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What is a Cognita school and does anyone's dc's attend one?

(29 Posts)
Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 10:10:42

Yes I could google but am supposed to be working and thought I would use the hive mind.

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 10:11:07

sorry that is the most horribly worded thread title

Tutter Fri 06-Jun-08 10:11:36

ooh, one of the schools i'm looking at for ds1 is part of the cognita group

just a company, no?

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 10:12:24

but does it have some wierdy agenda? Like not believing in evolution or some such barkign thing

littlelapin Fri 06-Jun-08 10:12:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tutter Fri 06-Jun-08 10:13:05

oh no, don't think so - tis just a part of a chain of schools

littlelapin Fri 06-Jun-08 10:13:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

talilac Fri 06-Jun-08 10:16:50

I'd be wary of any company that capitalises the word Vision in the advertising..

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 10:32:35

ok so far so prspeak

any other cognita parents out there?

(thanks lapin btw - if I start to google I wont stop till coffee time wink)

lazymumofteenagesons Fri 06-Jun-08 10:34:53

Just be a bit wary of schools that are run as profit making businesses. Also I would be nervous of choosing a school without a proven track record all the way up. Alot of these are new.

singersgirl Fri 06-Jun-08 10:41:41

Think yurt/jimjams' DS might go to one - seem to remember some discussion previously.

We've got friends with a daughter at a Cognita school in the Midlands - she started at 11 last September. My friends like it as it is unpretentious, not academically selective or pushy, and seems interested in a broad education. This DD is not very academic and quite unconfident about school, and needed a small and nurturing environment. Apparently she's been really enthusiastic about everything since starting, including homework.

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 10:44:30

yes thats what I have heard about our local one

on paper sounds ideal for dd1

but what if they BECOME academic

[overthinks madly]

Tutter Fri 06-Jun-08 10:45:43

which shire are you enid?

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 10:46:03

Dorsetshire wink

Tutter Fri 06-Jun-08 10:47:20

ah grin

i couldn't help but read that in mty mind as "dorrset-shoire"

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 10:49:39

more like 'Dorset-sha'

around here

singersgirl Fri 06-Jun-08 10:59:54

If they become academic, you just relax and let them go wherever their interests take them, knowing that all that pastoral stuff was taken care of when it mattered.

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 11:05:29

<<reads singers comment and relaxes happily>>

ChicPea Fri 06-Jun-08 13:45:10

Yes my ds and dd are at a cognita sch. very nurturing, sensible and brings out the best in both children. it gets them into the right schs as well.

QueenMeabhOfConnaught Fri 06-Jun-08 14:32:04

Didn't LadyMuck have a thread about this recently? I think her children's school was being bought by Cognita?

There are some near me - they look pretty normal.

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 14:38:45

good oh

this would be for secondary, well up to 16

QueenMeabhOfConnaught Fri 06-Jun-08 14:43:26

I think they allow the school to continue to plough its own furrow (they just want the profits!).

getbackinyouryurtjimjams Fri 06-Jun-08 14:59:46

ds2' and ds3's school is a cognita school. It wasn't when we chose it- it was independently owned, but the owner was knocking on a bit so decided to sell out.

We chose it because it's inclusive, not pretentious, not a social climbery type school. It has a lot of emphasis on children being kind to each other etc etc.

Cognita have only just taken over. So far the only difference I can see is new computers all round. No staff changes. No fee changes to date (and parents have made it clear that they don't want to fund flashness with massive fee rises- and that appears to have been understood).

Chris Woodhead said that the aim of Cognita isn't to produce a bunch of branded schools- it's to retain the individuality of each school. The staff seem quite happy with the change.

My friend's kids school was taken over by Cognita a few years ago and she seems happy with it. Says it's better than the company that had it before (and before then it was independently owned).

LadyMuck Fri 06-Jun-08 15:31:26

Yes the dcs school was bought by Cognita a couple of months ago. Essentially they are looking to buy up a number of independent schools, usually those which have always been proprietor owned and run for profit, but more recently they have been buying the assets of schools as a going concern from charitable trusts who can no longer run the school under the new rules.

Typically the schools are of 2 types: those which have historically been sought after and profitable, and those which could become so with additional pupils or better management. Apparently the dcs school falls into the first category. They emphasised that there would be little change unless parents indicated that they were unhappy. The main change is that they have a small head-office team who inspect the schools (a la OFSTED but in addition to external OFSTED/ISI inspections) so staff are getting their paperwork in order. Cognita aren't looking to centralise curricula though they may arrange some centralised training for staff. Cognita do make a point of surveying parents, and you are able to either email Chris Woodhead or send in an anonymous complaint at any time.

We have friends at anoother COgnita school and so far any changes there have been positive. It is still early days for us, but no signs of creationism appearing. My only concern is around the fact that Cognita is owned by a private equity fund who are going to be investing for another 5 years or so but will then want to sell the Group - what happens then?

Enid Fri 06-Jun-08 17:39:42

jimjams its not in somerset is it?

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