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Prep school then state Catholic school

(16 Posts)
Hotdrop1 Tue 13-Feb-18 12:30:05

My state school educated son sat some independent school exams recently. Lots of the boys there were from private schools and out of curiosity I looked up some of the schools they came from to see what secondary schools they eventually ended up in. I was surprised to find that some boys went from (what I thing were) top prep schools such as Hill House, St Thomas' Battersea to state (academically non-selective) Catholic secondary schools: the Oratory and Cardinal Vaughan. The latter are both brilliant schools but I thought that parents who sent their kids to such top notch prep schools would have gone private all the way. I would love to know what made their parents choose state education at these schools rather than opting for private education in secondary. Can anyone enlighten me??

Dregsofcolazero Tue 13-Feb-18 12:31:39

It’s free.

theaveragewife Tue 13-Feb-18 12:33:00

Money and/or religion probably.

missyB1 Tue 13-Feb-18 12:34:10

err... to save a shed load of money?

wepeyif Tue 13-Feb-18 12:34:53

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Questionsmorequestions Tue 13-Feb-18 12:37:07

It’s a very good education for no fees, though the parents do give financially if they can afford to.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Tue 13-Feb-18 12:58:45

If I couldn't afford to pay all the way through that's what I would do, but ideally moving for Y9. I think senior schools are very poor value for money compared to preps and don't start me on 6th forms.

Hotdrop1 Tue 13-Feb-18 13:17:03

I know it's free and Catholic but Catholic parents who sent their kids to non-Catholic prep schools, I presume, prioritised 'better education' over being educated in a Catholic setting so I'm presuming that their faith wasn't the main determiner in their kids education. On the money side, I'm wondering if there were parents who COULD afford to carry on in the private sector but opted for these state school instead and if so, why? Was the education at these schools viewed as on par with the top independents on London (despite them being comprehensive schools).

Oblomov18 Tue 13-Feb-18 13:18:45

Surprised they got in. Round here demand for Catholic Secondary is very high, mainly because they are exceptional. Our secondary has 6 catholic primary feeders.

Rare for anyone who get in who doesn't:
1)come from one of the secondary feeders.
2)have all the holy communion forms,
3)have their secondary school application form signed by priest.

Oblomov18 Tue 13-Feb-18 13:21:21

sorry, I meant its rare for anyone to get into the secondary, who doesn't come form one of the primary feeders.

I guess they don't have the money anymore. Money becomes an issue?
Have heard/know that their local secondary is so good that they think its good enough to replace the fee paying school they are at.


holycityzoo Tue 13-Feb-18 13:27:50

What happens a lot where I live is parents pay for the best prep they can, the prep does loads of preparation for the 11+ entrance exams so they have the best chance of getting a place.
The grammar schools (non fee paying) in our area are outstanding so provide an excellent education for free (for those who pass the entrance exams)
With regards to religion you would be amazed how many parents all of a sudden find God when their kids are 10.
As long as they are baptised Catholic they can attend the school no need to have made their first holy communion.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Tue 13-Feb-18 14:06:08

These parents are doing exactly what the education experts like chalktalk recommend. The DCs have all the advantage of tiny classes, specialist teachers and top quality sports coaching when they are young. Prep fees are a lot lower than senior school fees. The rationale for being less concerned about senior school is that by Y10 all children are learning the same stuff out of the same text books to sit the same exams. So if you can't afford to pay all the way through you swap them to a gammar or good state comp for seniors. I know lots of people who have done this.
IME prep school fees were very good value for money, senior school less so and 6th form a complete waste.

Hotdrop1 Tue 13-Feb-18 14:14:34

Oblomov - the selection criteria for the Oratory and Cardinal Vaughan is very clear so even if your child went to a non-Catholic prep school but still went to church every Sunday and was baptised Catholic as a baby, they've as much chance as everyone else. Also, apart from the Oratory junior school, there are no feeder schools for these two schools - there's no catchment areas, they take children from all across London based on a lottery system (as long as the Catholic criteria is fulfilled). I'm just curious why rich people, who've educated their children so far in private schools and could continue to do so, opt to send their children to these rather than independents. They are great school but independent school results are still better. Also as these schools are non-selective academically it doesn't matter how well your child did at prep school, it's not going to help you get them into these schools (unlike selective 11+ state schools).

Hotdrop1 Tue 13-Feb-18 14:15:31

Cakes - can you tell me more about senior schools being very poor value for money (including 6th form). This is news to me!

Oblomov18 Tue 13-Feb-18 14:29:03

Oh sorry. I didn't know about their criteria obviously.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Tue 13-Feb-18 17:01:45

Google chalktalk etc to see the professional rationale bit behind it. But IME preps are half the price for half the class size and had just as good facilities shared between far fewer pupils, and being smaller have far more opportunities, and provide incredible opportunities for sport.

Sixth form is ridiculous, you pay 6 terms fees for 5 terms teaching. After a teacher here on MN posted the required number of teaching hours per subject for A levels I calculated I was 37 hours down for each subject at the end of lower 6th which explained my tutoring bill. DS spends 8 compulsory hours a day in a school when he barely has lessons for 2 hours on 3 of those days as well as having weekend matches. And his time at school is mainly spent doing nonsense like community service, instead of actually studying. The school admits that Unis are now much harder on Indy school candidates because the top Unis are desperately trying to increase their state school numbers. DS is at one of the top schools in the country and having experienced his I think a state 6th form, preferably a college, is a much safer bet and that is where future DCs will be going.

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