Intimidated by prep school parents

(9 Posts)
notpushyparent Wed 19-Mar-14 16:55:24

Hi, I'm looking at schools for my DS - not for a couple of years yet but seems you need to start early.

Anyway, I'm new to the whole private schools thing (was state school all the way) but husband is set on it.

All the schools I've looked at have been really lovely but I'm a bit worried about what the other families will be like. I keep hearing tales about how 'pushy' mums at these schools are. Two recent ones were alpha mothers fighting in the playground at Thomas' and mothers not being allowed to wear jeans to pick up kids from Broomwood.

Can anyone tell me what it is really like being a mum with kids at these schools? Will I have to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes and a range rover just to do the school run in?

I want the best education for my son, but am in no way an alpha mummy myself so am a bit nervous about how we'd fit in.

sw12 Wed 19-Mar-14 17:04:46

Hmm, good friend of mine with kids at one of the schools you mention talks about being ignored by the 'Mean Girls' at parents' events.

That said, you get plenty of cliques at the school gates at state schools too.

DonsDrapers Wed 19-Mar-14 17:17:32

Fitting in is important for you and DC have you looked at state options? What does your husband say about it.

ka26 Wed 19-Mar-14 18:10:40

I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is complete rubbish that Mum's cannot wear jeans when picking up their children at Broomwood! It id a super school. All schools have their share of pushy and competitive parents!

LocalEditorWandsworth Wed 19-Mar-14 19:24:30

Ha, ha!

I think we may have been responsible for the Broomwood jeans rumour - well at least this old post by an MNetter -
At least the rumour that "after Sports Day, the head sent a letter to the parents saying how disappointed she was that so few mothers had chosen to wear hats and gloves ... " seems not to have become urban legend in the same way grin.

I hadn't heard about a fight at Thomas' though - now hoping your question will reveal more salacious schools gossip wink.

On a serious note, I have two kids in an SW London prep and, yes, there are some very well dressed mothers, families with huge houses and obviously pots of cash but most of them are lovely with it. There are also lots of families who are scrimping and saving (like us) to send their kids there too.

I'm rubbish at getting the kids ready and out of the house in the morning, let alone myself, so almost always look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards at morning drop off. But I've still made friends and I'm definitely not the only one in that state!

You will find friends wherever your kids go to school - one of the 'grandest' mums I know is head of the PTA at a local state school. She terrifies me! The best thing to remember is that if the pushy competitive parents scare you (and they will most of the other parents do) then you wouldn't want them as good friends anyway.

sw12 Wed 19-Mar-14 20:33:10

By the time your son gets to school you'll be an old hand!

At my kids' nursery they used to take it in turns to bring home the school mascot. Then we'd have to take photos of them with it and fill in it's 'diary' with the story of what they got up to.

That grubby old teddy had been to more far flung beaches than Judith Chalmers and a surprising number of the mothers managed to 'accidentally' be in the background of the photos posting in their designer swimsuits.

We took it to the pub.

Arismama Wed 19-Mar-14 20:58:11

I understand your concerns. I have found it quite tricky since moving to the area over a year ago when it comes to making friends. We went to see several schools for DD (due to start next year Sept).
Garden house, Thomas' (Battersea), Le E'cole de Battersea, and Wandsworth Prep. Some of the prospective parents can be incredibly snooty, but I'm sure i won't be ring leader of the tiger mums club so I'm not too concerned. I'm sure there are lots of less 'rah' type mums out there like yourself!
Out of all of the schools I found Wandsworth prep the most down to earth/normal and also really liked their approach to education so hoping we get a place!

MC13 Sat 22-Mar-14 15:17:38


Yeah it's not true about Broomwood parents not being allowed to wear jeans. What is shocking though is female staff are not allowed to wear trousers and in the summer if they want to wear open toed shoes they must have had a pedicure! I am not joking. Amazing. That is the sort of thing that if it happened in the city there would be a discrimination case. And rightly so.

Bendyogi Thu 03-Apr-14 17:54:27

Hi. Think it's very important as a mother of a child at a private prep school that you are perfectly turned out all the time. Perfect blow dry, manicure and pedicure. Designer clothes and the latest handbag are a must. Oh and don't forget the 4 by 4 which you must drive to school in and park outside the gates on a yellow line without a thought for anyone else....

Am soooo kidding. Groups of women by nature can be a nightmare. There are some wonderful families and mothers at my daughters very academic top private school. There are some less appealing mothers too. Be yourself and don't worry too much because you will find that other like minded mums naturally gravitate towards you!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now