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The Student Support Centre

(16 Posts)
wimini Mon 12-Mar-12 20:45:58

I have got a letter from the kids' headteacher about a service called the Student Support Centre. The school hasn't ever sent any advice on support at home before, but this is a letter from the head, saying although she doesn't actively endorse it, she wanted to give us an opportunity to find out more about it. From googling this company, it has mixed reviews to say the least.

Is this company genuinely helpful? All I've heard on here and from friends is that Bond books and the workbooks from WHSmith are good if your child needs extra help or you're practising for 11+. And BBC Bitesize. Never heard of anyone in real life mention the company, except for the flyer we've just got from school. Anyone with any experience?

OP’s posts: |
puds11 Mon 12-Mar-12 20:47:37

is it similar to student support centres at uni?
if it is im going for help tomorrow, so could report back on my experiences?

LadySybilDeChocolate Mon 12-Mar-12 20:47:57

Do a search on here for them. There's threads. Keep away is the general jist of them.

LadySybilDeChocolate Mon 12-Mar-12 20:48:58

No, puds. Think Kumon, just a lot more expensive and without the tuition.

puds11 Mon 12-Mar-12 20:50:04

ah right thanks ladysybil

IndigoBell Mon 12-Mar-12 20:55:21

I think they charge £2000 to send you a bunch of DVDs and workbooks.

Run a mile - and complain to the HT.

Himalaya Mon 12-Mar-12 21:07:58

I think searching the Internet for info on The Student Support Scam was what first brought me to Mumsnet (...so there is some good in them grin)

I did write to the HT with what I found out and she said she had no idea it cost so much. I think schools are a bit naive to endorse this company (with the carefully worded 'this is not an endorsement' letter).

I would write/ go talk to the school. They shouldn't sell their professional communication with parents off like this.

wimini Mon 12-Mar-12 21:19:41

I will complain to the HT. But I just can't work out what possessed her to put her name at the bottom of the letter. It's one thing to tell parents that kids could do with a bit of help and point out some 5 quid book from Smiths, and another to be telling all parents about a programme that costs thousands of pounds. I can't imagine many kids who'd cooperate with weekly workbooks and DVDs for the next 3-4 years (perhaps that's just mine). Why?

OP’s posts: |
IndigoBell Mon 12-Mar-12 21:22:23

The SSC pays school to distribut those leaflets.

That's why you need o complain.

Himalaya Mon 12-Mar-12 21:23:26

I think they do a hard sell on HTs and on parents.

All the other schools send them out ....you won't be endorsing the product... Don't your pupils have a right to information ...etc... Plus they pay schools a small amount for sending it out and a small amount per reply received.

But you are right, I don't understan how HTs can be so naive.

wimini Mon 12-Mar-12 21:32:33

so the kids' school is getting some money out of this. Profiting from other parents' misery by the looks of things. And this is a CofE school. Nice.

I bloody hope the HT didn't know about it, as I thought she was quite good.

OP’s posts: |
Himalaya Mon 12-Mar-12 21:59:45

I don't know what the CoE has got to do with it. Are they supposed to be endowed with higher morals or something hmm.

The impression I got was it wasn't a lot of money but enough to act as a little sweetener. The HTs (secondary and primary) both said they thought the materials looked good, but had no idea that parents were being sold contracts of upwards of 1K.

It is more a case of no due diligence than the school actively being in on the scam. My advice would be when you talk to the school give them enough wiggle room to say 'we didn't know' rather than going in with all guns blazing and putting them on the defensive.

When I did my research I came accross one LEA (Brihton & Hove I think) that had put out a warning to HTs aboitbthis company.

sleepingbunny Tue 13-Mar-12 11:01:15

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/9018047/The-2700-tuition-hard-sell.html

There's a good Guardian piece on this too - just can't find it immediately

We had this. I complained (politely and sent these pieces as links) and the head then refused to send the slips back (good on her, I say). Basically the company tells them that 'everyone else is doing it' so they do it too, which is naive but understandable. But I was alarmed (and so was the Head) by how many people sent back slips saying that they were interested because she recommended it. I think she just didn't realise how it would look

Himalaya Tue 13-Mar-12 12:46:19

Here is the Guardian one www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/may/10/parents-protest-promotion-home-tuition

gabid Tue 13-Mar-12 13:02:39

I started a thread about SSC as I was confused about the school promoting that company on their headed paper and urging us for reply slips - I was surprised!

Another mum at our school contacted them for more info and had a sales person in the house the very next day showing her videos and pressurising her to sign up - and that was a family on low wages who could ill afford £2000! After 2 hours the sales person finally left leaving her feel guilty for not caring about her DS's education.

Disgusting practices!

I casually asked the Chair of Governers of the School, but she didn't seem very open for a chat about that and just said that all schools did it - it's still disgusting! They must get a lot for those reply slips.

Aud15 Mon 20-May-19 14:28:15

Terrible. Same with National Learning Group. Hard sell, can't cancel the program, worthless online tutoring.

Stay away from those companies. Its a scam.

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