Good indy school for average boy

(90 Posts)
bulletpoint Thu 15-Nov-12 21:02:24

Colleague of mine is looking for a very good independent school for his academically average boy. Child has flashes of brilliance from time to time but rather lazy so dad looking for school that will stretch him/keep him on his toes. So basically not Eton, but not Shiplake either. Colleague leans more towards traditional type boarding schools.

I was going to suggest Oundle but looked on gsg and now not so sure, does Oundle do well by average boys ?

bulletpoint Thu 15-Nov-12 22:20:49


BabsJansen Thu 15-Nov-12 22:22:49

Much too vague.
Day / boarding / mixed /single sex / area / sporty / arty / etc etc etc

There are 100s of schools!!

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 06:38:56

I did said " traditional boarding" in my post, single sex or coed doesnt matter.
Sporty boy but not top teams, grade 3 (i think) guitar.

EdithWeston Fri 16-Nov-12 06:43:37

I don't know much specific about Oundle, but have never heard anything bad about it.

Does your colleague want that part of the country?

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 06:49:07

Yes, based in watford so SE areas fine, but closer the better.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 07:59:37

Harrow? Not that far fr

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 08:02:23

Harrow? Not that far from Watford and definitely traditional boarding. Do you mean schools which are full boarding rather than where lots do weekly boarding?

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 08:53:24

I'm not sure either Oundle or Harrow would consider themselves suitable for an "academically average" boy. Harrow is also exceedingly over subscribed more so than Eton.
If its primarily full boarding your looking i.e. where the vast majority or even all are full boarding your friend is going to struggle. if you friend will settle for weekly boarding there are loads of choices near Watford is Haileybury for a start.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 09:02:07

I got Harrow's prospectus yesterday and it has photos with comments from parents. One says how well her son has done particularly as he was academically average at his prep. Made me think it is the perfect school for the OP's friend's son!

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 09:55:01

According to the FT Harrow came 53rd in its league table with 72% getting A's at A level this says one of two things either your really can spoon feed for A levels or there are not lots of "average boys" there.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 10:02:25

You would hope paying those sort of fees that the definitely wouldn't be average by the time they leave but the prospectus does seem to indicate they take average boys! Can't put my finger on it but it isn't I school I'm going to consider for ds. My fav (on paper as not visited yet) is Winchester. They are also the most efficient in sending out their prospectus. I filled in their website form last week in the afternoon and the prospectus arrived the next morning. They also managed to get my name and address correct, something neither Harrow nor Eton did.

joanbyers Fri 16-Nov-12 10:18:05

King Edward's Witley

crazygracieuk Fri 16-Nov-12 10:24:20

Average at what sort of school?

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 10:24:54

If he's pretty average he is not likely to get into Winchester or Harrow. Look at the FT secondary league tables and pick if you want boarding boarding schools for boys or mixed which are lowish down the A level results table perhaps.

joanbyers Fri 16-Nov-12 10:27:30

Bradfield College

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 10:44:13

Thanks all. I think Winchester will be pretty much out of it. Still not sure about Oundle and how selective it is (ive seen their website), i know a few kids there and they're certainly not einstein, I'll definitely mention Bradfield, completely forgot about Haileybury. I dont know wether full boarding or weekly, but im guessing the further away it is the more likely it'll have to be full.

Lilymaid Fri 16-Nov-12 10:49:38

The Leys School Cambridge?

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 11:01:59

Bisjo as you know IMO Winchester for the right boy/parent is the best in the world but definitely not for an average boy. St Edwards Oxford? Fab school again I admit my bias (arisien from a different reason) although liberal so may not be suitable but 90% full boarders results are likely to significantly improve with new head. Very happy children. Lancing traditional and high church (wince) lots of weekly boarders, Kings Canterbury maybe too selective (full boarding and a handful of day children). Uppingham only full boarders very traditional, Stowe used to be the thick mans Eton but more selective now I personally think the Head is hideous but others disagree, Sherbourne again very traditional, Shrewsbury ditto. Cranleigh very sporty and parents conservative with a small c so likely to be traditional.

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 11:16:30

Ive just looked at Sherborne's website. Does anyone know anymore about the school ?

willyoulistentome Fri 16-Nov-12 11:19:58

Oratory at Woodcote nnorth of Reading. Does boarding and day.

Dannie Fri 16-Nov-12 11:25:08

Bede's, near Hailsham, is non-selective on entry and nowhere near as sporty as everyone claims

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 11:42:29

I know someone with children at St Edward's Oxford - I was going to add that they are a bit .. well not that bright and I have now... so it may be good. My own concern and with that person is that if you hand over a child like that you lose all your influence. Most of us can find really good fee paying day schools and we can keep our own influence - not berate the child in holidays for bad marks but instead be there each night gently encouraging them.

IndridCold Fri 16-Nov-12 12:29:51

I was going to suggest Sherborne, it would certainly suit an boy of average intellegence although obviously it has bright boys too. It has a wonderful music department and lots of clubs and societies. The town is very nice and being where it is there are quite a lot of outdoorsy things to do. The previous head really brought it up academically, and the new head has been there a couple of years now - I really liked him, although I have heard others criticise him for mentioning Eton (his previous school) too often!

I can only speak as a prospective parent, we really loved the school and were going to send DS there, but he was promoted from the Eton waiting list quite late in the day so he went there instead. About 12 boys from DSs prep school went and they are all loving it.

Definitely worth you looking at I would say.

grovel Fri 16-Nov-12 12:43:47

Sherborne, Bradfield, Radley, Oundle, Haileybury, Marlborough.

All good trad schools.

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 12:53:25

Just had quick confra with colleague, so far he's shortlisted same list as grovel with the exception of Radley and Malborough.

Kids name not down for Radley as you know, one has to register before conception!

Malborough not particularly "rocking his boat", sounds like the students are a bit too "affected".

Is anyone here an Oundle parent ? Keep hearing mixed reviews.

OBface Fri 16-Nov-12 12:59:16

Oundle IME is fairly academic.

What about Stowe? Seems to tick all the boxes.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:09:14

Marlborough is also over subscribed and selective thus may not be keen on "average" ability.
Oundle no exeats could be a problem??
I've heard very bad things about Stowes pastoral care and as I said head is hideous although not quite Anthony Seldon who's in a league of his own.
Rugby a girl I work with sends her DS there they like it again pretty traditional.

That could have been my DS you're describing, 3 years ago. He's now at a prep school that has evened out the flashes of brilliance to a point where I'm not so worried about CE any more, and that has encouraged a love of sport, and interest in music and theatre. I had thought Winchester would be a good fit for him, but DS's tutor and housemaster steered me towards Sherborne. Better to be middle to top than lurking at the bottom of class, they said. hmm

After getting over the fact that DS isnt top flight academically, we had a look at Sherborne. The school feels just right for DS who thrives in a more traditional environment, and will benefit from the single sex education to GCSEs. A friend of mine, whose son IS very academic, also goes there and is doing really well. He's come out of his shell, and is loving every minute. I think academic standards are improving all the time, and Sherborne clearly has room for those at the top and for those who need encouragement.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:12:32

Heads a bit up himself at Sherbourne but I understand that the teaching is pretty good.

IndridCold Fri 16-Nov-12 13:33:09

Have you met him happygardening?

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 13:36:06

I certainly know a good few people who seem to have been able to get a child into Stowe without much notice who may not be that bright a child so that might be one to consider. There is always Millfield for the mentally challenged but sporty too.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:36:48

Yes once attended a function thing with a friend with a DS there. But then aren't many heads like this as I've said Seldon is in league of his own but maybe it sort of goes with the job.

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 13:36:52

Chinup- thanks for sharing your experience. It is quite tough accepting one's dc isn't academically tops especially where both parents are very high achievers, you tend to assume you will spawn lots of little Einstein's. But thankfully there's a place for everyone to shine and develop.

Indrid - are you the lady who took ds to Sherborne as hadn't heard from Eton and then mid unpacking in his room got the call from Eton that there was now a place and immeadiately started repacking everything back into the car and went of Eton ? I read it on MN a while ago, made me laugh with tears.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:38:34

Xenia I suspect Milfiled like many otters is keen to move away from the "mentally challenged but sporty" image.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:42:22

And if otters have this image Im sure they are keen move away from it too!!

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 13:45:30

I certainly know a good few people who seem to have been able to get a child into Stowe without much notice who may not be that bright a child so that might be one to consider. There is always Millfield for the mentally challenged but sporty too

Xenia you are very condescending, an average child is still a human being but obviously not worthy of your respect. Let's hope you don't fall off that high horse of yours one day, with all your acheivements you're not very bright at all.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 13:53:59

happy I wasn't suggesting Winchester for this boy, I was simply commenting that Winchester appears to be more efficient than Harrow (and Eton). First impressions etc etc!

Bradfield puts all the year 9s in a boarding house together which has rather put me off the school as I'm not sure that is such a great idea. Also if your ds is at a boarding prep now it will seem a bit odd not to have older boys in the boarding house. My ds would hate to be stuck solely with boys of his own age.

happygardening Fri 16-Nov-12 13:59:09

bisjo your right Winchester is very efficient with correspondence etc.
I too have serious reservations about all year 9 in one house Bryanston do it as well. I can see on the surface of things it looks like a good idea especially when you looking and your DC's are still at prep but now my DS is at a senior schools Im less convinced of the advantages.

IndridCold Fri 16-Nov-12 14:17:38

happygardening I was curious because I had a long chat with him when he visited my DSs prep school, and I really liked him. A big personality, but amusing and approachable. He spoke compellingly about the challenges and rewards of educating boys and he is fighting hard to prevent them all going home every weekend - for which I commend him.

DS met him when he went for a music scholarship and also really liked him (I think he rated a 'Cool').

A friend of mine with an older boy at Sherborne told me that in four years she had never actually met the previous head, so I imagine he is quite a contrast with what went before, and I can understand that too many references to Eton would not go down too well. I wouldn't put him in the same category as Seldon (if there is one other than being Seldon smile).

bulletpoint No, that wasn't us, thank god, although there were times when we discussed at what point would we draw a line. There is no way we would have made the switch that late though.

Apparently it did happen to the cousin of someone I know, and it was Harrow not Sherborne - assuming it's true, and I have heard it from a number of sources.

dinkybinky Fri 16-Nov-12 15:53:32

Millfield is delighted that four pupils have successfully secured Oxbridge places to study Maths, Philosophy and Modern and Medieval Languages.

A record number of pupils have secured their first choice places to study at the prestigious Russell Group Universities. Pupils will study courses as diverse as Government and Politics at LSE, Aerospace Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London, Italian at Leeds, Biomedical Science at Imperial College London and Theatre and Performance at Leeds.

There is always Millfield for the mentally challenged but sporty too

Zenia, your comments, as always, are disgusting.

dinkybinky Fri 16-Nov-12 15:54:37

OP have you looked at Berkhampstead?

kerrygrey Fri 16-Nov-12 16:18:25

If you're looking in the area of Oundle you might consider Oakham. Not too difficult to get into but they do very well by their bright children. Co-ed, half boarding, half day but a big school so lots around at weekends - some of the day children come in for the weekends because there's so much going on. Loads of extras too. I looked at Oundle, Rugby, St Peter's in York, and Oakham for a fairly bright but lazy DD. We chose Oakham; she had a great time and did very well

QTPie Fri 16-Nov-12 16:27:18

Hi. Maybe too far, but have you considered Monkton in Bath? Not academically selective, but very good pastural care, good sports etc, great weekend activities for boarders, very friendly C of E ethos. We looked at pre-prep for DS (we are local).

Bath is a great city and good transport links to London.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 18:06:04

There will be the odd bright one. It's a pretty easy exercise you look at a position in A level tables.

Millfield position 646th and Westminster 1.

I am not making all this up and I was asked to recommend schools for boys who were average or not very bright. Millfield is a good suggestion particularly if you are into money and a bit new money ish too perhaps.

goinggetstough Fri 16-Nov-12 18:56:49

Xenia it is not the fact that you suggested Millfield but the derogatory comments that you attach to that suggestion. You are correct Westminster is a highly selective school and therefore is first in the tables, Millfield takes DCs from across the ability spectrum. I have seen school data that shows their top 100 students got 87.78% A* to B for last summer. This still obviously doesn't put them in the same league as Westminster but it does show they cater for all abilities.
Just out of interest Xenia as you often comment can I ask have you ever been to Millfield?

EBDTeacher Fri 16-Nov-12 19:19:07

YY Bradfield, Wellington (although it helps to be sporty), Haileybury, Teddy's Oxford.

Maybe Rugby although that's a bit further.

joanbyers Fri 16-Nov-12 19:51:18

lol @ a bit new money ish too perhaps.

So cutting.

NewFerry Fri 16-Nov-12 20:03:58

Daunteys. I know of only boy who went there, the school was the making of him.
Sorry, don't know about the percentage that board, but its 109 in the league tables so I guess to doing something right

EBDTeacher Fri 16-Nov-12 20:05:06

My DH was at Berkhampstead for a conference recently and really liked it.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 20:05:13

Dauntsey's - gets really fab results but a bit under the radar. They have their own sailing ship.

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 20:17:41

It's a pretty easy exercise you look at aposition in A level tables

And this is what it all boils down to for you isn't it ? league tables! You simply glance at the tables and pick a school. Do you really think people come on here asking advice about schools because they've never heard of the league tables ? only the super bright like yourself have heard of them ? I came to ask on here because i want to hear people's inside opinions/recommendations for a school, the league tables cannot and will not tell you everything.

I am not making all this up and I was asked to recommend schools for boys who were average or not very bright. Millfield is a good suggestion particularly if you are into money and a bit new money ish too perhaps.

What i didnt ask for was derogatory remarks about a lovely child whose only crime in your oh so perfect world is to be academically average, but you just can't help yourself can you ? Even when trying to redeem yourself you still cant help but add in some nasty jibe, a put down, a sneer!

New money, old money, who gives a flying shit! for all your acclaimed success you seem to be missing something very vital, you sound souless when you post, an empty barrel that clangs on and on dancing to your own tune oblivious to the fact that your audience has long ceased to listen and are now staring at you in horror.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 21:40:02

I was just saying the schools at the opt are going to be ones the lovely average boy won't get into and those further down he will have a good chance. That's all. Lost of those middle ranking schools add a lot of value although my own position is that the risks psychological of boarding are so great and can be so damaging that it is better to avoid it if you love your child and want to live with it but I put all that aside to help on the thread instead.

BabsJansen Fri 16-Nov-12 22:51:56

Berkhamsted is far more day than boarding though

yy to xenias comments on Milford. And yes, I have been there. But seriously op, why isn't your colleague doing this research himself???

bulletpoint Fri 16-Nov-12 23:15:21

Babs - what makes you think he isn't ? You're assuming a lot based on a simple thread.

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 23:28:33

Canford is another lesser known school with a good reputation.

Yellowtip Fri 16-Nov-12 23:29:35

if your colleague is intent on boarding then the field is wide open. Not Winchester of course, because no kid who goes there is average. And not Eton either. But anywhere else at all I'd have thought.

Day schools are a different kettle of fish altogether.

joanbyers Sat 17-Nov-12 01:21:58

I wouldn't expect Harrow to let just anyone in, either.

happygardening Sat 17-Nov-12 11:08:21

"and this is what it all boils down to you for you isn't it? League tables!"
OP this is an interesting point. The problem so many parents face iss that most boarding schools are pretty similar. They are heavily regulated by the ISI the boarding schools association and even Ofstead who used to inspect the boarding aspect. Then add in the fact that bar a few exceptions all are sitting the same exams GCSE/IGCSE or A level/IB/Pre U most of the ones mentioned above will have very similar facilities. If you read the websites prospectuses attend open days most schools are depressingly similar. Few are now only sporty or only musical they can't afford to appeal to only a small group so all have theatres music departments extensive art departments etc. IME it is in the day to day nuts and bolts details where differences occur and as someone who has close links with three boarding schools Ive now realised that it is important that these match our expectations as parents and our DCs. Sadly these details don't always become clear until your DC has started.

bulletpoint Sat 17-Nov-12 12:01:15

Happygardening - i couldn't agree with you more, and hence why people come and ask on MN, because you get parents who are currently or have been through the same process, MN is not the only source of information on schools its just one avenue that people use, and amongst the barrage of opinions you manage to get one or two that are really worth the thread.

happygardening Sat 17-Nov-12 13:52:56

The problem is that what I think is good or what I expect maybe not what your colleagues wants or expects. I'm liberal so like a school that liberal, would cheerfully ban school uniform so am not overly bothered about how strict schools are about their uniform policy if there's a problem I don't expect to be contacted every 10 minutes I expect the school to sort it out, I don't want or need progress reports every couple of weeks others do, my DS has boarded since yr 3 we understand boarding but do have certain expectations e.g. resident matrons if you've never boarded you might not even think about these things. As I say the difference between school A and B maybe quite subtle. This is why people resort to league tables it's a definite difference between one coming 9th to that coming 236th.

joanbyers Sat 17-Nov-12 14:21:50

I think the RG/Oxbridge league tables are more interesting than GCSEs.

A head at one school that has 60%+ A/A* at GCSE told me that we have no really bright children here, they are nice children, but ultimately GCSEs are just an exercise of jumping through hoops, and an A* doesn't show that you are super-bright.

The Oxbridge exit stats are more interesting, although again these will primarily reflect the ability of the intake, rather than the school, given that there are precious few truly BAD independent schools where Oxbridge entry is impossible if you are bright enough.

Knowing that School A gets 90% A*s and As at GCSE and School B gets 50% As and A* at GCSE doesn't tell you that school A is better, what it does tell you for certain is that School A is super-selective. School B on the other hand might add more value if it is taking in average children compared to another school that might get say 30% As and A* with a similar intake. But of course the intake is never that similar, although the GCSE stats do tend to be much the same year-on-year for any given school.

I think you can perhaps use league tables to identify a school that will (a) admit your child and (b) gets higher results for your child.

But to say that Westminster is a better place for your average boy than say Radley because it gets better results is obviously nonsense.

difficultpickle Sat 17-Nov-12 14:28:48

The only statistic worth looking at in league tables is 'added value'. That gives the most accurate reflection of how well the school has educated the cohort it has. Results are always going to be higher in percentage terms for super selective because they select the brightest cohort. It doesn't necessarily mean they did the best for those pupils. It is common to see lower added value figures for schools with supposedly excellent results.

joanbyers Sat 17-Nov-12 14:36:27

I don't think independent schools measure added value.

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 14:39:13

I always refer to the A level not GCSE tables for the same reasons but destinations of leavers is a very good thing to check too - there is a list in the Sutton Trust report I posted the other day.

On added value it depends on your child. If they are bright they will tend to do better in a schools which mostly has bright children so less chance they will be diverted into going to an ex poly or leaving school at 16.

difficultpickle Sat 17-Nov-12 14:43:28

I didn't know that joan. Shame if you are correct as even leavers destinations doesn't say much about whether the pupils have fulfilled their potential. I'm planning to send ds to Winchester so he can play golf and sing grin. No idea about added value there but ds would love to go somewhere that takes golf seriously!

joanbyers Sat 17-Nov-12 14:47:39

The government v-a scores are based on SATs taken at 7 and 11.

Few prep schools subject children to SATs, and for this reason the senior schools don't compile stats on this because the sample would obviously be very skewed if they compiled it for the children who did have SAT scores.

middleclassonbursary Sat 17-Nov-12 15:01:01

What the hell is added value? My definition would be the opportunities available to a child that he wouldn't have if he didn't attend school. Astronomy club at the schools observatory, rackets, lectures fr

middleclassonbursary Sat 17-Nov-12 15:06:04

Lectures from those eminent in their fields the opportunity to mix with other like minded people whether those like minded by cricket nuts musicians or even the terribly clever. Who measure this how can a government ISI or any other organisation truely measure added value because these things are not measurable. Ive read this term added value before and don't know what it means.

joanbyers Sat 17-Nov-12 15:38:26

Added value is published for state secondary schools, middleclassbursary, essentially children sit SATs (in English, Maths and Science) at age 11 in state primary schools, and basically the 'expected' level is Level 4, Level 5 or above is therefore above average, Level 3 or below is below average.

This is then compared with the GCSE results at 16. A child entering at 11 with Level 3 who gets a C at GCSE, will a positive value-added (compared with the average achievement of all children entering secondary school with level 3), whereas one who enters at 11 with a Level 5 would have a negative value-added if he gets a C.

There are lots of weights and adjustments, e.g., if the child is in care, and 'equivalent' qualifications, e.g., a Merit in a GNVQ versus a GCSE B grade, so it's possible for two schools to arguably add the same value but school B gets a better v-a score because they understand what works and what doesn't.

But mixing with cricket nuts would count for nothing.....

Yellowtip Sat 17-Nov-12 20:53:55

Obviously there's a problem using added value for schools which are highly selective Joan.

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 21:00:34

Added value can be connections, confidence, a posh accent, learning the kind of code of what to wear when and a range of middle class hobbies which probably you get a bit more of in fee paying than state schools.

joanbyers Sat 17-Nov-12 21:29:37

On that measure, yes.

Although most schools, including independent, cannot be highly selective.

RichTeas Sat 17-Nov-12 22:03:16

Xenia, where can I find the Sutton Trust report which you have posted?

PS. Good point on "true" value added.

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 22:07:54


From memory - I opened it the other day - it was on about page 29 that they listed schools and how many children went to good universities. It certainly gives a good picture because you might get a comp with great A levels but all in needlework and media studies where people go to ex polys (or a private school for that matter) and where children are told Oxford is not for the likes of you and the raw A level results in a sense do not give such a good picture as whether people go to the few universities from which the best employers recruit.

claraschu Sat 17-Nov-12 22:10:04

Shiplake is great.

RichTeas Sat 17-Nov-12 22:20:44

Yes I remember the article in the press now. It is the whole tragic flaw with using league tables for state schools, that you have little idea about the underlying quality of the A levels being taken. Thanks for re-posting.

Mutteroo Sun 18-Nov-12 00:46:11

Dannie, Bedes is very sporty! When my DS was interviewed by the old HT, he said that there's a sport for every pupil no matter what their ability. While there's a new HT, (3 years new so not that new), it's still incredibly sporty.

I would add though that its also an arty, academic & quirky school which is perfect for a high flyer or average child. Not sure if it fits OP's 'traditional' approach as we found it a very modern thinking school & I'm happy to sing its praises.

happygardening Sun 18-Nov-12 11:13:21

What worries me about all these value added scores is at what cost to the child have you managed to get an “average student” get way above average grades? Xenia bangs on about psychological damage caused by boarding but what about the psychological damage created by being under huge pressure to perform at the maximum of your ability all the time? Increasingly it seems to me that even these relatively non selective schools are expecting top grades across the board where is there room for weaknesses? A few years ago I looked at one of the fairly non selective schools mentioned above I asked the boys (a 6th former) about what extra curricular activities he participated in and he admitted due to the pressure of exams etc he now didn't do any. At another similar school a sports scholar admitted that he was being discouraged from spending too much time on sport because it was affecting his grades. We have become obsessed about exam results league table etc etc but surely school and especially boarding schools should not just be about exam results.

Hamishbear Sun 18-Nov-12 13:45:37

Some schools are good at nurturing the whole pupil Marlborough is one.

joanbyers Sun 18-Nov-12 17:10:40

Uni stats here (slightly old):

Take a look at ST30 relative to overall Uni %.

Most of the public schools are pretty similar, around 90% of uni entrants to ST30 unis. Some, such as Bradfield, seem pretty duff - only around 60% of the uni entrants to ST30 unis.

Xenia Sun 18-Nov-12 17:14:55

Good table,. Daughter's school is number 1, daughter 2 number 4... Better than I would have thought. Son's 8th.

maxmillie Sun 18-Nov-12 17:20:00

What to where when? You do realise it's 2012?

joanbyers Sun 18-Nov-12 17:29:26

Maxmillie as I understand it these data are compiled a few years in arrears because of things like gap years.

The figures do highlight very well the differences e.g. between 'comprehensives' in the same town.

E.g., in Harrogate Harrogate Grammar School, the sought-after secular comp has 72% to Uni, 38% to ST30, Rossett, the second-choice secular comp, 68% to Uni, and only 20% to ST30, and Harrogate High, the last choice secular comp, 60% to Uni, and only 7% to ST30.

Just shows how selective the so-called comprehensive education system really is.

Copthallresident Sun 18-Nov-12 20:04:26

joanbyers Not a good example. Harrogate Grammar, school with a long proud reputation in the leafiest part of town, many parents themselves went to university, and indeed Harrogate Grammar School. Rossett slightly less leafy, and Harrogate High in the worst bit of Harrogate, which admittedly isn't that bad, but is on the list of schools that will get money from the Priority Building Scheme. We are talking beyond buildings not fit for purpose. And also St Aidens and John Fisher for those willing to take the route of goodness to a good school. My grandmother complained about all the do gooders trying to earn points by helping what passes for needy in Harrogate (not that I am not well aware that some families in Harrogate are very needy indeed but somehow I don't think the do gooders would dare go near.....) However those stats don't mean that Rossett and Harrogate High might not be doing a good job given their intake and that Harrogate Grammar might not be a bit complacent with it's intake? I am not saying that is the case but it could be.

These are interesting stats in terms of exploring social mobility but not for choosing a school (and Xenia I speak from having DDs in one of those top schools, not that I think that is relevant to anything but that it was the right school for one of them, the other followed out of sibling rivalry and has since shipped out at sixth form to a school further down these tables with an ethos that suits her better). What about the artistic and the musical? I notice Eton does not score highly in comparison to the ultimate success of OEs.

I have yet to meet this mythical average child and surely it is about narrowing down a shortlist from websites, reputation etc. and then visiting a school and deciding what fits according to the interests, personality and wishes of the child (paramount) and the family. You could put up as a straw horse the name of just about every school in the country and someone will weigh in against it on these threads.

middleclassonbursary Sun 18-Nov-12 20:32:52

Hamish interesting comment about Marlborough not friends of ours experience!!

joanbyers Sun 18-Nov-12 20:55:30

That was my point really, copthall. I wouldn't say that Harrogate High is necessarily awful, but clearly Harrogate Grammar School selects, through its so-called comprehensive admissions policy around five times more of the brightest children.

I would say in terms of choosing a school that if your DC is very intelligent, and you were shopping for an independent school then you wouldn't go for Bradfield College as an example, because clearly the numbers of the brightest children is low.

Copthallresident Sun 18-Nov-12 21:03:17

joanbyers But then I know a family with two very bright dyslexic children for which Bradfield was a happy confidence building choice....and the one who has left went on to a ST30.

singersgirl Sun 18-Nov-12 21:24:44

And of course if that table excludes overseas universities (eg US universities, which are very popular destinations from some schools) it will be distort results accordingly. The 2011 Sutton Trust table is perhaps more recent

maxmillie Mon 19-Nov-12 22:27:12

sorry - sorry - I meant "What to wear when?"

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