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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:13 am 
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Having taught in Gloucestershire schools for over 20 years - some Grammar and some Comp. I would like to reassure those parents whose children did not get a grammar school place that we are very fortunate to have some really excellent schools in this county. My eldest two children both attend Grammar schools, I didn't have them tutored - just practised the papers with them. My youngest didn't pass the 11+ and has gone to a Comp which I have been very impressed with. I've known a number of children over the years who, although they gained a place at a Grammar School, ultimately chose to go to a Comprehensive instead and did not regret their decision.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
I'd like to second that. I've currently no personal experience of post 11 education (well, apart from my own a few years ago), but do know a lot of children who have passed through the local schools - both comprehensive & grammar, and most of whom have done very well. The schools in the Five Valleys and surrounds do seem top notch.

Now there is one caveat, and that is: just because a school has a good reputation doesn't mean it will suit your child. For instance, we couldn't imagine our daughter in two local comps, even though we liked the teachers, teaching, pupils, standards and buildings. They would not have suited her character. However, a third one and Stroud High would suit her, so they went on our preference form, and we left it to the exam to choose which.

It does also take some of the pressure off when hearing appeals: at least we don't have to fear for the children whose appeals we don't allow - well, most of the time, anyway. There are always cases where the offered school isn't right for the child, and that is part of the appeal case, but mostly bright children will do well at most of the comps in the area as well as the grammars.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:54 pm 
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Yes, I agree too! We are very lucky here. Sometimes I think we have too much choice, which actually makes it more difficult.....


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:26 pm 
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capers123 wrote:
It does also take some of the pressure off when hearing appeals: at least we don't have to fear for the children whose appeals we don't allow - well, most of the time, anyway. There are always cases where the offered school isn't right for the child, and that is part of the appeal case, but mostly bright children will do well at most of the comps in the area as well as the grammars.



I take exception to this point. It should be of no consequence whatsoever to the appeals panel where the child will go if the appeal is not upheld. The panel should only consider whether the child should be admitted to the school they are appealing for, not whether alternatives are acceptable.

LFH


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire.
I would imagine that Capers is referring more to the guilt that she/he could feel when making an appeal decision. After all, the appeal panel is made up of human beings with feelings - not machines. It must make it easier knowing that they are not sentencing a child into a 'sink' school for the next few years.

Surely that is what was meant?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:02 am 
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I understand that Ed's mum, I am just pointing out the appellant's take on that view. We believe that this happened to us (our alternative is good) but we don't think the panel took into account the logistical nightmare we now face with children at two schools some thirty miles apart with our house stuck somewhere in between.
The panel may have felt they were doing us a favour, but we shouldn't be penalised for haveing made 'sensible' choices on our common application form. Some might say they were not sensible choices due to the distance but it is important that our children are eduated in faith schools which is why we made the choices we did.
Anyway I'm not really criticising capers, just maybe giving him/her (sorry capers) an understanding of the other view he might not have thought about.

LFH


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Yep, Ed's Mum was correct - we don't take the offered / accepted school into account when hearing the appeals. It's just that if there were loads of 'bad' schools here, then I'd feel so awful for some of the appeals we turned down. It's stressful enough hearing them as it is.

I am quite aware of logistical nightmares myself, both for appeals and in personal life. We do take that kind of thing into account, but say there was the choice between an appeal where the child had very, very strong reasons for not getting a slightly higher score & reaching the pass mark (yet lived close to both grammar & offered school), and another with much lesser reasons but transport problems... well, each appeal is different, and it depends on the strength of the case.

Also some schools have a proximity to school criteria, whereas others don't.

As for faith schools, one in Gloucester has something like 11 different tie-breakers (say 1:Catholic, attending church regularly & at Catholic primary 2:Catholic, non- attender, 3:Other Christian regular church goer and so on), yet last year they were full & over subscribed with just the top category. Faith schools don't always give a better education than non-faith schools - we have one that has recently had an awful ofsted in the county (OK, it had awful ofsteds before it was taken over by C of E, but even more money from the church didn't help).

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