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Areas where state schools are better than private?

(539 Posts)
Narrie Mon 29-Oct-12 09:45:42

Does anyone live in an area where the state schools are really better than the private ones? I picked this up elsewhere but am afraid to comment there.

I have lived and worked in the Midlands where there are few private schools to choose but the state schools are not very good. I have lived in Nottingham, where again I felt the state schools were poor.

Even in London there were some awful schools and private was best.

I currently live in Cornwall having got here working in Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstaple. None of the state schools were good there.

Just wondered where the good state provision is. Is it just odd schools within a mass of poor provision or are there really whole areas where state schools are better?


(PS I have my own DC in a boarding school partly because of the state schooling and partly because we move around so much)

Bonsoir Mon 29-Oct-12 09:48:13

In Kent there are some excellent state grammars (super selectives) that are many families' first choice schools.

Arisbottle Mon 29-Oct-12 09:48:15

I doubt there is anywhere that all the state schools are better than all the independents.

This may be skewed by the presence of grammars, meaning that the indpendents may largely focus on less academic children.

MordionAgenos Mon 29-Oct-12 09:53:02

@narrie if you worked in Exeter then you will know that there is one state school which is accessible to kids in Exeter which is significantly better than not just the private schools in Exeter but most of the private schools in the UK.

MordionAgenos Mon 29-Oct-12 09:55:06

Oh - and where I grew up in London my state school was at the time considered as good or better than the local private girls' schools (girls would leave the paying schools to go to our school for sixth form, especially if they wanted to do music). I understand that it's not better than them now, although it is still very very good.

vampirestakeknickers Mon 29-Oct-12 09:56:54

All the schools here are excellent, both the v. famous public school and the state secondary. Hence v. few day boys/girls at the public school.

We routinely beat them at rugby and get better IB and Alevel results than them grin

Narrie Mon 29-Oct-12 10:05:04


With respect one school with limited access because it is over subscribed does not make the whole provision any better. How about the other school in Exeter which is amongst the worst? I did ask for areas and not just odd schools.


MordionAgenos Mon 29-Oct-12 10:09:09

Narrie with respect you made a sweeping statement about Exeter and I just pointed out a caveat. I was very clear it was one school I was talking about. Athough there is a comp in Exeter which gets pretty good results at GCSE (no sixth form, the biggest drawback to state education in the city IMO) certainly better than some of the private schools (though obviously not the 3 most well known ones). However since you were using Exeter to support your obvious thesis of state =rubbish private= good I thought it was worth pointing out your ......incomplete disclosure, since in fact Exeter/Devon is one of the best examples of an area where there is a state school which is significantly better than most private schools.

Narrie Mon 29-Oct-12 10:20:02


Where is "here"?


Narrie Mon 29-Oct-12 10:22:32


Maybe you and I do not share the same definition of what is good.

I still asked for areas not one school. In Exeter the provision is very mixed.


noisytoys Mon 29-Oct-12 10:26:43

I'm in Southend. We have super selective grammars. We have about 800+ applicants for 100 spaces and they have removed grammar catchments this year so they will get more applicants and more competitive.

seeker Mon 29-Oct-12 10:29:22

I don't think there are any, are there? There are individual schools in both sectors that are better or worse than individual schools in the other sector. But I can't imagine an area where all of one sector is better than all of another.

Bit of an odd question. iMHO.

MordionAgenos Mon 29-Oct-12 10:31:16

Narrie I think that for a comp to get 74% 5 GCSEs including English and maths at A*-C isn't bad. In the same year (2011) St Margaret's, which charges umpty thrumpty grand a term, got 78% on the same benchmark.

In your OP you asked for areas where state schools are better than private. Exeter (well - Devon) is one such area. If you meant areas where all the state schools are better than all the private ones then perhaps that's what you should have asked for.

wordfactory Mon 29-Oct-12 10:33:36

I think what is a good school is entirely subjective.

If we are judging in bald results, there may be grammar areas where the grammar schools compare (results wise) with the independents.

But most parents don't base what makes a school good or bad based purely on that, do they?

middleclassonbursary Mon 29-Oct-12 10:38:22

In parts of Wiltshire state comp academic results will be comparable if not better than many of the non/less selective independent schools in the country. But if you look at the FT school league tables there are only three state schools in the top 20 and those are very selective and 25 in the top 100.

Narrie Mon 29-Oct-12 10:52:23


Bit of an odd question. iMHO

Odd maybe, but it is something I see said here. I just picked it up to ask - to see what these people mean. I have lived in a number of places mentioned orginally. Whilst some schools may seem to some "good", generally I have found the whole picture very depressing to be very honest. Sometimes the good schools are not so very good. But that is me. Maybe I do have different standards. Maybe I should have asked that question, I do not know.


seeker Mon 29-Oct-12 10:58:14

I haven't ever seen anyone say that the is a whole area where state schools a better than private- or the other way round! It woul be a bit of a bonkers thing to say!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 11:00:58

No grammars round here, but some rather outstanding comps ....
The BBC page for Hampshire's league tables says it far more clearly that I can
and none of that stress about grammar school exams where you might end up on the wrong side of the fence

middleclassonbursary Mon 29-Oct-12 11:01:53

OP you make a good point the whole picture can be "very depressing". Our local comp providing a so called "education for the whole community" is selective at 6th form and is quick to chuck out those who don't perform to its required standard! Its one of the highest comps in the league tables but its not providing an education for all of our rural community many of whom have to travel up to 30 miles to other schools 6 th form colleges!

eatyourveg Mon 29-Oct-12 11:04:22

By best I assume you are talking solely % A*-C, if so I would imagine most of the exam factories super selective grammars are "better" than quite a few of the small independent schools that exist up and down the country.

scarevola Mon 29-Oct-12 11:08:45


The two "best" comprehensives (non-grammar) area are truly excellent, and are on a par with the local private schools. And even the "sink" schools would be middle-ranking to good in some other areas.

seeker Mon 29-Oct-12 11:11:58

And at the very top of the league tables there is very little difference between the schools- one person getting an unexpected C can skew the numbers!

leosdad Mon 29-Oct-12 11:14:09

Unfortunately comprehensive state schools will always get lower results, they are not allowed to select on ability, behaviour, motivation, parental support, whether a child has eaten before coming to school etc, etc.

Theas18 Mon 29-Oct-12 11:15:04

Super selective grammars here are (possibly?) better than private for kids who thrive with a really academic schooling . However the range of experience isn't that of the fee paying schools- and the "scores on the doors" are the same.

If I could have paid for my 3 would I- YUP!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 11:16:08

"state schools better than private"
- academically?
- sports?
- music?
- art?
- inter school competition?
- trips and outings?
- DofE provision?
- facilities to allow children with SEN to excel at what they can?

sadly, the definition of "best" often excludes so many interesting, intelligent and dynamic people
that is why I like comps ....

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