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St Dunstan's College - Catford / Settings?

(32 Posts)
user1475317873 Mon 12-Dec-16 11:10:11


Does anybody with kids at St Dunstans know if they do settings for all the subjects in the senior school? I remember the Headmaster saying they do but when talking to one of the students, she said they have settings for english and maths only. Also, if they do this, do they do it from year 7?

Also, any opinions from this school will be greatly appreciated as I am considering for my DD; the other option is moving to Bexley for a grammar school if we decice to take the test, which I am not too sure about it. We don't need to apply until next year.

Thank you

Hugoji459 Sat 11-Feb-17 02:35:20

Hello I have one child at st dunstans and my 11 year has just been offered. Pm me with any questions

SV1479 Sat 11-Feb-17 19:01:04

Dear Hugoji459,
I am looking for non-selective independant schools for my DS in south east London area and I have no restriction on area as of now as we are open for relocation once a school place is offered. It would be really helpful if you could kindly provide any reviews about St.Dunstans.
Also pls suggest if you know of any other schools in SE London. Thanks in advance smile.

user1475317873 Mon 13-Feb-17 22:14:16

I had a response regarding settings via pm. I would like to know if your son is happy in the school, whether teaching is good, are sports and arts good at the school? What is it like socially.?

My daughter is doing very well at school, she is very creative and enjoys sports but she is also a sensitive child and I want to make sure pastoral care is good. It is the only private school we will apply for as I want her to be relatively local and I don't feel schools like Alleyns or JAGS are the right schools for her. I want something in the middle and feel St Dustan’s ticks all the boxes but I want to make sure the 16k per year is worthy.

user1475317873 Mon 13-Feb-17 22:16:41

Apologies. Forgot to say Thank you

Hugoji459 Mon 13-Feb-17 23:22:09

Hello. I have a son in year 9 at st Dunstans and my 10 year old has just been offered a place in sept for year 7. St Dunstans is a nurturing school with an ambitious head, great teachers, good pastoral care, lots of extra curricular actives and a great community of parents. I found that this time round the 11+ was more competitive than when my 13 year took it. There were more children. Ensure your child is fully prepared for the tests. The school does not like tutored children but all the children were tutored and it is an academically driven school. If your child does not pass the test S/he will not get in. Try and have a backup school. There are quite a few in SE London Colfes which is co-ed and Blackheath High and Sydenham for girls. Let me know if you have other questions. Good luck

PlumT Tue 14-Feb-17 08:52:33

We are just about to accept an offer from St Ds for our 10yo starting this September. We all loved the school right from the get felt very welcoming and all the teachers and students we met were friendly, helpful, happy and without a hint of arrogance. It has a good reputation for sports and its art department is amazing. If you search back on MN you will be hard pushed to find a negative comment about the school, other than it is not as pushy as other independents (but for us this isn't a negative).
It's definitely is getting more competitive as are all the independents in SE London so I agree with Hugo to make sure your child is well prepared for the tests. St Ds also run an exam preparation scheme prior to the exams on a first come first served basis costing £100.

user1475317873 Tue 14-Feb-17 09:39:02

Thank you and congratulation to your children on getting a place.

That is very reassuring and confirm my good feelings about the school. I like the current Head Teacher and it seems he has done very positive changes for what I have read and is improving results. My daughter has been preparing for the exam. We still have one year to prepare more. our back up option will be a state school as DD wants coed and Colfes is a bit far from us so finger crossed she gets a place a St Dustans as we really like the school.

Hugoji459 Tue 14-Feb-17 10:24:54

Yes, Mr Hewlett is very inspirational and ambitious and is working wonders for the school. They also do the 11+ Exam prep so try and enrol your DD onto it. I wish you the very best and let me know if you need any further info.

PlusMum1 Sat 13-May-17 12:34:12

It's a good school, but recently have started to have a high staff turnover. The recent ISI compliance inspection also raises some concerns:

user1475317873 Sun 14-May-17 09:03:47

Thank you for the report. It is very useful.

It looks like a good report to me apart from the issues relating with checking employment history, getting references, barred list, medical and fitness checks for all staff members. Hopefully the school will take the recommendations on board. I imagine that since the Head Master only started in 2015, he is implementing some changes and this is the reason for the increase in staff turnover; hopefully they are hiring good, passionate and competent Teachers and other staff members.

It concerns me a bit that there are more boys than girls in the school, in fact 141 more boys than girls. I thought the school offered the same number of places to girls as the offered to boys.

Mum2017a Wed 17-May-17 20:57:34

He joined in 2014 and interestingly a number of staff that are leaving were hired by him.
Report does raise some concerns - thank you for posting it. I would be interested to know what is meant by the not met in management and leadership. Does anyone know if they have explained this? The rest does seem like it could have been before the headmaster joined but you just don't know.
I am worried and not sure I want to send my child here now.

user1475317873 Thu 18-May-17 08:32:21

Mum2017 and Plusmum1: how do you know this information? do you know anybody with children or any staff member at St Dunstans?

It is difficult to make a decision on speculations so it would be good to have information from people who have children there or work there. Looking at responses from parents with children at St Dunstans on this thread and other threads they all seem happy.

Maccarron Fri 02-Jun-17 10:33:10

The College is fine if your child is an A star genius, if they have any problems they wash their hands, if you complain there is a good chance they will remove your child,The Headmasters only concern is the results table, children pay a very high price
Tucked away in the terms and conditions is the removal of pupils at the end of year 9, all the other independents commit until the end of year 11
The pastoral care is non existent under the new regime despite its reputation,
All the old experienced staff have gone sadly
The Headmaster is an Academic peacock, they no longer have the baccalaureate it's been replaced by a strange St Dunstans diploma,it's still on all its literature.
They destroyed my sons confidence he is a shell of his former self and he no longer has a school place at the start of his GCES
The non compliance is a serious issue,despite the Headmasters letter which blames the previous management team, a tawdry defence.
Health and Safety standards- not met, that's ok then
Not getting references for teaching and non-teaching staff, no danger for children there.
Senior Management failures, a serious issue by anyone's standard.
The Head talks a good game but fails to deliver, lack of experience, it's very worrying the staff turnover, my son would have different teachers the whole time
Everyone teacher is head of something, they even have a head of ping pong

janinlondon Fri 02-Jun-17 13:15:55

Maccarron, you don't say why your son was asked to leave?

Maccarron Fri 02-Jun-17 15:36:08

I can't say m,as it is ongoing, it wasn't disciplinary, I can email you with details

user1475317873 Fri 02-Jun-17 18:22:18

Maccarron, these are serious accusations that can damage the school reputation. I would be grateful if you can please pm the details too as I am considering this school for my daughter.

I would be grateful to any other current parent who could give me an honest opinion of the school. Is it true they don't have the baccalaureate? Also the comments regarding pastarol care; I thought pastoral care was one of the strong points of the school.

user1475317873 Sat 03-Jun-17 10:47:06

Thank you to the two parents who pm me. I still believe St Dustan’s is a good school and I have faith they will take the report’s recommendations on board. Pastoral care and my daughter physical and mental health are my top priority. Hopefully they are improving results without compromising children well being.

user1103 Tue 20-Jun-17 18:15:54

Unfortunately I have to agree with Maccarron comments as I am now in a similar position with my DC being asked to leave at very short notice before they start their GSCEs probably under similar circumstances.

Maccarron if you are around could you please PM with further details as I really need some help to work out what I do next

Maccarron Sat 10-Mar-18 15:19:00

An update, we ended up taking St Dunstans to The Royal Courts of Justice, the judge found in our favour, with the Headmaster and The Responsible Body being found to have
Discriminated against a child
Failed to provide an education
Failed to make reasonable adjustments
Unreasonable treatment of a child
As a family we were put through the most horrendous ordeal
The findings of the tribunal were found to be of such a serious nature that they have been sent to The Secretary of State for Education
I am happy to provide more detailed information should you require

spacecadet48 Sat 10-Mar-18 17:21:01

Maccarron glad this was resolved satisfactorily and hopefully the school will reflect on this and make the necessary changes. My own experience and that of many others that have DC at the school have had nothing but a positive. Although none of the DC have required anything above the norm at the school and on looking at your post they failed to put the necessary adjustments in place to support your DC. So i do hope they are able to make the necessary changes to ensure another DC doesn't have to experience the same.

IntheMotherhood Sat 10-Mar-18 17:56:23

Oh my gosh - that's terrible.
The quiet dismissal at end of year 9 is unusual.

Maccarron I hope your DC finds a new school and will be happy and thrive there.

Maccarron Sat 10-Mar-18 18:04:36

I wouldn’t describe it as satisfactory, although I understand most people have a good experience, despite the schools reputation for pastoral care, we received absolutely none, no help of any description was available, we are talking about a child’s welfare, discrimination was endemic, not something I expected from St Dunstans, the Head couldn’t be bothered to even meet with us despite what they say in their own procedure, there was no excuse
A failed ISI inspection a serious court case, our experience wasn’t isolated, other pupils have been treated the same way,

spacecadet48 Sat 10-Mar-18 18:13:08

Maccaron i am not quite sure what you expect people with DC at the school to do? I appreciate your experience has been awful however the last majority don't have the same. So we can't judge a school based on one persons experience or a few who have been asked to leave, it would be like judging a hospital on a horrific experience one family has had when 1000s experience is positive. These things happen but I won't be uprooting my DC based on your experience. I do hope your DC is having a positive experience at his current school. And I hope perhaps you as a family can move on from this experience.

TammyWhyNot Sat 10-Mar-18 19:37:56

I know people enjoying a very positive experience at St Dunstan’s. But it is interesting to know that when the chips are down a current leadership is found not to be providing a satisfactory service.

Hopefully the school will use the experience to rectify the deficiencies sharpish.

This pressure always seems to bite once a school wants league table honours. As a S Londoner I have never known St D’s to be ‘non selective ‘ just because it isn’t JAGS or Alleyns.

Macarron I am glad your son has been vindicated and I hope he is thriving in another school.

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