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Is honesty really the best policy?


Dizzy dancer
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I sort of get a feeling (maybe wrongly) that your DD was really very keen on the school that turned her down initially (and she was very upset) and hasn't perhaps really come to terms with this.

This is why I think Moomins advice is good.

Depending on the school your DD obviously wanted as her first choice it may be a good idea (though unfortunately not easy I think) to get some idea if she is likely to get in on a re- audition.

Some pupils ....even for the Royal ....do get in on a second audition so your DD could be very happy with the result etc!!

 

However if she is not successful again .....it could be okay as she may then be more accepting of the situation....but she may also be very disappointed.

If she would be more than happy to continue where she is if she should not be successful again then perhaps it's okay.

Making sure of course protocols are followed.

What I did not pick up is how much time has now elapsed .......was this audition one ...two ...three ...years ago for example?

 

I don't personally see why any students at vocational school shouldn't from time to time audition for other schools if they want to but the MOTIVE for doing this should be very clear to the child /student involved.

Do you have any idea ( though of course you don't have to share it with us) what your DD's real motive is for this audition?

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I find Trings policy of not liking MDS students to audition for other 6th forms very odd indeed. The net can be cast much wider post 16 & children may wish to explore several options/get a feel for different colleges offering different kinds of training before finally making a decision.

 

I am assuming however that the OP is talking of lower school. The four MDS schools are all different in character, all offer excellent training but there are valid reasons why a child may prefer to try for a different school. This may not only be related to the dance side but also academic options, distance from home, family connections etc.

 

Yes schools may get annoyed at their students getting poached but I'm not entirely comfortable with this rivalry.

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It just doesn't seem fair, when schools have such a wide range of students to choose from, can keep them for as long (or as briefly!) as it suits them, that families can't do the same. Surely in an environment so unpredictable and competitive in nature, it would be a bit unnatural to try to stay put and not keep a look out for other options? If the schools are 'going with the flow', surely the students have got to do the same?

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Invisiblecircus I agree with you, apart from the fact that the students who do attend outside classes tend to be the ones who do better when auditioning at 16!  Also, it feels like a very unfair policy (yet again) weighted towards those who can afford fees.

 

I definitely agree that outside classes can be beneficial but I think it is reasonable that a full time student seek permission from the school before doing this, mainly to ensure the extra classes are of good quality and not in contradiction to what the school is teaching and also to make sure they won't involve a commitment that will compromise school activities. In most cases, I would hope the school would authorise the classes.

 

If you were on a school scholarship I would think it totally just that they should be able to remove it but MDS isn't paid for by the school is it, it's the tax payers money and you should be able to audition wherever you like! Could you get a second opinion on how likely it is that she would be considered at the other school before you rock the boat and more importantly risk her upset again?

 

The MDS is still awarded by the school though in that the school decided who gets one and who doesn't. In OP's case, her daughter has been identified by the school as one of those with the greatest potential and they're showing commitment to her by giving her the MDS instead of someone else.

 

That is not to say I don't think she should audition elsewhere.

 

Yes schools may get annoyed at their students getting poached but I'm not entirely comfortable with this rivalry.

 

It's not poaching in OP's situation though. OP is approaching the school, not the other way around.

 

Do you have any idea ( though of course you don't have to share it with us) what your DD's real motive is for this audition?

 

From the OP it seemed as if her DD just preferred the other school.

OP, is your DD happy at her current school?

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When my daughter was training abroad I noticed that a lot of students had trained at a variety of schools. One girl who shared rooms with my daughter had trained at La Scala, Royal Ballet School, Bolshoi and Vaganova in St petersburgh. She had not been assessed out of any of the schools but chose to go to what her mother thought suited her better. She was only 15 years of age. There were quite a few students who had done the same thing.

I would say that it is not in the childs best interest emotionally and socially to keep moving schools. Look at your reasons for wanting to move, is the grass really greener? Is your child happy and getting the best training?

The youngsters I mentioned above were very talented dancers who had parents who sought and pushed for the best training in the world. They did not appear to give a flying monkey if they upset their current schools. The ballet world is highly competitive. Opportunities have to be reached for as they very rarely land on your lap without any effort.

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If my daughter hadn't have sought private lessons outside of her earlier vocational school, she would not have got where she is today. I did not seek permission as I know she would have flatly been refused. This wonderful private ballet teacher also had students coming from Top vocational schools and I know they had also not sought permission.

People may ask why there was a need for one to one coaching, for my daughter the short answer was, she was in need for it. The training she was getting was not enough and she was not reaching her full potential, this was confirmed by her very, very experienced private teacher. Once my daughter achieved her place at her last vocational school, she was really pushed and there was no longer any need for private lessons.

Everyone's journey is individual and personal. I knew the risks we were taking, but my daughter was only staying at the school in the end because she was caught in the GCSE period, meaning it would have been detrimental to her academics. I get a shiver when I look back on the amount of money we were paying, but you live and learn.

I keep saying be very careful with your decision, especially if you have an MDS, a school may be very disappointed that you are even considering looking at another school.

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When my daughter was training abroad I noticed that a lot of students had trained at a variety of schools. One girl who shared rooms with my daughter had trained at La Scala, Royal Ballet School, Bolshoi and Vaganova in St petersburgh. She had not been assessed out of any of the schools but chose to go to what her mother thought suited her better. She was only 15 years of age. There were quite a few students who had done the same thing.

I would say that it is not in the childs best interest emotionally and socially to keep moving schools. Look at your reasons for wanting to move, is the grass really greener? Is your child happy and getting the best training?

 

Interesting to hear of girls that had trained at several top schools! Did they get good contracts in the end?

 

It's a good point about the social upheaval of moving schools part way through lower school. It's hard enough in a regular school but in a boarding school, so many more challenges because of the tight bonds that will have formed between existing students. However, this desire to move does seem to be coming from OP's DD and it depends a lot on her character, whether she is the kind of person who finds it easy to fit in and make friends as to how she might be affected by a move.

 

I meant to ask before whether it is confirmed that RBS have already implemented the rule that they will not assess out in year 7 and Elmhurs not in year 7 and 8. If it is, and OP is looking at one of those years in one of those schools, I would take into consideration that there may well not be places available in those schools in those years. Even before this came into effect, it was very difficult to be accepted and it did depend a lot on whether students were being assessed out. I imagine it would be even harder now.

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I meant to ask before whether it is confirmed that RBS have already implemented the rule that they will not assess out in year 7 and Elmhurs not in year 7 and 8.

Dd was at RBS and Elmhurst finals last year and they told us that they do not do assessments in year 7 anymore at RBS and not in year 7 or 8 at Elmhurst.

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I had heard that only Tring and RBS allow students to take MDS into the 6th form. As this funding is much more generous than DADA is for parents, it seems reasonable for a school to ask for honesty if someone does not wish to stay on for 6th form so that the funding can be given to someone else who does want and need it. The difference between  6th form funding from an MDS to a DADA is on average about £10-£15k per year more generous for a middle income family (Because of boarding costs) so it is quite a difference for a family to find; over three years, this can add up.

 

I also know that each school has to 'top up' the MDS fees as the government does not pay what it costs the school to train and they expect the contribution from the parents and the school. So if the school is also financially supporting MDS pupils it is quite an investment for them too. 

 

Schools cannot prevent pupils auditioning out and probably know when they do  because most schools ask for references. If a pupil wishes to leave, then it is best they are honest with the school so that funding can be re-allocated to the many applicants who do want to train there. 

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It is very difficult for the schools and students. However sometimes a student may just want purely classical training but holds a mds place at say The Hammond or Tring. Maybe the student in question was not sucessful in previous auditions at say RBS. Of course the student will accept the best offer on the table at that time but they should be allowed to persue the training that is desired for their future careers. Schools do put pressure on students using funding to prevent them auditioning elsewhere. That is not really what is in the best interest of the student, but I can understand why the schools do it doesnt make it right though.

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Being honest is the right thing to do, however there should be NO concequences for being honest. If this was the way then there would be no need for secrecy. It is fantastic when a child is awarded an MDS, parents still have to pay towards this scholarship depending on personal income. A child should not feel pressured into staying at a school either to continue dancing, stop dancing or moving to a different school. Children can't be owned or bought. I agree that a commitment should be made for a year on both sides, but people should be allowed to change their minds.

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I had heard that only Tring and RBS allow students to take MDS into the 6th form. As this funding is much more generous than DADA is for parents, it seems reasonable for a school to ask for honesty if someone does not wish to stay on for 6th form so that the funding can be given to someone else who does want and need it.

 

If the student knows they don't want to stay then fair enough, but I'm sure there are many who may be happy to stay but also want to see what else is out there in case there is an option which they feel will better prepare them for the career they want. There are so many options for 6th form, I think it's only sensible to investigate all the options before investing 3 years and a lot of money. We've seen several times on this forum that people have auditioned at several schools with a clear preference for one, but ending up falling in love with a different school after the auditions.

 

There may be students who, after successfully auditioning elsewhere decide they still prefer Tring, but they don't know unless they look at the other schools.

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I sort of get a feeling (maybe wrongly) that your DD was really very keen on the school that turned her down initially (and she was very upset) and hasn't perhaps really come to terms with this.

This is why I think Moomins advice is good.

Depending on the school your DD obviously wanted as her first choice it may be a good idea (though unfortunately not easy I think) to get some idea if she is likely to get in on a re- audition.

Some pupils ....even for the Royal ....do get in on a second audition so your DD could be very happy with the result etc!!

 

However if she is not successful again .....it could be okay as she may then be more accepting of the situation....but she may also be very disappointed.

If she would be more than happy to continue where she is if she should not be successful again then perhaps it's okay.

Making sure of course protocols are followed.

What I did not pick up is how much time has now elapsed .......was this audition one ...two ...three ...years ago for example?

 

I don't personally see why any students at vocational school shouldn't from time to time audition for other schools if they want to but the MOTIVE for doing this should be very clear to the child /student involved.

Do you have any idea ( though of course you don't have to share it with us) what your DD's real motive is for this audition?

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Thankyou everyone!

LinMM DD auditioned last year and to be honest was not prepared at all and didn't really fully understand how hard it would be. I think that is one reason why she wants to give it another go. I may be wrong but I think she may want to see if she has improved and if she could make it there now.

There are other reasons too which I can very much understand. She was an associate for 2 years at the school and has friends she misses terribly there. She also feels very comfortable there and has lots of fond memories.

It is closer to home. It also has a much more classical focus.

She has had an issue with bullying this year. She has made friends but ultimately does not seem entirely happy but sacrifices that for her love of dancing and the great academics.

I feel it is just a minefield and wish she hadn't asked????

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Dizzy Dancer I really feel for both you and your daughter.

 

I don't suppose there is any way you can get one of the original Associate teachers to give you some idea of whether she has a readonable chance or not? Probably impossible I know but just a thought!!

 

Your DD is obviously very determined which is to be admired but are any of her associate friends actually at this vocational school now? She may be with all new people if she were to be successful in obtaining a place.....or do you mean these friends are at this school.

It sounds as if she is really keen on the classical side of things and preferring a school which has more emphasis on this is understandable......even though I know it's encouraged these days to be more versatile etc.

it's interesting this happens in the ballet world as I'm pretty sure music students study in the area they feel most comfortable in eg classical or jazz etc but perhaps it's changed there as well now.........probably to give students the best chance of a job and so on.

However although some students have a feel and even a talent for different areas of Dance others prefer one style over another and I think these days it is very hard if you really just prefer the classical style as there are fewer vocational schools more specialised in this and so harder to get into. But I sense where your DD is coming from and will PM you if that's okay.

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I'd let her audition.

 

Do you know of anyone at the current school who has auditioned elsewhere that you could speak to first to see how the school might react?

 

I wouldn't bother trying to do it without the school's knowledge. You've mentioned quite a few issues there that you can bring up with the current school while reiterating that she is appreciative of the many opportunities available there and doesn't want to jeopardise. It sounds as if she is not going to get the idea of the other school out of her head and she would forever be wondering if she would have got in if she doesn't try.

 

If it's year 8 at Elmhurst or RBS she wants to go for, bear in mind and make sure your DD understands that there might not be any places. Speak to her about how she would feel if this is the case or if she doesn't get in. Also discuss how it can be difficult to fit in when the others started together in year 7. Even if she knew some of the girls from before, new friendships will have developed.

 

Good luck! It's a shame that some of the schools make this harder than it needs to be.

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Have sent PM

 

The reason for this as the post would have been just too long ......sorry a bit rambling.....even ....for the open Forum Dizzy Dancer!!

But am still happy to discuss anything further here if needs be!

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I know for a fact that Tring Park School do not inform other schools of DC's auditioning with them.  It is entirely up to the DC and / or parent to tell the vocational school.   I would guess out of common courtesy, I know of several children at vocational schools that have auditioned at other schools and kept it very hush hush.  

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I cannot imagine schools informing each other that would contravene data protection regulations and they would be liable to legal action for disclosure of information in particular regarding minors. I don't remember signing anything when we applied in 2013/14 saying they could talk to other schools just which schools they previous went to. 

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No signatures required? Oh dear, looks like you may need to follow your daughter and her gut instinct. If things can't stay the same, maybe change, if initially disruptive, is for the creative good, if she is to find her more classical focus. If she doesn't get in to the more classical school, could she try for the associate programme and get some good classical lessons, maybe privately? Then she'd be free to audition again at 16 for somewhere classically focused without having to worry about upsetting anyone at her current school.

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I know for a fact that Tring Park School do not inform other schools of DC's auditioning with them.  It is entirely up to the DC and / or parent to tell the vocational school.   I would guess out of common courtesy, I know of several children at vocational schools that have auditioned at other schools and kept it very hush hush.  

 

 yes they do

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