There has been a lot in the news over the past week about the merits of state versus independent sector.
This has been encouraged by a press release by the Good School’s Guide – a slightly sneaky bit of PR puff to sell a new book that has got out of hand and which the GSG seems to be slightly regretting now.
It is an age-old and slightly pointless debate – independent or state schooling?
What is more to the point is what is the right school for a child. Factors that parents are interested in are clarity of vision, strong and consistent leadership, great teaching, good pastoral care and an ability to open children to the outside world in an intelligent and insightful way.
These elements can be found in both independent and state schools. However the word “independent” is key. State education is still, in our opinion, bogged down in political meddling, an unclear view on how to measure quality, and a complacency on how good it actually is.
A good independent school has the ability to rise above that. Its nearest state counterpart, the grammar school.
Some good feedback from a family moving into the UK from India. They had a 12 year old son looking for 13+ entry into a leading London day school for September 2016 and had been told that they had missed the deadlines for entry.
We helped the parents by ensuring they showcased their son to the best extent – thinking about how to present reports, pull together supporting information from his current school – and then used our contacts in the admissions offices to ensure fair review.
Two schools came back and advised that they were happy to test him. Dean Associates then pulled together a preparation package including sample papers and insight into common tripping points.
We also provided some training and support for his interview with the head of year at the school.
We’ve just heard that a place has been offered – the mother very kindly wrote to us to say;
“Amazing job. We seemed to be only looking at closed doors when we started this move and you have helped us understand our options and how to play our hand. Thank you.“
We have noticed this year that UK universities are being much more demanding in assessing the criteria as to whether a UK family currently living overseas is viewed as a home-fee or overseas-fee student.
The difference in cost for a family can be striking. English universities have a capped annual fee of £9,000 (things do differ in other parts of the UK) whilst overseas fees can be upwards of £20,000, depending on course and institution.
Families need to forward plan if overseas or intending to go on an international assignment to consider what a university will be looking for and how best to build a portfolio of evidence.
Some thought and support at an early stage can save both time and money once that UCAS application has been posted.
Dean Associates is delighted to announce that it has recently been accepted as an affiliate
member of EURA and is one of the few specialist education consultants.
This reflects our aim to continue to be one of the leading international education specialists worldwide, providing our clients an insightful, responsive and efficient service.