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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:00 pm
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Hi everyone

Having celebrated that my son recieved an offer for Tiffin, I am now in two minds whether it's the best school for him or not. With all the problems of finances and the headmaster one wonders where it will all end up. It's not just Tiffin that the council has mis-managed, but since I have a 4yr old, they have asked all the reception class schools to create one more class as they mis-calculated number of children that would be attending reception class this year.

My immediate priority is to make the right decision for my son - whether to accept a place at Tiffin or send him to Sutton Grammar which is an exceptional school, but will have to take the bus. Having spoken to quiet a few parents they have opted for either private or Sutton Grammar even though places have been offered at Tiffin. At first I thought they were out of their minds not accepting Tiffin, but now having read the threads about Tiffin in crisis and spoken to other parents, I too I'm beginning to have reservations about Tiffin especially now that they are asking parents to contribute nearly £1200 per year to bring their finances up to date.

Is anyone else thinking along the same lines as me and having reservations about Tiffin???

Any info/comments welcome.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:31 pm
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Location: London
nice position to be in
wouldn't think that two grammar schools are that different to worry about this too much
the yourney and the money would be more of a reason, for me

PS
I am trying to decide between the mixed comp nearer home or the further away single sex grammar (to put things in perspective)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:30 pm 
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Hi Artemis,
I'm new to the forum but have been reading the various threads for quite some time. Just because the Tiffin financial situation has made headlines would be no reason for me personally to 'jump ship' to another school. Tiffin, when all's said and done, is an excellent school and I truly believe their affairs will be sorted in the near future. They have undoubtedly learned from their mistakes and measures, I am sure, are being taken to ensure such a situation does not happen again. For me, I would take into account journey time as this will affect your DS's quality time, happiness, social life etc. Both are excellent schools.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 3445
Location: london
Hi Artemis

Congrats to DS. I think the request for extra reception classes is more widespread than just Kingston (we're certainly having to do it) so don't judge them too harshly, lots LAs have done next to no planning! For what it is worth I don't think Tiffin will become a bad school over night - one could argue that its success is down to its intake anyway. Personally if I had a local option I would chew my arm off to get in. Kids can be very resilient when it comes to long school journeys but a short one is infinitely preferable.
One thing, forgive my ignorance but how do you have a choice of schools when I thought the CAF was supposed to ensure that each child gets one offer?

_________________
mad?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:30 pm
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Unless I am missing a trick, I don't think it is that easy to switch schools. As mad? mentioned the whole point is that a child gets one offer. If one does not take this offer and decided to go to another school, I am pretty sure they are going to be placed in the waiting list and this list is going to be dynamic, moving up and down.

DS also passed the Sutton Grammar test and the letter from them was so inviting. It reads like ..

.. you might wish to know that your son performed extremely well in the Sutton Grammar School tests and I would have been delighted to admit him to Sutton Grammar School in September 2009 had we been his first preference school. ....

it continues further saying that for any help to contact their registrar, etc.

There is no score or marks in the letter. If anyone thinking of jumping, on what basis people can be confident that there will be a place offered? Will the school's office tell parents the score before putting the name in the waiting list?

The whole point of all those open evenings, visits and chats prior to submitting the forms and putting down the preferences is to avoid this last minute confusions.

hmm.. don't know what to advise people this way or the other.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:54 pm 
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Location: London
Hi Gilly
thanks for posting note from Sutton's letter
my son passed Sutton too, and letter said
... you might wish to know that your son performed well in the entrance examination and met the stardard required for entry to Sutton Grammar School
which I now read that he passed but not in the top 120, for my peace of mind


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Oops. I am sorry Giulio if my post made things no better.

I wouldn't have guessed that their letters had this different wordings depending on the position.

Don't you think that they could have done a favour to all by simply putting the numbers in the letter to make things straight instead of playing this guessing game with their clever phrases?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:47 pm 
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Location: London
no need to be sorry, I'm happy I know how things stand

they do not say the numbers so that the children that do get in are all on the same level, as it should be, I agree with that principle


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 153
Artemis: First, I would like to remind you that a lot of heated discussion on Tiffin school which could be found in this forum is a mixture of facts and personal opinions, so, please read them carefully. Have you noticed that a few threads regarding this issue have been blocked? Maybe the moderates think the certain content of some "opinion" is too much?

Second, as a Tiffin parent, as far as I know, the voluntary contribution money is still £520 per year at moment. ( I don't know if it will change or not in the future.)

Third: like other parents who posted here, I doubt how can you get 2 offers at hand? Ok, I rather believe it is genuine question, so, toss a coin to decide? Maybe choose the one near youy home? Good luck!

Best regards


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:30 pm
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On the voluntary contribution - I can't remember receiving any information from the school that they are going to increase the amount. This is something that is not compulsory and one can pay more, less or none and there is no discrimination.

I remember from a Head Master's question time couple of years ago with the then head Sean Heslop mentioning that he doesn't even look into the contribution list on purpose because he did not want to know who is paying and who is not.

Tiffin in the news - yes, recently there has been a lot said and written about the school but on what subject. Mainly on its financial situation. Note that this school is not in the news for reasons such as student bad behaviour or violence in the premises or such bad things.

Believe me there are loads of extra curricular activities going on in Tiffin, such as Music, orchestra, rowing, skiing, science club, challenge clubs, etc, etc.. and obviously all these require extra money.

Tiffin is also a school where they bring in new ideas and stuff. They don't want to stand still and are prepared to take risks. This I believe is the reason behind all these 'independent studies' and 'vertical tutoring' .

Sometimes as parents we don't like some of these initiatives and sometimes there have been bad decisions made by the school as well. But at least, they are trying to introduce new concepts into teaching and are, more importantly, willing to learn from the mistakes.

Sutton Grammar is also a great school. We really felt when we read the letter from Sutton Grammar. But one cannot simply degrade a school like Tiffin due to the reasons such as head leaving and financial troubles. Schools like Tiffin are built to last all these and won't go down that quickly.


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