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Which independent school?

(17 Posts)
carrie74 Tue 02-Feb-16 13:46:01

DD has just had offer letters through for secondary schools.

School 1 is small, selective, but supportive of learning difficulties, in top 250 of indie schools for GCSE, and she's been offered a scholarship.

School 2 is large, super-selective, in top 100, no scholarship.

We also have DS who will be coming up in 2 years. Less of all rounder, ASD (but v high functioning). Both schools assure us they have ASD experience (especially the super-selective, which says they have a lot of ASD pupils, some with significant news compared to DS).

What would you do?

carrie74 Tue 02-Feb-16 13:46:34

needs not news

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 13:47:15

How small & how large?

carrie74 Tue 02-Feb-16 13:57:30

In total (including junior schools and sixth form) approx 500 and 1000

RougeNoirNails Tue 02-Feb-16 14:10:30

Would you consider sending DD and DS to different schools?

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 14:11:10

How many without junior?

Ds goes to a school of approx 700 (1000 including junior). I find this an idea number. It's seen as a small school compared to the local state schools. Everyone is treated as an individual

Dd goes to a tiny school of just over 200) (250 including junior). In some aspects it's too small but it specialises in her area of interest & she has a bursary. Every single child/member of staff knows every single individual in the school.

Both my DC have an asd.

carrie74 Tue 02-Feb-16 14:12:20

RNN, we'd rather not. Our decision was based on co-ed schools. With Dh working long hours, and me working 75%, trying to juggle different school diaries isn't something we want to do. Both schools are also quite a commute (30-60 mins depending on traffic).

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Feb-16 14:13:40

My ds would struggle with the pressure of a super selective.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 02-Feb-16 14:16:06

The closest school.

I drive and it can take me 20mins on a good run but more often it is 40mins. It is tedious in the extreme especially when the school has a long school day and Saturday matches.

carrie74 Tue 02-Feb-16 14:20:18

Small school has a max of 60 in a year at senior level, so a maximum of 420 (currently is full in Y7, but small 6th form).

Large school has approx 150 admissions a year which seems consistent throughout the school (but means my numbers don't add up...). Actually, another report says 1200 pupils in total, so maybe it's about 1000 in senior school.

The local state school is about 1100 (senior school and 6th form only), so large school is on a par with that.

For reference, their primary school is small, rural, only 140 children, with mixed year classes.

fleurdelacourt Tue 02-Feb-16 14:25:17

there are too many variables here?

which one is your gut saying to go for? The scholarship sounds attractive but if it's only very small financially then should not influence your decision IMO.

I'd also say that deciding on a school for them both now is a tricky one - however bright your son, if the larger school is truly super-selective (what does that mean in the context of an independent school?) then there is no guarantee they would offer him a place?

Ladymuck Tue 02-Feb-16 14:40:01

"trying to juggle different school diaries isn't something we want to do"

I have had mine in separate prep schools (to get the school that suited the child), and rejoiced greatly when they went to the same senior school (which has less than 1000 pupils). However my rejoicing was very short lived. They have different interests, and are in different teams playing fixtures at different times. Their instruments quite often mean that they're in different ensembles and therefore different concerts. And whilst at least term dates are the same, many school residential trips are outside of termtime, usually just as term finishes, so even there we are not in sync as they study different languages/prefer different sports etc so have different trips.

Also children become young people quite fast, and become therefore more independent. They can manage their own diaries.

So I would be cautious as to whether having them at the same school is the bonus that you expect, especially as they sound as if they are very different characters in some ways. Especially if looking at boys schools could result in an even better fit for ds.

lapsedorienteerer Tue 02-Feb-16 17:51:35

I agree with MrsCB. Distance is crucial, closest is best.

AuntieStella Tue 02-Feb-16 17:54:16

What is the sibling policy? The more selective the school, the less strong it is (generally).

Which school does your DD actually want to go to?

EmbroideryQueen Tue 02-Feb-16 19:08:37

What are the class sizes in each school? Other factors such as GCSE / A level options? Number of staff in SEN departments? Extra curriculars?

I'd be tempted to pick the less selective one as you can't be 100% certain DS will get in to the super selective or thrive there.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 02-Feb-16 19:27:06

Yes, roadworks have just made my return journey an hour. So tedious.

Well done to your DD on getting the offers though smile

Cookingwine Tue 02-Feb-16 19:28:53

My DS goes in a super selective school and is having a superb education. Both DDs are still at primary in a non selective through school and the difference in the quality of teaching is remarkable. I would go for the best academic school your DCs can get in.

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