I have already spoken to a few parents who are confused by the letter, and imagine that there could be hundreds more who are unsure what the 'qualifying score' is and may assume that any child above this score, 'qualifies'.
I will attempt to break it down very clearly.
If you already understand it please bear with me and try another thread!
Children are known as Pupil Premium (PP) pupils if they have been eligible to claim free school meals at any point in the past 6 years.
They receive additional funding from the government into the school budget which is supposed to help close the real gap in attainment across the country, between PP children and non-PP children.
The majority of those applying for the grammar schools will not be in this category.
As has always been the case, they need to gain entry by scoring high enough to be offered a place.
The 'last-score in' to be offered a place varies from year to year but the final scores in on 1 March 2014 are listed in more detail here:
It is understood that these scores 'dropped' as children were offered places through spring and summer term from the waiting list. For example, it has been said on the forum that a child on 207 was offered SCGS.
These scores are, due to the increased number of test applicants, expected by most people to rise this year.
The scores needed for the KE schools may rise even further, as a percentage of places are being made available for PP pupils.
And following on from that point, the KE schools (not the Sutton Schools or HGB) have decided to prioritise PP pupils for 20% of their available places (25% for KEA).
In order to do this, they will admit PP pupils on lower scores than those needed for others, up to 20% of pupils (25% for KEA).
They have set a qualifying score so that even if they do not manage to fill 20% of places with PP pupils, they will definitely not take on any child below this score.
However, although, for example, the qualifying score for FW is 200, it may still be unlikely that a PP child on 200 will actually get a FW place, because there may be other PP children on higher scores, and the school only plan to go up to 20% of pupil numbers.
The 'real' last-score-in for PP pupils is still going to be lower than the last-score-in for non PP pupils but it may well not be as low as that suggested on the letter.FAQ on the new KE Foundation Policy for PP admissions is available at http://www.schoolsofkingedwardvi.co.uk/11-policy/new-11-policy-faqs/