Thanks all, it is really useful to hear from everyone.
We are coming to the independent schools table late as my DS sat the 11+ at two super selectives local to us and we were really hopeful that he might be offered a place, sadly he has just missed out.
It has all been very stressful, but in the back of our minds we knew that there were plenty of excellent indies to apply to in the local area.
Now the in-depth research begins proper!
We already looked around St Albans earlier in the year and really like it, but now feel that we will need more than one option. Is this usual? DSs school seem to recommend having only one, but having heard stories of 'dead-cert' children not getting offers to the independents of their choice, we are erring on the side of caution.
Best wishes to all