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For Needing Convincing Of Merits Of London Day Schools vs Boarding For Academically Average?

(57 Posts)
EmbroideryQueen Fri 29-Jan-16 03:35:34

Please, convince me of the merits of the London day Prep & Senior school system over boarding!

My DS is very average academically (whch seems to equate to being dim in London!) and it feels as though the only schools which can match the quality of education & life experiences offered by Public Boarding schools (which I am differentiating from academic achievement which I don't care much about) are those which are impossible to get into for an average child - St Pauls, Habs, Dulwich, etc.....

.......And that those an average child would be able to get in to are very lacklustre - little value added, lots of sitting in classrooms, dull buildings, high pupil and staff turnover, hardly any timetabled sports, very few facilities, hardly any extra curriculars and in short, not much fun compared to beautiful university style campuses offering activities such as these: fluencycontent-schoolwebsite.netdna-ssl.com/FileCluster/BradfieldCollege/Mainfolder/Co-Curricular-2015.pdf (not to mention social benefits of boarding)

Unfortunately, it would be difficult for us to send DS down the Public Boarding route, (partly because I'd find it very hard to not see him for up to 3 weeks) so I'm desperate for you all to tell me why IBU and detail the many advantages to London day schools which I've not considered as I have little experience of London days.

SoThatHappened Fri 29-Jan-16 04:29:16

.......And that those an average child would be able to get in to are very lacklustre - little value added, lots of sitting in classrooms, dull buildings, high pupil and staff turnover, hardly any timetabled sports, very few facilities, hardly any extra curriculars

How about a well performing state school? Why pay money for a mediochre private school?

Moopsboopsmum Fri 29-Jan-16 04:34:46

Do what everyone else does and leave London.

whois Fri 29-Jan-16 08:18:09

Well TBH I think if you can get into a great state school, and supplement by paying for activities out side of school and doing rugby through a local club (for example) that is much better than a mediocre private school.

Otherwise there are plenty of 'mid academic' public schools that he could get into and have the fantastic sports drama music opportunities but it will cost you big time, and you won't see him as much.

foragogo Fri 29-Jan-16 08:26:28

How old is he? Are youbtaliing about 11+ or 13+? They can change a lot from 9/10 to 11/12/13 I think and he may have more chance of getting into a school in or around London. There are also some less academic schools with the settings you describe outside of London in Surrey, Sussex etc. Would moving or commuting be an option?

EmbroideryQueen Fri 29-Jan-16 16:09:15

State school for 13+ not really an option due to the catchment area issue.

So does everyone agree that IANBU and that the non top performing London day schools are a bit rubbish and done have many advantages? Gosh, I was really hoping everyone would tell me IABU!

harshbuttrue1980 Fri 29-Jan-16 17:39:57

Day schools mean you can bring up your children, nurture them and be there on a day to day basis. Boarding schools basically involve subcontracting out being a parent, and you could end up being less close to your children.
If you pack them off to boarding school, don't be surprised if they pack you off to a nursing home when you get old. Look after them, bring them up and develop the bonds that come from being family. I have a friend who went to boarding school, and she is an active member of the "boarding schools survivor" group - check it out.

TrojanWhore Fri 29-Jan-16 17:43:16

Are you talking about independent schools only?

CruCru Fri 29-Jan-16 18:01:06

You might get kinder responses if you moved this to Education.

BertrandRussell Fri 29-Jan-16 18:03:15

"State school for 13+ not really an option due to the catchment area issue."

Don't understand?

LIZS Fri 29-Jan-16 18:06:26

Some state boarding schools do 13+ entry ie.Cranbrook. If a London state school had a y9 place available they would have to offer it to you, in catchment or not.

monkeysox Fri 29-Jan-16 18:19:58

Lizs is correct. Apply for a state school first.
Why do so many people pay £60000 plus.for a secondary education? Are local schools that bad?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 29-Jan-16 18:23:14

Why not a decent State school and 60K a year of tutoring, enrichment, sports, holidays and savings for university?

TwinkleCrinkle Fri 29-Jan-16 19:26:09

I went to a non selective boarding school (the country I am from the secondary schooling is not great). The school had a very good mix of abilities and in terms of being able to get those that were not particularly academic good grades was fantastic.
Great pastoral care and a focus on widening experiences and knowledge outside academics as well.
I definitely think there are some indie schools not worth paying for and you could do better or equal in a state school. But if you find the right school (easier said than done sometimes) a child can thrive.

EmbroideryQueen Fri 29-Jan-16 20:24:42

Harshbuttrue
Yes, true about the parenting.

The boarding survivors group I have little respect for - I agree with the sentiment, but last time I looked they did have a lot of shit on their website!

EmbroideryQueen Fri 29-Jan-16 20:26:34

I don't want a State school.

Partly because I don't want to move to a property which is very expensive because it's in catchment.....

....and partly because Grandparents pay the school fees, so the cost of private is not relevant.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Fri 29-Jan-16 20:29:22

You don't want a state school even if it's the better option for your academically average child? Okay then. confused

EmbroideryQueen Fri 29-Jan-16 20:30:00

Also, if I did end up choosing a boarding school I'd pick one with either a school bus to London so DS could board 1-2 nights a week (if I can find such a school) or at least one close to London which is easygoing about pupils going home weekends.

BertrandRussell Fri 29-Jan-16 20:30:08

But you say the private ones are not good......

People do actually go to state schools, you know. Lots and lots of them.

EmbroideryQueen Fri 29-Jan-16 20:32:30

Gasp0de
Are you assuming the catchment area I could afford to live in will automatically have a better State school than an Independant I might choose? Also, what if I move at great cost to a catchment area then don't get a place anyway? That would be awful.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 29-Jan-16 20:32:35

www.royalrussell.co.uk/Welcome-Boarding Royal Russell. Pretty lax academics and close to London.

BertrandRussell Fri 29-Jan-16 20:34:12

Have you just looked at your nearest state secondary?

AveEldon Fri 29-Jan-16 20:42:58

Have you considered weekly boarding?

EmbroideryQueen Fri 29-Jan-16 20:45:53

I'd like to avoid having this being derailed into a State / Private debate!

I made this thread to debate London day vs boarding.

MrsTerryPretchett I think RR is supposed to have not so great pastoral care, but I did read that on a MN thread and haven't been to view.

LIZS Fri 29-Jan-16 20:47:49

How old is your ds now? What are his strengths? A number of Home Counties private schools offer flexi boarding but if academics aren't your main focus, what is? If he is at a prep now, what are the head's suggestion for future school options?

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