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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:02 pm
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With the FSM change, the higher birth rate and the growing number of parents turning to tutoring* will it be harder to get into a grammar school for a 2015 entry child who in the last two years may have made it in?
Or will the increased PANs offset these changes?
What's your opinion?

* I have witnessed that since my DS took his exams two years ago, more of the children in the years below in his school are receiving tutoring.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 8:40 am 
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The test resistant to tutoring increases tuition! Well that says its all ;)
FSM places due to advantages of tutoring. Well, Durham University have really failed in their aim.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:24 am 
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HappyRobot - I note that your comment about increased tuition is based on soft rather than hard evidence. Could it be that since you became involved in the 11+ process, with your DS, that you have become more aware about what people are or are not doing, rather than an absolute increase in the numbers getting tutored around you? You say it yourself, you have noticed it more - this might not be because there are actually more of them doing it, if you see what I mean?! For example, at one point I was considering buying a VW Beetle - I didn't think they were that common but, once I decided I wanted one, I saw them everywhere! It wasn't that more people were suddenly buying them, just that I was more alert to them.

I am sure that the numbers who will access the GS under the FSM legislation, will not be as high as some alarmists have suggested. There are a number of threads on this - they still have to achieve the qualifying score and, if you look at the number of FSM children who do this currently, it is still very low and certainly less than the increased PAN.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 5:11 pm 
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HappyRobot

I totally agree with you, in that tuition has exploded. This has been confirmed by tuition centres and online providers. The Stratford Herald reported a certain centre was fully booked. Some people do not want to accept this and cannot provide evidence tuition has decreased. Some of these believe home tuition by parents or the child themselves is not tuition or preparation.

I am sure most people can see this with their own eyes. The King Edward Foundation confirm the massive tuition culture as indicated by their pupil premium priority placed (up to 25% places, yet 25% of pupils are not pupil premium eligible).

Compared to this year there are potentially less places for non-pupil premium students, as the PAN was increased a year ago, so you are right to be concerned. It clearly an unfair system now with a two tier selection test.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 6:16 pm 
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Lol! And of course it isn't in the tuition centres and online providers interest to promote that more people are using them in order to perpetuate more demand?!! You have to see that you haven't provided hard evidence with that comment, as they are hardly neutral! And, to be clear, I don't think I even intimated that tuition had decreased, I just commented to happy robot that I have observed sometimes when you are interested in something, you start to notice it more!!


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 7:23 pm 
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[quote][/quote]gideon -' 25% is not the average'.

Many schools in Birmingham serve communities with more than 50% fsm/pupil premium, so 25% proposed in -take is quite modest and would reflect the average for the city as a whole. It will be quite interesting to see how the qualifying score for FSM is managed though, as I doubt many of these pupils will initially receive sufficient tuition, therefore I would speculate that the cut off score would have to be significantly lower than that of the non fsm pupils, to enable KE to reach it's target of 25 pupil premium pupils. On principle, this is a very positive move to address the blatant inequalities in the system and to afford KE the opportunity to genuinely add value to their pupil outcomes.However, further down the line I can foresee some new injustices being created, where fsm candidates are gradually being tutored more and more, motivated by an increased chance of success, and those on low incomes but do who do not qualify, feeling very'shut out' and aggrieved.
Returning to the original question, I doubt this year will be the 'hardest to get in', not withstanding the increased birth rate, as the PAN for non fsm remains the same and , who knows, may even be increased if insufficient numbers of fsm/pupil premium candidates actually meet the 'qualifying' score.

In fact, thinking about it, there will (by default) be a few more more place created for non fsm pupils, as presumably there are always a few fsm pupils which form part of the PAN of 90, but now they will form part of the '25' group instead.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:06 pm 
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I disagree. The PAN for for non Pupil Premium is not the same for 2015. It is lower. The PAN was increased for 2014 entry. So, for 2015 entry the PAN is lower if the increase is now reserved for pupil premium children. Anyway, the School's adjudicator will rule whether the plan for a two tier score system is lawful. We all have to wait and watch. Nationwide 25% of children are not Pupil Premium qualified.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:13 pm 
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Thanks all. Kenyancowgirl, I see your point about spotting more people when you are interested, but I guess I do have some facts, while of course they are on a small scale.

Two years ago, from my DS's school, two children visited the tuition centre, while other children received tuition from independent tutors. This year, I personally know 5 children visiting the centre from the same school, while another four are doing the online tests, while other children are being tutored. I don't know everyone's business, but I think that a lot more people don't want to miss out.

The tutoring culture is rife, so I wish the exam was really tutor proof. With an increase in 'tutor-savvy' parents, surely chances to gain a place diminish.

I would hope that schools and altruistic tutors support FSM children to help them get in, as it reflects well on the school or tutors. I hear there are tutors already that help children who can't afford tuition (whether that is true or not I am sure.)

Another thought, will some parents see the benefit of having a child on FSM while they are between jobs for instance to provide an 'advantage'. Is the initiative open to exploitation?


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:55 pm 
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gideon wrote:
I disagree. The PAN for for non Pupil Premium is not the same for 2015. It is lower. The PAN was increased for 2014 entry. So, for 2015 entry the PAN is lower if the increase is now reserved for pupil premium children. Anyway, the School's adjudicator will rule whether the plan for a two tier score system is lawful. We all have to wait and watch. Nationwide 25% of children are not Pupil Premium qualified.


Can we take it that you have reported KE to the Schools' Adjudicator then Gideon? Do keep us posted.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 10:14 pm 
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To go back to the original question. As was stated by various people in the run up to March this year the factor which increases cut off scores most is the number of children sitting the test. Simple supply and demand. The places this year are largely unchanged (I have retired from the spurious FSM debate) so if say 1000 more children sat than last year it would indeed be a hard year to get in. Wait until after September and I am sure there will again be a fascinating debate. People last year used mathematical calculation to predict initial cut off scores and some were very accurate. Good luck happy robot and try not to worry too much.


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