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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 73
Location: Slough, Berks
We have had permission from the forum moderators to place this petition plea.

As you may know, there is a plan afoot to merge St Bernard's Catholic
Grammar school with St Joseph's Catholic High School and thereby
create a non-selective Academy.

No matter which grammar school you are applying to, the abolition of
St Bernard's will reduce the number of available grammar school places
each year by around 140. That means more competition for every
place.

A group of concerned parents has created a web site,
http://www.savestbernards.co.uk containing the latest news surrounding
the merger.

There's also an e-petition on the Number 10 Downing Street web site -
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/stbernards/. Please sign this
petition and send a message to our lords and masters that grammar
schools like St Bernard's enjoy popular support.

Thank you for your support.

_________________
Tearing Hair Out Mum


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Done :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 3758
Location: Berkshire
As a parent of someone who failed to qualify for this school in this year, and who has been led like a lamb to the slaughter in a test designed to reduce the number of Catholic children passing the test so that they can prove reduced admissions to category 1 in the admissions policy, I have to say good luck to the head and his merry band of governors as they sell out to the DCSF and the diocese of Northampton.


Final post on the subject of 11+ exams and grammar schools,

Rgds,
LFH


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:39 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Heston
Done.

Also posted the link for the petition on Facebook.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
Done!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Dear LFH

Quote:
and who has been led like a lamb to the slaughter in a test designed to reduce the number of Catholic children passing the test so that they can prove reduced admissions to category 1 in the admissions policy


St Bernards is part of the 'consortium' of grammar school in Slough (langley & Herschel are the other two) and therefore sets the same exam as the other two, taken at the same time. Although there has been a change to the exam format, they dropped the Maths paper, this would affect all children taking the exam and not particularly 'Catholic' children.

Their admissions policy says that to qualify for admission you must reach the qualifying score of 111, if more than the admissions number qualify then the following oversubscription policy will apply.

OVER-SUBSCRIPTION CRITERIA
For Admissions to the Planned Admission Number i.e. at Age 11+:

Should places be oversubscribed, the Governing Body will consider children for admission following the criteria set out below. The Governing Body will give priority to relevant looked after children (within the meaning of Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) at the time of their application and who will still be looked after when they are admitted.

1. Roman Catholic children, in respect of whom the Governing Body has a written recommendation from their Roman Catholic Priest.

2. Children of other Christian denominations


As you can see Catholic children are Category 1.

Can you clarify your comment please as I need to substantiate the comment to allow it to be left on the forum. Unsubstantiated comments may lead to misinformation to new users.

Thanks

Chad


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 3758
Location: Berkshire
Dear Chad,
Please feel free to remove my comments if you feel they will cause concern, I was not meaning to do so, merely pointing out what I feel has happened this year.

Of course I cannot prove it but I thought the point of the forum was to promote open discussion.

The only thing I know to be true is that this year before appeals and after offers had been made to the waiting list (ie non Catholic children, so category 2) there were only 92 out of a possible 120 places filled, which strikes me as incredible and having been associated with the school for many years I know that this has not happened before.

I apologise if I have caused upset.
LFH


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:39 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Heston
Dear LFH,

I am not surprised that so many places were unfilled. I went along to the prospective parent evening at St Bernard's in late Sept last year as I was applying for a place for my DD. There was no mention about the possible closure of the school. Only once the application to sit the test for the consortium schools had passed (the deadline was 6th Oct) were prospective parents informed. Myself and many other parents were furious that this info had been kept from us prior to us deciding which consortium school we were to apply to to sit the test thus making this our first choice consortium school on the CAF. Personally I would have applied to Herschel rather than St Bernard's had I known. My family are Catholic but we decided against sending our DD to St Bernard's because of the proposed merger which I believe will go ahead. My DD is going to Slough Grammar in Sept. I am sure that many other parents like myself had to chose between sending their DC to either a Catholic or Grammar school as it seems we could no longer get both in the future.

I am convinced that the drop in applications was more to do with the merger of the two schools rather than the change in format of the exams. As a Catholic who has always ensured that their child has been brought up in the Catholic education system right from the beginning of their education I am living proof of this. It was a hard decision for us to take but at the end of the day our DD attendance at a GS overrode her attendance at a Catholic school.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 3758
Location: Berkshire
Dear partygirl,
This is intersting information then. You see we come from out of Slough and only wanted a place at St Bernard's, my son did not sit the Slough exam. We also found out after the date to register for the test about the proposed merger, and reckoned that the numbers sitting the test would be down because of the news. However we could see when we went for the test that if anything the numbers were actually up on previous years.
But of course if you passed and put St Bernard's as first choice on your CAF you would have no choice but to go there - unless you opted out for an independent school.
Or left the Consortium further down the list on the CAF.
Whatever way you look at it, it still seems that they are unable to fill the school for a number of reasons with category 1 admissions criteria applicants, which will be another blow to the supporters of the Grammar School. It all begins to take on the appearance of a political game, and as you rightly say all information should have been available before the deadline to sit the tests.

I hope your child is happy at Slough Grammar, I understand and respect your decision, good luck to you both
Rgds,
LFH


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 4
Dear LFH & Partygirl
One can safely assume that the 92 places out of 120 for Year 7 2009 is a reflection of the current situation at St. Bernard's where they are pushing for the school to be closed and re-open as a Academy. If the number sitting the exam (Nov 2008)“were actually upâ€


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