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How many working class or families receiving benefit would you find

(186 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Fri 17-Jan-14 21:17:00

In fee paying selective schools?
Or how many do you know?

I'm really referring to those who are one or maybe two steps from the breadline.

If you are one of these families do you think you would mix well with the parents at these types of school?

middleclassonbursary Fri 17-Jan-14 22:30:05

Assuming those who are one or maybe two steps away from the breadline are not wearing badges declaring this then how would anyone know how many there are without asking them which would be an exceedingly crass thing to do.

inthename Fri 17-Jan-14 22:38:39

Why would you need to know, my own experience is that the bursary system provides access to an I

inthename Fri 17-Jan-14 22:39:49

The bursary system provides access to this style of education and is used by folk 'on

TheLostPelvicFloorOfPoosh Fri 17-Jan-14 22:40:00

Why..?? hmm

inthename Fri 17-Jan-14 22:41:14

Give up, it keeps sending my post too early!
Yes I do know people, yes I am

middleclassonbursary Fri 17-Jan-14 22:42:49

Couldn't agree more why would anyone need to know? Our individual incomes are our business and it's usually a condition of a bursary that it's confidential

zizzo Fri 17-Jan-14 22:45:49

OP's post has an odd flavour.

lougle Fri 17-Jan-14 22:48:31

Perhaps the OP is exploring whether she could fit in at a Private school given her circumstances, and is asking other parents in those circumstances to reassure her?

Edenviolet Fri 17-Jan-14 22:49:17

I've never mentioned it and nobody has ever asked.

I don't think anybody is aware of who has a bursary

SiliconeSally Fri 17-Jan-14 22:59:24

Loads of working class families at private school. Class and income are no longer the same thing. Many working class families earn far more than my middle class but low income household .

Anyway. None on the breadline. The fares, Uniform and other costs are prohibitive even assuming you get a bursary for the full fees. Which mostly you don't . So mostly bursaries support people who are way above truly, actually poor!

SiliconeSally Fri 17-Jan-14 23:00:31

So, it's about costs Not bollocks about 'parents fitting in'.

MaeWestfield Fri 17-Jan-14 23:08:30

I would have wondered this too. We r not working class,but i was on benefits. I work now but still a single paremt which in conservative mc circles is still difficult at times. At one point i thought aboutsending my dc to my old school but i have decided not too. I am happier for dc1 to take place at a local and more diverse (socially) catholic girls school. Ididmt want her to feel poor. We arent poor really! But i dont know if we can keep up with scjool trops that cost a grand and that kind of tbing.

DalmationDots Fri 17-Jan-14 23:10:02

As others have said, I wouldn't know which specific children at DC's old schools because schools are sensitive.
I do know the school I used to work out gave full bursaries to two children each year. These bursaries include all uniform, trips, stationary and other 'exta' costs. They do go to children from really disadvantaged backgrounds (not just poverty but also in care/health issues etc) but careful assessment went on to ensure it was right for the child and what the child was comfortable with and wanted, not just an idealistic perspective assuming this would be best for the child.
The school also gave smaller bursaries for families who weren't 'on the breadline' but would not be able to afford full fees. This is the kind of bursary given at most independent schools.
There were many families at DD's and DS' schools (academically selective and very very good but not mega posh) who were not at all well off and really struggled to scrape together fees to send their children there. They obviously were not near the breadline though as they are managing to find 9k + spare per year for the DC's fees.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 17-Jan-14 23:18:02

Just interested, there is no ulterior motive.
There are many different schools and types and Mnet has a good cross section of society, I think.
I studied quite a bit about education at Masters level during my PGCE and have often wondered this exact thing.
I know how the system works and some people have burseries but I'm thinking more general really not considering who has burseries and who doesn't.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 17-Jan-14 23:25:29


We have considered it for dd way in the future but not for many years yet. She is happy H.ed for the rest of primary and most of secondary, but I must admit to wondering if it is a rarity or whether these schools are becoming more accessible, purely as I said because I studied education.
It was more of a general discussion and a bit vague, sorry.

ItsATIARA Fri 17-Jan-14 23:32:08

I also know some schools where 100% bursary really does mean 100% - transport, uniform, trips, the lot. I was quite impressed.

flatmum Fri 17-Jan-14 23:32:09

Ime, plenty of all classes, very, very few actually poor or dis advantaged children. Plenty pretending to be to access bursaries. I have the impression there are probably more children from truly disadvantaged backgrounds at the public schools that have specific programs of that nature.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 17-Jan-14 23:53:07


Do you mean public schools or are you not English and mean the English state schools.
I would never have thought disadvantaged dc would go to public schools.

Btw, if anybody is still suspicious it is merely understanding, peoples knowledge I am interested in, education is a fascinating subject, wish sometimes I had completed the Masters after PGCE

NearTheWindmill Fri 17-Jan-14 23:59:51

Both my DC's independent schools publish address lists. In their years from having a quick scan of the lists, I would none. There are mega rich families, rich families, comfortable families, and families keeping up appearances but I don't think there are any on the bread line, any with a meter key, any on benefits, etc. There are a few clapped out 15 year old cars but not that many and they are usually parked in the drive of an expensive house.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 18-Jan-14 00:04:38

publish address lists for everyone to see shock or have you worked/associated as staff at the school?

What if you didn't want your address on the sheet, could you opt out.
Interesting there are different types.
I think at one time most families would have been pretty much identical wouldn't they? Or am I talking rubbish?

NearTheWindmill Sat 18-Jan-14 00:12:59

No, the lists are circulated to all the parents in the year group. Helps keep in touch with school families, keep tabs on your dc and where they are and very useful for PTA type stuff. Yes, you can opt out but why would you.

Why are you asking OP? What's your point and issue. FWIW when I went to grammar school years and years ago families weren't all the same at all. I went to school with the daughters of surgeons, army officers, bus drivers, nurses, bank tellers, librarians, teachers, factory workers, waiters, etc. If anything I think the old grammars were far more diverse than any other sort of school. Can't remember it bothering each other much. Rather as it doesn't especially bother my DC if their friends' dad is managing partner of a magic circle firm, a GP, or a civil servant. They judge on personality, common interests and niceness.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 18-Jan-14 00:20:30


I really am interested and swear that's all. One day I will have to make the decision or at least think about it for our dd and I have very little knowledge apart from what people are kind enough to tell me.
My dh went to a Grammar school where he had to do 11+ now I understand a bit about his school as he has told me. It wasn't really posh or super selective.
I don't know anybody personally who has gone to private/selective/super selective.
I suppose I wonder as said in OP if lower classes always fit in, if there is any snobbery or if it exists in one type of school more than another.
However, there is no real theme to my OP apart from discussion in general and info.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 18-Jan-14 00:22:47

Near, that sounds like dhs old school, he went to Clitheroe many centuries ago grin

middleclassonbursary Sat 18-Jan-14 09:03:24

"But I admit to wondering if it's a rarity"
That is your answer to your original question OP it's a rarity. 100% bursaries whether there being given to a couple on the average wage or a single parent on the bread line are a rarity.
Boarding school fees are currently pushing at the very least £33k a year before extra even if your lucky and get 50% that's still 17k a year, outside of the reach of a couple on an average wage.
I personally don't think you can blame the schools (if you accept that 33k PA is a reasonable and legitimate amount to charge) they simply don't have the recourses to offer big bursaries to lots of pupils.

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