Norland Place and Pembridge Hall

(20 Posts)
myotherhalf Tue 22-Jun-10 12:06:07

Hi there. This is my first post and I'm not sure of the etiquette etc. for it so forgive me.
We have a dilemma.
Our DD has a confirmed place at both Pembridge Hall and Norland Place. PH won't let you see the school until you've paid the deposit (due tomorrow!). Norland Place will and we are due to see it. We cannot decide whether to pay the deposit for Pembridge Hall without having seen it, in which case there seems to be little point in then going to see Norland Place as they will want a deposit too. She's also down for an assessment at Glendower and Falkner House (which is ideally where we would like her to go) so this is an insurance plan really.

Does anybody have experience of either PH or NP and have you been in this position before? Any advice very much appreciated!

Thanks

myotherhalf

RatherBeOnThePiste Tue 22-Jun-10 14:36:56

I think I would shy away from any school that doesn't let you visit until you have paid the deposit hmm
Not sure I understand that one.

mrsshackleton Tue 22-Jun-10 15:55:30

That's ludicrous
How much is the deposit?

myotherhalf Tue 22-Jun-10 17:42:45

RatherBeOnThePiste:
I tend to agree but, with the length of their waiting list, PH can afford to set the rules it likes. We tried to get a visit before the deposit demand came but they weren't having any of it. If we don't want to play the game their way, there are many who would willingly pay up, that's the problem.

mrsshackleton:
It is ludicrous especially when you're talking about half a term's fees!

Caoimhe Tue 22-Jun-10 18:41:53

Agree that I wouldn't remotely consider a school that holds you to ransom in such a way. What an insane idea!

RatherBeOnThePiste Tue 22-Jun-10 19:25:29

Just because they CAN behave like this doesn't mean they SHOULD.

It isn't right, they are not acting professionally. I think that would put me right off.

Who would make such a big commitment both financially and other to a school that won't let you in!

Summersoon Tue 22-Jun-10 20:15:26

I would not consider PH for that reason, no matter how good their reputation. Think about what they would be like after you start: would they always take an attitude of "like it or lump it" and "you can always leave if you don't like it". I just couldn't see myself working with a school like that. You are lucky enough to have another offer (I assume that Norland Place will let you visit before you pay the deposit) and may get more. Plenty of fish out there.

One thing that puzzles me though: how did you manage to get an offer without setting foot in the place?

mrsshackleton Tue 22-Jun-10 21:23:44

Half a term's fees before you can look round is insane

They can lump it, who cares what other people do, they are obviously driven by snobbery if they're prepared to sign up for a school just on name rather than gut reaction

I think it's cheeky when schools ask for a £50 registration before you look round so this is shock

myotherhalf Wed 23-Jun-10 08:35:21

Summersoon:
Some schools are fine about offering places before meeting the parents/children. E.g. both DS and DD have definite places at boarding preps without us having crossed the threshold! The difference is that we have only paid registration fees not deposits. We would obviously visit before laying down large amounts of money. Hasn't been possible with PH which is what is so annoying.

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 23-Jun-10 09:16:07

A registration fee is one thing..... But a deposit of half a term's fees is something quite different!! As you say though it is only a fall back.

Maybe PH get fed up with being people's fall back option, and this is the way they protect themselves? Just a thought.

Summersoon Wed 23-Jun-10 10:31:53

So they are asking for nearly GBP 2000 without having met you and without you having met them? Amazing. I am truly astonished that anyone does this.

BTW, we have always educated privately but, after one serious mistake at the prep school stage and loss of a term's fees not to mention the upset and upheaval, I did very extensive due diligence on the second prep and the secondary - repeated visits, took up references from people with kids already there etc.

Merrylegs Wed 23-Jun-10 10:47:06

I think if it is just an insurance plan you would be insane to pay the deposit.

If they have introduced this policy as they were fed up of being the fall back option, you have to wonder why they are not the first choice?

By asking for such a large deposit it sounds like the school aren't confident in their abilities and are relying on paid up parents not to back out once they have laid down such a large sum.

I would be hmm of any school, who in its admissions document, states

"Pembridge Hall admits girls from 4 years old regardless of race, colour or creed. "

What - and other schools don't?! What exactly is their point?

They don't sound quite the ticket to me.

Summersoon Wed 23-Jun-10 18:01:38

So, out of interest, what did you decide to do?

myotherhalf Wed 23-Jun-10 20:23:56

Talked to people with DDs at both PH and NP. Some raved about one, others about the other.

Read this thread.

Ruminated. Agonised. Paid PH deposit. Oh God.

Summersoon Wed 23-Jun-10 21:13:39

Well, good luck. At least it will buy you (very expensive) piece of mind for a few weeks/months by which time your options will have become clear.

Thanks for replying - it is always nice to know what happened when one has followed a thread.

Needmoresleep Thu 24-Jun-10 07:19:16

I agree with others. Its not about money. If a school wont let you look to see whether it feels right for your child it indicates that they wont be communicative later on when it matters.

We know some perfectly nice children who went to NP and then got the good schools of their choice, but dont know much about the school itself.

There are rumours of discontent and staff turnover at Glendower, but this may simply be the vocal views of one or two parents. In contrast FH seems to be the preferred school in the area.

One which may be worth a look is St Nicholas, which I heard, though frustratingly I cant find anything on the website, may be getting a very good and well regarded new Head in September. If true this will be a school to watch.

Summersoon Thu 24-Jun-10 08:43:50

peace not piece blush

(blame auto-correct or the football match)

Lorikeet Wed 26-Jan-11 21:33:21

I have to say I did meet the new Head of St Nicholas recently. I wasn't expecting much change from the previous, however very very impressed. Given the facilities of the school are excellent and it has one of the best, in fact probably 'the' best, outdoor space in Central London, definitely a school to watch.

LamiaB Wed 23-Nov-11 20:09:49

Hello Needmoresleep,

Do you have any more information about Glendower with regard to discount and staff turnover?

BBbaby2012 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:34:57

We had a more positive experience at Pembridge Hall. We paid a (small) registration fee and were then invited into see the school before having to pay the (large) deposit. Our interactions with the school have been positive.

Norland Place has been quiet, we are on the waiting list and cant see the school till we have a place in a few years.

Both have great reputations based on conversations with our friends.

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