I think I may have misled you. We have always intended to put KEGS as the first option but now his score is borderline, we are considering other options.
Having never been to WHSB but having been to KEGS I wanted to see if anyone one had any opinions comparing the two.
Ah. Well, if it helps, we have at least visited both (although Westcliff is only a mile from us, both our DSs chose SHSB). I actually liked WHSB more than I imagined I would when I finally got to look round on the open evening for DS2 three years ago (DH having gone with DS1 a year early for his intake and the latter deciding that he didn't want to look again the next year). At the time, their classes were larger than SHSB's, but a random boy I asked was at pains to assure me that even as one of 31, he always felt that he was getting individual attention from the teacher. I think he meant, in a good way
. The facilities were okay - and have recently been upgraded.
DS2 and I also visited KEGS, which we both liked, but felt that it didn't offer any advantages over our local grammar schools that warranted the travelling (not very reliable cross-country bus, or three trains). I was slightly concerned at the amount of belongings generally piled up around the corridors in the sixth form block (no lockers?) and actually rather hoped that one of the other parents on the tour would turn out to be a member of the local fire service
. Apart from that, the (old) HT was great and the staff and pupils we met very friendly and enthusiastic.
We didn't get to see the off-site sports facilities at KEGS; WHSB has a large sports field, gym, indoor cricket nets etc on site.
(SHSB still beats then at nearly everything, sportswise, though - just sayin', as they say
You really need to go and look at Westcliff on the info day, if you are going to put it as a preference on your CAF.