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 Post subject: Berks versus Bucks??
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 119
Help please!

I live in Slough (Berks) and pay my council tax to Slough, but my son is in a Bucks primary school and we are in the catchment area for a Bucks school (Burnham Grammar). We can apply to do both the Slough 11+ and the Bucks 11+. I have a Bucks form and a Slough form in front of me, which one do I fill in? Shall I fill in:

1. The Bucks one and list only Bucks schools. (Burnham Grammar and an upper school if he fails)

and/or

2. The Slough one and list only the Slough Grammar schools and a secondary school if he fails)

or

3. Both forms, each with both counties schools on each forms listed in preferential order (which for me would be a slough grammar school, followed by Burnham Grammar followed by secondary school followed by upper school)


I've read all the accompanying notes (seems worse than a passport application) and can't seem to find the answer. I thought I was reasonably intelligent, how do other people cope?!?!?!

Hope I've made it all clear.

Thanks in advance team! Maybe I can sleep now I've written it all down!?

JuliaB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:32 am 
I think you apply for secondary schools using the form appropriate for where you LIVE. On this form you list your preferences in order - they can be just Bucks schools, just Berks, or a mixture. Make sure you list them in the real order you want them. I know for sure that in Bucks the preference makes NO DIFFERENCE to your chance of gaining a place, and think this is the same in BERKS.

Some parents in our area missed out on a good comp in Oxon because they believed they had to put the Bucks upper first (NOT TRUE). Some secondaries/teachers might tell you the order matters, but this is no longer the case. When Bucks pass on the out-of-county requests, the schools do not know where you put them in the list, and I think the same is true of Berks.

Put the grammars first, if this is what you want, and then the comps/uppers in order of preference. Berks will contact Bucks to see which schools can offer you a place (on the basis of 11 plus results/distance/siblings, etc.) and then will go down your list and offer you a place at the school you listed HIGHEST for which there is a place available.

We put this order:

1. Bucks grammar choice 1
2. Bucks grammar choice 2
3. Oxon comp
4. Bucks upper (catchment)

Our daughter didn't pass the 11 plus, so Bucks automatically eliminated choices 1 and 2. Oxon told Bucks a place was available at the comp, and this is what we were offered (by BUCKS) when the letter came in March.

Re 11 plus, all children in Bucks primary schools are automatically entered, but I think you may have to apply separately to Berks.

Check all this with the primary school and with the counties.

I seem to have gone on a bit, but I spent ages last year trying to persuade friends that the order did not affect the chances of being offered a place and that even if they put their catchment upper last, they would be treated the same as if they put it first. There is a lot of confusion.

Hope this helps.

Jed


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:43 am 
definitely only need to fill in one form. think this was done a few years ago to stop multiple applications being done.

we applied from Notts on a Notts form for NYorks schools because we were moving. 11 plus was duly taken and passed before we moved and Notts then sent a letter offering the Yorkshire first choice school under advice sent from N Yorks education the last week of Feb.

..,think it gave the Notts computer some indigetsion - they had to manually do the letter!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Hi JuliaB,

We also live on the Slough/Bucks border, but in Bucks and my son goes to a grammar in Slough.

There are two types of forms. One type is to apply for the 11+, and the other type is to list all your school preferences (for any school grammar, non-grammar, in you local authority or not) to return to your ocal authority.

1. The form that lists all your school preferences. It is refered to sometimes as the 'common application form', or CAF.

You must only return ONE common application form. In your case, I am not sure to which of the two councils. Here's their details if you want to contact them.

Bucks
http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/content/i ... =987793428
Slough
http://www.slough.gov.uk/services/850.asp

2. The form(s) to apply to the 11+

If your son goes to a Bucks primary, he will be entered by the school to the Bucks 11+. However, the school may or may not enter your son for Slough 11+. If they don't, you have to enter them separately. You will have to fill in another form giving your order of preference for the Slough grammars. May be it it this other form that you have with you now.


How to fill the forms

The application form for the Slough grammars:
Just list the grammar schools you are interested in order. You must have Langley or Herschel as first preference because they are over subscribed. You can have Slough in second place, but not in third place as you may not have a place.

The form for the council (Common application form):
you can have a mix of schools from both LEAs. The school order is very important.

The order for the Slough grammars must be the same as the order on the application form fot the 11+ in Slough, but you may have Bucks or other schools in between.

For example, if you have given for the slough 11+ the following order

1. Langley
2. Slough


You can have:

1. Burnham
2. Langley
3. Another school - could be a seconadry
4. Slough


but you can't have

1. Burnham
2. Slough
3. Another school
4. Langley

You also need to be aware that the place allocation is very different between the two authorities.

Bucks allocates places according to where you live (catchment ot distance to school). As you live in the catchment of Burnham Grammar, you will be offered a place there.
Slough grammars allocate places according to the 11+ score independently of where you live. So your son can also get a place in one of the Slough grammars.
You are in a good position, and can chose according to the school you prefer in term of grammar schools.

In term of secondaries, are you in the catchment of a Slough school or a Bucks school?

All the info that I have is from last year. So, just in case something has changed, double check with Bucks CC for Bucks, the grammar schools in Slough.

I could give you more details about all this, but it may get very confusing.
Please don't hesitate to ask more questions or if this is not clear. You will probably feel that you have grasped the ins and out of the 11+ once it's over. That's what happened to me last year.

Hope this helps

Catherine


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 Post subject: Bucks versus Berks??
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 119
Well, thanks for all your interesting replies. I forgot to mention that I had already applied to the Grammar School in Slough to sit the 11+ at their school.

I am still not 100% sure whether to fill the Bucks form in or the Slough one, so I will double check with headteacher and if she is not sure I'll fill both in with the same details. There really isn't any advice in the packs.

I went through all this with my elder son two years ago (passed Bucks and Slough so we had our first choice of school) but of course the system has changed quite dramatically.

Thanks again


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Julia

The common application form [ CAF ] is completed and sent to the council that YOUR CHILD resides in.

The two coucils will share information. All queries should be directed to the 'home' council.

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:19 am 
Hi to everyone, have just found this site. I've been reading some threads and lots of my questions have been answered. There is one question I wanted to clarify. Lets say my son passes both the Bucks and Berks Test....which grammar school will be be offered....... I will need to send a CAF form off to Bucks next week but was unsure whether I should list the bucks grammars first as I live in bucks, however on the border of Slough or whether list Slough schools first. The next question is that if any parents out there are choosing either Burnham Grammar or John Hampden as there bucks choice. My son liked both schools however I prefered the John Hampden even though it slightly further. The schools choosen in Slough are Herschel and Slough Grammar, again both appear to be very good schools.
My biggest problem is choosing the comprehensive school for my son. The local comprehensive takes alot of children from an estate in Slough which hasn't got a very good reputation. Persons living on Bucks/Berks border will now which area I am talking about. My son is bright and has his head screwed on but my concerns are that he may mix with the wrong crowd. I hope I am not causing an offence to anyone but I'm sure that there are lots of parents out there who have the same concerns as me. The main problem at the school is the bad mannered children who spoil it for the children who do actually wish to learn. My son wants to attend the local as it is local and his peers from Junior school will be most likely going there. Anyone out there with the same dilemna. I've had lots of sleepless nights about this and making the right decision is crucial as our little 10/11yr old children are going to spend the next 7 yrs in a school which will make the path for their future.
XX


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 Post subject: Bucks/Berks
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:49 am 
Hi guest

I think I may be able to help as my best friend was in the exact same situation as you.
As for choices on the Berks form you just put the Berks schools in order of your preference. As for Bucks again put the Grammar choices first then your Comps.
It is always rumoured that Langley Grammar will only offer if the child scores at a particular level and that they are FIRST on the list. It used to be said that Herscel did this too but the head visited our primary school last year and said that he will always offer as long as he is somewhere on the list and the child scores 111.

As for your choices well you haveto go with your instincts. What I can say is that we selected John Hampden and my son (he passed) is there now and LOVES it. We do live in the catchement but still 3 miles away so he gets a bus. If you are in the catchment it may be worth you checking as to whether your son would qualify for a bus.

My best friends son goes to BG and is equally very happy. We visited both and I guess if we lived nearer to BG we would of selected because of convenience but to be honest we are especially pleased because of JH reputation as an excellent school and we feel our son will flourish without the added distraction of Girls.

As for local comps. I sympathise. Your son sounds a little like mine. My son was very popular at primary and as such had lots of different types of friends, some of those children were not always my favourites so like you I would of been concerend at my son getting in with the wrong crowd which is why I would not of chose the local comp in Burnham. We put Desborough as a comp school choice because I felt it had very good principles and although not a Grammar school it had a similar aura about it.

Saying that Grammar school doesn't have all the 'Very well behaved' children and I am sure there will be some I wouldn't want my son mixing with but only time will tell and as one of my big things is never to judge people I have instilled that with my children too so cannot pick thier friends for them but hope they choose wisely.

To me the most important thing is them going to a school where they will benefit most and if that means some inconvenience then I would be prepared for that. As for your son wanting to be with his friends just because you sleect the same school will not mean he will be in any of the same classes anyway, my friends son isn't and he ahs made lots of new friends just as mine has, they do.

It is a real hard time and having gone through it last year I am gald that my daughter is only 8 so have some time off before having to go through it all again.

Hopefully your son will pass and then atleast your concerns ove rthe local comp will not be concerns anymore but if i can offer any advice i would say
Do not pick any comp just because it's near
Do not pick it just because your sons friends are going there

Pick the comp that will do the best by your son

Bets of luck to your son and to you

MelX


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:51 am 
Sorry Guest I should of said taht yes you should get two offers if he apsses both which is what happened to my friends son

MelX


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Anonymous wrote:
There is one question I wanted to clarify. Lets say my son passes both the Bucks and Berks Test....which grammar school will be be offered....... I will need to send a CAF form off to Bucks next week but was unsure whether I should list the bucks grammars first as I live in bucks, however on the border of Slough or whether list Slough schools first.
XX


Hi Guest,
I also live in Bucks on the border with Slough. My son took both tests last year and is now going to Slough Grammar.
If your son passes both tests and you place a Bucks school first on the CAF, if he satisfies the distance criteria, he will be offered a place. But in addition, if he passes the Slough test, he may be offered a place in a Slough school. This is because the grammars in Slough are foundation, and they send their own offers.
If you place a Slough school first and get a place, you won't get a second offer from Bucks.

Quote:
My son wants to attend the local as it is local and his peers from Junior school will be most likely going there. Anyone out there with the same dilemna. I've had lots of sleepless nights about this and making the right decision is crucial as our little 10/11yr old children are going to spend the next 7 yrs in a school which will make the path for their future.

It is all a question of individual choice, but I believe that the 'peer' criteria for chosing a school should not be given too much weight.
Many children who are starting at grammar school don't know anyone and they quickly make new friends. In addition, they can still keep contact with their local peers and end up with a larger circle of friends.
I think that children do not always see the whole picture about their education (how could they as 11), but just the immediate advantages. Sometimes they need to be persuaded into the direction that parents think best. Just an opinion...
It is possible to do well in an average comprehensive, but it probabily requires more determination from the child and the parents. Why chose the hard way?

Best of luck for you and your son.

Catherine


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