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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:23 am 
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If money were no object, which school would you pick?
Academically they seem very similar, but which is best for overall happiness, and enjoying the next 5+ years?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:40 am 
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I think it may be worth reading through past threads - these questions keep coming up, so TB vs KG is bound to have been discussed before. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:20 pm 
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Firstly well done for seeing it as a 5 year decision - always surprised me that some people examine league tables based on A level results so carefully, without looking at how many of the 11 year olds eventually end up being represented in those numbers.

Both are academic schools. There are 2 key differences of course: state v private, single-sex v co-ed. IMO the former will have a greater impact on you as a parent, the latter on your dc in their day to day experience as a pupil.

State v Private

"Money no object" - for most parents this isn't the case. Tiffin has done very well in funding in the past, and has rightly been seen as a free alternative to Hampton, possibly even KCS. However we are entering a time when austerity is hitting all state schools. Tiffin has responded by increasing the intake. However I would look at the financial projections carefully. They have continued to unsuccessful in their bid to the EFA to get the dining facilities upgraded, and for additional classrooms (beyond the recent 3 added). Their funding has been cut by 2.4% over the last 3 years and will be flat going forward - this means they cannot give any pay rises without managing to replace more expensive staff with cheaper alternatives. Given we are entering a period of severe teacher shortages at a time when secondary pupil numbers are increasing, these will be challenging times in terms of teacher recruitment, especially when private schools can choose to pay more. I would be looking at job ads carefully. Whilst we often hear about the fact that state schools must have qualified teachers, this does not equate to teachers teaching a subject in which they have a degree, or even an A level. I have noticed some of the Sutton grammar schools job ads are now looking for general humanities teachers, capable of teaching RS, Geography and History to GCSE/A level. Whilst I have no reason to believe that Tiffin will necessarily be forced down this route, clearly the governors have stated they are looking at cutting costs. When the main cost is staff I would be looking carefully to see where the cuts lie. There is also the possibility of Tiffin going for a multi-academy trust (as Nonsuch and WHSG have), and I suspect that those discussions are already happening. Grammar schools are not automatically protected from austerity, and of course are subject to many political whims, as all public sector activities are.

In terms of value for money, you can spend a lot of money to address the possible effects of cuts in the state sector, and still be better off than you would be paying fees. However as a fee-payer there is a slightly different relationship with the school, and to a certain extent a different accountability. I know a number of grammar parents who feel powerless to influence some of the changes being made at their schools. Whilst fee-paying parents equally have no formal power, in practice they are at least given the opportunity to discuss changes affecting their children at a senior level.

Single-sex v Coed

This is the aspect which will have more difference to your child. Usually I see parents weighing up Hampton and Tiffin, rather than KGS. KGS will have a different demographic profile in terms of ethnicity and religion to Tiffin. There will be boys scoring very highly in maths or English who are let down by a drop of marks in the other subject and therefore will miss out in Tiffin, but still be exceptionally bright and capable across other subjects. So I don't think that you will find a huge difference in the majority of the intake at either school. However because KGS is co-ed, you may find that the lowest end of the intake consists of younger siblings of scholars. Personally I think that the family-feel of a co-ed is a bonus, but I think you need to consider which environment suits your ds. I've had dc in both singlesex and co-ed depending on their personality. I would think about your son's social skills to see what might suit him. There will be more boys in the yeargroup at Tiffin to find similar minded boys, but equally I think there are strengths to ensuring that boys are comfortable with academic girls.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:10 pm 
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Thank you so much ladymuck for taking the time to write such a detailed response. I'm not too bothered about the academic stuff (I'm not sure that I should admit to that on this forum!) - I just want him to be happy and have a nice group of friends! Kids to hang out with socially and play Xbox and football with.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:42 pm 
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Ladymuck thank you, people like you are the reason this site is so invaluable and I've learned so much these past months about the whole 11+ system.
I was thinking about the same thing as Kingstone as my DS got accepted into KGS and we are still waiting for the GS results. However he loved KGS , the teachers, the pupils the whole exam experience was so different than the other schools he sat and he immediately said he wants to go there in preference to all the other schools.
We have visited Hampton and TS (twice) but he didn't get this vibe from any other school so much so that he's not interested now if he gets into a GS anymore.
The financial aspect is a worry as we can stretch, just, but if he gets into a GS will be much easier for us but I'm not sure how happy he will be. TS didn't strike me as friendly, we were there for a short time,twice, I agree but we have friends with boys there and I can't say that they have a social life outside the school with their colleagues.
If we can improve somehow on the social side I'm worried re financial state of the state schools going forward as I've read on this site that TGS is replacing experienced teachers with teachers with less than 5 years experience as they are cheaper. So is the value added by the GS getting less and the results are down to superselection,hard working children and supportive parents?
Anyway we have to wait until 1st of March and see, KGS might be our only choice and problem solved :|


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:59 pm 
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It's an interesting question between these two schools and I've not seen them directly compared before, and a brilliant job of it is done above! Sitting across the road from each other, many things appearing similar - even having sports sites separate from the main site and across the road from each other; yet one you would spend approx. £120,000 at over seven years, the other one much less than that.

Ladymucky has it all spot on. Since it was specifically mentioned I would add that football isn't great at either - not played at Tiffin Boys apart from in house games, and played to a low standard at KGS. Boys I know at KGS have made good friends and see them outside; at Tiffin this has been much less so.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:07 pm 
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Disclaimer-Tiffin parent.
This is a toughie and I have some sympathy as I was in this position 2 years ago.
OP-Choose KGS as money is no object and your criteria is met by this school.KGS is fantastic and we were impressed by the ethos of the school and the pupils are very well rounded.
For what to is worth,Tiffin does push the boys and high standards are expected and obviously there are many gifted students.Don't be put off by the open day,it is a bit of a scrum but not indicative of the school.There is a wide range of sports,clubs and the music is second to none especially the choirs.We have discovered that some teachers are ex-Tiffin and many have siblings at Tiffin and TGS(about 8 in his class).Many parents are doctors.
I know that I am going to be slaughtered for this but at the time of making the decision of which school we looked at the league tables and Oxbridge acceptances and Tiffin was superior .They have 20 Oxbridge offers this year.I know Oxbridge is not the end all or be all and Russell universities are just as good but it is an indicator of achievement.I hope this will sway those who are undecided although Ladymuck does make good points about co-ed.
The elephant in the room is money,when DS was selected the fees was £15k and it is now £17400 for the next academic year.For most parents the money over 7 years could pay for university fees,mortgage and a deposit for a flat.It is quite simply a huge financial commitment but I guess some people are happy to pay.
Over to you, Tiffinboys.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:00 pm 
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mjuly wrote:
Over to you, Tiffinboys.


:D :D Thank you for the invite.

Not much to add to the excellent response given by Ladymuck.

Where money is not the issue, then it should really depends on the child. Academically both schools have great results, despite KGS intake not being as selective as TS. Big differences between the two schools are single sex vs mixed sex; ethnic mix of the students; and also financial position. Grammar schools budgets are being badly cut by the current government. Pupil premium would play an important part in future, so most likely, TS would not remain as selective as it is now.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:09 pm 
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Kingstone wrote:
If money were no object, which school would you pick?

Hampton

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