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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
There is a consultation in progress on School admission policies for Bucks for 2010.

There are some proposed changes to the catchment areas for Grammar Schools in south Bucks, particularly Royal Grammar School, John Hampden Grammar and Dr Challoners Grammar School.

These are an attempt to put right the problem where a very small number of children do not receive places at any of their catchment grammars, mainly those living in the very south of the county, and some children from the Prestwood area.

You can read the information here - the last 3 links are relevant - the text, plus two maps showing the current and proposed catchment areas.

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/content/index.jsp?contentid=2115223809

I have yet to absorb the full impact of the changes, but my brief impression is that they are a huge improvement on the proposals made a couple of years ago, which provoked absolute outrage among parents.

I sense that most people will receive more options on GS choice, rather than fewer, but I stand to be corrected (or shot at!). :D

All comments welcome here, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to Bucks CC via the link further down on that page under "Consultation".

The closing date for comments to Bucks CC is March 1st.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:37 pm 
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Thanks for posting this Sally-Anne

After a brief look, the proposals make sense in that by including more options for those areas which have been squeezed in the past means that all children should have the chance for a catchment school. At first sight must be a good thing.

The thing that I find a bit of an anomaly is that the proposal emphasises that parents may want to choose between a single sex or co-ed grammar. In other areas, like ours we have no such choice. We remain stuck with one catchment GS and one catchment upper school only.

Yes, grammars such as Chesham may be available in terms of being able to get a place even if not your catchment school, but if you are not in catchment then transport costs (particularly for several children) makes such an option prohibitive. In order to ensure all children can be reasonably certain of being offered one catchment GS, the LEA has chosen to therfore to increase the number of schools which will now be identified as in catchement for some children.

Another solution could have been to offer Area A or Area B (or both) Chesham High as their only catchment school. Given the spaces available it seems this would have had the same outcome in terms of ensuring children in these areas could be offered a catchment. By inference of not doing this the LEA are accepting that

a) Parents like to have a choice between single sex and co-ed; but only some will be given such a choice.

b) That there is a ‘pecking’ order amongst GS and this proposal will continue and possibly enhance that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:53 pm 
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Greta,

If you live in north Bucks you don't really have a choice either as most people live too far away from Aylesbury to access a single sex GS...

Why are there no single sex Uppers do you think ...? I've always wondered.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:17 pm 
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Good point about why no single gender uppers... now there's an open debate. Any thoughts on why this is? My only guess is that it is largely historical in that many grammars I thinkg were orginally private / charitable schools, which then kept their single gender status whilst the uppers started as technical schools funded by the LEA in the first place. But I really don't know...

For us the lack of a co-ed GS option was quite a concern as it has always seemed bizarre to me to be educated with only half the population so to speak.

I appreciate that in many areas there is choice in name only as in reality other schools are too far away. However if there is only one catchment option then the lack of funded transport can take away any choice, even if you can get a place, except those who can afford it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:15 am 
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Yes - that is what I meant - people in North Bucks have one catchment Upper and one catchment mixed GS -

Yes there may be a historical basis for this 'split' - someone told me that Aylesbury GS was mixed and then became single gender ....


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
Thanks for this Sally-Anne :D

It looks sensible. It will certainly help Prestwood get into an all-boys grammar if they so wish.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I glanced at the Bucks Free Press this afternoon, and a Wycombe councillor is reported as saying that the proposed changes will disadvantage Wycombe children hoping to attend RGS or JHG.

Quite how he reaches this extraordinary conclusion is not reported. :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:23 pm 
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Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
Yes I spotted the same! These people don't seem to understand the system they are operating within. And of course it then generates a whole load of ill-informed debate.

Quite extraordinary!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Perhaps he thinks that places are still allocated by score?

A letter to the BFP, perhaps, Dad40? :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:30 pm 
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Hi All

We live only 3 miles from both JHG and RGS, we are in the catchement for only RGS, my son who is in year 5 would like to go to JHG but now with these changes I am not sure he would get in. I think historically all who applied gained a place but now would these changes make a difference to people like us? a larger catchement area may mean that out of catchement will not get a place.

I would be interested to hear your views.


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