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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:58 pm
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My daughter has achieved good results at Pate's and one best Grammar school from Birmingham. (She took the 11 plus test in Birmingham as well). We are now not sure whether we will go to Birmingham Grammar school but we included "King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls" as second preference school, after Pate's as the first one.

The admission team tells us my daughter can only receive one place and she cannot receive both places. Anyone know
whether we can receive both offers and to have decision in March 2014?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:25 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Cheltenham
Hi James

The admissions team are right. Admissions to state schools of all kinds, including grammar schools, are through a system that is integrated across England. You can only get offers from more than one school if you apply to independent schools.

You need to decide now, as a matter of urgency, which of those two schools you would really prefer. Then you need to make sure that the school you want most is in first place on your application form. There is still time to change your application, as long as you get it submitted by Friday (31st October) - by 4pm if you're applying through Birmingham but Gloucestershire doesn't specify a time.

If your daughter is offered a place at the school that you have put first on your form, she will not be offered a place at her second choice school. If you decide in March that you actually want her to go to the school you have put second, you will be able to appeal and/or go on a waiting list, but there is no guarantee that you will be successful.

I am not sure why you would want your daughter to be offered two places. She can only go to one school, so she only needs one place. If your girl is offered places at two schools, then it means that some other child who would otherwise have been offered a grammar school place will be disappointed, and have to deal with the stress of waiting lists and appeals unnecessarily.

Where do you live? If you are in Birmingham, I strongly advise you to send your daughter to school in Birmingham unless you have overwhelming reasons for doing otherwise. It's a long way to Pate's from Birmingham. Likewise if you live in or near Cheltenham, send her to school nearby, and don't plan for her to commute to Birmingham. Secondary school offers lots of opportunities for extra-curricular activities, and the young people have plenty of work to do too, so they really don't need a long commute at either end of the day, if it can be avoided. Some people do send their kids to schools a long way away despite the commute, but it's really not a good idea unless it's the only way to get them into a decent school at all. You seem to have the choice of two excellent schools, so please let your daughter attend the one that will allow her enough time to enjoy school and fit in all the things she will want to do when she gets there.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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DebsB is absolutely right - there will only be one offer.

If you are planning to move to Birmingham then I think you will have to decide by friday of this week - bearing in mind the upheaval of such a move and the impact it may have on other children.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
I'm just curious - what aspect of your LA's secondary school application process led you to believe that you would be allocated more than one place on March 2nd? Ours makes the whole system pretty clear in its Secondary School Admissions documentation, but I am beginning to think that Southend must be the exception rather than the rule.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:51 am 
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ToadMum wrote:
I'm just curious - what aspect of your LA's secondary school application process led you to believe that you would be allocated more than one place on March 2nd? Ours makes the whole system pretty clear in its Secondary School Admissions documentation, but I am beginning to think that Southend must be the exception rather than the rule.


I think sometimes the confusion between "passing" an exam and assuming that means being offered a place (and often it would if it is the first on the CAF you are eligible for) and actually having to apply for a place on the CAF.

Each year we hear of people who "have places" at 3 schools... well they could have had a place at any one of them, IF it was the highest one on the CAF! But actually they only have one.

A few years back (probably longer ago than I think!!) people could apply to more than one LEA and hence did get more than one offer on March 1st - led to much greater movement in the waiting lists than we get now.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
We were also moving and there is a second piece of information that you require.
You need to know how the waiting lists are applied. We put both Kent and Essex grammars on DS' CAF. We were only allocated one, but the waiting list system meant that as places were offered in order of merit then we could put DS on the waiting list later and he would move to the top.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:08 am
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Each child can only be made one offer - that is the very reason the preference forms exist.
Many children will meet the qualifying score for a number of different schools. The CAF exists to ask parents in this hypothetical situation, which school they like best and therefore which schools can be safely rejected assuming a higher choice is being allocated.

The council looks at each school a parent lists and marks the ones the child qualifies for. The council then allocates the child just one school - the one the parents said they wanted most out of all of those the child qualified for. This allows the left over places that aren’t needed to be reallocated to other children.
It is therefore just as important to carefully choose your potential rejects (any school not listed first) as it is to list your top choices in true order of preference. It is not always impossible to claw back a school you effectively rejected by placing it lower than one that accepted your child but it can mean a nervous wait on waiting lists and is far from certain.
There is no way to delay this decision beyond October 31st and keep your options as open as they are right now.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
Posts: 930
James_2014 wrote:
My daughter has achieved good results at Pate's and one best Grammar school from Birmingham. (She took the 11 plus test in Birmingham as well). We are now not sure whether we will go to Birmingham Grammar school but we included "King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls" as second preference school, after Pate's as the first one.

The admission team tells us my daughter can only receive one place and she cannot receive both places. Anyone know
whether we can receive both offers and to have decision in March 2014?

Thanks!

Your daughter has obviously done very well and you are I am sure very proud of her achievement. You can however can only be offered 1 school place -now is your time to choose - if she has done that well then it sounds like she will get a place at your preferred school if it is 1st on the CAF.
Having gone through the appeal process. I would not wish waiting lists and appeals on anyone and this sort of grammar school test tourism just makes it worse for local children and their parents. Sorry but that is just how I see it.


Last edited by DC17C on Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 1775
Congratulations to your daughter James. The advice you have been given here is very good and I can't add any more.

Please, please, as has been said before, keep shortest travel times as one of your highest priorities. I had to travel many miles to my school as a kid, and it was a nightmare. I had no socialising time left after taking journey time and homework time out of each evening. I have beaten myself up in the past as I send my daughter on a 30 minute bus ride each day - this is at the very maximum I would have considered. There was a child in Pates who came down from Solihull each day - he lasted just 3 months. Don't get blinded by a school's name. If you live here in Gloucestershire and like Pates then you should definitely choose it over Birmingham and the same in reverse. You should commit to one at this stage and your school choices should most importantly be in the order you really want them. As you know, your second choice automatically becomes your first if you aren't successful with that option (here in Gloucestershire that is, you need to check for other areas).

You are in a very good place if she is in the top 120 for Pates (which I assume she is?). It sounds as if she'll do fine wherever she goes.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:36 am 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 7:23 pm
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Congratulations to your daughter who will clearly do well wherever she goes. We feel fortunate that DS has qualified for two Gloucester grammars and that we are in a position where we can make a decision and move on as many people are forced by circumstance to wait till March. When DS gets to school there is nothing to say that he will do any better than those who join him there having appealed. So much depends on the child rather than the school and how well they apply themselves when they are there (in my view) and it sounds as though your DS will shine in any environment as she has a very good attitude. I really wanted to say that surely it is better to be in a place of certainty if you have the option and plan ahead than to be in a state of limbo, for your daughter as well. Unless there is a pressing reason to want to hedge your bets such as grandparents needing care in both locations and you can't work out where you will be living, I would have thought now is the time to make the decision anyway. It may never be an easy decision but as the others say, they are so young and have to go through so much transitioning to secondary school that logistics must play a big part in considering what is best for the child.

I wish you and your daughter well wherever you choose. Sometimes there's not only one right answer.....both schools may have lots of merits albeit different ones.


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