Rosehill Prep school

(5 Posts)
Pastatwists Sun 04-Apr-21 09:39:52

Please can people share current views. We’re looking for a prep in TW for a year 3 next Sept, but have heard mixed views about this school.
The GSG seems to say good things about it but have also heard that under the new head it’s gone downhill, with parents leaving in droves and only 4 kids remaining in some years, (could it go bust?).
There have also been some nasty things in the papers about it I heard.
Anyone have first hand experience as it seems nice from the visit, lovely grounds and the head is charming but perhaps just telling us what we want to hear ‘numbers are up for next year’ etc.
Be helpful to hear views from ppl who know the school.

OP’s posts: |
fairyvoodoodolly Fri 21-May-21 18:55:57

Bit late to the party, are you still looking?

NC for this because I like being anonymous on here and don’t want my local area known under my normal name!

Rose Hill is a lovely school, I strongly recommend it. Your reservations aren’t unfounded though but not completely correct - year 7 or 8 is a tiny year group which I think is only 4. Other year groups are fairly standard size for a prep (15ish per class) Not many stay past year 6 in recent years (considering the competition locally with the local grammars and the fact that the majority of independent senior schools now start at year 7 and don’t have an extra y9 intake it’s not surprising. Competition is stiff).

The facilities are really good - pool is lovely and only a few years old, all their productions are in the theatre (tiered seats so everyone can actually see) and are pretty incredible, the prep building is very modern and purpose built. The staff are amazing and it’s a very “all round” school”. The pre prep is a bit tired physically but resource wise and staff wise it’s great,

The bad press was I think an employment thing? It could happen anywhere - not great but Im sure they’ve learnt a lesson from it.

From what I’ve heard there is a bit of an exodus this year but it’s largely a “grass is greener” thing. I don’t know for sure. A lot of prep schools go up and down. I think Holmewood (near by) had problems with numbers a few years back and have managed to pull themselves up. Rose Hill doesn’t have this grand exterior to stand in awe at but it’s got everything you could want on the inside (from my experience anyway). So much land and woodland behind the building that you don’t immediately see.

I would recommend it personally. I don’t know much about the other schools in the area apart from reputation.

Pastatwists Thu 10-Jun-21 08:33:29

Thanks for your comments. The main thing we’re worried about is the financial stability of the school. Some second hand info we heard from someone who works there says it’s possibly on the edge as a result of massive declining numbers in last few years. Another Kent prep went bust a few months ago and it’s such a nightmare for the children and all the families!!

OP’s posts: |
tacocatmum Sat 26-Jun-21 09:34:43

@Pastatwists I am a current parent at Rose Hill and can say that you are right to be worried. The school has gone downhill with the new head. There are many families in the process of leaving with most of those going to another local prep school. Rose Hill is not in a good place financially, but with the headmistress driving families away, that situation is unlikely to improve for long. She may temporarily benefit from the current exodus out of London, but parents will tend to leave after a year or two. They don't have anywhere enough staff so have huge problems with staff absences, for example the children miss swimming lessons when the teacher is off sick. There is barely any SEN support. In fact, SEN issues have not been raised with parents when they should have been and the children have suffered as a result. The headmistress has a terrible reputation locally and parents feel they can't trust her. The recent press coverage was shameful, yet the headmistress is still there. During the last lockdown Rose Hill was the only private school to refuse to teach the children with live lessons, instead relying on videos and print outs. This made it incredibly difficult for many parents and children suffered from the lack of interaction. Many returned to school with anxiety issues. It was a disaster and there is a lot of resentment about that. Rose Hill then provided an insulting discount on the fees. While other schools offered between 15 and 30% off the fees having provided live lessons for their children, Rose Hill's offering was around 4% and they didn't actually teach the children! They also failed to save on costs during this period and seemed to treat the parents as cash cows. The school cook was being paid to cook for the staff while the keyworker children had to bring in packed lunches. They failed to furlough enough staff. There is no transparency for parents, the head often uses excuses of safeguarding, privacy and government guidelines to hide behind.
On a positive note, there are some good teachers at Rose Hill and it is possible to go through the school unaware of some of the major issues. There are a few parents with the blinkers on and some just aren't too concerned about how their money is being spent. But it is definitely not a school I can recommend with the current head in place.

tacocatmum Sat 26-Jun-21 09:42:21

@Pastatwists I should add that the families leaving are across all year groups, not just years 6 to 8. There are 6 families leaving after the Reception year.

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