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Reddam House

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schooling101 Wed 11-Nov-15 09:00:14

Reddam House/Bearwood College....please READ THE SMALL PRINT when happily receiving your bursary/scholarship... you leave half way through, you have to pay it back!!! It is not all it claims to be... when a school has to hand out 100% scholarships left right and centre, you MUST always ask WHY? You'd never catch your 'good' schools doing that!! White House did it - they shut; Waverley did it - they almost shut. They are not selective (YET!), they cannot afford to be!! I know children who have walked in not having to sit an exam.
What was a great school for children who struggled academically, has let itself down in a huge way. ~As a parent there, you have to find the best in it, as you are now stuck there. There business strategy seems underhanded... on a visit there all I heard was how bad their competition was; all that made me do was want to test out their competition... which I found to be more honest and not a whisper of other schools in the area!!
When more than half of the pupil body left following their GCSEs this year - Need I say more?
LOOK BEYOND THE IKEA FURNITURE AND NICE LOOKING BOOKS - these are not the substance of any school.

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sat 14-Nov-15 16:07:31

Hi Schooling101, You appear to be very angry. Presumably you are one of the few who got an academic scholarship? Although I'm confused whether this is the case because you are concerned that the school no longer caters for those who struggle academically? ( although I see no evidence of this being the case in my child's class) If you did get a scholarship did you not read the fine print before you signed it or question it with the school? If not, do you know this for sure or are you relying on hearsay? Are you angry that your scholarship wasn't 100%? Have you approached the school with your concerns? If you're a current parent, you'll have got the same survey I did - if you've got concerns of this magnitude, surely you'll have made an appointment to see the Head?
I'm going to email the Head now and ask about the conditions for scholarships. I'll update when I heard back. I'll also ask about entrance testing.
I am a parent there now. I am far from "stuck with it". I have experienced Reddam House for nearly a term and I am impressed. Is there still work to do? Yes. Am I impressed by the education my child is getting? Yes. Do I think that the teachers are doing a good job? Yes. Is my child happy and learning? Yes.
I can't comment on what you allegedly heard on a visit. I wasn't there. But who have you complained to about this at the school if this was in fact the case? Were you visiting to decide on whether to join? If so, why did you if you feel so negatively about it now?
As an ex-Bearwood College parent, I know that staying during the transition was a tricky decision. I know some did not stay. Some did not think an increasingly academic school was the right place for their child.
The difference between the competitor schools you mention as having difficulties is that they were one-offs. Reddam House is part of a much bigger, international group. They also own the site and have invested heavily in it. Which business model would invest millions not to see it work?
You are completely right in regard to furniture and nice looking books. These are the last thing on my mind when choosing a school. I value the impact the school has on my child higher every day. For us personally, Reddam House has been great.
I am sorry you are having a bad experience at Reddam House, if you are a current parent. Please do share the views you express above with the Head. Without doing so, or saying so on the parental questionnaire, how can they address your concerns when you say you feel 'stuck with it?'

Elv08 Sat 14-Nov-15 21:18:33

I can't speak about the small print of the scholarships / bursaries, but do feel this is perhaps, in the first instance, a conversation to be had with the decision makers at the school, and think there's quite a leap to the tirade that follows.. As a parent of two very happy children at the school, I found it quite insulting. Making a decision about your children's education is hard - you want to get it right, you don't make it lightly. For us, Reddam has left us feeling very, very lucky - our children are thriving, their teachers are so committed and the investment in them both as individuals is very impressive. They are both challenged, they are engaged in their learning journey, and expectations at the school are high. We have experienced nothing but professionalism. We love the school's philosophy and values - for us, it embodies all we want for our daughters.

schooling101 Sun 15-Nov-15 09:13:18

I absolutely agree, making a decision about your child's education is like walking through a mine field... I don't doubt your children are happy. But when another parent who's child has the same place as yours, but doesn't have to pay a thing for the same education, yet, did nothing, had to prove nothing to gain that education, is that right and just? Maybe you are one of those parents...

And yes, I do know families there in that position. I completely understand why they would be grabbed by that... But I also feel for them, when the education they were promised isn't quite what they are seeing and now are trapped by a contract that is so underhand, you'd be pushed to find a good school trapping you in such a way...

If you were to apply for a scholarship in any other local school, you would be competing on a level playing field, where your child would most definitely have to have something to offer, that's how a school becomes elite, competitive and can hold its head up high with integrity.

If you find the facts insulting, then surely that is because you too agree with me about the way the school is doing business!?

I most definitely would not put my children in this school... If a school isn't honest and fair, how can I expect them to teach these values to my children?

It is public record that the school did badly in its inspection on compliance a few months back. As a parent you are not going to be privy to this unless it is highlighted to you.

The investor is a local man who I believe is looking to float the business in a few years time... Not a safe position if the school does in fact fail to build itself up... As admitted by the head in the last speech day, the school is running at a loss!!

Find me a private school that doesn't own the land and the building it is on!

All I am saying is be careful, your child's school years are vital and shouldn't be bargained, played with or indeed, more expensive than the weaker child sitting next to your child in the same class, because the school didn't have to fight for your bottom on their seat!

meditrina Sun 15-Nov-15 09:18:55

I have heard of only one other school which requires repayment of awards if the pupil leaves before the end of year 13 (other than in one specified circumstance relating to those whose fees are paid by employer).

It would be something that would make me very wary of a school. For there are times when a school just proves not to be the right one - not for any particular failing, but because it just isn't the right match for that child. And to have this sort of charge (akin to exit fees) would put me right off a school.

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sun 15-Nov-15 11:22:44

School101 - Your response suggests that you are still very angry. If you are a parent there, and not peddling another agenda, I urge you to make an appointment to see the Head to discuss. If you campaign on the behalf of parents known to you, please urge them to do the same.
What you describe is not what I experience as a parent.
I'll step away now as I'm not the person to resolve your many issues.
I am happy with Reddam House. It's a pity you are not. Either discuss the issues with them or move on and enjoy your life....

dadsnet69 Sun 15-Nov-15 22:04:19

The situation Schooling101 describes...
He says that more than one of his friends are offered scholarships with no exam (or whatever), they are now going to a private school completely free of charge (and being subsidised by the rest of us happily paying the fees), these children are 'weak', parents desperately want them to leave but are 'trapped' by an agreement they did not bother to read before they signed it and he feels that this is 'unfair and dishonest'. The kids have been at a school for less than a term and parents are so unhappy a 'friend' posts an angry rant on mumsnet - but the parents do not go and speak to the headmaster about it? Or maybe this headmaster is so keen on having 'bums in seats' he does not let these angry parents and unhappy children leave, despite the fact that they are paying nothing and have thick kids? Really?

Grow a pair and instead of having an anonymous moan on here, if you have an axe to grind be honest about it and don't hide it in 'concern' shown for all parents making this 'difficult decision'. You patronise and insult us with your angry rants that clearly have nothing to do with parents or our kids and more to do with whatever issues you have with the school. I think the poster above has the best is time to move on with your life.

schooling101 Mon 16-Nov-15 07:05:55

It's clear to me no one likes the truth... No one mentioned thick children; your words!! Carry on in your blissful ignorance.

Meatycankles Tue 17-Nov-15 10:54:42

As it is a contract, have you been to see a solicitor about it? Some legal advice might help.

Meatycankles Tue 17-Nov-15 11:28:35

What about for example if your child is not reaching the required achievement levels? Usually there is a clause whereby the school can say they don't feel able to meet the child's needs. Do you still have to pay the scholarship back in that instance?

schooling101 Tue 17-Nov-15 18:12:15

A solicitor advised not to sign!! Good question... I am unsure.

Meatycankles Tue 17-Nov-15 19:24:47

Can they communicate their issues over the education provided with the school? Have they already made the decision to leave? School contracts are usually pretty watertight so unless you can prove breach of contact there's not a lot you can do unfortunately.
It's very unusual to tie in a scholarship in that way though. The other parents with scholarships,do you know if are they aware of this clause? Maybe another family at the school may be going through similar and have some advice.

Independentandproud Tue 17-Nov-15 20:27:15

That is good advice School101 for every area of life. Always read the small print and do not sign anything you are not happy with. If you do not want to accept the scholarship because of the terms I guess then you would just go to a different school, or do they make you sign the agreement before you get the terms and conditions?

I have heard of this before, but only really for the more exclusive schools, Eton etc. My friend's son was offered a foundation scholarship (I think that is what it was called) at Y7 for children from State Schools to give equal access. They had to agree to a similar thing so that they did not try to get a more generous offer elsewhere!

Now you have mentioned it, no one can say they did not know. Unless they change what they say in the agreements of course, so read the small print as suggested.

smebruce Thu 24-Dec-15 15:40:15

people have bought in to the marketing hogwash being dished out by reddam house - my ds was handed a very generous scholarship after 1 brief visit and we were overjoyed - we've reluctantly come to the realisation in the last 4 months that we were just as gullible and disappointingly are now looking at other options

Tiredbutstillwithapulse Sun 03-Jan-16 12:10:58

Hi smebruce, have you spoken to them about your concerns? In another thread you said you were reluctant to unsettle your DS by another move. Is it worth a serious conversation with them before you do so?

canonlytrymybest Thu 17-Mar-16 00:08:56

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

dadsnet69 Thu 17-Mar-16 07:23:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

canonlytrymybest Thu 17-Mar-16 09:15:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Mar-16 12:18:10

Hi all - just to clarify, we've removed the above post as we were concerned it was identifying to the children involved.

Baliero Mon 14-Nov-16 11:33:44

The repayment of the scholarship only comes into play if you leave without giving the stipulated amount of notice the school requires.

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