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Grammar Or Independent Schools?

11 Plus English Past Papers with Detailed Answers

Grammar Or Independent Schools?

Many parents always have a question in their mind and that is What’s the difference between State Grammar, and Independent schools? Here we would like to give you some facts about the Grammar Schools and Independent (Private) school systems to give you a better insight into what is the best choice for your child.

The education of a child is of primary concern to every set of parents. There is a need for deliberation and the careful weighing of the pros and the cons when having to choose the best of schooling for one’s child.  As soon as a child reaches the age where he or she needs to begin attending a secondary school, the first question that parents are confronted with is: A grammar school or an independent school?

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What are independent schools?

Where education in the UK is concerned, there is absolutely no dearth of good schools of both independent as well as grammar schools. Independent schools are independent in its finances and do not receive any funding from the government. These are fee paying schools and their fees are ranging from £15,000 to £30,000 per annum. Many Independent schools in London and around London have their own 11 plus entrance test examination to get entry to secondary school.  It is however important for parents to look at options that are available, as far as the convenience factor is first concerned. No parent would like to burden his or her children with commuting long distances. Independent schools are also very attractive when looked at from the high standards of education imparted by them. Here, however, it is necessary for parents to look at the viability with reference to the annual school fees that they would be paying. 

Independent school GCSE and A Level Results:

In London, there are some top independent fee-paying schools such as St Paul's Girls' School, Westminster School, North London Collegiate School, City of London School for Girls, Eton College where on an average 97% of students achieved A and A* in GCSE exams in the year 2017. Parents who can not afford to pay the fees for top independent schools, these schools offer bursaries and scholarships for exceptionally bright and academically talented students. Parents can prepare their child from primary KS1 and KS2 for 11 plus entrance exam rigorously to win academic scholarship and bursaries for entry to London’s top Independent Secondary Schools. Some of the independent schools also offer scholarships on the basis of music, arts, and sports. There are other more expensive private schools such as boarding schools, with the fees covering living costs during term time.

What are Grammar schools?

Grammar schools are state secondary schools that select their students by an entrance examination taken by children when they are 11 years old and this exam is called as "11-plus".

Grammar schools are free, but that does not mean they do not have high standards of education or do not adhere to them. England today has 163 grammar schools with 167,000 pupils. From these figures, parents can determine how much importance these schools hold.  There are students from these schools who have made a mark in various fields and would definitely swear by the education received from them.

Grammar school GCSE and A Level Results:

In London there are some state grammar schools (non fee paying schools) such as the Henrietta Barnett School, the Tiffin Girls' School,Reading School, Queen Elizabeth's School who has also shown astonishing results for A-level exams in which on an average more than 90% students have scored A* or A grades.

The Queen Elizabeth's School for boys (QE Boys)  are top-notch educational institutions and considered by some to be even better than independent schools.

Grammar schools are government-funded but only children who pass their entrance exams can attend.  These entrance exams are commonly known as the 11+ and are taken in year 6 (age 10/11). The exams can cover one or more of the following 4 areas: verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English, and maths.

Grammar schools are highly selective and have a strong emphasis on academic achievement.  The standards and expectations at grammar schools are high and it is for this reason that you will find many grammar schools at the top of national school league tables.

Which School is the Best for your child, Independent or Grammar?

Some parents are desirous of sending their child to private schools because of smaller class sizes and personal attention these schools provide to an individual child. Confidence and a drive to excel are natural fallout for a range of extra-curricular activities exist in these. Mingling with the elite because of the pupils’ hailing from well-to-do families gives access to better social networking.      

As stated earlier although there isn’t much of difference between Independent schools and Grammar schools a private school may be able to provide an academically challenging environment, pay greater attention to students’ needs and also make sure that every student graduating would definitely attend University later. Once again, it is important to state here that education imparted by grammar schools is also of a definitely high standard.

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  • Hi I’ve managed to login to the site now thanks. I just wanted to say that your website is excellent and I wished I had found it ages ago!! Very very useful as a parent!!
    Jason, 11+ Parent
  • Helpful topic wise questions for last minute revision. This is exactly what I needed. Thx Piacademy..
    Revati, 11+ Parent
  • “ IT HAS BEEN GOOD BECAUSE NOW I KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THE QUESTIONS AND PROBABLY PASS IT ”
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  • Good resources for 11+ preparation and brilliant staff.
    Saro L, 11+ Parent
  • Helpful resources for 11plus prep. My son has achieved in this exams using these resources. 
    Christina, 11+ Parent
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