Apologies for the long post but I need some advice. I realise I am in a very fortunate position but it is a dilemma albeit a happy one.
Despite submitting the CAF online, I am still not feeling as happy about things as I think I should and I am still having lingering doubts.
I spoke to a very helpful chap at Birmingham Admissions today who said that they have extended the deadline for applications and it was still possible to amend preferences online. I checked and sure enough, you can!
DD scored highly in the exam, better than we would have thought. She has a 20+ point "cushion" for Camp Hill so she can go wherever she wants. The chap at admissions thinks the admission score may rise but not by much (1 or 2 at most).
During the preparation process, we did not want to get DDs hopes up too high so we did not discuss Camp Hill at all. We did not like the school much on open day and preferred Handsworth. I know many have discussed the warmth at KEVIHS v CHG and we felt it too, both in person and on the phone. I have phoned CHG a few times and felt they were rather abrupt and rude e.g no one allowed to visit til the July open day, issues with her wearing a headscarf for PE etc (which others have mentioned on here) and other things.
KEVIHS were lovely on the phone and very helpful. They seemed to be far more accommodating in all respects.
I know CHG has lots of girls desperate to get in and so they don't need to "sell" the school as much, but the attitude I have experienced has been very off putting. I read on here about the demographic for CHG bring different and less "inclusive" than CHB, as mentioned by other parents during their Open Day musings (I am thinking of um and others). However, it's a great school with great opportunities, as with all the KE Grammars.
All the people who I have spoken to about KEVIHS have praised the school but have made me feel that their choice was based on one or more of three reasons:
1 Their DD didn't make the score for CHG so the choice didnt arise (main reason).
2 They live geographically close to the school.
3 Their DD has a sister in the school.
The gentleman I spoke to in Admissions told me that year the highest score of the girl in KEVIHS was around 255, the lowest was the score we have on our letters. Even he said the high scoring entrants were girls who live close to the school.
We live within walking distance of Camp Hill.
I have been met with incredulity from almost everyone I have spoken to about the fact that DD wants KEVIHS but has made CHG which is closer and "better". Even more shocking to them is that we are letting her choose, but her basis for choosing KEVIHS is the lovely time she had on the Open Day and the superior facilities, as she sees it. We weren't trampled by the masses at KEVIHS as we were at CHG so I don't know if that has something to do with it!
We have friends with daughters in CHG who say its not too taxing for the first few years at least, and who will be there to help her if needed.Of course my DDs happiness is paramount but I don't know of anyone who chose KEVIHS who got the score for CHG, that they live closer too.
So should I change the preference?
I have drawn up for and against lists and it comes down to the fact that even if she may be happier in KEVIHS, and the staff come across as more approachable, CHG is closer (so easier on the whole family as her siblings are schooled close by too) and she will be among girls of a similar level to her. She has to make new friends wherever she goes. I have heard more horror stories from parents about CHG than KEVIHS.
Any thoughts? Anyone with DDs in both?