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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:09 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Hi
Does anyone know if we have any fair chance of getting considered for admission into Sandwell academy?
When I looked in their admissions map. the nearest centroid point will be Smethwick (about 2 miles) from our house but the actual school is much nearer. So I am wondering if we have a chance of getting selected as we need two seats (twin boys :roll:)

Thanks a lot in advance!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:54 pm
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I tried to get them to tell me where the furthest admitted child in West Bromwich lived last year and they were quite reluctant to divulge that information! Only 30 children are admitted from each of the 6 towns of Sandwell, so your chances may be dependant on admissions from where you are - do you live in Smethwick? I know that many kids in our local school (about 2 miles from the centroid, but very close to the academy itself) failed to gain places. But I suspect that there are far more applicants from West Brom than other Sandwell schools because people see it as a 'local' school and haven't fully grasped the admissions criteria.

I'll be at the Open Evening this week where I'm hoping to get some better information on this. Their admissions procedure seems to be shrouded in mystery, which I suspect is their way of controlling it whilst still seeming to be completely fair and impartial.

For instance I think that their 'normal' curve will be skewed to the higher ability end as those applying from farther flung parts of Sandwell are unlikely to come from the complete ability spectrum - not many Sandwell parents would look that far afield for schools. I want to grill them on it!

I'll report back if I have any useful info.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Thanks a lot for providing me the information Turtlegirl! We live near to Holyhead school which is closer to Barclays Bank, so when we actually spoke to our ds's tutor at smethwick, he said we do not stand a fair chance :( However I wish no stone unturned just because in the unlikely event of securing a place at the grammers, this school should not be left out just because we failed to put this on the form!

As I missed out filling the open evening admission form :?: , I guess I will have to rely on you for further information which I kindly appreciate if you are successful in drilling them out :P


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:09 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Hi
I just got a reply to my query from the admissions team. Well the crux of their reply is...

"Sandwell Academy is a Sandwell borough based school and as such those living closest to the centroid points will be offered places first. Unfortunately the Academy itself is not a centroid point. You will appreciate that in the past we have had upwards of 1000 applications per year for 180 places and unless your child has a Statement (and it has been agreed with the school that we are placed first on their Preference Form), is a Looked After Child or is a child who is offered one of the 10% Sports Aptitude places, then basically it is the closest six to the centroid points in each of the five bands from each of the six towns.
All I can say is that if you do wish to be considered for a place here then we do have to be named somewhere on your Preference Form – whereabouts you put us is entirely up to you."


So they are reluctent to tell us exactly what chance we got in terms of distance out of their past experience. But that changes from year to year of course but at least it gives us some slight consolation if we knew that there are people who came from far. Hope this information helps you Turtlegirl for drilling them more!!

Good luck :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:54 pm
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Back from the Open Evening. Very impressive buildings - we were shown round by two self confident girls from Yrs 10 and 12 who were a good advert for the school. We were the last tour round and were rather disappointed that not all departments had teachers who could talk about their subject areas. We didn't see maths, geography, history, RE or languages. Why do these school tours seem to concentrate on music, drama and IT departments?

The head seemed quite dynamic but needs to be told that AN HOUR is TOO LONG for a talk to parents and their Yr6 kids, especially if it starts at 7.30pm. He repeated himself far too much and tried to justify academies, which I really don't think was of interest to anyone. Anyway, impressive results blah blah blah, KS3 in 2 years, which everyone seems to be doing nowadays (St Peter's Wolverhampton and Phoenix Academy in West Brom are anyway). Big 6th form with 90% getting university places. GCSEs - I think he said 84% got 10 A*-C grades. Although as you seem to easily get 4 GCSEs in IT, that's maybe not quite as impressive as it sounds.

The most important information I gleaned was in a 3 minute conversation with the admissions officer, who told me that the furthest distance from the centroid for West Bromwich is somewhere around 1km - obviously it varies with the years and the bands (only 6 children in each of 5 bands in each Sandwell town). She said that the furthest distance has on occasion been as low as 1/2km. So there we have it folks - super small catchment. But not surprising given that most years 1200 kids apply for 180 places. May still put it on our list but as the NVR test is the same weekend as the 11+ I'm not sure we'll bother as we live 2 miles away from the centroid. Very close to the school tho'. Alas.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:09 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Thanks for your feedback on the open evening even though I felt that must be really annoying for you sitting there for 1 hr hearing a speech when all they do is consider people who literally live on thier door step :evil: I think we both are in similar situation that even though we live close by to that school but were thrown away by this crazy centroid thing :twisted: We almost decided not to put that in the form after realising that this exam clashes with one of the grammer's which we are counting more upon.

All the best!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:54 pm
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They do allow you to sit their test on a different date if you put that info on the form. The admissions woman was very friendly and helpful & said she was aware that the KE exam was on the Saturday & would give you a Sunday sitting if you made a note on the form. Seems a bit grim to have to sit both the 11+ and the NVR on consecutive days, tho'.


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