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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8970
Location: Buckinghamshire
I read your post before going to bed, and then couldn't sleep because of the craziness of it, so I've got up again to answer it. (Not the first time I've done that, but exceedingly rare!)

Please don't do this to yourself, your son or your family. I know the geography of all these points very well (PM me if you want to), and it would be beyond madness to go for MT.

Your DS and DH may well be jumping for joy like Easter bunnies at the prospect of MT, but your DS is 10, or barely 11, and has no concept of what is involved with the commute or the social implications of the distance; meanwhile, (and I assume this) your DH is not the one who will be responsible for making it happen 95% or more of the time.

No, no and three times no.


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 7252
Location: Surrey
OP, is DOA not a choice at all? Save journey time and money as well.


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:14 pm
Posts: 16
Sally-Anne wrote:
I read your post before going to bed, and then couldn't sleep because of the craziness of it, so I've got up again to answer it. (Not the first time I've done that, but exceedingly rare!)

Please don't do this to yourself, your son or your family. I know the geography of all these points very well (PM me if you want to), and it would be beyond madness to go for MT.

Your DS and DH may well be jumping for joy like Easter bunnies at the prospect of MT, but your DS is 10, or barely 11, and has no concept of what is involved with the commute or the social implications of the distance; meanwhile, (and I assume this) your DH is not the one who will be responsible for making it happen 95% or more of the time.

No, no and three times no.



OMG, Thanks Sally-Anne! I'm the only one having sleepless nights at home but now I've made that happen to you! I'm sorry!!

I know exactly what you and everyone else is saying makes absolute sense but ds & dh are still adamant on making this happen! I'm getting all sorts of commitments from them (shortlived? only time will tell) - I could get them to sign up to anything right now!

I'm being shown tables and inspection reports everyday and I'm fed up!

I need to explore the times of the coaches etc further and then make my decision!

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
Posts: 366
Imagine those frequent evening events at school.
You could be spending 3 x 2 hours on round trips.


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1407
I don't even know where MTS so I have nothing to add on that one but...

I think that sometimes it is hard to look forward and see how things might be in 2 or 3 years. Particularly if you have younger children and your oldest I guess is only 10 or 11, it's hard to think about what life might be like when he's 14 or 15. But one of the great things about having teenagers is watching them become more independent. [The fact that now (mine are 13 and 14) the questions are "am I free to do X on Saturday?" rather than "are you free to take me to do X on Saturday?" is really liberating as parents but also very good for the children]. If you commit to MTS you are committing to you (or your husband or a taxi fare) to take him to the coach stop every single school day for at least the next 5 years. And bring him back. (And I think it's going to be more than a 10 minute journey even on the quickest routes to the Arkley. Which means a probable 30 minute round trip. Twice a day every day). And he can't be more independent because there isn't that option (I guess he could get two buses to the coach stop but not very reliably!) Whereas the St Albans coach stops in PB and there are lots of boys (and girls) who get it.

Friends at MTS are likely to be further away. Transport links into town are pretty good from PB (I live there too) but if his friends live nearer the school then it is still going to be really hard for him to get to them.

I suppose what I'm saying is that it can be hard to think about your 10 year old as anything other than completely dependent on you so the choices maybe don't seem quite as different. But projecting into the future, I think they will feel entirely different.

But there is someone else on this forum posting about MTS vs St A's who lives in Barnet. Maybe they'll become really good friends which could solve a few issues?!


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8970
Location: Buckinghamshire
whattodo? wrote:
I know exactly what you and everyone else is saying makes absolute sense but ds & dh are still adamant on making this happen! I'm getting all sorts of commitments from them (shortlived? only time will tell) - I could get them to sign up to anything right now!

I'm being shown tables and inspection reports everyday and I'm fed up!

I'm curious as to what your DH's agenda is here. You are trying to make a decision that might have a serious impact on the quality of life of your entire family, and he is fanning the flames with tables and inspection reports? (Because I'm as sure as eggs is eggs that your DS isn't hunting those down.)

I think you all need to stop thinking about the first week of September 2018 and project this situation 5 years down the line.

x-post with loobylou, who makes extremely good points.


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:46 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 5475
Location: Reading
I am nowhere near any of these schools and have a DD in year 11.

There’s a lot to be said about choosing a school that your child can get to easily, quickly and if possible independently. Even better if there’s public transport options, even if they used School transport most of the time.

Now DD is in year 11, teachers are offering extra sessions for gcse revision etc, some after school. Her textiles teacher has been available every Thursday after school for them to go and work on their coursework. DD would not be able to go to these if she wasn’t able to get to school and back by herself on public transport.

Over the years, there’s been numerous events, either straight after school or in the evening that either she and/or us have needed to attend.

DD isn’t ill often, but we have had to bring her home from school twice due to illness. For us it’s a quick 10-15 drive, regardless of whether we are at home or work. Either of us can manage it.

In year 7 on a couple of occasions she forgot to take in stuff she needed (PE kit was one, I forget the other). Straightforward for me to take it in for her. (There were consequences :) )

In year 8 she was working on a project with other girls. It was going to involve her going to one of their houses every Saturday for 2 months. I said she could on the proviso she could get herself there and back by herself. Driving her there and picking her up would take up over 2 hours of our Saturday, because driving through Reading is a nightmare. If the distance was greater she wouldn’t have been able to take part. She learn a great deal from it and would have missed out on a great experience.

It’s not just about getting them to school and back at normal times. If anything that’s the easy bit. It’s everything else on top and how much they might miss if it’s too difficult.


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 7671
I agree with Sally Anne and would be pretty unimpressed if the power balance in my domestic situation was pushing me into a position where I looked unreasonable for opposing this. This is less about school and more to do with who makes the decisions. I think most people would believe that the person most affected by a decision should have the final say in it - and that looks like being you. League tables and inspection reports are worth absolutely nothing if your child is exhausted or you fall apart with stress. The bottom line is likely to be that your child would do just as well closer to home, would probably be happier and the added bonus would be that his mother remained sane. A ten year old cannot decide this for himself and is likely to be swayed by pretty trinkets (facilities, buildings etc) so it is unfair of his father to use him as leverage. I hope that you have enough power within your relationship to stand against this - and that your husband will understand that it is unfair of him to put pressure on you.

Sorry if that is overstepping, no offence to any individuals intended. :)


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 15385
Also, Private school inspection reports [if not conducted by Ofsted] are not rigorous; I would not base a decision on them. I agree with all the points made about transport; as your DS moves through the school this will become increasingly complex. What if he wants to be in a sports team, an after school club, orchestra, choir ... let alone the other academic stuff that 'leaks' into after school time.


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 Post subject: Re: MTS or St. Albans?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:14 pm
Posts: 16
Thank you all. Lots to consider.


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