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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:41 am 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Pates introduced new selection criteria for 2013 entry- children who qualify for "pupil premium" will be allocated places after "looked after" children ahead of everyone else who qualifies in their top 180. This does not seem very fair to me at all. Wanted to hear what others are thinking about this new rule.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:22 am 
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I may be making an assumption but I would imagine a good number of those children that are elligable for the pupil premium will have had a lot less help in preparing for the exam than some of those ranked above them. Is that fair? Life is not fair.. I personally think its a good thing, although as someone else has posted in another thread I would question the whether this is to do with social mobility or money.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:54 am 
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I think this is probably fair, but if you're questioning what's fair and what's not...why is glos one of the only counties that lets all and sundry from wherever in the world they live, take the glos exam to secure a place in one of our Glos grammar schools? As far as i am concerned its a Gloucestershire resource And those coming from outside should be on a quota basis only. We've got people passing then moving here, people sending their children in from Bristol, Swindon, Oxford, all of which are at least 40 minutes away and some come in from even further afield. Why isn't it just our county resource like it used to be? All the other comps etc have even tighter catchment criteria that I don't suggest for one minute that we adopt for the grammars, but to be completely open is too wide. IMHO of course.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:26 pm 
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It sounds like the kind of policy recommended by the Sutton Trust (run by former Pate's or Cheltenham Grammar boy Sir Peter Lampl). At one point I seem to remember they were paying for bright children from disadvantaged areas (such as the estate next to Pate's) to have some tutoring, and the stated objective of said trust is "is to improve educational opportunities for young people from non-privileged backgrounds and increase social mobility".

To me one of the big downsides of the 11+ system is that it is susceptable to being skewed towards those who can afford tutoring. In general, all other things being equal, the more tutoring a child has, the higher the score they get in the test. A few parents do the tutoring themselves at no cost other than books, and I suspect there are one or two tutors who work for free to help the underprivilaged, but by and large those whose parents can afford the tutoring will be more likely to get a place. We have to ask ourselves if grammars are there to serve all able children or just those who can pay?

However, that's the system we work with in Gloucestershire. I tend to support the new admission policy from Pate's. It is highly likely (though by no means certain) that a child attracting the Pupil Premium has had less tutoring than one not attracting it.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Ah, here we go. The Pate's Curriculum Enrichment Scheme that the Sutton Trust used to run:
http://www.suttontrust.com/projects/schools/previously-funded/pates-curriculum-enrichment-scheme/

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:36 pm 
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I agree, I think you may end up getting some naturally gifted children who perhaps haven't been tutored. Has to be a good thing, I think.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:22 pm 
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It is well known and recognised that selection 'by ability' is a proxy for selection by class. Whether you have catchment areas or not, your grammar schools will be largely populated by middle class children. Intelligence is not related to class; appearance in selective schools is. The only fair system is a non-selective one.

One of my sons is at school with a boy who commutes for an hour and a half each way daily to get to Gloucester. To my mind this is inhuman, but while the system is as it is, children will be put through this. Actually it makes me smile in a way - it is only a flipping school, and not so very different from any other flipping school at the end of the (very long) day.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:25 pm 
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capers123 wrote:
To me one of the big downsides of the 11+ system is that it is susceptable to being skewed towards those who can afford tutoring. In general, all other things being equal, the more tutoring a child has, the higher the score they get in the test. A few parents do the tutoring themselves at no cost other than books, and I suspect there are one or two tutors who work for free to help the underprivilaged, but by and large those whose parents can afford the tutoring will be more likely to get a place. We have to ask ourselves if grammars are there to serve all able children or just those who can pay?
.


I have to agree, the cost of tutoring is a great deal of money for lots of families and just isn't an option for many. The Head on the open evening said in his talk, "this isn't a school for rich children." I think perhaps the admission policy is going someway towards proving this and addressing the issues. Money shouldn't influence whether you can go to a GS but unfortunately to some extent, when we are all either home or private tutoring, it does.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:44 pm 
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According to the info I can find there are 5 or 6 children at Pate's claiming FSM - presumably about that number would be eligible for Pupil premium

looks like this could 1 child per year (though can vary year on year and some years there may be none). Out of 180, allowing 1 child to nip to the top of the list is not going to make great difference - bit like looked after children


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:34 pm 
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What exactly is a pupil premium?


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