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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:17 pm 
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Hi all,

Sorry if I've missed this elsewhere, but I have heard a rumour that Adams have sent out two different letters to those who 'passed' the entrance exam. One apparently says your son would benefit from a grammar school education and the other adds that would strongly encourage you to apply. Does anyone know if this is right?

Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:23 pm 
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TVGirl - It has to be the worst nightmare for parents not knowing exactly where they stand. Absolutely unacceptable way of reporting, and you must let the school authorities know how you feel about this.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:27 pm 
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MSD wrote:
TVGirl - It has to be the worst nightmare for parents not knowing exactly where they stand. Absolutely unacceptable way of reporting, and you must let the school authorities know how you feel about this.


I'm off to the open day tomorrow so shall be making my feelings known, although it seems that they are giving little time to parents' questions or concerns at this stage. I have no idea how much influence the council will have but will also make my feelings known to them at an appropriate juncture. I guess there is a feeling of not wanting to put one's head above the parapet too much in case it affects DS's chances. I know that it shouldn't but you can't help but feel the risk is there...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:53 pm 
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Just to clarify.... I went to the AGS open day event. The Head actually states specifically in his presentation (on slides) that two letters have been sent. Your child would ....
1) benefit from
2) struggle with
....a grammar school education.

In all honesty, I too had heard that 3 letters had been sent (strongly recommend, you may wish to apply and your child would struggle with letters).

Out of interest, does anyone actually know of someone to have received the maybe letter? If not, it truly may not exist. I don't see why Head would make a point of actually stating on the slideshow that only two letters have been sent???


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:05 pm 
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I wonder if there has been some confusion arising here.

Out of interest I looked at DS2 Adam's letter from 2013 and it actually covers both scenarios mentioned above. It actually reads "he would benefit from a grammar school education and would strongly encourage you to include Adams' Grammar School in your local authority preference form". This wording covers the supposed "two separate letters".


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:09 pm 
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MSD wrote:
TVGirl - It has to be the worst nightmare for parents not knowing exactly where they stand. Absolutely unacceptable way of reporting, and you must let the school authorities know how you feel about this.


I do wonder if that is the case. If they know all the scores and who has ticked Adams' as a preference - albeit others may add to CAF - the letter "strongly encourage you to include" may in fact be a very good indication that a place will be in the offing.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:13 pm 
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Happy dad wrote:
I wonder if there has been some confusion arising here.

Out of interest I looked at DS2 Adam's letter from 2013 and it actually covers both scenarios mentioned above. It actually reads "he would benefit from a grammar school education and would strongly encourage you to include Adams' Grammar School in your local authority preference form". This wording covers the supposed "two separate letters".


The suggestion is that there are two forms. One says "would benefit from a grammar school education and would strongly encourage you to include Adams..." and the other says "would benefit from a grammar school education and you may wish to include..."

I'd quite like to know if both versions exist or whether there is just one format for everyone who would benefit from a grammar school education.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:17 pm 
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Hi all, I can confirm our letter this year says BOTH "would benefit" and "strongly encourage", exactly as described in previous post (by happydad).
We are visiting Friday morning, was hoping they might allude to how the catchment criteria may impact on OOA boys. I'm sure they will be tight lipped though!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:24 pm 
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Hi. I attended the open day yesterday. The head said there were only 2 letters
one saying 'would benefit from grammar school education' and one saying 'would struggle with grammar school education'
There was no mention of 'strongly encourage' in the presentation....

The letter we received last Friday said 'Given ***** standardised score we believe he would benefit from a grammar school education and would strongly encourage you to include Adams' Grammar School on your local preference form'

The Head said there was a cut off (pass/fail) mark, which incidentally they refused to disclose. ( I would make an educated guess it will be around 310 mark) All you have to do is score above the cut off and you get a 'would benefit from' letter

This means anyone in catchment, who passed the exam ie, got a 'would benefit from' letter will get a place (there won't be 90+ applications from within catchment) However this means they get in even if they only just scraped a pass. Out of catchment (OOC) will go to score system, highest scores in first until all spaces filled.
The head said he wanted to make it fairer to local boys as it is a local school serving local people and most years only 10% of the intake live in catchment. He wants to increase this, therefore he has made it easier for boys in catchment to get a place.

I actually think this is unfair. Local boys had as much chance of getting a place before catchment was introduced, they just had to score well in the exam like everyone else. The head also seemed to suggest that rich 'outsiders' were coming in a taking all the places by tutoring their kids to pass :shock: and he wants to put a stop to this.
I am annoyed about this, the reason so may outsiders choose Adams is that there are no other free state grammar schools anywhere in our region. Not Telford, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth....where are people from these areas supposed to send their boys if they want them to go to a good school without paying huge private school fee's?

As for the lack of scores, everyone was asking at the end...why didn't we get scores???? and we were all simply told that the school thought scores were of no benefit to the parents or boys. We said it would benefit us!! It would give us an idea of where we might be on the waiting list for a place, but they stuck to their guns....so angry about that. No parents we know are happy with the lack of scores, yet the school say they have done it with our best interests in mind...really?

We are clueless as we are OOC and don't know if ds just scraped a pass and stands no chance or if he aced the exam...so frustrating. I wonder if we could somehow force them to reveal results, but like someone else said you don't like to rock the boat in case it ruins ds chances!!

Is there a 3rd letter? stating you could apply without the strongly encourage bit? would really help to know if this is a myth...pretty sure it is :? Sorry for ranting, just so frustrated......


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 10:07 am
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Cosmo6 wrote:
Hi. I attended the open day yesterday. The head said there were only 2 letters
one saying 'would benefit from grammar school education' and one saying 'would struggle with grammar school education'
There was no mention of 'strongly encourage' in the presentation....

The letter we received last Friday said 'Given ***** standardised score we believe he would benefit from a grammar school education and would strongly encourage you to include Adams' Grammar School on your local preference form'

The Head said there was a cut off (pass/fail) mark, which incidentally they refused to disclose. ( I would make an educated guess it will be around 310 mark) All you have to do is score above the cut off and you get a 'would benefit from' letter

This means anyone in catchment, who passed the exam ie, got a 'would benefit from' letter will get a place (there won't be 90+ applications from within catchment) However this means they get in even if they only just scraped a pass. Out of catchment (OOC) will go to score system, highest scores in first until all spaces filled.
The head said he wanted to make it fairer to local boys as it is a local school serving local people and most years only 10% of the intake live in catchment. He wants to increase this, therefore he has made it easier for boys in catchment to get a place.

I actually think this is unfair. Local boys had as much chance of getting a place before catchment was introduced, they just had to score well in the exam like everyone else. The head also seemed to suggest that rich 'outsiders' were coming in a taking all the places by tutoring their kids to pass :shock: and he wants to put a stop to this.
I am annoyed about this, the reason so may outsiders choose Adams is that there are no other free state grammar schools anywhere in our region. Not Telford, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth....where are people from these areas supposed to send their boys if they want them to go to a good school without paying huge private school fee's?

As for the lack of scores, everyone was asking at the end...why didn't we get scores???? and we were all simply told that the school thought scores were of no benefit to the parents or boys. We said it would benefit us!! It would give us an idea of where we might be on the waiting list for a place, but they stuck to their guns....so angry about that. No parents we know are happy with the lack of scores, yet the school say they have done it with our best interests in mind...really?

We are clueless as we are OOC and don't know if ds just scraped a pass and stands no chance or if he aced the exam...so frustrating. I wonder if we could somehow force them to reveal results, but like someone else said you don't like to rock the boat in case it ruins ds chances!!

Is there a 3rd letter? stating you could apply without the strongly encourage bit? would really help to know if this is a myth...pretty sure it is :? Sorry for ranting, just so frustrated......


It was the rich out of area boys that the previous head was asking for donations towards various building projects at the school. Now the expansion is complete they don't need "outsiders".
I hate to say it but I think race does play an issue in this as asian/black boys from out of area attend and there are not many minorities in the school.
There have been several incidents of racism within the school that I have been told of including calling muslim boys terrorists.
the boys also play "Blaisian Football". This is football where the blacks and asians play against the white kids :shock:
Thats why with DS2 we were leaning towards Queen Mary's instead or TT.


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