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Selly Oak Birmingham mums: Which of these secondary schools would you recommend ?

(9 Posts)
pinkyloola Tue 24-Oct-17 12:44:43

Hello everyone, I am filling the admission application for secondary schools for my DS. I will include University of Birmingham, But I have to write 5 others schools, and I want to know the parents reviews and experience in the following schools. your feedback is much highly appreciated :
Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School
Harborne Academy
Bournville school
Shenley Academy
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School
Queensbridge School

BackforGood Tue 24-Oct-17 16:24:06

I don't have dc at any of them, but, from what I hear......

People like Dame Elizabeth as it is smaller. Used to have a Resource Base and a lot of the staff are used to differentiating for children with different needs. I think it's smaller size is what people like about it most.

Harborne Academy I presume is what Harborne Hill changed it's name to ? Never had a good reputation which is so weird given its catchment area. However, i'm going back 8 years or so now since I've heard anything (not really in our catchment area) so I wouldn't want to do it a dis-service with a really old reputation.

Bournville School is one where OFSTED were a lot less happy than the families that attend. I know a lot of families with dc at Bournville who are very happy and felt really cross about the poor OFSTEDs which they felt were unfair and didn't in any way reflect their experiences. A lot of dc have done well at Bournville. It was certainly much bigger than Dame Elizabeth (10 form entry against 4 from when my dc were at the applying stage) which comes with its own advantages and also disadvantages.

Shenley Court used to be a fantastic school many, many years ago, then it went down, down down and hit rock bottom about 12 (?) years ago. Lots of people sold house and moved to get out of its catchment. Failed OFSTED. Poached the HT from Bournville, got lots of LA support and she (the HT) pulled it up by it's bootstraps. Name change to Shanley Academy at some point. Then had a completely new building (opened 2012). I know quite a few families whose dc have gone there and they can't speak highly enough of it. I have been really impressed by some of the systems they put in place. That HT has now gone, but it still has quite a good reputation amongst people I know.

St Thomas Aquinas is a Catholic school. Not a brilliant reputation but not dire either. People do apply from quite some distance, as they are specifically looking for a Catholic school, and they get in, as local people aren't particularly keen to go there.

Sorry, don't know anything about Queensbridge - that seems a bit far from Selly Oak ?

Caulk Wed 25-Oct-17 09:06:04

Shelley, but you'd have to be the right side of Selly Oak to get in.

What about UoB? Queensbridge is good but far, Harborne Academy is on the up.

pinkyloola Wed 25-Oct-17 09:33:36

Many thanks for your replies. I will write The university of Birmingham school first, but because it is very popular, I want to choose carefully what I will write as a second and third options. I am new to Birmingham myself. So I do really appreciate your advice.

KingsHeathen Wed 25-Oct-17 11:01:50

Of those choices I would out DECS, Bournville, Queensbridge.
I would not consider Harborne, Shenley, or UoB.
Tommy's is Catholic, so that's out of the question!
Which primary is he at? Where do most go? Do his friends have older siblings that are at secondary, whose parents would recommend?
KNBS has just had a Good Ofsted (has been needs improvement for past three years). I know people with sons there that are happy (indeed as I do at DECS and Bournville too, whatever it may say on paper)
How able is your child?

KingsHeathen Wed 25-Oct-17 11:03:07

Sorry- not "out", "put" blush

BackforGood Wed 25-Oct-17 22:08:55

Thing is, some of the schools you mention are a long way from each other. If you could get in to one, then you would be way out of catchment for another. I agree with Kingsheathean that KNBS is good if you are in their area

pinkyloola Thu 26-Oct-17 10:17:11

Thank you back for good, kingsheathen, and Cauld for your replies. I didn't know anything about king Norton school and I will definitely include it to the list. I have just use the government website which allow me as a parent to compare schools near me. I exclude girls only and need improvement, and the above schools appear to me . I am living very close to The UOB.

KingsHeathen Thu 26-Oct-17 11:06:28

KNBS's Ofsted was right at the end of term- the results are on their website, but won't be on DfE comparison site yet... However, their GCSE results this year we're v good (and would be in the prelim data).

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