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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:33 am 
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Hello, My DD is capable of passing the Tiffin Girls School Entry Exam as her tutor told us. But she likes St Paul’s Girls School very much after we visited the school on the open day. It is difficult for us to choose one for her. We will be struggling if we choose St Paul’s or LEH school because we have a big mortgage. I am wondering which one is the best? What would most parents do? We don’t want to be selfish.

Any suggestion and experience would be appreciated. Thanks


Last edited by dragonbb2000 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:46 am 
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Well I suppose you have hit the nail on the head - independent schools cost a lot of money and state GS don't. add to the fees the cost of travel and uniform too + commitment for 7 years then university fees.

Many parents will try a range of tests Indies and State tests and see what they get. Beware nothing is guaranteed despite what the tutor says - bad day / bad paper / other bright kids equally tutored .... suggest you keep your options open.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:56 am 
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Thanks hermanmunster. My DD will take all 3 school entry exams. But the thing is what we should do if she passes all exams?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:22 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
There are several factors to weigh up besides finance.
Class sizes in state schools are usually significantly larger.
Contact between home and school can be very limited.
Pastoral care is very different between the two systems.
The idea of the individual can be much less apparent.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:23 pm 
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What to do ? If she passes all three then have a look at the bank balance / the stability of jobs / the distance to school / needs of other kids etc etc .

You will have a short time after March 1st to decide what to do ... maybe have to look at the schools again at that point - tricky for people to decide for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:34 pm 
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When I worked in a prep in London, the girls all went to private schools. I don't think that any of the parents would have considered a state grammar school as "anyone could go to them". Most of the girls went to St. Pauls. We also sent plenty of girls to Godolphin and Latymer, have you looked there? Don't you have a place at Nonsuch as well to consider?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:13 pm 
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moved wrote:
When I worked in a prep in London, the girls all went to private schools. I don't think that any of the parents would have considered a state grammar school as "anyone could go to them". Most of the girls went to St. Pauls. We also sent plenty of girls to, have you looked there? Don't you have a place at Nonsuch as well to consider?



Yes, My DD got a place at Nonsuch. But it is far away from us. Both Tiffin and St. Paulsl are close to us. We have been visited Godolphin and Latymer. It is nice school. But my DD likes St. Pauls most. Is Tiffin good as St. Pauls? It is hard to tell just based on one open day.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:21 pm 
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I disagree with Moved. Such is the competition now, any child getting Tiffin should have a really good chance of getting SPGS, providing they have something to say at interview, and would walk into any of the other Independents, who take largely on the basis of VR and non-VR scores. This is not the case the other way round. You have to be astonishingly good, and astonishingly prepared to get into Tiffin. It is perfectly possible to get a scholarship to a major public school, or a place at any London private day school and yet not get through the 11+.

Obviously quite a lot of parents who send their children to London Prep schools never considered anything but private at secondary. However there is also a large contingent who are there because of the need to buy their way out of what can be very pool local state provision. It is really hard to go from private at Primary to State at secondary, largely because of the amazingly amount of tutoring you appear to need for somewhere like Tiffin. Two years of Saturday mornings, and lots of test papers during the holidays seems to be par for the course. Prep schools, preparing for the independent sector, will not give their pupils anything like enough practice or preparation. And it is not something you would really want to undertake on top of paying fees and the demands of a subject based curriculum and longer school days, unless finances meant you had to.

If you get Tiffin and it is reasonably close I would take a place there. If you change your mind somewhere down the line it is easier to switch to private than the other way round, particularly if you were first offered a place at 11+. SPGS offered quite a lot of places at 6th form, and places come up as people leave London or switchto boarding. Also the really interesting but expensive boys schools, Westminster and Kings, take girls in the sixth form, so perhaps worth saving your money till then.

The Independent alternatives are each quite different. The SPGS lack of uniform is odd. I saw a group of girls looking scruffy in (expensive) hoodies and jeans at a schools event last week, and they looked almost sad and lost compared to girls from other schools in their uniforms. A friend of my daughter's had 30 pairs of shoes by the end of her first year, such is the competition to wear something different every day. The work load is also heavy compared to neighboring schools. It is supremely academic and competitive, and absolutely the right school for the right girl. In contrast Tiffin appears, from girls we have met, to be more relaxed ....once you have got the place.


Last edited by londonmum on Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:38 pm 
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dragonbb2000 wrote:
But my DD likes St. Pauls most. Is Tiffin good as St. Pauls? It is hard to tell just based on one open day.


It depends what you mean by 'good' and, if you consider that for your DD one is better than the other, whether that justifies the fees.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Mad? is right, it depends what you mean by good. St Paul's is more academically rigourous with and astonishingly high number going to Oxbridge. If you are looking purely from an academic stance then St Paul's wins hands down but Tiffins is one of the top grammar schools in the country so she will get a great education there too. If you want value for money then obviously Tiffins wins.


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