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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:36 pm
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It is possible that DD will have to choose between a top independent school and top grammar school. If this turns out to be the case, I am not sure which option to go for. Both schools are a similar distance and DD currently attends a state primary school.

Apart from the obvious difference (i.e. cost), what types of things would you as a parent be asking yourself as you try and reach a conclusion.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:09 am 
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interesting situation - having v good indie v good GS at similar distances - rarely happens in more sparsely populated areas where either the GS or Indie is good but rarely both!

I pondered on this 8 years ago and decided to go for a GS - moving to do so. Glad I did - purely on financial grounds, would have had to pay 12 child years of indie fees plus one year at Uni... employment is getting iffy and I want to have some money left when I retire in a few years!

Also not sure if a senior school can fundamentally offer a child that much more .. I think primary level can and I think parents can but it is a touch of the jesuits about it all (except I reckon it is 11 not 7!)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:29 am 
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Location: Shamballa
Hi we know a few people wo chose the top Independent over the grammar. All for the same reasons-they could afford it ,smaller classes and more facilities,more "upper middle classes" in the Independents and better potential for "networking".

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:47 pm
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We are in the same situation, but we don't need to pay for the indie as ds has been offer an academic scholarship and music scholarship that covered full fees also with free music lessons...so we will go to the indie! However, if we do need to pay, we may go to the grammar... :?
Therefore, the main concern for indie v grammar...for me it really down to the cost...am I right? :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:13 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
DD spent a day at the independent after the offers were made and then made the decision herself. We were obviously happy with it at the time and 5 years later we are still convinced the grammar was/is the right place for her.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:34 am 
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We were in exactly the same position a year ago. DD had an academic scholarship to a top independent school and an offer to a top grammar school. She is very happy at the grammar school, but it was the most difficult decision I have had to make so far and I don't think I'll ever know whether I made the right one.

My experience a term and a half into the grammar school is a positive one. DD is doing very well academically with some fabulous teachers although that is not universal and there are some less inspiring ones. She has made friends, is happy and involved in the many things the school has to offer (music, sport etc). However, it is a big school and lacks the personal touch that the smaller private school would possibly offer. Also, although this is a super selective school there is low level disruption in class from some misbehaving children.

Good luck with your decision.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:36 pm 
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I understand there is a high correlation in what a child achieves at 11 and 16. If that is true, then GCSE results etc should be pretty similar regardless which one of the two schools you go for.

The question is then how do you justify the fees ? Potential networks is obviously one positive.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:10 pm
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Independent is a no brainer if you have the funds - as the networking/"old boys" network (as it were) is still (unfortunately) what is needed in professional life. Also the facilities are always better, even the school dinners.

A grammar is academically fine but school must provide more nowadays - it is even more about who you know nowadays than ever e.g. for intern-ships and the chance of employment when children finish full time education.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:21 pm 
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cricket - the faciliteis are no 'always better' nor the dinners!

It depends on where you are in the country - remember teachers do not have to be qualified in a Private school and the hidden costs e.d. uniform are often shocking!

I've taught in both and chose GS for my child.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:19 pm
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Obviously it depends very much on the schools and the area. I think a lot of independents have smaller class sizes, different options (Mandarin), better facilities like theatres or better trips abroad or exchanges. I also tend to think they are more focussed on kicking the kids up the arse to get the grades. I know some girls at the leading independents and they are worked very hard, much harder than at DD's super selective.

I would say to look at the demographics of each school. In London for example there are some schools with a seriously affluent intake and girls can pretty much afford whatever they want plus expensive parties and socialising further along the line. In my DD's grammar school there are a few people with pools or ponies but it is not the norm, though there are very few people on free school meals etc. You are likely to be seeing the same group of parents on and off for the next seven years, perhaps some will become your friends, which one do you feel more comfortable with?

I would also look at the obvious things like travelling time, the destination universities of leavers and of course the one your daughter prefers.


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