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Ralph Allen secondary in Bath - any feedback welcome!

(18 Posts)
muminsydney Tue 16-Aug-11 14:21:22

We're relocating from Sydney to Bath and I'd welcome any feedback about Ralph Allen - DS1 is due to start secondary Sept 2012? Keen sportsman and reasonably academic but more than anything with such a huge move we'd like somewhere welcoming and nurturing too.....

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 16-Aug-11 18:09:45

As currently the only co-ed, non-church state secondary in Bath it's over-subscribed so you'd need to live pretty close to get in. There are areas not so close for which it's the designated school. Have a look on the BANES website - there's information there that should help on that score. Here's a link

A friend's ds goes to Ralph Allen and she's very happy with it. Others have been to see it with prospective pupils and weren't impressed - possibly the school rests on its laurels a little at secondary applications time because it knows it doesn't have to try confused

Apparently Beechen Cliff is good for sporty boys but (quite apart from living too far away to get in easily) I don't think it would suit my ds (who isn't remotely sporty and reacted with horror at the prospect of going to an all boys school grin )

The normal admissions process for 2012 entry starts in the next few weeks - I think the closing date is the end of October. There is another process though for people coming into the area.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 16-Aug-11 18:39:05

Oh should also have mentioned that Oldfield (currently girls) and Culverhay (currently boys, was under threat of closure but has been saved) will both be accepting boys from 2012 I believe.

This might take the pressure off of Raplh Allen I guess. It's all very much an unknown really right now.

jgbmum Tue 16-Aug-11 19:42:29

Are you going to live in Bath? If you are open to looking a few miles outside then St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon might suit your son. Further out, Sheldon School in Chippenham is very well regarded.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 17-Aug-11 10:17:22

Doh! I meant Culverhay will be accepting girls from 2012. grin

muminsydney Wed 17-Aug-11 11:38:23

great info - we are planning on living outside of bath - not a CLUE where though! Back in 3 weeks for a holiday and going to check out some of the schools then. All advice gratefully received grin)

jgbmum Wed 17-Aug-11 11:53:36

If you are looking round, then look at Malmesbury too. Lovely place and great school.
PM me if you want any opinions on other areas in north or west wilts - always happy to give an opinion grin

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 17-Aug-11 11:54:02

You might be luck and catch some of the open evenings/days then. Check the schools' websites (they might publish them on the BANES site, too).

MrsFlittersnoop Thu 01-Sep-11 21:26:25

Hi muminsydney,
Sorry I missed this thread when you first posted - I normally notice Bath-related queries! I have a son at secondary school in Bath - we moved here 2 years ago, so I'm very familiar with the hoops you might need to jump through! hmm. Please PM me if you would like some insider info. My DS is at Beechen Cliff which is very very good for sporty boys (not my DS unfortunately) and also gets good academic results.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 02-Sep-11 10:23:58

The newest Admissions stuff (for 2012 entry) is on the BANES website now.

If you're not necessarily looking to live in Bath, have a look at Wiltshire, as jgbmum suggests. Corsham, Chippenham and Bradford on Avon have very good schools; I know children who live on the eastern side of Bath who travel to Corsham and Bradford on Avon for school.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 02-Sep-11 10:25:42

MrsFlittersnoop you're coming to the meetup, aren't you? I shall bend your ear wrt Beechencliff then if you don't mind (but not too much) grin

Malkuth Fri 02-Sep-11 10:41:08

If you move to the Norton Radstock or Chew Valley areas outside Bath both Norton Hill and Chew Valley are well regarded secondary schools. If you go towards Keynsham/Saltford check which secondary school catchment you fall under. Wellsway is considered the better school academically but Broadlands is meant to be good pastorally and for children with any additional needs.

B&NES is in a weird position at the moment as the vast majority of secondaries are becoming academies so this next school year is likely to be a time of flux.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 02-Sep-11 10:47:50

Tell me about it, Mal! Ds is due to start secondary in 2012, so we'll be applying in the next few weeks and attending a lot of open evenings...

It's impossible to know what's going to happen really, particularly with Culverhay (which is miles away from us so wouldn't be an option, but will have an impact on admissions at other schools I think) and the St Marks/St Gregs confederation.

Malkuth Fri 02-Sep-11 10:56:12

It is going to be interesting for the LEA. Norton Hill and Somervale are also now linked and have decided not to use the B&NES EWOs but to bring a lot inhouse. Also nationally academies have high exclusion rates so there is a danger that the LEA maintained schools will end up taking the kids that academies deem 'unsuitable' for whatever reason.

I do find the St Marks/St Gregs confederation very odd though!

Hope you and your DS find a good match for him.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 02-Sep-11 11:54:52

Thanks, Mal. We'll be OK I think - have a pretty firm idea where he'll go (along with most of his friends) and there shouldn't be an issue getting him a place there. I'm still keen to look at all the other options.

I don't think there's be any LEA maintained schools left to take all the excluded pupils though. Then what? confused

I'm not keen on any of it tbh. What will happen when the private sector decides it's no longer profitable to offer services like EWO, and the LA have ceased to offer them because all their schools opted out? Or there's only one provider and they up and up their prices, holding schools to ransom?

Ho hum. Sorry for the thread highjack muminsydney!

MrsFlittersnoop Fri 02-Sep-11 18:36:22

Hi Jenai - I will be there or be square!

Am happy to have ear bent WRT schools smile.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Fri 02-Sep-11 18:49:09

Cheers, Mrs smile

I shall try not to go on about it too much though.

steviewa Thu 13-Oct-11 21:08:19

My two DDs and one DS went to St Mark's. They all did extremely well. DS - First class honours in archaeology at UCL, followed by a Masters in international relations at LSE. DD1 Upper 2nd in Eng Lit at Queen Mary. DS2 did not go to uni, but thriving and working in a school as an LSA in London. The teaching and support at St Mark's was superb.St Mark's is not "frankly not great". It is "Frankly great".

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