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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:43 am
Posts: 360
Although it relates to the old Assisted Places scheme of the 1980s, this Sutton Trust report highlights the potential problems of enabling poor children to enter indies if there isn't also assistance with things like trips etc

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8068008.stm

At my DC's indie prep it wasn't always known who was on busaries, so I don't know if they had financial help for other things, but as all/most went on most trips, I assume it wasn't an issue.

Now they're at state grammars, every trip comes with a reminder that there is a fund to subsidise trips for those who can't afford it (though I don't know if they limit how many a child can do a year, as the boys' school does do a LOT of trips).


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
I can identify with this, and I attended a GS from the mid 80s. At the time, as Rugby only accepted boys, there were mostly really affluent families whose girls attended my GS. I don't really want to be sidetracked over WHY this was, and it has been debated before, but there was definitely a high correlation between gaining a place at the GS and being at least middle class.

Anyway, my sister and I (spent first few years in a council house, granchildren of Welsh coalminer, mother earned money by cleaning houses)* were the odd ones out. All the other girls had wicker baskets for their home economics ingredients and we had to take ours in biscuit tins. The majority went on many foreign trips and we went to none of them due to financial reasons. It probably didn't help that we were twins, therefore the financial demands were made at the same time for both of us rather than our mother being able to save up for separate events.

I also have a son at an independent school on a huge bursary and we don't have the same sort of house as any of his friends - ours is tiny! We have promised ourselves that we will do everything that we can to give him the same opportunities as the others if we humanly can however.

*I feel that I should point out that my mother provided us with many opportunities such as ballet, speech and drama lessons, elocution lessons, tap, modern, 'cello/violin lessons, singing lessons. She also went to Warwick uni as a mature student and gained a 2:1 in philosophy and english literature. She would kill me if I allowed you all to think that she had not the brain to do anything else and that my sister and I were deprived!!


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:08 pm 
I would hope that things are different nowadays and pupils do not look down on others because at least 50% of parents sending children to independent schools are first time buyers so hopefully they will not have as staggerngly high levels of wealth, or at least the parents came from poorer backgrounds initially and can be empathetic to those with less wealth.

I'm sure lots of schools help out with trips and uniforms if a child is on a full bursary but regardless of wealth it is the self-esteem of the parents that will help a child feel secure, regardless of their income. Unfortunately though there is a high correlation of poverty and low self-esteem although it is not a given.


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:42 pm
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One of my children is on a bursary at fee paying school. Only today, they remarked on how small our house is in comparison to friends, but then went on to say that they wouldn't want to live in their friend's big house anyway. I was educated in independent sector and also had friends with v large houses etc. but at the end of the day, it didn't matter. My child has a stable home life, some of those with the most material possessions have more emotional insecurity, such is life. I am grateful for the opportunity my child is being given and they are not the only ones from a modest background.


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
Posts: 2086
Location: Barnet, Herts
I agree 100%.
My DS has really wealthy friends with huge houses with swimming pools etc.
All the kids have Apple I phones , Blackberrys etc , so I constantly get "Why can't I have XYZ" .
The happy home life , stability and having a mum at home is very important .


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