Bullying at CRGS concerns me over the way the administer Free School Meals, as it is obvious to pupils which ones are on FSm's, as the apparently use a raffle ticket system, rather than a cashless system for everyone.
My DD has had issues with this in her bog standard Comp, and I feel that this could be an issue.
I spoke to the Deputy Head at the second open day, and he told me that the boys don't notice and are oblivious to it, as they keep their heads down and are not observant enough to notice this. And he told me that he is not aware of any bullying that has occurred over this issue. I doubt that, given my DD's experiences in a school that has a far higher percentage of pupils on FSM's.
However, he did tell me that they would not countenance bullying, and it would be dealt with appropriately if it did happen, for any reason.
I went to an all-girls grammar school in the 70's and 80's - in an area of England with the same kind of demographics as Colchester. I was there during the high unemployment years of Maggie Thatcher & Co, when it wasn't at all uncommon to have children on free school meals. We certainly had girls on free school meals in my class and in my year. No-one batted an eyelid or made anyone's life a misery because of this. No-one seemed to care a bit. Similarly, no-one seemed to be bothered that some of us had hand-knitted cardigans and Jumpers, rather than those purchased from the specialist school uniform outfitters at 3 times the cost, either...
Times change some suggest that children are more materialistic now. I can't say what happens these days and I certainly have no experience of local grammar schools. What I can say, is that I would be pretty confident that they'd tackle any issues that arose as a result of this kind of thing. At the end of the day, in the current economic climate and with employment instability, any one of us could find ourselves in the position of having to fall back on free school meals. The number of children having free school meals will have risen over the last 3 years and one might reasonably suggest it will continue to rise. I think that we might be surprised at the figures and it has to be said those parents with children at GS won't have been immune from the effects of this "recession", or left untouched in some way. There but for the grace of God, and all that.....
Be aware...but don't plan your worries, as it zaps your valuable energy