I have a daughter in Year 5 in the Sussex area and I was thinking as having Roedean as a possible Year 7 choice. However have been hearing rather a lot of negative info recently and was wondering if anyone knew the truth.
1) Have heard they are throwing money at the boarding facilities in order to attract more overseas pupils?
2) Are handing out scholarships to any local girl who applies?
3) The head is leaving?
4) The roll numbers are at an all time low?
Thanks any info gratefully received.
Thanks so much Mutteroo - that sounds good.
Fear not OP, youve chosen the right time to go to Roedean. The new head starting this September will be Oliver Blond, current head of just about the countrys most successful state school, The Henrietta Barnett School in north London (see table at bottom).
Apparently Ms Frances King the departing head of Roedean is leaving 'because of the ?hostile? attitude towards private schools in England?. Good job she wasnt the head of Eton or Harrow which might have finished her off in seven days!
Erebus In my experience the way to make a school with different nationalities work is to not to allow any groups to become tribal / gang up. No going off speaking in native language, make sure they value each other's cultures. Roedean is not one of the schools that are known on the expat circuit for recruiting very very bright DCs from certain countries who will bolster their results and then allowing them to spend the next x years in a separate clique.
Roedean has a number of girls from differing countries around the world but I wouldn't say there are a large number of Russian pupils? In fact, there were more Russian pupils at DS's school which in turn had a smaller proportion of foreign based pupils overall. You have to be up to a fairly high academic standard to join Roedean & so does it matter which country a pupil resides in anyway? As long as the school ensure integration for all, which Roedean do, I don't see a problem?
Nettle fairy, we used the school minibus service when DD was at Roedean. She was only there a year & had she stayed for A Levels, she was planning to use the local bus service. The day is long, but they have the weekend to recharge. DD was never overtired, whereas DS, who weekly boarded at another school, (obviously being a boy!), was always exhausted. His school day was actually shorter than his sister's! The good thing about the Roedean day is once they get home, there's no homework to worry about because they've completed this at school. DD never had a problem with being in the minority as a day girl & never wanted to board.
It is safe to say, it was a fleeting but successful affair with Roedean for us.
From back in January on this thread:
Q:"My DD is at Roedean and I am really pleased with our choice of school for her.
She loves being at school, is doing very well and has some lovely friends.
She finds the lessons interesting and stimulating, enjoys the wide range of activities on offer and there is a great enrichment and extension programme which she benefits from. There are always lots of things going on at the school for the girls.
I have been really impressed with the personal feel of Roedean both for DD and as a parent and am always made to feel very welcome when I attend events/parents evenings etc.
Don't be put off by things you have heard which are not accurate, get in contact with the school and go for a visit. I would really recommend it."
Is your DD at Roedean or did you just find a copy of the prospectus to type out
OOI, what proportion of the DDs at Roedean are from one background? Completely anecdotally I heard a large number were Russian. I ask because I knew of a DS who went to one of the most multicultural schools on the planet (in Oz) and when asked about cliques forming, said that there simply weren't enough DC from any one culture to be able to gang up together!
Hello - I'm also interested in Roedean. As a day student, does it feel like a very long day for them? I understand registration is at 8.30ish and the coach leaves at 6pm. How do your daughters find it and do you find the school day too long or do they do their homework there and then come home and can relax?? My dd is only 8 so I'm really thinking ahead here and probably when she is in year 7 that won't seem such a long day but I thought I'd just check in with other parents...thanks!
Thanks for everyone who has taken the time to reply to thread I have lots to think about!
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From talking to people in the placement industry, the only recurrent theme is parents (from all horizons) not wanting there to be large groups of children from Russia or the Gulf.
That is not always so. Lots of UK Asian parents ask for the proportion of white pupils (however awful that request might sound) because they want to buy a traditional English education amongst mostly English children with an English accent. They are fascinating issues. Some schools can hardly fill places to are open to all comers. Others recruit mostly by written exam without seeing even a photograph or name to ensure no bias. Others have interviews.
customers' parents' POV, they are paying for English standards of school facilities and teaching, not for access to English children.
I think they pull off the trick of being both an international school and an English school at the same time so it was a positive for us. But like all schools you just have to go and see and decide if you like it.
Xenia - the English parents may not like all the foreigners being there! That is not the same thing as the foreign parents liking the foreigners being there!
There are some international schools abroad - roissy? and indeed international schools called exactly that. Then there is this category of UK boarding school and I don't know if Rhodean is that where more children are from abroad than not. Purely anecdotal but I knew one person who had to take their UK daughter every weekend home from boarding school as the only children left were Chinese girls who spoke Mandarin every weekend and she felt very lonely.
So good to hear your story Mutteroo DD was a scholarship local girl at SMH but left before closure. Good luck with your decision OP.
Copthallresident, that makes sense. The only downside is that my niece was at CLC and had several very rich friends from China. They were lovely girls but maintaining their friendships was very expensive for my BiL!
Xenia I think it depends on the intake of pupils and the way that the school handles the integration. I have done the rounds with expat children and there really is a big disparity in the way overseas students are admitted and integrated when they get there. I was quite appalled by Wycombe Abbey's attitude to Chinese students, seeing them as stereotypes. The feeling of my friends Chinese daughter who speaks only English was that they recruit girls who had been tutored to speak English at the interview but revert to Mandarin / Cantonese as soon as out of earshot of staff. It is however the most sought after school amongst Chinese students. At CLC in contrast they clearly understand the needs of International students and how to integrate all students as individuals, probably helps it is the choice of Brit expat teachers, and certainly under Vicky Tuck, it listened to their advice. When a school with a mix of International students gets it right then it really is special but it needs to overcome tribal behaviour and replace it with a culture that embraces everyone's culture.
Indeed, two of our children went to a US summer camp last year, and are going back again this year, and the one thing that I really wanted to ensure when choosing a camp was that there were going to be lots of non-US children.
I don't think that the parents mind as much as you seem to think, Xenia. I know plenty of overseas parents in the market for English boarding school and the one thing they all want is for there to be plenty of other foreigners!
.which is pretty high. It is not that I don't like mixtures of pupils - in fact I love my children going to school with children from all cultures. However once the balance at boarding school is over a certain amount in a sense it almost ceases to be an English school and yet the international parents want an English school. They don't want their childre at a school with 50% Chinese for example if they are Chinese otherwise they may have well educated them in Shanghai. Difficult issue for schools particularly those with falling numbers.
I think I read the intake is 50/50 international
I have no idea if this is so here, but how many of the children are from abroad? A few British boarding schools have gone over to so very many children from outside the UK (usually because of falling numbers at home) rather than just the odd Saudi Prince that if you don't speak Russian or Chinese then at weekends you cannot even chat to your classmates. It is that interesting issue about tipping point.
Results, FT and leavers destinations are strong. Roedean was not our intended choice when we looked at it and it was up against strong competition from both single sex and co-ed schools (including a couple mentioned on this board, one of which was so hierarchical that older girls wouldn't allow younger girls to sit on the common room sofas until Year 11). It seemed to us a thoroughly modern school whereas a couple of the girls schools we saw seemed more in a 'bubble'. We liked the international atmosphere and attitude of the school and that also was a nice change from some other schools. We especially wanted high achievement in a relaxed atmosphere and that can be a difficult trick for girls' schools it seems. The takeover of a local girls' school was no doubt difficult at the time but the outcome has been positive and also provided some surplus land which Brighton College dearly wanted and hence the nice wodge of cash. All well managed by the outgoing head - she's very impressive. We have been very pleased with the range and quality of activities, warm atmosphere and the teaching is good. Plus my daughter is teaching me Mandarin.
Standards and expectations are high within the school and it's a good school for academic girls!
If you look at Roedean's balance sheet (Charity Commission website) it looks pretty solvent after the land sales. Just about operating at breakeven so any financial decline would take some time.
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