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penhros, MLC or St Hilda's. Calling all Perth Mums!

(24 Posts)
marriedtoagoodun Sat 16-Feb-13 14:14:45

We have looked at all the schools and my DH really likes MLC. I prefer Penrhos. Everyone here says St Hilda's!! MLC does not have the net book program but other than that I cannot find any fault - although a few people have alluded to the fact that you are buying the reputation rather than the best school. DD has some special needs but all schools seem to be suggesting that at least some of the help will need to come from external agencies.

Anyone with any experience? Please .....

Mosman Sun 17-Feb-13 10:40:00

Which ever one has a place tbh
I liked MLC but didn't look at pen rhos, we liked perth college a lot and ended up at All Saints

marriedtoagoodun Sun 17-Feb-13 12:43:15

Thanks Mosman. Perth College have no places until Year 7. Haven't looked at All Saints - it just that it will be her forever school so we have to get it right and there is no clear favourite!!! Have you been in Perth long?

Mosman Sun 17-Feb-13 14:07:16

We've been here 7 months now. This is the thing newborns are put down on the waiting list for year 7 it's ridiculous but the education system and the old boys network is so strong in perth which school you went to stems to really matter.

kday Sun 17-Feb-13 15:30:44

My nieces go to St Hilda's and have since they were preschoolers (now Years 10 and 12). Very academic, weak on languages (if that's important to you). It seems quite an inclusive place - not too much bullying reported by my nieces but a lot of pretty heavy partying in the later years if you are in the "cool" group (see below re: wealth, which allows this). There's a lot of establishment/old money at St H and a need to "keep up". That's probably true of many elite private schools but is certainly something one notices on the outside looking in to the lifestyle these girls enjoy. From experience (I grew up there), the Old Boys network is strong in Australian cities, but it's not only what school you went to, it's who your parents are and what you can all offer each other. To a certain extent you've got to feel comfortable that you can "keep up" with all of this if you pick one of the elite schools. It's normal in Australian families (those that can afford it) to put kids' names down very early (birth or soon after) for Year 7 (high school) places in the private sector and use the (generally very good) state schools for primary education. The schools are generally non-selective so you know you'll get a place if your early enough, taking that worry of your mind as a parent. Tough for new arrivals, though!
Good luck - tough decision.

AllThreeWays Fri 22-Feb-13 21:30:42

what are your DD's special needs? IME as a teacher in an Australian private school the special needs support is no where near s good as in the public system. There is less funding and an attitude from some teachers that they should not have to deal with SN

marriedtoagoodun Sun 24-Feb-13 17:52:52

Hi guys sorry not to reply sooner - we were busy flying home! Back in UK now and feeling a bit low as there seems so much to worry about sad

My DD has dyslexia/dyspraxia/mild aspergers and a bowel condition that means she can have soiling accidents. She currently receives a lot of help - and it is already evident Australian schools will expect us to lisase with outside agencies rather than provide that support in house.

Kday we have already noticed that when we went to some of the schools they were very interested in where we would be living - we cannot afford to live close to the schools in the 'golden triangle' area so am not sure if this will influence friendships. My DD does strugle (becasue of the aspergers) with friendships so it is important that I can make friends to 'borrow' the children of my friends!!

Oh I just seem to go round in circles - loved it over there but now home and thinking it might not be a good time to go.

marriedtoagoodun Sun 24-Feb-13 17:54:46

Allthreeways - thank you for commenting. I have been a bit shocked at how little knowledge there was about some special needs - and especially about how dyslexia is treated. Have you found that your training in England was very different to the Australian training offered?

SparkleSoiree Tue 26-Feb-13 09:35:35

Just wanted to say that we obtained zero support for DD(5) who has Aspergers and other issues due to the fact we were on a 457 sponsored visa. That visa, apparently, meant we were not able to access support or disability facilities/agencies in Perth/WA generally, certainly not until we applied for Permanent residency which is a while off. We are now back in the UK although DH is still in WA at the moment.

AllThreeWays Tue 26-Feb-13 12:39:31

I am Australian trained and inclusion is taught as part of the degree, but not specifics. Our school has a specialist student support teacher who is excellent but is only one person in a school of 800 students K to 12. We also have 1 TA is the secondary campus.
This is not enough. I teach a girl with ASD and can choose to attend PD training that will be approved. Most teachers are great and will study up if they have a student with SN in their class, but it is extra work and is usually unfunded.
I sent my foster son to a private school as I thought he would be safe and cared for there, he has FAS. It was a disaster, the school had trouble accessing suitable funding to support him, his teacher couldn't cope, and basically didn't want him there. Now he is in a state school and while there is some bullying (which was what I wanted to avoid) he is in a class of 6 with one specialist teacher and 2 TA's. Also the previous school had a different kind of bullying, the parents, they didn't want their PFB's associating with someone with SN

marriedtoagoodun Wed 27-Feb-13 12:23:13

Sparkle - I am so sorry to hear that you did not get the support you needed. We do have a permanent resident visa but will be in the independent sector - which we thought like Allthreeways would be better suited to provide for DD's needs. I just go round in circles. My DH thinks we should give the school a chance but DD is at a crucial stage here in UK and is making progress - but slowly. Allthreeways - we already have a bit of the bullying by isolation; little things like not being invited to meet ups that take place during school holidays, snide remarks about her (lack) of sporting ability etc. BUGGER, bugger - why is it so hard! She loved being near the beach and swimming is something she can do reasonably well - God I am just so unsure. And then we have to be ale to afford the house at Perth prices...

SparkleSoiree Wed 27-Feb-13 13:28:27

It's certainly not an inexpensive place to live.

marriedtoagoodun Thu 28-Feb-13 12:17:59

sparklesoiree - no it certainly is not!! On another aside you mentioned your foster son, we fostered in UK for 5 years and are considering (once settled) fostering again in Australia. Can you give me a little flavour of your experiences?

BookieMonster Thu 28-Feb-13 12:29:20

My girls (both ADHD and 1 also dyslexic) are at MLC which is supporting them both wonderfully. We started in the public school system and found the support there woeful and moved the girls to MLC.
St Hilda's is an extremely academically competitive environment. When I went to have a look round (several years ago, mind) well before I knew my girls would have issues, St H's tour guide kept banging on about academic excellence. I asked "But what about girls that have learning difficulties?" and got a very honest, "Well, this would not be the school for them." Make of that what you will.
No idea about Penhros.

marriedtoagoodun Fri 01-Mar-13 09:16:41

Bookiemonster - thank you so much for your comments. Do you find that you are having to access external providers or are MLC able to offer full support in house. They mentioned my DD being on Wave Two? St Hilda's is not the school for us - lots of reasons but one that certainly made us think was the academically excellent label that is just not going to be our DD.

Penhros was an offshoot of MLC about 50 years ago and for a long while was called MLC South (I think) . They then rebranded it as Penrhos and it now stands on its own two feet but shares many of the same attributes as its founding school. Lots of building work going on (and projects just completed) but the main thing for us is that they have some students already that require the help our DD would need and are able to provide. I get the feeling that Penrhos is the younger sister and trying to come out of the shadows of it's older sibling! It is cheaper than MLC and came lower in the rankings but is still a very excellent school looking in for the outside.

Could I ask do you live near to MLC - we are not sure we will be bale to afford to live very close to the school in the first few years whilst we establish ourselves. Penrhos is in a cheaper area!

Lots of questions and if you feel that you would sooner not answer or would soner the answers be more private then please do PM me. I am desparate for information smile It would also be wonderful to have a contact whose own child has similar needs to DD

greener2 Fri 01-Mar-13 20:54:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BookieMonster Sat 02-Mar-13 04:10:15

Married I'll PM you.
Greener - AFAIK, austism is officially recognised as a learning disability and so the school and education authority has a legal requirement to make the curriculum accessible to children on the spectrum. As with every school in the UK, support and provision vary wildly by school and area. I think you'd have to do the research depending on where you would likely be living.

Doubledare Thu 14-Mar-13 08:40:19

Have you considered Rossmoyne Senior High? They are very academic but pretty much the experts at helping children with autism achieve good results and enjoy going to school. My mother works there and she says children with physical and mental disabilities get a lot of support. You would need to live in the catchment area though.

Mosman Fri 15-Mar-13 11:59:14

Rossmoyne is a huge school though I can see how a child could be easily over looked.

roary Sat 16-Mar-13 10:59:16

We know, via work contacts, the principal of a Perth girls school. Not one of the mentioned. She says all the girls schools in Perth are really v similar in ethos and standards. The boys schools have v diff characters.

I think your special needs issues must take priority though!

Hi Mosman, hope all well with u!

roary Sat 16-Mar-13 10:59:51

We know, via work contacts, the principal of a Perth girls school. Not one of the mentioned. She says all the girls schools in Perth are really v similar in ethos and standards. The boys schools have v diff characters.

I think your special needs issues must take priority though!

Hi Mosman, hope all well with u!

meerkate Sun 24-Mar-13 21:57:25

Hi girls, really interested in this thread as we are thinking about a return to Perth, where we last lived in '05 (when the kids were only teeny). We're looking for work in either NZ or WA and it's not clear yet where we'll end up, but I'm thinking ahead smile DD is now 11 and halfway through year 7 here. I've looked at All Saints on-line and talked to them on the phone, they would have a place for DD but not (yet) for DS, 9 - what's your opinion of it, Mosman? I'd love to know. I think we'd be more likely south of the river you see, which is why I haven't looked at St Hilda's or MLC. All Saints is co-ed, I believe, is that right? I must say that appeals to me. Anyway I'll keep an eye on this thread - good luck OP,I can see that choosing the right school is extra important in your situation - hope it goes well!

meerkate Sun 24-Mar-13 21:58:42

PS I cannot believe house prices and the difference since we left - EEK!!!

mumslife1 Sat 19-May-18 08:52:07

Personally would avoid St H as the school has recently been caught out for bullying issues surrounding death threats between students and social media bullying and that is in the last 2 years and still ongoing issues. They are without a doubt very focused on academia and prestige. If you don't fit into that mold and somewhat wealth status you will struggle. MLC, Iona and PC are much better. I have a daughter at MLC and a son at CCGS and found that children from different backgrounds and abilities are far more supported and well rounded which at the end of the day is what an sensible parent wants for their child.

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