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Can anyone 'rank' the SW London selective schools

(188 Posts)
FlumePlume Mon 01-Feb-16 11:53:39

Inspired by the SW London thread, I was wondering if there's a generally agreed 'ranking' for selective schools in SW London? The usual advice is to go for three - a stretch, a should-get and a banker. But what does this actually mean in terms of schools? Coming from a state primary, the whole thing is very opaque.

AveEldon Mon 01-Feb-16 12:14:08

Most people are now doing 4-6 schools

Which schools are you interested in?

FlumePlume Mon 01-Feb-16 12:39:04

I have no idea! As in, I have a dd at a good state primary, no advice at all from teachers and just a general sense that St Paul's is the hardest, Wimbledon and Putney High are slightly less hard but still very tough, and that I have no idea where anything else might fit! Like Tiffin. Or some of the Sutton schools. Or some of the more West London ones. I'm trying to work out a long list for open days and general investigation, so I can narrow things down a bit, but I really don't know where to start.

That's why I was asking about ranking - I want to pick a range to look at. I think dd is bright, but then so does every other parent...

AveEldon Mon 01-Feb-16 12:52:52

What year is your DD in?

jeanne16 Mon 01-Feb-16 14:28:33

This is just my opinion and I am sure plenty will shout me down.

Probably St Paul's at the top.
Then Godolphin and Latimer, LEH and City of London
Next comes PHS and WHS
Then FH Regents Park and Surbiton High
Finally Queens Gate, Queens College, FH Sloane Square, Streatham and Clapham, More House

Tiffin is in a league of its own because it is free so probably harder than all of the above.

I have left out all the co-eds for someone else to do.

AnotherNewt Mon 01-Feb-16 14:39:50


Then all the rest, as differences have been narrowing for some time now.

You can tie yourself up in knots looking at what is 'best' or 'most academic' or 'hardest/easiest to get in to' (and the unspoken one 'which is currently fashionable').

So start with: where can your DD reach without a horrible journey to school? Do you want single sex or coed? Any other particular features you'd definitely want in a school, or would send you running for the hills?

Try not to be put off by the thread title, but this may be worth a read

isthisabigdeal Mon 01-Feb-16 14:40:02

JAGS after St P's? Although I suppose it is SE London.

AnotherNewt Mon 01-Feb-16 14:42:10

I think we cross posted!

JAGS is in an SE postcode, but because of both the 37 bus route and the Foundation coach service it's very easy to reach from across much of SW London.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 01-Feb-16 14:57:50

For girls I'd say SPGS, then G&L, LEH, City and JAGS on the same level, then PHS, then WHS, then SCHS, then Surbiton

For co-eds it'd be Alleyn's, LU, KGS and Emanuel in that order

But for each child, what's a 'banker' and what's aspirational will be different

FlumePlume Mon 01-Feb-16 15:04:53

Wow, lots I hadn't heard of! What are FH and SCHS?

Probably prefer single sex but fit is much more important. Journey wise, we are within walking distance of central Wimbledon, so quite a few transport options.

Will be back later - school run to do.

SummerMonths Mon 01-Feb-16 15:09:58

I'm similarly stumpted. What's a safe option if your child doesn't get accepted into the top tier? All I ever hear is that there are no safe options nowadays!

sayatidaknama Mon 01-Feb-16 15:15:02

I'd say G&L comes after SPGS but is above LEH. Don't know City or Jags. I know many SW London girls who have failed to get into G&L but got into LEH in last couple of years. After that it's much of a muchness now, depends how you get on on the day etc.

Tiffin definitely in league of its own due to numbers/ the fact that it's grammar.

For boys and coed in my opinion it is SPS and KCS, then Hampton and Latymer, then KGS, then Inbstock, Emmanuel etc etc.

sayatidaknama Mon 01-Feb-16 15:16:55

Summermonths, I don't think there is a safe school now for most DC.

AnotherNewt Mon 01-Feb-16 15:17:51

The thread I linked is essentially about where those who are not the top 20% go.

FH = Francis Holland (meaning the one in Sloane Square, there's also one in N London)
SCHS = Streatham and Clapham High School (another GDST school)

SummerMonths Mon 01-Feb-16 15:25:17

What about Nottinghill and Ealing?

isthisabigdeal Mon 01-Feb-16 15:46:21

Another thread about independent schools for average kids (ignore title) here too

Way off for us yet but in terms of how to get a spread of applications ours would look something like this for DD - JAGS & Alleyns as the stretchers, WHS, PHS (and maybe LEH) in the middle SCHS and Emmanuel as the safer (although also bloody tricky these days) options. Thankfully DD's prep is hopefully extending to 16 so that should give us an ultimate fall back..

AliMonkey Mon 01-Feb-16 16:11:14

Are you looking for state or private? That makes a big difference as to which schools you include in your list. PPs saying Tiffin in league of its own because state grammar seem to be forgetting eg the Sutton grammar schools. Not as hard to get into as Tiffin but still very good schools in SW London.

And personally, unless your DC is absolute top of the class material, I would also look at some non-selective options so you have a fall back school if things don't go as well as you hoped.

AveEldon Mon 01-Feb-16 16:18:33

Where does Sydenham fit vs Putney HS/ Wimbledon HS / Streatham & Clapham?

AliMonkey - there don't appear to be any non-selective private options

FlumePlume Mon 01-Feb-16 17:16:00

Looking for selective - can be state or private. At the moment, all I have to go on are Y2 SATs results and a vague sense of where she is in her class. I will also look at local state options, but they are limited (wrong religion and geography) and the two that are realistic don't have a great reputation (I need to find out if that's deserved or not).

isthisabigdeal Mon 01-Feb-16 17:40:08

AveEldon I think there has been a switch around recently and Sydenham would definitely sit below SCHS these days. Independent school League tables for 2015 A Levels put SCHS at 166 and Sydenham at 292 but more than that SCHS just seems to be a lot more in demand amongst the families I know. SCHS has had quite a lot of cash invested to improve its facilities recently so that may be why.

AliMonkey Mon 01-Feb-16 17:48:04

AveEldon - I wasn't suggesting there were non-selective private options (no idea myself as we've chosen to go the state route, as have good selective and non-selective state options close by) - just that there is never a guarantee of getting into a selective so better to have a non-selective in reserve than get no school place at all. Also, it is in my opinion often better to go for a good non-selective than a so-so selective.

I would also say, Flume, that reputations not necessarily right - we have a school near us which many think has a bad reputation because 15-20 years ago, it was a bad school. But has completely turned around. Results not comparable to a selective school, but they do well on value added and behaviour.

AveEldon Mon 01-Feb-16 18:14:33

AliMonkey - thanks, just checking I hadn't missed some amazing non selective private options.

mertonmama Mon 01-Feb-16 18:38:43

OP - you mentioned that you're Wimbledon based. Some of the school's being mentioned here are SW/W London but the commutes will be tricky.

For private I'd suggest looking at (in order of popularly perceived ranking)
SPGS - commute not great but there is early bus from the war memorial
LEH - bus from Elys but early start required
PHS - easy commute by 93 or tube
WHS - walk!
Surbiton - bus from outside Ricards or train

You could also look at Old Palace in Croydon - commute by tram. It probably sits at about the same level as Surbiton.

For the grammars the ranking is probably as follows:
Tiffin - train to Kingston then bus to school
Nonsuch - not great commute but possible and Wimbledon girls do it
Wallington - not a great commute

The grammars really are a gamble and the numbers getting through are small in most year groups. I'd definitely sit them as they're good prep for the indie exams in January - also do the Sutton mock to give you a better idea of where your DD fits in the ability range.

FlumePlume Mon 01-Feb-16 22:13:54

MertonMama Thanks! That's incredibly helpful. Are you suggesting it's better to avoid tube journeys? SPGS and G&L are fairly close to Hammersmith, which isn't that far on the District line? LEH I need to look up, no idea where it is physically, same for Old Palace.

AliMonkey I agree about reputations lagging behind the facts. I will certainly do my research.

Realhousewifeofealing Mon 01-Feb-16 22:30:58

I think if you check the most recent Times league tables LEH is ranked well above g&l

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