Top 50 Grammar versus top 200 Independent

(104 Posts)
schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 12:44:11

Which school would you choose between these 2:

Super selective Grammar vs Selective Independent

Does anyone have any strong feelings on these schools. Should add that DD is already at the Independent with a 40% scholarship and is happy there but the chance to go to the Grammar has come up as someone has left.

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 14:30:49

I might as well just tell you the schools and see if it helps:

Selective Independent

Super selective Grammar

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 14:38:03

Poundpup, have had a look and there seems to be a good range of music on offer at the Grammar. Same problem though as after school and no buses!!

LIZS, I was thinking the same thing about the music scholarship. She has a minor music scholarship and a major academic one.

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 14:39:17

bisjo, boarding for a few nights is something worth considering I think.

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 14:42:26

Where did your dd's friends go from primary? I assume some must have gone to the grammar so maybe that is your best way of finding out what the music provision is like there?

Looking at your links I'd imagine the grammar would struggle to compete with the musical provision of the independent, especially as it has a science specialty rather than music. Not that it helps you but the day fees are very low.

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 14:44:14

If you can get the school to pay for boarding and support more fees then personally I would stay there if your dd is musically very talented. Ds is thriving at a school that puts music at its core and it has made a big difference to the rest of his schooling too, even though the musical workload is heavy.

LIZS Sat 22-Dec-12 14:45:48

Do you have a list of those in your dd's class/year ? any chance of a lift share ? Maybe your form rep would be able to circulate an email asking if anyone picks up after choir/orchestra and comes your way.

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 14:50:18

DD's friends from primary went to the local comp. We are in a different county to the Grammar School and it has no catchment area.

The fees are low compared to the 2x preps that DD has attended. She has also been to 2 state schools (3 tier system). This school is the best match so far for her.

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 14:52:50

LIZS, the Director of Music has been trying to find someone to lift share with but there doesn't appear to be anyone.

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 14:52:51

Four different primary schools sounds like a lot! In that case that is another reason to try and keep some stability for her.

SanityClause Sat 22-Dec-12 14:53:32

I have one DD at a superselective grammar, and one at a selective independent. I feel very comfortable that I have chosen the right school for each of my daughters.

Even if a position arose at the grammar for my DD at the independent school, I wouldn't move her, because she would feel lost amongst so many very bright girls, unlike my elder DD, who is quietly confident in her abilities, and content that while she may not be the best at, say, maths, her abilities in other areas are superior to some of her classmates.

So, I would say it very much depends on your daughter's personality.

Talk to parents of girls at the school, and see what they say.

Poundpup Sat 22-Dec-12 15:04:05

I agree with bisjo. Whilst the grammar school has provision for music, it looks as though the independent school has developed its music provision to a higher standard.

I like Lizs idea, have you explored a lift share? or could you pay a child minder to take the boys swimming and have your DH collect your daughter if she would like to participate in after school music activities?

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 15:15:37

Thank you all for talking this through with me. I am thinking of sending the Head an email outlining the situation. The Grammar School option is time dependent so we need to sort thing out fairly quickly.

Any ideas about what to include in the email would be great.

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 15:16:52

SanityClause, I think DD would be happy at either school, she is the sort of girl who just gets her head down and gets on with things.

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 15:22:07

What are your dd's strengths? What does her school report say? What is her scholarship for and how should she be contributing to school life that she cannot because of the distance? What do you want to achieve - more scholarship or funding for part boarding or both?

Coconutty Costa Rica Sat 22-Dec-12 15:22:22

If she is happy at school, has been to 4 primarys and this is the best school match she has had, I would leave her where she is.

What if she doesn't like the Grammar? If you move her and she hates it, you will likely struggle to get another scholarship offer from her Indy school.

What does she want to do?

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 15:46:06

It seems she is fulfilling the academic side of her scholarship as she had the best set of attainment grades (based on standardised tests) in her form group so at least that's one thing.

DH has just reminded me that we applied for some bursary funding already but were told that you couldn't have scholarship and bursary funding and that we were better off with the scholarship funding.

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 15:51:14

bisjo, it would be good if the school could cover the 2 nights of boarding per week (£52). It already costs >£300 per term for the bus and that wouldn't change even though she'd be using it for a fraction of the time.

Floralnomad Sat 22-Dec-12 15:52:34

I'm afraid the way I'd look at this is can you afford the school fees for her entire school career if
A. They reduce/ remove the scholarship
B. your other children don't get to the grammar
C. Your financial circumstances change i.e you lose your job
If the grammar is a good alternative you may not get a second chance to get in there at a later date .

wildirishrose Sat 22-Dec-12 16:00:59

I would move to the GS and use the extra money for music lessons, holidays etc . Both schools seem good so I am sure your DD will do well at either so is it worth putting yourself in a difficult financial position ?

LIZS Sat 22-Dec-12 16:07:13

What is the situation with the county/lLA run music programme? Could she compensate on the music side by attending their groups at weekends or is that as logistically difficult ?

Theas18 Sat 22-Dec-12 16:14:02

Look at your scholarship contract too. You could well be liable to pay back the amount she's had if she leaves.
We turned down a similar package for dd2 simply because she had to stay there till 18 or we could be asked to pay back the amount the reduced the fees by

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 16:22:15

She is part of a music group already, outside of school LIZS, so she does get opportunities to perform.

Florainomad, we have a mortgage for about 1/3 the value of our property so putting school fees on the mortgage isn't as onerous as it sounds and with every passing year the mortgage gets less and salaries go up. My earning potential could potentially increase (I only work pt atm) so whilst things are tight, it is doable. We pay 5 sets of musical instrument fees, 3 sets of instrument hire charges, swimming x2, lifesaving, ballet, rowing, rugby, speech and drama - it all adds up. We need a rich benefactor - any offers?

I know what Xenia would say if she were here.

schoolfloosie Sat 22-Dec-12 16:25:07

Theas18, afaik we don't have to pay anything back if she leaves, I'm pretty sure I checked at the time the award came through.

Do you think you made the right decision turning it down - is your DD2 happy at the school you chose for her?

LIZS Sat 22-Dec-12 16:47:48

Does anyone she know there attend the grammar school ? Could some of her activities be done at school instead ?

Floralnomad Sat 22-Dec-12 16:54:14

I have to admit I'm biased because I took my children out of the independent system and into good state schools and it was most definitely the right move for us , also the decision was an educational one not financial as we had no issues with the fees. My son did very well in the grammar system and my daughter is currently out of full time education for health reasons and what we get provided by the state is fantastic for her . It sounds like you make so much effort with your children's extra curricular activities that I'm sure they'd do we'll wherever they went to school.

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