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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:06 pm 
I had a small legacy which I used up to give my son(only child) a good foundation (I thought)by sending him to an independent School.Now I have made him sit for the 11+ Grammar School exams but it has been very hard work because he did not know the basics in Maths and English.I manage to improve his maths quite well but not enough time to do English as I work full time. I did complain to the School about the Child not being stretched to the full.And I cannot believe but I am paying for it as well. May be they do not like me because I complain.But despite several letters to the class teachers he does not respond to me at all and the Head is very supportive of her staff.May be they are biased towards me, but I feel very anxious that my child is wasting his time there. They are aware that I have made him sit for the Grammar School exams and hopeful we shall depart but there is no gurantee! but they are getting the school fees and should not give up on a child who might leave.Besides it is wasting his precious time.I have left several messages for the class teacher to ring me but no responce. I feel quite angry but not sure where to send him for the next two terms, also what happens if he does not getting in the Grammar!. Although the present school goes upto the age of 18 I am not sure if I want to leave him there because of the Schools apathy. If it was a good school then may be if he did not get into grammar then I would have worked extra hours to pay the fees. My aim is to give :x him one thing and thats good education.I would be grateful for any help in this matter as I feel very let down.
Thanks
Naina


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:42 pm 
Dear Naina,

I do not have an answer to your problems, however I have a few comments.

Merely putting your child in a Preparatory School is no guarantee that he would excel in every subject. Being a preparatory school their primary focus will be to preparation for senior independent schools (not grammar schools).

Private schooling is a business and should therefore be seen as such. That is to say you are a customer and they are the service providers. As with most businesses if they suspect that you are not likely to be a customer much longer, since you have indicated that you may opt out into the state sector, keeping you happy is the least of their priorities. So it does not surprise me that they do not respond to your communications. To them you are a lost cause and the sooner you leave the better as far as they are concerned. They are probably also aware that you have no choice for the next two terms but to complete the academic year there.

What you have to do is not challenge an institution that quite clearly is not going to be moved or bothered by whatever you do; you should instead focus your energies on your son’s future. After all why take on a battle that you cannot win and weaken yourself in the process. You should therefore find alternatives for both scenarios: (1) success into grammar school entry (2) no success into grammar school entry.

Your aim, as with every other parent in this forum, is to give your child a good education. I therefore suggest that you prepare for both the above mentioned scenarios and forget the current school, focus on the positive; it may be harsh advice as there are probably deep emotions involved here but on the long run it may be the best course for you.

QED


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:08 am 
Dear QE Dad
Many Thanks for your good directions.(I felt emotional therefore was not looking things objectively). I totally understand what you are saying and I will do my very best to do the positives you mention.Please accept my sincere thanks for good advice.
Warm Regards
Naina :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:15 pm 
My friend's son went to a well known independent prep school. The school found that he wasn't learning as well as he should be and asked her to have him assessed for difficulties (all at her own expense - it would have been free if he had gone to a state school). As soon as the results of the report were available, the school wanted him to leave immediately since he was found to have moderate/severe learning difficulties. They even refunded some of the fees, so desperate were they to rid the school of him. You can imagine what sort of an effect this had on a 7 year old boy. Just an anecdote.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:57 pm 
I have paid for my son to go to an Independent Junior school since he was 4, he gained level 3 in his first set of sats and appeared to be doing OK. In year 4 things went a little downhill, when they said that he was slow with writing and spelling and despite them doing so dyslexia tests, they decided there was no problem there. We were going to get him independently tested if we were worried in the future. He is now in year 5 and this week we have received a letter from the Senior section of his school (not automatic entry), asking for a meeting with the Head, as they are concerned about his work for transfer to senior school. On his last report, he is doing Ok, average, but there are some kids in his class who have tutors and are very competitive and advanced. he will be heartbroken if he cannot continue to the senior school. It makes me wonder what Ihave been paying for and also why some independent schools are only keen on the high performers. My son may have not mutured in certain areas yet...help!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:43 am 
Dear Arabella,

I do not know about the particluar school that you are making reference to. However the simple answer to your predicament is League Tables. At the end of the day these schools feel that they can justfify higher fees the higher up the league table they are. One child that is see to bring down an otherwise perfect average school rating would be "weeded" out by the school at an early age in order not be be accused of gerry-mandering later on prior to GCSE/A-levels. The simple economics for the school is that they would rather have one disgruntled parent than loose what can amount to tens of thousands of pounds of additional revenue.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:46 am 
I have a friend whose child was unceremoniously removed from a prep school because he was underperforming - it was quite upsetting at the time. They were desperate to get him out of the school.

He then went to a state primary school who were brilliant with him. They had him assessed and he was found to have profound difficulties, despite (like your child) doing really well at the year 2 Sats! I have come to the conclusion that private schools are fine for children who are performing well in class, but if a child is finding something difficult, they are less willing to help.

Let me wish you every success in sorting this out - I know it is really hard because you want the best for him.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:47 pm 
Hi Arabella,

Have just posted some infoon another thread to Chins re handwriting difficulties. This might help you also. I would personally seek private assessments of your child particularly if you want to keep him where he is. I recently attended a seminar on Dyspraxia, where Manchester Grammar got a mention. Apparently they eliminate dyslexics and ADHD children through their rigourous entrance exams yet they still find about 15% "failing", usually through previously unidentified dyspraxia. Happily they don't kick these out but apply alternative methods of teaching! Try an OT assessment first if the school has already tested for dyslexia. Ultimately though you should be prepared to move him if your scholl isn't prepared to co-operate. Don't pay for the privilege of the school failing your son.

HP


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:50 pm 
Meant to say school not scholl - typing error not spelling :lol:

HP


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:03 pm 
hi naina,
just read your post today ,new to this forum.Am in a similar situation you were with your son, hope fully, you have moved on positively.My son's school do not want to know ,they also have a senior school and would rather we stay and keep paying! The head is rude ,there isn't a day go by when I don't think can I get him out! my son will be in year 6 this september ,we're also taking the 11 plus hoping to get to grammar, the school do not know this otherwise they would be more dismissive of him.Sometimes I get so angry and think ,why should I be paying when am so unhappy?But then again i think to change school with a year to go may be unsettling,I feel so desperate at times.
My advice to anyone considering independent education is do your homework! go on recommendations, if you don't get a good feel about the head initially, take your costom somewhere else, there are many others who are caring and will do the job well.!


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