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Can someone talk to me about InterHigh please?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

user1471537877 Thu 02-Mar-17 13:37:07


You do seem to have an axe to grind though particularly for interhigh

If you were really that happy with the others why do you move?

Regardless, 10 year olds should be in primary not secondary education especially if they're already requiring additional support

Teachers will have to slow lessons up to teach to the level of the lowest in the class thus affecting the education of others who are more advanced

For what's it's worth to others reading and wondering, we have found Interhigh an excellent educational fit

DD was at a top 50 non selective school with a 90% pass rate, DS still is and we've not noticed much difference in standard of education

So long as the child is self motivated and able to organise themselves they should be fine

Having actually met the staff twice we've always found them helpful very friendly and supportive with our DD who was in a terrible state when she started

Caviat; I am not employed by, related to or have a financial interest in Interhigh, I do however feel stongly supportive of the only school that has ever shown compassion and support to my DD with disabilities

I don't want one persons forceful negativity to deter other potentially needy Sen youngsters from a potential opportunity that could be good for them

lizzyj4 Wed 01-Mar-17 15:43:34

Just to say, re Interhigh, parents can ask for children to opt out of homework, if that's a concern. I've found them very good at providing support, but I think you would need to contact them to let them know there is a problem. They might not be aware of it otherwise (although in most of my son's lessons, the teachers check with the children several times a lesson that they understand what is happening and, if it's something tricky, if they want to go over things again).

I have no experience of First College or Briteschool, so can't really comment on those. Briteschool generally has good reviews on the HE forums though. I don't think I've seen much mention of First College either way.

Londonsburningahhhh Wed 01-Mar-17 14:28:36

First college which is also a Secondary school supported my eldest daughter started that school when she was 10. She stayed there until she went to a brick secondary school year 7. First college pushed their children but at the same time they were caring. They even had after school detention club for those who didn't complete their homework. Can you say that about Inter high no you can't it's not their job to push your child they gently nudge them. My second dd went to Brite school and then Inter high I wanted to push her but it didn't work I should have put her in First College or kept her at Brite school. What I look for is a caring, supportive and nurturing environment where they can progress.

I pay for an education for my DD and don't particularly want her lessons held up by children who are too young to be there, before you say oh but my child is so bright

It doesn't work like that in First College the teacher talks to the head mistress after the lesson about any concerns and then to the parent and then additional support is given after school. The lesson is never disrupted even at Inter High I can't remember kids disrupting the lesson same goes for First College. My daughter received extra math lessons after school for 30 minutes a week. When my other dd went to Inter High know one ever asked if she understood what was being taught and if she needed extra support after lessons. It felt very isolating.

user1471537877 Wed 01-Mar-17 13:43:40


As I understand it Briteschool is a primary

You say your 10 year old was unsupported at interhigh, which is for secondary education....

Neither are therefore in the same catagory

I pay for an education for my DD and don't particularly want her lessons held up by children who are too young to be there, before you say oh but my child is so child is too so needs educating in an appropriate cohort

Londonsburningahhhh Tue 28-Feb-17 22:41:40

That's how I felt First College for IGCSE's get A,B,C and a few D's and I can understand why she is very involved with all her students. When my child was there she never let her get away with anything and homework had to be done. Each pupil start from the basics and then as they progress they move up. My child was struggling in maths and she arranged extra math lessons for my daughter. I think what makes First College so special is that its small and her and her teachers are able to give that extra support and attention to all the children. They participate in discussions and have to do the homework that's how they learn about their pupils. They are not going to get those grades for nothing.

My other dd logged on to Briteschool she enjoyed it there. My dd was only their a year but I thought the lessons looked very engaging. He also asked the children to read in the lesson and get involved. I was sat with my daughter when she was in her lesson and he told the story of the little prince and since then I have fell in love with the story. The man who taught my daughter in primary is a qualified teacher.

Inter high works for some but not for all my child did not get on at all. I had a bad experience but not everyone who attends will feel that way.

user1486737884 Tue 28-Feb-17 18:12:05

Do they(BRiteschool and first college) have a good track record with results London?
There seem to be many good reviews of Interhigh so your comments are quite surprising.

Londonsburningahhhh Tue 28-Feb-17 12:36:46

Out of the three online schools the best one is First College and also Briteschool. I didn't like Inter high at all my dd got no support while she was there. She struggled to complete the homework she was 10 when she joined. They don't bend to children's level where as Briteschool and first college were very supportive and passionate. They wanted their children to progress and achieve good results. Inter high were not that bothered as long as you pay them. Never again before anyone asks me how I got to try so many is because I have more than 1 dd. With Briteschool and First college you get what you pay for.

Londonsburningahhhh Tue 28-Feb-17 12:12:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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