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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Our DS has just taken Bucks 12+, outside the UK, and we are awaiting results. We then have a short time to express school preferences. However, we would move back to Bucks only either in July 2011 or July 2012 (i.e. end of school year).

For the purposes of allocations we are told "that until you have moved into Buckinghamshire we will use your overseas address for allocation purposes."

I am struggling to understand what this means. I thought that proving residence was the sine qua none of beig considered for an allocation. Is there then some benefit of getting on a waiting list for a school, even if we don't return this year, but rather 2012? Is it that we are simply at the bottom of the list, or is distance (several 000s of miles!) somehow relevant? Or do we simply wait until we can prove residence, and then apply.

Many thanks for any light that can be shed on this.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi markusha

Taking it from the top:

:: If your son qualifies, his 12+ pass is valid until 31st August 2012 or until your preferred school begins to teach Key Stage 4, which in some cases is the Easter of Year 9. (Edited for huge typo - Key Stage 4 not KS3!)

:: The essential criterion used to allocate places in Bucks is distance from the home to the school gates (by the shortest available route).

:: With 12+ places being in short supply and your current address being abroad, your son will be at the bottom of the waiting list for every school.

:: If you move back to Bucks in July 2011 he will rise up the waiting list according to the distance you live from the school compared to others on the list.

:: Unfortunately, by July there are unlikely to be any vacant places in the schools because they will have been allocated to other successful applicants who already live closer to the school.

:: Your son would then be offered a place at the nearest Upper School with vacancies. He could then remain on the waiting list for your preferred grammar and if a child should leave Year 8 (or, in due course, Year 9) and your son was first on the waiting list, he would gain admission.

:: There is no way of predicting at which school a place might become vacant - it will depend entirely on chance, and it could be at any of the grammar schools in Bucks. All you can do is move onto the doorstep of your preferred GS and hope that (a) a place arises, and (b) that the nearest available upper school is an acceptable alternative in the meantime, or possibly for the long term.

I am sorry to be the bringer of bad tidings. As your situation is very unusual I would have hoped that someone might have explained the reality of it to you before now, but it appears that they haven't.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:51 pm 
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Thank you - I think that is what I expected and confirms to me that that there is no point in applying for any school until we can prove we live in Bucks; which also makes the invitation by Bucks to apply for a school place before moving into Bucks potentially misleading. And yes, it looks like we could be hanging around on waiting lists for a while.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi markusha

markusha wrote:
I think that is what I expected and confirms to me that that there is no point in applying for any school until we can prove we live in Bucks; which also makes the invitation by Bucks to apply for a school place before moving into Bucks potentially misleading.
I am so relieved that you half expected that reply. It is not an enjoyable business to have to dash someone's hopes with harsh reality.

I wouldn't say that the invitation to apply for a school place is "potentially misleading". BCC have a duty to treat your son in exactly the way they do any other application, and they are simply discharging that duty. They are also depending upon parents to understand the admissions criteria for all Bucks schools.

As your situation is particularly unusual it would have been nice if someone could have explained the consequences to you more clearly, but if the department was busy at the time that may not have been possible.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:50 am 
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And the result is.... a SS of 126. So despite my fears that a bi-lingual half-English boy who has never lived in England, with limited access to English literature/reading materials and who was definitely not tutored (bar a few practice papers) was at a disadvantage, it seems not. I hope others take heart from that. Big thanks to this forum for helping to get us over this first hurdle.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:42 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Many congratulations to him!

Now for Round Two ...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:41 am 
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I'm back. I am still trying to understand why I should be required to express preferences NOW, when until we move back we won't be considered as eligible. Bucks seem to have a problem explaining this as well but have said "If you are considering returning to the UK in July 2011 we will need your preferences by the 11th of March in order for them to be considered as timely." I'm not sure what the implications of that statement are - any thoughts anyone?

Well, yes, my employer is considering, so it looks as though without any real knowledge of the schools, we have to express 3 preferences. We are in catchment for RGS, DCS and JHG. I think I am right in saying we have to forget the first two (although DS may in due course sit the exams for RGS); that leaves JHG as most preferred (albeit remote chance), BGS (out of catchment but close and seemingly better chance), but what about the third? Any demographic predictions we ought to know about?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi markusha

markusha wrote:
I am still trying to understand why I should be required to express preferences NOW, when until we move back we won't be considered as eligible. Bucks seem to have a problem explaining this as well but have said "If you are considering returning to the UK in July 2011 we will need your preferences by the 11th of March in order for them to be considered as timely." I'm not sure what the implications of that statement are - any thoughts anyone?

I agree that BCC are not expressing this terribly clearly. I think what they are saying is essentially "please do what the system requires", and little more than that. I can't see that it makes any difference to the final outcome in practical terms. You should simply oblige them so that you don't fall foul of the system at a later point.

Quote:
We are in catchment for RGS, DCS and JHG. I think I am right in saying we have to forget the first two (although DS may in due course sit the exams for RGS); that leaves JHG as most preferred (albeit remote chance), BGS (out of catchment but close and seemingly better chance), but what about the third? Any demographic predictions we ought to know about?

RGS and DCGS both require a separate entrance exam, so you can rule those out at present, and probably permanently. (The exams take place around now.)

JHG is indeed very much an outside chance. BGS is worth putting on the list, and so is Chesham Grammar, provided you can sort out travel for both. CGS is the stronger of the two academically, based on the recent league tables and analysis on the Financial Times website. http://rankings.ft.com/secondary-schools/rankings
(Worth the trouble to register if you want to compare the various schools according to different criteria.)

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:10 am
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Hi, We live in Cambridge ad my DD is in yr5. She will appear for Bucks and Essex eleven plus in 2011. My first preference is Essex and second one in Bucks. I looked into Bucks county council webpage regarding allocations and Iam terrible confused.

If we dont get a place in Essex, we are planning to move to Bucks provided she passes her exam there. Relocation will happen only in early summer 2012. Are there any chances of getting a place in Bucks grammar school based on our situation?

Thanks


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