Waldegrave Girls or LEH?

(23 Posts)
Badgoushk Sun 23-Oct-16 20:45:53

My dilemma is... Should we sell our house and move into the catchment area of Waldegrave girls school (very good state school) so our two daughters can have a good, free education. Or should we stay put and pay for a private education at somewhere like LEH, presuming they get in. Obviously Tiffins is the ideal scenario but we would need to move well in advance of admissions deadline (maybe even 2 years before) so would have to presume that the 11+ isn't an option.

What would you do?

The cost of a private education for both girls is about the same as the total cost of selling and refurbishing to our taste.

All thoughts welcome.

I should add, I am talking about a genuine move to the Waldegrave area, not some dodgy rental just to get in!

Badgoushk Sun 23-Oct-16 20:47:11

And if we moved to the a waldegrave catchment we would need to downsize.

Badgoushk Sun 23-Oct-16 20:51:45

Our local state secondary 'requires improvement'.

JoJoSM2 Sun 23-Oct-16 21:05:33

Moving is quite an upheaval but I would probably prefer that as the money can later be recouped from the property to pay uni fees or help with deposits etc in the future.

If you think that they are pretty able and Tiffin might be an option, you could position yourself for potentially easy commute to Nonsuch High School for Girls to give you another grammar option (there's an express bus that stops in Kingston and Teddington).

JoJoSM2 Sun 23-Oct-16 21:06:49

Sorry, just read the downsize bit - could you just move near a nicer school in the borough of Kingston or just over the border into the borough of Sutton? Both boroughs have fantastic secondary schools.

Badgoushk Sun 23-Oct-16 21:09:13

Thanks JoJoSM2, I hadn't thought about Nonsuch. I'll look into it. I think our eldest is very bright but the girls are still young so I don't know if that will translate into academic performance. I went to Tiffins myself and I think my daughter is brighter than I was. But who knows!

Badgoushk Sun 23-Oct-16 21:12:21

I haven't looked into Sutton yet. I'll take a look. I don't really mind downsizing a bit if the trade off is worth it. It depends on how amazing Waldegrave is!

If they did get into LEH though, it would be nice to stay put (it's actually our closest secondary school) and not have to move. I'm quite fussy about interiors so I know I'd want it to look just to my taste and we have that here already.

Decisions...!

agapanthii Sun 23-Oct-16 21:51:17

Have you visited either Waldegrave or LEH yet? I would do that before even thinking of a house move. Good exam results apart, they are very different schools, when you look at music, drama, sport. If it's all about just the exam results then it has to be Waldegrave; if your criteria is different then you may feel LEH is worth the fees. It doesn't sound like you want to move.

Badgoushk Sun 23-Oct-16 22:26:43

I haven't visited Waldegrave for 29 years when my parents took me to see it for myself! (I didn't go there). I'm presuming it has changed a bit - ha ha!

But you're right. I would need to see it before thinking of a move. But my children are still really young and do they have to be year 6 before I can visit?

I don't really want to move. And I'm tempted by the convenient walking distance of LEH.

I guess like all parents I want my girls to have options in the future, have a fantastic education, lots of opportunities to explore extracurricular activities.

Badgoushk Sun 23-Oct-16 22:27:05

I haven't visited LEH.

nocampinghere Mon 24-Oct-16 13:41:16

why are you choosing between LEH and Waldegrave when you haven't visited either school? confused

nocampinghere Mon 24-Oct-16 13:42:07

no you don't have to be year 6. you missed Waldegrave open day a few weeks back.

Mary21 Mon 24-Oct-16 16:07:55

Waldegrave isn't right for every girl Neither is LEH. Both schools do very well by a lot of girls.
Waldegrave is a state school. It does have girls with behavioural problems like any state school. It does have girls from a variety of backgrounds despite its location. However in contrast to several other schools in the area it does better by its low achievers and its disadvantaged pupils than most which says something. I do know girls who have been bullied there and removed. I know parents who have looked and said it's not for their girl. In Essence you need to look at it. It's a very good school but not perfect and not right for all.
LEH is very competitive to get into. And Tiffin girls even more so. There is no guarantee your dd will get in. However if you stay put you will have other indie options. Kgs, Radnor House, St Catherine's, surbiton high.
I assume your local school in Hampton High. It may improve now its part of a mat with Waldegrave. LEH is also not right for all girls. There is a Mumsneter who has written at length about how it suited one dd and not her other dd so again go and look and look at other indies too

nocampinghere Mon 24-Oct-16 16:32:52

jfyi i turned down both LEH and Waldegrave for DD1.
neither were right despite offers from both.

SAHDthatsall Mon 24-Oct-16 18:34:31

Regarding the situation and not the schools I would personally stay put rather than go through the upheaval of moving. I have boys (one at Hampton) so can't comment on the girls schools. With the squeeze on funding at schools getting worse I think I would rather spend the money on schools rather than moving costs. But it should be the right school for the child also (if you are lucky to have the choice which you are) - our other boy went to a different independent school and we turned down Tiffin for the one at Hampton. Horses for courses etc.

Badgoushk Tue 25-Oct-16 18:04:05

Thanks everyone.

nocampinghere I haven't visited them yet because I'm thinking WAY ahead!! They would think I was crazy to visit so early. Just planning ahead and going through all the options and looking for ideas.

Badgoushk Tue 25-Oct-16 18:04:56

nocampinghere would you be happy to share your pros/cons of each school please?

nocampinghere Thu 27-Oct-16 10:32:11

they are both great schools, don't get me wrong, just not right for my daughter. she was adamant she wanted co-ed and 2 years later i am so pleased that we have.

Waldegrave:
fantastic results, astounding when you think it is non selective.
i do believe a lot of external tutoring goes on
definitely has a tried and tested process/system - each girl is heavily tracked, assessed and early intervention etc...
aim is for As, not a GCSE pass which was my impression of a lot of schools.
early finish (home by 3pm if live locally). this is a pro or a con depending on your home set up, whether you want your dd occupied for the full day etc.. 3pm - 10pm is a LOT of time to fill in with extra curricular/homework vs hanging out.

LEH
full of bright, high achieving competitive girls. Do you want that environment? it's both a pro and a con.
if your dd is bright but not sporty or music (and i mean exceptionally in those two areas) will she feel good about herself?
i couldn't bear the old head tbh, i might have reconsidered if the new head had been in place at the time
v low state school intake vs other local independents. why? would a state school primary educated dd be always on catch up?
i didn't get the impression, nor did dd, that the girls were at all happy, bubbly or full of life. they seemed moody. maybe that was just our impression.

At the end of the day your dd will get the results she is meant to get, if she is happy, engaged, focused and doesn't go off the rails. You have to choose the school where you think she will be with the environment where she will shine. Only you can decide that. We are blessed with amazing schools in this part of the country.

Good luck!

Badgoushk Thu 27-Oct-16 14:00:09

Thanks nocampinghere. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply with that info.

My girls are still very young [too young for me to say without you thinking I'm a weirdo for worrying about this so early!].

I think my eldest is brighter than me and I could read aged 2, got into Tiffins as an 'out of borough' pupil (10 places, 120 applicatants) before they opened it up to all areas. I came from a working class home, went to a state primary where no one ever got in to Tiffins. Everyone warned me that I might be bottom of the class when I got there but, as it was, I was always in the top 3 and found school very easy. I say this not to look like a prick but to give an impression of how DD1 might be too. Obviously we are different people!

So I would say that DD1 is very bright, sporty and interested in music (too young to play an instrument yet). I think she would be bored stiff in an environment that didn't stretch her.

We can't afford private primary school unfortunately but I wonder if even a very bright state school pupil would get into a private secondary.

Badgoushk Thu 27-Oct-16 14:00:41

*applicants. Doh!

JoJoSM2 Thu 27-Oct-16 15:11:39

It's very common for children to go to state primaries and on to independent secondaries. And a bright kid is a bright kid... And the right school is the right school. Funnily enough, in my area most children from the local academic preps go on to grammars and not indy if they get in ;)

nocampinghere Thu 27-Oct-16 16:40:21

it depends on the area you're talking about JoJoSM2
the numbers of applicants per place for private secondaries in SWLondon is very high.
very different to Kent or Bucks.

JoJoSM2 Thu 27-Oct-16 17:07:02

nocampinghere, I'm in SM2, outer London lol I know there is a lot of competition in and around London for independent senior schools and even more for selective state schools. I just thought I'd give that example as the OP is worried that her bright daughter might not get into a private school coming from a state primary. It's obviously not the case + parents might choose either independent or state education for their children at different stages in their education (even if money is no object).

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