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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 5
Hi everyone,

Firstly can I say this forum is a great idea and really hope it makes a difference to the way the 11 plus is managed. This year has been a complete disaster! I was always told the exam was brought forward so we knew our child's result in October which would make filling in our choices easier. Obviously not.

I think the girls are in a much worse position than the boys. However, I wanted to make a comment about the boys' 'results'. Two different letters were sent to parents- one says that your son has achieved a qualifying score and if you wish to apply you need to fill in forms etc but you are NOT guaranteed a place in Year 7. The council will allocate places in March and if you do not get a place you will go on a waiting list. As some people have commented this does not mean you have passed and are IN. There are 174 places for DHSB but more than 174 could have achieved the qualifying mark. For example, in the mock 286 boys sat the exam and 195 boys got the indicative pass mark (62) which means 21 had qualified but would not be offered a place if this was the real thing. If a similar thing has happened in the real exam, there will be some parents who have opened that letter believing their child has qualified and are therefore in, but will open a letter in March to be told they have been put on a waiting list. Also 350 boys took the 11 plus so this figure could be higher.
The other letter says you have not achieved a qualifying score so I don't know if those parents will not put DHSB as a choice. When I rang DHSB a while ago, I was told a small number from this group could be moved up if people from the other group don't take up their offer of a place (if they move out of the area or accept scholarships) So if you don't put it as a choice you could miss out!! In other words parents of the boys are not much better off either.

In the mock, boys were given a list of all results by candidate number. You had to find your score and work out your own rank. The pass mark was given. Why on earth can't the same thing be done now for the boys and the girls? DHSB said they do not give out ranks in case they change before March. This is a cop out. They should say as things stand today your child is ranked X but this may change slightly due to appeals etc. That way the majority of people would know one way or another although there would be a small percentage either side of the pass mark who would be unsure. Its not rocket science, PCC get it sorted!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
madmum77 - having read the boys' school admission policy, it looks to me as though they only tell the top 174 that they are "A"

http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/devonport_hi ... policy.pdf

they have to have:
Quote:
Candidates who achieve a qualifying GLAss
mark# equal to or higher than that of the
174th candidate, and a qualifying score in the
DHSB English paper (# scores that exceed
the 75th percentile score, as notified by
GLAss)


Presumably the only problem is if there are 25 people exactly equivalent to the 174th place


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 5
Yes in the mock there were 27 boys who achieved the same pass mark of 62. (the 174th place)
After reading the criteria I had assumed that A letters only went out to 174 but apparently not. It would be helpful if the school would tell us how many A letters they sent out, 180, 250 we have no idea!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:55 am
Posts: 36
hermanmunster wrote:
madmum77 - having read the boys' school admission policy, it looks to me as though they only tell the top 174 that they are "A"

http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/devonport_hi ... policy.pdf

they have to have:
Quote:
Candidates who achieve a qualifying GLAss
mark# equal to or higher than that of the
174th candidate, and a qualifying score in the
DHSB English paper (# scores that exceed
the 75th percentile score, as notified by
GLAss)


Presumably the only problem is if there are 25 people exactly equivalent to the 174th place


That information is unfortunately misleading and out of date. It is based on the situation before the rule changes - it even has the exam dates as January 2013! This is what would have happened had the rules not changed.

The fact that this outdated stuff is still available speaks volumes about just how well PCC have controlled and introduced a new system. For one thing, informing the top 174 of 'qualified' would be illegal. The A and B is the old system and denotes what DHSB return to the LEA for the LEA to make allocations (remember in the old system DHSB would get a list of CAF applicants THEN return that list with the A or B). As I understand it this year qualified means that you have reach an acceptable standard in the english composition and that if you are in the top 174 on the standardized GLA's you will be offered a place. I assume the waiting list criteria remains the same:

Those students who have a GLAss standardised score in the top 25% but who have not qualified
because their score is below that of the 174th candidate may request to be on our waiting list.


and the waiting list people will be included in qualified. Although the 25% bit does not make sense to me, 25% of 350 is a lot less than 174??? In fact I fail to see how a simple percentage could ever be of value? Anyone understand this?

For my part, this year, I am concentrating on the girls results, hopefully next year when I am on the boys side of the fence the murk will have cleared somewhat! :?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:26 am
Posts: 53
I agree with Madmum77- I am a parent of twins (obviously- I think my username gives that away!) they both received a letter saying they had a qualifying score (thankfully). We were absolutely over the moon- to then realise that everyone we speak to has also received the same letter! We have not found anyone yet that has a different letter. Do we truly only move in circles of people who will only ever pass!?!
Now we are not sure?
How big is this 'small number who will be on the waiting list'???
We know very little more than the girls do. Infact I would say that conclusively that by collating scores on this forum has boosted a lot of parents and crushed a few others where the marks will obviously put them in an allocation for a place catergory- or not.
Those who are unsure because their girls marks are around the 'benchmark figures' last year possibly 50/400 girls will be the only unsure ones won't they? Whereas DHSB may have sent out 200+ letters saying we have achieved the qualifying score- but we could be on the waiting list!!

So now I feel we are worse off than most of the DHSG/PHSG parents.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:26 am
Posts: 53
hungrybear wrote:
hermanmunster wrote:
madmum77 - having read the boys' school admission policy, it looks to me as though they only tell the top 174 that they are "A"

http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/devonport_hi ... policy.pdf

they have to have:
Quote:
Candidates who achieve a qualifying GLAss
mark# equal to or higher than that of the
174th candidate, and a qualifying score in the
DHSB English paper (# scores that exceed
the 75th percentile score, as notified by
GLAss)


Presumably the only problem is if there are 25 people exactly equivalent to the 174th place


That information is unfortunately misleading and out of date. It is based on the situation before the rule changes - it even has the exam dates as January 2013! This is what would have happened had the rules not changed.

The fact that this outdated stuff is still available speaks volumes about just how well PCC have controlled and introduced a new system. For one thing, informing the top 174 of 'qualified' would be illegal. The A and B is the old system and denotes what DHSB return to the LEA for the LEA to make allocations (remember in the old system DHSB would get a list of CAF applicants THEN return that list with the A or B). As I understand it this year qualified means that you have reach an acceptable standard in the english composition and that if you are in the top 174 on the standardized GLA's you will be offered a place. I assume the waiting list criteria remains the same:

Those students who have a GLAss standardised score in the top 25% but who have not qualified
because their score is below that of the 174th candidate may request to be on our waiting list.


and the waiting list people will be included in qualified. Although the 25% bit does not make sense to me, 25% of 350 is a lot less than 174??? In fact I fail to see how a simple percentage could ever be of value? Anyone understand this?

For my part, this year, I am concentrating on the girls results, hopefully next year when I am on the boys side of the fence the murk will have cleared somewhat! :?


On the DHSB Website this information is identical except the date for 11+ mock and exams is quoted differently- correctly. Their supplementary form was corrected as well last weekend.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:31 am
Posts: 2
Hi

This is a great forum. I'll post this on the boys forum too.

I think the situation for boys is as bad, if not worse, that that for the girls.

None of the boys receiving the A letter can truly be sure of getting a place. Why? Because there’s confusion as to whether the A letter group includes a waiting list already – according to the DHSB website it does not, but comments attributed to the head teacher on forums suggest it does. Equally it is possible that some of those getting a B letter could be moved up – whether to the waiting list or potential place - if they are close to the PAN of 174. No parent or boy truly knows where they stand!

Unlike the girls, no boy knows how well he performed. If scores and rank order were known then parents could make a more informed choice about the likelihood of a place or whether a review or appeal could be worth the effort. In the practice papers this information was easily provided by anonymous candidate number, so why not for the real 11+?

A boy could have done well on both the GLA tests but his English composition paper – presumably marked by one teacher and not moderated - might not have achieved a qualifying pass. In which case no go. However it could be easier to review/appeal a subjective marking than a multiple choice computer-marked paper. Assuming this remarked composition paper was passed then that boy could move right up the rankings on the strength of his GLA scores.

Unlike the girls grammar schools, the admissions authority for DHSB is the board of governors. It is my understanding that there’s no independent scrutiny - or transparency in the process. For all we know the school could be sending out letters on the basis of who it likes. No state-funded school should be its own admissions authority unless there is independent scrutiny by the LEA.

A temporary solution is simple.

1. Reassure parents and boys that all papers have been independently moderated, that scores are entered correctly etc.
2. Then put up a page on the DHSB website showing standardized scores / grades on each of the three papers by anonymous candidate number.

There’s nothing to lose and much to gain – for the sanity of parents (and boys) and for the reputation of the school and the LEA.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 5
Hi twinmum2001,

A friend of mine rang DHSB to find out how many 'you achieved a qualifying score' letters were sent out and all they would say was that this year they are expecting a very short waiting list- whatever that means!!

So, hopefully there is only a small number of qualifying boys who won't get a place. Only problem is we don't know if we are in that small group. I suppose the only thing we have to go on is how well our boys did in the mock and if they were borderline, we may need to worry more than if they scored top marks. Saying that, I know many girls who scored very differently in the mock and real exam so you just can't be sure. I don't understand why the council and/or the schools are so secretive about giving a definitive answer to parents. It seems like this year they have gone out of their way to make things as difficult for us as possible. Maybe trying to make the whole 11 plus process less attractive for people...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:52 pm
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Well said sherlock


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:26 am
Posts: 53
Thank you Sherlock and Madmum77 I agree with both of your posts.

I hope in three years when/if my daughter is keen that this system is corrected and this is a distant memory!

Good luck to both your families on your quest for a grammar school place.


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