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Independent schools in NW/W London

(19 Posts)
icanteven Mon 10-Oct-16 10:31:03


We are moving to London next September and will be living in zone 2 somewhere around South Hampstead/St John's Wood/Maida Vale/Notting Hill-ish.

Our daughters are currently at a lovely independent school (GDST), and they could potentially transfer into the South Hampstead High School, which would be ideal and straightforward. But I am dimly aware that there are other schools, and although my preference is single sex, in a supportive, small-class environment, I'm open to mixed. Fees are an issue, and over £15k is not an option.

Hill House looks interesting (neither of us is British, so an international vibe would be nice) - I'd never heard of it before another thread on here. Where else should I be thinking about within easy striking distance, ideally towards the centre, rather than further out?

Please don't turn this into a state v private bunfight. Househunting in our preferred area+budget is a big enough deal, and I'm not willing to embark on a catchment lottery as well, and we will not actually be moving to London until September 2017 anyway, and I want to have it all sewn up by Feb/March. I like the independent school system, and will probably be sticking with it straight through.

Any wisdom would be gratefully appreciated!

tristerflexu Mon 10-Oct-16 10:42:23

I think that you'll be hard pushed to find a school, especially at secondary which is less than £15k, the only ones I know of are the two City of london schools and I expect they will hit £15k next year. If you're looking at prep schools less than £15k then you'll need to go for South Hampstead, although that might be £15k already or look at going further out into the outer zones and into Hertfordshire where there are still good preps at about £12 -15k pa.

tristerflexu Mon 10-Oct-16 10:44:59

South Hampstead's fees are £14526 for their prep school plus £680 in compulsory school lunches so you're already over the £15k mark and that's without any increases by next September.

icanteven Mon 10-Oct-16 11:11:14

Sorry - left out key information there. We're looking for Primary - children are still only small. We'll cross the secondary fee hike bridge when we come to it.

angelpuffs Mon 10-Oct-16 11:19:12

Are they definitely able to transfer to South Hampstead, even if there is no place available? It is only one form of 24 girls until the age of 7, when another class is added. The girls added at 7+ are selected via a v competitive 7+ exam and, like most other selective schools in London, it's very oversubscribed. I'm interested in this as it's a school we are sitting our daughter for at 4+.

mary21 Mon 10-Oct-16 11:59:51

St Maragarets in Hampstead and St Christina's in St Johns wood are cheaper. St Anthony's is opening a girls prep don't know their fees.

icanteven Mon 10-Oct-16 12:33:54

angelpuffs We've asked the school, and we'll find out soon. Naturally, that would be the most straightforward option.

I like the sound of The Cavendish as well - it seems like a friendly, comfortable and supportive school. We're both non-practicing Catholics, and would prefer not to go down the Catholic route, but The Cavendish seems fairly easy-going in that department.

fittedcupboard Mon 10-Oct-16 22:08:44

SHHS primary is £4840 per term. private school fee inflation is around 5% per year, sometimes more, so it'll be above 15K next year. No other NW London private schools that go to 18 are cheaper, I don't think. St Margaret's is marginally cheaper (£500 less per term).

And as angelpuffs says I would be amazed beyond belief if transfer to SHHS is automatic, unless your school has talked to SHHS and happens to know they have a chance vacancy. But 100% for sure they will assess your child first.

CruCru Mon 10-Oct-16 23:00:40


You may want to have a look at either the London Preprep website or the Mumsinthewood one. I don't know much about west London.

dinkystinky Tue 11-Oct-16 12:17:27

OP - you may want to check out Maple Walk School. Its in zone 2, Harlesden (nearest tube is Willesden Junction) - no frills private primary school which feels abit like a village school. Goes up to 11.

sanam2010 Tue 11-Oct-16 15:03:36

this might help - list of more affordable private schools, Maple Walk is in there too , as is Saint Christina's. Have a look at other GDST schools in other neighbourhoods, I think Wimbledon High might be a bit cheaper too.

CruCru Tue 11-Oct-16 18:16:40

It is worth bearing in mind that that was in 2012 so there will have been some increases since then.

icanteven Tue 11-Oct-16 20:12:38

Thank you very much!

plutow Thu 23-Mar-17 17:06:34

Hi - I might be a bit late for you but Heathside School in Hampstead, NW3 also offers education at under £15K a year. They have been around for 25 years... and this summer they went from being a prep school to a secondary school, now taking in girls and boys all the way up to GCSE. They do nursery/primary/secondary to GCSE. Lovely, relaxed, non-selective, non-denominational school and the Head Teacher is the owner of the school so very involved with all the kids. My DD has been there since November (she wasn't happy at her previous school) and she loves it.

Clonakilty Thu 23-Mar-17 21:14:23

I think differently. I think your transfer to South Hampstead will be automatic. You are already with the organisation and the finance system is centralised; there wouldn't be an additional entrance test either. You could ask about Notting Hill and Ealing as well. I'd stay with the GDST for now; you could look around if you wanted for Senior school but this way you have a bit of time to sort things. SHHS is a very lively place and popular in the area.

wickerlampshade Fri 24-Mar-17 10:34:41

I think your transfer to South Hampstead will be automatic

I wouldn't rely on that unless you've been told it. They don't usually have chance vacancies and have upwards of 10 applicants for every place

Clonakilty Sun 02-Apr-17 04:25:59

GDST will do a straight transfer. I know this as a fact.

eeyore2 Sat 08-Apr-17 21:11:35

If you don't have an automatic transfer you might want to look at The Village School. Lovely school, very small classes, fees under £15k and just had an Ofsted inspection outstanding in all areas.

llhj Mon 17-Apr-17 21:39:04

I definitely know there is no automatic right of transfer into SHHS. You are absolutely incorrect I'm afraid.

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