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SECONDARYS EXETER - ST JAMES OR AVANTI HALL(5 Posts)
Hello I am really struggling to choose between these 2 schools for my dyslexic/ dyspraxic daughter. They are very different and both have pros and cons. Does anyone have any insight - good or bad -about either of these schools please? I would love to hear others views. Thanks
There is a lot of negative stuff about Avanti going around at the moment. I am no fan of Steiner schools; Avanti has taken over the former Steiner school which had so many issues, notably safeguarding. It is going to take time to sort this out.
I just looked at their website. There is hardly any information on there, not even a list of staff or a curriculum outline. I know they are rebuilding trust & the school but unless I was a massive fan of their way of teaching, I would avoid. However, you may find that with your DD's particular needs, they could be amazing, but it is a big gamble.
St James has lots of deprivation but is a happy school which genuinely seems to offer support to its students. Being close to the university, they do have quite a transient population and an excellent reputation for working with kids whose first language is not English. It is a larger school than Avanti Hall so there is more likelihood of your DD finding and making good friends. One of my colleague's kids went through St James. She is very complimentary about them. Her daughter achieved great GCSEs and is now at a decent university studying a STEM subject.
At the end of the day, St James has more of a proven track-record and is larger. Avanti is unknown as the new management team has only been in place for a short time. It's a much smaller school. Have you been in touch with the SENCO? There is also a FB group for Avanti so it might be worth contacting them.
Hi Malbecfan - thanks for your reply. Are you able to say anymore about the negative stuff? You are right there is little info. We just also had bad experience with Ted Wragg school before (not st james!) Thank you
There is currently stuff in the local paper about the new uniform that Avanti is "imposing". Lots of Steiner parents are furious, but most local people (judging by the comments on there) think they are bonkers as uniforms look smart yadda yadda... I feel a bit sorry for the incoming team. Steiner Exeter had a terrible reputation due to kids wandering off and the school not knowing where they were and they are battling to turn that around. However, their website has nothing about what they teach or how they teach it. As a teacher, that rings alarm bells for me.
I think I saw a link on Facebook - maybe a quick trawl there, or try your luck with DevonLive.
I did a little bit of instrumental teaching at St James a few years ago. It always seemed very positive and the Head then was excellent - she is now important within the Ted Wragg Trust.
If you have had previous issues with a school within the trust, I can understand your position. If my own DDs were at that point in education and we still lived in Exeter, I wouldn't touch 2 of the schools plus a third on the periphery with a very long bargepole! I'm happy to PM you this info but would rather not post it here.
Dear Malbecfan thank you that''s so helpful and yes it would be very helpful to PM me if you dont mind. Its such a hard decision to make!! I really appreciate your help though thank you
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