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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)

teacherwith2kids Mon 29-Oct-12 13:42:49

Should also have made the point that I am considering school choice bearing in mind my own child. He is a) a boy, b) bright (hence why A-level results are my 'benchmark of choice' as he will still be in school at that point), c) on the ASD spectrum.

If I had a less able girl, with particular needs or without the ASD complication, then I might look at schools in different ways and rank them differently.

teacherwith2kids Mon 29-Oct-12 13:44:27

Leosdad - that's another reason why I use A-level points as a 'benchmark of choice', rather than any of the ones relating to GCSEs.

difficultpickle Mon 29-Oct-12 13:47:49

I always think that value added is a better indication of how good a school is. Just because a school has high results doesn't mean they have done their best for their pupils. A very academic cohort will always do well wherever they are at school.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 13:57:26

at my DCs comp, the top 80 or so in each year group are expected to hit the 10 A* / A and maybe a smattering of Bs
The 6th form colleges - because that is the system here - get outstanding results with kids from all types of school.

And yes, the attitude to mentoring and support would not be possible in a school that had weeded out all those who were a bit different at the start.

diabolo Mon 29-Oct-12 14:07:32

I'm in Suffolk - some of the state schools get better results than some of the independents. Some are in specials measures / being forced to turn into Academies.

I am fairly sure the same can be said of any county in the UK. If there was a particular area where every state comp outperformed all local fee-paying schools, can you imagine the house prices???? grin

middleclassonbursary Mon 29-Oct-12 15:12:21

"If I look at the top 20 schools for A level results in my county:
The top is a superselective state grammar."
Ive just done that on the BBC website that you listed when I filtered by A level results/points St Swithans come top followed by Winchester! Both independent I believe. Not that it really matters as I've said above.

teacherwith2kids Mon 29-Oct-12 15:13:00


Unfortunately value added information is not available for independent schools, so when making cross-sector comparisons it can't be used.

Added value has also to date flattered selective schools, particularly superselective grammars, because Level 5 was the 'ceiling' on SATs results for league tables.

Superselectoves take lots of children who are already Level 6 or higher on entry, but in the 'value added calculation' are treated as being Level 5. So the school may do very little indeed for such children but they would still 'numerically' seem to gain at least 1 or 2 levels, simply because they were actually that level on entry IYSEM.

teacherwith2kids Mon 29-Oct-12 15:13:56

I said 'in my county'. I believe that you live in a different one?

ethelb Mon 29-Oct-12 15:19:00

overly vauge question but Hampshire. Some parents take their children out of private to go state.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 15:20:18

You've sorted Hampshire.
We have no grammars and hardly any of the state schools have 6th forms so its not really a surprise that those two come top
boarding schools are rarely a good measure of a county : Hampshire is stuffed full of them - not many of the parents live in Hampshire though!

ethelb Mon 29-Oct-12 15:24:05

yes, there are only a handful of (very large) 6th form colleges in Hampshire.

weegiemum Mon 29-Oct-12 15:24:05

Scotland, in particular, for bilingual education.

My children go to Sgoil Ghaidlig Ghlaschu, the Glasgow Gaelic School. There's not a private school I've ever heard of that would provid totally bilingual education.

I couldnt buy the education they are getting by any means other than by getting private bilingual tuition.

scarevola Mon 29-Oct-12 15:26:05

"can you imagine the house prices????"

Info for Harrogate (average £272k) The same BBC tool can be used for any part of the country which gets a shout-out on this thread.

Takver Mon 29-Oct-12 15:27:31

I think if you look at small provincial towns where the private school is a non-selective 'I don't want my child to mix with the nasty estate children' sort of school then you'll often find that the state options are better on any measurement other than that of 'speaking naicely'.

Certainly that was the case in the town where I went to secondary school (in the midlands), and I believe it is still so. However, if you then spread your net a little more widely, you'd immediately come across excellent independent schools in the same county.

I imagine there are unlikely to be any areas where state facilities are systematically better than private, otherwise why would anyone bother paying?

Lancelottie Mon 29-Oct-12 15:28:42

Good grief, Talkinpeace, how big is your school if the top 80 get all A and up?

Munashe Mon 29-Oct-12 15:30:47

Why assume grammar = good?

I am in a full grammar area and while almost all the grammars get 100 A-C, the proportion that gets A/A* is appalling considering how selective they are at 11. A level results often being the worst and dismal and I can see why more people do A levels private.

Even some of the so called super selective ought to get better results. When a school selects about 100 from more than 1500 they should get better results. Have a look at the Sutton Trust report and they are about 20 state schools of the top 100 schools in UK. This is if you have a narrow definition of defining best by academic ability only.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 15:32:15

300 per year group
they had 6 got 14 x A* last year
once you include A's and B's its around the top two sets and a bit
allowing for the grade squeeze - which has turned into a numbers squeeze - the top ones are only taking 10 or 11 this year - they should get that again.....

Lancelottie Mon 29-Oct-12 15:35:41

Right, I was comparing with son's much smaller year group (where that would represent over 50% of the year) -- but all the same, wow!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 15:38:47

The school up the road gets a lot better than that!
Its amazing what big comps can do with well spread cohorts ....
hence why - as ethelb says - many kids come out of the fee paying schools to join them at the 6th form colleges

middleclassonbursary Mon 29-Oct-12 15:44:03

Teacher sorry thought you said you lived in Hampshire must have been someone else! I can never find people posts when I want them.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 15:48:21

Here is a county with superselectives
no matter how you spin it, they whump the fee payers !
and the majority of the other schools are pretty acceptable too.

middleclassonbursary Mon 29-Oct-12 16:03:43

Talkin they dont "whump" all the fee payers my DC independent schools results were significantly better than the one that came top as were the other two schools he was offered places/bursaries at!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 29-Oct-12 16:10:45

the top four schools are state selectives however you click the buttons on results ...

MordionAgenos Mon 29-Oct-12 16:23:29

@middleclass According to the BBC there was;t a school in the country did better than Colchester Royal Grammar school on A level results, in 2011. The 2012 results aren't final yet of course. So I'd be interested to know which 3 private schools got better results. I know the FT ranks schools differently but that's because they make stuff up (or more importantly, choose to disregard stuff), in order to present the picture they wish to present.

mnistooaddictive Mon 29-Oct-12 16:41:06

I grew up in a town with NO private schools. I guess in that area, the state provision is better! Peopole wanting private education had to travel long distances to other towns. Some did it , but it put some people off who would otherwise have paid.

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