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 Post subject: Is this normal?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:32 am
Posts: 5
I'd be grateful for any info re true 'average' scores. I know the Bucks letter states 100 is the mean. However- My child was not expected to achieve the qualifying mark but I had anticipated a result in the region of between 80 and 100.

When the letter came it stated he had scored just 61. I was surprised, but when speaking to others in his class, it seems they majority scored in the mid 50's and a couple in the low 60's.

Does anyone know if this is normal, could his school be under achieving or has something weird happened this year? I'm worried now that the children in this school are below the level they should be and might struggle at secondary school.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this normal?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 323
I wouldn't be concerned. A quick scan of some of the threads of the last few days will give you an idea of what may be a factor behind this. Bucks' test has become very popular among out-of-catchment parents, some of whom live a long way away from Bucks schools. These are mainly self-selected children, i.e. opted in to the Bucks test, probably after a lot of tuition and practice, and probably entered for many different tests in their home and neighbouring regions. Being self-selected, those children are likely to score highly when compared to many Bucks children, the majority of whom haven't been tutored and haven't had any preparation beyond the practice test in their schools shortly before the real tests.

What all this means is that your result can't really be viewed in the context of any meaningful average because the mean has been significantly skewed. I've used a sporting analogy once already today, but here's another one:

It's a bit like turning up to your child's school sports day to find that in the 100m sprint, the neighbouring school's 10 fastest runners have been entered alongside your child's class of 30 students - all of the class. If your child would normally have come 15th in his class out of 30, he'll probably now come 25th out of 40. He hasn't become slower overnight, the race has just been loaded with pre-selected runners.

Edited to add: The kick in the teeth comes when at prizegiving, 5 of the visiting runners live too far away to come and collect their medals. Their places in the standings aren't automatically taken by the next 5 fastest children, but by the drawing of lots, partly influenced by how fast the Headteacher thinks each child can run and how many blisters they had on the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this normal?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:32 am
Posts: 5
Thank you. That does make sense. I had not thought about the many children from out of county and independent primary schools that could have altered the average score.

It is reassuring that most of the kids in the class achieved similar but it was a shock to see a score so far below what was supposed to be the mean, especially as my son has sat also sat couple of common entrance exams and did OK.

The whole thing is just so demoralising and in a nation where discrimination is outlawed I don’t get why we still allow this system.


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