LEH or Guildford!

(24 Posts)
jennymalaysia Wed 02-Mar-16 19:24:28

I can't believe it - after all the help making the decision between Guildford and Surbiton (on academic scholarship) - we decided on Guildford thanks to all the great input from you Mumsnetter - DD just got offered a place at LEH today! I suspect both are equally academic and results are comparable (though Guildford scores slightly higher)

Pros for LEH
DD brother is at Hampton - and they would share bus in - he really wants her to go to LEH - he is struggling socially and has always relied on his sociable, popular, younger sister
facilities are much nicer - classrooms bright etc....
Head has come from Wimbledon and is supposed to be great - really improving pastoral care

Cons for LEH
4k more expensive than Guildford
public transport terrible - 1-1.5 hour and 2 buses to get back
DD is very sporty - and I would imagine will have after school practises (unlike DD who does clubs during lunchtime only at Hampton) - as a working Mom - I will struggle to get her - and she will have to rely on the bus
DD got in on wait list - indicating she may struggle to keep up with her classmates (bottom set/ low confidence fear)

Pros for Guildford
great train - 30 minutes door to door and safe and easy for after school activities
lots of girls on train from Claygate - seem to be more Claygate girls going to Guildford than LEH
LEH seems to attract girls from Twickenham and Kingston area - making playdates harder to organise in future
DD scored top of the girls on her entrance exam (apparently according to registrar) - which makes me more comfortable that she won't struggle academically compared to the other girls
its cheaper

Cons
Her brother will be very sad if he does not go to LEH
it would be nice for them to be at side by side schools (brother and sister)
school classrooms are much pokier and scruffier - not as much space
Is Guildford pushier/ more stressful? Don't know!
Head is reputed to be not all that in touch with the girls (does not know girls names etc.)

Any advice would be really appreciated.....

Thanks so much

Mrslioness Wed 02-Mar-16 19:37:20

Much as I love LEH please don't underestimate the ferrying of your daughter - it is a massive issue for us and I have a v flexible job. If she does netball or lacrosse or auditions for a musical or does rowing ... It's all after school and I regularly spend hours on the road picking her up

Wriggle45 Wed 02-Mar-16 20:33:04

It feels from your list of pros and cons that the main thing pushing you LEH wise is DS....and this shouldn't be about him.
There won't be a big difference in academic ability between the girls at either... It sounds as though your DD just maybe had a better day at the GHS assessment than the LEH one!
In your shoes I'd go for the one that feels right.... And I think from what you write you still think this is GHS. (And fwiw in your shoes that would be my choice)

Ericaequites Wed 02-Mar-16 21:01:46

Choose the school with the easiest commute. My mother had to drive me 35-45 minutes each day. She owned her own business, but it was tricky indeed.

SAHDthatsall Wed 02-Mar-16 22:28:36

Tricky one. Obviously you know the daily bus commute which can be great and can be slow.

On emptyish roads it's 15 mins drive for you. I allow 30 mins if picking up at 6pm. An alternative to the 2 bus route which some I know use is the 111 bus and get off at Hampton Ct and walk down to meet and be picked up south of the bridge. That way the car journey is fairly quick for you even when busy.

jennymalaysia Thu 03-Mar-16 07:29:25

Thanks everyone,
It really helps to get such great sensible put to the decision. I wonder what I did before Mumsnet! Thanks Mrslioness for letting me know about the after school activities - I suspected as much. Its not so much the driving time Im concerned about - it is the fact I have to leave the office at 4:40pm for a 6p pickup (and that is after DS take the 111 bus to Hampton Court after drama. I would really struggle with my job if I had to do that more than once per week.

SAHDthatsall Thu 03-Mar-16 09:08:28

Folding bike? Take the 111 to HC, walk over the bridge, cycle path to Scilly Isles, footpath and private roads past Esher CC and nearly home... smile

Just thinking outloud really... and imagining DS doing this and trailing his cricket bag behind him... grin

TeddTess Thu 03-Mar-16 09:14:51

There will surely be tons of girls going from that area to LEH - wouldn't you just get in a group and lift share/help each other out?

in this situation i'd let DD choose...

to be top at GHS and waitlist at LEH is very strange! She must have had a very off day at LEH or maybe fell down on the general/nvr paper? i wouldn't worry about her academic ability, she sounds solid and will be fine.

TeddTess Thu 03-Mar-16 09:35:14

been thinking about this
why not ask both schools for this yr7 intake number of girls by postcode. then you can get a feel for how many go from esher,claygate,thames ditton.

GHS might be very guildford centric? or may not. i don't know.

agapanthii Thu 03-Mar-16 09:39:13

It sounds to me like it would be easier in the long term if they were both going to the same location each day? You have 2 sets of schools with which to orgaise lift shares ( LEH & Hampton) there is a big social scene between the two neighbouring schools and shared facilities such as drama, music, DoE and much more, even the transport. More than 100 families have girls at LEH and sons at Hampton. Logistically, I think you'll find it easier in the long term.

What does your dd want to do?

cakeisalaystheanswer Thu 03-Mar-16 10:13:34

For your family LEH. It would be ridiculous to send children in opposite directions when you can have them next door to each other. Extra curricular activities often clash and having to drive from Hampton to Guildford would be very frustrating. And having your DS and DD on the same school bus is a huge plus, she can make sure he brings all his bags home.

agapanthii Thu 03-Mar-16 10:28:48

my dd has lots of friends from these locations: <esher,claygate,thames ditton.>

also from Cobham.

How many LEH girls are on your ds's bus? That should give you a clear picture.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Both great schools. LEH is better, biased

Mrslioness Thu 03-Mar-16 11:18:09

I have a friend with a son at hampton and there is very little that takes place after school - it's all at lunchtimes (which for them is something like 2 hrs !!) - he's been there 3 years now and the only time she ever has to drive down there is for parents evening. I don't know how far you are away - although there are other girls living in our area they don't all do the same clubs so its not always possible to share....of course you can limit your dd's activities but seems to defeat the object of sending her to a school like LEH where the extra curricular is outstanding - what I am trying to say is that I pushed logistical issues aside in the excitement of getting a place but its 7 year commitment you are signing up to. For us public transport is not an option - it may be better for you.

nowomansland Thu 03-Mar-16 12:01:17

I would go with the easiest commute for you and your DD. Also worth bearing in mind that it may be better to separate the two siblings especially if DS tends to rely on DD for support as he has to learn to be independent and find his own way. Go with the one your DD prefers. She will do well at either school..both are brilliant !

nowomansland Thu 03-Mar-16 12:08:02

Oh and if you factor in value for money, GHS is way cheaper than LEH if cost is a consideration with everything else being equal smile

wheresthebeach Thu 03-Mar-16 15:19:55

If your DD doesn't have a definite favourite then I'd go for LEH so they are both in the same 'area'. That will be much easier for picking up if you have a clash of timings of some sort.

I'm sure you've looked at public transport but are you sure there isn't a train to somewhere that would make the journey easier?

TeddTess Thu 03-Mar-16 15:33:57

no train, LEH in middle of nowhere

apparently they bus them to Teddington train station after clubs if required but that's no use for esher

personally i'd go for GHS.

this is an impossible choice for you! tell GHS you want a scholarship!

Mizzletoe Thu 03-Mar-16 16:34:03

If she scored top out of all the girls taking the entrance exam to GHS she must already have a scholarship!
But sounds like your DS needs the support so my vote would go to LEH if discounted fees not a priority for you.

Duckdeamon Thu 03-Mar-16 16:57:26

Guildford is much better transport wise, better for safe, independent transport after sports matches etc. and £4k cheaper: it seems pretty clearly the better choice!

Your DS's needs and preferences shouldn't really come into it.

Ybaby Fri 04-Mar-16 15:36:35

I have a DD at LEH who loves it - but - we live locally and my job is flexible which is just as well as this week she has had after school activities til either 5.30/6pm every day and this is not unusual. I don't know how parents who live further away cope..

agapanthii Fri 04-Mar-16 16:43:06

have you decided OP?

jennymalaysia Tue 08-Mar-16 20:29:28

Thanks everyone all of your advice really helped. After much agonising over the weekend we have gone for GHS. Simply because I will not need to ferry her ever and I understand that the girls at GHS are largely on the trainline making it much easier for DD to get to friends. LEH come from wide and far and didn't fancy arranging play dates with people in Windsor Chelsea etc... Thanks everyone hope I made the right decision!

Ybaby Wed 09-Mar-16 15:55:24

I'm sure you have - GHS is a great school and you are quite right not to underestimate the ferrying to/from LEH. I hope she's really happy smile

GinandJag Wed 09-Mar-16 16:46:13

The head at GHS is definitely on top of the school. She is also very innovative and supports staff who want to try new things. For example, all the girls have iPads that are used intensively in lessons. She is on top of all things educational and a strong networker in other independent schools.

The school is fairly nice. Some parts of it are older but they have an interesting range of accommodation, that they use according to their merits -again, continuing the innovation theme.

I don't know a lot about LEH other than its reputation as a hothouse. Guildford does not have this reputation but still gets outstanding results.

I think that Guildford has much the same feel as my daughters' school, Sir William Perkins's - very grounded, cool to enjoy learning, cool to be busy. Their much wider catchment area of affluence means they can cream off more top girls.

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