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 Post subject: Rankings and offers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
Can some kind soul just clear something up for me?

At school open days, I've known some headteachers to state that if you don’t give their school the highest ranking in your list of preferences, you won’t get a place at their school.

The implication is that you should give their school top ranking if you are to have any chance of getting a place. This could feasibly cause a few parents to think they had better not put another natural first preference top ranking (especially if it is an out-of-catchment school with less chance of getting in) as they might fear they won't get a place at either their natural preferred school or the threatening Head's school.

This is surely wrong given Bucks' equal application policy where, if I understand it correctly, encourages parents to put their genuinely preferred school at the top even if you live out-of-catchment or on the geographical limits of your preferred school's historic allocation profile.

Have I got this right ? (And I hope that all makes sense!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Dad40

Bucks operates an "equal preference system", and under this the schools have NO IDEA where you have ranked them. The comments, if they came from Bucks Heads, are hogwash.

You should always put your first preference school first, and so on. An explanation is given on the followingPowerpoint presentation on the Bucks website. (A bouquet again to Bucks for making this accessible on the website, and for such a clear presentation):

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/schools/leadership_and_management/admissions/index.asp

Go to "2008 Parents Briefing - Secondary".

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:03 am 
Whilst not contradicting Sally-Anne (or Bucks), perhaps there is a misunderstanding here?

For some grammars it is true that you are very unlikely to get a place unless you put them first choice. This is not because the schools disregard second choice, but because they fill up with children who pass, live in catchment and put it first choice, leaving few, if any places, for those who put it second.


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 Post subject: familiarisation
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:18 am 
hi could someone suggest me about the familiarisation sessions in scools in BERKSHIRE area. in bucks pupils have 5 sessions in summer then in september 3 practice tests (i think). i am not sure but i ithink in my son's school they just have 2 of each. if this the case then is possible to get the copy of the tests, taken in BUCKS school. summer holidays are fast approaching so thought it is about to ask this qs.. any suggestions please. thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
hugh wrote:
Whilst not contradicting Sally-Anne (or Bucks), perhaps there is a misunderstanding here?

For some grammars it is true that you are very unlikely to get a place unless you put them first choice. This is not because the schools disregard second choice, but because they fill up with children who pass, live in catchment and put it first choice, leaving few, if any places, for those who put it second.


Hi Hugh

I see what you are getting at, but here in Bucks (and we are on the Bucks section!) the system does not take any account of where a school is placed on the preference list. Let me give you an example:

A parent applies for two schools - to keep it simple, both are catchment schools. The preferred school A is 8 miles from home. Choice B is 2 miles from home. Again, to keep it simple, it so happens that both schools are only able to take children who live up to 5 miles away from the school in each case.

School A can only take children up to 5 miles from the school gates, so the child does not gain a place there. However, the child gains a place at School B because they are only 2 miles away from it, and well within the allocation distance. The child gains a place ahead of someone who put School B as their first choice, but who lives 2.1 miles from the school. The allocation takes no account at all of where the school was ranked on the preference list.

This is a much simplified example - there are sibling rules, Special Needs, catchment areas, etc, that muddy the waters, but I want to make clear that in Bucks it makes no difference at all where the school is listed on the preference list.

It is a tricky business untangling these rules, but it is extremely important that Bucks parents understand that they must always, always put the first preference school first, regardless of how unlikely it seems that they might get a place. Nice surprises have been known to happen!

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
Thanks Sally-Anne. That confirms what I believed.

The particular Bucks Head who definitely said this, did so in a very, clear-as-day, throwing-down-the-gauntlet sort of way. I remember thinking within seconds that some parents listening would have interpreted it in the wrong way.

The Head should have said (and perhaps meant to say) that "if you really really want your child to come here, you must make this school your highest preference."

I thought another Head said the same thing but it was a bit more ambiguous than the "gauntlet Head".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:11 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Bucks
Hello

At our talk we were told that if you put a Grammar school 2nd, and a non grammar school first, and then pass your 11+, you will not necessarily get a place offered at the grammar, as the admissions system offers you your first choice which has a place for you - so if you pass 11+, whichever is your first choice, grammar or non, if they have a place you will be offered that

does that make sense?? (been a long week!)

OUr head advised us that if you want a grammar if your child passes, you MUST put it first choice!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Gemma

Yes, that is correct and it illustrates the point I made above very neatly.

If your child is taking the 11+, put your choice of Grammar school first. It may not be your catchment GS, but if it is the school you want, it must go first on the list. Then list your next preference of GS, and even a third choice GS. Only then should you list Upper Schools, again in order of preference, regardless of catchment area.

The bottom line is that there wouldn't be a lot of point in putting a child through the 11+ and putting an Upper School down as your first preference! You would be allocated it regardless, which would be a bit of a waste! :wink:

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:36 pm 
Sally-Anne, I think you misunderstood me (and incidentally I know this is the Bucks section, thanks; it's the only one I post in and it's the only system I have any experience of).

I know (and said) that the school doesn't take account of where you rank it. Nevertheless, some grammars have so many applicants who pass 11+, live in catchment and put it first choice that when Bucks LEA is assigning places there are few if any for children who didn't put it first, so then Bucks may have to see if the second choice school can take take the child.

I hope we agree that we agree. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11934
Hugh,

When the LA allocate places they look first at distance from school of all your choices and then offer YOUR highest preference - the actual schools know nothing about who is allocated to tem until March.

So it's more important to live nearer the school you want than to put it top. Except, As Sally-Anne says, you must put Grammars above Uppers if that's what you want.


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