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 Post subject: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:39 am
Posts: 3
What to do? Three years ago a friend of mine received a bursary (90% off the fees) for her daughter to attend a 'leading' independent school. At the time she was a full-time working single mother and claimed her daughter's father (who she sees regularly) does not contribute to her upkeep even though he has job, albeit a low paid one - think he contibutes in other ways though as the child has the very latest mobile phone, ipod, bike etc.
The mother has a boyfriend who she has been seeing throughout the three years and they have enjoyed many expensive holidays together. The daughter has recently confided in my daughter that her mum is living with the boyfriend, who incidentally earns good money, but has been told by them not to tell anyone, especially at school or she will lose the bursary and will have to leave.
I feel torn ... on one hand I am seething because it's fraudulent and not fair on genuine cases; also not impressed that the daughter has been dragged into the deceit. However, she's a friend of mine, although not a very close friend, and I'm not sure I would be able to stand the guilt if telling the school leads to huge problems for them.
Just wondered how others would feel about this? :?
Or, perhaps living with someone who is not the child's father is allowed under bursary rules; I do not know ... does not seem fair but perhaps they are not actually doing anything legally wrong?


Last edited by SurreyLass on Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4604
It's horrid, but probably best to keep your nose out! :). It's not the child's fault. How would you feel if she lost her place at the school because of your actions?


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:08 pm
Posts: 81
I think its best to stay out of it for the child's sake. The poor child may be the one that looses out in the end and she has not done anything wrong. The mother's lies will catch up with her someday.


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:33 pm
Posts: 287
I would stay out of it too. They are not married, so how this guy is spending his money is his own business. On paper your friend is a single mother with low income, so it's impossible to prove anything, even if somebody would want to do that. And how long their relationship will last...nobody knows.


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 2237
SurreyLass wrote:
I do not know ... does not seem fair but perhaps they are not actually doing anything legally wrong?


Well that bit's easily answered. If your friend is doing what you suspect, she's committing a serious crime:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/pdfs/ukpga_20060035_en.pdf

Tricky one, isn't it? If you say nothing she will presumably continue to misrepresent her position for the rest of her daughter's school and university career and add perhaps another £120,000 or so to the approx. £30,000 she's already made. But she stands a pretty good chance of receiving a prison sentence if you say anything.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Oh it's not great. Don't trust your friend ever to tell you the truth, nor the daughter to be truthful with your daughter. But there are probably plenty of examples we can all think of where we have asked our children to be less than 100% honest (e.g. don't say you don't like that person etc, pretend you like the food when you are someone's house etc etc)

Presumably the mother has to fill in a form each year and answer a question based on "household income" - maybe the school form is not that specific. Unless you have seen the form and the questions it asks you don't really know. Some school have some very vague bursary forms. So hopefully she is not lying, is just worried that the school might choose to take it into account if it became obvious. Schools can chase the basis on which they hand out bursaries whenever they fancy. This is why it is dodgy accepting massive bursaries as if the school withdraws them you have to find a different school for your child.

The thing that she really stands to lose is any life-time spousal maintenance she currently receives from her ex-husband if she lives with her boyfriend. Tough but true. But again, a bit like the school, the truth will surely out without you having to do anything. It's a bit difficult to hide someone living with you unless you shove them in a priest hole. But she may not have an agreement for spousal maintenance; but if she has this might be her real reason for worrying about the live-in boyfriend, not the school fees.

Many bursary applications do not take into account spousal maintenance. So you already have many people "mis-using" bursary funds who are receiving stacks of dosh from the ex.


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Mean to say schools can CHANGE (not chase) the basis on which they give out bursaries


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:16 pm
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Oh dear the things people get away with. It's not the daughter's fault that she has been put in this position and been told not to tell anyone, it must be very awkward for her. I think it's great that she feels able to trust your daughter with the information and is able to confide in her, that may have been more of a relief to her than might be apparent.

I agree with above comments to keep out of it and not get involved.


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:25 pm
Posts: 463
I guess it would depend on what is actually mentioned on the busary form as some do ask parents to indicate the status of relationships eg divorced etc but as the others have said it may be best to say nothing to the school in question.

_________________
;D


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 Post subject: Re: A Moral Dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:07 pm 
What does your brain say is the right thing to do? Are you 100% sure of the facts.


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