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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:38 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Bucks
(NB: I've moved this from the VR forum as it seemed more appropriate here)

There are two processes involved in Bucks:
1. NFER marks 11-plus papers. Here there is no difference made between in-area/out-area, etc. Only age standardization. Average = 100. Mark needed to achieve "recommendation" for grammar = 121 (don't think this has changed for years). If children entering are achieving higher and higher average (for whatever reason), I assume any particular pupil will need to do better to achieve standardized mark of 121.
2. Bucks offer grammar school places. Here, they DO give preference to in-area, only offering out-area when places not filled from in-area.

My concern is that less able/coached in-area pupils (particularly state school) are opting out of 11-plus and at the same time more able, often highly coached out-area and private school pupils are entering. This is common sense as out-area families are not likely to enter their child if they don't think they have a very good chance of passing. This makes it harder to get a "recommendation" of 121, without which a grammar place will not be offered. I've notice that my elder daughter's Bucks grammar seems to have become progressively "posher". At the last parent's evening, we were even told "you're lucky you don't have to pay fees" (income tax seem to have been forgotten!)

I know some of my reading of the situation is more inituitive than scientific and would be happy to be contradicted


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:45 pm 
I think that the new system of allocating places to in-area first, and then by distance to the school will favours Bucks children. As children from the catchment get first choice there will be few places left, and these places will be given to children who live nearest. My reasoning is that out-of area children, unless they live very close to the border, don't get a chance to secure a place, and therefore won't apply.

Well, it's a comforting thought even if it's wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:38 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Bucks
You could be right - that's a comforting thought. Although in our state primary only 8 or 9 passed outright last year (out of 90+), although a few more got through on appeal. And this in a largely middle-class professional area. There then followed an almighty scramble while families in Bucks tried to get their children into the Oxfordshire Comps over the border (filling the places, we assume of Oxfordshire children who went to Bucks grammars!). Seems barmy to me.

But we'll find out next Friday anyway, so no point in speculating at this stage!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:21 am 
Let's try to stay calm for another week. Good luck.


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