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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:36 pm 
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How do we rate a Good Independent School? What are the Key Parameters?

In the last 4-5 years Grammar Schools have become more and more competitive, can we compare super selective schools vs Indies?

Is Sports and Music the major catchy factors for Indies? We keep hearing the phrase "Overall Development"? Can it not be achieved at a Selective Grammar School?

I know this topic would have been discussed in length at various forums.... still love to have a discussion ...... your views please?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:03 pm 
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There is some difference and it has to do with the resources of schools and parents.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:14 pm 
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And it does depend on what schools you are looking at. Some state schools have much better sports teams and orchestras. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:30 pm 
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Tiffins Boys,

Understand that we need more money (resources) for Sports and Music Facilities.
Its better to have more teacher to student ratio.
Quality of teaching? I heard Good Teachers would prefer to work for a Good state or selective Grammar School due to comfort zone, work-life balance, Job security etc.

I presume post 2008 global recession many parents are looking the Cost and Return on Investment (Say £100,000/-) for Secondary school education? Is it really worth and value for money?

On contrary we heard 35-40% of 2010 London Olympians were from Private Schools? :D

So to nail it down - Sports, Music, Environment and Pastrol Care? Anything else? :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:54 pm 
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As DG rightly mentioned, sports and music could be great at state schools too. e.g. Tiffin has a very competitive rowing team, cricket team and a superb orchestra. But still state schools are financially more and more squeezed. Similarly, the parents income is significantly at lower level (this is my observation; pls don't ask for references) than the ones at independent schools such as St. Pauls or King's. The social mix and over-all development of child is therefore somewhat different. The cricket team of Tiffin would not be touring abroad like the cricket team of Harrow or Merchant Taylor. TGS, apart from the academic results, has no comparison with say LEH. So from the experience point of view, if one can afford it, top rated independent school would offer an overall better experience and academic results.

But if you compare it with 2nd tier (I hate to use this term; but unable to think of a better alternative) independent schools, grammars would definitely be the better option. My feeling is if you have to spend thousands on school fees, go for the very best, otherwise, save the money and go to grammars, if DC gets the place there.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:01 pm 
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The cricket team at at least one Bucks GS does tour abroad so you can't generalise.

Another Bucks GS has a theatre, dance studio and national MFY final appearances for several music groups.

Some do rowing and fencing ..

Funding of state schools in increasing not decreasing and some have far superior facilities to Private schools; including qualified teachers!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:05 pm 
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g55 is quite right too. My observation relates to schools in our region and also with academic results/overall experience. So it all depends on school to school. Visit on open day, speak to parents there, and think of added value if willing to spend on tuition fees.

One of the member here, mentioned earlier that at our best grammar school, TGS, the science lessons for A level are less than the recommended sessions per week. Hope they are using their funding well if these are increasing.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:49 pm 
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CoolParent123 wrote:
I know this topic would have been discussed in length at various forums.... still love to have a discussion ...... your views please?

Pass

Life is too short for that debate.
Regards
SVE

_________________
Animis opibusque parati


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:31 pm 
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Thanks for all your inputs ... very valuable ...

One thing I keep hearing from Parents of top Grammar Schools that the Gap is narrowing between GS and Indies year on year.

The sense of competitiveness is increasing in Grammar Schools ... right from selection to standing out in league tables.
Why League tables ... :D well the Head Teachers of QE / HB / Wilsons said on their open day that there should be a logical end to the Secondary School .... Means the Student should come out with flying colours and higher grades unless he/she wants to excel in other fields ....

Understand the total spending to the student ratio in a Independent School 10-15% higher compare to a Good Grammar School. Thats not a significant % considering in older days there used to be a big gap in quality of teaching and facilities between these two.

If we need to talk about the Sports or Music ....

Understand the top Grammar School in Surrey have a Commonwealth Gold Medalist to coach Badminton, An Olympian for Table Tennis and a former EPL/Npower player to coach Football.
Similarly for music, a tutor who also teaches at some Indies.
This should be the case with other leading GS too??

Pastrol Care / Social Circle / Following the other students from Primary Schools .... Yes Agreed .... these are the influencing factors too.

Views please???


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:52 pm 
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As said here before, it all depends on the schools you are comparing. Which ones are you talking about? There can be great differences in schools in the same county, let alone nationally.

If money is no object to you, then the best would be to find the best school for your child. Where would he be happiest?

Some schools are the "same on paper", however, parents still choose to send their children to a private school as they would like their children to socialise with children from an affluent background. They think that it would be better in the future as their children will network with people of influence. This, of course, may be of benefit to some children, but not to others as due to their nature, they may not socialise with the "influential" people of the future! I doubt, however, if anyone will admit to this!


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