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current Millfield School parents?

(12 Posts)
sofoona123 Mon 05-Dec-16 15:37:35

I am interested in hearing from any current Millfield School parents. We are considering a relocation so that our 2 children may attend as day students.
Looking at this school, primarily to be able to accommodate an elite swim programme (with 11 year old) whilst maintaining a good academic tuition(?).Is Millfield functioning well?

tickinglists Tue 06-Dec-16 10:30:00

I would strongly recommend you not doing this! You are describing what a large number of families have done - and all the ones I talk to through my work are so angry that they fell for Millfield's PR and marketing and smoke and mirrors! Firstly day pupils at Millfield are treated like second class citizens in our experience. Millfield keep day pupils as far away from the boarders as possible. Day pupils are not even allowed into the boarders houses - not even if their friends are in those boarding houses and they want to collect something before going onto a lesson or lunch etc. The day pupil has to wait outside the boarding house! Plus the swimming programme at Millfield is not 'elite' at all. It is a 'one-size fits all' swimming programme. And if your child's face 'fits' then fine - but if your child's face does not 'fit' then they will be left to one side, ignored, isolated and made to feel useless. The overall negative atmosphere at Millfield is appalling - and causes long lasting damage to so many sporting pupils. We have witnessed terrible situations where lovely, friendly, bright and talented youngsters have literally been ground down and down and down by the overall Millfield experience. yet those athletes have then left Millfield and EXCELLED at their sports elsewhere. In our opinion, and experience, Millfield could not spot talent if it came and stood right in front of them. We have witnessed Millfield's appalling treatment of students and athletes just too many times. And the most worrying part is that when you voice your concerns to the school you are made to feel as if you are an interferring parent! The management at Millfield make you feel as if you are the one being unreasonable. Then when you go elsewhere with your talented child you realise that you, as a parent, were actually on the right lines and you are supposed to be involved in your child's education and sporting life. Whereas Millfield just want to keep parents as far away from things as possible. This our first-hand experience of Millfield. And the heart breaking part is when one of our offspring say something about how Millfield made them feel. Every now and again they will make a comment and we wonder how on earth we put them into such an environment. It has taken our offspring an awful long time to regain confidence in their abilities after being treated as untalented athletes by Millfield for so many years. This is our opinion based on our first-hand experiences.

sofoona123 Tue 06-Dec-16 11:07:38

Thank you for responding. It is a damning description.
May I ask how long you were involved (kept your child(ren)) at Millfield.
Did you experience any positives at all during this time? How did you find the academic tuition. and did you choose Millfield for sport or both?

tickinglists Tue 06-Dec-16 11:57:43

Our offspring were there for 5 years between them. We re located specifically for Millfield. It was the worse thing we ever did. And we were then stuck there. New house. New location. School not delivering anything it had promised us. But stuck there due to key education years overlapping for each child. Two very talented offspring that were simply being ignored by Millfield. Since they left they have both excelled in their fields of sport. Their current coaches have recognised how talented they are and have coached them as individuals - alongside all their other athletes who also need to be coached as individuals. It is common sense basics - some athletes work with the 'stick' method and other athletes work with the 'carrot' method. Any coach knows this. It isn't anything new or ground breaking! But Millfield coaches do not seem know this! The overall impression we received was that Millfield coaches are simply not interested enough in their athletes to bother to find any such things out about the athletes in their care! We chose Millfield for the sporting provision. Big mistake. The academic tuition was adequate with a few 'star' teachers! Our offspring were lucky - would have been even worse if they had not been lucky enough to get those 'star' teachers. But in our opinion those 'star' teachers are fighting a losing battle against the overall negative atmosphere of Millfield. You cannot be a lone voice against the overall Management who are just so unbelievably not interested in their students in our opinion and experience. The Management view students as a conveyor belt of income in our opinion. And if you don't want to send your child there any longer this does not bother them at all! As they have another dozen new students waiting in the wings to take your child's place! By the time our youngest was finally able to leave our whole family breathed a sigh of relief. And our offspring both went on to establishments that were in tune with their students as individuals. Neither of our offspring have ever been back to Millfield. They have no desire to have anything to do with Millfield. And they actively avoid putting Millfield anywhere on their sporting CV's as it was such an unpleasant negative experience for them both. Again this is our own opinion based on our experiences and the experiences other parents have told us.

Toofewshoes Tue 06-Dec-16 16:54:53

If it is swimming you are looking for then I have a nephew at Plymouth College and there swimming is second to none. He had the choice of Millfield or Plymouth. I am very glad they chose Plymouth now having read the other comments. Very good academics too. Possibly not such a great move for you. I hope that this helps.

Dancingdreamer Wed 07-Dec-16 23:20:52

I can't speak for the experience of others but wanted to say that my friends have just put their DC into Millfield for 6th form. Talented at sports (not swimming) and I have heard nothing but positive reports. They seem particularly impressed with the pastoral care.

sofoona123 Thu 08-Dec-16 10:37:10

Thank you both very much for posting.

DollyPlastic Fri 09-Dec-16 21:45:49

Friend's DC is there on a very healthy scholarship.

Absolutely loving it, excelling at their sport and parents very happy with the academics.

Needmoresleep Fri 09-Dec-16 23:00:25

DD is now 18 but over the years we knew a few swimmers, a couple really promising, who went to Milfield. I don't know the details but none stayed and a couple at least were very unhappy. What ticking suggests could well be true.

Plymouth currently has a stronger reputation, though I have heard that you need to be very very good if you want coach attention and pool priority. But it is inevitably in elite sport.

KernowYardie Sun 22-Jan-17 20:47:44

My daughter joined Millfield in September as a year 9 primarily for the swimming. I have to say we are very pleased with not only the academic side of the school but the pastoral and the swimming. They have been so supportive of her, especially through a rocky start due to homesickness.

She's not great with change and had a fantastic relationship with her club coach but the coaches at Millfield were amazing with her. She's not the fastest swimmer, and will probably never be one of their elite athletes but that has not meant that she hasn't had the same level of attention from the coaching staff that the national swimmers have. There has recently been a change of coaching structure with a lead coach for the girls and a lead coach for the boys and this seems to be working well for my daughter.

The pastoral side has also been amazing, the houseparents in Acacia (year 9 girls) have looked after my (very homesick) daughter exceptionally well. I do not currently have a bad word to say about our experience, although admittedly we are only now in the second term.

Millfield was not a school we had considered and when we realised that our daughter wanted a swimming school we pushed her towards Mount Kelly, which is so much closer, and where she could be a day student, but she was absolutely adamant, and for us it was the right choice. Despite being homesick at first, she adores the school and the staff.

Scabbersley Tue 07-Nov-17 11:22:53

Just wondered if there were any more current parents at Millfield?

tickinglists blimey, that's pretty damning not sure why you didn't move schools within the first couple of years though!

Its the senior school we are interested in rather than the Prep.

tickinglists Tue 14-Nov-17 12:38:15

We couldn't move as our children's main external exam years overlapped. So as one had finished one set of external exams the other child was halfway through the two year cycle of their external exams. As soon as oldest had left to go to uni and the youngest had finished their set of external exams the youngest chose to leave and carry on their education elsewhere. Ours both went to the senior school. We didn't experience the prep school. So all our comments were about the senior school. It has taken our youngest probably a good 18 months to get their confidence back after being ignored so much at Millfield. Both of our children refuse to put Millfield on their sporting or job CV's. That is how much they hate the place! We also recently met another family through friends of friends and they had the same terrible experience at Millfield with their child. Said it was terrible from start to finish. Yet her child is an absolute delight and such a talented person - sociable, articulate, easy going, mixes well - so not a 'difficult' or 'unsocial' child. Yet he hated Millfield with a passion. So very sad to watch youngsters being treated so terribly.

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