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Senior School Confusion

(13 Posts)
maudacious2 Tue 06-Dec-16 13:39:39

Just want to get this off my chest really.
Bright son at boarding prep. We assumed he'd go on to St Edwards in Oxford. Have heard bad things locally regarding d r u g s. It's on the edge of the city so I guess the temptations are in easier reach than some other schools.
So that's really put us off, and we know the school and have friends with kids there. Oundle- might be too robust for our son who is a kind, clever boy not particularly sporty- not bad at sport but not passionate about it. Eton- DH thinks that there may be an anti-elitist backlash against people who've been to that sort of school, and isn't keen on it. Winchester College- similar thing. Abingdon, again we have heard murmurings about d r u g s being an issue and it is in the centre of town and Abingdon is not the nicest town to be honest. Marlborough we hear is blingtastic due to the Middleton effect and we are not those kind of people who rock up in a blinged up Range Rover and go skiing- far from it- DS will be going for a scholarship and associated means tested bursary. We love seeing him most weekends and don't want to travel too far from our home in Oxford. But on the other hand, he is clever and we don't want to sell him short. Any ideas?!

EleanorRigby123 Tue 06-Dec-16 15:42:15

Private schools - particularly boarding schools - are full of kids with lots of money. From time to time all will have problems with drugs. Schools which tell you they have never experienced this are either lying or have ineffective detection techniques.
Same applies to kids in other schools.
Unless there was a long term established drug culture I would not let the odd incident impact on my school choice.

mummytime Tue 06-Dec-16 17:12:44

ALL schools have drugs - state, private, whatever.

Those schools are very very different from each other, and suitable for very different children. You will hear something bad about every school.

You need to go back to: what is your son like? What does he, and you need from a school? How do schools that you are looking at meet those needs?

And as for anti-elitist - well if there is a backlash you have already exposed him to it by going for Private education - there are some choices your son just doesn't have due to you sending him to a fee paying school (eg. Sutton trust courses). Most people do not discriminate that much between Eton/ St Edwards and Marlborough (or even one of the Private Grammar schools).

AnotherNewt Tue 06-Dec-16 17:20:40

All, repeat all, schools have problems with drugs from time to time. And as the may bring stuff from home, location isn't going to offer you one whit of extra reassurance.

What you should be looking at is not whether it happens (because it does) but how the school deals with it.

But as you're sure of your list of 'no-no' schools, the I think the best way ahead is for you to go an talk to your current HT and ask for further recommendations.

Because advice from someone who knows your DC and understands your concerns will be able to give proper advice, rather than jwhat might happen on a thread such as this which ends up just listing all boarding schools within a certain radius of Oxford.

titchy Tue 06-Dec-16 18:07:51

All schools have drugs (not sure why you're spelling it with spaces between each letter hmm). Location, type, selectivity, ethos, fee - all irrelevant.

happygardening Tue 06-Dec-16 18:21:08

I know St Edwards very well it does not have anymore of a drug problem than any other school in either sector.PM me if you want to know any more.

whatatod0 Tue 06-Dec-16 18:42:00


TalkinPeace Tue 06-Dec-16 21:22:13

Any secondary school that says it has no problems with drugs or bullying is lying
if your son is a good worker he'll soon work out who the drug dossers are and ignore them

DSs 6th form college has the drug dog in once a month
the girls take selfies with it grin

Wheredidallthejaffacakesgo Tue 06-Dec-16 21:40:17

How old is your ds? Do you have a lot of time left to choose? And why do you put spaces in the word drugs?

happygardening Tue 06-Dec-16 21:47:20

It's inevitable that some teenagers will take drugs, and boarding school children often have large amount of cash in their accounts to buy drugs. But most boarding schools including St Edwards take it very seriously many run random drug screening tests and will expel children who are caught.

JE678 Tue 06-Dec-16 21:51:38

I have taught at several boarding schools and drugs are an issue, as they are at any school. St Ed's is not a drug den I can promise you that, do not discount it based on that.

mumbytheriver Wed 25-Jan-17 12:16:34

Have you considered Bradfield? We moved my son there from Marlborough (long story) and couldn't be happier. IMHO no town = less temptation.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Wed 25-Jan-17 14:19:31

If DC want to get involved with drugs they will do so whatever school they go to. This is as true for my very ordinary comp years ago as it is for my DC's private schools now.
I strongly agree with those who say any school that tells you it never has an issue with drugs, drinking or bullying is a school to be very wary about.
Pick the schools that you think will suit your DS best. Schools where he will fit in, be happy (or as happy as teenagers can ever be) and where he will get the sort of education that will bring out the best in him.
For example, if DS1 went to boarding rather than day I could see him fitting in better at Eton or Harrow than Marlborough as we are not a blinged up Range Rover type of family and he is sporty and into things like the CCF. (I know people whose children go to Harrow and they are pretty down to earth and not showy.)

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