Academic scholarship at City of London or Hampton?

(75 Posts)
Bazelle Fri 20-Feb-15 21:57:40

My son got his heart set into Hampton, which he was offered a place at last week but now, completely out of the blue he got an academic scholarship at City. The difference in money is substantial, around £6000 per year. We are academics, and gave 2 younger children that we would love to send to private school as well. My head says City all the way, but he is now having a fit. I think he is scared about having to take the tube to go to City, instead of the cosy coach ride to Hampton. At Hampton we would have to give up on our cleaner, he couldn't go to the expensive trips etc. it is a no brainer but I don't know how to sell it to him.

Waitingandhoping2015 Fri 20-Feb-15 22:58:19

That's a very tricky situation you find yourself in. I don't know City at all. Do City have an open day for those with offers to have a look round? I think you need to go to that and try and sell it to him so the decision appears to him at least to be his decision. There's always a bit of bribery too! Last thing you want though is resentment from him in a few years time when the terrible teenager tells you that you forced him to go to a school that he didn't want to go to etc. Not sure what else to add, you've got an interesting predicament...

Gracegrapecherry Sat 21-Feb-15 03:24:20

Have you been to City? i think that you should send your child to a place where he wants to go.

SouthLondonParent Sat 21-Feb-15 07:16:11

We have a very similar dilemma. An Academic Scholarship at an excellent school and a normal offer at my DC's preferred (also excellent) school. I have come round to the fact that you have to go with their preferred choice as you have to look at where they want to spend their next 7 (crucial) years. They are the ones that have to do the journey (and I certainly wouldn't want to travel into London on the tube daily for school!). A scholarship offer is a wonderful achievement (and one they will also always have to their name) but kudos aside, you must have applied for the schools fully expecting to pay full fees.
Another thing to consider is how much extra pressure your DS will be under to remain at the top of the year group if he is an Academic Scholar - not to be under-estimated in an already highly selective environment where the variation of ability is very narrow. That on top of a busy commute into the city each day may not lead to the happiest of experiences.
I accept it's a "head and heart" dilemma, but ultimately at 11, I think you have to let them take a big part in that decision.

Eastpoint Sat 21-Feb-15 07:25:29

Is he sporty? Can you tell Hampton that he has been offered an academic scholarship at CLSB and this is making the decision difficult? I think it might be worth telling them on the chance they make an offer. Do either of you travel into central London each day? Will you be able to go with him when he first starts? Is he someone who will get fed up with having to catch a coach to & from school when he's in the 6th form? What about concerts/matches? How will you get to them (either school)?

Seriouslyffs Sat 21-Feb-15 07:28:05

Definitely tell Hampton about the City offer.

Bazelle Sat 21-Feb-15 07:38:59

Interesting. We were wondering if there was room to negotiate with Hampton. He is extremely sporty, A team material for football I believe, which is why we chose football schools in the first place.

Bazelle Sat 21-Feb-15 07:38:59

Interesting. We were wondering if there was room to negotiate with Hampton. He is extremely sporty, A team material for football I believe, which is why we chose football schools in the first place.

SouthLondonParent Sat 21-Feb-15 07:52:37

Another thing to consider with CLBS if he is sporty is that the sports grounds are in SE London, which I assume is not that convenient for you given you have applied to Hampton.
Also interested to hear about speaking to the school about "negotiating" with a Scholarship offer, does this actually work with the more selective schools?

Eastpoint Sat 21-Feb-15 08:10:40

No harm in telling them - nothing ventured nothing gained. LEH academic scholarships aren't worth much, I don't know if Hampton are the same. My friend thought it would cover taxis. As you have 3 children & this is the oldest & he's sporty I'd really think about the practicalities of going to watch him play. Do you want to drive up & down the A316 or to City's grounds? Have a look at the City fixture list on their website & see how many matches are home & when they start. 8am on a Saturday morning in Dulwich (or wherever their grounds are) would require a big effort if you live in Kew, Chiswick or Ealing.

Eastpoint Sat 21-Feb-15 08:19:58

I'm clearly over invested in this but another thought - boys travel from Southgate, Beckenham etc to get to CLSB. If he's sporty he's probably sociable, if he gets in a Friday Night Fives team with his school friends can you pick him up from West Hampstead at 6:30pm? At least with Hampton you know there are other boys from the area from the coach. It says on the website their pitches are at Grove Park in SE London but younger boys are brought back to school by midday after Saturday matches.

SouthLondonParent Sat 21-Feb-15 08:36:09

As I'm sure you are already aware Bazelle, CLBS sports grounds are over in Eltham - miles away from SW/W London - you may have to get him there and collect him each Saturday morning for fixtures - certainly something to consider with 2 other younger DC.
I think I am going to mention my DC's Academic Scholarship - as you say Eastpoint nothing ventured nothing gained, although I wouldn't want them to think we weren't happy with the offer already given and set a negative impression - important to keep in perspective that our DC have done well to receive offers (let alone Scholarships) to highly selective schools anyway!

SouthLondonParent Sat 21-Feb-15 08:41:59

Sorry, x-post with Eastpoint, I should have refreshed before posting! You will still need to trek into Central London on a Saturday lunchtime though to pick him up - Hampton may be a far preferable location for you?

Bazelle Sat 21-Feb-15 09:31:13

All valid points. Hampton is easier and more reassuring from a safety point of view, with the coach, no doubt about it. Austerity measures will have to be implemented in our household and I can start tutoring our 7 yo for Tiffin smile

Poisonwoodlife Sat 21-Feb-15 09:54:36

Have you and your DS visited CLSB, and met Sarah Fletcher, she is a remarkable Head, thoughtful, inspiring and charismatic. I completely agree with all the practical points made here but I do think you have to balance them against the financial impact and the fact that I am sure Sarah Fletcher will take CLSB in exciting new directions. I would visit both schools, they will have lots of parents in the same predicament, explain the situation to Hampton, and particularly ask where other boys will be travelling from to CLSB etc. a difficult journey can be made so different by being with friends. Those coaches are fun in Year 7, but by Year 10 the novelty of being with loud younger kids wears off, and they no longer run after rehearsals, after school matches etc. standing at a cold dark bus stop in Hanworth Road is no more fun or safe (possibly less safe) than the tube. I have certainly shared the District line with a crowd of CLS boys who seemed to be enjoying each other's company, and without putting everyone else's hackles up.

Ultimately I do think it has to be their decision, but I think you do need to do some more investigation first, so he has all the information he needs.

emptycoffeepot Sat 21-Feb-15 10:03:17

For what it's worth, one of DS offers is also an academic scholarship at a school further away from us. Green, nice grounds, he liked it. But it's just over an hour's travel each way. Somewhat torn too. Liked the HT and money off would help. But I also know the travel time, over 7 years, would be demanding. Traffic in SW London terrible. Co-curricular stuff and being involved as parents would be harder. And he is less likely to make friends who might live locally. We're likely to turn it down and go for non-scholarship place or Tiffin.

farewelltoarms Sat 21-Feb-15 10:17:47

Time wise what's the difference in journey times?

I presume you're factoring in the cost of the coach.

It's all very well people saying that you have to go with his preference, but personally I'd feel really resentful at the extra cleaning this would lead to. Esp since his preference is prob based in part because he got offered a place a whole week before so had given his heart already.

Marni23 Sat 21-Feb-15 10:30:52

When DS did the 11+ a couple of years ago we got 2 scholarship offers and 2 full fee offers. At the post-offer meeting at one of the full fee schools the bursar had a chat with us and said (unprompted by us ) that she knew that DS had received scholarship offers elsewhere, that he'd done very well in their entrance exam but that the vast majority of their scholarships were attached to bursaries (true) which we didn't qualify for.

I've often wondered if this was a lucky guess based on his performance in the exam, or if the schools share scholarship information to stop people from playing them off against each other (I know this isn't true in your case OP!).

So I think it's definitely worth a conversation with Hampton, but it's possible that they already know about the City scholarship offer.

In the end we went with the offer at that school because we felt it would be the best fit for DS. We've never regretted it although I do very occasionally think about the money we'd have saved if we'd taken up one of the scholarships (usually when the fee invoice comes in!)

Needmoresleep Sat 21-Feb-15 11:01:59

Depending on journey times and where you live there is real advantage in going to a school on the tube network. You can arrive and leave when you want, important if you get involved in school plays etc. Also as you get towards sixth form all your friends will live near tube stations. You might spend a lot of time travelling on the Piccadilly line, but both DS and mum-taxi achieve independence earlier.

Ask City how many boys will come from his or nearby post codes. DD travelled in with just one other girl, but that was enough.

SouthLondonParent Sat 21-Feb-15 11:39:21

I understand from a friend with a son at Hampton that the school has started doing an after school shuttle bus to Hampton BR Station (shared with LEH) to cater for children with after school clubs that miss the school bus. I also must say that having commuted into Central London on busy trains for many years, I personally see nothing positive or appealing about it - particularly for an 11 year old!

amidaiwish Sat 21-Feb-15 11:45:46

the Hampton line is the Shepperton-Waterloo line... via kingston, wimbledon, it is very slow and painful! twice hourly service...

SouthLondonParent Sat 21-Feb-15 12:43:46

Yes, I know it stops everywhere, but that's actually more useful for the children who are travelling to and from the school within a certain radius. Most children won't want to be going much further into London than Wimbledon, which is only c25 mins on the train. I imagine the shuttle buses will set off with the train timetable in mind to limit hanging around at the station.
The commute into Central London for the OP's son may be very quick and easy which also needs to be factored in. It's a tough dilemma to be faced with - I am also facing a similar scenario so really do empathise.

amidaiwish Sat 21-Feb-15 12:51:52

has your son been to open days etc at CLSB?

i know dd was completely sold on her school of choice and rejected outright another. she was adamant. the fact is she hadn't even been to see the other school. they can be funny at 10. get their heart set on something, then get it and won't see reason.

in your position i would
a) talk to hampton. make it clear the £ is the only thing swaying you to CLSB and your son is unhappy about it.
b) explain the situation to CLSB and see what they suggest, that your son has his heart set on hampton. i am sure they can be very persuasive if they get a chance

frontpaw Sat 21-Feb-15 12:53:17

How old is he?

Bazelle Sat 21-Feb-15 13:14:00

He is 11 now

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