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Is racism at Graveney a problem?

(11 Posts)
bigreesy Sat 27-Jun-20 09:51:51

Hi. I am choosing whether to send my mixed-race daughter Graveney or JAGS. She would be in the selection sets. Does anyone have a view on how they stack up academically and whether my daughter could expect any bullying at Graveney?

OP’s posts: |
Soma Sat 27-Jun-20 12:47:38

bigreesy, there is another thread talking about this, have a look. There are also threads on both Twitter and Instagram detailing the issue.

I would not send a mixed race daughter there, and I know the school. I have no knowledge of the culture of JAGS I'm afraid, but it appears to be quite diverse.

HapppyDaze Sat 27-Jun-20 12:57:03

There's another very recent thread about problems at Graveney. That led me to dig a little deeper on Instagram. It makes for concerning reading and if what is written is true then it takes the shine off what appeared initially to be a school that could offer excellent opportunities. The academics may be good but there is more to school life than academics. Seems to me to be a pretty toxic environment but i say that having never visited the school and only read various concerning posts.

ComeBy Tue 30-Jun-20 23:49:18

My mixed race Dc was at Graveney (sixth form).

As a high achieving child they were not subject to the hierarchy between the higher and more average achievers, that underpins the systemic racism.

But she would be in the thick of a high proportion of very privileged young people who behave as if they are gods gift to the world. No one was directly racist to my D.C. in terms of bullying or harassment but they were deeply shocked by racist comments about other students, Uber drivers, etc.

Also my D.C. was shocked at the difference between sanctions imposed on black students as opposed to white.

Stircrazyschoolmum Thu 02-Jul-20 15:29:08

Comparing JAGS (top ten Single sex indie) to Graveney (massive Co Ed state with two selective classes) is a bit like comparing potatoes to apples surely?

The pastoral care, remote learning and facilities are going to be vastly better at JAGS.. no fault of Graveney, but that’s what you pay for (and you pay a lot!). The new head at JAGS has a very good reputation. Graveney leadership is a little stuffy and uninspiring. The size of the school means not every child can go on the school trips and the demographic of the school means there’s likely to be wide gaps in how kids have fared during lockdown. JAGS has a reputation as a hothouse.. historically lots of eating disorders and very alpha stressy girls who get worked up if they are not scoring very highly in exams. I do think they are working hard to address this and there is a logic that because they are accustomed to these types of girls they bring out the best in them. You have to decide if your DD is comfortable in that environment though.

I’m guessing your DD is bright to have been offered JAGS.. in my experience, bright girls will to some extent get picked upon at state secondaries as they are seen as swots.. I wouldn’t say this is bullying exactly but academic excellence is perhaps less celebrated by peers.

I can’t comment on race related bullying, but wanted you to have some other thinking points.. commute obviously is the other consideration, especially in these Covid times.

ComeBy Thu 02-Jul-20 15:50:09

in my experience, bright girls will to some extent get picked upon at state secondaries as they are seen as swots

IME of two S London comprehensives (including Graveney) this is not the case at all. Not these days! It's cool to be clever and have ambitious prospects.

Stircrazyschoolmum Thu 02-Jul-20 15:55:21

Comeby that’s really good to hear. Cool to be clever is definitely the way forward! :-)

marytuda Thu 02-Jul-20 19:39:27

Second that Comeby totally on our London state-comp experience so far . . . Clever is cool. Being a 'nerd' is cool. Being good at anything - sport music art - is cool.
It's the kids who for whatever reason struggle academically, and can't distinguish themselves elsewhere, who are in danger of disengaging/may be vulnerable to gangs etc.
That (self-congratulating, private-school?) belief that all high achievers are routinely picked on in state schools is way out of date, at least in London.

KillingEvenings Thu 02-Jul-20 21:39:17

I imagine you've seen the instagrams:
www.instagram.com/graveneystoriesofsexism/

ComeBy Thu 02-Jul-20 22:51:42

Yes indeed.

The school needs to be very open, honest and rigorous in their self-reflection to come out of this with integrity.

My Dc left last year and has told me some concerning stuff. Did not mention it before because I am not one to sit quiet or think my Dc should sit quiet about things that are not right, and they didn’t watch the fuss. Interestingly having watched the Epstein documentary, they have become aware of the damage of silence and Become very pro active in standing in solidarity across a range of issues and have contributed testimony to the students leading this initiative.

Amidst an obvious middle class cliqueyness and elitism, and some alarming behaviour from some staff, there were also fantastic opportunities, and picking in clever kids is a problem the school does not have!

If you are in the JAGS area, look at Charter. Very disciplined staff who work very hard indeed for their students. Dc had a good experience overall at Graveney, observations of actual and institutional racism notwithstanding, but I think they would have fine even better at Charter.

flourandeggs Fri 03-Jul-20 11:30:12

@Stircrazyschoolmum Seriously outdated atereotype! At our local Outstanding comp the STEM girls are cool and Maths is the most popular A Level. It is not cool to be racist, sexist, antI gay or not think about the environment...but clever is definitely more than ok. Never ever heard any of my children talk about a child being picked on for being in a top set, joining coding or robotic club or taking part in debating socity or member of one of the three orchestras. I think you watched too much Grange Hill!

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