Mount House

(114 Posts)

Does anyone have any views on this school? Its been recommended to us and looks great but useful to have some input from parents. Thanks

beboo Mon 17-Mar-14 15:23:00

I loved it when my children were there but not sure about the new head and less sure about the "merger" with Kelly College. I would go and see it but ask lots of questions! The staff at MHS were excellent, I hope that the merger doesn't mean that some of them will have to leave..

propatria Mon 17-Mar-14 16:22:25

If the old head had kept a closer eye on finances,marketing and pupil numbers then the merger wouldnt have needed to take place,Sherborne is welcome to him the new head and governors actually have done well,kelly college prep closes,the prep school is run from and by MH and the teaching staff will be mainly mh,indeed MH actually tried to take over Kelly ,but it didnt work so its a merger,what will be interesting is the dynamics between the parents and children of kelly and mh,very different but as long as years 7 and 8 remain at MH who cares,MH parents get a proper prep,real teachers,use of a secondary facilities and reduced fees,sounds good to me,oh and they have seen off the head of Kelly and the chair of Kelly Governors.

Nesquick1 Tue 18-Mar-14 15:01:58

Oh dear....as suspected, the poor MH parents appear to have grasped an entirely different end of this 'merger stick'. That, or you refuse to acknowledge what a mess MH is in Proportia? Whilst there are indeed many versions circulating out there of how this merger is going to work, the facts appear to be as follows:

Kelly Prep will move to the MH site for logistical reasons, namely that the current Prep building wouldn't be large enough to accommodate all the pupils in the new Mount Kelly Prep. Also, the facilities at MH Prep are certainly better than at the current Kelly Prep.

There are strong rumours on the ground, that in fact the MH head will be leaving by the end of the year. The current head of Kelly Prep is very well regarded by both Kelly and MH parents alike, and will take an active role in managing the school - most likely taking over the full leadership.

Kelly Prep staff will replace the majority of the MH staff. The ethos of the school will firmly be modelled on the current Kelly Prep ethos, not that of MH.

Financial difficulties are apparent in both Kelly senior, and MH...however it is MH's finances which have been in a dire state. This merger has been in the offing for the last 18 months, as children have been removed from MH in increasing numbers, and their viability as a school left in an increasingly precarious position. Interestingly, many of those children are now attending Kelly Prep/College.

The merger exists mainly because Kelly couldn't afford to buy MH's campus; a takeover of Kelly by MH was never going to happen such is the dire state of their finances.

The head of the foundation will be the incoming head of Kelly College; as for the Governors, on both sides I believe they intend holding their positions for as long as they believe necessary to ease the transition.

As for the dynamics between pupils and staff; based on your previous posts about the differences between the two schools, I would imagine the biggest issues will arise from the parents. Kelly parents (Prep in particular as they are the ones most affected with a move to MH's current facilities), are not overly enamoured with the idea of this merger, but are trying to see the positives of better facilities, extended social groups, and hopefully enhancing the educational experience for their children. The attitude you appear to be portraying is one of 'ha ha, we won', when in fact, that firstly isn't helpful or conducive to a smooth merger, and secondly, appears based almost entirely on fabrication (possibly by misinterpreting the 'party line' given at the meetings held last weekend?) and hearsay.

And yes, I am a Kelly parent, but have no vested interest in standing up for Kelly College here since we are moving out of the area at the end of the term. All I can say to you is that the Kelly parents, and their children, will not tolerate the attitude you display. If you don't like the influence that Kelly will have over your children you are, of course, free to remove your children from the new experience at Mount Kelly come September. I dearly hope you are the exception, rather than the rule, of current attitudes round the 'school gate' at MH, otherwise September could prove a far trickier transition than it actually needs to be.

As for new parents looking for schools in the area, I personally would be hesitant of starting at a newly merged school, but on the whole I think it should be a positive thing once the dust settles and everybody decides if it's for them or not. I wish everybody involved...yes, you included Propatria, good luck with this new chapter.

propatria Tue 18-Mar-14 17:29:46

If the new foundation was daft enough to try and run a real prep(ie up to year 8) by getting rid of staff that are specialists and year in year out prove themselves capable of teaching to scholarship level including Winchester and replace them with staff from a private primary that by definition doesnt do ce or scholarship,and feeds into a non selective senior then very ,very few MH parents will stay.
If year 7 and 8 have not got the tried and trusted staff then very few parents will be willing to take the risk,and the merger will fail before it has begun,by definition MH parents expect more than Kelly parents,if they dont get it they will go,simple as that.

Nesquick1 Tue 18-Mar-14 20:13:37

I think it's safe to assume, that losing parents with that kind of attitude won't be any great loss to the new foundation.

Have you not considered why Kelly Prep has several ex-MH pupils? Could that possibly be because the parents of those pupils have decided that that kind of small-minded, insular attitude to education in this day and age has long since passed it's sell-by date? If you want that kind of education for your children, why live in the south-west, where it is well known that those options are few and far between? Personally I'm far keener for our children to develop a healthy, balanced view of the world whilst at school, rather than taking on the beliefs of people who clearly believe that status and money is the sole important end result in life. I think you'll find Kelly parents expect just as much as MH parents, just in different, some would say more important, areas.

Good luck to you, and the parents who you appear to represent yet don't appear to be forming a queue behind you to back you up. I'm sure there will be more than one or two teething problems as the two schools merge, and I anticipate there will also be parents at Kelly for whom this is a step too far. However, every cloud has a silver lining, and if you say that all these parents are going to leave in droves if they don't get their high expectations matched, then I'd say rather than the merger failing, it'll be rather successful for Kelly. Better facilities, more children to socialise with (I'm sure not all MH parents share your views), the same excellent teaching staff in place as at Kelly Prep, headed up by their fantastic headmaster….do I need to go on?

xmounthouseparent Tue 18-Mar-14 21:00:46

As an parent of a child who previously went to Mount house school but was moved to Kelly prep I have met this merger with trepidation. I have however kept an open mind. We were very unhappy at Mount House and have nothing but praise for Kelly. The other 12 parents who also removed their children to Kelly from MH all feel the same. As I said I decided to keep an open mind about the move but since reading the comments above from the MH parent it has reminded me of everything I disliked about the school. I think that they could do with some of the Kelly ethos themselves. I would imagine that they have no experience of Kelly although they feel they can form an opinion on how good a school it is. I however have experienced both schools and have nothing but good things to say about Kelly and have a very poor opinion of Mount House. Mount House will no longer exist after Sept 2014. Neither will Kelly Prep. It will be a new school and we all have to pull together to make sure that our children get the best school experience they can. If you don't feel that you can compromise then best you find somewhere else. The parents, teachers and pupils from Kelly will all pull together to make this work- we hope that you will come with us but to be honest we are not bothered if you don't- we shall say goodbye and enjoy the lovely facilities that Mount Kelly has to offer with none of the snobbery.

Finally I agree with everything the other Kelly parent has said.

Disapointed Tue 18-Mar-14 22:43:59

How disappointing that someone feels the need to write such negative unhelpful comments about an already challenging time for parents, staff and children. I too greet the idea of this merger with trepidation but will be positive and look at it as an opportunity to get the best out of both schools. Mount House is not a school I would ever send my children to in it's current form. However, the main thing it has that Kelly Prep does not is fantastic facilities. Kelly has an exceptional headmaster and excellent team of teachers and hopefully with their influence Mount Kelly will be the best of both schools. Hopefully there are not many parents at Mount House with this unhelpful and destructive point of view.

propatria Wed 19-Mar-14 06:44:39

Ah,lots of very genuine first time posters,lol...

dampindevon Tue 25-Mar-14 11:50:49

When first hearing the news about the merger it made us sad and worried for all concerned, as well as the past history and tradition behind MH but we have got used to the idea . I have spoken to lots of people who are all involved one way or another in the changes. It came as no surprise to some. We have to be positive and move forward, this should be seen as a new opportunity for both schools in the future. There will be some tough times ahead for everyone, but I feel for the Kelly parents who are the ones who are going to have to make the physical move across the water. Lets welcome them, they will bring something new to the school which will grow and change. Mount House has gone through lots of changes since 1881 I am sure it will weather this storm too!

xmounthouseparent Tue 25-Mar-14 18:15:58

Thanks - we are all feeling very positive at Kelly - My son came over on Monday and really enjoyed seeing his old friends. As you say difficult time for all but if we all pull together we can make Mount Kelly great and pull on all the positive from both old schools

Andycrighton Tue 25-Mar-14 23:00:00

From jeanette (not andy) As a mount house parent I would like to say I am very disappointed by the comments from propatrica. These comments are very negative and I do not recognise them as any legitimate representation of any parents views within the school. It is interesting to note that this individual has littered their comments all over this group. The views are extreme and it is possible they are meant to represent mh parents in a poor light. That said I recommend ignoring them!
On a very positive note I welcome the merger and feel all those involved had work fantastically hard. I would like to say my daughter came home buzzing last night with the talk of the new girls that she escorted around. Her words were" I must not get their names wrong " lamorna and maddy were really really nice, they were really kind and I want them to start after Easter".
I believe, as do many others, that this merger provides a fantastic opportunity to deliver some of the best all round schooling in the southwest. All schools have strengths and weaknesses and this merger offers the opportunity to excell in sport and academic within a nurturing environment.
I look forward to all the children joining together to build memories of fantastic school years full of excitement and adventure. See you all in sept.

Oooo...I was wondering when this would make MN...see you in the playground at pick up girls!

Nesquick1 Tue 25-Mar-14 23:22:59

It's very nice to see, as suspected, that the views of one aren't representative of the opinion of many at MH. I'm sure the positive words from the MH parents here, will be warmly welcomed by the Kelly parents.

To answer the Op, MH will still be a good school come Sept.
My children are very, very happy at Kelly Prep. The headmaster is wonderful, the teachers feel like family and the children and parents are just fantastic! The move...it is a little worrying...but if the experience and dedication of the staff from MH is as good as we have experienced at Kelly, this should be seen as a very positive move.

Andycrighton Tue 25-Mar-14 23:27:49

Jeanette (again) ps. I shall not comment again on this site - no offence to anyone - as I have a zero tolerance for un name comments. I have opinions regarding the appropriate use of social media sites which means this is pretty much the only time I have made a comment on a site since 2006! ( just realised I' m stubborn).
Pps we have a great gym and trampolining club at mount house please join as it 's for boys and girls.

JacquiSmithMHmum Wed 26-Mar-14 10:47:32

As you can tell from the name that is displayed I am a Mount House mum soon to be a Mount Kelly Prep mum! I really struggled to find a nickname that mumsnet would accept as I felt it important that my proper name is diplayed not an anonymised one as it is very easy to post unhelpful comments if you think no one will ever know it's you!!(see above)
I have 3 children at Mount House - all of who are really positive about the merger. My husband and I are also positive about the merger and really want to do what we can to help during this transition. I would just like to add my support to the comments above from Jeanette and dampindevon as the extreme views above do not represent the majority of MH parents - we all have a vested interest in making things work.
It is really reassuring to hear so many positive statements about the Kelly staff - clearly the children are all going to be very lucky as we too have many excellent teachers.
I am really looking forward to meeting the Kelly Prep parents and children in the near future.

Latenighter Fri 11-Apr-14 01:00:32

As a prospective parent - have looked round MH and know something of Kelly - I am bit concerned that the new merged school won't prepare for all senior schools but will just expect all pupils to go onto Kelly - will the school still do CE and scholarships etc in yr 8?

Whats the boarding side like, also? Any boarding parents on mn?

LovetheMoors Fri 11-Apr-14 16:13:16

I have chatted with governors from both sides about this. The key element of MH is that they prepare their pupils for the parent's school of choice, whether that is (currently) Kelly or some other school. The governors (from both sides) have made it very clear that this will continue and it is obvious that scholarship and CE success to other schools will be a selling point for the new Mount Kelly anyway.

I don't think it would be viable to try to 'turn' the prep school pupils to get them to go to the senior school if they didn't want to - the parents would just withdraw their children. Other schools do this (preparing for other schools as well as their own) successfully, Hazlegrove and Kings Bruton for one.

Unless there is a positive decision at Year 6 that the current Kelly senior school is definitely the only school a parent wants to consider then the pupils will remain at the Mount House site and will be in a CE/scholarship route. Only those who would never consider anything but the current Kelly senior will transfer into the senior school at the end of year 6. I think most pupils will actually end up staying at the MH site until the end of Year 8 as it is intended that there will be a normal transfer from Year 8 to the senior school if that's what they want, so why wouldn't parents want to keep their options open?

CharlesRyder Sat 12-Apr-14 16:53:53

Where is the Mount House head going?

MHwifeMHmum Mon 14-Apr-14 13:57:13

I am relieved to be able to comment on this thread at last (although I have name changed for it, as I think I could be identified under my usual name).

I was appalled at some of these first posts (from both MH and K perspectives) which struck me as nothing better than vile mischief-making. I am also fairly suspicious of the timing of the OP, coming hard on the heels of the announcement of the merger. Finally, as a MH parent I echo the comments above in that I have never met any other MH parents who shared propatria's views and attitudes (I am happy to say).

We have quite a long association with Mount House, my DH went there in the 1970s and my DC left a couple of years ago. The school had changed hugely between those times, and DH and DC had very different experiences - DC's verged on idyllic I would say. We all still have a very strong attachment to Mount House.

It is now facing another change, you have to adapt to survive; the school has changed before, there is no reason it cannot do so again. It is not only the responsibility of the school staff and governors to make a school work. Certainly at Mount House parents and other family members were closely involved in many aspects of school life and contributed much to the success and happiness of the school; and I'm sure this is also the case at Kelly.

I hope the all the children and parents involved in Mount Kelly continue to have a wonderful experience at this new enterprise.

Latenighter Mon 14-Apr-14 17:33:38

That's a good recommendation for the school. Not the first I've heard for MH, from very happy parents. MH does seem close to really being the rural idyll for children that it looks like - which is not always the case with rural schools. The Head change might make a difference though.

cressetmama Fri 02-May-14 20:06:49

Kelly is not good enough at senior school level to deliver what most MH parents we knew would have been looking for. Our MH experience was broadly positive and DC enjoyed the experience, but Kelly is too small and parochial for senior school. We looked, liked the then head (now departed) but it was never an option. Kelly is saddled with ridiculous buildings to maintain. Very sad that the situation has descended to this level but a senior school with fewer than 500 students is not going to deliver excellence. MH has made some whimsical appointments over the years. Wishing Mount Kelly well.

Devonlass1 Tue 10-Jun-14 10:36:27

great that someone has shed light on Propatria's comments. There will always be extremes but I am appraoching the merger with confidence for my child.

propatria Tue 10-Jun-14 10:57:59

Recent meetings and events show my views are far from extreme..

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