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Dunottar/ Reigate Grammar - Merger, or what?

(1000 Posts)
quandry Thu 31-Jan-13 20:56:08

Got the letter today, and I have to say I don't really understand what is going on?
Is RGS bailing out Dunottar to save it going under?
I can't see the advantages for RGS at all?

Someone suggested that perhaps they'd make it co-ed, less academic school in the future (like a Box Hill in Reigate?) and share facilities more? (Sports fields closer than Hartswood?)

Bellie Wed 06-Feb-13 20:16:30

Hope this doesn't out me (!)

Currently it is a consultation process for Dunottar to become part of the RGS group of schools. It will continue to run as a separate entitity within the group, as RSM does at the moment, but will benefit from shared processes and purchasing power. The deal has not been signed yet and any agreement will not come into force until September of this year.

Yes, it is proposed to close up to year 4 (current year 3 iyswim) and whilst obvioulsy nothing is signed they have decided to tell everyone this early so that there is an opportunity for them either to transfer automatically to RSM or to find other schools for their girls.

The plan is that Dunottar will continue as single sex from years 5 upwards as of September.

MrsStoat - I really do feel for you, as you had obviously made a choice that you were happy with. I don't think RSM have any spaces in year 3 now, but there was also talk of adding an extra class if necessary so may be worth asking them that?

MrsStoat Wed 06-Feb-13 22:00:16

Thanks for your message Bellie. We also heard that there may be an extra form at RSM - we're going to follow that one up. Fingers crossed!

fizza54 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:25:02

As the parent of a girl in Dunottar School, I’m quite offended by the comment that Dunottar is not academic. Yes, Dunottar has a wider range of ability than RGS, but the exam results speak for themselves: last year, they had 96% pass rate at GCSE, 54% with A*/A grades. At A’ Level, they had 100% pass rate and 61% of the students had A*-B.

They also have girls who go to Oxford and Cambridge – in fact, one of the current Upper Sixth has recently been offered a place at Oxford University. They produce girls who become lawyers, doctors, scientists, news presenters and international performers. I am proud that my daughter attends Dunottar and do not think that this is an appropriate forum for scurrilous gossip.

Bloom10 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:40:38

I support fizza54 and Bellie. I too am a parent of daughters at Dunottar and my understanding is that it is not a merger (despite what is being said around Reigate). It is a proposed collaboration/affiliation. RGS would not be taking over Dunottar. It is a cost-cutting exercise at the higher levels for both schools. One of Dunottar's greatest strengths is the way that it nurtures the best in all its students whether this be academic, sport or music, etc. From my own experience, I have seen the progress may daughters have made in terms of their academic standards and all-round confidence.

Lysette84 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:33:32

I have to agree with the above posters. As a proud ex pupil of Dunottar, I feel that the comments made about the school is less academic are completely wrong. I achieved As and A*s at GCSE and As at A Level in the Sciences. Without the support and encouragement of the fantastic staff at Dunottar I can say without any doubt I would not have achieved these grades anywhere else. When I arrived I was a shy student who struggled with English, I was predicted a D in English when I arrived, based on my KS2 scores, I left with 2 As! I have gone on to achieve a degree in the biological sciences from a top University and other postgraduate qualifications. As my current position requires me to speak in public regularly I value the experiences that I gained at Dunottar and the support that they provided me, which allowed me to develop into a confident woman. If you are looking for a school in Reigate for your daughter please visit Dunottar and make up your own mind about what they have to offer.grin

soph21 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:12:21

I believe Micklefield has spaces in Y1 and Y2. It also says on their website that there is an Open Day on 16th March, maybe worth a look!

LIZS Fri 08-Feb-13 08:16:24

Personally I wouldn't wait for an official open day. By then others will be doing similar if they sense the majority will be looking for alternatives to what is being offered and also people who may be nervous about LA allocations (especially in Reigate) . When Laverock in Oxted "merged" with Hazelwood other local schools put on extra visiting sessions specifically for those parents affected. Aberdour may be another worth consideration.

nononsense1 Sun 10-Feb-13 16:32:40

Dunottar is a brilliant school and speak very highly of them. Even back in the early stages of where to put my daughter reigate st marys was a no no and so was micklefield. Dunottar totally different, very friendly and completely different atmosphere. I feel offended on the previous comments made about Dunottar. Daughter in seniors and even now wouldnt move her. Look at the results , they speak for themselves. Stick together dunottar people! Dont listen to them coffee morning mums.

fish456 Sun 10-Feb-13 16:50:07

I agree nononsense1. As an ex parent of Dunottar & RGS I would back Dunottar any day. Both my daughters gained amazing GCSE & A levels & have both gone on to carve brilliant careers with 1 daughter at Oxford. My son, having been at RGS since lower 1st did not receive this level of support. I would urge all parents to look at what Dunottar has to offer, it is the best & most caring school around, if they had taken boys that is where my son would have been, & I know that I am not the only parent who feels this way.

nononsense1 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:08:49

Thank you fish456. Well said. Heres to Dunottar!

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 18:18:22

Come across several present and past pupils, some of whom have sent their own dd's there, who speak enthusiastically. However none of that changes the fact that despite upping their profile locally with ad campaigns and more frequent open days, they have not attracted enough new interest to survive at primary level. It isn't as much about academic standards and aspirations as having full enough classes to continue to generate a positive experience for all and maintain those standards. Current economic climate and a trend towards co-ed (there are now no local boys' schools) has taken its toll.

nononsense1 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:00:47

Think everybody forgetting Reigate St Marys were in the poo back in 2003 with very small numbers. We will survive! Put it this way if Dunottar were to change their name to Reigate Grammar School for Girls everyone would fly back. Lets hope Dunottar keeps its name . Love you Dunottar School. Reigate Grammar getting rather big headed in all this that may have something to do with the fact they have 900 pupils and Dunottar 200. !

Bloom10 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:05:24

In response to LIZS, we need to look forward and I support wholeheartedly the education provided by the Senior School at Dunottar. There is a need for girls only education in Reigate and in the Senior school there are many supportive parents. I have seen firsthand the benefits of girls only and I hope that Reigate parents will begin to see the value too. RGS is a very good school in its own right but having lived in Reigate for over 10 years it is very sad that many Reigate parents only believe that rgs is the school to send their children to in Reigate and dismiss Dunottar when most of them have not even bothered to view the product for themselves.

nononsense1 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:13:07

Great response Bloom 10. Your right. For some reason Reigate mums do seem to think Reigate Grammar is the best option. BUT who do they rely on when their little darlings do not cut the mustard for RGS. Yes Dunottar. Good enough then ! Over half do not get in! Got to laugh !

fizza54 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:34:01

Dunottar does amazing things with girls of a range of abilities. It's such a shame that the coffee morning mums brand the Dunottar as inferior simply because it doesn't cream off students like RGS. Saying that, Dunottar does have exceptionally bright students as well and...did you know that ALL OF LAST YEAR'S UPPER SIXTH AT DUNOTTAR GOT INTO THEIR FIRST CHOICE UNIVERSITY? THAT'S WITH A _WIDER RANGE OF ABILITY THAN RGS! Poor RGS can't boast the same! grin

nononsense1 Mon 11-Feb-13 08:35:28

Watch this space! It will all sort itself out. Maybe the reigate mums could offer their services as a governor to help the situation rather than idle gossip in costa coffee lol.

Bellie Mon 11-Feb-13 09:42:19

I am so pleased to see Dunottar mums rallying behind the proposed changes, the academic record does speak for itself and I am certainly pleased with my choice of school.
I have looked at other schools prior to choosing Dunottar, and then again when I had my ds. There is nothing anywhere locally that offers the same experience - education and pastoral as Dunottar. I have no shame in admitting I blubbed for hours when I realised that I would not be able to provide ds with the same experience that my daughter is getting!

Totally agree with those that are saying that the Reigate mums need to stop the idle speculation - unless they have experienced it for themselves, they really have no grounds for the degoratory comments that they use when talking about Dunottar or the girls that attend the school.

It is a shame that they were not able to keep the juniors afloat for a little while longer. They actually had a full intake for reception from Sept 13, so the marketing/open days were working, it just needed slightly longer given the economic downturn.

This has hit every school, even RSM and Micklefield and Hawthornes - funny how they all have spaces when you ring round, even though the word in Reigate is that they have waiting lists. I have personally known a number joining all these schools across a number of year groups - it is not always rosy everywhere else either!

fizza54 Mon 11-Feb-13 15:25:46

I think that it’s great that everyone’s rallying around to dispel these myths about Dunottar. I’ve put a lot of work into responding to the other mumsnet discussion thread called Reigate Grammar vs Dunottar. Would someone like to visit it? I’ve put a lot of time into researching my responses and I’d like a rest!!!!

nononsense1 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:59:54

Glad to see a lot of positives on here about Dunottar . Have to do my mystery shopping in the cafes ! I would be truly gutted if I had to go to RSM for the juniors, wasn't my first choice back then so to have to be forced out would be horrible. Rather go to LND.

ma4life Sun 17-Feb-13 16:50:34

Dunottar has an amazingly nurturing and caring environment. I hope it manages to stay independent of RGS as a hot house environment does not suit everybody and Dunnotar got amazing results for my daughter who would not have thrived elsewhere.

JulesRed Fri 22-Feb-13 23:46:53

Just want to echo all the support for Dunottar School. I have one daughter in the senior school and I didn't even bother sitting her for the RGS entrance exam because, having viewed both schools, I preferred the naturing atmosphere that it offered and wasn't keen on RGS. I am aware that there is quite alot of snobbery as far as the RGS v Dunottar question is concerned which I get a bit sick of hearing really. Dunottar is a fantastic school and if prize giving was anything to go by, there are loads of girls who get As and A star at GCSE. I do hope that the new collaboration with RGS doesn't destroy its ethos! And my advice for those who are in the junior school and looking at options.............. try the state sector! There are plenty of great schools in this area and worth a look.

nononsense1 Mon 13-Jan-14 17:34:31

What a delightful lot those girls are at Reigate Grammar. Reports of picking on girls coming over from Dunottar. Never will be as friendly as Dunottar School. Maybe the Costa Coffee mums should teach their children a few manners!

nononsense1 Mon 13-Jan-14 17:35:59

I think everyone forgets they get kicked out in sixth form if they don't perform… 25 wasn't it!

Bellie Mon 13-Jan-14 21:21:33

nonsense1 - sounds about the right figure and now the chinese students that came into the sixth form have left!

bookluva Tue 14-Jan-14 10:53:36

Why is that? (I'm being nosy!)

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