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 Post subject: Looking ahead...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:41 am
Posts: 5
You guys really know your stuff - as a newbie, I'm very impressed by this forum.
I am suprised (and worried) how the allocation distance is getting increasingly shorter to the Grammars in Bucks (DCGS 5.7 miles I believe this year).
I live approx. 4.9 miles south of DCGS but it appears if the trend continues I will not be able to get my child in there in the 2010 - a virtual certainty a couple of years ago [contingent on passing 11+ of course!]
Can the trend continue? Do we think the catchment changes planned in 2010 will alleviate the problem, or is it likely that it will go below 5 miles for e.g. DCGS?
I am very interested in your knowledgeable views...Getting anxious already!
Many thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi sek 1000

This year is proving to be quite exceptional, and I wouldn't draw too many conclusions from it.

DCGS, RGS and John Hampden have all had narrower allocation areas than for some years. The popular theory is that this must be because private school parents are opting to "go state" because of the recession.

However, what defeats that argument is that Beaconsfield High, and also the Aylesbury grammars, have considerably wider allocation areas than in previous years.

It points to there being an exceptional number of boys (or GS qualified boys) in the South Bucks area this year.

That does raise questions about the new catchment areas for 2010. The changes proposed are eminently sensible in themselves, and they have provoked very little feedback from parents. Whether they will be sufficient to solve the ongoing problem of the few children in the south of the county not receiving a preferred GS remained to be seen.

Obviously they wouldn't have improved the situation this year very much, if at all. The only possible "pressure relief valve" would have been the option for some Prestwood parents to choose RGS instead of CHS/DCGS.

As to your specific question, I find it very unlikely that the allocation profile for DCGS would ever be as low as 4 miles. There would have to be a mass movement of boys away from CHS for that to happen, and that seems unlikely. The new Head is improving the school considerably, and they have just had a very good OFSTED report.

I think this year will turn out to have been a "geographic blip", but we may find out more over the next few months.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:41 am
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Hi Sally-Anne,

Many thanks for your balanced response - I do hope the allocation doesn't go less than 4.9 miles next year! That would point to some larger issues in the South Bucks area that will need addressing.
I note from your post re: allocations that during subsequent rounds the allocation may be extended - I'm sure you will update the forum as more facts emerge following these rounds.

Thank you very much - keep up the good work!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking ahead...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
sek1000 wrote:
I live approx. 4.9 miles south of DCGS but it appears if the trend continues I will not be able to get my child in there in the 2010 - a virtual certainty a couple of years ago [contingent on passing 11+ of course!]
Can the trend continue? Do we think the catchment changes planned in 2010 will alleviate the problem, or is it likely that it will go below 5 miles for e.g. DCGS?

Why are you so keen to get into DCGS?

Some possible non-reasons:

1. Coz everyone says it's great.
2. Coz it's really old and "Doctor Challoner's" just sounds, well, kinda posh and academic, doesn't it?
3. Coz it's an all boys school. A bit like Eton and Wellington then.
4. Coz it's got some famous alumni.

Non-reasons for avoiding Chesham High:

1. It's co-ed so they get distracted all the time.
2. That name just doesn't have the same cachet as "Doctor Challoners".
3. It used to be a technical school, y'know. Like they did woodwork and engineering and other frightfully "industrial" stuff like that.
4. 'snot a real grammar school
5. Everyone around here says it's not really very good.

There is an awful lot of nonsense spouted about CHS (I'm not saying you do this but it gives me an opportunity to sound off anyway :D ) but then I guess I'm a little biased: me and younger sister went to CHS and loved it; my older guinea pig sister went to Challoners and hated it. Suffice it to say, my Challoner's-educated older sister came out with the fewest O Levels.

Yeah I know that was a quite a long time ago, but all the same old tosh about DCGS vs CHS was doing the rounds then as well. Some fings never change y'know! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Now, now Dad40, settle down! :lol:

There are plenty of reasons why parents might choose one school over the other.

Some people do feel strongly about a single gender vs. mixed education (or vice-versa), the specialisms of each school differ considerably, the GCSE subjects on offer are quite different, the languages offered in Year 7 are not the same, the school facilities differ in several regards, ...

And of course, for someone living 4.9 miles south of DCGS, as sek1000 does, there are very strong social reasons to prefer the nearest school.

It doesn't just come down to old fashioned snobbery, but practical considerations!

S-A


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:40 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Chiltern District, Bucks
Sally-Anne wrote:
Now, now Dad40, settle down! :lol:

Thanks - I've taken my tablets and feel much better now :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
sek1000 wrote:
I note from your post re: allocations that during subsequent rounds the allocation may be extended - I'm sure you will update the forum as more facts emerge following these rounds.


You can rest assured of that!

One further point about the catchment area changes. I said that the "pressure relief valve" in the proposals was RGS. In truth, RGS has been somewhat undersubscribed for several years, such that it was always an option for those same Prestwood parents, even though they were out of catchment.

Some parents put only catchment schools on their CAF because they assume that there is no chance of receiving a place out of catchment. In future RGS will be on their "list", and it may therefore attract more applications from that area.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:41 am
Posts: 5
Thanks Sally Ann.
In your opinion would that change reduce first choice preferences for DCGS, and theoretically be a factor in allocation not going sub 5 miles?
Sek1000.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking ahead...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:43 am
Posts: 360
Dad40 wrote:
Why are you so keen to get into DCGS?
Some possible non-reasons:
4. Coz it's got some famous alumni.
etc etc


Whilst you make some good points, the funny thing is, it doesn't really have any famous alumni! Roger Moore is the best known ,but he was only there a term or two.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:20 pm
Posts: 191
For quite a few folk DCGS is there only catchment grammar if they have a boy. Therefore we put it down on our form as it is the only school our children will be able to get free transport to.

We have no choice whatsoever - I would prefer my son to go to JHGS but I would have to drive 9 miles to get him there every day! We both thought the school would suit him better but as a working parent with another child at primary it would have made life too difficult for us.


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