harrow-a very British school?(111 Posts)
I caught up with the series recently on Youtube and enjoyed it. However, on reflection I do think it was all very sanitised - e.g very little mention of those dreaded beings, GIRLS, and the only behavioural issues anyone dealt with were things like being late and not having the right uniform. It's difficult to believe that all the boys are the relative paragons depicted. I wonder if Harrow demanded any right of veto?
Apologies in advance for restarting a zombie ...
Question for Buzi: You say that a large number of people in your extended circle are not sending DS to Harrow/Eton. Is that by choice or because they have become too academically selective? (I take it from your post it is not due to financial reasons).
If its by choice I am curious as to what would be considered better options?
@Boschy, I actually know Hugh and whilst sometimes he can be a poncy git. Perhaps one thing the program did not display was that he's actually a very intellectual boy who has much more substance than he appears to, considering he is currently studying in NY and is president of his building. He certainly has not quite followed the rut you are describing. He is possibly one of those few people who you think "You could not write this." He also, for all of his comedy, is one of the most generous and genuine people I know.
As for Harrow, the program accurately depicts how active the boys are, in comparison to my all girls boarding school, they have so much opportunity to completely push themselves to new levels. Whilst there is still some teenage boy laziness that goes on, the majority of Harrow boys that I have met have come away from Harrow having been given some of the most amazing opportunities in an environment that encourages them to go out and do their best. It may have its downsides, however between Harrow and Eton, I would pick Harrow every time. (However I may be slightly biased.)
I'm finding this a fascinating series, but I do feel sorry for the boys. It does seem a very cloistered world.
My husband runs a Hedge fund and I am a surgeon. His whole family went to Harrow or Eton . He refused and is way ahead of the pack !.I have never met anyone truly way ahead successful who plays Rugby or is excessively sporty ! We visited Harrow and hoped it was still "quirky " and the breeding ground for original thinkers BUT I am pretty sure Winston Churchill wouldn't get an offer today ! They have become a factory like the London day schools as well as Eton & Wellington !! The kids you meet would probably get straights As wherever they were educated and are complete self-starters who are also sporty.Life is easy at those schools for the teachers ! I have been to dinner parties where men drone on about their school and house...usually Eton or Harrow and that is sadly where their achievement ended.The downside at these schools is that some real live wires come out of them and the rest get to feel average all their lives or worse failures.They can make or break you but they don't do much else ! It depends what you take to be success in life...My experience of education and my DH's is that the real winners start to shine anywhere between 15 and 28 ! Most of my very successful friends are the ones that scraped through UNTIL...I worry about these schools all becoming so league table bound.. are we going to be a Nation of accountants and lawyers ! In the US they have gone full circle and they are looking for the personality traits that make people successful and trying to work out what a person will be good at. I am all for providing a good education to all men but I am worried the UK is selling out and becoming far too restricted in our methods and approach.Of the Etonians and Harrovians in our family ...namely 12 in our generation not one DS is being sent to either...!
His decision to try boarding came from quite an unusual source. When he was about 9 years old, my parents took him to London for the weekend. They had organised a trip to the Houses of Parliament through their local MP and then met him afterwards for tea. Our local MP (we live in Yorkshire) had attended boarding school and loved it so much that he recommended it to our son. That was it then, our son was so impressed that he wanted to go to boarding school too. The idea of being with his friends 24/7 and never ending activities really appealed to him.
All private schools have scholarships and bursaries to help kids who wouldn't normally have access to this kind of education go there. It sure beats my old school (which now has the dubious honour of having its own police officer permanently onsite now!). My parents could kick themselves that they didn't know about this route to private education when we were at school.
lumbmill could I ask, what made your DS want to board? My DS is a year younger than yours and watched the programme avidly, he would love to go there (no chance sadly!), thought it looked brilliant, but the boarding aspect was not something he liked.
As parents of a Harrow Shell, we've loved watching this programme as it's given us a real insight into our son's daily life (although in a different house). We chose Harrow as our son is exceptionally bright but also a bit lazy! Private education is new to us as we both went to the local comp and it was his choice to board. He loves it there and feels that it's the only school where he's truly fitted in. He is definitely having his inheritance early as there won't be anything left in the pot after 5 years!
I loved watching this programme and then watching educating Yorkshire.
A good school might be a good school but nothing an compare to being privately educated.
The boys on this show are confident, intelligent and have good personalities without being arrogant.
Personally I won't be doing the whole boarding school thing but when it came to choosing education for them there was only one choice - private. Moulds boys/girls into confident individuals IF you pick the correct environment for them.
Loved a thing this show!
I've been following this and EY too. I don't find the Harrow boys arrogant. They are self assured and articulate. Most seem quite reasonable to me. DS watched both programmes too and thought the same. He was envious of the shooting lessons but not any of the other gruelling endurance type activities. He was shocked at the wearing of boaters mind, you don't ever see them worn here in Dublin except on Bloomsday.
Fanny - what makes them unbearable? They're smart, respectful, polite. I don't get the criticism
Really liking the programme. I think everyone comes across well. Can't bring myself to call a child a 'tosser'!
The kids are very lucky to go there and I've got the impression they know so, or most do.
There are some bits I've thought would work well in any school like when the ex pupils come back and talk careers and stuff. Can't other schools do that?
There are some interesting points above. It certainly doesn't seem to hold people back going to Harrow so why are some so set against it? Personally I don't think I would send my children to private school as they would be as likely to do as well in a state school with a parent like me and I just don't like the unfairness of it all.
On arrogance, isn't it just confidence you don't like - I think everyone would do better if they were more confident and perhaps a bit entitled: in the sense that they believe they can achieve anything and 'why wouldn't go to Oxbridge or go on to be a millionaire?'
I used to live in Harrow when I was a teenager. Met some of the Harrow boys occasionally through friends. I remember I thought they were very posh and that one of them was called 'Randy'
sorry bisjo been working away for a while - 12 to 1 who apply. Thats what the test is for - to narrow down the field.
The housemasters work incredibly long hours. He was up at 5.30 in the morning, sorted out 70 boys throughout the day and taught too. That is a committed job when you consider the boys don't go to bed until after 10 for the majority. I made a mental note to self not to complain about any overtime again.
sparkly that made me laugh.
Hugh is indeed the Poshest Boy in the World, and boy does he work at it! he will either come a huge cropper somewhere and turn into a person, or he will waft out of Harrow, into Oxbridge (or maybe somewhere like Exeter for the yah quotient), into a merchant bank and continue living that wonderfully insulated life. Am sure he's terribly brainy, and awf'ly nice to meet at a drinks party, but where's the spark and the grit??!
I like the bit with the kitchen staff, where the head cook (?) was asked if she would send her son there and just said a point blank NO.
And as for CCF... what on earth is the point? loved KC with his head too big for the beret, he was so relieved bless him.
I watched it on youtube but they've only put the first three episodes on, which is a shame.
Anyone still watching?
IS Hugh actually The Poshest Boy In The World.
pickle totally agree that a good school is a good school whichever sector.
I think what I am trying to say, probably rather badly, is that you wouldnt cope with the arcane rituals and constant activity and having to excel at Harrow UNLESS you had been 'trained' for it via your prep school.
My girls just watch it with a kind of bemused amazement that the boys are so rah rah up the house well played old sport kind of thing, and I try to explain to them that its kind of bred into them from the beginning.
boschy I don't agree. A good school is a good school, whether private or state. Imho a good school is one that has teaching staff that care about the welfare of their pupils.
Grant reminded me of the boy in Educating Essex who was doing very well until his parents split up.
fresh from tonight's Educating Yorkshire...
what seems clear to me is that children are moulded from the beginning. you (one) could not survive successfully at Harrow unless moulded via prep school or so exceptionally bright at your state primary that you always knew (or were told) you had something exceptional ahead.
We (DH and I) are nouveau pauvre if you like - both privately educated, no way of being able to do that for our kids (and actually wouldn t want to). Kids also too thick for grammar!!
Yet if you look at Grant in tonights EY, he was a good kid til something happened to set him on the wrong track. Had he been at Harrow, he would have been told to 'play up and play the game' til he fucked it up and was advised to move elsewhere. at the state school they did the best they could with the options they had.
I can't think of much worse than having my son turn out like the boys at that school.
What a bunch of unbearable children.
Even if I was a millionaire, I wouldn't want my child to grow up like that.
Agree with Loopytiles. The vast majority of people,regardless of any 'sacrifices' made, would not be able to afford the fees at Harrow,
It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest otherwise!!!
It just serves to illustrate the bubble in which these parents live....
That's probably one of the smuggest posts I have ever read on MN Harrowmum.
Harrowmum, to afford £30k annual fees a family would need that net income to pay the fees, plus whatever it costs them to live.
For the vast majority of people on average wages that would never be possible, whatever "sacrifices" were made. Any big bursaries excepted (don't know how many of those are paid out each year) the boys there are all from wealthy backgrounds.
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