With the editor of The Good Schools Guide now predicting that some private schools may go out of business as a result of state schools improving so much, the choice of where to live and which school to choose may become even harder. An added factor is private school fees now averaging over £15,500 per year and increasing at a faster rate than parents’ ability to pay for them. So what and where are the alternatives?
One popular choice, in areas where they still exist, is to opt for one of the 164 remaining Grammar Schools. These schools are selective and use the eleven plus exam, taken in the final year of primary school, to identify a subset of children (around 25%) considered suitable for grammar education. When a grammar school has too many qualified applicants, other criteria are used to allocate places, such as siblings, distance or faith. Information about areas continuing to operate the 11 plus system of selection can be found at www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/schools but how do they really compare with private alternatives?
Recent research by Parent Power, The Sunday Times schools guide, shows that of the top 100 schools in the UK, 22 of them are state schools. Outside of London, these include:
The Tiffin School & Tiffin Girls’ School, Kingston Upon Thames
Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham
St Olave’s Grammar School, Orpington
Colchester County High School for Girls
King Edward VI Camp Hill School (Boys & Girls) Birmingham
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Manchester
Tonbridge Grammar School
Colchester Royal Grammar School
King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford
Kendrick School, Reading
Stratford Girls’ Grammar School, Stratford-upon-Avon
The Judd School, Tonbridge
If you are considering moving house but also need to find the right schools for your children, please contact us to see how we can help you. Our area specialists have excellent local networks and can point you in the right direction and help with the admissions process. Tel 0333 939 8300 or visit www.county-homesearch.com