Mum asks if son will face ‘discrimination’ if he’s privately educated

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A mother has sparked a debate after asking if her son should go through private secondary education or if it will lead to him being ‘discriminated’ against in the jobs market.

The anonymous woman, from London, took to parenting forum NappyValleyNet to garner opinions on her dilemma revealing she is worried she might ‘make things tougher on him in the long run’. 

She said she’d heard that the privately educated are getting ‘tougher ride’ as workplaces looks to hire from a wide range of backgrounds, rather than favouring those from public schools. 

Her post sparked a diverse range of views, with some arguing that privately educated students are currently just experiencing a ‘fairer system’ because employers are trying to ‘level the playing field’ for those who didn’t have the opportunities.

Others agreed she is ‘likely to be disadvantaging’ her son because he could be ‘deemed to be too privileged’ to get internships.

A mother, from London, took to parenting forum NappyValleyNet, and sparked a debate after asking if her son should go through private education or will he be ‘discriminated’ against (stock image)

The anonymous woman revealed she is worried she might 'make things tougher on him in the long run' as she was told the privately educated are getting 'tougher ride'

The anonymous woman revealed she is worried she might ‘make things tougher on him in the long run’ as she was told the privately educated are getting ‘tougher ride’

In her post, the woman wrote: ‘ Does private educated mean discrimination in the work place? We are in the process of deciding which way to go for our eldest’s (son) secondary education. 

‘I have done the rounds of the usual London day schools and as expected they are very impressive and the boys that I met all delightful. I have no doubt that he would have a great time at any of them.

She continued: ‘My question is will I be making things tougher on him in the long run. Friends I speak to with older age children are telling me that that privately educated students, particularly boys are getting an increasingly tougher ride when it comes to university place allocation and internship/job opportunities. 

‘I don’t want to bust a gut to send him somewhere that will be a huge weight around his neck further down the line. Would love to know if anyone here has experienced or understands similar?’

Another woman said that the mother would be 'disadvantaging your kids' by sending them to private school

Another woman said that the mother would be ‘disadvantaging your kids’ by sending them to private school

One mother argued that the system is just becoming more or a ‘level playing field.’ 

She said: ‘I don’t think that you are being told the whole truth. I hate to use the word but I think it is more a case that some companies, particularly larger employers are trying to level the playing field for those who don’t have the opportunity to flick through mummy and daddy’s address book and sort themselves out a load of work experience which in turn helps with their CV, job applications, interviews etc. etc.

She continued: ‘There are more application systems in place, blind interviews, no shortcuts for children of friends etc.

‘If that makes it tougher for the privileged then so be it but I am not so sure it is discrimination. It does make it fairer all round. Don’t know about uni places maybe someone else will have a view on that??’

Another woman said that the mother would be ‘disadvantaging your kids’ by sending them to private school, and said she would never send her own children private.

‘Take a look at how dramatically Oxbridge entry has dropped from leading public schools (KCS has been v public about it),’ she said. ‘I’d argue (as someone who attended an elite public school) that’s entirely appropriate.

‘Employers can do this far more easily. Every major employer with a grad scheme is screening for educational background.

She continued: ‘And this isn’t discrimination, it’s a re-levelling of a playing field. Ultimately, you are likely to be disadvantaging your kids.

‘Don’t sign up to 15 years of doing the same job you hate, just to buy an old school tie. Keep the £ and buy them a property (which is of course every bit as unmeritocratic, but not as toxic).’

Another mother agreed saying there is no benefit to being privately educated and actually it might be a disadvantage

Another mother agreed saying there is no benefit to being privately educated and actually it might be a disadvantage

Another mother agreed saying there is no benefit to being privately educated and actually it might be a disadvantage.

She said: ‘We moved out of SW11 some time ago and my eldest has benefitted from an outstanding state grammar education and is holding an Oxbridge offer (fingers crossed for next week!) – but he has had no benefit from being state educated. 

‘Contextual offers have meant he’s had to put down our household income, our level of education, and our postcode is in a ‘privileged’ tier (or however they classify it). 

‘For a couple of internships he applied for he didn’t get beyond the first hurdle, due to him being deemed to be too privileged, which I have found very odd.

She continued: ‘I do think that the playing field has been tilted in the wrong direction for too long (both DH and I were privately educated and I know it helped me), but I’m not sure that an automatic ban on applying for something because you are now deemed to be ‘too white/male/well educated/wealthy’ is all that healthy either – but that’s a different conversation!

‘Anecdotally, friends of ours whose children are privately educated seem to have found getting offers tougher this year (particularly for medicine), and I have three friends with children who are now going to university in America……’

An employer said they look for ‘grit, hard work and people holding down a job while studying’ and people who have ‘never dealt with hardship or hard work’ will be disadvantaged. 

She said: ‘Statistically, there is last time I checked still a better chance of getting into oxbridge from a private school. Just.

‘Having interviewed 100s of people for Mayfair jobs, what do we look for? Grit. Hard work. Holding down a job while studying. So if someone presents with a manner of speaking and “air” that implies they won’t cut it, and have never dealt with hardship or hard work, they’ll be disadvantaged. 

‘Are we actively seeking a candidate pool that represents the population? Absolutely. Does this mean people have to perform not just have a private education? Yes.

Some people remained on the fence and said there is no right or wrong way as private education 'guarantees nothing'

Some people remained on the fence and said there is no right or wrong way as private education ‘guarantees nothing’

‘But I don’t think a private education disadvantages. Does an Eton child have a harder time of getting through interviews? Maybe. But not when they’re taught upward mgmt, persistence. And time and time again I see at first glance they are put “on par” initially with state school kids. 

‘But then you start to see what they’ve been taught that is life skills and they are more persistent, present their relevant capabilities more clearly, more persistent (again) more likely to negotiate on salary, more likely to be better at dealing with senior mgmt than state school graduates. And more likely to look out for themselves and not just be taken advantage of in the workforce.

She continued: ‘The takeaway? Teach your kid the above and they’ll go far regardless. Do they need a private school education if you teach them this? No. Give them a flat deposit instead. But give them confidence and risk taking capabilities. That’s the actual key to it all.

‘And yes – people game the system. Private to 5th form then sixth form state colleges. That’s partly how some sixth forms get such good results. Similarly, the private schools are bringing in 6th form girls, international kids, and scholarships for underprivileged postcodes for a reason.’

While others said being privately schooled is 'still a benefit' as it 'improves chances of getting top grades'

While others said being privately schooled is ‘still a benefit’ as it ‘improves chances of getting top grades’ 

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