Thank you Mimita and Exceptional Academics for your replies.
Mimita, the fact that your son has done so well at state school and has got into DC with just a couple of months' preparation means that he would most probably have done amazingly well at any school. Sounds compeletely awful that he was bullied at his current school though
I think Dulwich, Alley's and JAPS are all equally selective, so it's a credit to him and to you that he got in!
The 20k fees are a lot though. Having been through the private 'feeder school', I do think it was good, but almost all of the children who got into the selective schools were tutored in addition to going to school.
I also spoke to some parents of children currently at JAPS/ Alleyn's and apprently many of the parents tutor their children throughout school to make sure they stay top of the class/ do well for the 'internal' 7+/ 11+ exams... Which makes me wonder how much the good academic results are a credit to the school and how much they are down to the parents and the children...
My daughter does know that the entrance exams are a test, and she has already sat the exam and got into another very selective school in SW London on an occassional vacancy. I am not sure we can go there though, as it would take almost an hour every morning to get to school.
If anyone else has any thoughts on the 7+ and the benefit of selective over state/ non-selective private schools, I would welcome them
I wonder whether going into a very good state school at 11 (say Graveney) would be just as good as say being at Alleyn's....