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Can someone talk to me about InterHigh please?

(62 Posts)
measuringcup Thu 19-Sep-13 12:01:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Verbena37 Wed 18-Oct-17 07:46:56

Gosh Dragonessa I didn’t recognise what you wrote about IH at all and you totally outed yourself.....so not really a balanced, unbiased view of the 3 schools confused.

DS started at IH in May and we have had nothing but really useful, 1 to 1 support. His class has never been higher than 13 and the simple to use software allows children and parents if needed, to contact the tutor in real time privately. Homework is straightforward with a number of ways to complete....not only PowerPoint.

Schroedingerscatagain Sun 15-Oct-17 09:54:47

Agree with Emo child

You information about Interhigh is incorrect and you seem to have a bit of an axe to grind

My child who has been there for almost 3 years has never been in a class larger than 18

Fees can be paid in a number of ways and there is a new trial period set up

You don’t even acknowledge their partnership with the wey group

The school transferred to a completely new learning platform in September

There will always be people who for whatever reason don’t settle, by nature they are often unhappy

What they say afterwards will be one sided, someone who is genuinely interested in giving a balanced view should recognise that instead of using it for their own agenda

At the end of the day there are many of us, educated intelligent parents who send our children to Interhigh because it best represents the education we feel we can achieve for our children based on the evidence to hand

emochild Sat 14-Oct-17 20:27:20

Your info on interhigh is slightly out of date

KS3 pupils can now trial for half a term with no obligation for fees if you drop out at the end of that half term

My DD's fees are paid for by her mainstream school
Her EHCP names her mainstream but also states access to online provision so they pay direct
I did have to take it to tribunal though

It's really working for her and she's now in year 11 -but it's not for everyone

Dragonessa Sat 14-Oct-17 20:04:51

I would like to help with this thread as I have experience with the three UK online schools mentioned. In the interests of honesty I am the Head of First College UK, but I also have knowledge of the other two online schools. This post is not an advert for my own project but an attempt at comparison.

The three online schools First College UK, Briteschool, and Interhigh, all started around the same time (2006). I was already an experienced online educator having done consultancy work on it and years of tutoring online. I was planning my online school (2005) when Interhigh contacted me and asked me to work with them as I was expereinced and they were not. However after one term I left as their ethos and methods did not match mine. Three of the other teachers left with me and we worked as a team to set up First College. One left in the first year to create Briteschool as he is best as a solo leader.

Briteschool with Dom has an excellent reputation working with primary school children. Dom the head is always very much liked, and parents consistently tell me the service is very satisfactory. It is a smaller, personalised service (like FC but not like the much larger IH). Briteschool uses manageable software. Lessons are playfful in design but educationa,l suited to the age group. Personal attention is high. The only criticism I have heard is lessons tend to scatter across the week like private tutorials. Some prefer a timetable routine starting same time each day with regular breaks. Significantly we have never had anyone come to us from Britechool as a 'refugee'.

Interhigh is a very large project with large classes of 30 or more like ordinary schools. The software requires a good deal of computer expertise, and a higher level bandwidth account. This can be a barrier for some, as Powerpoint is complex for those unused to it and a lot for younger children to manage as required for homework. But some families positively enjoy it. Fees are roughly comparable to the other two. There is a two week introduction period before the full contract begins on the basis of a term paid in advance, plus a 2nd term's paid notice when leaving. Some feel that is tough going especially if dissatisfied. Staff seem to be good people but the large classes do make it hard to give individual attention and flexibility. There are mixed reactions with some families extremely satisfied, others not.We receive a steady flow of IH families coming to us; this seems to be when individual needs do not match the standard package, or a wish for personal contact.

First College UK is deliberately small, max. 30 students in 3 study groups with 6 teachers (5-10 per class). Software is basic, easy (email + browser). A, new student has an afternoon of introduction alone with one teacher. Fees are paid monthly, on one month's notice. Crisis is usually helped out. The trial period is a full month no notice needed to withdraw. Staff are good people, one teacher stays on duty to help via private messenger until 7pm (UK). Small size classes mean personal attention is high. A student with difficulties can have a work programme with 1 - 3 homeworks, slowly increasing if that is possible. Minimum age 11yrs, occasionally 10 with the 1-3 homework plan. First Colllege UK is not much seen online as we don't advertise except on one disability website. New families usually join on personal recommendation. Our main weakness is homework can be marked slowly. This is because high degree of personal attention is time consuming, and work is not just graded but given much supportive commentary.

I hope this is helpful. To me it is clear it is a good thing to have choice, and the three schools suit different needs.

Phaedra11 Sat 14-Oct-17 08:13:00

Not that it will make any difference to anyone but it's DS2 at Interhigh not DS1...

Phaedra11 Sat 14-Oct-17 08:10:37

I'd also be happy to answer any questions. DS1 has just started A levels with InterHigh and joined in the middle of Year 9. It has worked really well for him.

Schroedingerscatagain Tue 10-Oct-17 13:12:59

Hi Joguest

I was formerly user1471 what would you like to know?

Dd is a current year 10, Interhigh do regular open events that you can take part in to find out more if you look at the website

But ask any questions and those of us here will try and help

Joguest Tue 10-Oct-17 12:43:29

Hi my son is due to start high school in September 2018 , I was looking into interhigh can anyone give me any information please

NennyNooNoo Mon 06-Mar-17 19:50:21

No, user, is this a recent decision by Bristol? I enquired to our council about funding back in the autumn but was told quite clearly that Interhigh wouldn't be funded. Which I think is unfair as the mainstream school he was on role for has since admitted to the council that they couldn't meet his needs. But you have to pick your battles : we are taking the council to tribunal over their refusal to name our first choice school on his EHCP which is going to cost us thousands in legal costs and an assessment by an educational psychologist, so the 2 terms Interhigh fees is relatively small fry. Although it would be nice to get the £1500 back.

Sarnian193 Mon 06-Mar-17 11:32:49

user1471537877

I am delighted that Bristol is funding Interhigh as part of your EHCP. To clarify I never said 'no LAs', but it would be disingenuous if we didn't flag funding as a potential issue if parents are seeking LA financial support for Interhigh fees.

Good news, too, regarding your DD. Equally, it is important to note that my DD's anxiety was not supported and, worse, staff repeatedly confronted him despite direct instruction from Interhigh admin and us to not do this.

Perhaps the clearest picture is that there is good and bad in Interhigh - as I would suggest at all institutions. However, the 'good'
does not eclipse the fact that, for us, Interhigh was awful.

user1471537877 Mon 06-Mar-17 10:32:30

Nenny

I think we've chatted before, are Norfolk aware of Bristols decision? It has set a precident and makes it harder for them to refuse

NennyNooNoo Sun 05-Mar-17 22:17:03

DS has an EHCP but we have been unable to get our council to fund Interhigh for the reason a pp stated ' because it's not a bricks and mortar type school'. Maybe it depends on which county. Getting funding out of Norfolk county council is like getting blood out of a stone.

user1471537877 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:55:52

Sarnian

I'm afraid you are incorrect, DD has an EHCP and is funded by our LA, Bristol offer interhigh as part of its local offer

The last time I checked nearly 20 schools and LA's were funding students

I can only speak from my experience, but that has been positive towards DD and her anxiety

Londonsburningahhhh Sat 04-Mar-17 13:38:20

Is that because of the amount of people dropping out. Two weeks is not long enough to make any decision. On top of that if you decide it's not for you after the two weeks you are bullied to pay for two terms. Many businesses rely on word of mouth that is business suicide. I am glad that they have changed it I felt trapped in something that I didn't want my child to be any part of.

lizzyj4 Sat 04-Mar-17 13:27:16

Agree TatterdemalionAspie - my son has dyspraxia and it's been a perfect option for him as handwriting is a painful, laborious process. I also have an adult son with HFA who really struggled all the way through school - I only wish there had been the option of an online school when he was younger. Several of my son's friends at IH have experienced problems with anxiety or bullying, One of the biggest things for us is that the children are kind to each other and supportive of each other.

I do think parents need to work with school (whichever online school it is) to create the optimal support for their child. I've found school very flexible and quick to respond to requests for help etc., and ime children can participate to the extent they are able. For example, I know some children have homework exemptions. Similarly, my son has a mic exemption (using the mic made him anxious, so he participates in class in other ways, maybe in future he'll feel able to participate more). There are a couple of times when he's had a new teacher where they haven't been aware of it, but he's just dropped them a quick PM to mention it and they've always been great about it.

TatterdemalionAspie Sat 04-Mar-17 12:53:08

Interhigh was bought out by The Wey Academy, so has gone from being a non-profit-making enterprise, to a definite business, though the founders have stayed on as heads. There's been a subtle change in atmosphere, I feel, with it becoming more school-like in many ways.

I still feel it offers good value for money, though. I don't agree with a pp that it's only for 'normal kids'; they attract a lot of students with illnesses, disabilities, ASD/Asperger's, anxiety or who were bullied at school, as it's a much more flexible way of learning. DD is not a 'normal' (WTF does that even mean?) kid, and she's been happy and thriving at Interhigh for three years.

They are now offering the option to pay half a term at a time (though at a higher pro rata rate than their normal fees), thus allowing people to sign up for a trial period to see if it's for them.

Sarnian193 Sat 04-Mar-17 12:14:55

Sadly, Interhigh has been a very negative experience for us. If you have a highly motivated child without anxiety issues and are prepared to fund the fees yourself, it may be great.

However, our DS struggled with high anxiety following a breakdown as a result of bullying at mainstream school. Interhigh had no way of supporting him beyond telling the teachers - at our request - to avoid putting him on the spot with direct/public questions in the classroom. Sadly, even this simple request was frequently ignored - communication between staff was haphazard and appeared chaotic at times. There must be some nice/good staff there - but we came across staff who felt they needed to confront our child (we can only suppose they thought this would 'help him') and others who felt it appropriate to censure him for missed homework - despite the fact that the admin staff had already agreed to a policy of 'do what he can when he can'.

The school doesn't appear set up to cope with pastoral or special needs - just regular kids whose parents pay the bills on time. If you struggle to conform to this in any way, this is not going to be the school for you.

Bear in mind re the fees that most LAs won't support it - even with an EHCP - as it has no bricks and mortar base, so can't be Ofsteded nor listed as a 'real' school.

All in all it has been a disappointing experience. The final insult involved an insistence that we paid 2 further full terms (we had not given a term's notice) without any recognition that the reason to leave was because they had not fulfilled their promise to support our child's need. Ok they're running a business, but we felt the focus was angled towards making money at the expense of the child's needs.

user1471537877 Fri 03-Mar-17 10:59:35

London

Hopefully your DD is in a place that suits her education needs now

It's difficult, we all want the best for our children, I often have people reach out privately here on mumsnet who are in desperate situations as I once was

My posts are often here to signpost others to an alternative type of education which they are usually not aware of

For many reasons education like this can work very well for children with ASD, anxiety etc often very bright they are just not catered for in mainstream education

By the time their parents find posts about interhigh they are often desperate and scared, worried if it will make things even worse

Interestingly school have just announced they will now do a trial period free of tie ins for anyone reading and wondering, well done Paul and co

If anyone wants to see what the pupils themselves feel about life at interhigh there are videos on YouTube (via interhigh website) from a current student competition

DD has submitted one ( not saying which) it gives a good look at how the students feel about their school

lizzyj4 Thu 02-Mar-17 18:56:04

Londonsburning - sorry, I wasn't referring to your posts when I said I bit, but to the posts that were deleted, which were nasty. I can see you're just sharing your experience.

Londonsburningahhhh Thu 02-Mar-17 18:46:48

When I started Home schooling my children I had no idea where to go who to turn to or what book to buy. When I started looking into internet schools all I mainly read about was Inter High and how good they were. They take on children when they are 10 upwards (It is unfortunate that its not worked out for my daughter). The majority of reviews I have read about Inter High are good only a small percentage plus myself thought otherwise. I could not find reviews on the other online schools and that's why I have given my thoughts on this thread. If people are thinking about Inter High or any other online school my little review is their to read.

Londonsburningahhhh Thu 02-Mar-17 18:18:16

*What to do.

Londonsburningahhhh Thu 02-Mar-17 18:14:48

My daughter was 10 when she started I am giving my experience with my little child. User and Lizzy your children are older you shouldn't have to bite, my daughter is 10 that's a big difference, everyone has different experiences and all you can do is share your positive experiences. I am sharing my experience of all the online schools that my children have been involved with to give people other options if they feel the same way. Especially if they have young children and they are wandering where to do.

I wanted my child to give it a go I wanted to challenge her before she returned back to school. It didn't go in my favour. I don't think its a bad online school they have over 300 pupils on their books. All I'm saying is to people considering putting in their 10 year old is think carefully before doing so.

lizzyj4 Thu 02-Mar-17 17:11:35

Nenny,

The most recently deleted posts were deleted at my request (after MN checked the situation) because the person posting them was accusing me of something that isn't true simply because I posted a positive review of IH (I'm an IH parent). She was quite nasty about it too. Interestingly, she swooped in to post a few nasty comments, then disappeared from MN without a trace, as these people so often do.

I'm also guilty of 'biting' user147, hey ho.

user1471537877 Thu 02-Mar-17 16:35:43

Nenny

It got resurrected by someone who had an axe to grind, I m afraid I bit because the school changed DD's life and gave her a chance when she was in despair

I didn't want other potential parents and pupils who are often very vulnerable and concerned being put off by this one individual

NennyNooNoo Thu 02-Mar-17 16:23:39

Not sure why this zombie thread has been resurrected or why several posts have been deleted, but i have a DS currently at IH (year 7). If anyone would like some genuine feedback, I am happy to give my impressions.

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