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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:53 pm 
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What do people think. Are grammar Schools better or are Private Schools better.
If your child had the opportunity at both schools which one would you choose.
In a scenario where money wasn't a issue what would you choose.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:57 pm 
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It very much depends on the schools. It is impossible to speak in general terms as there are good and not so good GSs, and good and not so good indies. It also depends what sort of school you are looking for and what is important to you. High academic achievement? Pastoral care? Choice of subjects? Extra curricular activities?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:00 pm 
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I think you've may have opened a can of worms with your question - it all depends, and there are so many variables! My personal view is that a choice of school needs to be based on whether a particular school is the the right school for your child, whether private or grammar, and all children are different. If you search through the forum, you will most likely find some previous threads on this very topic, too.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:11 pm 
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I have lived in areas with no GS where the indies are quite strong and often the only option if people are not happy with the local school. In other areas there are good GS and in those the indies often are not so academic - I have seen several kids who don't get into the GS but are offered places at the indie.

Agree with the others - it depends where you are and what you mean by "better"


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:13 pm 
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Agreed - it is far too vague a question. If you are considering a specific independent school vs a specific grammar school (especially in Birmingham) then I suggest you search threads for those as I can guarantee you there is not a comparison that hasn't already been made, several times over.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:03 pm 
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Also agree; there are too many variables. I know we looked at the only viable indie school for DS and tbh, based purely on the school's league table, it was no better than our local failing secondary. However, it must offer more than just results as quite a few of DS's peers are now attending that school.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:57 pm 
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There is the money + snobbery and the networking aspect. Some don't accept that. It's all perspective, many pay, because they believe they will get this. I think if you look at Birmingham, its not particularly pronounced though. To see it in full effect your looking at Harrow or Eton. So unless you have 36,000 spare per year, I would forget about it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:54 pm 
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Plus, there are indies where everyone drives a Chelsea tractor and takes three foreign holidays a year, and then there are others where most families are ordinary, driving old jalopies because the money is scraped together for fees. You won't get much of the prestigious old boy network there!
As has been said many times, so many variables, and ultimately it comes down to right school for the right child, if you have a choice. Forget how the school looks to outsiders, consider views of those who attend, but make a thorough examination, in person yourself, and you will get a real feel whether it is right for your child.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:45 am 
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If money wasn't a problem, I would still pick the best school for my child, but it must have good academic results.

I have children in both.

In a good private school, you will be much more aware of what is going on and can easily speak to the teachers. There seem to be a lot more extra curricular things going on and the old boys network is very, very useful. The facilities are much nicer.

However, in a grammar, academic expectations seem to be higher, and work more challenging.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:24 am 
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+1 to most of that, except that I don't perceive any difference in academic expectations or challenge at the indie - but they are being led rather than driven. There's definitely a sense at the indie that academic success is not the sole measure of worth and success, and plenty of encouragement to seek fulfilment across the spectrum of human activity, which I would say was absent from the grammar.

However, some indies are more academic than others and academic expectations will vary accordingly, whereas all grammars are (or should be) expecting great things academically given they select for nothing else.


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