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Could home educated child get rejected by cetrain secondary schoold?

(17 Posts)
Leo12345 Mon 29-Feb-16 17:11:33

If a child is home educated, and the plans are to go to a secondary with high demand, like LEH or Kingston Grammar, would the fact that she was on home education and not in a primary school, somehow cause the school not to accept her?
I.e. are there any formal or informal policies, when a child could have less chances to enter a good secondary school if he/she has been home educated? For example, lack of school reports from primary school?
(This is of course regardless to the 11+ exam results).
Thanks in advance...

tiggytape Mon 29-Feb-16 17:16:21

The schools you mention are independents so aren't subject to the same rules as state schools (where of course there would be absolutely no disadvantage at all).

I suspect the answer in the private sector is that it depends on the school. Some may want to understand why a child was Home Educated (if for example the decision relates to additional needs, they may want to consider if they can meet those needs adequately). Some may be much more focused just on the entrance exam and assessments. Hopefully someone here who knows the schools might be able to say?

AnotherNewt Mon 29-Feb-16 17:32:13

I doubt there would be any disadvantage at all.

These schools see all sorts of candidates, and whereas those from preps will have beautifully written, fit for purpose head's report it's not remotely uncommon for a state school candidate to have something not tailored to private school entry, or occasionally no report provided at all.

A lot of it is down to the exam (in some schools almost exclusively so), with interview and references being used more to sort the borderline candidates or decide scholarships.

Have you actually spoken to the schools you are interested in about this?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leo12345 Mon 07-Mar-16 11:02:07

Thanks for your answers!

My daughter is only 9yrs old, we went to home education since the beginning of this school year and we are thinking of the future.

As per what people commented I deduce that private schools do not like children who were home-educated, as they require explanations why they were not sent to school.

Well, we had several good reasons why we left our school:

1. Despite being outstanding (according to Ofsted 8 yrs ago, and since no Ofsteds were done, as outstanding schools are not periodically checked), the level of teaching in our school was low. Example: for about half year during year 3, children studied times table for 2 (2x1, 2x2, 2x3...). My daughter already knew time tables up to 10x, and it took us two months to convince the teachers to have her examined and get a sticker "I know time tables".

2. The religion theme in the school was too pressing (COE school). I was astonished to know that cotton fibers are so elastic because Jesus made them so (from Science lesson). Several teachers - I am sorry to say that - were just commonly poorly educated persons!

3. The overall atmosphere in school was unpleasant. My daughter complained that children were teasing her and her friend; she learnt a lot of swear words from boys etc.

When we moved to home education we discovered how much better it is! Your child does not waste time! You can progress much faster. We have private teachers and we now have time for music and sport lessons (my daughter plays violin & piano, art lessons, ice skating and swimming). Before, when she would come back from school at 3:30 pm, she would be too tired for violin or ice skating.

Hope, we will be able to explain all this to private schools, but I am curious to know if children like my daughter who went to primary Home education because it is better, were able to get place at one of the good secondary schools.

AnotherNewt Mon 07-Mar-16 12:44:10

Yes. I know one family personally that did at that point, and a couple of others who have dipped in and out of both sectors and HEd as suited their DC.

I am not aware of any particular bias against HEd per se, but independent schools are all different, so you do need to discuss this with your target schools. If your DD passes the entrance exams well, then I really cannot image any disadvantage.

redskytonight Mon 07-Mar-16 12:48:57

I realize you are considering independent schools, but just to point out that some state secondaries have admissions criteria that favour children who went to feeder primary schools. For example, at DS's current school if you live in catchment but didn't go to a feeder primary, some years you won't get a place.

NewLife4Me Mon 07-Mar-16 12:49:58

We had no problem OP, and it was a ss specialist school that some call elite.
They were very much of the opinion if you meet our requirements you are in.
Obviously as ss it had it's own tests, in dd case auditions and they certainly weren't worried about what had gone before, just that she was at the level they wanted and she fit the school.
Mine went from H.ed to boarding too.

Of course all schools are different but as many private schools take children from abroad under different systems, I can't see on what grounds they could realistically object.

ohtobeanonymous Mon 07-Mar-16 12:56:14

I anticipate somewhere like KGS in particular would welcome an able child from a non-prep background. They pride themself on taking students from outside the independent junior school sector.

The thing that will matter most is passing entrance exams and having well-rounded interests. Perhaps you could even consider music scholarships if her standards are good on the two instruments or an art scholarship. Do beware that the independent senior school day can be very long (often 7.30am - 6pm if you have before and after school activities) so she will need to develop a bit more stamina. She may also find it tricky to re-adjust to the more formal structure of the day and having lots of others (potentially also disruptive, swearing boys and girls, no matter how 'posh' the private school!) around on a regular basis.

My friend home educates all four of her children. The eldest was accepted into an excellent grammar and lasted a year. She found commuting and the structure of the school day (and standard of teaching!) less than desirable and returned home to study. I expect she will do brilliantly in her public exams - her education program is individually tailored, she doesn't waste a lot of time commuting, and her socialising is done at church and other youth/music clubs in the community.

If you want to consider continuing HE, it is not such a silly idea, and would save you a HUGE amount of money in school fees.

Leo12345 Mon 07-Mar-16 14:16:12

Many thanks to everybody for extensive answers!
Yes, we are thinking of music scholarship and we also hope to get prepared to 11+ (perhaps even 10+) well, as we have enough time for this.

My older daughter went to private secondary and is now in sixth form of the same school, but with my little one we decided to try home ed.
(We would never think of it, but we and she really hated her school).

We are a bit afraid of continuing home education to secondary, as it seems the studies are much more serious and socializing is essential.
We just could not find any good primary around, even the private ones have waiting lists and also it is too late to receive primary school scholarship; whilst we hope to get one for the secondary school.

catslife Mon 07-Mar-16 14:55:45

For music scholarships your dd would need to take some grade exams in violin and piano. Sometimes these scholarships only offer free music lessons rather than substantial money off the school fees and also require commitment to playing in orchestras etc. after school.
Does your child play in any music groups now. There may be Junior orchestras or string groups in your area for example?
I don't think that being home educated in necessarily a disadvantage academically. In fact home ed children are often ahead of their peers.
If asked for reasons for HE, I would be a bit more diplomatic about what you say. Being bullied, the primary school not meeting your child's academic needs and being religious (when you are not) are all acceptable. As a former secondary teacher, I would say that your comments about the teachers being poorly educated aren't really acceptable. Schools often have invisible links and you could find that the Head's partner is a primary teacher working at that primary school for example or sends his children there without any problems.

cakeisalaystheanswer Mon 07-Mar-16 15:22:07

I agree with catslife. Particularly for KGS which is far more popular with state school parents so the chances are that there will be DCs going on there from your DD's previous school and they will not want to hear negative comments about it. If you are looking at LEH why not try for an earlier year and start your DD in the junior school?

Leo12345 Mon 07-Mar-16 15:26:15

She passed grade 4 in violin and same grade in piano (ABRSM); hope to get grades 6 in both instruments done before applying to secondary.
No, we don't go to orchestras, as she is currently more trained as a soloist, but we are thinking of orchestra in the future.

Sorry, I didn't mean to be offensive towards the teachers in my dd ex-school; I just wrote my (and other parents) feelings, that's it. I had primary (and also a state) school of my older dd to compare with.
Once the school was academically good, and it was reflected in Ofsted in 2007, but later the head changed and everything went down; several friends of my daughter left for private schools, we also tried, but haven't found a place.

Of course, will not mention the real reasons when interviewed for the secondary smile

mary21 Mon 07-Mar-16 15:44:47

Another option is to look at inter high an online school and the music ensembles run by Richmond music trust for socialisation

NewLife4Me Mon 07-Mar-16 17:15:02

In the meantime you could contact your LA about ensembles and orchestra, we knew that dd school really looked for involvement in groups and choirs.

Also, look for performance opportunities within the community, knock on some doors.

Maybe for the schools you are looking at they like the collection of exam certificates for the scholarship, but if not maybe it might be better to concentrate on your dd gaining playing experience.
This was invaluable at one of dd auditions.

Also as a pp suggested look at what is offered for the scholarship whether money off fees or just free or discounted music lessons.

ohtobeanonymous Tue 08-Mar-16 13:31:43

Grade 6 on two instruments with a decent grade could well be good enough for many private schools to offer a music scholarship, but I highly recommend she play in an orchestra or chamber ensembles and potentially join a youth choir as well. There are plenty of kids with those levels of playing who apply for music scholarships so the involvement in ensembles will be very beneficial when she applies (as well as her musical aptitude and potential, obviously!). She also, presumably, enjoys playing her instruments and will need to be able to talk about her passion for music as well as favourite composers, pieces of music and probably undertake sight-reading and aural tests in the audition. Check out Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra (who rehearse in Southfields) and also the NCO (they audition around October for the following year - if she works hard, she should have a good chance by then to make one of their orchestras). Merton Music Foundation have a centre in Morden and a busy Saturday school with lots of different types of ensembles.
Music scholars have to be absolutely outstanding on one instrument or very good on several as well as being well-rounded musicians with lots of potential.
Do her current teachers put on recitals for their students? Does she participate in Music Festivals? All valuable performance experience and essential for developing those skills. As she is HE, she won't have a record of playing in school concerts to show, so any participation in Music Camps and other recitals/concerts/festivals/groups will be useful (not to mention loads of FUN!!).

ohtobeanonymous Tue 08-Mar-16 13:35:07

forgot to mention that the standards expected for brass/some woodwind are sometimes lower - and if you play a rare instrument well you'd be a shoe-in! Does she fancy taking up the double bass, trombone, oboe, French Horn or bassoon??

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