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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:18 am
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Dear all,

Requesting some views and suggestions for DS grammar school decisions.

- DS has got good score (in 250's) for QE boys and based on the statistics he will get a seat in QE if applied for as top priority school
- We also have a second DS who is in local primary in Berkshire
- If we need to take this QE seat it will mean significant compromise in our quality of life (rent near Barnet, primary school move etc)
- It is not impossible to move but will be financial stretch

Now that we must fill in the admission form soon we are doing some deep thinking. I am looking for some honest suggestions around

* QE Education- is worth the compromise vs a local outstanding but not highly ranked school which DS is likely to get
* Would you compromise your quality of life for DS QE education?
* Is there any statistics that anyone can provide on % of children going to top Russel universities from various grammar schools which I see as primary objective of Grammar schools. % of A-level scores from OFSTED does not give me this view

Any thoughts / views welcome.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:26 am
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First of all congratulations on great QE score!

Did your son sit for the Slough Consortium test?
Are you in catchment for Reading boys?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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My views below.
sigma3 wrote:
* QE Education- is worth the compromise vs a local outstanding but not highly ranked school which DS is likely to get - no.
* Would you compromise your quality of life for DS QE education? - no.
* Is there any statistics that anyone can provide on % of children going to top Russel universities from various grammar schools which I see as primary objective of Grammar schools. % of A-level scores from OFSTED does not give me this view Firstly, don't be seduced by the self-written PR of the Russell Group universities. They are a self-appointed club. There are arguably better universities not in the RG than some of those in it. Secondly, I don't think admissions to RG universities is the primary objective of grammar schools and thirdly, any statistics you do get hold of only tell you the results of the cohort. They may not necessarily translate to your son.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:23 pm 
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About 5 and half years ago, when we were starting to think about which schools our DS might go to, we decided against DS taking entrance tests for grammars that would require relocation. We had considered Tiffin Boys, as there was no catchment at the time, but we simply weren't convinced that any advantage DS would derive from a grammar education could outweigh the disruption to our family life, such as DD having to move primary, the complete overhaul of both DC's friendship groups, the impact on the daily commute to work and the cost of relocating. DS took the test for QE and for some partially-selectives and these along with a new and unknown local free school are the only schools (all local to us) that we put on the CAF. Most of DS's friends who didn't make it to QE are doing well at all the schools that we listed on the CAF

I know of a family which has made and are still making massive sacrifices so that their DD, an only child, can attend HBS (a girls grammar in North London). They chose the school because at the time they applied it had fantastic GCSE and A level results along with a large number of Oxbridge offers but, in only a short space of time, there has been some discernible change in the A level results and in some conversations with this family I detect a hint of some regret at their decision 3 years ago.

QE is a good school but there are plenty of other good selective and non-selective schools.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:44 pm 
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It seems like you are asking whether you should compromise your own, partner and childrens life to give your DS a grammar school?

That's a question only you and your family can answer but for us l could see it a cause for resentment should DS not perform as expected at the target school. 5yrs is a long time.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:48 pm 
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I don't know anything about QE. However, in answer to your questions, I wouldn't move house for a selective school that my second child might not get into or might not want to go to. I wouldn't stretch myself financially to afford to live near a selective school if it meant that other aspects of family life (holidays, extra-curricular activities etc) were curtailed. I wouldn't base my child's school choice on leaver's destinations of cohorts at least 7 years ahead of my child - a lot can happen in this time. (I wouldn't focus on Russell Group/Oxbridge either, but that's a different question.)

I wouldn't put my child under the pressure of knowing that the whole family had moved in order for him to go to a particular school - what if he gets there and doesn't like it? I also wouldn't put the older chid in the position of making the younger child move home because I think it might cause tension and resentment between the two of them.

Also what will you do when it's your younger child's turn for secondary transfer? Move everyone again? Or is that only an option for Child 1?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:12 pm 
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How does your DS feel about it? That's a lot of pressure to put on a 10 year old boy... what happens if he struggles when he gets there or doesn't like QE, or doesn't make the cut for sixth form? Would the whole family move back to Berks again?

What about DS2? Is he likely to get in, further down the line? How does he feel about leaving his friends and primary school? A lot of pressure on him too, to follow in his brother's footsteps...

Personally, I wouldn't do it, but it depends entirely on what's right for you and your family.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:14 pm 
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sigma3 wrote:

* QE Education- is worth the compromise vs a local outstanding but not highly ranked school which DS is likely to get
* Would you compromise your quality of life for DS QE education?
* Is there any statistics that anyone can provide on % of children going to top Russel universities from various grammar schools which I see as primary objective of Grammar schools. % of A-level scores from OFSTED does not give me this view

Any thoughts / views welcome.


QE is not the Holy Grail, it is merely a school

What do you mean specifically by 'quality of life'? Barnet and its environs is a nice enough place to live but I'm guessing you mean you will have significantly less disposable income? How will you manage?

If you have to relocate you won't know anyone in the area. Local networks of family / friends and so on are, in my view, priceless. I would not give those up for a school. Do your dc have friends where you live now? because they won't if you move. :( and neither will you.

How will it affect your /your partner's job?

Now having asked yourself these questions, what do you think? I hope you think that on balance it's not worth it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:46 pm 
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Thank you all for your views.

@ajpshergill - yes DS sat for Slough consortium test.

@anotherdad - Thanks for your views on Russel group. Looks like uni process is yet another learning for future and it make sense not to focus on RG for now.

@streathammum, @ale21279 - DS2 is one of the key reasons to put lot of thought and still debating with open mind.

@piggys - We started off or were rather sold QE as a holy grail for grammar, but when reality hits is when you start understanding the impact many things.

I would be keen to hear more views and counter views from anyone who has DS in QE who have gone through similar thinking or anyone who has rejected possible QE admission on similar grounds from past.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:06 pm 
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The biggest problem with QE us the A level cull. I.e if they don't want your DS in the school they will not offer him any A levels. You will then face the problem of finding a college/6th form. This was real for us I am afraid.


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