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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:40 am 
I’ve been reading some of the very interesting posts here at the Independents forum lately and there were many a time when I was tempted to make a reply. But very soon I kind of lost my way as to where to make a start because of the flurry of postings.

Perhaps, I thought, the best way is to start a completely new thread.

Somehow it saddens me to think there are still a lot of people out there who still find themselves entrapped in a time capsule as far as Eton goes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pro independent or pro Eton or pro anything. To me, a good school is a good school, is a good school. Full stop! You can stick any label on it whichever way you like. I’ve got kids who go(went) to both types, independent and state. And I’m perfectly happy with both the schools that my kids attend(ed) because both met with my fundamental requirement, i.e. a good education.

The old stereotype who thinks Eton is a school only for the rich and powerful, the titled and the aristocrats, the white ‘brats’ from the castles, etc. are, I’m afraid, still living in the Victorian Age. Let me say, for many years now, there is no guarantee of a place in Eton no matter what your family background is or how wealthy you are or however long (since birth) you have registered your name. The modern Eton requires one to go through a stringent process of suitability test which includes an examination of one kind or other plus interviews.

Whilst it is true to say there are some (boy) ‘Lords’ in Eton today (yes, Tipsy, they are officially addressed as such, Lord So & So) these wonderful boys don’t see themselves any more different from (say) the next boy whose family lives in an Inner London housing estate. Neither would a boy whose dad owns some islands in the Medditeranean look down on a boy whose dad only drives a Nissan Micra. They are as competitive as they come, both academically and in the playing fields.

While the school is an ancient Christian school from the Middle Ages, proud to maintain its very many traditions, Eton has also moved on with the times:

• Two years ago Eton appointed its first woman Housmaster - breaking with its 5¾ centuries of tradition - and a ‘Master-in-College’ at that! [Housemaster of King’s Scholars].

• The school has its own priest, immam, guru, rabbi etc. to tutor its rich mix of boys from the different religious groups that make up the modern world.

• Although a boys school, Eton boys are regularly ferried to nearby independent girls schools for weekend socials, etc. Girls schools reciprocate by coming to Eton to take on female parts in plays, dramas, etc.

• More and more female teachers, both permanent and part-time, are employed by the school to teach in the classes as well as in the music rooms.

It seems to me this ‘world’s greatest school’ is hoping to take things even further by planning to open its doors to all within a decade. A new dawn is in the making - exciting times ahead!

Eton ‘will be open to all’ within 10 years

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 258222.ece


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
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Hi Flamenco,
When I was at school I regularly played sport against Eton and have to say I always found the boys there to be good company and excellent hosts.

We always enjoyed playing against them because they were talented and competitive during the match but happy to socialise after it, win or lose.

Admittedly this was 20+ years ago, but I doubt very much has changed…


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:12 pm 
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Posts: 32
Thank you, Flamenco, for making such an observed and constructive comment on Eton (and I imagine similarly ranked schools). Having monitored this site for a few weeks I was beginning to lose all faith in some independent school users. Your fundamental view that a good school is a good school (and that means it's good for your CHILD, not just YOU and your perceptions of your personal situation) is wholly valid and I think sometimes lost in the mire of "who fits in here?", "what do they earn?", "do they deserve their place?", etc etc.

I, too, shall watch with interest to see what the future holds for Eton and its colleagues. Long may it last, but progress to meet the changing requirements of today's society.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:01 pm 
Rob Clark wrote:
Hi Flamenco,
When I was at school I regularly played sport against Eton and have to say I always found the boys there to be good company and excellent hosts.

We always enjoyed playing against them because they were talented and competitive during the match but happy to socialise after it, win or lose.

Admittedly this was 20+ years ago, but I doubt very much has changed…

Hello Rob!
Thanks for responding to this thread. I can honestly say the boys at Eton are a pleasure to talk with. They always show you great respects and give you their full attention when you talk to them - no matter how silly your questions may be.

Just being curious, which school did you represent when you played games against Eton during your time? I wonder if your school still have the same fixtures today against Eton?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:29 pm 
Dolly19 wrote:
I, too, shall watch with interest to see what the future holds for Eton and its colleagues. Long may it last, but progress to meet the changing requirements of today's society.

Hello Dolly19!
Thank you for your note. I've been thinking, the school has lasted almost 6 centuries through thick and thin and it's therefore a safe bet to say it would last just that little bit longer.

I'm pleased to report the school is leaving no stones unturned in its effort to raise, initially £50m, in the next 5 years (about £30m now raised); and, more ambitiously, at least another £200m in the next ten years or so in its stated attempt to open up access to the school for all.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:52 am 
Hi Flamenco,

I was just reading the public benefit section on the Eton website and I was stunned at the amount they put into the community.

http://www.etoncollege.com/summaryofpublicbenefit.aspx

I knew they were generous and went "above and beyond" what is necessary, but giving up their land to the public was quite surprising!

Quote:
Eton provides rent-free land and property for the Eton College Housing Society, which provides accommodation at low rents for local people.



Quote:
The Old Etonian Housing Association was set up in 1937 to provide affordable accommodation at a time of economic hardship. It owns 54 flats in the Islington area. It is too small to manage itself, and its management is in the hands of the St Pancras and Humanist Housing Association, but a committee, largely of Old Etonians, decides the policy of the association. It has recently set itself a new purpose – to develop innovative solutions to the housing problems of teachers in London. Its first scheme, now in operation, is the provision of interest-free loans of up to £100,000 to enable teachers to buy their own houses in the area.



Quote:
Thames Valley Athletic Centre. In 1996 Eton made over the land (value £2 million) on which Windsor & Maidenhead and Slough Borough Councils constructed the Thames Valley Athletic Centre with help from local authority funds and a sports lottery grant to Windsor & Maidenhead. Eton has less than 10% use of the athletics facilities; the public 90%.


This all happened well before anyone started talking about Charity worthiness. It seems it has always been a school which has been generous to the needs of those less fortunate.

The list goes on and on, and the boys give up a huge amount of their time to teach sport and reading in locak state schools aswell.


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 Post subject: independent schoolsH
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:25 am
Posts: 147
Hmm. Eton is a very fine school and does its charitable duty but by and large you must have money to go there.Christ's Hosptal is the best kept secret in the independent school world. The school is a charity. You pay according to your means which could be nothing-and is for a lot of parents.You must be academic and be able to throw yourself into the life of the school. Sport or drama or art or music all help. You must also prove that you have a need to board which can be anything from being orphaned, split family, no decent local school, a parent who is ill,living in a deprived area , overcrowded living space and a million other things. If you are bright and love to join in, if you are hungry to learn and can stand the million and one opportunities available , if you are funny and kind and your parents don't earn enough for you to go to Eton then you might be a Christ's Hospital child. You also have to be prepared to wear yellow socks and a tudor coat but it is surely a small price to pay for a life time of love.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:46 am 
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Eton appointed its first woman Housmaster...

Well, sort of. In 1982 I was part of a pioneering venture by Eton college where they invited 120 bright children from poor social and educational backgrounds who wanted to go to Oxford or Cambrige (well, that's how the papers portrayed it but most of us seemed to be from pretty middle class backgrounds to me - I went to Kendrick which didn't get huge numbers into Oxbridge at the time but gave me a very solid education even then) and the head of the girls' house there (who was called Jackie) was very proud of being Eton's first ever housemistress!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:46 am 
ConcernedMum wrote:
Eton appointed its first woman Housmaster...

Well, sort of.

. . . the head of the girls' house there (who was called Jackie) was very proud of being Eton's first ever housemistress!

Well, “sort ofâ€


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:29 am 
Re housemistresses and girls at Eton:

I had an argument once with a lady who home-eded her children and didn't know much about schools. She insisted that Eton did take girls, and not just at the summer schools but during term time. It didn't matter that I had done quite a bit of website and prospectus browsing on the subject! ;) Oh well, it seems that everyone has some strange perception, often unfounded, about Eton and Etonians! :lol:


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