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 Post subject: Can anyone advise pls??
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:34 pm
Posts: 2
We are in a dilemma like many on this forum.
Got offers from MTS & HABS but have also received offer from Watford Grammar Boys.
We are confused whether to go for the indies or WGBS. Over a long run, we can somehow manage indies fees but still trying to understand if spending £15K on fees is really worth.
We are running short of time too. Can one accept place at indy by paying the deposit and also accept the Grammar School at the same time? This will buy time to make an informed decision (hopefully!). I know the risk here is losing one term's fees if we eventually go with the Grammar option. But is this possible?
Can anyone provide any advice?

Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:23 am
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There's absolutely nothing legally to stop you paying a deposit to either or both of the Independent schools and accepting the GS place. You will lose your deposits if you don't go ahead with the Independents but you seem aware of that.

Morally, is a different matter. As I have stated in other threads, there are people desperate for places in selective State and Independent schools. By holding on to 2 or 3 places you are depriving another family of making the same decision that you are now faced with. It is not unusual for people to do what you are contemplating and not have the courtesy to let the 'losing' schools know once a decision is made. Come the first day of September term, seats are empty in schools that are oversubscribed - and families have paid out for uniforms etc for schools that they did not want and may have been able to avoid.

You are obviously in a very fortunate position - please remember that not everyone else is.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:09 pm
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Location: Herts
Have a read of the other topics in this forum ("John Lyon vs MTS/HABS", "Good state school v indy", "St Albans Boys or Parmiter's?") - just substitute the name of your schools and most of the info is relevant to your question.

pry001 wrote:
We are confused whether to go for the indies or WGBS. Over a long run, we can somehow manage indies fees but still trying to understand if spending £15K on fees is really worth.
My personal opinion is that the indies are not worth £15K over a school like WGBS. If it was a choice between an indie and a badly performing school or money was not a factor, then I'd say yes, but in your case, probably not.

pry001 wrote:
Can one accept place at indy by paying the deposit and also accept the Grammar School at the same time? This will buy time to make an informed decision (hopefully!). I know the risk here is losing one term's fees if we eventually go with the Grammar option. But is this possible?
Yes. It's not really fair and probably frowned upon, but if you need the time to make the right decision, then that's your choice. As lara said though, it would be the right thing to do to let the other school know as soon as you've made a decision.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:34 pm
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Thanks
I do understand what you guys/girls mean. We will be letting the seats go as soon as we had made our mind.
I just done a number of searches on the forum and have found conflicting views. As we have not studied from this country, I am finding it hard to quantify the differences.
I hope to make the decision soon and let the seat go to the ones in the waiting list.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:10 pm 
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The biggest factor in a child's success is the support of committed parents. I had the choice you have (in a different area) but went for the State Grammar. Assuming you liked both schools when you visited and they have half decent results, why on earth pay if you don't have to? If it doesn't work out you may be able to move DC to indie at 13 anyway


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Thanks MrsB
Are you saying that if the Grammar school option doesn't work out, child can switch to indie at 13+ from Grammar school?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:21 am 
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OP, I went to Merchant Taylors’ and couldn’t speak more highly of the school. However, my DS attends a highly rated boys GS (not Watford but similar), and the only difference I can see is in the range of facilities – MTS has its own squash, fives and tennis courts, fencing salon, swimming pool, lakes for sailing/rowing, and also offer Scouts and/or Combined Cadet Force. There is also, I suppose, the cachet of attending such a school, which in some professions (not mine :lol: ) could open certain doors for your DS quicker than might otherwise be the case.

If such considerations are important enough to you to warrant the expense, I’m sure your DS would have a great time at MTS (or Habs). Private education wasn’t an option for us financially, but we are are very, very happy with DS’s GS and, much more importantly, so is he.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:23 am
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svg123 wrote:
Thanks MrsB
Are you saying that if the Grammar school option doesn't work out, child can switch to indie at 13+ from Grammar school?


Some Indies allow this - sometimes if you sat for the Indie at 11+ they don't, otherwise there's no reason not to try. I know quite a few DCs who have moved from state primary to Indie prep for years 7 & 8 and then tried for various Indies at 13+. It was an option I was considering if the worst case scenario happened!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:17 pm 
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You will know from having looked around the schools what the differenences are. The facilities at MTS and Habs are somewhat different that Watford Grammar. You need to decide what type of environment you want for your DS and whether you can afford it. If you have the finances then the choice is easy - which one would you go for if they were all free ? Unlikely you would choose Watford. However, he is going to get a perfectly good education at Watford Grammar without the frills. Don't struggle to do it when you have the choice of a good state school to choose.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:39 pm
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I was in excatly the same situation last year and a lot of people repeated giving up a place quickly so a deserving child can take her place. I did pay the indie deposit and held on to the GS place for a while.

We decided to take the indie place and called the council to give up the grammar place.

My experience which is individual is that we believe its the best decision we made for our daughter. we went for an open evening at her indie school recently and all her tutors echoed the same thing, her grades at the beginning of september were quite low (could have been down to settling in), however we were informed of this and she was advised to attend some clinics at school, we were delighted to get a report this half term and she had gone up from b/c grades to A and A* grades across board. All her tutors knew her personally and everything they told us about our dd rang true for the way she really is.
I am not convinced she will have had the same support at the grammar school she was allocated as they have a very high intake.

This could be different in other areas but the money we are spending is the best use of the funds in our situation.

good luck with your decision but do not feel rushed to make a decision. you need to do what you feel is totally right for your child.


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