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 Post subject: Parmiters or Habs Boys?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3
Hello

We have narrowed our choice down to these two schools for our DS. We like both schools and obviously financial considerations come into play in the decision. Any thoughts appreciated.

Thankyou


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:32 am
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Location: Herts
Well, I like to keep things simple! why would anyone pay for their child's education when they have secured a place at a brilliant school, and it's free!!!

I expect people will have other opinions though!!

Well done and congrats to your son, and good luck with your decision.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:12 pm
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We spent the last few days asking the same question - STAGS or St Albans High School? Stags, like Parmiters, has a very good academic record so was it really worth it to go private is a question we asked ourselves.

Initially, I leaned towards STAGS. Yes, going private meant nicer school trips, better facilities etc but I felt that these 'extras' wasn't worth the financial cost. After all, if my daughter was in the top set at STAGS, destined for A or A*, then did I care that the school's league table rankings wasn't as impressive as High School because their score was being pulled down by kids in lower sets?

We then sat down with a few people who had direct experience of the schools and their arguments convinced me that going private with my daughter was worth the financial burden. A state school, no matter how good academically, is restricted in how much effort it can put into educating a child by virtue of the fact that it is not 100% selective and by its need for the inclusion of lesser abled kids. The High School will give my daughter experiences that will not be available to her at STAGS. And even if it will only marginally push her grades up a little bit, compared to STAGS, this might be what secures her that Oxbridge place in 7 years time.

This is our decision based on our financial situation. Obviously if money is more of a concern for you then I would go for Parmiters and put the money towards family holidays, maybe extra tuition and ultimately a North American university maybe?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:44 pm 
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I would agree with Watmum but then I would only consider paying for private education if either money were no object or we had been allocated a poorly performing state school. Pushy Dad's opinion may also be swayed by the fact (from reading previous mails) that his DS did not gain a place at Parmiter's and has a place at Habs, therefore one of the reasons for going down the private route is the fact that it does not seem fair to have one child in private education and the other at a state school (which I can understand). Everyone will have their own view, but my DS is at Parmiter's, he entered via the academic route in 2009 - and is a very bright boy doing exceptionally well. I have seen no evidence to suggest that having less able children at the school means that teaching has been compromised for the more 'academic' children (over 60% of pupils last year had 5 or more GCSE's at A* and A grades). My son is mostly in the top sets - but not for everything - telling me that there are some 'genius children' in some of the top set subjects. I really believe that if you have a bright child that they will reach their potential at a great state school - as hopefully would a less academically able child. Extra curricular opportunities are great also. The year seven footballers have just reached a national final - sport is taken very seriously as is music - so I have no complaints. Undoubtedly Habs is fantastic also - if it did not have great results then given its selection process I would wonder what my money was being spent on! Good luck with your decision!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
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Location: Herts
Two things might influence my choice if both schools were state or both private - what would the journey to school be like and (more importantly) which does your DS prefer?

But one of the schools you mention will require hefty fees. Since you mention financial considerations I assume you are not a "money no object" kind of family. So personally I agree with watmum - why pay when your DS could go to one of the most sought after schools in the area for free?

(should probably declare an interest - I am a Parmiter's parent and am delighted with it. Like aka, I see no evidence that bright children are disadvantaged by the presence of the "less able").


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
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I have just read a post about the poor behaviour of some boys on the Habs coaches and the not-our-problem attitude of the school (Habs boys). There have been a couple of issues on the bus DS takes to get to Parmiter's and they have been dealt with promptly by the school. Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:52 pm
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I agonised over the same choice and came out in favour of Parmiter's.

Comparing a school like Parmiter's with a school like Habs Boys isn't comparing like with like. In my view, a better comparison is to compare Parmiter's with an independent school in an area not served by grammars. In this case the independent school selects from the normal range within a population, and screens out the below average performers. It won't have the same high achievers as Parmiter's, nor will it have slow learners, so ought to be a fair comparison. It's what I did anyway, and found that results in Parmiter's are at least as good as your typical independent. I'm sure there are holes in my logic, but I decided in favour of Parmiter's.

But whatever you decide, it's probably right for your circumstances.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:21 pm
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Many thanks for all your replies so far - very much appreciated. My DS was really keen on DAO and that was our 1st choice, with Parmiters second. He missed out on a place at DAO due to not obtaining a high enough mark in the English exam, even though he did very well in the maths and VR. He did not have tuition, but with hindsight, and as often posted by daogroupie, we should have prepared him specifically for the DAO English exam.

From what we have seen, there are however many similarities between DAO and Parmiters, although Parmiters is a bigger school with perhaps bigger class sizes (around 32 based on our visit to the school).

I do have a daughter at Habs girls primary school and she does really enjoy it and is probably going to be keen to continue on to senior school there if she can. Putting them both through private senior school would be possible but not easy and we would have to make savings elsewhere. My DS has not expressed a strong preference for either Habs or Parmiters and he seems to be fine about going to either of them.

Like pushydad, we feel a little uneasy about giving one child a private education and another a state education even in a good state school, illogical as this may sound.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:23 pm
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I would have thought mixed v single sex would play a big part in your decisions - if your original choice was mixed, it sounds like that is your preference.

Certainly, I prefer single sex for my dds but when my ds is old enough will definitely send him to a mixed school - I think girls have a civilising effect on teenage boys, whereas girls perform better academically without boys (good thing not everyone agrees with me, or my cunning plan would not work as there would be no girls at mixed schools!).

If you can't afford it, why pay a blooming fortune for something you've been offered for free - Parmiters is an excellent school.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:12 pm
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aka - If you tracked my postings over the last few weeks you would have seen that my views on the subject has evolved :D

The original plan was to go private only if we weren't allocated a good state school. My son wasn't so we accepted the Habs place. My daughter, on the other hand, was allocated a good state school and only 4 days ago I argued the case with my wife that we got offerred a good state school so why pay £50k plus for the next 5 years?

I then got talking to a few parents whose kids were at High School and Habs Girls and they made the point that yes academically, if my daughter was bright, the exam results at the end of 5 years would be very similar regardless of whether she went private or not but life at the High School and Habs was more than just about academics. That feedback plus the fact that I didn't want to deny my daughter what her brother got simply because she was lucky enough to get allocated a good state school was enough to seal the deal.

All of this is specific to my income. Obviously if money was more of a contraint with us then I would conclude that extras like nicer field trips wasn't worth the financial burden.


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