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 Post subject: Solihull School
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:40 pm
Posts: 69
Im looking for an insight into this school as DS has received an offer. I know academically it is one of the better independent schools in the area, however I have concerns of it being a little less diverse that KES or the Priory for example.

I know someone who went there may years ago and refused to allow his mother to collect him because she wore a headscarf for which he would be taunted about by his peers.

Coming from a visually practising muslim family with quite orthodox views, I'm concerned how well receptive the school will be in certain areas and also how well my son will fit in. I know children from similar backgrounds have fitted in really well with the likes of KES and I have a DD at EHS where she too has fitted in really well and the school itself have been most accomodating.

I've also come across 2 negatives reviews on the schoolnet website and as a result am even more concerned. :? :?

I'll be going along later in the month to visit the school but any advice would be most appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:42 pm
Posts: 987
Location: Birmingham
Hello houseful,

Personally, I visited it last year and although it didn't quite have the same wow factor for me that I felt at KES, I did like it and noticed that it had great results - for me it was not really viable anyway due to distance so i didn't look all that carefully at what else it offered.

Unfortunately, I also have a similar tale to tell about an Arab family I know. Actually that family dressed and lived like any of their English counterparts ( and their colour wasn't even very different) but the boy was singled out and bullied over a period of years. The family felt that it was racial and the school refused to acknowledge and deal appropriately with the whole matter. His parents removed him in the end and sent him to a school in Birmingham.

I would add that this was around 5 or 6 years ago and things may well have changed and that I would have thought they encounter plenty of Asians even in Solihull, so I find it quite surprising. If you look hard enough you will probably find issues around racism and bullying of other sorts at most if not all schools - I would visit again bearing in mind your reservations and make your own mind up. If I had listened to some of the comments I had searched on here wrt HGS, I would have thought it might be too rough for DS1 ( who thought saying 'shoot' was a swear and would reprimand me ) but I took my own decision and DS1 couldn't be happier there.

If you like it and can see your DS fitting in there, go for it.

UmSusu

UmSusu

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UmSusu


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:40 pm
Posts: 69
Thanks for the response Umsusu.( knew you could be relied on for a quick response.)

Hopefully I'll get an offer from KES tomorrow and I wont have to think about it. :wink:

But you're right. I'll go visit and possibly raise my concerns frankly with staff and see what kind of response I get.

Hopefully it may have changed over the past few years. I obviously want the best acadaemically but DS has to feel completely comfortable with the school we choose.

All the best for results tomorrow. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:38 pm
Posts: 30
Have you checked where it lies in the league tables for gcse and a levels?


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:23 am
Posts: 18
Hello Houseful,

Umsusu is right with the advice she has gave however, I would like to stress that I know of two very close Asian families who's sons are going there and unfortunately they are very unhappy. The first two years for one of my friend's son who was emotionally bullied so much that he kept it inside him and didn't open up as he was too frightened. Slowly slowly This led to a bad relationship between the mother and son. Furthermore, the son went that bad that he even began to get very aggressive, bad language and bad manners. Sadly, the mother has to now go through great difficulties via counsellors and support from teacher (which is not much).

Pray that you get a offer from Kes tomorrow and you don't need to worry about the other school, but you are right, it's vital that children are happy regardless which school they attend.


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:40 pm
Posts: 69
Thank you all for your responses.

Seem to be alot of negative experiences. :(
I'm really having second thoughts now. Priory is then the only other option but not too sure about their gcse results. They dont seem to be included in any of the league tables Ive looked at.


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 659
I also know of an Asian family, mother wears headscarf otherwise quite "Western" in clothing and outlook. The son in question was also horrifically bullied for, they felt, racist reasons. He hadn't managed to get a place in his first choice, KES, so went to Solihull. As time went on, he retook the KES exam as the 13+ and again failed to gain a place (my understanding is that the limited number of places at that age makes it quite difficult). So he's stuck there.

There are problems in all schools, it was the lack of support that was the main concern.

As for Priory, the boys we consider to be not very academic (bottom set English and Maths) got scholarships for the Priory. One boy we know only got a place there, failed to gain a place in Consortium schools or KES/Solihull/Bromsgrove etc. he is now deliriously happy. Parents ecstatic with the school and he is thriving. He is actively involved in all aspects of school life and it really was the right choice for him. Academics aside, it's what's best for your son. You can support the academic side of things at home. It's much harder to be a support during unhappiness :(


Edit - Not sure if I can say this but Priory can't be that bad if a certain well known Headmaster (surname starts with C) has sent one of his sons there rather than the more obvious choice, where his other son goes :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:40 pm
Posts: 69
Hi Moseleymum

Quote:
As for Priory, the boys we consider to be not very academic (bottom set English and Maths) got scholarships for the Priory

My DS is tops sets for both and working on L6 for maths. So not sure about the above.

Im being put off more and more from Solihull especially as Im not just wearing a headscarf but veil too! I hate to even imagine my poor DS, or anyone else for that matter, being bullied :(


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:59 pm
Posts: 659
houseful wrote:
Hi Moseleymum

Quote:
As for Priory, the boys we consider to be not very academic (bottom set English and Maths) got scholarships for the Priory

My DS is tops sets for both and working on L6 for maths. So not sure about the above.

Im being put off more and more from Solihull especially as Im not just wearing a headscarf but veil too! I hate to even imagine my poor DS, or anyone else for that matter, being bullied :(


Sorry dont think I expressed myself well. Your DS sounds like a bright boy. My point was that the standard required for a scholarship at the Priory seems far below that expected elsewhere. The boys working at higher levels, in my sons school anyway, didnt even bother to apply and sit the test. The boys who did sit it were not considered academic in their primary and yet were considered so by the Priory.

As it happened, those that went are very happy, so it seems everything worked out for the best. Those boys really are thriving.


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 Post subject: Re: Solihull School
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
I have also heard of issues with a Muslim family who had to withdraw their son from Solihull School, although I don't know them personally, I know they were very unhappy with the school.

I have attended open days there and never felt any 'unwelcoming' vibes myself, and I am rather sensitive. Staff seemed open and friendly enough. I even remember asking about prayer facilities, and they were very accommodating. I've also seen the Solihull School pupils out and about in Malvern Park nearby and found them to be courteous and well behaved (in contrast to the Solihull 6th formers who frequent Tudor Grange Park and hog all the play equipment from the toddlers :roll: ).

Funnily enough, I am going there tomorrow morning as dd has a workshop to attend, via her Primary School. I am only worried about which of about 6 entrances I'm supposed to take to get in :oops:

However, I know of Muslim children and families at other Solihull schools, such as Tudor Grange, who have had terrible problems, and my own ds1 had great difficulty during an unfortunate two terms at a very 'established' Solihull Primary before moving to a far more welcoming one.
I suppose I'm going to wade into the minefield now and suggest that Solihull area (not just Solihull school) has issues with diversity and Muslims.
It is no secret that, despite a pretty significant Muslim population, they were blocked for years from having any sort of mosque and only now have one, at which they are not yet allowed to hold Friday prayers.
A halal meat business I knew eventually closed because of repeated vandalism and attacks.
The proportion of BNP members (when the membership list was published a few years back, I was sad enough to scrutinise it carefully) in the B91, B90 and B92 postcodes was overwhelmingly higher than any areas of Birmingham, with B91 having the highest % of members.
The only times in my life that I have ever been racially abused (which is daft as I am white, but there you go, I wear a headscarf) have been in Solihull; in the city centre, and a number of times in Shirley. I have also encountered graffiti in Shirley Park saying 'Muslims Out' and other (non-printable) words. When I called the council to inform them of the graffiti, they certainly didn't take it seriously.
And posters may be aware of the recent decision by Tudor Grange Academy to restrict its intake of non-Christian pupils by forming partnerships with two CE Christian Junior Schools in the borough (who have strict admissions policies favouring Christians), in order to prioritise their pupils for entry even above children living in Tudor Grange catchment (who are increasingly Asian, as families have 'bought into' the area to ensure good school places).
All of this appears to be adding up to a bit of a pattern to me....no doubt most Sihillians are great people who value and indeed celebrate the diversity of their community, but a core of families remain who do not. If it is their children who are causing difficulty for Muslims, and Asians in general, in schools in Solihull, then this is something the schools should have the will to tackle, but I doubt it will be easy.


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