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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:09 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Birmingham
Hi Members

As I am new to this forum and having searched quite a lot of posts and learnt so much of valuable information, I am still looking for any good options to put on the LEA form for my DS's who are both twins but fare so differently at their studies :cry: . Whilst I am in a great dilemma what I should choose among the grammer schools for DS1, I am also on a look out for any good comprehensives for my DS2 in case both of them do not qualify in the exams. As we live in Handsworth, I can only see Holyhead school which is close to our house but I am quite concerned about its lack of good rating after hearing it got lot of behavioural issues :( )

Can someone advice me any nice alternatives within our catchment area? In case one son qualifies in a grammer school but the other fails marginally,is there any chance of appealing? We also thinking about moving to a different location but I am afraid it is too late now. So my thoughts are going like this, even if we end up sending our DS2 to the near by comprehensive but later on move to a good location like sutton or Kings Heath, is there a chance then for getting a place for year 8?

Thanks in advance for your valuable suggestions!

regards


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
Sorry to be so direct, but I am being sincere here.
You posted because you wanted honest replies, so...

Without meaning to denigrate Holyhead (I am sure the teachers work very hard) I am afraid I can't say why you would make a positive choice to send your dc there.

There are no good comprehensives that you can get into from Handsworth (unless you are Catholic or live in the Handsworth Wood end)

It appears you are financially able to move - so move (to Sutton or Solihull, if a good comprehensive school is important).

Edit: The chances of appealing for one child who does not make a Grammar place, on the grounds that a sibling (albeit a twin) has, are probably unlikely, as otherwise this would be unfair to pupils higher on the waiting list, without a sibling.
Also, you indicate that you are able to move - but for any reading this who are not, I am not suggesting that attending a Handsworth comprehensive will damage their child irretrievably - far from it.
But some damage limitation and a great deal of support will likely need to be put in place by the parent(s).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:54 pm
Posts: 483
twinsmom11, I'm with you. I live just over the other side of the M5 junction and I'm having the same dilemma as I think about filling in the LA forms, just in case my daughter doesn't quite pass the 11+... Holyhead looked like a good option compared to our local schools with 40% (or fewer) achieving 5 A-C grades at GCSE. And some of these schools have been classified as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted! It makes me angry to realise how many local folk in this areahave to settle for such terrible academic standards in schools. We don't have the option of moving as my husband's job has a tied house.

Just this weekend I heard of another local school where a) teachers didn't know whether they taught combined or separate sciences b) you couldn't take up a second foreign language at GCSE as 'noone's ever wanted to pursue a career in languages' and c) only 'Foundation stage' maths was taken at GCSE meaning that not a single child in the school could achieve better than a grade C. Thankfully that school is now in special measures, but it has obviously failed many children already.

Aargh!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:09 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Birmingham
Dear um,

Many thanks for posting a honest advise as because this is no time beating the bush (as the saying goes..) and quite frankly I completely agree with your opinion. Luckly we have no fixed commitments at this present place apart to worry about our dc's school which just started and any move now would have a slight impact on their preparation but that's one risk we are quite willing to take as this is the whole point, isn't it - to secure their secondary education future!! Well, coming to think of it, we shouldn't have left this so late now but any way!

This prompts my next and most important question....since the time is very less to submit the LEA form -31st Oct being the deadline thro' online, is there any possibility to still mention those comp schools which comes under Solihul or Sutton catchment areas (so we can plan the move sometime during Christmas time) and still qualify? I am thinking about Sutton actually as it is easy for my husband to commute to work than Solihull. But I think if there are any changes to the address given on the LEA form, then we need to produce some address proof from the last 6 months (what if it is dated now :?: ) while submitting the form and I am bit worried now. confused is also the better word here I think :roll:

If it is absolutely must for us to move now so as to fall in different catchment and also if it is ok if we can show the new address proof, then I suppose we have to rush now to search the house and then find (hope!) a suitable place in the primary school first (assuming if we can get a favourable guidance from Local authority to show us some vacant places at any primary)

Looking anxiously for your advice on this, your response now gives us some direction to plan in the coming weeks..

Regards


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:09 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Birmingham
Turtlegirl,

Apparently we presently live in an area where we got only one option reg the comprehensives and that is Holyhead which on Ofsted it is showing as 'Good' school as per 2009 report. I've not heard much about it apart from speaking to few local mums who send their DC's to there and they say it has become very strict these days and possibly the standards might have improved but in my position, fortunately we can afford to move now so I am trying out different options-i.e., if it is still possible!) Having also seen quite a few kids in our neighbourhood, I shudder to imagine how my DC's can fare there and quite concerned how they can mingle along w/o getting spoilt :(

I am sure this is one aspect every parent agree and that's the reason I am exploring the possibilities. At least I hope grammer schools provide an healthy atmoshphere and if our DC's could not get through, at least I should put them in a decent school which can provide them a good career path.

twinsmom11


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
RE Admissions arrangements, you need to talk with Birmingham Admissions directly.

If you don't get a clear answer first time, try again until you do.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:09 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Birmingham
Dear um,

I will surely follow your advice to enquire the Bham admissions but out of your knowledge, is it possible to 'move' now at this last minute and still claim the places at the local comps (sorry for keep asking this same question) as you might realise this is going to make a BIG difference on my DC's future if they do not qualify in any grammers.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
My understanding is that you shouldn't have too much of a problem, as waiting lists will move slightly from 1 March and you would be in a good position to be at the top of that waiting list, if you moved close to a good comp.
But some of the admissions staff at Bham are very helpful and will talk you through this clearly.
(If you don't get the helpful ones, feel free to call again)


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