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Hi, I tried posting on primary education but no responses so far, I was wondering if anyone have any experience of either Thornton College or Akeley Wood Junior (near Buckingham)? Would appreciate any opinions/experience. Thank you
Aykeley has a poor reputation among some independent parents. I think this is probably largely underserved, it seems like a perfectly decent school to me. There is apparently some poor behaviour in the senior school but then they're teenagers aren't they! As independent schools go, it's cheap.
Thornton college is a very 'sweet little school', as I've heard it described. I know one teacher there and she enjoys it and says the girls are lovely. It's excellent for non academic, gentle girls who struggle in many school environments. Only goes to 16 if that's a problem.
Personally, if you have younger children, I would look at Swanbourne House, Winchester House and Milton Keynes Prep over Aykeley and Thornton.
I really wouldn't recommend MK Prep, Swanbourne is good but only if you are looking for them to do common entrance.
I disagree that Akeley has a poor reputation, I have only ever heard good things from people with children there. I wouldn't think it could be described as cheap either, unless you are comparing to Stowe! (Lovely school by the way)
HI, Have you looked at Beachborough? I have moved mine from Akeley to 3 separate schools after bad experiences with each child. It's a case of looking for the best school for your child and what suits one won't necessarily suit another. Also seriously consider the long term goal of private education. I know this is late to your post but for sept 2013 you still have time! Best of luck I know the pressure of getting it right for our little loves!
Don't know much about Thornton but we considered Akeley for secondary and have been to the junior school for sports fixtures. It has a friendly atmosphere and I haven't heard any bad reports, we always seemed to lose the fixtures so I think they are quite sporty! A long time away but most of the more academic types leave for the Royal Latin grammar school at secondary age. They seem quite a 'normal' set of families and kids, very welcoming for tours and open days which is a good sign, Winchester House is very much more upper crust. Again based on sports fixtures I always found Beachborough very friendly with nice well behaved kids if you're near there. One thing that did worry me about Akeley is that they are owned by Cognita but whether that's an issue or gives them a better financial footing I don't know. If you're close to MK there is the Prep and the Grove, also the Webber school (was Bury Lawn), it used to have a bad reputation a few years back but not sure about it now.
We had v poor experience of Akeley - one of our children was badly bullied and have heard of plenty more serious incidents. They do have dyslexia specialism but at the junior school the more experienced teachers seemed to be being replaced by newly qualified teachers so this specialism was in danger of being lost. The difficulty with it being Cognita owned is that if you do have issues the school is not resolving and you have asked Cognita head office to help, there is nowhere else to turn, they are not part of any of the usual Independent Schools Associations like ISA or Headteachers Association, don't have Governors etc. Apart from 3 year Ofsted inspection, it means they are largely unregulated...