State for 1 Child, Private for the other - should I consider?

(57 Posts)
ConfusedofCamden Mon 12-Nov-12 22:46:14

So I'm being a little premature here as only one of my children is yet in school and is still in infants BUT never to early to start obsessing thinking about secondary schools eh?

I've got a son and a daughter. My son is currently in the state system but I have at the back of my mind potential move to independent school at 7+ or (preferably) 11+

One dilemma I have is about whether to make the move at 7 or 11, but that's a whole other thread!

Today's dilemma is that my eldest child is a boy. Where we live there aren't really any great options for boys and so I'm definitely veering towards the idea of an independent school for him (at least from 11, if not before, see above!). HOWEVER, my youngest (who is not even at school yet - see, I told you I was being premature!) is a girl. We live close enough to Camden School for Girls that she would (in a typical year) be likely to get it. In many ways, it sounds like my perfect kind of school.

I just worry that it seems really "off" to send one child to private and not the other. It may be that I'm just being shallow and worrying what other people would think (eg that I'm favouring one child - especially as it's a boy/girl thing) or that there is a genuine sense that I would be acting unfairly. Then again, it does seem slightly insane to be shelling out for 2 lots of school fees when we are lucky enough to live so close to CSG.

If I had 2 girls, I doubt I'd be even considering private education (to be honest, it's been DP that's gradually chipped away at me on that front and as time goes on I've been more open to the idea of private education whereas once I'd have baulked totally).

It's probably too early to be dwelling on these things - who knows what needs my children will have or what schools they would fit into, but it's on my mind now particularly as it's all wrapped up in a jigsaw of decisions including whether we stay where we live or move.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

You do what is right for the child (within reason and financial etc constraints) we have ds at state secondary, happy as larry, not even a consideration that he would go private and dd who we are fully intending to send to private next year for year three. they are totally different chidren with very different needs and we will be guided by that!

ConfusedofCamden Mon 12-Nov-12 23:00:30

Thank you - that's interesting. Can I be really nosey and ask - do you mean different needs in an academic sense? I said in my original post that I'd need to take into account what needs my kids have respectively, but to be honest (and maybe it's because they are so young still) I'm not clear on what would be deciding factors in this kind of decision! I guess these will unfold over the next few years!

It might sound really stupid - but my sensitivity as to what others would think would be lessened if it were the other way around, like you, ie with the boy in state and girl in private. I'm just conscious that it could look like we are "investing" more in our son (*shudders at the prospect*) when in fact nothing could be more unlike me at all!

AngelEyes46 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:01:05

I live in the Croydon borough and some families I know have sent their ds's to either Trinity or Whitgift (both independent) and their dds to Coloma. Coloma is regarded as a school on par to independent (and this may very well be the same for Camden school). They felt that the boys schools in the area didn't measure up and were able to send their ds's private. I agree with butisthismyname - you will do what is best for each child and by the time your dd gets to secondary school age, you may feel different again.

AngelEyes46 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:01:06

I live in the Croydon borough and some families I know have sent their ds's to either Trinity or Whitgift (both independent) and their dds to Coloma. Coloma is regarded as a school on par to independent (and this may very well be the same for Camden school). They felt that the boys schools in the area didn't measure up and were able to send their ds's private. I agree with butisthismyname - you will do what is best for each child and by the time your dd gets to secondary school age, you may feel different again.

Viviennemary Mon 12-Nov-12 23:03:44

Everyone must make their own decisions. However, from a personal point of view I think it is usually wrong to privately educate one child and not the other. But I would make an exception in cases of bullying or one child having special needs.

Of course you can ask! It is about their academic abilities to a point, yes, but also dd has a hearing impairment which has made us think more about smaller classes etc. They are completely different characters - ds is a 'plodder' who is bright and sporty but not interested in doing anything above what he needs to get by (!) whereas she is working well above her 'level' at school and is just desperate to learn - we have the opportunity (as long as she doesn't completely blow the entrance test, although she has been pre tested and flown through it!) for her to go to the indy school and she really wants to, whereas he would hate it. everyone who knows us and them would totally agree and we invest (if that's the right word) as much in him in many ways. It's been a bit soul-searching but we have decided to just go with our feelings and the knowledge of our children!

AngelEyes46 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:12:17

I'm not sure if I agree Vivien - if 1 school is the 'right' school for her ds and the other for her dd then I think go for it. My sil is sending one of her DS's to a single sex school (cos she thinks it's right for him ) and the other to a mixed. There is nothing wrong with that and should be no different from choosing a private for one; state for other.

kissmyheathenass Mon 12-Nov-12 23:18:31

I used to teach at CSG. Very happy memories. If I could send my DDS there I would be very happy.

Ds is in a private school, where we live, choices for boys are shockingly bad. He is in yr 8 and has dyslexia, so small classes were a big factor. His sisters both attend state schools. They might move if and when it is possible but all things considered, its ds who has most pressing needs.

auntevil Mon 12-Nov-12 23:19:05

We have potentially a similar situation - but with 3 boys.
DS1 Y5 currently has SN - but is academic. If he doesn't get a selective place - and the schools that have selective places are under represented in SN area - the alternative is not one we want to send our DS to. Therefore private would be our only other option.
DH and I have discussed this, and where I do believe that each child should go to the school that best meets their needs, we do have concerns about fairness.
What is to say that the private school wouldn't meet all of their needs?
There is also only 2 years between each. There would therefore be a time when all 3 would be at school together.
All I know is that in years to come, if we only sent 1 child private, and either of the other 2 felt that they had not achieved as much as they would like and believed that their education was the cause, I would be consumed with guilt.
It's a toughie, I don't envy your position.

weasle Mon 12-Nov-12 23:20:44

I went to a quite rubbish state school, my bro to an indie.

One of us is a doctor, the other works in a factory.

My parents could only afford 1 set of school fees. Doesn't / didn't bother me. Things worked out ok for me. My bro never really felt right at his school, not sure why. He's pretty happy now too I think. We are very different in every way!

I'm the doctor BTW.

lisad123 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:20:54

We currently send dd1 to an private school, she has just started year 5. Dd2 has started reception in local state school.
We have decided private for dd1 as she needed a small class with teachers that understood her needs and could support her strengths.
Dd2 needs a school that can support her behavioural difficulties and help her be with other children.
Both the girls have autism, different difficulties and require different input. We have based our decision on which school is best to support our children.
I know right now private school isn't a choice for dd2 but hope that we could send her in junior school.

I think it's unfair to send one without having the chance to send the other if needed/wanted later in life.
You need to consider your children are very young and may change, and so might the school.
Each child is different and so only YOU can judge.

Theas18 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:27:51

Yup, we would have. Given the local set up with grammars that are excellent but very competitive, and community schools that are on the whole not bad but very BTEC based etc we had inde schools lined up if they didnt prove grammar material- very hard to get top grades in a school that really doesn't cater for a child who should get pretty much straight As at GCSE but isn't at grammar because they want the cohort that get straight A*!

ConfusedofCamden Mon 12-Nov-12 23:52:24

Interesting viewpoints - thanks.

Weasle - I think that the experience of you and your brother illustrates that it's not a case of private school automatically being a door to success!

I guess that it's more that I'm struggling with how it would be perceived though. I need to care less what other people think.

Actually, more than what other people thing, as several posters say, I would feel incredibly guilty if my DD felt aggrieved in future years. I went to a grammar school but my sister didn't (it had switched from being a grammar school when she was at that age, and she was outside the catchment area, whereas by the time I went, it was back to grammar) - and there were some "ishoos" with her comprehensive school. I wonder if she feels that she got the raw deal - and that isn't even a case of my parents having made a different decision.

As to whether we could afford both. We probably could but will need to change our lifestyle significantly (for one set of fees too, come to think of it!) I'm also incredibly lucky in that my parents have said that there is likely to be some money that could come my way (they are trying to be fair to me and my siblings, who they have helped with business start ups) and we could ear-mark that for a few years school fees, so we could possibly meet the cost of 2 sets of fees. My dilemma though is that Camden School so appeals to me, that if I were to send DD to an independent school, I'd almost wholly be doing it to ensure equal treatment.

I love my son to the ends of the earth, but on this issue, gawd, it would have been easier if he were a girl! grin

tiggytape Tue 13-Nov-12 08:25:20

It is very common to do this where I live (London area). In fact until MN, it didn't occur to me that some people would think it a terrible option or that some people who'd experienced it as children would be upset by it.

The reason that it is common near us is that there are excellent single sex grammar schools within commuting distance but these have no sibling criteria. It is perfectly possible (and very common) therefore for one DC to get a place at Grammar and the other DC not to. The state comp alternatives are very hit and miss and the catchments for the good ones are tiny.
If you don't live near one of the good ones, the bad ones are very bad indeed so then you'd have one DC at a grammar that was comparable to an independent and one that was at amongst the very worst schools in the area. So even though they'd both be in state education, they'd have vastly different experiences and opportunities.

Grammars aside, we also have some all girl and all boy schools (and faith schools) which are the ‘best’ schools in terms of facilities, grades, Ofsted and courses offered. So again, whilst you might live near to the girls' school and get DD in, you won't necessarily live close enough to the corresponding boys' school (they have no official link) so you'd have a girl at the best comp in the area and a boy being sent to one of the worst.

It isn’t a boy girl thing at all here – plenty of families have a boy at Grammar or a very popular boys’ comp and a girl at an all girls’ private high school. Obvioulsy private schooling is still quite rare but of all the people I know who do it, every single one of them has at some point had one child in state and one in private. You just do the best for each child at the time with what you've got and with what schools they've been offered.

BanoffeeSplitz Tue 13-Nov-12 10:11:46

Anecdotal only - I was state educated at secondary, my older sister went to private school (the same one I went to until was 11 and the money ran out).
It never bothered me in the slightest - perhaps because I was lot more academic than my sister so did perfectly well & went to a good Uni from a quite ordinary comp.

Maybe it also helped that I'd been to the same school as her for 5 years, so while I knew it was a good school, I wasn't under any illusions that it was some magical place that I'd been deprived of.

On the other hand, I have a friend who went to one of the best girls grammar schools in the country, had a much better academic education than her brother who went to a local private school, did really well for herself and still harbours resentment that they spent money on his education but not hers. So there might be gender factors to bear in mind wink.

Nonnus Tue 13-Nov-12 11:18:59

I know a couple of adults who have been in this situation (as children). It's a tough one. As a parent I would incline to the "do what is right for each child" school of thought, but as a daughter I can see how it could look very poor if you are the state-educated child. As children they may not mind, but when they are adults how will your decision be viewed? If you are going to spend £200,000 educating DS, will you make financial provision in the same order for DD? If not, is that fair? If you do compensate DD as an adult, what if DS takes the view that he never asked to be educated privately and would have preferred the money?

These are difficult issues and can have an effect for years and years. My friends who were the state educated ones are very resentful as adults, even though they are successful.

Another thing to consider is that the benefits afforded by private education are not just about better education. Usually the whole experience is better - a greater range of activities, facilities, trips, etc. DD may get a good education at CSG but still feel that her brother is privileged in a way she is not.

To be honest, the trips, activities and opportunities at ds state school are equally on a par (and just as flipping expensive!) as the ones we would be offered at the indy school!

ConfusedofCamden Tue 13-Nov-12 11:23:30

It's a minefield. I just wouldn't want to create any resentment. I suspect I'd have to find a way to send both to private schools, whilst weeping quietly at the fact that we are so near to Camden School for Girls.

My other problem is whether to move DS from state to independent at 7 or 11. My preference would be 11 but my inclining is that it will be harder for state school pupils to "catch up" and it might be easier to move him at 7.

Nonnus Tue 13-Nov-12 11:29:31

Speaking as a mother who is preparing her state-educated child for 11+ entry to an academic private school, I would go with changing at 7+ if you send him private.

My child is in the top sets for everything at school, had 4bs across the board at end of year 5. However, despite this apparent over-achievement, performance in 11+ practice papers is average at best (65-75% where 85% is the pass mark). The expectation levels in state primaries are a lot lower than in good prep schools, and to my amazement, my child's class teacher actually said as much to me! This is in an "Outstanding" primary school to boot.

I am hoping that we will get through the 11+ but if I had known earlier how different the expectation levels were, I'd have moved before.

beingginger Tue 13-Nov-12 11:33:47

I have twin cousins and they went to different schools.
The boy is not at all academic and fully intends to work on the family farm after agricultural collage so he went to a state school.
His sister is very academic and intends to go to uni she goes to a very good girls grammar school.
They are both happy with this and it works for the family so why not ?

APMF Tue 13-Nov-12 12:05:49

We went private with DS because the schools near us were ok but not brilliant. However, when it came to DD's turn she was allocated a very good girls state school which we seriously considered accepting.

At the end it came down to this. DS in Year 7 went skiing with the school, went on a athletics team tour of Spain and did an orchestral concert at a major London venue. These kind of opportunities wouldn't be available to DD at her state school, at least not in Year 7. We didn't want DD to feel 2nd best to her brother.

Anyway, that is why we chose a private school for DD, even though she was allocated a very academic state school.

APMF Tue 13-Nov-12 12:21:35

@Nonnus - My DC was similar to yours in that he was level 4 at the end of year 5. People, including the teacher were telling us that this was very good since he was at the national average for year 6.

However, our elation came down with a bump when we sat him down with a mock paper during the summer break. He scored 65% when the pass mark for his intended school was about 85%. We quickly realised that good KS levels don't inevitably mean good 11+ results, not without extra effort on our part.

We spent the summer doing 4 hours of 11+ prep daily, 7 days a week which dropped down to 2 hours daily once school resumed. By the time he sat the tests in Jan of Year 6 he was scoring 90% on average. So it is do-able.

ConfusedofCamden Tue 13-Nov-12 13:31:51

Food for thought on the 7 v 11 issue and on the state for one child issue. I wish I wasn't so incapable of making a decision.

From what I hear, it's not necessarily a breeze to get kids into independent schools at 7+ either - so I'm thinking that we will have to give it a go. Not sure if I should tutor at this age. Arrgghhh. He's in Year 1 now and his current state school goes up to the end of Year 2.

APMF Tue 13-Nov-12 16:17:00

At 7+ they look for basic reading and writing skills and of course math skills. Nothing a good primary school and a proactive parent can't handle.

At 11+ they will require skills that aren't typically taught at primary schools. In our case it took 6months of tutoring at home to get our DCs to the level where we were confident of a pass.

The 13+ is completely different ball game. The test requires knowledge of science, maths etc as opposed to skills. Your typical state school/parent will find it hard to prepare a child to the same level as the prep school kid.

So, if money is not an issue and you don't feel that confident about the 11+ then by all means go for the 7+.

Nonnus Tue 13-Nov-12 17:22:04

Goodness APMF, we have not achieved anything like as much preparation as you managed. On our summer holiday we dis 2 hours a day, but I work full time and don't get home till about 7pm so since then it's been half an hour in the evenings and more at weekends. I found a maths tutor so we're having 2 sessions a week of that as well but I have to say I am horrified at DS' levels in English and Maths (he's good at VR). The school he's going for does take a lot of kids from state schools so I am just really hoping the test is more straightforward than some of the very complicated question types I've seen in other schools' practice papers (this school doesn't make any available).

Farewelltoarms Tue 13-Nov-12 18:18:48

Normally I'm very against one in private and one in state especially when less is spent on a girls' education on account of my parents sending me to local primary and then onto shitty girls' school with untrained teachers (and bro to Eton). However, it's completely different when you're in catchment of Camden Girls. It's a flipping fantastic school. I wouldn't hesitate to send my girls there. I met a recent old girl and she said it was interesting how all her Camden mates were doing worthwhile zingy jobs and projects, while her public-school educated friends from Oxford were all tutoring. I think you'd be mad to send your girl private just for the sake of it. I don't think you'd be unusual either, we've got friends who are planning something similar.
However, I think if you suddenly start sending your boy somewhere private at 7 then you are making too big a distinction. Don't believe the scare stories - the head of City Boys said the success rates at 10 and 11 for applicants from state and private schools were the same. Yes you'll have to tutor for a year or so, but that's a lot less of financial and emotional commitment than four years of private school.

maybetimeforachange Tue 13-Nov-12 21:12:00

I have one in a prep school and one in a state primary. We moved to private because DD was desperately unhappy but we left our eldest as he was happy, settled and doing well. He would have been very unhappy to move and we had always been satisfied with the school. He will most likely go on to one of the top comprehensives in the country, a totally non selective school with nearly 90% A-C including English and maths at GCSE, an ebacc of nearly 60% and approx 20 a year going to Oxbridge. It also has outstanding facilities, trips and enrichment. Quite frankly, I would be mad to pay for him just for the sake of fairness. It is a very big school and I am not sure DD will cope with the size in which case she will stay private.

I am with the poster who said that it is utterly common where she is, it is here too and is a complete non issue as far as I am concerned. I remember a poster talking about going to Oxford and being surrounded by students from x,y,z private schools and actually included this particular school on her list. However, I am talking about good independent day school vs outstanding comp and I do not think that there is a debate to even be had, however, top public boarding school vs average comp is a different matter.

ConfusedofCamden Tue 13-Nov-12 22:42:01

Thanks everyone. So much to think about! Farewelltoarms - I agree, I wouldn't want to send my son to private at 7 but not my daughter. If I do send him to a private school at 7 then I've already picked my route, as it were. Maybe I could send them both to private at 7 but then send my daughter to Camden School for Girls at 11? Slightly insane perhaps!

Having said that, judging by my current bank balance, I'm not sure I'm being realistic in thinking we can afford private from 7 anyway.

We have lots of decisions to make.....

boomting Wed 14-Nov-12 12:33:49

It's not as though state = bad outcome, private = good outcome at all.

I know one family who did this. A few years on, the boy (state educated) has graduated from a Russell Group university and is doing very well. The girl (privately educated) has dropped out of university after getting pregnant and having the baby, and is in a relationship with a tradesman named Kyle.

horsemadmom Wed 14-Nov-12 18:34:56

Hi. Go have a look around CSG and see what you think. It is excellent but not everyone's cup of tea. I know a family who sent all of their girls to Camden and their son to Westminster. The girls were opposite ends of the academic scale and both did well. No resentment at all. Another family did the same but the son was at UCS and then opted for CSG for 6th form. As for the 7+, yes, you will have to tutor or consider a prep that does CE. St. Anthony, Lyndhurst, NBH, Hereward. I know some very, very bright boys who didn't have a prayer at 7+ but had tutoring and sailed in at 8+. Not an option anymore, though.

ConfusedofCamden Thu 15-Nov-12 13:16:18

horsemadmom - why do you say that you will have to tutor at 7+ or consider a prep that does CE? Why would there be less need to tutor for those, and actually don't all preps do Common Entrance anyway? Also, I'm not clear what you mean about 8+ not being an option - do you mean that there aren't regular places at that age? Sorry to bombard with questions!

horsemadmom Thu 15-Nov-12 13:32:18

Hi- State primary schools simply do not cover what will be tested at 7+. Private pre-preps will have the kids doing times tables up to 12, word problems, writing stories under timed conditions and will have exam practice. You can do Bond 7+ papers at home if you don't want to fork out for a tutor but you have to do lots of them regularly. Look at the school websites as there are usually practice papers. Some schools used to have an 8+ entry (UCS, Hgate) but no longer do. It used to function as a mop-up for boys who just weren't mature enough at 7 (like mine!) and parents who tried from state primaries at 7 and were shocked that their sons didn't know very much on the papers and got them tutored. Prep schools do CE at 13 and some boys do 11+ from them although it is frowned upon by Prep Heads.
This does not mean that you can take a child who lacks aptitude and tutor them into these schools. The interview will suss out who is really bright and who has been drilled. These schools simply can't take a child who doesn't have the basics in place. The competition is too fierce and they have their pick of hundreds.

I would have to disagree. The school we are hoping to send dd to next year deliberately test for potential, as well as ability. She has already had a pre test (coming from a state primary, they advised it) and we were told that it wold be highly unlikely she would fail the entrance test. Of course, we are still 'practising' with her,But not 'lots' and not 'regularly', just every now and then when she asks. Maybe she will mess up on the day, but they accept (via the entrance test) around 30% state school children each year, so clearly 'the basics' would be 'ability' not just what has been taught in pre prep.

horsemadmom Fri 16-Nov-12 10:18:10

Ok, Butisthismyname. I'm very familiar with how all this works because I have 3 kids at 3 different schools of this ilk and friends at all the rest. I highly suspect that the school your DD sat a 'pre-test' for is not one of the highly academic ones. This isn't the way they do things. The schools the OP is looking at for 7+ will have 3-4 forms (minus 1 at Hgate for their own pre-prep) and their intake ratio is about 1 in 5. The exam pass is the minimum standard and then there is an interview/ small group activity. They have to have a way of sifting from hundreds. These schools are not in the business of teaching basic arithmatic, reading and grammar. All of that has to be in place. A very good state primary simply won't have taught NVR or have the kids writing stories under timed conditions and most won't be doing times tables or expect neat joined up writing. I'm sorry but you are not even on the start line of a very long journey that a lot of us have navigated successfully.

It is extremely academic actually! One of the leading prep schools in the country. They have roughly 80 applications for 30 places.

I hope you weren't intending to be rude, I'm sure you weren't, but I do know the 'journey' to which you refer as my nephew also undertook this from a state school.

The upper school was 15th in the A Level league tables last year - not that I should have to justify which school it is.

oops, 10th actually.

FarrowAndBollock Fri 16-Nov-12 11:45:43

Generally, I think it is asking for trouble. However, in your case, I think it is feasible. It is the same where we are - even our headmaster has done that.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Fri 16-Nov-12 12:46:26

OK, for what it's worth, here is my story.

We were in pretty much exactly your situation two years ago. DD and DS both in academic single sex prep schools, DD in y6 and needing to make the decision for senior schools. Like you, we are lucky to be in the catchment area for an excellent girls comp, great reputation locally, probably similar standing to CSG. Neighbour's girls already there, loved it. Went to see school, blown away by everything, got a really strong feeling that it would suit DD perfectly. But did not get the same feeling from the local boys state secondaries, just not in the same league (not in catchment area for any mixed schools). We were finding the fees a stretch so would have had to make serious economies all round to carry on with 2 sets of fees. Already having some misgivings about DD going on to the attached private senior school, mainly to do with issues over not being in the monied set. So what to do? At the time I felt hugely guilty at the thought of not keeping both private. So what to do?

In the end we decided to send DD to the state school, with plans to keep DS in the private system. What decided us? The gut feeling that this school was just so much more suited to DD. I finally realised that the only doubts I had related to guilt over not giving both the "opportunity" of private education. But the fact was that the state education available was not comparable for DD and DS. I would have sent DS to DDs secondary school like a shot, but it would have involved disguising him in a skirt which he was not up for! grin. An added benefit was that we have enough spare money to pay for DDs many music and dance lessons, which are her passion. Money would have been so tight if we had kept her private that these may have had to be dropped.

How has it worked out now that DD is in year 8? She honestly couldn't be happier. She has a lovely set of local friends, is loving being involved in the many excellent music and sports activities at the school, and she is flying academically. She is in the top stream and the academic standards are at least as high as her private schools, with great inspired teaching. I am so glad we went with the state school and didn't financially cripple the family for no good reason.

This is a recurring issue in areas with single sex secondaries as the standards are just not the same in both available schools.

If you are in the catchment area for a great comprehensive like CSG and you have a gut feeling that it will suit your DD down to the ground, please grab it with both hands!

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Fri 16-Nov-12 12:47:29

Sorry about hideously long post, I am always rambling on! grin

ConfusedofCamden Fri 16-Nov-12 15:21:16

Thanks everyone - really interesting perspectives. I think I'm currently coming round to the view that I could send DS to private secondary but DD to CSG, but if one went to a prep school then both should. If I want to send DS to a prep school from 7 then I'd have to tutor (that seems somewhat insane to me - but I get that it's probably necessary!), and if I go down the 11+ route (more likely) then he'll probably need tutoring for a year first.

horsemadmom- the only bit I didn't understand from your original post was this bit - "As for the 7+, yes, you will have to tutor or consider a prep that does CE. St. Anthony, Lyndhurst, NBH, Hereward. "

why "or" consider a prep that does CE - I would have thought that a) they all do CE and b) they are exactly the type of schools you'd need to tutor for. I might have completely misunderstood.

horsemadmom Fri 16-Nov-12 17:07:09

Ah! Sorry to confuse you.
UCS JB and Highgate have entry at 7+ for which, you will be best advised to tutor(speak to Kevin Douglas and Mark James if you want confirmation). The boys go up to the senior schools automatically unless there is a real problem. Prep schools- St.A, NBH, Lyndhurst, Arnold House and Hereward are not selective per se. They do assess but are looking at teachability and good behaviour. No tutoring needed. The Hall has a main intake at reception and is a bit more selective. The preps do CE at 13 and then feed into UCS, Highgate etc. Does that help? Let me know.

ConfusedofCamden Fri 16-Nov-12 20:35:18

Sorry horsemadmum - I'm being thick - I was wondering why only certain schools would do the CE but, of course, at ones such as Highgate kids go all the way through (unless they are asked to leave that is!)

Who are Kevin Douglas and Mark James?

horsemadmom Sat 17-Nov-12 09:51:17

They are the heads of UCS Junior branch and Hgate, respectively. 11+ intake is mostly state primary school boys. CE is the intake from the preps. UCS boys go up to Frognal unless they've committed arson or assault. Hgate rarely advises boys to go elsewhere at 11 but, it can happen. Neither sits the CE paper.
You should go have a look around and ask questions. They are happy to answer. BTW, are you sure you are close enough to CSG? They have a banding system according to ability and some bands extend further than others.

OwedToAutumn Sat 17-Nov-12 10:04:28

DS goes to a school which goes from 7 to 18. In year 3, they do the year 4 curriculum, and so on. What is bright for your son's school may just be average for the school you intend to send him to.

With regard to a mix of state and private, it depends on the school and the child. DD1 is at a super selective grammar (so state). If I won the lottery, I would not move her from that school. It suits her perfectly and the opportunities she has had are fabulous.

DD2 is at a private girls' school. She is dyslexic, and suffers from a lack of confidence in her (considerable) abilities. She would be lost at DD1's school, and I did not even enter her for the tests, not because I didn't think she would get in, but because I knew it was the wrong school for her.

Both girls are very happy at their respective schools.

Emandlu Sat 17-Nov-12 10:12:33

I have always told my kids that what is fair is not things being the same for both of them, but what is right for each of them. We may soon have our kids in wildly differing forms of education, but they will both (hopefully) be in the system that works for them.

Don't worry what other people think, do what is right for your kids!

ConfusedofCamden Sat 17-Nov-12 11:45:09

Thanks all

Yes we probably would be close enough to CSG - I've looked at the details of offers for the last 4 or 5 years and we would just about have qualified at any of the bands

ConfusedofCamden Sat 17-Nov-12 11:48:03

OwedtoAutumn and EmandLu - you both illustrate well how it's about doing what is right for each DC. I may have totally different views of what is right for them as we get older, so I shouldn't fret too much now!

Ilovegeorgeclooney Sat 17-Nov-12 21:45:31

I find the inference that private education equals success odd. Passing the CE is fairly meaningless since it is an exam designed to look at how a child has been educated rather than their ability. My DBs were educated in the private sector and myself and my sisters were educated in the state sector. This was because my parents were deeply religious and there was a very good Catholic state school for girls in the area but the only equivalent boys school was private. The result was that all three of us girls went to either Oxford/Cambridge but only one of my brothers did. My children all went to a bog standard comp and two are currently studying medicine and the third is currently applying to study the same. The fact she comes from a comp with outstanding grades is actually seen to be an advantage. It is more about the child than the school and you need to base any decision on that. BTW all my siblings have happy lives and there is no resentment at all, just a few family jokes about the appalling uniform the boys had to wear.....boaters ffs!!!!

ConfusedofCamden Sat 17-Nov-12 23:23:16

Ilovegeorgeclooney (and lets face it, who doesn't!) - I agree - it's not about me wanted a private education for my kids above all other considerations - just finding a good school which is right for them. As I say - if I had 2 girls - I wouldn't even be considering private - all being equal and them getting in to somewhere like CSG. It's just that there isn't an option for my son that I feel would be as good. I'd be more relaxed if we were closer to William Ellis and Acland Burghley but we aren't (and if we were, we wouldn't be close enough to CSG so it's swings and roundabouts really!)

HappyTurquoise Sat 17-Nov-12 23:55:05

My brother went to a (boy's) top private school on a scholarship at 11. I won't deny that it has been very hard to have grown up with such a completely different experience of life, but then there's a huge age gap between us and a huge difference in personality as well, so we are not really like brother & sister. While I'd never want to deprive DB of his great academic achievements, and the wonderful facilities and teachers he had at school and university, I really don't feel we are 'family' with so little in common iyswim. I'd lay my life down for that daft sod, but just have no clue what to talk to him about!

I was sure my DCs would go to the same school, but did not know we would be living in a grammar school region until DC1 was in year 5. So, while DC1 is at a single sex grammar, the younger then sailed into a mixed super selective grammar and after a lot of soul searching, we decided that it was more important that each child went to the right school for them, and giving each the best opportunities they could get, rather than insisting they went to the same school. DC1 is hoping to go to the super selective for A levels (and predicted grades are looking promising).

horsemadmom Sun 18-Nov-12 16:12:15

CofC- If you are in the swwet spot for CSG, you ARE ALSO in catchment for AB and WE. Look at the Camden website. There aren't any closer boys' options. Unless you are in Crowndale and SCCS is closest- if so, apologies. Do hang around Swains Lane at chucking out time before you throw your lot in with AB and WE, though.

losingtrust Sun 18-Nov-12 16:49:50

I don't see it as an issue and here many send their academic children to the comp which they will do well at in the top stream and their academic strugglers private. My ds currently at state comp in top stream and doing very well and it also caters well for his music. He is not in the least sporty and the indies near me pride themselves on their sport facility which would be a waste in his card with my younger dd who struggles more at school I am keeping a watchful eye as there is a very good girls indie which is non-selective but gets really good results and does a lot more dance and drama which may suit her better so I will wait and see. If I told ds he was going private he would moan as he loves school and doing well so do not want to change that.

losingtrust Sun 18-Nov-12 17:03:53

Having said that ds only showed up as being a non-struggler in year 6 so hopefully dd may follow

ConfusedofCamden Sun 18-Nov-12 23:20:42

Horsemadmom - not near Crowndale Road - we are much nearer to CSG than that. Although we are likely to be close enough for CSG that doesn't mean that we'd necessarily be close enough to WE and AB. I have looked at the Camden website and rang them up to get distances going further back than the most recent 2 years that they publish on the website. We'd have qualified for WE and AB this year but not in any of the previous 5 or 6 years (well, we would have one year a few years ago for WE but it doesn't seem to be the norm). Don't worry - I have no illusions about WE and AB - just considering all options! Probably wouldn't be my first choice (I think we will probably try for an independent school at 11) but it would be good to have a state back up - and Haverstock doesn't appeal.

losingtrust - your post sums up why I'm being a bit premature - I don't know what the different strengths/needs of my children will be yet, when they get to that age. I need to let it unfold a bit I think! I think my overthinking of this now is because, as I said at the outset, it's all wrapped up with a jigsaw of decisions including whether we stay where we are or move.

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