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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:10 pm 
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I just read again the Herschel admissions policy on their website and they were mentioning significant changes (3iii and 3iv). Ive pasted it below.

So does this mean that out of 120 to be admitted, some of those will be filled by those with special needs, and then only 70 will be given preference in terms of people applying and scoring highest. That will leave perhaps some 30-50 places which will have to be filled by people (presumably attaining 111 or above) in terms of distance from the school?

I live literally 2 roads from the school, so I guess would mean a better chance for my son?

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1. The school's standard admission number is 120.


2. Pupils will be admitted at the age of 11 by reference to their ability and aptitude which will be determined by their performance in entrance tests consisting of Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning tests set by the National Foundation for Educational Research. The procedure for application and testing will be published by the school each year.


3. Where the number of pupils who have achieved the required standard in the tests by gaining an overall score of 111 or more exceeds the number of places available, places will be allocated according to the following oversubscription criteria in this order of priority:


(i) Looked After Children who have reached the required standard;


(ii) pupils with special educational needs (where written evidence is supplied from a recognised authority specialising in the particular needs of the pupil) who have or in the view of Governors should have reached the required standard;


(iii) the next 70 pupils in rank order of performance in the tests;


(iv) proximity to the school. Distance will be measured in a straight line from the front door of the child's home address (including flats) to the main entrance gate of the school, using Slough's Geographical Information System (GIS), with those closer to the school receiving the higher priority.
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:56 pm 
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Location: berkshire
There was some mention of this on the Slough admissions forum..... but Herschel had not formalised it.... it must have been agreed now.
Applying a catchment area has been talked about for some time as it has been questioned by Slough Borough Council why so many children come from outside the 'Slough' area and is this fair.
It has been highlighted over the last couple of years because the 'cut off' score has been getting higher...... especially for Herschel.
Yes... I would say that you have a better chance for your son as he may not need to come in the top 120 (that have Herschel as their preference) to gain a place.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:54 pm 
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thats fantastic news. I know many of us were very upset knowing that schools in slough were excluding students from slough. I think this may be a much fairer formula.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Quote:
In total 2,765 pupils travel into Slough from outside of the Borough to attend a Slough
school, while 3,244 travel to maintained schools in other LAs (see table 20 below).
Slough is a net exported of pupils with almost 500 more pupils travelling out of the
borough than come in.


http://www.slough.gov.uk/documents/SPP0 ... 207am6.pdf

Above was from a consultation document on Slough Schools. A similar consultation and similar issues exist in Reading Borough, which I am more familiar with. :evil:

School Designated area’s (Catchments) can become a very emotive subject. :)


steve


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm 
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If you read on from that paragraph:

Quote:
Large numbers of pupils leaving Slough for schools in other Boroughs are residents of the Britwell, Farnham and Haymill wards.


I wouldnt say that such places count for the vast majority of the schoolchildren in Slough. These places are close to Bucks, and the residents here are financially generally better off than other residents in the rest of Slough, and so can afford to transport their children out of town.

If you read the rest of the report, you will realise that the primary schools in Slough are suffering heavily mainly from new arrivals from abroad, mainly EU but also outside EU. My wife is a primary school teacher in slough so i know all the particulars.

Children who are brought up in Slough and have to attend many of Sloughs primary schools are being disadvantaged by having to cope with kids who move here from abroad. Whilst their peers in other parts of the country are achieving high standards of literacy, these children are in classes where half the children barely speak english. Hence the overall levels of achievement, and the attention and levels the teachers hope to attain are massively lowered.

So those children who are quite bright, and have gone through such mixed classes, really dont stand a chance of competing with the likes of children from surrounding areas where the overall levels are higher (i.e. where they dont have this handicap).

To make it worse, Slough doenst have a comprehensive schooling system. It has Grammar and Secondary schooling. So the brighter children coming up through the Slough primary schooling are double disadvantaged in terms of their secondary schooling, if they have to equally compete with kids from outside Slough. They dont get to attend grammar schools, they end up in Secondary schools, where the levels again are not so great.

Hence I really think there needs to be an emphasis on giving grammar school places to local kids.

Just to give an example. I attended a primary school in Slough 25 years ago. In my year about 35 children made it to grammar school. Last year, only 1 child made it to grammar school from that same school!


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:06 pm 
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Location: Middlesex
I think they had hinted to this effect after the Ombudsman's ruling against Herschel recently where this school tried to refuse a child who had put Herschel as a second choice before sitting the Consortium exam. I have my thoughts on this one and they have always been clear: let the brightest kid get the best school regardless where he comes from and how his parents filled the order of preference on the CAF. Herschel was making good progress but this step would bring it back to No 2 position. Well, Slough kids would get in whether they are good enough or not. I have no interest in this school (declined the offer from Langley yesterday, so we are not going to Slough at all) but all such tinkering never bears positive fruit. What needs to be changed is the admission test only. It should be made more tutor-proof.

My question remains: Why should only Slough kids go to good schools when they are not good enough for these schools?


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Location: berkshire
Thought I would bump this up to the top again........ :D


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 Post subject: catchment
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:54 pm
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Location: wraysbury, middlesex
Ok, so how is the catchment clause going to work? Based on last years figures:
"Langley Grammar.... Number of Applicants 1575... PAN 145
Herschel Grammar... Number of Applicants 1654... PAN 120
St Bernard Grammar.Number of Applicants 578... PAN 120 "

So... 3807 tests were sat for 385 places (and presuming that many more achieve the 111 qualifying score and don't get a place). How are Herschel going to offer places? Hypothetically speaking: a child puts Langley and Herschel on the CAF, scores 114 and lives 1 mile from LGS and 4 miles from HGS. Langley don't offer a place (first round), Herschel offer the top 70 scorers (maybe 115+). Then what? Anyone scoring 114 within 2 miles?? Then 114 within 5 miles? or 113 within 2 miles takes preference?
Does score trump distance or distance trump score?
This is either a way to do exactly what Langley already do (offer down and rely on distance from school to separate the last "qualifying" scorers" or a way to open a whole new can of worms.
Suggestions?

_________________
wraysburymum


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Hi

I think the process would be that in the first round Herschel would offer the top 70 scorers based on score order. they would offer a few on special needs basis. the remaining (maybe 40 or 50) would be offered to those achieving the pass mark (eg. 111) based on distance from the school.

Ofcourse all of the above people may not accept the place at herschel, since they may have applied elsewhere. so then the second round applies. i dont know whether they will ensure in the second round that they give those positions that werent filled before to the same grouping of person (eg. merit, special needs , or distance), but it would make sense if they did.

i think it makes sense and is a good thing. they are ensuring that the school opens its doors based on merit, but still ensures local kids get a chance to attend grammar schools. local schools in slough are quit disadvantaged given a number of social scenarios. discussed above.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:23 pm 
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just thought id remind people of this, in case it affects their decision in which grammar schools to apply.

IF YOU LIVE FAR from Slough or from Herschel, note that ONLY 70 of the places (out of 130 or so) are going to be awarded on merit. The rest will be filled by special needs, and those who attain 111 pass mark based on their DISTANCE FROM THE SCHOOL.


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