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 Post subject: Independent vs Grammar
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:29 pm 
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Ok this has been asked many times, but its decision time again, so let me ask it again.

We have an offer from a Private School which seem to have identical results at GCSE and A levels when compared to a Grammar which we expect the child will be offered a place. I have read that Independent offers much better overall development compared to Grammar? Is that true? Also does Private help in University places also better compared to State?

We can just about afford Private fees, not very comfortable but we will not have to take loans or such to do so.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:38 pm 
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If you can afford the fees, then accept the offer from which ever school you feel is a better fit for your child. If you can't easily afford the fees, then then grammar is better.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:03 pm 
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It will also depend which schools they are. But there really is nothing particularly magical about an independent school. Is it really worth the £200000 over 7 years?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:18 pm 
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I understand sending a child to an independent if the alternatives are poor. Personally I can't think of any reasons why I would choose an Indie over our excellent local selective schools - but then I couldn't afford an indie if I wanted to so I suppose I've not considered it at any great length...
In terms of your specific questions:
I think independent schools have historically been thought to improve confidence and the ability to speak in public etc - I think other schools have improved this in the last couple of decades and I wonder how much difference it makes now?

Some independent schools have much better facilities than some state schools and therefore may be able to offer more development in more niche areas such as fencing - or be able to offer excellent swimming pools etc - some state schools can offer these things too. At the end of the day, I would have thought that if that us your dd/ds's passion then it might be worth the money. If it is not, it probably isn't.
In terms of university, apparently the "top" universities are trying harder to increase their uptake of state school pupils. Realistically a lot of these places are still taken up by private school students. But it is not just down to the school. Some parents are desperate to push their children towards certain universities (and may be more likely to send their children to independent schools). Some parents are desperate not to push their children towards certain (more expensive) universities (and may be more likely to send their children to state schools). Theoretically the same child with the same abilities, the same results and the same ambitions, ought to be more likely to get a place from a state school.

More sadly, some schools push their pupils down the route of Oxbridge or other top universities, purely for the sake of their "destination tables", rather than considering the ideal route for that child. Given how many parents appear to look at the schools' leavers' destinations, I can understand why they do this but I think it's very sad. I have to say I haven't got the least idea of how many leavers attend any particular uni (or none at all) from my children's school - but I am confident that they will have my children's best interests at heart when they get to that point - which is way more important to me.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:34 pm 
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Does someone knowhow to pin an earlier discussion on this? It seems to come up over and over again. The same assumptions, stereotypes and biases come up each and every time and each and every time I feel compelled to defend (1 in grammar, 1 in indie, twins). It might be best to read through the discussions from another time but one over riding thing comes out from each and every time it comes up, and that is, pick the school that suits your child. Don't be tempted to go private just for the sake of going private, but equally, don't be pressed into thinking you are wrong to put yourselves under some reasonable pressure to cover school fees if you feel it's right for your child. We don't regret either of our choices. Both could have attended grammar, only 1 did and the ithe went indie. Very glad, each school suits each child, and unless it means you can't pay your mortgage, you are not in the least bit foolish to choose indie if you feel at all uncomfortable about the othe option.

Totally up to you and your child.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:09 pm 
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curiousman wrote:
I have read that Independent offers much better overall development compared to Grammar?


If you are suggesting Indies add more value-added -I think you are right I don't think my son would of got A* in English or his MFL if he went to our well respected local Grammar!They don't just offer catch up classes st lunch time but individually tailored remedial help supervised by the most senior teachers with weekly progress meeting essentially one to one tutoring for 2 hrs a week, that's what you pay for.

curiousman wrote:
Also does Private help in University places also better compared to State?


I think the opposite is true -a state child with the same grade predictions as my son or even 1 or 2 grades lower will trump my son in the admissions race.

You pays your money and you takes your chances.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:00 pm 
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Good Grief Catseye! You astound me! Are there really students at your selective private school that require that level of one to one help to get a good grade at GCSE? What on earth do they do when they get to A levels and then University. Does a staff member go with them?

Surely having to do this must reflect either on the teaching or the rigour of the entrance exam?

How can students need so much help after five years of teaching?

Of course grammar schools don't offer this level of help. They shouldn't need to. No student who needs two hours a week one to one help would have got into the school in the first place. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:25 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
You astound me! Are there really students at your selective private school that require that level of one to one help to get a good grade at GCSE?


It's not that selective it only take the top 25-30% of the national cohort, we not talking about superselectives like QE or Westminster School.

Daogroupie wrote:
What on earth do they do when they get to A levels and then University. Does a staff member go with them?

He's a STEM candidate -no interest in pursuing English or Humanities or FML at A Level-my DD on the other hand is quite an all rounder no need for her to go an Indie School-waste of money for her!

I am glad he had the extra help because although he may not realise it yet but the school has given him the tools to appreciate the beauty of poetry and literature as well he may want to pick up his Spanish in the future and thus enrich his life in the future.

I have no regrets- money well invested imho.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:53 pm 
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curiousman wrote:
Ok this has been asked many times, but its decision time again, so let me ask it again.

We have an offer from a Private School which seem to have identical results at GCSE and A levels when compared to a Grammar which we expect the child will be offered a place. I have read that Independent offers much better overall development compared to Grammar? Is that true? Also does Private help in University places also better compared to State?

We can just about afford Private fees, not very comfortable but we will not have to take loans or such to do so.


It would depend on the schools.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:31 pm 
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loobylou wrote:
Some independent schools have much better facilities than some state schools and therefore may be able to offer more development in more niche areas such as fencing - or be able to offer excellent swimming pools etc - some state schools can offer these things too.


I have found this to be true generally in the West Midlands.However I went to a state comprehensive in West Yorkshire which has been closed down since athough recently ressurected in a different form and what they did have was their own swimming pool(small)and offered fencing lessons for a year in school. I was able to continue with lessons outside of school allowing me to continue my development with the foil.Others in the club moved to the sabre and the epee.The club allowed me to represent Kirklees in a number of competitions at U16 and U18 level with electric foils and electronic scoring.Curious combination I had at school rugby league,fencing and chess.

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