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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?

LauraBridges Tue 28-Jan-14 17:59:37

Stressed, wonderful story of overcoming such a negative family.

On the music side as people have said you can do stuff for nothing - we borrow much from the library or can print some from the internet (if you can afford internet access and a printer I suppose). If the parent is music they can teach the child at home - we did which costs zero. As someone mentioned singing is free and recorder almost free. The working classes used to do loads of singing, at work, on the way to work at weekends and that has all passed away or a lot of it. Working men's clubs had choirs and brass bands. Children were in the local church choir which is free of charge.

Why did the working class abandon cultured things> I know that's a controversial statement but there used to be more of an emphasis on bettering yourself, reading Shakespeare at home (my grandfather left school aged 12 and taught himself - fierce efforts to educate himself and the family and his children getting to university, becoming doctors etc, moving classes). Has that all been lost - that desire to read good literature, sing Bach in church. Is it all dumbed down guitars and pop music?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 28-Jan-14 18:16:47


The first school we were interested in are all mc families and the school was grammar, selective and they gave bursaries/scholarships.
We didn't even look in the end because dd is not that bright tbh and would never have passed the test. however, even if she would have passed, the difference between this school and the other school she has decided to apply to are unbelievable.
The first school dd shares an interest with many of the girls and they meet for weekly rehearsals. The girls are lovely but the mothers are really nasty stuck up pieces of work. They were so horrible to me when I was asking about the school, they literally looked down their noses at me shock I have never experienced such bad manners in my life.

Back to the question, sorry.
There aren't many high level players at a young age but many leave at 16 with grade 8. Now I know this isn't grand in the bigger scene but I know how they are taught and some have the ability to be this level much younger iyswim.
My point is that there are dc with potential that don't somehow have this realised, either by their parents, schools, county service. There are a few others that do but these are a small minority.
I know of 6 families where their dc would be at the level to gain a place in a specialist school, but they don't seem to know or bothered.
Perhaps its as suggested scared of the unknown and not wanting to rock the boat.

Svina Tue 28-Jan-14 18:23:32

the mothers are really nasty stuck up pieces of work. They were so horrible to me when I was asking about the school, they literally looked down their noses at me

I am really sorry you have had this experience. No wonder you have made this thread!

This is exactly one on the reasons why I would be reluctant to go selective/ independent/ specialist at secondary. Like I said I am fortunate that we have fantastic music opportunities locally, and I hope this will continue to be broad enough for my dc to engage their interest fully as they grow.

People everywhere find it hard to embrace people who they know are not like them. It is a great sadness in the human race that we have this flaw. It holds people back and makes life much harder than it needs to be.

handcream Tue 28-Jan-14 18:32:00

The pupils arent like that tbh. The parents might be but defintiely not the kids! There is more comparing of the latest trainers in the local sec modern then there is in a independant selective school (my DS's go to a prep and senior boarding school).

Lets get this chip off our shoulder. If someone wants to look down on me - let them! I am working full time to provide this sort of education for the boys and so is my DH.

These women swanning around not working and stating how busy they are and how important they feel they are in life - well I work with their husbands. They often feel their wives dont understand the pressures they are under. The missed school events etc. When you are a high earner all of that comes with the job.

LauraBridges Tue 28-Jan-14 18:46:58

Indeed. In fact many of the mothers won't be at the school - they will be working so you probably would not have met many of the mothers. I don't think I have often been with privtae school mothers who would look down their noses at anyone but London is a very racially mixed community in the academic private schools where in a sense you pay at least in part for a huge spectrum of children of all colours, creeds etc (and parents) in one school. That is not the case all round the country.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 28-Jan-14 18:54:51


The children are lovely and they all rehearse together just like a family, supporting each other and have lovely friendship groups.
It does make me laugh, you are so right. The friend dd likes the most is the one whose mother is the worst, get them all together and me and the other less well off mums hide in the pub grin

Don't get me wrong had I known it was selective academically then it wouldn't even have been considered. It was during the initial consideration/gaining knowledge stage we found out and it was immediately a no go. The mums didn't know dd wasn't academic so it wasn't because of this they were nasty, it was a social class thing.
Its fine now and I certainly am not put off at all, in fact I'm a bit newty and go in me flat cap sometimes grin

However, I still believe there are some really well off people who are lovely and I must confess again to meeting such a lovely lady at the school we finally did visit.

I don't think that manners cost anything and dd did me proud when at this group it was noted by a visiting dignitary. She was picked out for good manners. When her immediate leader praised her she said well my mum says please, thank you and a smile cost nothing.

summerends Tue 28-Jan-14 20:57:03

Morethan your treatment by this group of mothers may be similar to the ostracising behaviour of certain cliques in playground. I would n't necessarily attribute it to a difference in economic class. TBH at secondary school age, the parents' influence on friendships becomes less and less so how you get on with the parents almost irrelevant as long as the children are friendly. This is even more so in a boarding environment.

rightsaidfrederick Thu 30-Jan-14 16:13:26

I was one - grandparents paid for tuition only, but one parent was in and out of low paid agency work, and the other was alright until they were made (permanently - never worked again) redundant when I was in the sixth form. I was eligible for full EMA.

This was at secondary level though, so at that point parents fitting in isn't really a thing, because there's no school gate where kids get picked up or anything like that. I fitted in fine though, and as this was a school which was very much at the budget-but-very-academic end of the private school spectrum (not a pony in sight!), there were quite a few other kids whose parents worked in jobs that weren't fantastically paid by any means but made big sacrifices (e.g. living in crap areas) to send their kids there.

happygardening Thu 30-Jan-14 18:08:27

You're so right OP good manners costs nothing. I always smile/wave say hello and make some comment about the weather, or glad it the end of term, or did you have a good holiday or something similar when ever I meet other parents. I have no interest in being best friends with everyone but basic courtesy is just the decent thing to do IMO.
Aa already said you have little contact with parents at secondary level anyway (and even less if your DC full boards like mine) I know little about the financial situations of the other parents or what their houses are like and frankly couldn't care less. The boys as a general rule dont seem to care either.

Stressedbutblessed Fri 31-Jan-14 07:33:17

@ Laura - thx Im now a great believer of anything is possible.
OP:Truly the kids couldn't care less about social ranking - and once they are old enough to notice they care even less!

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Fri 31-Jan-14 08:01:13

I have found the parents at my boys prep friendlier than the parents at the primary where my other children go.
I think people like to stick to groups of what they know and that can make it seem like they're ostracising others when it's not really a deliberate act at all.

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