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Private prep to state secondary??

(30 Posts)
user1300 Sat 19-May-18 09:28:56

Dds are in co Ed independent prep. They could stay until 18. ISI report was excellent in all areas but at gcse and a level I wouldn't say it had the highest results. They're both doing very well and love school.

A 3 minute walk from home is an outstanding in all areas secondary girls school.

We're torn between keeping them where they are, where they're happy, lots of friends etc or save tens of thousands over 7 years of education. Writing that down brings it home but interested to hear if anyone else moved their child from private primary to state secondary

OP’s posts: |
Floottoot Sat 19-May-18 09:42:00

We did the opposite - moved DD from an "outstanding" state secondary, to an indie girls' school.
The reason? The state school doctored its results by not entering pupils that they predicted wouldn't do well in exams. There was no SEN provision at all, unless a pupil was statemented, and absolutely no pastoral care. So, the school looks fabulous on paper, but the reality was hugely different for us.

AveEldon Sat 19-May-18 09:48:54

Do you want to stay coed?
What made you choose private for primary?
Would your DD get into the state school?

user1300 Sat 19-May-18 09:49:26

That's interesting. Food for thought. I have to say the idea of going from 15 in a class, 45 in a year to 30/240 is pretty hideous.

OP’s posts: |
user1300 Sat 19-May-18 09:54:20

We live 0.3 miles away from the state and 4.5 miles from their current school. They started there at 2.5. Both are still a few years off secondary but weighing up our options

OP’s posts: |
Parker231 Sat 19-May-18 09:58:35

I would never move them to a single sex school. Co_ed always regardless of state or private.

GinAndToast Sat 19-May-18 09:59:51

No, I wouldn't. Exam results are exams results. A snapshot of those children who were allowed to sit those exams on that day
I couldn't really care less about everyone else's child in that year group.
I care about my own and them being in schools that suit them as individuals and where they will receive the inspiration to exceed their own expectations, both academically and in every other area.
If I honestly thought a state school nearby would do that, I'd send them.
But I don't, so I won't 😏
Never add up how much school fees are by the way!

user1300 Sat 19-May-18 10:02:47

Ginandtoast £210k for both in secondary alone shockshock

OP’s posts: |
ErrolTheDragon Sat 19-May-18 10:06:34

There's no right answer, it depends on exactly what your DDs are like and what their interests and aptitudes are. My DD went from an independent primary to a girls' GS. Absolutely the right choice for her.

TeenTimesTwo Sat 19-May-18 12:16:02

One thing to consider is flexibility of subject choice for GCSE.
Smaller schools, even if private, may have a more restricted set of options. Might not matter if you want triple science, MFL, history. Might matter more if you want double science, resistant materials, drama. Might matter more for A level.

RedSkyAtNight Sat 19-May-18 12:26:37

45 in a year sounds very small for secondary. Will their be a big enough friendship pool? What about things like sports teams (and choirs and orchestras, though these could more easily be across year groups).

But then I wouldn't like single sex either ... no other options?

Walkingdeadfangirl Sat 19-May-18 12:42:27

going from 15 in a class, 45 in a year to 30/240
I would see that as a plus. I dont see how a child could learn to be a fully 'rounded' person being cosseted in a year group of just 45 privileged children.

LadyLance Sat 19-May-18 14:37:03

45 in a year is very small at secondary age, and I would have thought this could become limiting, especially socially/extracurricular wise. I would guess the private school also offers less subjects than the state school, especially at A-level?

£210k is a lot of money- some of this could be spent on tutors if needed, or other things to enhance there experience. Or it could be saved for uni and house deposits.

Have you visited the state school at all?

Eolian Sat 19-May-18 14:42:19

I certainly wouldn't move them on the strength of an 'Outstanding' Ofsted report. Ofsted's idea of outstanding may well not correlate with your idea of outstanding. At all.

Floottoot Sat 19-May-18 17:09:00

walkingdead, both my children attend private schools, but the only "privilege" they have is to have lost their grand parents and another family member . 😐 My son is on a scholarship and bursary; our household income is just about the national average, if not slightly below.
One of my daughter's friends is Chinese and her mum works 2 jobs and takes in lodgers to be able to pay school fees.
There are plenty of much wealthier parents in our local state school.

BubblesBuddy Sat 19-May-18 18:55:45

I would consider it if the state school really does provide all you want.

What will they realistically be able to participate in? Sport, music, drama etc. Are they going to get the same breadth of education? Or better?

How great is the secondary part of the school they are in? Do you consider it offers a high class educational experience and excellent other learning opportunities?

Is the girls school a grammar? What is it’s standing in the local community? Where do the pupils go to university and how does that compare with the Private school?

Small private isn’t always best but it can be if it ticks all your boxes. Ditto larger single sex state school. Decide on what your boxes are and start ticking!

CatMuffin Sat 19-May-18 21:23:21

I have to say the idea of going from 15 in a class, 45 in a year to 30/240 is pretty hideous
I remember you saying similar on a previous post. I don't think you are going to get past this and should stick with the 45 per year school. (45 would be far too small for my liking for a secondary school.)

Astronotus Sat 19-May-18 23:49:33

Before you commit to spending so much money you should ask your current independent school what the GCSE and A Level options are. Check the state school's offering too. Although in general a larger school will offer more subjects, the funding crisis is hitting state schools very hard. Subjects are being dropped and it can be hard for them to find enough teachers in certain subjects (Maths, Physics, Design Technology and others). I know of an Ofsted "Outstanding" state school where some of the creative classes were combined due severe financial problems, resulting in very high class numbers. Also consider speaking to your current school about a discount. You have two children at the school and with only 45 pupils per year they will be keen not to lose you.

Yvest Sun 20-May-18 00:09:36

We’ve done it with 2 and the 3rd will follow. They’ve gone from 22 in one class to 150 in a year group, so still not huge. Both the prep and secondary are co-ed as I am very anti single sex schools, particularly girls schools.

It has worked out very well for both of my children (different sexes). The school is rated outstanding and I believe that it deserves the rating. My eldest is quite academic and his predictions are all 8’s with a couple of 9’s. Teaching in almost every subject at GCSE is excellent and several of his classes only have 15 children in them. He’s about the middle of the top set and sitting at level 6’s & 7’s in year 10. They do not accept mediocrity. At 6th form almost all of the year go on to Russell group universities and usually about 20% have oxbridge or medicine offers.

Their weakness is in music - it’s pretty rubbish but as I don’t have musical children it’s of no issue to me. Sport is fine but nothing to get excited about. They have compulsory clubs which form one lesson 3 days a week which is excellent. The school is very strong on getting the children involved in charity work / duke of Edinburgh and volunteering.

It’s not as good as a top private school, that’s for sure but it’s a fantastic state secondary and has saved us a fortune. No regrets. My kids are happy, they have absolutely lovely friends and they’re getting a really good education

roundaboutthetown Sun 20-May-18 09:01:35

Tbh, I find the idea of having only 45 children in a year absolutely hideous. There is a lot to recommend a larger year group - more money coming in to likely enable a wider range of subjects; more flexibility to deal with personality clashes (no need to trap children in the same tiny class together); more peers from which to establish a friendship group; a wider pool of talent and interesting people generally. A well run large school does not feel anonymous and impersonal - there are ways to ensure your child still feels well looked after, known and understood.

At my dss' school, and this is not remotely unique, the same class teacher, head of year and pastoral support officer follows them through from year 7-11 and the year group is divided into 2 cohorts which have their own timetables and sets, thus making them more like two parallel year groups, each of a more manageable, intimate size (although still not 45 people intimate!!!). My children are on the somewhat quiet and studious end of the spectrum, but have never felt overwhelmed or overlooked in their large school. Instead they have flourished and made excellent friendships. Teachers seem to know them well, always give perceptive feedback and are quick to respond to any concerns. The school also has an excellent induction programme, commencing before the children even start in September, which really helps the children settle in quickly, get to know each other and find their way around as quickly as possible - as all genuinely good schools would.

If I were you, I would look into the way the state school manages its pastoral care, as that is what needs to be functioning well to make a large school a happy place.

CatkinToadflax Sun 20-May-18 09:04:09

I would be wary of placing too much trust in Ofsted gradings. We moved away from a very naice village primary that was Ofsted Outstanding because both of our DC had pretty bad experiences there. The local upper school was also Ofsted Outstanding, but the anecdotes we heard regularly from parents whose children were there or had been there were largely pretty negative. Both schools have since lost their Outstanding rating.

DS1 is now in a specialist autism school and DS2 in a Prep; personally we wouldn’t go back to state because DS2 has been in the smaller private classes since Year 1 and we don’t think he’d thrive in a much larger and busier environment. But then obviously every child and every family is different and what works for one won’t necessarily be right for another.

user1300 Sun 20-May-18 10:01:04

Nb : 45 in pre prep year group. 75 in senior

OP’s posts: |
RexManning Sun 20-May-18 10:43:56

Interesting that so many PP feel very strongly about girls' schools. All of the evidence suggests that girls do better in single-sex environment, pretty much regardless of whether the school is state or private.

Pannacott Sun 20-May-18 11:06:41

I think it probably depends how wealthy you are. If you have a spare £200k to give to each girl as a house deposit, leave then wherever they prefer.

If not, I'd seriously think about the financial added value of their private education vs a lump sum to buy a home, set up a business, pay for further professional training, take an initially lower paid but more fulfilling career, or not be financially dependent on a partner in their future.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 20-May-18 11:37:02

* Interesting that so many PP feel very strongly about girls' schools*

Having been to coed schools myself, I was a bit dubious. But very much in favour of them now. Leastwise, I've heard bad reports of one local private girls' school (bullying, cliqueiness) but the more academic private, the GS DD went to, and also a single sex state comp in our area, nothing but good reports.

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