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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:11 pm
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First all, would like to say how invaluable I have found the forums over the last few months.

My eldest has just secured offers at a few private schools, including our first choice of NLCS. Its been a very tough few months (and I have to do this two more times!!!).

I really feel for all those children who have missed out on a place. A few marks dropped here and there, we could easily have been in the same position. I can now appreciate, having gone through the process for the first time, how much work and pressure our children have had to go through. It is so unfair, that they have had to go through this at such an age.

We are hoping for an offer from HBS. But that is when the real dilema begins!! What to do? Finding the funds to pay for NLCS will not be easy, and life will be so much easier financially if we go for HBS. But if we go NLCS, will the struggle be worth it? Basically what will be the value added gained from paying against not paying.

Academically there is not much in it between the two schools. Just looking at the lists of where and what girls have gone on to study, and you know that won't be a problem at whichever school our daughter ends up in.

I guess its down to the non-academic aspects (sports, societies, trips, charater building, etc) and the facilities. We have been to a few open days and tours at the schools, but its hard to gauge how much of these aspects are gained after 7 years at the school.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Logic would suggest going for the grammar school. You have two more kids who may not get into grammar school so I would save fees for that eventuality. I don't think there is a lot between all the schools in the Herts/Barnet area so I'd plump for the free school.

You heard it here! Tipsy would choose grammar over independent - unfortunately we didn't apply! :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Unless money is no object, I personally would plump for HBS. In hindsight I regret not accepting the places we were offered (which was because the journey to the school was complicated from where we live). I have 4 dd's and the cost of educating them privately is significant. There are lots of trips and extras and I am now used to letters home advising that certain trips are compulsory and the cost will automatically be added to the fees.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:26 am
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Being in Scotland, we don't have the grammar school option, however, if we did I would probably go down that route before forking out for fees.
As a previous poster said, you may need to find alot more money in the future should your next DC's not pass the 11 plus.

As for extra curricular stuff, we as a family already do huge amounts of activities like Netball, gymnastics, language club, guides etc, so all of that is totally achievable should you choose the GS option. Chances are it'll be a darn sight cheaper in monthly fees and family holidays could be in Barbados rather than Skegness!!

<<Apologies to anybody from Skegness!!>> :wink: :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:21 am
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My sister in law sent her oldest child to an independent as she had a substantial scholarship. My niece thrived however my sister in law struggled financially throughout the 5 years her daughter attended. The family's only holidays were at my other sister-in-law's second home - they were lucky to have that option. School fees seem to go up far faster than the income which pays them and if you are unsure about how you will pay for the first child how will you manage when the second reaches secondary school?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:51 pm
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We've been there and, after being somewhat unsure, decided on HBS. I think it was the right decision for DD1.

Now we're possibly going to be there again (although it'll be DAO vs NLCS if we get lucky). I think it's a done deal from DW's POV (NLCS all the way). DD2 and myself are slightly less certain. The fact that it will compromise our lives in many ways doesn't seem to be a factor (sometimes I wonder if it's a plus to the masochist/martyr in her!).

Sport is way better at NLCS - virtually non-existent at HBS! That's a factor away from HBS for us. Transport to HBS isn't as bad as I first thought, whereas it seems that everyone at NLCS uses the £1500/year coach service. Goodness knows what we'd do if DD1 had gone NLCS.

I think the pastoral care is way superior at NLCS and the staff:pupil ratios make for an easier time for all concerned (other than money!). HBS are a little more sink-or-swim. If your DD is driven and bright, then I'd go for HBS.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:11 pm
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Thanks to all who have replied.

Well, we will know later today if we have a choice to make!!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:21 pm
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Barnet Dad, really useful topic and thank you for the useful insight into the 2 schools. Hope to make it to the HBS quiz night.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:11 pm
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Well, looks like I was hoping too much, and DD did not get an offer from HBS. The state school we did get, is not for us. NLCS here we come!!

Will see if DD gets waiting list offer from HBS. Does anyone know how this works, after having been through it?


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