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freemasonry and independent schools

(21 Posts)
wingdingit Wed 21-Jan-15 08:20:15

The old chestnut about wether being a member gives you certain privileges.
Could entrance exam results be overlooked for example, or favours returned from network 'old boys,' for entrance into a school? Is this an outdated view? Heated debate about the benefits at work yesterday.

happygardening Wed 21-Jan-15 09:41:22

DH is not a Free Mason, as a died in the wool non conformist he'd rather boil his head, our DS got a place at two top schools. Over the years I've heard lots of talk/rumours about how to get you DC into X and Y but not once has anyone ever mentioned being a Free Mason. In fact frankly I can't imagine anyone we know is one. Is there anyone under 65 who's a Free Masons? I've always assumed it was an outdated,dwindling organisation of little relavance to most families in the 21st century.

mummytime Wed 21-Jan-15 10:25:50

I know Freemasons (under 65) and to be honest there are definitely Lodges and Lodges.
I don't know any school where it gets you in easier. There could be a few, but I don't know them.
More likely there would be some where you could get your DC in if your DH had been one but was dead - just as being the off-spring of deceased members of various other trades and groups can get you into some schools.

AuntieStella Wed 21-Jan-15 10:43:46

There is a Royal Masonic school, and I suppose it might make a difference if they're still involved in the funding/governance.

I don't think it happens elsewhere. Even children of a school's alumni don't necessarily get any advantage these days (except perhaps in deciding borderline candidates).

educationrocks1 Wed 21-Jan-15 10:48:00

Royal Masonic School has bog standard entry procedures. Haven't known anyone 'not' to get in, Freemason or not.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 21-Jan-15 11:14:53

There were a couple of freemasons in my dh extended family, but they have gone now. I know the network of friends did favours/ called on favours but doubt if it could gain admittance to a school without other criteria being met first.

I have heard similar to HG about certain things to do and jobs for the boys but this wasn't linked to freemasons at all.

wingdingit Wed 21-Jan-15 13:07:30

Happy - freemasonry still very much alive and kicking with many younger members in all kinds of backgrounds from construction to finance. I would like to think that other criteria would also need to be met but perhaps some leeway is given if a nod and a wink can be given to someone with influence at a school? Surely that's way some become members in order to have that networking advantage?

ThisOneAndThatOne Wed 21-Jan-15 14:02:38

I can't imagine that it would make any difference to selective independents as they are not doing to risk their GCSE and A Levels % A *s.

Medoc Wed 21-Jan-15 14:58:42

Isnt Freemasonry more lmc trying to climb the ladder?
I wouldn't have thought their sphere of influence went high enough for the schools you're implying.

AMumInScotland Wed 21-Jan-15 15:06:03

In my experience, independent schools are either oversubscribed and selective, so would not be likely to take a child who didn't meet their entrance standards, or else not oversubscribed and happy to take your money whatever organisations you do or don't belong to.

I suppose more subtle factors affect who gets the offer out of similar candidates, in which case the admissions board would presumably weigh up a number of things. For some schools, your parent having gone there would add that little bit of weight to your application, or the fact that you play a sport or an instrument might give you an extra edge.

But I doubt that a nod and a wink would often be the deciding factor. They are businesses, and the children they take on are their biggest advert, so they would be unlikely to take one that doesn't otherwise tick the right boxes.

wingdingit Wed 21-Jan-15 15:27:29

Some schools don't necessarily have an 'admissions board' as such and final decisions can be made by a head or deputy head. And yes some take pupils who may not necessarily have passed the entrance exam but excell in music, art or sport. Or perhaps were borderline in an exam but but 'favours' were granted.
I'm not certain that it does go on but sure that it must iyswim? Was wondering if anyone had any evidence of this. Although as its a secret society I suppose no one would know or own up to knowing wink

Clobbered Wed 21-Jan-15 15:33:25

Why do you want to know?

I taught a child from an independent school who had a very substantial scholarship and music lessons paid by the Masons. He would never have had those opportunities without their help. No connection whatsoever to a Masonic family.

If people want to go round doing silly hand-shakes and dressing-up, that's fine by me, as long as they hand over some of ill-gotten gains to good causes. I'll take anyone's money (not proud).

Bakeoffcakes Wed 21-Jan-15 15:47:10

I'm not sure about the school thing but I do I ow several young masons in their twenties and thirties. They all have army backgrounds.

aroomofonesown Wed 21-Jan-15 21:31:34

This link might provide some perspective

One of the schools has a lodge in its grounds open to male but not female pupils.

wingdingit Thu 22-Jan-15 08:20:40

Wow Onesown - Thanks well that clears that discussion up!

barrackobana Thu 22-Jan-15 10:23:23

Actually, the 'link' doesn't clear up anything . The OP asked wether freemasonry was being used to by-pass entrance exam results as a privilege to members, it didn't ask wether independent/public schools participated in Freemasonry, you may have got very different answers.

Finally I think it's very bad form for you to post confidential personal details of people on the Internet. A gross abuse of trust under the Computer Misuse Act and could find yourself in deep trouble with the law if this is taken further.

I am not a Freemason nor have any links to them but would feel the same if it were the my church database that was posted on the Internet, just to make a silly point which in the end didn't answer the question.

EdithWeston Thu 22-Jan-15 10:39:09

I'm not sure what's the problem with aroomofonesown's link (assuming that's the one you mean). It's a page from a registered charity's own website, and I don't think there is any legal issue with linking to contact details that an organisation has chosen to publish.

smellylittleorange Thu 22-Jan-15 14:05:08

I knew a Freemason once - was quite high up in his lodge. As far as he was concerned a secret handshake did not mean that he would give you a job ( and this happened to him as far back as the sixties). There were no implications for him or his progression through the lodge. On that evidence only I would conclude it is dependent on the individual and how dishonest they are. Freemasonry is a charitable organisation with certain values as far as I have been told and experienced through donations to various charities I have worked with.

MN164 Thu 22-Jan-15 15:58:20

"Due to the sensitive nature of the information and data on this site, please close your Browser whenever you wish to leave the site. "

This is at the footnote of that website listing the Lodges.

Just goes to show how out of touch with the modern world they are .....

aroomofonesown Thu 22-Jan-15 20:09:58

Barackomana - I am certainly not posting confidential details or falling foul of the quoted legislation The page is from the PSLC's own publicly available website. Moral and professional affront aside, I will instead just focus on the irony of the "very bad form" comment. As my brief message stated, I was offering a perspective. I thought it would be an interesting website given the topic. I did not claim to be answering the question. I hope that helps clarify things. All the best!

wingdingit Fri 23-Jan-15 08:09:36

I think that onesowns link was very telling I must say.
Barack - no one is talking about 'bypassing' the exam just maybe getting a bit of a break if not performing as well as others.
Orange - I do actually know a few masons, in industries from construction to finance.
I can tell you that contracts are awarded and jobs given purely based on wether the recipient went to a particular school and I would put money on it that the same happens (particularly in construction industry) when fellow Masons meet on the golf course. Just curious wether the privilege is extended to school entrance.
It is not right in my view but I have an understanding that that's just the way things are.
I don't think lodges should have a place within schools though, that has surprised me.

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