Two I heard this year during our headmasters talk ....
High scores needed
Some GS in Bucks select by highest score and for one Bucks GS you need 133+. to have a chance of a place.
I sincerely hope that it wasn't the Head who said that! It is a MYTH
, and still comes up because until around 5 years ago, places were indeed allocated according to scores.
is that places are now allocated according to catchment, sibling priority and distance from school gates. Provided the 11+ score is 121 or higher, or a Selection appeal is successful on a lower score, the score is completely irrelevant in the school allocations process.
question by a parent - wanted to put the following on their CAF
Grammar School A - 1st choice (not catchment and often oversubscribed)
Grammar school B - 2nd choice (catchment school)
Upper School - 3rd choice (which is often oversubscribed)
Head told them to put:
GS A - 1st choice
Upper school - 2nd choice
GS B - 3rd choice.
The reason given by the Head was that:
If child qualified, child would be offered one of the GS's and the upper school listed would be ignored by the LEA even though it was put 2nd.
If child didn't qualify then they would have more chance of the upper school if it was listed 2nd rather than 3rd.
This arose some debate (!) although interestingly another parent who has some role in the allocations as part of their work then said that the way the computer system works, it is true that you have more chance if the upper school was listed 2nd rather than 3rd. Even more debate arose!
My goodness - this is beyond being a myth. It is seriously dangerous rubbish!
These quotes are from the answers to FAQs about the 11+ that Bucks issue to Heads:
Your child can only be offered a grammar school place if he or she has qualified. If two schools on your preference list can offer a place then the LA will use the order you ranked the schools to decide which school to offer, offering the highest preference possible.
The bold red type is mine.
Each school preference will be treated as if it were a separate application. The schools do not know about your preference ranking and will not be told before allocations are made. You do not affect your chances of getting a school by where you place it on your list. Put the schools in your real order of preference!
The bold black type is Bucks CC's own.
If a child has qualified for GS then Bucks will allocate their first preference GS if possible. However, if that were not possible (in the case of the over-subscribed GS), they will then allocate the next school on the CAF
. In the case Greta quotes it would be the Upper School - on the basis that it is the parents' next preference! The "computer" cannot be expected to understand that the parents' real
preference is actually a GS - it just assumes that they prefer the Upper to the GS in 3rd place!
The parents would then have to throw themselves on the mercy of Admissions to sort out the mess on March 2nd. However, if the GS placed 3rd was also over-subscribed, the parents would only have the options of going on to the waiting list or going to a Transfer Appeal.
If the child failed to qualify for a GS, the grammars are crossed off the list by Admissions (the computer again), and the Upper school placed highest on the CAF automatically becomes the first preference school.
So, the correct order is:
1. Grammar School A - 1st choice (not catchment and often oversubscribed)
2. Grammar school B - 2nd choice (catchment school)
3. Upper School - 3rd choice (which is often oversubscribed)
The parent was right and the Head was wrong.
Greta, if you know this parent, I suggest that you check what they finally put on the CAF. If they took the Head's advice and the child has qualified, get them to ring Bucks CC before
March 2nd to explain that they have (as Bucks will see pretty darn obviously) been wrongly advised by the Head.
It makes me so cross when Heads cannot make the effort to understand the system. The advice is provided by Bucks and is made as clear as is humanly possible via an excellent Powerpoint presentation and associated FAQs. All the Heads have to do is read it.