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Can someone please tell me some good things about Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH) school ?

(19 Posts)
modified Mon 19-May-14 11:19:28

We are in the process of selecting independent schools for our DD to sit her 11+ exams. According to her teachers, DD is a bright girl and would be well suited to an academic school. But, we would rather select the schools we feel are best suited to our DD (with her input ofcourse) rather than making her sit exams at too many schools. Currently our thinking is to sit her for around three school exams.

One of the schools we have been considering is LEH. However, speaking to current parents at the school we have been really disappointed with the reputation of the school. Whilst no-one can deny their academic credentials and excellent facilities, I have yet to meet anyone who has got positive things to say about their pastoral care etc. All I have heard is stories about bullying, highly pressurised hot house environment, competitive girls and more so competitive parents, high numbers of children being tutored to get through exams or perform at top of their class. And this is all from parents currently at the school. Perhaps I have just been unlucky and spoken to parents who may have had bad experiences at the school. Whilst I appreciate that high performing girls school and not without problems of this sort I just want to know that these concerns are not endemic in the school. I did visit the school and I cannot quite put my finger on it, but there was "something" that did not sit right with me after having spoken to teachers and students alike. I am going to go and view the school again with DH.

In contrast, similar performing schools such as Guildford High, Wimbledon/Putney High, CLGS etc come with fantastic reputations from current and past parents. I just want my daughter to have a great time at a school (whilst learning) and remember her time there with fondness. I really do not want to dismiss the school from our choices and would love to hear from parents who have first hand recent experience of the school (good or bad !).

Realhousewifeofealing Mon 19-May-14 16:36:57

you are 12 months behind me in the process and we are sending our daughter to LEH this september- believe me, I would not be sending her there if I had worries such as yours.

Every single school has issues, whatever they may be - there is no such thing as a perfect just have to choose the one that feels right for you. We turned down schools such as putney high for good reasons - its impossible to say that 'everyone' thinks a school is 'fantastic' just depends who you talk to. LEH gets a new head this sept who comes highly recommended from Wimbledon High and I have great hopes for her and what she will do for the school. I wish you lots of luck but please make your own mind up based on your visits and what your daughter thinks and feels.......

Beingfrank Mon 19-May-14 16:51:16

My daughter has had a very happy time there, and is now in 6th form. She has lovely friends.

My advice to you would be that there are a lot of options out there for girls, and if you only want to apply to three schools, then why bother applying to a school that you aren't 100% happy with?

modified Mon 19-May-14 20:21:09

Thanks Realhousewifeofealing for your reassurances. You are correct, indeed no school will tick all the boxes 100% of the time. I guess it ultimately come down to which school is right for my DD and obviously whether she gets through the exams in the first place. My concern is that I have only heard negatives about LEH for the most part - perhaps parents are just being truthful in their feelings about the school and is not necessarily the views shared by other parents.

Beingfrank - great to hear that your DD has had a great time there and made lovely friends. This again is re-assuring. Whilst I don't want to limit the schools we apply for, I know how much pressure can be placed on our children for 11+ and I am keen not to overwhelm my DD with the exam process though I am positive she can cope given her personality in such cases. I don't want to dismiss LEH based on opinions of "some" parents so always good to hear others views. But again, at the end of the day the decision has to be based on what school is best suited to DD so thanks for your feedback ! Much appreciated.

Beingfrank Mon 19-May-14 20:41:20

Re-reading my message to you it comes across as rather flippant. What I meant was that depending on exactly where you live there are likely to be a lot of options for girls, including the excellent co-eds. if you have time to visit them all, you will be able to form a view of which ones you think are a good fit for your daughter. If only there were as many choices for boys, which is my challenge for next January! blush

HenriettaTurkey Mon 19-May-14 20:44:02

Have you considered Tormead? I've heard good things about it there.

modified Mon 19-May-14 22:22:50

beingfrank...yes i understand what you mean about boys schools as my sister just went through the 11+ process and my nephew will be going to KCS ! We are in a fortunate position to consider schools like LEH as well as WHS, GHS etc as travel wise they are all doable for us ( no sibling issues). Henriettaturkey ....yes we have seen tormead...liked it but felt guildford high was more suited for our daughter ! Infact my DD loved Guildford High so it is a top chouce for us currently ! More london based schools are also doable but felt SPGS was not quite the right fit for DD who did not take to it although DH is still trying to keep it in the running ! We also liked WImbledon High. Focusing on girls only schools. Surbiton High was comes highly recommended but we have yet to go and see it !

pamplemoussed Tue 20-May-14 14:07:26

I have two girls at the school and am very happy indeed. We've not experienced bullying or poor pastoral care. I'd be asking the parents you have spoken to why they have not moved their children out if they think so little of it. I am very aware that the school is highly sought after in this local area and competition for entry is very high.

Locally, you do hear people denying that they are even applying there and "talking up" other similar schools, only to hear their dd is going to ..LEH. I've personally experienced this. I can only assume they were trying to put other people off applying, to lower the odds, but who can say what their motives were. I personally think it's a fantastic school and would remove my dds if I didn't. Echo poster above - looking forward to the arrival of the new head in September.

Schmedz Tue 20-May-14 19:46:06

One good thing about LEH - they are getting a new head in September who is currently Head at Wimbledon High and is fantastic.

modified Wed 21-May-14 10:18:13

Thank you all...really useful insights here. I have indeed met the head when I went to view Wimbledon High and liked her very much.

Gracegrapecherry Sun 01-Mar-15 21:19:21

The reputation is really nice - actually, I have never heard a person who said a negative comment about LEHS. It is really academic and has outstanding facilities

twicksa Tue 15-Mar-16 11:00:23

I have had two daughters at LEHS and I can personally vouch that it is a fantastic school. The new head Ms Hanbury is really approachable and the girls really like her. The academic standards are really high but the staff are very supportive and extremely well qualified. My daughter is in the amazing sixth form and I can honestly say that throughout their school years I knew if there was a problem they would spot it and let me know immediately academic or pastoral. Great sporting facilities and faultless preparation for uni and beyond.

Djoanne Sat 21-Jan-17 21:19:59

My niece goes to LEH and I have heard some awful things about the school. I do not think that they tackle bullying very well. Some staff are stuck in their ways and have lost their enthusiasm. I have also heard that some past members of staff have been bullied until they either leave or are elbowed out.

ohtobeanonymous Mon 23-Jan-17 11:43:14

I personally know of three people whose daughters have been so unhappy there that they have removed them from the school. This is both before and after the new Headmistress. All to do with poor pastoral care and bullying. Clearly these things don't happen to everyone, but when they do (as they do in every school), it seems LEH deals with them far less effectively than many other places.
All three were academic, sociable, sporty and musical. On paper it should have been the perfect school for them.
Obviously, many friends send their children to a wide variety of schools but nowhere else has this 'attrition rate'. In fact, most people have been delighted with their choice (as no doubt many other LEH parents and children are). I guess it is always a bit of a risk as so much depends on the cohort. However, schools definitely have a 'culture' which is often resistant to change, so perhaps it is taking a while for the new Head's influence to permeate the negative one at LEH.
That said, I have two other friends whose daughters thrive there. They are both extremely confident and exceptionally bright children, so maybe you have to be the 'alpha' type to do well there.

notyetpastit Mon 23-Jan-17 11:55:56

Reading your post OP it sounds as if LEH hasn't changed at all since DD2 was there 15+ years ago! It's always been a hothouse I'm afraid and I think parents have got pushier but when DD2 left to go to 6th form elsewhere she said she realised that the teaching at LEH was far better than at her new school.

We were thrilled when she passed the LEH exam but on reflection it was a very tough place to be albeit that she made some lifelong friendships while there.

nocampinghere Mon 23-Jan-17 12:10:48

the good:
teaching is very good.
kids are all bright so the level taught is high.
fantastic facilities, they have everything.
uniform is simple, comfortable and unfussy.

agapanthii Mon 23-Jan-17 13:18:54

But the uniform is about to change and go all Hogwarts-ey.. Some parents hate the current uniform so are happy to fork out for kilt and blazer. I agree with you - simple, comfortable, unfussy (cheap) all the way.

nocampinghere Mon 23-Jan-17 14:26:59

no way! really? I am amazed they are changing the uniform. There's a cool inverse snobbery about it imo.

HappyDads Sat 28-Jan-17 02:59:43

Lol - I agree on the uniform, our daughter at LEH showed me the new one and it looked cringe-worthy (but them most of them do tbh!)

I just wanted to say while I am sure there will be some bullying issues as in any school - just I really don't recognise a lot of the negatives being portrayed in the thread? Our daughter is in a good class, lots of friends around her. She is far from the alpha type, the absolute opposite really ... but she has developed so much socially, strong self-identity, quiet confidence in herself at LEH over time - without feeling she has to be the "best". So I would maybe not stereotype the type of girl who will get on well there.

It kind of goes without saying the facilities are great, and teaching generally excellent too. But outside that we'd only have positive things to say on LEH, our daughter is doing well and enjoying things ... only concern would be how many things she's doing! ... she knows that, is learning to prioritise academic, sport, music, social life with GCSEs coming up.

In terms of being a hothouse some truth, and my opinion here only, that really comes from home far more than the school. From what I am hearing and see in changes from Heather Hanbury, the school knows this 100% and are working to reduce the stress on the girls from this source (not always popular because there are a fair amount of hothouse type parents I agree). On my part, if she carries on with her music and sport because she wants to, and gets a few less A*s (only As!) at GCSE then that's fine.

Hope this helps anyone looking at LEH ... fully recognise there are lots of great schools out there, we looked at them too a few years back.

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