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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:27 pm 
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Hello, this is my first time on this forum and indeed on this site. I have a question that's been burning in my mind since a few weeks ago but I wasn't sure who to ask - whether it would be the school or the county. We live within catchment of AGS and SHFGS. However, we actually live pretty much in between Aylesbury and Wycombe and it's actually a shorter distance to the latter. Should my son pass the 11+, it would be more convenient and cheaper for us for him to attend RGS or JHGS because I work in Wycombe within walking distance of both. If he puts RGS as his first choice, despite not being within catchment for it, and AGS as second choice, would this endanger his chances of getting into AGS should he be rejected by RGS for not being within catchment?

Apologies is this might be a silly question but I am totally new to the 11+ system and would be grateful for any advice.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:48 pm 
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No, if he doesn't qualify for RGS under catchment rules, the next preference is considered. Would he be OK to get home from after-school clubs in Wycombe?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:55 pm 
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scary mum wrote:
Would he be OK to get home from after-school clubs in Wycombe?


I suspect as he lives half way between both that it will be easier to get back from after-school clubs from Wycombe if that is where DP works.

You must follow Scarymums advice though and put the school in the order you want them. Also there is a sticky with the distances the Grammar schools offered to last year. I believe both the schools you mention offered out of catchment to quite a distance.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:15 pm 
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From what I have heard whilst visiting all of the grammars schools over the last week, ‘catchment’ is no longer relevant at all. It’s a yes or a no pass and then distance from the school.

I have the same concern as thetropicmama7, we really like RGS but are worried about selecting it as first choice as we are 10 miles from the school (and I think they have more children applying for places than the other schools). If we don’t get a place have we ruined our chances of John Hampden if we select this as a second choice? Should we go with a safe bet and choose John Hampden as first choice in the first place???

So what I am wondering is, if you don't get 1st choice, how do the schools go about selecting children who make the selection as a 2nd choice school...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:32 pm 
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Your 2nd choice school doesn't know they are 2nd choice. They have a list of children who have put them anywhere on their CAF, 1st to 6th. They have no idea who has put them 1st or 6th.

If you meet their criteria you will be on the list of children they will accept (based on exam/distance/other criteria etc).

If you don't get a place at your school 1, school 2 effectively becomes your 1st choice. If you don't get a place there (although if, as you say, they are a "safe bet" then you will get that place) then school 3 becomes your 1st choice.. And so on.

That's why you have to put your schools on your CAF in order of your preference. You can't ruin your chances of getting into any other school if you put them in your genuine order of preference.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:30 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
dw1234 wrote:
From what I have heard whilst visiting all of the grammars schools over the last week, ‘catchment’ is no longer relevant at all. It’s a yes or a no pass and then distance from the school.

The rest of your question has been very ably addressed by loobylou, but I should address this point.

Most of the Bucks grammars do indeed allocate well beyond their catchment area, but Dr Challoners Boys hardly ever does. They only did so in 2011 because of a nifty rule change. In other years a number of parents in Gerrards Cross, Denham and Iver, and in catchment for DCGS, would grit their teeth at your suggestion that "catchment" is no longer relevant!

Some other schools have occasionally been sufficiently popular to only allocate within catchment. You can see the allocation distances for the past ten years here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kvy4xyyg3t0zr ... .xlsx?dl=0

Wherever the numbers are prefixed by "IA", that indicates a distance that was within catchment.

RGS is difficult to predict, but my hunch is that you should be OK from 10 miles away.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:50 pm 
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Great advice guys. Really appreciate it! I now know what to do.

Ps it was a headmaster at one of the schools that said there isn't really a catchment these days, in his address to a few hundred parents... :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:45 pm 
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dw1234 wrote:
Ps it was a headmaster at one of the schools that said there isn't really a catchment these days, in his address to a few hundred parents... :-)


The cynic in me interprets this as: it is no longer important to the GS to provide places to catchment children... just to children who can pass the test...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:28 am 
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bgh wrote:
dw1234 wrote:
Ps it was a headmaster at one of the schools that said there isn't really a catchment these days, in his address to a few hundred parents... :-)


The cynic in me interprets this as: it is no longer important to the GS to provide places to catchment children... just to children who can pass the test...


I don't even think you are being cynical bgh it is fairly obvious that if you are constantly raising the pass mark and increasing your catchment area (which some of these Grammars are in fact doing, then you are no longer trying to accommodate the top 30% of your area) It is this approach that has led to me well and truly giving up any support I had of a selective system. There is little or no attempt anymore to keep to the true spirit of 'the Grammar School' even in some fully selective area it appears. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:45 am 
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bgh wrote:
dw1234 wrote:
Ps it was a headmaster at one of the schools that said there isn't really a catchment these days, in his address to a few hundred parents... :-)


The cynic in me interprets this as: it is no longer important to the GS to provide places to catchment children... just to children who can pass the test...



Quite, not cynical, just stating the facts as most of us find them.
As both rgs and John hampden failed to fill all their places this,year, even though the first has children from 18 miles away and the second even further, providing good quality education for their catchment children is clearly not a priority of the academies.

Unless there s a complete turnabout this year you will get a place at either school from ten miles away, whereas just six or seven years years ago rgs couldn't even accommodate those who had passed within catchment, my friends boy had to accept her second choice of John hampden and has been delighted with it ever since.


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