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Independent or grammar school

(59 Posts)
MommyG Wed 24-Nov-10 12:34:09

If your DS was a bright boy and got into a grammar school, and you wouldnt mind paying fees for a private school, i.e you have got enough backup, which one would you go for - grammaror private and why.

Dont get the impression that I fall into either category grin.. just wanted to find out, thats all

Tikitikitembo Wed 24-Nov-10 12:38:35

Why on earth would you pay if you got into a free grammar ?

MommyG Wed 24-Nov-10 12:42:05

Thats what I thought too Tikitikitembo, but I have actually come across quite a few ppl who have opted otherwise too.. that's why was interested.

mumblechum Wed 24-Nov-10 12:42:08

Grammar. Because if you send your child to independent then lose your income, you'd have to withdraw them.

DS is at grammar and I am very thankful that we're not paying megatons of money out every onth for private.

Tikitikitembo Wed 24-Nov-10 13:55:29

Maybe they are fibbing and the child didn't actually pass the grammar test. Alternatively, they could be so stinking rich that money is of no concern and never will be. Then I could see maybe distance etc might sway them.

MollieO Wed 24-Nov-10 14:00:03

Depends on the child and finances. If the child scraped a pass to get into grammar then they may be better off at a non-selective independent. Or it could be they simply want to go where the majority of their friends from prep are going.

Ds's school is attached to a senior non-selective school and there is a lot of pressure to continue on to that school rather than the local grammar. Everyone sits the 11+ and then decides what to do.

mummytime Wed 24-Nov-10 14:46:26

I I could well afford fee paying then I might opt for that over some grammars. As some grammars are good at academic but not so much the other stuff, it depends on the child, and the schools.

Jajas Wed 24-Nov-10 14:52:43

Grammar can be a lot harder than non-selective independent. My godson has moved up from prep school to grammar after passing his 11+ and finding it a hell of a lot more challenging than the prep. Ok he is older and therefore would expect work to be more difficult but not all independent schools are uber academic.

You can also hold back a year in the independent sector, appealing for someone like me who has a summer born, 2 months premature and therefore developmentally delayed child who would benefit greatly from being in the year below.

It's never as black and white as would appear smile

sue52 Wed 24-Nov-10 18:28:36

Some children from prep schools find the move to grammar difficult. They are used to smaller classes and more individual attention. Grammar school kids might be favoured over indis when it comes to university admission.

Notterrysmine Wed 24-Nov-10 18:46:23

Some Grammar schools, maybe only focused on the academic, and independent schools are not always purely chosen on academic results, they are chosen for value added, music opportunities, sport facilities. etc.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 24-Nov-10 18:47:12

We had this decision to make (except we have a bright girl grin) - DH agonised a bit over whether the independent school (also academically selective though less so) did have any 'added value'. We decided that the only things they really had were an outdoor centre in the Lakes, and a boat - but with what we'd save we can fund a heck of a lot of adventure activities and sailing holidays for DD (and us!). The class sizes were not significantly different.

Of DDs cohort, not one of those who got a GS place ended up turning it down, even though the GSs in some cases present transport difficulties.

Because we would have been happy with either choice DDs preference was added to the mix - she liked the independent but loved the grammar. If she'd had strong feelings the other way we might have followed her instincts - she's a sensible girl. When you go round schools some just feel wrong, others ok, others right - so that may be one of the reasons for the choices the OP has observed.

Ladymuck Wed 24-Nov-10 18:55:41

I'm leaning towards private because I am happy to pay for a better teacher/pupil ratio, more experienced teachers, better facilities and more extra-curricular opportunities, especially trips. I'm also slightly concerned that at some point either pupil funding will be cut or some other political edict will mean a fundamental change to the grammar school or its curriculum. I'm also happy that the independent schools are not forced into the league tables, so that pupils can take a variety of exams at ages and times that suit them.

Also locally if you have passed the grammar tests then there is a reasonably high chance that you will be offered a scholarship by the independent schools smile.

I have to say that whilst the brightest boys may end up at the grammar, it is interesting to look at the uni destinations and subject choices, as well as the eventual career paths taken by the pupils in each school.

thinkingaboutschools Wed 24-Nov-10 21:22:41

I agree that it is the teacher/pupil ratio and potentially the additional extra-curricular/other opportunities that would sway in the direction of the private school

Litchick Wed 24-Nov-10 21:43:23

We went for independent. It just seemed more rounded in terms of arts and sports (as well it should for the £££, I guess).
The class iszes were smaller.
The pastoral care seemed better.
DD like it better.
Also it was nearer.blush

If money had been an issue though, am sure we would have been more grammar friendly. Not going to pretend otherwise.

Litchick Wed 24-Nov-10 21:45:43

Of DC's sixty strong year six, only one girl and one boy tried for grammar.
So I guess many of the other parents felt like us.

KangarooCaught Wed 24-Nov-10 22:22:31

Have encountered parents who are shocked to discover the extent of difference between grammar and independent. One parent I know, whose child attended a prep school formerly, had lots of complaints initially about the grammar
- the 'rough and tumble' of 30 in a class
- bad language heard in the playground
- teachers not lunching with the pupils
- less supervision
- lack of individual approach to her dc's behaviour

It took her as much time to get used to the school as her dc.

seeker Wed 24-Nov-10 22:28:43

<amused at the thought that children at independent schools never swear!>

maktaitai Wed 24-Nov-10 22:32:06

I would go for grammar because I'm a statie. But I wouldn't necessarily be that delighted about it - I went to a grammar school and although I am grateful for my great education, it really was pretty dull in quite a lot of areas, with the stellar exceptions of music and English.

Tikitikitembo Thu 25-Nov-10 09:44:11

me too seeker

MommyG Thu 25-Nov-10 09:47:49

Thanks for this.. its nice to know your opinions.
Does your schooling determine what universities you get into later? I've heard both really. Some say private students coming from good privates stand a better chance at leading universities like Oxford, Cambridge etc. Whereas some say more preference is given to grammar kids.

MassiveKnob Thu 25-Nov-10 09:49:39

my dc at both independent and state swear as much as eachother (proud mummy moment NOT blush )

Litchick Thu 25-Nov-10 09:55:29

massive - my two indie kids know many a choice word too lol.

I suspect much of the shock at moving from indie to state at 11, is less about the funding, and more about going to secondary school, any secondary school.

I could be wrong.

Litchick Thu 25-Nov-10 10:01:45

mommyG - some universities have a policy to make lower offers to children from state schools. But these tend to be low achieving state schools, so grammar school students don't necessarily benefit from that.

Cerainly my friend who is an admissions prof at Oxbridge would consider pupils from independent schools or grammar as advantaged as each other.

That said, the research shows that independently educated children are utterly over represented at RG unis, particularly Oxbridge.
And again in certain spheres of employment - law, finance, media, academia, business, they remain over represented.

Grammar schools however, outperform any othe type of state school in terms of representation in both those too.
As well they should, I supoose, seeing as they are academically selective.

seeker Thu 25-Nov-10 10:06:42

I would be AMAZED if universities make lower offers to children at grammar schools.

They might, very understandably, to children from disadvantaged backgrounds at challenging schools, but not grammars.

myredcardigan Thu 25-Nov-10 10:07:33

I think it depends on the schools and the child in question.

However, one of the big reasons we went private from 4 was the breadth of education as, at the time, our local 'outstanding' graded primary was a hot house of academic pushiness. IME, a lot (not all) grammar schools are also like this with a very academic outlook.

If it's all about academic results and getting into university then chose a grammar if available. For me, with 3kids, two fairly bright and one who is exceptionally able, I wanted to avoid that as DD1 especially needed an environment that stretched her sideways.
I don't want her pushed into 5Alevels followed by medicine or law. I'd rather she was somewhere that maid her consider other options.

IME, very academic state secondaries push very able children into taking traditional Alevels and applying for medicine, law or accountancy.

So, to the OP, I'm just saying that not everyone is looking for the same thing. smile

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