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How do you find unbiased reviews for private schools on the internet?

(14 Posts)
funkybobbles Wed 31-Oct-18 19:12:23

Does anyone know how you can find honest reviews for private schools?

I've looked on mumsnet using google but the threads it comes up with for the schools concerned don't actually exist anymore.

Where else can I look? I'd like to get to know what current parents think of the schools I am considering, and don't know how to do it.


OP’s posts: |
ShalomJackie Wed 31-Oct-18 20:14:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShalomJackie Wed 31-Oct-18 20:15:44

Here is a start. I thought I had just out the first part of the url. It is an inspectorate but they do take into account parents views.

expat1407 Thu 01-Nov-18 14:44:26

You can start a Thread by mentioning names of schools. Usually MNers give you better insight than any website that reviews schools.

Witchend Thu 01-Nov-18 16:45:11

I think you need to be very careful. Even on things like here there will be people who have biased views-either their child went there and it's brilliant, or they went there and it's terrible.
I saw on our local chat group someone asked about a local school that's had a lot of recent upheavals including mixing with another (very different) school.
People were falling over themselves to say how wonderful it is... whereas all the people I know of (which is quite extensive) that are/were there have either left due to the chaos or would have if they could have.
Equally well I've seen a school slated in similar circumstances by people who have not actually been near the school in 20 years.

QuaterMiss Thu 01-Nov-18 16:56:16

Two things you can do:

Firstly, use the MN search facility (name of school / last three years, say) to check if there are already threads.

Secondly, as a previous poster has said, start a thread with the school's name in your title. (And try not to make yourself or your child identifiable!)

It is worth making the effort to get some response here - obviously many posts will be unhelpful but you should be able to work out which come from people with honest, up to date information. MN was by far the most helpful resource (after school websites) when I was researching schools.

AveEldon Thu 01-Nov-18 23:49:25

You can try looking in the Good Schools Guide - you may find that your local library will have a copy

Daisymay2 Thu 01-Nov-18 23:56:47

Try looking up the school on the Independant schools inspectorate website.

BubblesBuddy Fri 02-Nov-18 00:20:44

If it’s in the Tatler Guide it’s good! Look at destinations of the pupils. If plenty to the best universities it’s ok. The independent school inspectorate is a cheerleader for independent schools and not remotely like Ofsted. Private schools mount a charm offensive and it always works.

Current parents always cheerlead the school they have chosen and are not remotely objective. Why would they moan about a school they are paying thousands £ for every term? It would be admitting to a huge mistake and stupidity on their part. They rarely are able to make comparisons beteeen schools either. Parents choose schools for a whole host of reasons and these may not concur with yours.

You might find value added and results for each subject but basically you have to visit and make up your own mind.

AnotherNewt Fri 02-Nov-18 07:22:36

Be cautious f the Tatler guide. It takes advertising.

Also, it's pretty much about identifying which schools it's readership wouid be happy to mention at dinner parties. There is of course a considerable overlap between socially 'sound' and good in a wider sense.

Threads about schools on MN are usually in the (permanent) education topic, so you should find plenty as they are not autodeleted. But it is probably worth starting your own thread, because then you can include what features of a school matter to you and your DC

QuaterMiss Fri 02-Nov-18 07:34:12

There is of course a considerable overlap between socially 'sound' and good in a wider sense.

Well, yes ... It's the good-ness (widely accepted criteria) that renders a place socially sound. (At least amongst sensible people.) No-one wants to be seen throwing a fortune at a mediocre institution.

Only a fool would rely on magazine adverts when making a decision. I can say that, with regard to the independent schools I know, I've never seen anything majorly inaccurate in Tatler's editorial coverage. It's just another piece in the jigsaw of information available.

LIZS Fri 02-Nov-18 07:56:46

ISI inspectors are often heads of other private schools, so reports tend to be more positive than negative - you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

QuaterMiss Fri 02-Nov-18 07:59:31

(I should have said 'in the jigsaw of information and opinion available.')

BubblesBuddy Fri 02-Nov-18 15:23:14

Tatler is not based on ads. Any reasonable person can see it’s a good list of decent schools and a good starting point. The “average” school doesn’t get into the editorial. I do think it’s a reasonable part of a school search if you want to spend money wisely.

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