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Do you think this question in the registration form has a hidden agenda?

(10 Posts)
funnyquestion Thu 25-Sep-08 22:26:48

We are seriously thinking of sending ds to a fee paying secondary school. This is due to a number of reasons to do with his interests and abilities. Complete departure for us who have always thought we would stick with the state system

Anyway the reason for my post (bearing in mind that this is a whole new ball game for us and we are very naive!)is that the registration form asks if we are going to apply for a scholarship, which we are, and then asks if our uptake of the place is dependent on being awarded a scholarship.

We don't have any spare money at the moment so if ds does go there I will go back to work to pay the fees. Even with my income we will struggle but feel that we want to do this for ds.

So my query is what's with the 'is the place conditional on a scholarship' question all about. Is it normal to request this information and does the answer we give have any bearing on ds's chances of being awarded a scholarship (if he does well enough in the exam of course) It feels like a really loaded question. Any advice or experience gratefully received.

BlueBumedFly Fri 26-Sep-08 13:01:23

Hmmm, it does seem a bit loaded eh? Or perhaps they don't want to reserve a space for him if you are not going to place him in a 'non-scholarship' place if you see what I mean? Perhaps they do not want to be turning away fee paying kids if you are going for one of the alloted scholarship slots?

funnyquestion Fri 26-Sep-08 13:57:23

Thanks BBF, I agree that it is loaded. Hadn't thought of them not wanting to turn away fee paying children though.

It's not a fair question because the Scholarship Awards should be based on the child's ability, not on some double guessing sort of system on parental income ... certainly not at this stage.

The top performing students have the honour of being known as a Scholar and have a tiny reduction in fees. In addition there is a busary which, is means tested. This is the bit we will be applying for.

DH has said we should go for the honest approach and say that we would still send our son there even without a financial award which we would (and, if I don't get work, have to move into someone's garage because we'll have to sell our, very modest, house!)and I know he's right but I just have this nagging feeling that they'll see we've ticked that box and think that we're fine and have pots of money (which we don't ...wail).

The whole system is so opaque - completely woolly so it can't be queried or questioned. Wonder if this is typical of the fee paying sector or just this school.

BlueBumedFly Fri 26-Sep-08 14:00:27

Tricky one, hope you don't end up in a garage! V drafty!

DO you know anyone else at the school that you can ask an opinion? Can you put 'don't know'

mazzystar Fri 26-Sep-08 14:02:45

god you know what i would just take it on face value.
the school has to know what its numbers are likely to be, it has to be financially viable.
i think its unlikely that they will be rigging the results of the scholarship based on which of the applicant's parents are likely to be able to pay.
or maybe i am hopelessly naive

AMumInScotland Fri 26-Sep-08 14:09:44

I think this is a very common question - we had prospectuses for a number of independent schools for DS (though he didn't go in the end) and I most of them had a similar question.

I think you should be honest - I believe it just helps them with their admin when the time comes to offer places. If your ds sits the scholarship paper and doesn't get offered a scholarship, they would know that you were not going to want the place.

They won't fiddle the scholarship exam because of this fact - it just saves them time and effort later, chasing up who got offered scholarships or not, and whether they want to continue with the application.

funnyquestion Fri 26-Sep-08 14:17:52

DH and I did come to the conclusion that we were over- thinking it! I'm probably just too cynical. Seems odd to ask that question though if the answer has no bearing on the outcome and if the answer does have a bearing on the outcome then that doesn't seem very fair or, indeed, transparent.

Don't know anyone to ask at the school. Did think about a fudging sort of a response or leaving it blank.

I'll ponder on it some more ... thank you for your thoughts.

funnyquestion Fri 26-Sep-08 14:22:37

Thank you Mum in Scotland ... I'm a very slow typer!

Good to know that other schools have this question. We are floundering around in a system we're not familiar with so it's really helpful to have some information from others who have trod the path before us!

Will stop thinking too hard about it and go and plant the pansies instead!

AMumInScotland Fri 26-Sep-08 14:26:18

Well, I think if you tick that box, and then your DS doesn't get a scholarship, then they won't offer you a place - they'll be able to offer that place to someone else straight away rather than putting them on a waiting list (all this assuming they are over-subscribed of course!)

Whereas, if that box wasn't there, and your DS didn't get a scholarship, they might waste time offering you the place even though you know that you wouldn't be able to take it. So someone else might go on a waiting list until you turn down the place.

If that person had a waiting list offer from this school, and also an offer from another school, they might take that one straight away, and your school have then lost a cutomer because of the uncertainty and delay.

I honestly think that's all there is to it. If a school was found to be fiddling their scholarships then it would get such bad publicity that they'd lose lots of customers.

funnyquestion Fri 26-Sep-08 14:47:51

Right, I've filled it in ready to post... phew.

Thank you very much for your thoughts.

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