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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
Posts: 1425
Hi can any one with longer experience than I explain the CEM methodology change in 2014. Ken R referred to it alongside the introduction of Pupil Premium places in his explanation of the decision not to update the pass scores sticky. My understanding is that there were three factors at play in 2014, which affected the comparability with previous years cut off scores.

1) There was a massive jump in sitters - circa 800 extra kids chose to sit (effect raise cut offs)
2) There was circa 1 of extra class size of places at each grammar, circa 30 places, introduced ahead of offering PP in 2015 for the first time (effect was to temporarily reduce cut offs??)

3) Change in methodology?? Was this a change in the weighting of Vocab / English to be 50% of the exam???

From what I can see the was a double whammy effect on cut offs, but as Ken says it is not comparing apples with apples, if you simply compare 2015's cut offs with say 2013

Just wondering while watching the minion movie like!!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm
Posts: 297
Hi petitspois:

I haven't searched the old discussions but in 2013 as little fish and I embarked on preparing for the 11+ exam in Sept of 2014 all sorts of changes were occurring in the system:

the test date shifted from ?January to September. [I joined this forum so late in the process - I already knew the test date would be September 2014 at the time].

the city council took the decision that test results would be released before secondary transfer forms were submitted at the end of OCT (thus reducing the number of parents putting grammar schools as 1st/ 2nd/ etc... choices before state schools)

the Consortium changed exam style and went over to Durham CEM.

Now I'm just a parent and no expert - but my recollection from the discussions/ open day comments at the time was that the KE Consortium felt that tutoring for the exam was getting 'out of hand' and that an exam which was more likely to reward solid ability over parrot answers was preferable (just crudely explaining rationale here - not suggesting anything by tutoring). I did get the general impression that from about 2012 the emphasis on maths skills shifted to emphasis comprehension rather than calculation (i.e. initially the rumour mill here on the forum was must be able to handle algebra and pretty complicated geometry questions and I think we all know now that long problems where pupils are asked to work out the number of something A & B, based on information about something C and D (i.e. Jo has 8 Cs and three times as many Ds, if he has 1/3 the number of Ds for A and 5 more Bs than As - how many As and Bs does Jo have? style questions).

I'm not sure about the jump in sitters - but my impression from 2012 discussions (which I started looking through when I joined) was that numbers of people taking the exam were increasing year on year.

I can't speak for other KE consortium state grammars - but simultaneous to a new, later date for the exam for 2014 entry was the expansion of KEFW and KECHG numbers adding an additional 30 pupil premium places. I know there has been a lot of worry about the pupil premium 'effect' but I think it is important for non-pupil premium parents to understand that the number of places at schools like Five Ways/ Camp Hill Girls has not reduced for non-pupil premium students.

Numbers taking the exam continue to increase - but I think there are all sorts of drivers for that: word of mouth about grammar schools/ parental ambition/ peer pressure/ parental educational background/ population boom in children generally/ widening access (attraction of lower cut off for pupil premium qualifying pupils)/ etc...

I'm sure others - and possibly moderators - will come along with more info or links to relevant discussions - but that's what I recall/ think off the top of my head.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:16 am
Posts: 40
I know that contributions to this forum appear to be about 98% concerned with the Birmingham schools!! However, it would also be interesting if anyone with a few years involvement can shed similar light on the situation for the Walsall/Wolves/Newport consortium as it looks like there was quite a change there too a few years back?

Many thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:54 pm
Posts: 483
When my daughter took the KE and the Walsall exams for 2012 entry, the Walsall consortium had just started working together but they still used the GE style tests, not CEM. The next year that consortium changed to the CEM exams. And I think that was the year that the results had to be issued before the October LA form cut off date and so Walsall moved their exam to July and KE to September.

When my daughter took them, all the exams were still in November/December and you didn't get scores at all. You were just allocated your place in March if you'd scored highly enough. Following National Allocations Day you could call the Foundation Office (or the Walsall schools I think - I didn't do that) and ask for your score if you were interested.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:16 am
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Thank you Turtlegirl - I suppose historic comparisons are virtually impossible then! :roll:

IG


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6685
Location: Herts
Old Trout, it was not the City Council that made the decision, it was the National Government. A new admissions code required all schools using entrance exams and other selective criteria to give results to parents before CAF submission. DG


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