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 Post subject: St Olaves or Independent
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:42 pm
Posts: 25
If given a choice would you choose St Olaves or an independent school for your DS?
We can just about manage the fees but 7 yrs is a big financial commitment.
The Indie is close by but for St Olaves we would need to move to Kent
We couldnt visit St Olaves and dont think we can now
I am swaying towards SO as have heard good things about it and its free but keep doubting my decision


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:42 pm
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Sorry, should hv posted in Bromley forum..can soneone move it pls?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
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Moved as requested. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:06 pm
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Hi OP. First of all, congratulations to your son - I'm assuming from your post that he has an offer from St Olave's and from the independent?

There's quite a lot to unpick in your post:

1. the fact that you have not visited should not be a problem. My son (at St O in Y11) initially got his 2nd choice, Wilson's. Which we had not visited - so we called up the school and had a little mini tour with about 20 other parents in the same position.

Then a month later, he got an offer from St Olave's, so we were in a fortunate position of having 2 offers. So we called up St O and asked if we could visit again - and we had a 1:1 tour of the school, and then tea with the <cough> former Headteacher. So schools are used to this - call up the office and explain.

2. Are you actually planning to move house from Essex (your username) to somewhere closer to Orpington? That's a massive upheaval for a school, surely...

3. "I've heard good things about it and it's free" are not ringing endorsements, and perhaps not a good enough reason to go through the stress and expense of moving house. Perhaps the independent is a better option - it does not have to be 7 years worth of fees - your son could move back to state for 6th form?

Good luck whatever your decision, and well done to your DS.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
Posts: 1560
Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
DD has friends in her class at Newstead who have brothers at St Olaves. It is a good school but the girls mostly seem quite loyal to Newstead and some of the boys move from Olaves to Newstead and vice versa for Sixth form. For us it is simple as it is on our doorstep. Some of DD’s friends are a distance and it doesn’t make it easy but it does mean they have to be determined so I think that is why she has some amazing and dedicated friends. It would be similar at Olaves.

You do not need to move to Kent but from Essex yes you’d need to move closer to the school. Kent is technically a few miles away. Olaves is in the London Borough of Bromley and boys live in a huge range of locations and many get the train to Orpington from surrounding Boroughs and districts.

What was it about the independent that you liked and felt was a good fit for your DS?

Good luck with the decision, I hope you feel confident about making it soon so that those on a waitlist at either school know sooner rather than later.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:34 am
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Hi Essexmum. Firstly, congratulations to your son on a St Olaves offer. Ours got one too, and he's over the moon. We know boys there and (all being well) he'll be a perfect fit, but what really excites him is the cricket, Eton fives, music, robotics and newts (seriously) rather than the academic abilities of everyone else around him.

What we don't know is how much the school will change from the Aydin Onac days. The new head was keen to point out at last year's open day that he'd completely rewritten his speech from the old Onac version, which was interesting as he obviously realises what the problems were (as parents of a bright but "rounded" boy we'd been wondering if it would be best to avoid it completely). If your son is a budding scientist or mathematician, it's doubtful that any independent choice would do much better by him (though they may have better facilities). If he's more interested in English and the humanities, he may be better off elsewhere (though this may change under the new regime).

As for fees - remember how quickly they've risen over the last few years, and there's nothing to suggest that that's going to slow down (the schools are almost in a race to show how good they are based on how much they can charge, and consequently what great facilities they can provide). Your son would be surrounded by other children who don't find the fees a struggle and whose parents will have plenty left to spend on the trips and other extras.

I notice from your other thread that you also have a one year old, and presumably fees for 2 would be impossible (unless you're relying on a big increase in income over the years). One idea would be to move to Orpington, and use a private school for son number 2 at junior stage when fees are lower and he'd be well prepared for 11+. You could then ignore primary catchments. If you were towards Ravens Wood catchment, that's an excellent school (ignore Ofsted - they're wrong!) and would be a great back up for son no 2 if he didn't get into Olaves. Of course, everything could change in 10 years, Ravens Wood have a wonderful head at the moment, but she might move on.

Obviously moving is a huge and costly decision, but if you're not completely wedded to your current area, there are far worse places to live and grow up than Orpington!

Good luck, whatever you decide.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
I'm afraid that I would be very cautious about uprooting my family for the sake of a place at a school that none of us had looked at properly. Did you and your DS really like St Olaves more than any other school, that you and he had actually visited other than for him to sit an exam?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:45 am
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My son got an offer for 50% off fees plus music lessons and travel to a good independent school alongside his St O’s offer (he’s now in Y10). I spent a bit of time weighing up the options but in the end preferred the financial security of going to a state school and also thought the more academic cohort at St O’s would suit my son better. We live within an easy commute so there were no relocation issues for us.
I am so happy about that decision. It’s a brilliant school, my son is so happy there, there’s always loads going on and I feel like he’s turning into a lovely young man. I have a daughter at NW and my impression is that St O’s is in a different league in terms of what’s on offer to pupils. Other than better facilities and smaller class sizes, I don’t know what else you would get from an independent school.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:37 pm
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Hello, just want to check regarding the waiting lists for stolaves..what are the chances regarding any movement in getting a place.. please advice as it’s our first preference our DS is shattered hope someone can guide us through Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 9:55 am
Posts: 152
Top school wrote:
Hello, just want to check regarding the waiting lists for stolaves..what are the chances regarding any movement in getting a place.. please advice as it’s our first preference our DS is shattered hope someone can guide us through Thanks in advance


For last year the council said there were about 15 places re-offered in April and some more all the way to September, so depending on where you are on the list you may still get a place. All the best!


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