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QE Boys and QE girls schools, Barnet?

(51 Posts)
Spainintherain Sat 25-May-19 20:45:49

I'm thinking of moving to or near High Barnet for various reasons. I wonder if anyone can tell me if QE boys and girls schools are still as good as they were when I last knew of them, twenty years ago! Are they still selective? Is the pastoral care very good? Is bullying handle well? What type of child would do well there? I have heard that the girls school is not as good as the boys school? I'm very interested in sending my children to single sex schools in that area or nearby.

OP’s posts: |
Mustbetimeforachange Sat 25-May-19 20:52:30

The girls' school isn't selective.

malmontar Sat 25-May-19 21:29:38

Girls school isn’t selective but has some of the highest progress 8 in the country.

Applepieco Sat 25-May-19 21:37:42

Boys school - highly selective grammar, boys come from a v wide area.
Girls school - girls comprehensive. Improved massively over the last few years, v good results. Subsequently much smaller catchment than it had previously.

Spainintherain Sat 25-May-19 22:20:33

Do you know if you have to live in Hugh Barnet to go to QE? Seems like it would very competitive to get in then.

OP’s posts: |
FanDabbyFloozy Sat 25-May-19 22:30:34

QE Boys is fiercely competitive to get into as there is no catchment and parents go to extraordinary lengths to get their sons in. Many locals don't even apply as they don't like some of its unusual practices, e.g. asking a class full of boys to leave after GCSE either explicitly or denying them the A levels they want.

QE Girls entrance is largely based on distance but draws from a wider group across Barnet, Finchley etc. It's a very good school with an ambitious head.

There are many other good schools in the area of course - some selective and many not. There is a new Ark school in the area too.

Applepieco Sat 25-May-19 22:31:19

Do you mean QE boys or girls? QE girls admission is on distance. QE boys has thousands sit for it’s 180 places every year. It doesn’t matter where you live.

Applepieco Sat 25-May-19 22:32:51

I would also be v sceptical about what is said about QE boys. It’s best to visit yourself and make your own mind up.

mellicauli Sun 26-May-19 00:49:08

My son goes to QE Boys. There's no catchment, no sibling places, purely test scores in Maths and English. The Maths is crazily competitive...my son got full marks in his SATs but got only a middling score in the maths. (We only tutored for English, big mistake). It's multiple choice.

About 1 applicant in 10 gets a place, so if you feel confident your son could come 1st in a competition with his class mates, he'd have a chance.

It's pretty traditional and academic (inc Latin), lots of testing, great for sports (rugby, not football). It's very competitive - if you want a top set place (my son does not & that is fine ) you have to work hard. There are some amazing opportunities (e.g. Robotics team take part in international competition). The teachers are very inspirational, many quite young and have very good academic credentials.

There is a bit of lack of diversity. The majority of kids are Asian with super-successful professional parents , many from North West London (Harrow, Wembley). Their culture seems to embrace - and even enjoys - the competition , which many white liberal North Londoners find a bit uncomfortable.

All the boys do well academically but you do have to score above a certain percentage in a number of internal tests in Y10 and Y11 to be offered A level. People make a big fuss about it but it is really very transparent now and they have many chances to make the grade. My son is nearing the end of Y10 and he understands his options well.

Spainintherain Mon 27-May-19 12:39:46

.Fandabbyfloozy. How do you know about these weird practices? That is strange to pick on a whole class!?

I'm more concerned about moving to Barnet and not getting into QE girls. I would prefer whetstone to Barnet but would be concerned about being out of catchment as it's such a good comprehensive. So they take from as far as Finchley?

.mellicauli thanks for the info. I looked at the sample maths and English papers and I thought the English looked much harder than the maths for a top set child at beginning of year 6 so good to know what you say.

I don't want to move there for nothing as I don't like things I've heard about the comprehensive schools round there.

OP’s posts: |
Mustbetimeforachange Mon 27-May-19 16:57:29

It doesn't mean the dismiss a particular class but the number of pupils equivalent to a class. In other words they have considerably fewer pupils per year in the years 12 and 13 compared to year 11. It is in order to keep the results high for the league tables.

malmontar Mon 27-May-19 17:46:47

It really depends on the year group. Some are 0.7miles some are 3.7! If you look back at the last couple of years my friends DD got in from Wood Green- she’s the 3.6 or 3.7 miles girl.

FanDabbyFloozy Mon 27-May-19 18:53:08

Yes I meant that the equivalent of an entire class (30-odd) is asked to leave at the boys sixth form: some because they don't make the cut and other because they are not allowed to do the A levels they want, e.g. sciences if they want medicine.

@mellicauli says the practice is much more open and transparent now, which is good. It used to be hush hush until year 11 so it was a great shock. If it's now openly discussed at the open days at year 7, that's fine because people understand what they're getting into.

If you are careful about where you move to, your Dc can also try for Latymer and Dame Alice Owens, both great schools.

But the comps are also good with JCOSS and the Compton standing out. Which ones have you heard bad things about?

Moominmammacat Mon 27-May-19 19:27:43

2401 applicants for 180 places last year. I wouldn't send my children there but it does what it says on the tin.

malmontar Mon 27-May-19 21:34:04

I’m never really impressed with those statistics as a similar amount apply annually to sought after comps. Is your child Asian? I can definitely say that in the boys school this is the predominant race, if kids after school are anything to go by. I don’t know what they do to help the non Asian boys integrate but I just don’t agree with one race schools, Asian or any other race, especially in such a diverse borough. This isn’t the he middle of the West Country. The girls school is much more balanced.

Spainintherain Mon 27-May-19 22:31:00

*fandabbyfloozy I thought jcoss was a Jewish school. Compton I don't know about but the academy in whetstone I have heard bad things about.

That's awful about QE kicking boys out for grade expectations. I'm quite put off. Is that a headteacher thing, so if the head left they would stop doing this nonsense. .?

OP’s posts: |
malmontar Mon 27-May-19 22:57:01

Do they just not let them into the sixth if they didn’t get the gcse grades? If so, that’s normal for all schools. They have grade requirements and if you don’t meet them than tough luck, external or internal candidate.

Moominmammacat Tue 28-May-19 08:45:45

Having done the North London exam route with my own DC I've never thought QE Boys that selective ... some of that 2,401 applicants will chose elsewhere, some will be using it as a practice for private schools. It is undoubtedly predominantly Asian but that's because they are the boys who get through the hoop.

mellicauli Tue 28-May-19 09:46:36

At the risk of starting an argument, all schools have cut off grades for A levels and won’t let you take the course if you didn’t make the grade. Admittedly the bar is a bit higher at QE, but it’s an academic school and they want to teach at a certain level. Other schools require you to get a particular gcse grade so you only get one chance, so you could argue this was more generous.

pepperpot99 Tue 28-May-19 11:17:12

QEB is over 90% Asian and not remotely representative of the wider community. There is something intrinsically wrong in that. Most boys travel in from long distances so there is no community spirit or sense that it has a place in the local community any more. I speak as a local of many years' standing. I have dds, but if I had a ds I would not even think about sending him to QEB.

Yes it has very strong academic results, but it also employs cut throat policies to get them, including their internal cull of 20% of students at the end of year 11. They claim to base the cull on 'internal exams and assessments' but it is also a covert way of weeding out anyone whose personality they might not like. My dd has quite a few friends in QE and most of them are unhappy (or at least claim to be). Quite a few left at the end of Y11 to go elsewhere.

If you head over to the elevenplusforum you might get a flavour of the insanity that drives the quest for a place at QEB. It's actually pretty repellant, fuelled by obsessive, unhinged parents as well as scaremongering tutors who are raking it in in spades. Good luck to them.

I woudl advise you to look at the take up of A level subjects each year and see how narrow the focus is. MFL? Music and Art? forget it.

Spainintherain Tue 28-May-19 19:19:57

Well I'm glad I asked. I really don't like the sound of the boys school but would love to hear from anyone with a daughter at the girls school. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Tue 28-May-19 19:53:59

It's actually pretty repellant, fuelled by obsessive, unhinged parents as well as scaremongering tutors who are raking it in in spades.

Just smile sweetly and remember that for 33 years, the school they are so desperatate to bus their DSs to from Harrow or Gants Hill was actually a comprehensive (just the thing they are so desperate to avoid) and in fact at the end of the 1980s was so unpopular that Barnet was considering closing it down.

(Although to be fair, the school doesn't actually hide this in the 'our history' bit on its website).

London Borough of Barnet (LBB) took control of the School. Timothy Edwards, Headmaster from 1961 to 1984, guided the School into comprehensive status and through the difficult period of reorganisation. Boys were no longer admitted on the basis of academic merit, rather on residential proximity to the School. The Fern and Mays Buildings were constructed. The number of pupils doubled in the 1960s to around 550 with 150 in the sixth form. However, this was not sustained and numbers declined in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

www.qebarnet.co.uk/about-us/our-history/

Good thing they managed to make it a grammar school again before our Tony came to power, though, otherwise they'd still be stuck to this day having to make do with the thick locals, at least, those who were actually willng to go there.

CaurnieBred Tue 28-May-19 19:57:44

DD at QE Girls. We are mostly happy with it. Good leadership team. Had a letter saying 2019 Year 7 intake has come from within 1 mile of the school (presume this didn't include siblings).

There is a new secondary opening in High Barnet this September, part of the Ark Academy group.

Totteridge Academy also making marked improvements in results. Friends with children there really rate it and the pastoral care is second to none.

pinkskys Tue 28-May-19 20:26:44

The boys and girls schools are not connected at all, if anything there is a rivalry and name calling between the two. “Slags on the slope” was a favourite when I went to QEGS.

QEGS has improved massively since I’ve left, the feeling of family there is strong and the girls are massively encouraged to pursue their passions and support each other along the way. Well at least it was when I was there a while back.

I loved being a QE Girl, was some of my best years

peteneras Tue 28-May-19 20:27:52

"...all schools have cut off grades for A levels and won’t let you take the course if you didn’t make the grade."

Am not sure about that. A similarly academic grammar school just a bus ride further down the road from QE Boys at North Finchley is St. Michael's Catholic Girls' Grammar School. They don't cull lagging girls and ask them to leave after Yr. 11 unlike QE Boys which is famously known for this practice and then goes on to boast about their "superior" league table standings. Let's not pretend otherwise QE Boys, all that culling nonsense you practise is to make yourself look good in the league table at the expense of those poor unfortunate boys you mistakenly took in some five years earlier or otherwise failed to educate them properly in the five years in YOUR watch and now wanting to wash your hands after them.

You should be ashamed of yourself!

And I'm not sure what you've been doing all these years are even legal? Just recently a similar school in south-east London, St. Olave's, was legally challenged by affected parents whose DC were thrown out and they won their case. St. Olave's took the students back and the Head had to go. I'm waiting for a similar challenge by affected QEB parents to happen. No, I'm not being sour grapes here - DS was offered a place but I declined; not that I'm afraid of their culling culture, iyswim...

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