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 Post subject: Order of Suitability
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:13 pm 
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Does anyone know how a headteacher should arrive at their order of suitability?

Is it based on all school work or perhaps just the practice test papers.

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:41 pm 
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Dear Chins

As far as I know it is left entirely to individual schools to decide how they go about their order of suitability.

Personally I think they should all be using some alternative standardised tests (making due allowance for the different standardisation) to assist in the process.

In practice I suspect that the majority base their decisions on curriculum work, which is not going to correlate very well with verbal reasoning.

One cannot expect heads to be spot on with their rankings and estimated scores (it's not an exact science, after all, and there will always be individual anomalies), but when one sees a head recommending three or four times the number of pupils who then qualify, and a long list of "2" recommendations (predicted scores of 121-130) where almost everyone has actually scored under 121, any support they give at the appeal stage loses credibility.

The support of a head who makes realistic predictions ought to carry very considerable weight at an appeal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:47 pm 
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Thanks for the reply.

Spent time with the head this morning. In the end he weighted it based mainly on the practice tests. He had sought clear advice, but didnt receive any. So different heads will submit based on differing criterea :o

This then benefits the children who have been coached prior to these tests in my opinion as they prepared. Children having their first look will suffer.

In my case, the NFER test doesnt seem to be my daughters strength and based on the practice tests has affected her suitability rating - still in the top 20 though.

His actual appeal recomendation rates her higher than most of the appeal students rated higher in the suitability rating. Only one got a stronger recomendation. Which being biased made sense.

Might be worth parents checking with their head if they are concerned about their own suitability rating.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:29 pm 
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Dear Chins

I think the problem with basing predictions on the practice tests is that they come without any standardisation tables (let alone Bucks standardisation tables). They might give a rough guide, and I recall your saying that your head has come up with some sound orders of suitability in the past.

Parents occasionally produce the practice papers (or their results) at appeal, but panels rarely get excited about raw marks!

Good idea to talk to the head. I would particularly advise anyone with a late appeal date (say, February) to check on your child's progress. If there's been any significant improvement since the head's summary sheet was written (probably back in December), ask for an updated written report to show the appeal panel.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:29 pm 
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Dear Chins

See following link

www.buckscc.gov.uk/schools/documents/ad ... 1_plus.pdf

sections B and F plus appendix 7

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:36 pm 
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Hi Patricia

Thanks for that. One of your earlier links had shown this document and it ended with me seeing the head. He admitted that my daughter would of been a bit higher if it had been based purely on previously academic work and not included pratice NFER tests - but not significantly.

I do think our particular head has been very good and have no complaints, but after listening to him I can see that order of suitability is left very open to interpretation by individual heads. Also as with our school he said he found it very difficult to grade pupils as so many were very close in ability.

I am concerned that certain parents could end up with a very low order of suitability based highly on practice tests.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:16 pm 
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Dear Chins

Truthfully, I do not believe many heads use the practice tests for the order of suitability...many schools dont even score the tests in house they are sent home for parental marking...some schools will of course mark them but its not compulsory.

The order [as far as I know] is always based on school work...look at the appendix...how can a head 'mark' attitude based on practice tests?

Perhaps this can be discussed at the appeal.....over to Etienne

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:50 pm 
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I think Patricia is right. I suspect most schools base the rankings on their overall impression of each child - and this is mainly derived from curriculum work.

Headteachers rarely attend selection appeals. Occasionally a panel member will ask the LEA representative "On what basis did the head rank these pupils?" and the answer will always be "I don't know." From the panel's point of view it probably doesn't matter how the list was put together. If the list is reasonably accurate, they will be inclined to trust the head's judgement. If the list is hopeless they won't!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:09 pm 
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Our head is very new and my comments are based on the fact that he states ranking were influenced by test papers. Her class teacher marked them and knew the marks. I also understand that other heads operate differently, but the concern is the inconsistentcy in how heads do the rankings. Saying all that, I agree that how realistic a headteacher is should shine through and help the appropriate pupils.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:55 am
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There was some misunderstanding in our head's ranking in that she'd ranked our daughter 20th out of 40, with a transfer group of 46. In fact 40 children took the 11+, out of a year group of 80-90, so where the 46 came from is anyone's guess. Luckily we cleared this up in the hearing because being 20th out of 40 is a completely different kettle of fish to 20th out of ~85!
I was relieved I'd checked out with the school things like how many in the year, how many in each streamed maths group, etc


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