Gems schools - Sherfield

(5 Posts)
arizonagirl Sun 12-Sep-10 23:36:06

Hi there,

Does anyone have experience of the Gems schools and/or the Sherfield school.

I have just been reading an article which states that Gems schools are designed to be a middle-ground between state and private and is no-frills. That has kind of put me off but then when I looked at the fees the Sherfield Gems school is actually more expensive than all of the other schools I have been reading about lately. So now I am totally confused.

Any thoughts or experience

jem44 Mon 13-Sep-10 12:22:42

My experience of GEMS schools overseas means that in your situation I would choose a decent state school over a GEMS school if the option is available. If not then the GEMS schools are fine but you might end up resenting paying for a no frills school as in reality, that is just what a decent state school is.

arizonagirl Mon 13-Sep-10 12:52:13

Thanks for that!! So are the Gems schools really a middle ground in your experience? The article I read seemed to suggest that but then I can't work out why they are more expensive than all the others. I thought the Guardian article must have been inaccurate and Gems schools are very good private schools?? Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

jem44 Mon 13-Sep-10 16:40:47

They are owned by Sunny Varkey. There, He provides a variety of schools at different fee levels aimed at different groups of parents/clientelle. Dubai has boomed and has needed huge numbers of schools fast, so he has provided a much needed service. the quality of these schools varies and is often the subject of criticism in Dubai. The best are good and by that I mean that in Dubai,the best are considered similar to a good comprehensive (and a good comp is very good).
They are, however, profit making and ultimately that is the reason for their existence. They provide sound education, and I am sure that the quality in the UK is sound - you need to satisfy yourself of that - but a proportion of your fees goes to a very successful and unimaginably wealthy owner. In most UK private schools (not all) your fees are all ploughed back into the school.

When he moved into the UK market, buying some private schools which were in financial difficulty, there were some teething problems with parents used to a different culture of school management. I expect this is all sorted out now. I think if you google you might find out more. It is difficult to explain on a public forum and I don't know the school you mention so it is unfair of me to comment but in your position I would choose a state school first if a nice one is available. If you like the look of it though, ask for a copy of its most recent inspection report and visit it. You can also ask to be put in touch with a current parent who would give you more accurate information than I.

PatP Fri 07-Jan-11 14:50:23

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