Too Poor For Posh School Review: B+ Viewing
CUTTING EDGE – TOO POOR FOR POSH SCHOOL: Thursday 11th March, Chennel 4, 9pm ALERT ME
Harrow School in North London is one of the most expensive, prestigious boarding schools in England and only the best and the brightest are accepted. Previous students have included Winston Churchill and the King of Jordan, so the bar for new students has been set quite high.
Unfortunately, due to their astronomical fees, the best and the brightest also have to be the richest. But ex-pupil Peter Beckwith feels that if you’re talented and hard-working then money shouldn’t stand in your way. So he created a scholarship programme that will afford two potential students the chance to go to Harrow and change their lives.
This episode of Cutting Edge follows three hopefuls as they through the various hoops of the public school selection process: Tumi, Nuhman and Krishan. With Harrow’s extremely high standards, the three boys will have to prove that they’re worthy of such a sought after prize. The scholarship will pay for their entire education and all boarding costs which would usually cost £28,545 per year, something that the three families in question could never afford.
They’re tested academically with maths and English exams, musical performances, sports, IQ tests and an interview with the headmaster. The youngest candidate is Krishan at just 10 years old but he sets the standard for the others with his articulate interview answers. Tumi fares equally well in the academic subject but freezes when questioned, and although you’ll be rooting for Tumi, after seeing his pushy mother you’ll wonder if Harrow is what he really wants.
Nuhman is under a similar influence from his father whose own lack of education is pushing him to help Nuhman succeed. They’re far from being stage parents and you sense that their intentions are for the best, but I felt that the children have been slightly brainwashed into thinking that this is what’s best for them.
My only gripe is that the filmmakers focused solely on three children from poorest backgrounds, with the other candidates left out in the cold. Everyone there had a story to tell and it’s just a shame we couldn’t hear them.
However this is a rare glimpse of generosity from the upper classes and it was enjoyable to see children that were smart and determined rather than obese and obsessed with computer games.