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Diversity in Winchester Schools

(12 Posts)
Grambo Tue 30-Aug-16 12:39:13

We are planning a move to Winchester next year from Madrid, Spain. I'm white and my wife is Asian. Previous to last year the kids were raised in southern California. Mixed race and multi-racial classrooms are the norm in California (with Asians being the high achievers, but that's besides the point). It's not at all common in Madrid, but since my kids can almost pass for hispanic, and are learning the language, they fit right in here.

There's lots of info about the Winchester junior and primary schools, essentially that they are all great. Therefore no worries if you don't get into your school of choice. I am a bit concerned though about racial diversity, or the lack thereof. I'm not seeking diversity per se. In fact my wife is a bit of an anglophile, and really wants the kids to experience a British lifestyle for a couple of years. However, I want to be sure that my kids are accepted by their peers.

On the St. Bede's website it says "The school is situated within a vibrant, diverse community". Yet the school report card states "Nearly all pupils come from a white British background". I'm guessing that Winchester is in fact not diverse by any reasonable criteria. But are there particular schools or areas that might have more racial mix? Or is this a non-issue, as my kids will be happy and accepted at pretty much any school that they get into?

user1471734618 Tue 30-Aug-16 12:41:43

I would have thought Winchester would be quite white tbh.

Grambo Tue 30-Aug-16 16:50:05

Yes, you would be correct. 91.8% white according to the 2011 census. But no worries, I think I got my questions answered elsewhere. Thanks for the response.

AtleastitsnotMonday Tue 30-Aug-16 19:10:28

Yes I live just outside Winchester and it is definitely noticeably White British. Of course there are people from other ethnic groups but far fewer then in many other cities. Peter Symonds is Winchester's sixth form college and attracts students from a much wider catchment area and therefore has more diversity.
Of course if you are looking at the cities boarding schools (St Swithuns and Winchester college) they have more students from overseas once again increasing the diversity.

AtleastitsnotMonday Tue 30-Aug-16 19:12:37

Sorry I forgot to say, I grew up in and around Winchester and have always found the people friendly and welcoming, to be honest I would be very surprised if your children were the only ethnic minority in any school and even more surprised if this created any problems for them.

Draylon Tue 30-Aug-16 20:20:47

Grambo- Winch is quite white. I'm not sure if your worry is that your family may be the victims of racism? As you've said you're not seeking racial diversity, per se.

I think I can safely say that your family will suffer precious little racism, if any, in leafy Winchester. There are quite a few 'non-white-people', but they're all pretty much professionals, and their DC are seen to make a great contribution to their schools.

Grambo Wed 31-Aug-16 11:20:06

Thanks for the helpful responses. My boys are junior school age. I'm looking at state versus private, especially since the schools are so good (a reflection of the community, of course). I think racism is much too harsh a term, but fundamentally I suppose correct. I did see a posting that alleviated my concerns, from an Asian mum. She mentioned that she and her kids were incredibly welcomed in Winchester. I feel pretty good about this now.

TaIkinPeace Wed 31-Aug-16 22:03:57

Winchester is white but VERY cosmopolitan
history makes it white
choice makes it welcoming

DD has just finished at Symonds, DS is just about to start.

Grambo Thu 01-Sep-16 08:59:05

Thanks @Talkinpeace. Cosmopolitan sounds perfect for us. By the way, Symonds sounds like an amazing school. One of the best 6th form colleges in the country, as I'm sure you know!

DianaMitford Thu 01-Sep-16 09:12:07

My DD is at St Swithuns as a boarder and I would say that it's definitely predominantly white British. That said, Winchester is a very welcoming city for all cultures. It's a kind city - ifyswim?! Great choice of location smile

RhodaBull Sat 03-Sep-16 11:10:56

ds has just finished at Peter Symonds too. He did very well.

Re diversity, my ds and now my dd attended Thornden in Chandlers Ford which is quite attractive to high-achieving Asian and Indian families- the school is very strong on science. My dcs' have very good friends from various Indian/Chinese backgrounds - and, er, ahem, they are all middle class eg parents are doctors/chartered accountants/IT boffins (IBM is nearby).

Grambo Wed 07-Sep-16 11:48:26

Thanks Diana and Rhoda. I'm really thinking that my kids will fit in pretty well. It was more of a leap for us to come to Spain, and they are doing ok here. They play football as well, at a high level, so I've found that to be a great ice breaker at least. We might actually have another year in Spain (beyond next September). We'll see how we feel in a few months, and take the opportunity mid-year to see what places might be available and where, in Winchester areas schools. We are fortunate to be fairly mobile, and so can travel as the opportunity arises. Hence the planning now to see where we'd like to land.

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