This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Are Trinity, DC, Whitgift schools anti-BAME?(30 Posts)
Our son is currently enrolled at a top private preparatory school in Ghana 🇬🇭.
My wife and I would very much like him to attend the Whitgift School which is a major private school in Surrey, England.
We have been warned that the school accepts relatively few BAME students, and that this is normal for the private schools in England, despite many elite schools being situated in relatively multicultural areas.
If there is a problem with access to BAME at the elite schools in England, why is this the situation and what if anything is being done to redress the imbalance? Why are the grammar schools full of BAME students yet we are sorely underrepresented in the fee-paying schools?
Not the case in my experience in London. It's VERY mixed
I don't know who warned you about this or what was their personal experience with those particular schools but I live in the area where they both are, have friends whose sons attend the schools and there is definitely a good ethnic mix in both. That statement might be true about some more rural boarding schools but is really not the case here. I know both schools also offer quite a few bursary places so it's not even that there is no social mix either. Both are known as brilliant schools - good luck.
DC is very diverse, and I believe Trinity and Whitgift are too.
There might be some reflection of British society and how wealth is distributed. But DC and Whitgift both have extensive bursary schemes which might counterbalance that. And of course they both have boarding houses which brings in international students (Trinity may well have similar - I just don't know so much about it).
I have a son at Trinity. It is definitely not anti BAME. Very mixed. Have a look at the pictures on the website.
They are talking tosh.
Ds was one of three kids who spoke English as a mother tongue (the other 2 kids were bilingual) at his prep and i’d say the vast majority of kids where he is now are not white. And he’s mixed race anyway!
Whitgift has a very diverse ethnic mix indeed. It's also in the middle of Croydon, which is a multi-cultural outer borough of London; it's not 'Surrey' at all.
Your information may be correct for some of the more rural independent schools, as a pp suggests, but it's completely inaccurate as regards Whitgift. Best of luck to your son.
This is not correct. Have you been to South Croydon where the Whitgift is? It's more South London, it's nothing like Surrey. South Croydon is very multicultural so are Croydon schools, even it's private schools.
I am in the perfect position to answer this, because I am Indian, moving to the UK in 2020, and currently trying to get a sixth form place in a private school for my son. ( I have had a lot of very good advice from Mumsnetters on another thread) .
I was at Whitgift just last week, for my son to do the entrance tests, and can assure you that it is incredibly diverse. Probably the most diverse of the schools I have seen so far. They were also very welcoming. The admissions officer was lovely, taking a lot of time to chat to my son about his interests. ( They like sporty boys).
Every "elite" private school I have seen so far in London has been incredibly diverse. I am told Westminster is 50% Indian or South Asian. Diversity in London really should not worry you. And yes, Whitgift is in South Croydon, not Surrey.
What is worth worrying about is that entry into certain private schools ( especially in sixth form') is incredibly competitive. As I am finding out...
I also have a son at Whitgift and can confirm that what you've been told is complete nonsense.
OP I strongly suggest you come and visit the locations and schools in question in person before deciding to send your son here all the way from Ghana, as your current source of information is clearly extremely unreliable verging on dangerous.
And yes, both Whitgift and Trinity are in the London Borough of Croydon, nothing to do with Surrey. Might be good to do a bit more research before attending the parental interview at Whithift.
86% of people in the U.K. are white, it's not a surprise that they are the bulk of the students. Fees are very high so perhaps it's more about income
Just a thought though, whitgift is a day school that has brought in a boarding house, most students though are day students, both DD's friends who went there weren't even aware that some boarded (I had asked them following on from a previous thread). If you are in Ghana I'm guessing you need full boarding
If you need boarding I can't recommend Tonbridge School enough - my son started there in sixth form as a day student and he was made to feel so welcome. They have long school days and the amount of time he spends in school is because it is catered for boarders. It also has a fantastic house system which makes the boys have a strong sense of community and belonging . Of course they have high expectations academically and there is enough opportunity to succeed
I am with the "do more research" responders. Have you even looked at a prospectuses of these schools? Or at the population stats of Croydon or London? Whoever has been advising you seems to have dropped down a wormhole from 1930 and be confusing Whitgift with Harrow/Eton of the period.
The phraseology "accepts relatively few" is curious!
Great advice from the responder upthread from her very current experience.
Just read your post again - on what basis do you assert "you are sorely unrepresented" in fee-paying schools?
As above, 86% of the U.K. is white. Parts of Croydon are very multicultural as is London is general and I’d say that’s reflected in the population at the private schools that way (Whitgift, Trinity, Royal Russell, Croydon High and others).
I would not choose Whitgift - wonderful school that it is - for an overseas boarder. It is a day school with one boarding house where most of the students go home on a Saturday night.
The obvious choice for a full boarder from Africa is the King‘s School Canterbury. Substantial numbers of African students in the boarding community and in leadership positions throughout the school.
Croydon is not in Surrey despite the postcode address. Surrey begins around 5/6 miles away as I live in the first town in the South London / Surrey border and I work in Croydon. Croydon is a London borough and there is an extremely diverse mix there. Many kids travel in from London too to attend the school. My son doesn’t go there but I see the Whitgift kids on the train and they are definitely not all white
My son goes to Whitgift and I am black. Whitgift is good for diversity. They are also very welcoming...
Re.your comment " Why are the grammar schools full of BAME students". This is a thought provoking question, esp.re.schools such as St.Olaves in Orpington where the local population bears little resemblance to the 85% and rising BAME intake. Yet, a non-BAME parent would not dare question 'why is this the situation and what if anything is being done to redress the imbalance?' Re.your comment "yet we are sorely underrepresented in the fee-paying schools?" This assertion is nothing short of astounding. My son attends Trinity and he is definitely an ethnic minority there. He is white. Ignorance + self entitlemement. Urgh
This may have been true years ago for 1st gen immigrants, but we are now looking at wealthy second or third gen British people of BAME origin or wealthy people from India / Africa- selective private or grammar education is often preferred by these communities now.
This doesn't ring true at all. My son is at Trinity and at least half (if not more!) of his class are not white. In comparison, there were only 3 non white children in his state primary where he went before. His best friend who is Asian is at Whitgift. I really don't recognise this concern at all
Hahaha - where on earth are you getting this from?! Seriously, who exactly is telling you this and what is their basis for it?
My son is mixed race and goes to Whitgift. Having spent several years as a Whitgift parent I can safely say that their intake is very, very diverse, as you would expect from this multi-ethnic area.
You only have to watch the kids coming out at the end of the school day to know that what you have been "warned" about is complete rubbish!
Looks like Ghanadad has left the building....
Yes... pity. I would genuinely like to know who his spectacularly inaccurate source of information was.
Someone who visited Harrow on a day trip in 1935?
Someone whose aunt's friend's grandmother read it in a book once?
Someone whose son didn't get a place and it can't possibly be because they failed the exam?
Please login first.