of 'I don't care about anyone who has more / less opportunity than myself'.

Erebus Sat 26-Oct-13 21:27:36

Q: "Erebus - what about children at poorly performing private schools; should they be given extra points too or are they less deserving than a child at a poorly performing state school?"

Sorry, sympathy fail. If you have the ability to exercise choice as many absolutely do not, you live by your choices. The moment you step beyond yer local comp, you have assumed the mantle of responsibility, thus live with the outcome. If your daft enough to carry on paying fees to a rubbish private, your DC will be burdened with the consequences, as you have made an active choice. Which is different from having no choice and, in addition, possible not having the wherewithal, knowledge, education and so on the make any changes if the 'local comp' (or SM) isn't performing at all.

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 20:44:35

Winding up Charities is an effing nightmare : I'm involved with some dormant ones at the moment and getting the assets transferred is turning the rest of my hair grey
breaking covenants on educational buildings costs an utter fortune

the CC can threaten deregistration, not sure where or how the ONS would get involved.
Companies house maybe as many have subsidiary companies

scarevola Sat 26-Oct-13 20:42:03

ONS surely has no role? They gather and publish data, and have no other executive function.

It's all down to the Charity Commission, and they publish the rules about winding up a charity.

NonnoMum Sat 26-Oct-13 20:33:30

I'm with rootypig

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 20:26:14

My crammer charged VAT on the fees ....

ithaka Sat 26-Oct-13 18:51:51

Because under the law as it stands, you cannot just relinquish charitable status

A bit factually misleading, this. You can be reclassified by the Office of National Statistics and then could continue to operate as a business, without the tax perks.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 18:42:19

And what if they cannot move the children as all the comps locally are full and there are no other independents available within commuting distance or space within the appropriate year groups?
Moving schools isn't always as easy as 'Im not happy with the current school so I'll see what good ones are available nearby and choose the best'.
Whether the child is currently at private or state then moving to a good state school is not easy in most areas.
No one is arguing that private schooling is anything but a luxury, but your arguments are all biased and don't take into account the fact that there are good and poor schools in both sectors and that moving isn't always easy.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 26-Oct-13 18:37:26

The problem for the Tylers of the education system is that they are failed all ways round. They will not get the advice they need to make good choices at GCSE, parents with lower educational achievements themselves may not be able to see the longer term benefits of core subjects. How many Tylers find themselves on BTEC courses because their family is pushing them to get an apprenticeship and get into a trade?

If your children are at a poor private school then you have the free choice to take them out and move them somewhere else.

If your children are at a poor state school then moving them is more than likely not an option.

Tyler would probably be a huge asset to any school and would make full use of a bursary which allowed him to attend St Bigmoney's. Problem is that Tyler's mum knows nothing of bursaries and no one at Chuckemins is going to suggest an application is made as Tyler is a pleasure to teach.

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 17:14:49

what about children at poorly performing private schools
Private school is a luxury, if parents are daft enough to keep paying for a substandard product, more fool them.
My parents hit the roof when they realised how much of what my school had been telling them was lies.
The Head departed not long after.

Norudeshitrequired Sat 26-Oct-13 17:04:07

Erebus - what about children at poorly performing private schools; should they be given extra points too or are they less deserving than a child at a poorly performing state school?
You seem to be missing the point that there are poor schools in both sectors and good schools in both sectors.

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