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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:44 am 
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As what point should state schools say "thank you, but no thank you" with regard to parent donations?
Many parents round here are prepared to give huge donations to their child's chosen team sports or activities, or general fund raising, as the grammars serve as a financially savvy alternative to private schools, saving tens of thousands per year. At what point should a school say no thank you? Those parents are often given front row seats at events and their children are sometimes obviously accommodated above others in school activities and teams.
Should parents be allowed extra clout in the schools, simply because they are rich? Should they have front row seats next to the head during plays etc, simply because they threw cash at the school?
A discussion my friends and I, some of them the big sponsors, had yesterday....what do you guys think?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:00 am 
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Location: london
southbucks3 wrote:
As what point should state schools say "thank you, but no thank you" with regard to parent donations?
Very early on, it's the creeping privatisation of our education sector, much as has happened to health. The more schools appear to be able to rely on parents for thing the less they will be funded by the state and where does that leave your average school with a financially disadvantaged intake?

southbucks3 wrote:
Should parents be allowed extra clout in the schools, simply because they are rich? Should they have front row seats next to the head during plays etc, simply because they threw cash at the school?
NO. how vulgar to offer such 'rewards' and how tasteless to accept. :(

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:34 am 
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southbucks3 wrote:
Those parents are often given front row seats at events and their children are sometimes obviously accommodated above others in school activities and teams.


If this sort of thing is really going on in some schools, it is not just vulgar. I would think it could also potenitally be considered illegal under the Bribery and Corruption Act.

http://www.fsp-law.com/articles/schools ... ribery-act

Giving a generous wealthy parent a front row seat is one thing, but if it could be proved that their child was actually being favoured in some way (e.g. by being given a place on a sports team, or starring role in a production that they wouldn't otherwise deserve), that could be quite a serious legal issue for the school IMO.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:45 am 
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I've never heard of anything like this!

I think staff would go to unions if such underhand behaviour was happening ... staff give many hours to put on plays, run teams, orchestras, clubs etc and I think this 'goodwill' would be withdrawn.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:16 am 
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I'm not convinced this goes on, either. My two are nearly finished now, but I have seen no evidence throughout their school careers (one at a GS, one not) that the children of wealthier parents are favoured in school teams or activities – front-row seats at a concert, maybe, but does anyone really think an HT says to the head of PE 'you have to pick little Johnny for the football team because his parents have just made a donation to school funds'? Really?

There is a disparity over fund-raising, no question – one only has to compare how long it took DCGS to raise funds for a new sports hall with how long it took Amersham School to do the same. But as long as there is nothing underhand going on, I suppose that just reflects the different demographics.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:47 am 
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So are we saying, if the reward is for the parent, eg. Front row seats, that's ok, but any level of favouritism for the children is not acceptable?

The problem is, it's not always straight forward is it. How would a parent feel if they bought a mini bus, but their child was dropped from the team just months later.....used??
How about if they paid for the new lighting system one year and their children were not chosen for the play the following year. They would be unlikely to donate again.

Also where do you draw the line, it used to be a joke at my kids primary that if you had a seven seater and could give lifts your child got on the sports teams if they were anything like sporty, because they needed the seats.
Help out at the jumble sale, get to buy bargains before the doors are opened!
There is a low lying level of corruption in every school, but where should the line be drawn?

Would I write a strongly worded letter if I had donated towards a new all weather pitch and my son never got to play on it? Do you know, I may do, I would be wrong, so probably my son would stop me, but I would feel fed up. What about a contribution towards school ict, then your child was always last in the queue so ended up printing stuff at home. Humph you would think!

On another level still; should expensive school trips be allowed, particularly in term time or part term/part hols? Pay lots of money, secure the services of a team of specialist teachers whilst the children left behind have a stand in teacher or are given set work. Essentially you are buying an experience and priority teaching for your child in school time, even f it's a few days, that others cannot afford and unless pp or of very low income will not be offered help to pay for.

See, not black and white.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:59 am 
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I don't see any 'front row seats' for anyone except possibly the cast having an early chance to get tickets for their parents or invited visitors e.g. ex staff.

I don't agree with expensive school visits either.

If parents give expecting 'pay back' then that is wrong and none should ever be promised. As a parent and teacher I've never ever seen any 'perks' like this in any school I've worked in or known about.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:20 am 
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I am very glad to hear that guest55


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:36 pm 
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I am strongly against this and yes being able to grant favours did give a parent direct access to a head rather than the usual pecking order when a problem arose and it had serious consequences for DC involved.

Going to leave this discussion now because it makes me too angry. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:57 pm 
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Donate, yes. Privileges, no. If you have the means and are generous, then it's a great thing to share.
Not quite black and white, though. Consider this: Mick Jagger donated over half a million to build the Mick Jagger Centre at Dartford Grammar. He gets front seats when he visits. :D I don't think any of the parents are unhappy about this!


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