Our DS is at St. Olave's and hates it, so much so we are seriously considering looking elsewhere - or even home schooling.
Academically he is extremely bright but under new head school is just an exam factory.
Bullying and racism are rife particularly in the lower school - also big problems with discipline - school seem reluctant to deal with worst offenders as loss of pupils means loss of income - some 'offenders' would have long since been out of the door in lesser academic (larger) schools.
Staff turnover is an issue 25% this year, 20% year before - head is rumoured to remove those who disagree with his ethos - i.e. A*s for everything or hit the highway. Governing body also rumoured to be split on direction school is taking.
Many of the new staff are young and inexperienced - i.e. cheap - school is under increasing financial pressure and every week they are asking for money for something or other.
The school we thought DS was going to (if it ever actually existed) has long gone.
If all you are interested in are exam results them Olave's a good bet, despite other pastoral issues.
If you are looking for a more rounded education then look elsewhere.
This post create fear in me. My son is in this school and we have not experience any of these problems yet. In fact, he always call St Olave's a state private school as result of their academic, sport and other activities. He is very happy there leaving home 7.10 am returning sometimes between 4.30-6.30, it depends on the activity of the day or School home work he has to do or using the music studio for his piano practice. He visited some private schools including Eton and also play rugby in some of these schools as well, so he knows the difference when it comes to activities, sport and academic.
I am very aware that St. Olave's voluntary contributions are higher than many other schools but I know parents who do not contribute as it is voluntary. I have not heard of racism issue either but I am going to research on this.
Staff turnover is not limited to St. Olave's, it is happening in my daughter's grammar school for opposite reason, the result is dropping very fast as result of new head who relaxed most of the academic measures put in place by the previous head. In fact I know girls who did not go back but instead move to St. Olaves or DGS for their sixth form and some of my daughter form mates are taking the same step now.
I have seen young teachers in the school as well but remember that some of St. Olaves teachers are fast approaching retirement age. Some parents are also complaining on this forum that the head has zero tolerance to indiscipline in fact saying that the head has turned St. Olave's to a military school but now am reading the opposite here.
I am going to speak to parents with older children in the school to find out about the racism, bullying and indiscipline issues. If these are happening, St. Olave's will soon lose their reputation very fact but I want to keep my mind open, speak to parents with older children. I believe in balance education with very outstanding pastoral care which I have found the first part in St. Olave's but time will let me know about the pastoral care which is very important as well.