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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Is it the same test used by all Bucks grammars?

Are there enough grammar places for the top 25% of the population (if they all toook the test and were in the top 25%)

Do all schools just take a basic pass or do some select on score in the test? (superselectives)

If there are superselectives, what is the general feeling in Bucks towards them - would it be preferable for them to select in the same way as other grammars, or is the "choice" it offers good?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:42 pm 
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I suggest you read all the "stickies" - the topics at the top of the list in this Bucks section. They will give you details on your initial questions and others. Meanwhile, some short answers:

mystery wrote:
Is it the same test used by all Bucks grammars?

Yes

mystery wrote:
Are there enough grammar places for the top 25% of the population (if they all toook the test and were in the top 25%)

I believe so.

mystery wrote:
Do all schools just take a basic pass or do some select on score in the test? (superselectives)?

Pupils only have to get the qualifying mark. There is no advantage in getting a high score (other than pride, perhaps). If there are more who qualify, live in catchment and put a school first choice, then after special needs and siblings, distance is the deciding factor. There are slight differences between schools about the tiebreakers, but for all of them, you only need a qualifying score. The Bucks County Council website has a downloadable admissions booklet which gives all the details.

mystery wrote:
If there are superselectives, what is the general feeling in Bucks towards them - would it be preferable for them to select in the same way as other grammars, or is the "choice" it offers good?


There aren't any (see above). There are some grammars that are perceived as having a little more prestige than others, but in terms of results, they are all fairly alike. However, there are BIG differences between the best and worst of the upper schools (secondary moderns).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:55 pm 
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Thanks Zee, that's just what I wanted to know.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
mystery wrote:
Are there enough grammar places for the top 25% of the population (if they all toook the test and were in the top 25%)

Just to confirm, yes there are ample places for the top 25%. The qualified cohort each year is around 1500 Bucks resident pupils and there are 2134 GS places in the county.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:25 pm 
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To your knowledge, have any of the Bucks grammar schools ever been tempted to try and go superselective, i.e. to select on 11+ score rather than distance from the school?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Common practice a few years ago.

A child could pass with 121, live next door to the grammar school but would fail to get in because the school selected from the highest [141] downwards.

Thank goodness the system changed.

Patricia


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:28 pm 
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All places were allocated by score until 2005, when the system changed to distance.

Two schools have opted out of the Bucks-wide 12+ late entry test and now use curriculum-based testing, and places are allocated by score.

I have always felt that certain schools would like to allocate all their places by score, so it will be interesting to see what happens in those schools that apply for academy status. None have actually converted so far, but several have expressed an interest. One Head (at Dr Challoners Boys) has stated that there will be no change in the school's admissions policy as a result, but we shall see. It is one of the two schools that allocates by score for the 12+, so we shall see ...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:25 am 
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Sally-Anne, I think the schools thinking about becoming academies should make clear to parents that allocating by score means that the sibling preference rule effectively cannot be used (except, presumably, where the choice is between two candidates with an equal score). This might make some parents feel differently about wanting an academy... :?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:39 am 
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Quote:
All places were allocated by score until 2005, when the system changed to distance.
My recollection is that score used to be the tie-breaker for grammar schools in Bucks (the final criterion). but my memory may be failing ..... :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:41 am 
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Etienne wrote:
Quote:
All places were allocated by score until 2005, when the system changed to distance.
My recollection is that score used to be the tie-breaker for grammar schools in Bucks (the final criterion). but my memory may be failing ..... :)


Score was indeed the final oversubscription criterion after all in-catchment places had been allocated, but distance was used if two applicants had the same score. Sibling status came before both score and distance, which wasn't really fair as it would mean that, in a system that used score as a factor, a lower-scoring applicant would be prioritized over a higher-scoring one just because they were a sibling. I believe this is why this practice is not allowed under the new Admissions Code.

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