Having to pay just to look round a school(34 Posts)
Batters I know what you mean. I had hoped that these attitudes were a thing of the past too, but they seem all too common in some of the schools. The other horror that I couldn't have faced was the "I want to go to boarding school. All my friends are going!" Sorry, but that one is definitely NOT on the cards! We will be poor forever just managing the fees for a day school, and I am not having my child grow up a stranger to me!!
BossyKate I have looked through the rules and I don't think there's anything to stop me from saying the names of schools as I'm not commenting on them at all. So here goes. Of the children DD had started off with at nursery (all going to school at different times as there was over 12 months in ages between them), here are the schools they have gone to: Alleyns, Rosemead, Oakfield, Rosendale (x2), Christ Church, White House (x3), Streatham and Clapham Girls, Streatham Wells, Belleville, Hornsby House, Newton Prep. Hope this helps!
janinlondon, that is very kind of you. i really appreciate it. thank you so much
Gosh Pamina, I've come a bit late to this but am awestruck. There are obviously hotspots even within London...we had no problem with getting in to see the independent school we had in mind for ds and our registration fee and deposit will both be refunded from his final fees (by which time they will be worth 2p I should think). Where we did have problems was getting to see round the two local state primaries before we put his name down for them. That's where we were treated like timewasters...we didn't expect a personalised tour, just any info on open days/evenings. They are both very oversubscribed, but we still felt this was an unhelpful approach. They also declined to send any details about their school, which I *think* they are supposedly obliged to do. I didn't push it because by that time we had a place at the independent school where an interest in their pastoral policies is actively welcomed.
that's interesting about the oversubscribed state schools, marina. we've found the local state primaries with good reputations are also the most efficient and welcoming when it comes to open days and visits.
i'm trying very hard not to write off one of our local state schools which has appalling results in the league tables (ok teachers, don't all shout at me, i know league tables have their limitations and am trying to see past them), and am keen to go and visit it. but guess what? they are vague and unhelpful on the phone on the two occasions we have phoned to find out about visits. it reinforces the impression created by the league table results, tbh.
I am still elated that after about 3 years of putting his name down (ie I had to register when he was aged 1!!) and taking ds to assessments at age 3, visting 6 schools and getting prospectuses from 10, he has got into my favourite primary school. When things are so competitive, I understand why you (like me) feel like there is no choice but to pay up for all these fees (though I never had to pay to look around). But, one of the things that really impressed me about this school was that I rang up one spring when there were no open days scheduled for months, and the Headmaster made an appointment to see just me, we talked for one hour, when ds was aged 1 and I asked lots of silly questions, and then he showed me around the school personally. I got totally put off another really popular rival school by the Headmistress's bossy dismissive money-minded manner, although I had been impressed at the open day a few years earlier. As well as keeping an open mind, I'm sure your gut feeling means a lot too.
Re refunds, I was looking at the website for DD's school recently and saw again (had forgotten) that should she go onto the senior school, the Entrance Fee i.e. the £100 we paid on accepting a place, will be credited against the £600 Entrance Fee there.
Of that £600, £300 is repayable on entry and £300 when leaving the school. If she doesn't go onto the senior school, the £100 will be credited against the final term's fees at primary level.
My boy's school has no fee payable at all - until the fees are due!, it is an excellent day school with a great reputation and v. oversubscribed, but we are in ther provinces so i guess that is the difference. Still think they should be offering free open days though - we have 2 open saturdays, several open mornings, information evenings etc each year, but we didn't know about those being a bit out of area, so when i rang up i was offered an individual tour at my convenience - tbh any school that doesn't have the coutesy to do so would have to be supra good in all other respects to persuade me to send my children there.
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