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London Schools. What's the real deal?


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  • London Schools. What's the real deal?

    I met a man online back in October and we've become good friends over the months, emailing back and forth daily. He's married and has four children. He's been telling about the nightmare the school system is over there.

    The children have to apply, going through a long application process and interviews. Even his 3 year old is going through this. At this time his kids are going to be in schools in 4 different directions, and he just wrote that his oldest, 14 years old, was not accepted into her school of choice. She is heartbroken as well as Dad.

    I've tried so hard to understand this system, and he's explained it to me. Maybe some of you folks from London can explain it better??

    My heart is breaking for this guy, the school thing every year has him in knots. And he has a lot more years to go through this. From his emails I would have to say I'd be in a nut house by now.

    Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

  • #2
    I have no idea, the only thing I can think of is that he does not want to send his kids to the school that covers his home address or that he wants to send them to a private school.
    In most cases your kids just go to the school that you are in the catchment area for.
    The artist formerly known as Soho Bandit


    • #3
      Yeah, my nephew was in the public school system in London & he just walked to the school down the street. Now they have moved out into the country & he has started going to a private school nearby. They had to do an application & be accepted, of course, but it wasn't any big deal. They applied, got accepted, & that was that. They're not rich or famous or anything, just common folk.


      • #4
        My friend from London isn't trying to get his kids into private schools, just better schools, I guess, than are offered on the main menu. He keeps telling me about the nightmare school system in London. I'm just trying to understand.
        Criminals prefer unarmed victims.


        • #5
          Ok. In London (and the UK) 'private' schools (i.e. those which charge a fee per term for each pupil) and 'public' schools are the same thing. Why, I dont know. I went to a public school, luckily paid for by a scholarship for which I had to pass an exam.

          Children attend their secondary schools between 11-16 (18 if they choose to pursue further education). The state provides secondary education for free. The school you attend will depend on where you live. However, if your nearest school is not academically sound (easy to find out since the publication of schools league tables) then you can apply to go to another state school which may not be in your residential 'catchment area'. In order to get into such a school, there are innumerable criteria to fulfil, in particular, a good reason why you cannot attend your nearest school, as well as things like siblings at the school, places available, blah blah. Obvioulsy, the better achieving state schools are heavily heavily oversubscribed, and the criteria for entry are getting stricter.

          Alternatively, you can choose to send your child to a private (public) school. Fees range from US$4000 - US$20000 per term (semester) of which there are three in the UK school year. There are, however, scholarships and bursaries available for 'poorer' pupils whose parents could not otherwise afford the fees. These are heavily competitive, and you must satisfy a particular standard at age 11 in an exam, usually the Common Entrance Exam (specific to private schools) which tests skills in English, Maths, some Science, and optionally, a modern language. Passing the exam is no guarntee of entry, however, as other criteria are required (i.e. if your parents went to the same private school, you will be boosted up the eligibility chain)and scholarship/bursary places are finite. These schools obvioulsy attract very very dim pupils with very very rich parents, whose pockets can easily take a US$30000 dent for school fees every year. Then theres the uniforms etc to pay for......my schools uniform was only available for purchase at Harrods!!!!

          Boring post, but hope it helps.
          'Trust no-one'


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