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Mount Kelly Prep

(29 Posts)
devonmove Thu 18-Feb-16 10:25:45

We have to move to Plymouth and this school was top of our list,we know a couple of parents and liked what we saw.
We are looking for ds and dd to start in september,we have now been told that the Head is leaving by mutual consent,wondering what this means for the school and whether we should proceed,the parents we know are very surprised,they have known the head for several years and like him,the reason given is that he didnt want to live on site,but they say hes never lived on site,so why is that a problem?
Do all schools in the private sector have heads living on site?

mountkellyparent Sun 28-Feb-16 19:34:57

Hi devonmove.

Please do not let the head leaving put you off a move to Mount Kelly prep! In all honesty, he was a good deputy head for Kelly prep, and not too bad as a Head, but since the merger we haven't been all that impressed. " out of his depth" is a common phrase I hear around the school. He has been good for stability, especially for Kelly parents, but now is a good time for a new dynamic head to take over. Yes, he has never lived on site, and his children do not attend Mount Kelly, which has never sat well with some. Mount Kelly is very much for supporting/ increasing boarding numbers and for that reason the school feel that the head should be on the school grounds 24/7 in line with other boarding schools, to give that pastoral over site. I feel it is much needed as the current head has never (I feel) embraced the boarding as much as other boarding preps we have knowledge of. It will be refreshing to have a head that is involved more after school hours.
Obviously, we do not know who the new head will be, but if they are anything like the new staff being recruited by the prep and the college, I feel that he/ she will be just fine!

IndridCold Mon 29-Feb-16 09:59:43

Don't know any specific details as my DS is no longer at the school, but I was talking to a former staff member who is still closely connected and they were very upbeat about things. There is a positive happy vibe at the school and numbers are rising, which I was pleased to hear.

devonmove Mon 29-Feb-16 12:32:17

Thanks,good to hear,will wait and see who is appointed,then we will have another look around,we really want the dc to go through to senior school as well,but after talking to our friends and checking a few things out ,not sure the senior school is for us,that might mean we go somewhere else for prep as well.

mummymeister Mon 29-Feb-16 18:45:26

Plymouth has 3 selective grammar schools Devonport high school for girls, Devonport high school for boys and Plymouth high school for girls.

they all consistently score very high 90's or 100% for GCSE results.

if we lived in that area that's where I would send my kids.

mountkellyparent Mon 29-Feb-16 22:11:56

Just out of interest, can I ask what your friends have told you/ you have checked out about the senior school? Good luck with your decision!!

devonmove Tue 01-Mar-16 07:54:18

Our friends are not keen on the direction they say the senior school is heading in,they see less and less normal(as they put it) kids going there),they see ever increasing numbers of foreign boarders,they think the school is over reliant on swimmers, and told us that many of the remaining children have a parent teaching or working at the school.
A couple of people they know turned down scholarships and went to the local grammar schools.
We have bright children and looking at the A level results,uni destinations,we are worried,some academic subjects only had 4 or 5 children sitting the A level,that is a worry.
We were told that the school struggles to put out sports teams,and very rarely more than three teams for the whole senior school,we think sport for all is very important,our children aren't particularly good but they enjoy sport.
Our friends like the prep ,but have serious reservations about the senior school,we haven't seen it yet but what they are saying makes us think it might not be the right choice.

Winter15 Tue 01-Mar-16 22:42:10

I share the concerns raised here, the school's strategy is around swimmers and boarders (mainly overseas). Very sad. Good luck with your decision.

devonmove Wed 02-Mar-16 08:36:14

We really wanted a straight through school,liked the look of the prep and thought the senior would be similar,it clearly isnt,our friends say the brightest children dont go on to the senior school,they either leave at 11 or do common entrance/scholarships for other schools.
Looking at the website,it says 25% of the senior school are foreign nationals,our friends reckon that there are well over 50 children on the swimming programme,so as its a smallish senior school it would seem clear those two groups dominate,sadly it looks as if we would be better off elsewhere,thats a shame.

abbieangel Wed 02-Mar-16 13:26:15

you say you are moving to Plymouth. You could try Plymouth College. That has a prep and senior. Or there is Kings, in Plymouth, which is a prep ( will need to select a senior later.

Depends on where you are living vis Plymouth. Tavistock is a good 20 mins drive out. Are you close to Cornwall? St Josephs has a good reputation ( Launceston) or if nearer Ivybridge and S.Hams you might find a bus to newton Abbot. Despite some comments here in the past Stover has a top class prep and an up and coming Senior under a new Head (and an excellent ISI - may well be the best in the area.) Similar facilities to Kelly, fewer " not normal" kids - although in some year groups there is a waiting list for entry.

devonmove Wed 02-Mar-16 13:40:45

We looked at Plymouth prep,didnt like it ,havent heard of St Josephs or Stover,we are flexible on where we live,the school is important,so will look into both of those,thanks.

devonmove Wed 02-Mar-16 13:56:34

Abbie-Are you a member of staff at Stover,just read your previous posts and putting two and two together...doesnt mean we wont look at the school but .....

abbieangel Wed 02-Mar-16 14:00:36

Stover is just outside Newton Abbot - the Plymouth side . They run a bus from Plymouth. large site next to the country park ( not far from Newton Abbot Trago Mills). Go up the Parkway from Plymouth and get off on the 382 exist( Stover, Illsington and Bovey Tracy). 40 mins from Plymouth drive time.

ISI excellent teaching, pastoral care, leadership, management and pretty well everything "excellent"

Has 70 or so acres on site. Tennis courts, fields , track , golf ..... but not swimming - that I have heard anyway.

New Head around 18 months ago. Have always had a good prep. Is a straight through school.

St Josephs Launceston gets the best results in Cornwall. Good school. Highly regarded but downside only goes to 16. Is pretty well in the centre of Launceston.

Two to consider.

abbieangel Wed 02-Mar-16 14:03:09

Not staff at either St Josephs or Stover (I wish I were). I live not far from Kelly. I just know the local schools. Worked in a lot of the state ones in Plymouth ( supply and permanent ) and in a Cornish one ( now).

devonmove Wed 02-Mar-16 14:15:10

Thats some coincidence that your private school has a new Head and Stover as you say above has a new head,and that you were in a previous post talking about an open day at your school on the 6th of Feb and Stover had an open day on the sixth(according to its facebook page),

abbieangel Wed 02-Mar-16 14:22:39

Kelly also has a new Head .... and you have probably read me sounding off about paying fees , I know not what for.....and you have discounted Kelly.

Do not always go by everything I say. Sometimes I change details to protect myself, not to bring my school into disrepute ( or myself) or get myself sacked.. I hope you would not identify me from my details. Hope that clarifies it somewhat.

In fact a number of schools have had new HT's ( Stover and Plymouth and not that long ago, Kelly) and a couple more are getting them soon.

abbieangel Wed 02-Mar-16 14:31:52

Do you want to know about schools further away? Shebbear, Truro or Exeter (that's a hike of a drive from Plymouth) or Torbay? I can sound forth on most of them. smile

A word of warning though with independents - check their accounts. A number are barely viable. Signs like more overseas or lots of short stay pupils can be indicators of issues.

The Plymouth area doesn't have many independent choices I will admit.

To my knowledge of accounts, Plymouth and Stover are both OK. Check the returns on the charities web site.

devonmove Wed 02-Mar-16 14:44:42

I was taught as a child-when in a hole stop digging-it really doesnt bother me if you want to recommend the school you work at,but just be honest,or are you saying when you "change details to protect myself" that you didnt as you claim -have an open day on the sixth ,that your new headmaster didnt made you attend it,even though you wanted to be elsewhere,if thats not true,then are you basically saying you start threads on here with complete fairy tales????

abbieangel Wed 02-Mar-16 14:47:58

I will reiterate, in case you didnt get it - I do not work at Stover..... now hd you said Kelly , I might have given a different answer. Is that clear enough?

I did though, check out Stover for my youngest.

abbieangel Wed 02-Mar-16 14:48:38

Now, having dug the hole, I will change my name details. I cant afford to get recognised.

lunaticperfect Wed 02-Mar-16 22:31:50

Hi devonmove,
I am a parent at Kelly too. As others have said , the school does have some issues right now. I would look elsewhere if I were you.

On a different point. People come here to help and support and give each other advice. I don't think they want to be called out in any way. You must choose what school you think is right for yourself, not make issues for other posters.

devonmove Thu 03-Mar-16 09:11:57

Thanks for your advice,certainly doesnt sound as if the school is a very happy place from what you and a few private messages have said,great shame as we liked what we saw,oh well....

IndridCold Thu 03-Mar-16 09:34:11

Shebbear and Blundells are both good schools but are both North Devon, so would not really be commutable from Plymouth. If you are flexible you might find a suitable mid-way point to live.

devonmove Thu 03-Mar-16 09:46:08

Thanks,we really need to be Plymouth based.

cressetmama Thu 03-Mar-16 20:11:58

Lunatic, could you elaborate on the current issues at MK?

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