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Moving dd from state to independent for Y10 in Sept - advice needed

(12 Posts)
zebraprint Mon 30-Jan-17 13:18:36

DD isn't really thriving at her current state school for a few different reasons, and I'm considering all options including moving her to an independent.

She's currently in Y9, and she'll take 2 GCSEs this summer, so I wouldn't move her until the start of the new school year in Sept. Will independent schools be likely to have places for her for Y10? Or will they just laugh at me?! What is likely to be the admission process - exams / interview / current reports? The schools I'm looking at are Francis Holland, Queen's College, Portland Place and a few more.

Any advice very welcome, thank you.

AnotherNewt Mon 30-Jan-17 13:25:49

They won't laugh at you. People are always moving in and out of London and if they have a space, they'll want to fill it. The start of Year 10 is the latest time, to allow a full 2 years up to GCSE.

See if there is anything on the websites about how they assess for ad hoc places. There may it may not be a formal exam - it might be a couple of days in class to see if she fits in (perhaps with some assessment worksheets). Reference, CV and interview will probably all feature, but how much weight is given to any particular element will vary.

You've nothing to lose by enquiring. But remember the schools won't know about leavers until the various deadlines for giving notice, so it's likely they won't be seeking to assess potential new joiners until the summer term.

Needmoresleep Mon 30-Jan-17 13:49:20

Ask generally about movement. Oddly Portland Place, which has quite a lot of movement, might suit. It is often used by expat families with teenage children, but also by quite a diverse range of London families who decide to move children mid secondary, often with very positive results. (Some very straightforward, others quite famous...)

They are very used to settling children who may have had bad experiences elsewhere, including in the state system. Also being co-ed, there is less likelihood of your child finding themselves in a nest of mean girls , which can happen in the smaller, affluent, central London girls schools. (Not every year, and not every school, but something you want to avoid.)

FWIW we know at least a couple of PP pupils who have done very very well academically. One who moved after social problems in a very selective environment.

zebraprint Mon 30-Jan-17 17:01:19

Thanks both, that's really helpful.

Really good point about schools not knowing about leavers - thanks AnotherNewt.

I just spoke to PP and they were very helpful. I've missed the first round of interviews for Y10, but they're holding a second in a couple of weeks time. That in itself is quite interesting, indicates they anticipate movement, as you predicted, Needmoresleep....

Thanks so much again

howtheheckdoidealwiththis Tue 31-Jan-17 21:07:44

Maybe look at Francis Holland or Queen's College. There's a reason why PP were helpful. They are considered a very very very last resort and i know some people who have been disappointed with them.

jeanne16 Wed 01-Feb-17 16:43:41

Also possibly look at More House in Knightsbridge. It is a very nurturing school.

bojorojo Wed 01-Feb-17 17:11:31

Have you considered going a bit further out to Queenswood School (girls) near Potters Bar in Hertfordshire. Lots of London girls there and they can weekly board. Definitely not a last resort - take a look at their web site. May well have a place.

Foldedtshirt Wed 01-Feb-17 17:23:23

FH SW1 has stealthily become a fantastic school with great pastoral care.

jeanne16 Thu 02-Feb-17 06:45:02

OP. Just be a little careful of expecting too much from a private school. Moving for y10 won't be easy and no school will be able to perform miracles. I think some people do move their children to independent schools expecting this to solve all their problems but this won't necessarily happen.

Seeline Thu 02-Feb-17 09:33:04

I'd be concerned about how much work the new school (state or private) had already done for GCSEs - some start work in Y9 for some/all subjects.
I would also want reassuring that work already done by your DC would still be relevant if different exam boards were to be used in the new school.
If a 2 year GCSE course is undertaken, most Y9 would be choosing options about now. I would want reassurance that my DC could have a choice too, rather than just being slotted in to courses that had vacancies.

zebraprint Thu 02-Feb-17 11:58:20

Thanks for the input.
howtheheck - Yes, i have tried both of those. Francis Holland doesn't have any vacancies, but Queen's College does, and we're really keen on this one. I didn't realise Portland Place was considered a last resort - why do you think this is?
jeanne16 - thank, I will look into More House - not heard of that one. I understand about not expecting miracles: I'm not expecting one, and honestly we don't need one - but I do think a change will be a good thing for her.
bojorojo - thanks, but that's too far out for us: I live in very central London.
foldedtshirt - thanks, i did try them but no vacancies at present.
seeline - yes, this is of course something to consider. My dd made her option choices in Y8 and is doing 2 GCSEs this year, so will in some ways be ahead of the game, and no doubt have some catching up to do in other ways.

Queen's College definitely coming out as the front runner at present.

Also worth pointing out that I have enquired in the 5 councils around me about spaces in state schools, and there are only vacancies in 3 at present, all in schools which are not doing well, and which are a fair distance away. I have also put her name on the waiting list at a good state school near home. Honestly I'd be thrilled to get this place, but it's not very likely. 40 currently on the list, though we'd be near the top due to distance.

Davros Fri 03-Feb-17 08:15:05

Depending on her best subjects, you could look at The Fine Arts College in Belsize Park. They do GCSEs and A Levels. I think people can be sniffy about it but I live very near to it and it's considered a good option among my friends. It is expanding and has been relatively under the radar but seems to be getting a lot more attention recently. They've got an open day next week.

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