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Tearing my hair out over State boarding

(288 Posts)
Teddingtonmum1 Thu 03-Oct-13 23:30:22

As I'm a single mum with a demanding job , I have decided to look into state boarding preferably weekly if I can get my ds a place . Christs hospital is my number 1 choice due to the bursary and it's a great school ( my brother is an old blue so slightly biased ) am also looking at RAAs in Reigate and Gordon's in Woking got open days at both saturday and next thursday out of the 2 would prefer Gordon's as a fall back if we cant get into CH , but have been advised that I can claim tax credits towards the 'childcare ' bill .

Have quizzed Gordon's as to chances of getting in I live in teddington so the right side of London but they said it obviously depends on siblings etc .( no really fair if you only have one can see why there's sibling priority in primary but not at secondary as kids get themselves to school but those are the rules ) am a little hopeful to read someone got in last year from east London ? any thoughts about gordons ??? im just about tearing my hair out as need a boarding place otherwise my sond going to be forced to become a latch key kid which I don't want HELP !!!!

difficultpickle Fri 04-Oct-13 18:40:51

You may be better off reposting with the schools you are interested in in the subject heading.

Ladymuck Fri 04-Oct-13 19:56:30

Sorry, but are you seriously telling me that you can't see the benefit for siblings being together in a boarding school at secondary?

In terms of admission to the schools, you need to be clear as to whether you are applying as a day boarder (when you need to live on the doorstep) or as a full/weekly boarder. As I read the criteria for full boarding, the assessment is about whether your child needs to board, and your location is irrelevant.

nessus Fri 04-Oct-13 20:02:26

OP, have you spent extended periods of time away from
your son? I ask as the idea of sending your child away is one thing but the reality is quite another...

JWIM Fri 04-Oct-13 20:23:28

OP - have you looked at Lord Wandsworth (Farnham/Odiham Hants area) so down the M3 from home. They have a ?bursaries for children who have a lone parent 9make a point of this in their literature) and do weekly boarding.

LIZS Sat 05-Oct-13 07:51:54

How old is your ds ? The distance criteria is a bit of a red herring . You can live quite close by and still only be offered a full boarding place but RAAS also take for outside UK.

JenaiMorris Sat 05-Oct-13 10:20:52

What are you doing for childcare now? Bear in mind that journeys to/from secondary school are generally a lot longer than at primary - he might only be home alone for an hour.

I'm not knocking boarding, just suggesting it might not be entirely necessary.

Clavinova Sat 05-Oct-13 10:34:57

You should take a look at Reed's School in Cobham too.

Teddingtonmum1 Sat 05-Oct-13 17:25:35

Thanks for the info JWIM & clavinova will have a look at those. Have discounted RAAS at the moment as they don't offer any bursaries and even though it's discounted board only fees I would still have to find £8-1000 PCM which is going to be a big stretch.

The primary his at now has wrap around care until 6pm which is not going to be available in secondary

mummytime Sat 05-Oct-13 17:34:10

I would suggest you also look into proper independent Boarding schools, some offer really good Bursaries. (Maybe Reeds? depends on your exact circumstances.)

mummytime Sat 05-Oct-13 17:35:15

Oh BTW my DCs school offer a Home work club until 5 pm, and actually at 11+ a lot of kids are quite capable of being "home alone" for a while.

RandomMess Sat 05-Oct-13 17:38:17

I was very happy with CH, went to look at Gordon's for 6th form and was very impressed. I think their full boarding places are allocated seperately to day boarders? Is it full boarding that you are wanting there?

RandomMess Sat 05-Oct-13 17:39:47

Also with CH please be realistic with the bursary, if you have a high %age rent or mortgage you will find it very expensive. I think it is only 12.5% of gross income that they allow as deductable for rent/mortgage...

Teddingtonmum1 Sat 05-Oct-13 18:00:21

Hi randomness this is my issue with CH i have received no indication of what bursary we might be awarded which basically we could go thru all this ie exams , residential , interview and then not be able to afford it !! Which I think is very unfair on the children as they effectively have done their part and still not be able to take the place which would be devastating. So am looking at Gordon's just case , we have an open morning in 2 weeks which I'm looking forward to as they do weekly boarding which might be better then at least I get to see him every week.

RandomMess Sat 05-Oct-13 18:07:30

There is an "unofficial Christ's Hospital" Forum, very helpful people on there - they may be able to give you and idea of what sort of fees or how the structure works at the moment. It used to be published but then it wasn't...

Would having an au pair not work for you?

Labro Sat 05-Oct-13 18:13:02

How old is ds? Reeds close their registration for 11+ in the November of your ds year 6 and test in the January. They also don't advise bursary amounts until after a place is offered. It would be worth you making a list of any independent schools that may be suitable and checking when they close registration and depending on your ds age contacting the bursars to see what they may have available. Its also worth remembering that even indie day schools often don't finish until 6pm or later.

Teddingtonmum1 Sat 05-Oct-13 18:19:26


Have been on the forum but it doesnt seem to be very active they used to have a ready reckoner for fees but they have these situation tables which don't seem to fit into anyone's situation !! . I'm sure there are going to be some parents who will have to pull out due to cost and it seems a complete waste of time not only for the parents and children but the school as well. It's like buying a car and not knowing how much it costs until delivery !!.

Teddingtonmum1 Sat 05-Oct-13 18:26:17

My ds is 10 so year 6 is working at the bottom of level 5 in maths and English so not outstanding but not in the bottom which actually puts him in the squashed middle so to speak.

He took the Sutton grammar test but didn't get thru but I think that was more him being terrified and it was his first proper exam situation so he was a bit freaked out on the day. But you just get a in or out so no indication if he just missed the cut off or was way off the mark.

derektheladyhamster Sat 05-Oct-13 18:31:03

The forum is inactive because no one new asks a question! grin post one and everyone comes out of the woodwork to answer grin

My ds2 is sitting the initial exams in a couple of weeks for CH, my ds1 is currently in yr 9.

But as generous as the bursery is, I still struggle to find the cash sad

Labro Sat 05-Oct-13 18:35:18

Ah ok, Reeds recommend that the boys are working at level 5, similarly my ds took RGS guildford exam but didn't get through. CH is very difficult to work out bursaries, plus were you aware that they expect both parents to sign the admission forms etc.
It may be worth contacting Reeds, they are really helpful (ds has just done the 13+ pretest so bit biased but have found them very willing to discuss situations)

RandomMess Sat 05-Oct-13 18:35:43

derek sad

When mine started it was the old system, and fortunately our mortgage was about 15% of gross income.

I do find it odd when some people have very very expensive homes with lots of equity over £500k and moan about the fees when they do have the option in life to move further out or into a smaller home/cheaper area to free up equity!

It is definitely a financial sacrifice to send your dc to CH and as with all boarding I only did as a last resort due to the local school being SO bad at that time.

Teddingtonmum1 Sat 05-Oct-13 18:40:13

Ok will give it a go!!!

This is what I'm terrified about is getting thru all this and have to turn it down, his father who is not in support of him applying to CH is refusing to contribute so it's all on me.

I went to the open day last week and admissions seemed very reluctant to talk numbers despite a number of parents voicing the same concerns I've worked out I would realistically need a min of 70% bursary which I don't know would be avalible, we do live in the old borough of twickenham which means we might be able to apply for the wests gift but not sure what that entails if anything financially

RandomMess Sat 05-Oct-13 18:44:35

Wests Gift if I remember correctly entitles you to a 50% discount off your fees (ie after bursary).

If your ex contributed you would have to declare that anyway and the fees payable would go up accordingly!

So local school and Au Pair out of the question?

Teddingtonmum1 Sat 05-Oct-13 18:46:03

Re consent I am having to go to court and get a specific issue order to get the courts to allow him to go if a place is offered it just stuns me as why a parent would deprive their child of such an opportunity but it's more of a control issue so hopefully the judge will side with me his father has this idea about boarding schools but despite being invited refused to come to an open day to see for himself so you can see what kind of person I'm working with. We all have our crosses to bear I guess .....

Labro Sat 05-Oct-13 18:50:57

I'm a single mum too, I was told explicitly that they could take a registration form with just my signature, but should ds be successful then the bursary application form and the admissions forms would HAVE to be completed by both parents. Ds father would not support anything like that so it became a complete non starter.
There are boarding and indie schools who will understand if you are honest about the lack of support from his father, others are stuck in the middle ages and expect 2 signatures to even accept registration. Its something you have to know their stance on as there would be nothing worse than gaining a place only for a bursary application to be refused because your ex won't sign.

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