Penalised for doing well at school.

Sarah - posted on 09/17/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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So I recently started a course at the college. When I went to enrol, I had to tell them what qualifications I already had, for me, that was 7 GCSE's, 2 A -levels and an AS level.
Then the woman who was enrolling me said "That's a shame, if you had less qualifications, you could have got this course at the reduced rate, or possibly free."
So because I did well at school/6th Form, I had to pay £500 for my evening course. If I had qualified for the reduced rate, it would have been just £96.

I can understand that they're trying to help people get some sort of education behind them, and that they have to fund these courses somehow, but it does seem unfair that the people who did well are penalised (and that it's assumed they have lots of money!!)

I know in the end, it's worth having my A-levels and stuff, but it's still annoying when I've had to extend my overdraft just to afford to do this course.

Do you think it's good that they give this reduced rate to people with no qualifications?
Do you think it's a fair way to do it?

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Jessica - posted on 09/17/2010

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That is not David Cameron's policy, and although I really dislike the Tories, he seems to have an idea of how it should be. E-mail him on the downing street website, I'm sure he will be interested to know this. Make sure you mention that *you feel that you should be taking this to the papers* and letting the nation know how the government are discriminating against the smart when the policies they have put in place are meant to help the smart. Emphasis on the FEEL part. its an silent threat and one that can be made to go away. If he chooses not to help then take it to as many national papers as possible. I would also get a meeting with the head and head of finance at the college to tell them exactly how you feel and that you are considering going public with the information.

Giving financial help to someone who can't afford it is one thing, but giving financial help because they are either thick or didn't feel like paying attention in school is NOT right. Both my parents have worked in Adult Education in Birmingham for over 20 years and they both don't give concessions for stupidity and would entirely disagree with it. It sounds like the college you are attending has misread the rules for their funding or have found a sneaky way to get more funding my deliberately misinterpreting government policy.

Seriously, look into it.

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Petra - posted on 09/17/2010

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Damn I wish post-secondary ed was more accessible... congrats to you for seeing it through though, Sarah.

Sarah - posted on 09/17/2010

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Seems like it's a government policy.
The only other way to qualify for a discount, is if you're on certain benefits (which I think makes sense).

I don't know, it's kind of a weird issue I guess, because I understand kind of why they've set it up like that. It's just annoying that I'm now in debt and have 4 more instalments to make which is going to make life more difficult for us. As Tara said, just because I have some good qualifications, doesn't mean I have more money!!

Just seems to me like there could surely be a slightly fairer way to do it.
I just keep telling myself that once I'm trained up, my qualifications will give me an edge in a job interview over someone who only has the course under their belt I guess :)

Tara - posted on 09/17/2010

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Just cause you're smarter than some of the other people taking this course doesn't automatically mean you are wealthier!
I would complain. It's discriminatory against people who are smart.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2010

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Go to your local MP and councilor. Get them to look into it. If nothing comes of it, go to the papers. Particularly educational papers. Don't like it? Change it. Or at least try to.

Louise - posted on 09/17/2010

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I don't think this is fair at all. I know the govenrment try to encourage people to better themselves through these courses but surely if you are willing to do the course no matter what qualifications you already have you should be encouraged. Makes no sence to me. I am also angry with the fact that my son gets no help at uni as his mum and dad are married so he gets no grants at all. If his dad and I seperated he would have government handouts coming out of his ears. How does that help couples stay together when there family is better off apart.

Sarah - posted on 09/17/2010

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Yeah, it's publicly funded.
Like I said, I get that they want to help people who have little/no education. I do think it's a good thing in a way, I guess I just think that the jump from £96 to £500 could be a little less.

Also, I guess I'm biased because I had to pay for it! lol

Ez - posted on 09/17/2010

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It's probably not fair, but I can see the reasoning behind it. They are trying entice people with little/no education to gain some qualifications by offering the reduced rate. I assume the plan is that once they have the qualifications, they can then get a better job and start contributing more to society in the form of taxes. Is this a publicly-funded college?

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