Prep schools - are they worth the money?(3 Posts)
I am looking at schools for my DD, she is only 2.5 but I want to get it right. I also have two older DSs who are at a small village school. We live in a grammar area and my eldest DS starts there in September, my other DS is in year 4. We have had a change of head at the school and to say I'm not happy with the new one is an understatement. DS2 has just started with a tutor to fill in the gaps where the school is failing.
Anyway I have been to visit two independent schools and I have been blown away, but it is a massive investment.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Ds1 is in pre prep and he is 4. He is very happy there and loves going to school, I am thrilled with his progress and development since he has been there. As we are not religious our only choice of state school would have meant it was either private or home ed.
If you go for private chose very carefully, I looked round 8 schools and most of them seemed far too pushy for my liking. The school I chose has a real family feel, they follow the eyfs curriculum for the most part and every day if fun for ds. They have brilliant resources and everything is very individual towards the children.
For me it is worth is as I really don't think I'm up to home ed!
If you're not happy with the current school, you are really impressed with the preps in your area and you can afford it without major sacrifices then it probably is worth it.
Otherwise, schools do change, head teachers change. You could start your DD at the local school and always move her later on - say at age 7 to the prep, which would leave plenty of time for them to fill in the gaps before 11+.
It is worth thinking about the general all-round education as well as the pure academics. I went to a prep and the education was first class in terms of curriculum breadth (teaching way beyond the test) and the other activities, facilities and grounds available. Some preps are however no better than a so-so state primary.
I live in an area that is devoid of prep-schools and after visiting 4 primaries - 3 of which were Ofsted Outstanding I was feeling rather despondent. Then I visited a 5th which I hadn't considered as it was further away and I was so impressed. We're on the waiting list for a place and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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