Putney High vs LEH(50 Posts)
We are wait listed for both these schools and of course can't get any info as to where we are on the list. We are of course pushing both for the minute but if anyone has any experience of the dreaded waitlist, advice would be most welcome. Or any current parents any useful insights in the difference between the two that would also be most welcome.
Had done all our homework and research re school but now my brain feel a little fried!! Thanks
It is likely that the schools wont know until the SPGS, G&L and other results are known.
Is it really more candidates or the same number of candidates applying for more schools? DD did five three years ago and that was considered a lot, three being the norm. Now we are hearing of girls doing five routinely with plenty doing seven or eight.
If the number of candidates is roughly the same, obviously things will be easier.
Schools vary in popularity from year to year. Putney, say, may have been affected by the increasing popularity of both Wimbledon HS and Latymer Upper and the other co-eds (Ibstock, Harrodian, Emanuel and KGS). One of DDs friends was on two wait lists. On the deadline day for accepting places one school was having to add a bulge class so was clear they would not be taking from the wait list, however the Headmistress of the other invited the parents to meet with her to convince them to accept a newly offered place.
After that it is a case of sticking with it. A follow up phone call or email every week or so asking about movement and saying you are still interested. Post Easter when a terms fees become payable there will be further movement and many on the wait list will have given up/wont be prepared to sacrifice a deposit and a terms fees paid to another school. If you are, you need to tell them and this will probably push you up the wait list pretty fast. There is shuffling right up to the start of September, not least because one place coming up can then impact on wait lists in several schools.
The main waiting list movement comes after the state school offers are made.
In West London many people apply for private in case their DD doesn't get into Tiffin, Nonsuch, Waldegrave, Lady Margaret, Twyford and so on. Even the boys' schools slightly affect the girls' school lists as they can release places at co-ed schools. Those that do get a place at their preferred state school release their private options then (hopefully!).
Then there is a reshuffle as people are offered a preferred independent that they were on the waiting list for and release their second choice holding, which is offered to someone else, who might turn it down. Eventually the places filter down the waiting lists. That's why it's hard for the schools to say how fast and how much their waiting lists will move, it depends how many are waiting for a state place or a different place and how quickly they make a decision and let the unwanted school know.
There are always a few who hold a state and private place quite a long time, maybe worried about finances or just because they can, so places do come up at the last minute, but not reliably!
Travel not being a considerable factor for me it would be LEH every step of the way. I have a slight bias as my daughter is there! We chose leh over an offer from spgs. We live closer to putney high and it doesn't personally appeal to me in the slightest. Results wise they don't compare but for me it's not just that is about the value added extras. Sport and music is encouraged whatever ability. I have friends with girls at putney high and the focus is academics unless you excel in music or a particular sport it is not encouraged which I object to. They lose many if the prightest girks from the junior school to st pauls, leh, tiffins, g&l every year whereas the junior dept at leh only ever lose a couple and mostly to tiffins. The head at leh is fantastic, the grounds huge and I love the contact the girls have with the boys at hampton school as they progress up the school. This is of course all my personal experience and I am sure there will be those that feel completely the opposite! Good luck with the lists and whatever you decide.
Excuse typos from iPad should read brightest girls!
Thank you for all your feedback. Very useful, especiallly to hear from a current parent at LEH. We are on waitlist so we will keep on hoping for movement in a couple of weeks.
Likewise, very interested to hear from a current parent at LEH. I am reassured by your comment that sport/music encouraged 'whatever ability' as when I asked at open day about fixtures for, say, c and d netball teams I got a very sniffy response along lines of: "Pointless, because LEH girls will not want to continue netball unless in top teams, they will move to something else they can excel at. LEH girls are winners!"!! Not an attitude I appreciated.. if your dd (like mine) is all-round enthusiastic and capable, but perhaps not outstanding. These girls have a lot to give and should not be put off sport/music entirely.
Does a place on a waiting list mean that the child's test result wasn't quite good enough for a definate place? I'd be interested in how my child's results compared to the others because I'd hate to send her to a school where she might struggle academically to keep up. The test should be a suitable gauge of how suitable a child is for a school - rather than just a hurdle that needs to be overcome to get a place imo.
My dd is in Y5 at the moment and we're looking at similar schools, so I'm following this thread with interest.
Good luck in any case!
My daughter is at Putney High and having looked at and heard from many of the other mums about all the local Independent schools, I feel there is a lot of talk about the differences as if they were huge when in fact a lot of it is not that huge! We are very lucky in this area of the country - we have a good number of excellent schools.
First of all it is completely untrue that Putney looses all the best girls. Of the academic scholarships offered last year (top performers in the exams) of the 5 or 6 that were offered to girls already at the school as far as I know only one left to go to SPGS and indeed she is an extremely bright girl who also happens to live nearer the other school. All the other girls stayed. Also isnt it a bit of a nonsense to be judging children like this at 11 when actually everything changes and as they grow many people specialise in different areas, like languages are art which are not tested. Putney is fairly central and has a broad catchment area, so some people do leave as they have nearer senior schools or they prefer some different aspect. Many have also been at the school for 6 years and as with everything you know the good and the bad and the grass often looks greener. Some people have always wanted their daughters to go to SPGS as its one of the best-rated schools in the country. However, in making my decision, even if a school is maybe 5 or 6% better (whatever that means), is it worth spending 2 hours a day on a coach or stuck in traffic in the car? For me - no. And they really are mostly compatively small differences.
The older girls at Putney are all really nice which to me is a good sign. They generally seem happy and well-balanced and mostly do extremely well. Its true that the headmistress at Putney has strengths in different areas to the one at Wimbledon High. She is very good at long-term strategy and has built a fantastic new 6th form centre and has generally raised academic performance. I have heard great things about the Wimbledon headmistress and yes she is probably better at names and some areas of pastoral care, but I expect she has areas that she is less strong at. One year Wimbledon does better, another year Putney. This is probably more about that year than the teaching. Anyway, how many schools have all equally good teachers? SPGS is only for the really bright and is very expensive, so of course some of the facilities/ratios are better, you pay more and a lot of people don't pass the entrance. I would have liked to have been able to consider it, as it is possible my daughter could get in, but I am also not sure that I would want her in quite such an academic school as she also loves sport and Putney does better in this area. Anyway, how many A*s do you need?
I have heard equally good and bad about LEH and it is a long way from Putney center. Both LEH and Putney High are very similar in their attitudes to sport and music. They want their teams to win, so there are A and B teams in most sports and some people don't make it. However, there are a lot of different teams. In addition, as my daughter swims outside she is not going to have time to do cross country, lacrosse, netball, tennis, swimming, gymnastics and homework! Some people I know want hockey schools, some want mixed sex and some single. The sport in mixed schools is often biased to male sports, which it is not at Putney, Wimbledon or LEH.
In the end, its about finding the school that your child feels comfortable in, is convenient and for me, that she can walk to and have friends near to. A bright child is going to do well at any of these schools and all the league tables do is split hairs between whether one school got 8 % more As than another...If your child isn't academic then some of these schools are not for them as it wouldn't be fair, but it doesn't mean they won't do well in life. My advice is to and look and make up your own minds... They are all good schools and there is a lot of nonsense talked about them as if its going to make the difference between success and failure. Its not.
OK true story. We the parents prefered WHS, DD preferred PHS. DD is bright but not that bright and we were worried that she would be offered PHS or WHS. She was offered PHS off the reserve list and we declined because we felt her esteem would suffer from bouncing around the bottom.
We sent her to a local state school with an exceptional reputation. It was a disaster because the ethos of the school has changed in recent years.
DD was at the same time offered places at two schools in the first division rather than the PHS, WHS, SPGS, LEH premier division.
We made the decision we thought was right at the time. DD was moved at the end of Y8 and is now very happy in Y10 at one of the first division schools. We should have done that in first place - we looked at JAGs and thought it was brilliant but too far from Putney and I think that coloured our decision making - are you close to JAGS btw - fab school but we couldn't have done that journey.
Paradoxically, she found her wings academically as soon as she hit Y7; it has benefitted her hugely to be close to the top somewhere. It is extremely likely she may go to WHS or PHS for sixth form. For no other reason that it will help her to fulfil an ambition she wanted to achieve and support her self esteem.
It is exceptionally difficult when they are 11, especially if they have yet to find their feet and are a bit quirky.
What have you been offered OP? PM me and I will tell you where we ended up and where ultimately proved to be exactly the right choice and why I wish we had taken it in the first place.
Can I put in a word for Notre Dame Girls' School in Cobham? We sent our daughter there after we decided that WHS (where we live) is poor on pastoral care and too focussed on 'hot house' study. Our daughter thrived at ND-masses of activities and all the girls reach their potential (in my daughter's year one girl to Cambrdge, two to Oxford and two to Bristol for example (one of which was my daughter-she is in her third year studying Modern Languages). The teachers are caring, the facilities great and school buses mean that it is very accessible (one goes direct from Wimbledon centre). It depends what you want for your daughter and what her temperament is-ND takes all sorts and gets the best out of them all. I can't speak highly enough of it as an environment for girls.
You most certainly can protectiveDad . Brilliant, brilliant school .
My daughter went to PHS - it was an extremely unpleasant experience. The school is results oriented but at the same time they rely on parents to achieve desired results. Over the course of her years in Putney we had tutors for 3 subjects, although my daughter is very bright and had very high cognitive tests scores. We live in Twickenham and we also had an offer from LEH at the age of 11 and I now feel very sorry we did not go there. PHS girls are from diverse backgrounds and this is partially the problem. From my experience - stay as far from central London as possible.
Teenage problems are not handled well in PHS from my point of view. In addition, there will be negative influence of children from less privileged backgrounds.
I agreed the fees are maybe lower than in some schools in Surrey, but the safety and future of your child are more important.
I had a few meeting with Mrs Lodge and the deputy head and the impression I had from those meeting was that they only care about results and statistics and not children as such.
GCSE subjects are not hard for bright children and my daughter graduated with good results, although for a levels we transferred her to a school in Surrey (SWPS), which was a completely different experience, although I must admit less academic.
From my experience only about 5-10 children get into Oxbridge from any independent school. 90% of girls were accepted to same universities (I looked at both Putney and SWP and LEH University destinations) - and if a school is a reasonably academic school , results will be the same. It is important to make sure you daughter is happy in a chosen school, which unfortunately was not the case for my daughter.
"there will be negative influence of children from less privileged backgrounds" I understand your point, but believe that having a mix of privileged and less privileged helps to provide DDs a more well-rounded education and reality checks.
Having said that, PHS is slowly driving out all the less privileged by consistently increasing their school fees at inflation-busting rates over many years... it makes you wonder if they really are part of a charity or not.
It will be interesting to see how well the PHS's exam results hold up this year and whether it climbs or drops down the school league tables (it will be very disappointing if it drops given all the extra spending/fees). From talking to my friends who have children at the other GDSTs, Putney has the one of the highest fees in the GDST, but not the best results, so if your DD has offers from NHEL, WHS, PHS, or SHHS, it would be best academically to give PHS the miss as the others have better results and cost less (if money matters). Those living closer to the river (in Putney) should consider some of the junior State schools (one particular) is more highly regarded/performing than PHS.
"it would be LEH every step of the way. putney high doesn't personally appeal to me in the slightest. The head at leh is fantastic. This is of course all my personal experience and I am sure there will be those that feel completely the opposite!"
I certainly do. If you want an arrogant school - a self obsessed previous headmistress and a haughty new one then it is LEH for you. Cold and uncaring in everything that they do.
Tboyd that was the impression I got of LEH when I attended their open morning last term. After listening to the recitals and headmistress talk about the school for almost 2 hours we had very little time to actually see the facilities and talk to the girls taking us round. I left with the impression of a school resting on its reputation (which is obviously very good) and therefore not having to try very hard.
I did want to give it another go with the new headmistress but your post has left me wondering whether I should bother..... Anecdotally I haven't heard anything positive said about LEH at all! Unfortunately your post has only reinforced that!
I'm off to see LEH this week, to give it a final chance with new head before we dismiss it (dd has 10+ offer from KGS).
Have just heard some very encouraging stories about new Head of LEH from Day 1, came in and has already made some very proactive steps to improve things, and help and support girls, even those not still there (the arrogance did stretch to not having a proper strategy for when those girls didn't get the A*s) The last Head was far from self obsessed, but certainly wasn't charismatic and a natural leader of either staff or girls, or able to connect with them, but she was a good businesswoman, concerned with brand management and development and made her mark in that direction. This one looks like redressing the balance. I hope she does, the school has a lot going for it if someone can pick up all the strings and pull them in the right direction......
My daughter attended PHS from age 7. She was very happy there, had lots of lovely friends and did extremely well. Since we live in Putney, I could never understand why anyone would make their children sit on school coaches in traffic jams for up to 2 hours per day to get to supposedly slightly better schools. They have 40 years ahead of them of ghastly commutes to work so why spoil their early years in this way!
Haughty new one? She's only been there three weeks. As a parent I've found her warm and engaging. Definitely not haughty. Are you parent too tboyd?
How do you think the school will change under her jinnybag?
way too early to tell tess73 - she's only just arrived. But early signs are that she's fired up, warm and inspiring. She's made her presence known in both senior and junior.
Just popping in here to second jinnybag!
I have two - very happy - dds at LEH and must say my impression of the new head is very positive. She seems warm and approachable and also seems to possess plenty of common sense. The general impression I get from other parents is also positive.
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