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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:51 am
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We got letter from KEHS for a full fee paying place. It is really struggling as this means £14000+ spend for the next 7 years.

We applied for Handsworth meantime but not sure if it is a better choice. We have 3 kids and this is the first one.

Any mum or dad has got similar situation? We are new to Birmingham and only know the schools from their websites.

It would be great if any of you could share some thoughts or experiences. We do need some advice, especially on advantages and disadvantages of the two schools... Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:02 am 
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You have answered your own question in the first sentence. You are going to really be struggling already with the fees and have 2 other children coming through - go for the school (Handsworth) that wll not put the whole family under pressure and mean that you have no alternatives for the younger children - you do not know whether they will suddenly have issues that may need specific support etc.

NO school is worth putting your family inrto unsure financial times for - reality is, if your child has only been offered a full fee place, they want your child but not enough to offer a sweetener - this means, that should your financial situation change - for example you lose your jobs - whilst the school may allow your child to stay till the end of that year, they will see themselves as under no obligation to offer financial suppor to enable them to stay in the school. You will not have that additional worrk with Handsworth.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:35 am 
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Location: Essex
Adding to what KCG has just said, you really need to be making the decision at this stage for at least the next five years. Contrary to what some people I have come across seem to believe, having to remove one's DC from an indie for financial reasons doesn't magically get them a place at the oversubscribed 'best' state school in the area, not even a specially elevated place on the waiting list and probably not a lot of sympathy at an appeal :( . If your DD is offered the grammar school on March 1st, that would appear to be the sensible place to take up.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:38 am 
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This is a no-brainer (in my eyes). You have a good state school option (I'm not in your region but people always sound positive about it) and don't have to pay eye-watering sums to go there. You also don't have to be wondering whether you can afford to send your other children to get the same opportunities in future years.
For people who can afford school fees without really blinking, then I suppose I can understand going to an indie. If it's going to be a struggle then it's not worth it.
Someone in my mother's church had sent all of their children to indies. The dad just lost his job and they've had to pull them all out 6 weeks into this school year; they're currently at different primary schools which had spaces. Unfortunately the eldest is in year 6 and they didn't apply for a secondary school for him in time (had been in a through- school) and he will get a place in an under-subscribed secondary school in March. Hopefully you'll not be in a difficult situation but, if you were, your child might be stuck with a school you'd not have chosen.

ETA. Cross posted with Toadmum


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:33 pm
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Hi CaroleMew

I agree with the others on this but only assuming that your daughter scored 224 plus in the grammar school exam. If she did and you're confident she'll receive an offer from Handsworth I would definitely stick with that as an option. I don't have a daughter at the school but have visited it and it seems lovely and has an excellent reputation. Also, if her score is borderline, do you have another state school backup on your list?

The other thing to think about in these uncertain times (see current discussions about catchment areas!) is where you think your younger children may end up? Is Handsworth your 'catchment' grammar school? You might want to consider travel arrangements. The consulation is still in progress but I get the impression that things are going to change!

The system is difficult enough to navigate if you've been in Birmingham for years - so good luck with your decisions.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:26 am 
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Hi Carole

We had a choice of the same schools (and Sutton girls) back in 2015 but we were offered an assisted place which amounted to a 75% discount.

In the end we chose KEHS - partly because travel was also easier and of course the cost wasn’t so steep. I also have a son at Handsworth boys so I can appreciate the difference. There are definitely lots of nice extras at KEHS - they’re always going off the curriculum for days/half days at a time with theatre trips, robotics days, film making, visits from uni lecturers etc etc. And there’s a lot of individual support. But I don’t think you’d be wise to stretch yourselves for these extras when you have a good grammar school on offer.

My dd has a lovely enriching experience and I’m glad she’s there, but my ds is also happy and from an academic viewpoint, he’s doing just as well/being pushed to achieve in the same way. I think it’s worth paying the extra (we didn’t have the option with ds as he didn’t get into KES!) if you have a very good discount or the fees are not really a worry to you. It doesn’t sound like you’re in that position. Also, you could potentially find in future that one of your other children only has the KES/KEHS option and no grammar/decent comp so you might be wise to save your cash for that possibility.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:01 am 
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I'd echo KCG's points regarding fees.

When we looked at fees (less than KES and for one child only) for independent, we had to admit to ourselves that we could not sustain that over 5 years without going into debt.

You have a great (free!) option with Handsworth Girls and for me, I'd go with the security of that (if it is secure cut off wise?) especially as you have younger children.

Good points raised re catchment. There is a consultation at the moment proposing changes in admissions to Birmingham grammars. The proposals include the creation of new catchment areas. Please check this (plenty of posts about it on here!) as part of your research, as you have two younger children.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:58 am 
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crazycrofter wrote:
My dd has a lovely enriching experience and I’m glad she’s there, but my ds is also happy and from an academic viewpoint, he’s doing just as well/being pushed to achieve in the same way. I think it’s worth paying the extra (we didn’t have the option with ds as he didn’t get into KES!) if you have a very good discount or the fees are not really a worry to you..


+1


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:22 pm
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CaroleMew wrote:
We got letter from KEHS for a full fee paying place. It is really struggling as this means £14000+ spend for the next 7 years.

We applied for Handsworth meantime but not sure if it is a better choice. We have 3 kids and this is the first one.

Any mum or dad has got similar situation? We are new to Birmingham and only know the schools from their websites.

It would be great if any of you could share some thoughts or experiences. We do need some advice, especially on advantages and disadvantages of the two schools... Thanks in advance.


We are in exactly the same boat. If money was no object then we would go with KEHS.
At the moment Handsworth is still our 1st choice


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
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crazycrofter wrote:
Also, you could potentially find in future that one of your other children only has the KES/KEHS option and no grammar/decent comp so you might be wise to save your cash for that possibility.

+1

King Edward VI Handsworth School is an excellent school.


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