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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:24 am 
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I just wondered if I could ask advice from any parents who have found themselves in this position.

Three children: My DD1 is at a grammar school, DS1 passed 11+ but is unlikely to get a place, DD2 has moderate learning difficulties so 11+ not even a consideration. We long ago realised a (particular) private school would suit DD2's needs.

Our local comp is not a good fit for DS1 for many reasons, so he has now sat for some indies. (We'll find out for sure whether or not he'll get a grammar school place in March which, annoyingly, would be the ideal school for him. It's very unlikely, but if he does my problem becomes less of an issue!) We have openly chatted as a family about why three different schools will fit our three very different children and that we want all of them to be happy at school as a first consideration.

DD1, however, has suddenly started to moan constantly about the situation e.g. how her holidays will be shorter than siblings if they are both at indies, how the classrooms at her school are awful, how her siblings will enjoy better sports facilities (she seems to have forgotten that she actually doesn't much like sports anyway, whereas her siblings both really love playing sports) etc etc

She was desperate to go to the grammar school at the time, but has now wiped that from her mind.

I think some of this is down to being a whingy teenager but I am concerned, I suppose, that she has a point - her school is excellent, but it is not pretty. Her holidays will be shorter.

So I wondered how other parents handled similar situations. I don't want to send my DS1 to a comp that doesn't suit him just to keep DD1 happy, and I don't want DD1 to feel 'short changed' because we've had to pay for her siblings' education but not hers.

I'd be really grateful for advice.
Thank you in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:35 am 
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So, if your DD1 is at a GS why do you think your DS1 won't get a place? I think we can help you better once you know one way or the other in March.

I do know familes with children at different schools but usually there is one child at a Private school for a specific reason -


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:41 am 
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I'm in Berks, Guest55, and DS1 got only a smidgen over 110 pass mark for Reading Boys. V doubtful this will be enough.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
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We have this in our household. DS2 qualified for favoured grammar, DS1 qualified for less favoured grammar, then got offered scholarship at Indie where we were much happier for him to go than the less favoured grammar, so he went. They are twins, so both at same time.

DS2 does complain about shorter holidays etc. We do remind him that this was the school they both wanted. I have to be honest too and say that this is a good exercise in accepting that "Life isn't always fair" - both of them are at excellent schools that suit them both, that they are happy at (as much as anyone wants to be in school, lol!), and whilst we hear DS2 objections, we couldn't afford to place them both there and it would be bad for them anyway, as the indie is small and all the comparisons that followed them through primary school would follow them through secondary too!

I went to an indie and both my sisters went to the local comp. Thats just the way it goes sometimes. If your child doesn't qualify for the grammar then surely you have the easiest reason to justify it? Its not like you just chose the indie, its the alternative for if dc doesn't make it ito the grammar their sibling is at. What would the first child have you do, put the next child in a poor schoo, just to ensure equality of holidays?

There are ways to make it up to them - special trips on inset days etc etc, but to be honest, I think its a case of suck it up sweetheart, thats just the way it is and you can't go through all the school life having to justify it over and over.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
Posts: 1660
BaileyLane wrote:
I just wondered if I could ask advice from any parents who have found themselves in this position.

Three children: My DD1 is at a grammar school, DS1 passed 11+ but is unlikely to get a place, DD2 has moderate learning difficulties so 11+ not even a consideration. We long ago realised a (particular) private school would suit DD2's needs.

Our local comp is not a good fit for DS1 for many reasons, so he has now sat for some indies. (We'll find out for sure whether or not he'll get a grammar school place in March which, annoyingly, would be the ideal school for him. It's very unlikely, but if he does my problem becomes less of an issue!) We have openly chatted as a family about why three different schools will fit our three very different children and that we want all of them to be happy at school as a first consideration.

DD1, however, has suddenly started to moan constantly about the situation e.g. how her holidays will be shorter than siblings if they are both at indies, how the classrooms at her school are awful, how her siblings will enjoy better sports facilities (she seems to have forgotten that she actually doesn't much like sports anyway, whereas her siblings both really love playing sports) etc etc

She was desperate to go to the grammar school at the time, but has now wiped that from her mind.

I think some of this is down to being a whingy teenager but I am concerned, I suppose, that she has a point - her school is excellent, but it is not pretty. Her holidays will be shorter.

So I wondered how other parents handled similar situations. I don't want to send my DS1 to a comp that doesn't suit him just to keep DD1 happy, and I don't want DD1 to feel 'short changed' because we've had to pay for her siblings' education but not hers.

I'd be really grateful for advice.
Thank you in advance.


We tend to look at what we do not have, especially as children or teenagers. How about you turn this around? Your daughter had the opportunity to go to an excellent grammar school and your other children will not due to other reasons, especially your second daughter. She's not turning around asking why she has been affected with a mild learning difficulty!

As a parent, you are right to give your children the best you can within your means. Your are taking into consideration your children's strengths.

I presume your daughter is at an all girls school?

Could you appeal if your son doesn't get into the grammar?

Can you afford sending all three to a private school? If so, I would put all the money on an account for your eldest daughter so that she can use that money to pay for her university fees.

Good luck with your negotiations!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:13 pm
Posts: 70
"I think its a case of suck it up sweetheart, thats just the way it is and you can't go through all the school life having to justify it over and over." :D :D

"How about you turn this around? Your daughter had the opportunity to go to an excellent grammar school and your other children will not due to other reasons, especially your second daughter. She's not turning around asking why she has been affected with a mild learning difficulty!"

Thank you salsa and Yamin151, that's exactly what I need to hear!

Yes, DD1 at all-girls. I have been thinking about appealing in March about DS1 as there were some extenuating circumstances, and it would be such a great school for him. However, I have no experience with this apart from what has been written on this brilliant site. I do think it might be a lot of pain and no gain, and I'm not sure if his primary school would support me. I still might do it, as it's a pretty rubbish situation here in Berks - your poor child passes the 11+ and then they STILL don't get a place.

Mostly I want to avoid a situation where one child grows up with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. I know it's possible as my brother went to a private school, I didn't, and all I remember thinking was 'Poor him!'


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 837
I know a family with a bit of an age gap between siblings. Changes in circumstances and location meant that one sibling was in the high-performing top set of everything at a faith school. Another went to a rural comp that was probably in special measures. Yet another boarded. I don't remember hearing disgruntlement about the one who had the boarding school experience. In terms of salary, the first did well, the second did exceptionally well and the boarder now works in a (nice) shop for an order of magnitude less money.

Try to be fair to all in the long run, but if you must make choices, I'd say give a little more help to the child who needs it most while their lives are still being shaped.

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