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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:38 am 
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Hi everyone, I'm in desperate need of advice. I'm totally new to whole system of gs and indies. my dd scored borderline for girls grammer schools so we decided to sit indies (EHS and Kehs just for experience) we were shocked (happily) to be offered AP from both Kehs and EHS. My question is I'm assuming from reading up that she has done well in indies exam as been told AP places are limited.. So I'm wondering would my dd be better off at indie school as she performed better in their test.. I'm very sorry if Im asking silly question but I'm terribly confused. Also I'm very nervously waiting to see what we are offered on offer day next week. I had assumed i would be in a position of being on a waiting list next week but being offered both EHS and kehs has confused me even more. should we consider grammer school if offered ? It appears I have little decision making time as the acceptance deadlines for indies are couple days after offer day for GS..


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:15 am 
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Yes you should consider the GS if offered - if you are being offered an AP it is because the school realises you cannot afford a place there - but you will still be expected to pay some of the fees and associated costs - how will that impact on you as a family? It is not unusual for some children to do better in indie papers than GS and vice versa - the papers are different styles and suit others more than some. And, to be brutally honest, the indies have to have bums on seats to pay, so in some cases, the papers are "easier". If you get a GS offer think about the individual schools and which ones would suit your daughter/your family better - in terms of resources, facilities on offer, general feel, distance from home, cost etc etc as this is at least a 5 year commitment.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:37 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
Yes you should consider the GS if offered - if you are being offered an AP it is because the school realises you cannot afford a place there - but you will still be expected to pay some of the fees and associated costs - how will that impact on you as a family? It is not unusual for some children to do better in indie papers than GS and vice versa - the papers are different styles and suit others more than some. And, to be brutally honest, the indies have to have bums on seats to pay, so in some cases, the papers are "easier". If you get a GS offer think about the individual schools and which ones would suit your daughter/your family better - in terms of resources, facilities on offer, general feel, distance from home, cost etc etc as this is at least a 5 year commitment.


I agree with Kenyancowgirl.
The papers at kehs are not easier just in a different style and with additions like the prose.I dont have experience of the papers at ehs.Although they may be easier as I know girls who haven't necessarily got grammar offers or places at kehs who got places at ehs over the last 25 years.
When finance is an issue it is the addiditional costs that are concerning eg at grammars some school trips which relate to courses are funded by the school at independents these are extras.In relation to your financial circumstances at kehs these are considered every year and if there are any fees they can go up and down.If you have complex finances it is not easy to complete the financial assessments.My eldest dd was on full fees at kehs and I had to consider a bursary for the sixth form when my financial circumstances changed due to ill health and serious surgery.Income became a problem but these assessments also take into account capital assets and may disqualify you.Think long and hard and I hope you get your grammar school place then you have a choice.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:57 pm 
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You should certainly consider a GS place if one is offered; the number of GS places in Birmingham is tiny compared to the number of children bright enough to thrive at GS, a "borderline" score is no reflection of ability to cope once there. Any child capable of doing well enough in the KEHS exam (which is probably more difficult than the GS exam) to be offered an AP is capable of doing well just about anywhere. And after all they do the same GCSEs at EHS and KEHS as they do at GS (or at comprehensives come to that) so it's not as if the work is actually any harder!

In my experience there is no major difference in the costs of trips between GS and KEHS (trips at GS are NOT funded by the school, regardless of curriculum requirement) but that's the least of the financial considerations. If you're right at the bottom of the income scale (less than c.20k household income) you will have no fees to pay at KEHS and lunches, uniform and trips will all be paid for and there will be help with travel costs (I don't know what EHS does); at that income level KEHS will quite likely be a cheaper option than GS or a comprehensive school. For everyone else there will be a contribution to pay, and it will be a painfully heavy millstone for at least 5 years (and if your daughter develops a taste for Latin at KEHS and wants to take it to A-level, where are you going to send her in 6th form?). And even if you're lucky enough for your financial position to improve dramatically you won't see it because it will all go out in higher fees (it may even get harder to pay because the contribution you have to pay goes up more sharply as a proportion of income as you earn more).

But that's enough gloom :lol: ! Congratulations to your daughter on some wonderful results, let us know what happens.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:18 pm 
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Location: West Midlands
It is a big decision, as I recall (the reality hit unexpectedly surprising at the time); nice quandry to have, but the timescales do put pressure on.

If last year's, KES (boys) is comparable, then the exam is not easier: explores other areas of current ability but besides, they can take the time to interview, supporting their decision process.

To get an AP your DD has surely done very very well !?! All the above comments are useful considerations, but the match of school to DC and the ongoing financials are probably the biggest.

Another visit might help.
Do consider daily travel time/cost for DC and factor in after-school/weekend activities.

Just another thing. The 11+ exam can't certainly predict present or future ability, but is as good as the schools can get for the purpose.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:47 pm 
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WindowGlass wrote:
Another visit might help.


It won't. They're all lovely schools :D . But go anyway if you can spare the time.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:00 pm 
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Hi there, we're making the same decision! AP at KEHS vs (hopefully) Sutton Girls (she got 218). I think we're going to go with KEHS. We're in the process of selling our house to move to the south side of Birmingham/Worcestershire. Whilst travel to Sutton is do-able on the cross city line, I feel it will restrict our choice of where to buy as we'd want to be very close to a station to cut down on travel time. She could get to KEHS by bus as well as train and journey times would be much shorter. We could also drive there easily if necesary. Also, KEHS was always her absolute favourite and she has a friend going there (she knows no one going to Sutton). I also like the fact that KEHS are free of the national curriculum and seem to offer a broader education, rather than just focussing on passing exams. This may just be my perception though! Plus there are extras like Latin and the Living History club, which my husband really wants to join!!! A lot of these things are personal to us and our daughter so I don't think anyone can tell you what you should do. I personally would visit the schools again. We didn't much like Sutton at the open day but a school day visit changed our perception. We also really liked Handsworth after a school day visit but our daughter really didn't - so this helped us fill in our form at the end of October. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:33 pm 
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mike1880 wrote:
You should certainly consider a GS place if one is offered; the number of GS places in Birmingham is tiny compared to the number of children bright enough to thrive at GS, a "borderline" score is no reflection of ability to cope once there. Any child capable of doing well enough in the KEHS exam (which is probably more difficult than the GS exam) to be offered an AP is capable of doing well just about anywhere. And after all they do the same GCSEs at EHS and KEHS as they do at GS (or at comprehensives come to that) so it's not as if the work is actually any harder!

In my experience there is no major difference in the costs of trips between GS and KEHS (trips at GS are NOT funded by the school, regardless of curriculum requirement) but that's the least of the financial considerations. If you're right at the bottom of the income scale (less than c.20k household income) you will have no fees to pay at KEHS and lunches, uniform and trips will all be paid for and there will be help with travel costs (I don't know what EHS does); at that income level KEHS will quite likely be a cheaper option than GS or a comprehensive school. For everyone else there will be a contribution to pay, and it will be a painfully heavy millstone for at least 5 years (and if your daughter develops a taste for Latin at KEHS and wants to take it to A-level, where are you going to send her in 6th form?). And even if you're lucky enough for your financial position to improve dramatically you won't see it because it will all go out in higher fees (it may even get harder to pay because the contribution you have to pay goes up more sharply as a proportion of income as you earn more).

But that's enough gloom :lol: ! Congratulations to your daughter on some wonderful results, let us know what happens.


Where I differ from Mike and others on the forum is that some on borderline scores do struggle in Grammar schools but I am sure is not the case with your daughter.But again a handful of girls will struggle at KEHS once they are there.
When my daughter transferred to QM boys in sixth form from Kehs we didn't have to pay for her Geography course trip a few years back.In respect of latin you can do it at A level at Wolverhampton High School for Girls, a grammar school.

I wish you all the best in your decision.

_________________
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:54 pm 
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I think if your DD is offered a place in a school you should assume she will cope academically. Some children may get in by the skin of their teeth at 11, will work hard and follow advice given and turn out to be one of the high flyers. Others could enter with scholarships and APs but go off the rails as teens and not be one of the shining stars they appeared to be in year 6.

I am pretty confident that testing for the grammars and KEHS is pretty rigorous and it is the school's job to cater for the strengths and weaknesses of all pupils who join them, so I would not let that concern affect your decision-making. Good luck to you and your dd!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:18 pm 
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Hi everyone,
Thank you all for your advice and there's definitely plenty to think about. We have decided to attend a welcome evening at Kehs and take it as an opportunity to revisit and ask lots of questions but essentially my husband and I still mulling over the idea of exactly the extra £40k over a 5yr period paid to Kehs will achieve over free education ( more or less ) at gs. My DD scored 215 and we live south Bham so Kehs is easy to get to but camp hill is closest but chances of place at CH are slim but DD doesn't feel a good vibe about CH. As commented above I feel we maybe offered Sutton but that is a real trek for us and DD wants Handsworth which albeit is a fantastic school is a trek and through an area Im unsure about her travelling thru by herself. All being said and done though I am tremendously proud of my DD in doing so well at Kehs and if nothing else it had boosted her somewhat deflated confidence after GS score and I am grateful to be in this position ... I'm just struggling with the whole decision making process especially as I also have been told she may get offered CH or Handsworth from waiting list later in year !!!


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