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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:30 am 
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Location: Watford, Herts
I have obtained some statistics on admissions from the seven schools in southwest Hertfordshire that use common admissions tests. (Bushey Meads is not selective, but uses the tests for banding.) All of the schools except Bushey Meads also share music auditions. This needs to be read together with the admission rules for the various schools, which can be found in the Moving On booklet published each year by Herts County Council, and on the websites of the individual schools. There have been changes over time, in the percentage of selection (outlined below) and in the removal of places for children of staff and siblings of past pupils.

The meaning of various marks in the tables:
  • ?: data not yet available
  • ??: I have some data, but cannot interpret it
  • -: the school says the data is not held
For each year, figures are given for national allocation day (1st March) and the start of the school year (1st September). During the intervening months the schools allocate any vanancies from their waiting lists, so that by September they have have offered places to applicants with lower scores and longer distances than in March.

Distance

Here is the distance in metres from the school of the furtherest child offered a place under each distance criterion. Distances are rounded to the nearest metre except for Bushey Meads prior to 2008 (rounded to the nearest 25 metres), Rickmansworth (some rounded up to the nearest 50 metres), and Watford Girls (some rounded to the nearest 50 metres). Distances are measured in a straight line by all schools from 2011, by Bushey Meads prior to 2008, and by Rickmansworth. Other distances (starred in the table) follow roads and paths. Parmiter's used their own calculation before 2008.

Herts provide a tool you can use to find the distance in metres from your home to the ten closest schools.
Code:
    2005    |      2006     |     2007    |     2008    |     2009    |     2010    |    2011   |    2012   |    2013    |    2014    |     2015    |    2016   |
  Mar  Sep  |   Mar    Sep  |  Mar   Sep  |  Mar   Sep  |  Mar   Sep  |  Mar   Sep  |  Mar  Sep |  Mar  Sep |  Mar   Sep |  Mar   Sep |   Mar   Sep |  Mar  Sep |
------------+---------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-----------+-----------+------------+------------+-------------+-----------+----------------------
5375  8100  | 10150  10150  | 6625  7275  | 8348* 8348* | 5842*  all  |17258*  all  | 5132  all | 6546 6850 | 8936 11628 | 7437 11655 | 10448 11215 | 7504 8867 | Bushey Meads (band A)
3875  7500  |  3475   5000  | 3325  3875  | 4679* 4926* | 2917* 3409* | 2652* 4204* | 2657 3299 | 3292 4678 | 3517 10941 | 4056  8110 |  4177  4249 | 3628 4554 | Bushey Meads (band B)
2375  3250  |  3875   3950  | 3400  3400  | 1192* 3769* | 1743* 1815* | 3919* 3938* | 3317 3317 | 3005 3242 | 3559  4008 | 2092  5436 |  3503  3686 | 1697 3369 | Bushey Meads (band C)
1650  2225  |  3175   3875  | 1125  1125  | 1357* 1357* | 3189* 3189* | 1385* 1540* | 1123 1512 | 2096 2400 | 1412  1412 | 1578  5918 |  3206  3206 | 1227 1971 | Bushey Meads (band D)
  -   1854* |    -    1655* |   -   1472* | 1402* 1408* | 1687* 1687* | 1749* 1749* | 1214 1214 | 1319 1452 | 1217  1237 | 1025  1054 |   883   912 |  968   ?  | Parmiter's
  ?    ??   |    ?     ??   |   ?   2514* | 1507* 2043? | 1357*  ??   | 2130* 2638* | 1459 1502 | 1387 1387 | 1750  2658 | 1380  1384 |  1637  1920 | 1414 2132 | Queens'
550    550  |   600   1050  |  550   700  | 1110  1200  |  333   350  | 1440  1670  | 1470 1600 | 1240 1581 | 1415  2484 | 1416  1474 |  1172  1254 | 1342 1498 | Rickmansworth
  -     -   |    -      -   | 3333*   ?   | 3628*   ?   | 2250*   ?   | 2397*   ?   | 3124 3388 | 3373 3717 | 3061  3545 | 2809  3227 |  2536  2846 | 3706   ?  | St Clement Danes
  -     -   |    -      -   |  486*   ?   |  680*  690* | 1087*  ??   |  981* 1061* |  704  729 |  822  889 |  326   329 |  225   225 |   289   317 |  332  382 | Watford Boys
all    all  |    -      -   | 9665* 9876* |  all   all  |  n/a   n/a  |  n/a   n/a  |  n/a  n/a |  n/a  n/a |  all   all | 6123  6123 |   all   all |  all  all | Watford Boys (x-sibs)
  -    850* |    -     750* |   -    600* |  704*  900* | 1433* 1450* | 1634* 1655* | 1083 1083 |  997 1009 |  478   478 |  250   250 |   247   247 |  727  794 | Watford Girls
5700* 6550* |   all    all  |10850*10850* |  all   all  |  n/a   n/a  |  n/a   n/a  |  n/a  n/a |  n/a  n/a |  all   all |  all   all |  5794  6762 |  all  all | Watford Girls (x-sibs)

I have omitted some data I've received because it seems dubious:
  • Queens' gave the September 2009 distance as 1041m.
  • Watford Boys gave the September 2009 distance as 1995m.
Here are the number of places offered by distance in each case:
Code:
  2005   |   2006   |   2007   |   2008   |   2009   |   2010   |   2011   |   2012   |   2013   |   2014   |   2015   |    2016     |
Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar   Sep   |
---------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-------------+----------------------
18   18  | 20   20  | 18   18  | 23   24  | 38   36  | 33   33  | 30   31  | 46   48  | 39   39  | 38   36  | 24   24  | 29     ?    | Parmiter's
25   15  | 17   30  | 30   31  | 23    ?  | 27   28  | 50   50  | 43   44  | 34   31  | 49   51  | 27   27  | 40   42  | 39    40    | Queens'
 -   13  | 31   35  | 18   18  | 44   44  | 18   18  | 47   49  | 42   43  | 42   44  | 53   63  | 46   50  | 45   44  | 38+26 32+26 | Rickmansworth
78    ?  | 61    ?  | 79    ?  | 71    ?  | 59    ?  | 59    ?  | 83   83  | 83   83  | 79   80  | 66   67  | 65    ?  | 74+30  ?    | St Clement Danes
27   34  | 18   18  | 18   18  | 30   33  | 61   62  | 71   72  | 67   67  | 71   70  | 20   20  | 19   19  | 19   21  | 34    34    | Watford Boys
42   37  | 35   36  | 30   32  | 41   38  | n/a  n/a | n/a  n/a | n/a  n/a | n/a  n/a | 39   38  | 42   41  | 31   29  | 41    43    | Watford Boys (x-sibs)
18   18  | 20   20  | 19   19  | 40   40  | 70   70  | 73   73  | 77   77  | 79   79  | 44   44  | 24   24  | 18   18  | 48    48    | Watford Girls
22   22  | 37   37  | 32   32  | 27   27  | n/a  n/a | n/a  n/a | n/a  n/a | n/a  n/a | 32   32  | 41   41  | 34   34  | 28    28    | Watford Girls (x-sibs)

The Watford Grammar Schools offered places to cross-siblings (children with a sibling at the other school) up to 2008, and re-introduced the criterion from the 2013 intake.
In 2016, Rickmansworth and St Clement Danes respectively allocated 26 and 30 places over PAN (by distance) as an interim measure due to the delayed opening of a new school at Croxley Green.

Academic

The proportion of the intake selected on the academic criterion at each school is:
  • Queens': 35%
  • St Clement Danes: 10%
  • Rickmansworth: 25% in 2005 and 2006; 35% in 2007; 25% since 2008
  • Parmiter's and the Watford Grammars: 35% in 2005, 2006 and 2007; 25% since 2008
The Watford Grammars allocate 60% of their specialist places to an inner catchment area and the other 40% to an outer catchment area.

Candidates sit tests in mathematics and verbal reasoning, which are then standardized and added. (NFER has a partial account of standardization.) Here are the lowest standardized scores allocated places under the academic criterion at each point:
Code:
   2005   |   2006    |   2007    |   2008    |   2009    |   2010    |   2011    |   2012    |   2013    |   2014    |   2015    |   2016    |
Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep | Mar   Sep |
----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------------------
   204    |    212    |    209    |    213    |    215    |    213    |    211    |    217    |    218    |    223    |    222    |    197    | Bushey Meads band A
   185    |    194    |    190    |    198    |    196    |    194    |    193    |    197    |    200    |    202    |    201    |    179    | Bushey Meads band B
   168    |    176    |    173    |    178    |    178    |    176    |    175    |    180    |    179    |    181    |    182    |    162    | Bushey Meads band C
  -   225 |  -    238 |  -    237 | 243   241 | 246?  244 | 250   245 | 247   241 | 247   242 | 246   240 | 255   252 | 253   243 | 224   221 | Parmiter's
  ?   197 |  ?    206 |  ?    204 | 210    ?  | 222   216 | 214   208 | 215   209 | 217   213 | 218   208 | 226   218 | 224   214 | 197   186 | Queens'
  -    -  | 226   216 | 220   212 | 224   219 | 228   222 | 222   215 | 224   217 | 222   220 | 227   220 | 239   232 | 234   224 | 207   200 | Rickmansworth
  -    -  |  -     -  | 223    ?  | 229    ?  | 237    ?  | 242    ?  | 243   233?| 240   230 | 243   235 | 252   243 | 248   238 | 219    ?  | St Clement Danes
221   219 | 231   229 | 240   234 | 239   238 | 247   246 | 244   239 | 243   239 | 240   238 | 242   239 | 255   253 | 247   243 | 220   216 | Watford Boys (inner)
241   234 | 251   242 | 250   241 | 257   247 | 257   249 | 253   252 | 254   247 | 253   248 | 252   250 | 260   256 | 256   254 | 228   220 | Watford Boys (outer)
  -   217 |  -    230 |  -    228 | 240   240 | 242   237 | 236   234 | 239   235 | 242   241 | 242   239 | 252   251 | 250   246 | 215   215 | Watford Girls (inner)
  -   229 |  -    241 |  -    239 | 244   244 | 256   255 | 256   254 | 253   245 | 254   247 | 252   250 | 259   254 | 257   251 | 227   212 | Watford Girls (outer)

The March 2009 figure for Parmiter's may actually be the position in June of that year.

The scores dropped by about 25 in 2016, after the consortium switched from Moray VR to CEM.

I am informed by Rickmansworth School, who administered the tests, that about 2500 children were tested in 2008. (According to their submission in the county response to the new admissions code, it was 2300 in 2006.) The relationship between the test population and the age group is affected by a number of factors, including
  • All applicants to Bushey Meads and Queens' are required to take the tests.
  • Applicants relying on a sibling place at other schools need not take the tests.
  • More distant Herts applicants would probably apply only if they expected to score highly.
  • Applicants from Bucks and neighbouring London boroughs have 6 preferences, and might use one or more of them on SW Herts schools as an alternative plan.
The relationship with scores on actual tests is even harder to predict.

Music audition

Parmiter's, Rickmansworth, St Clement Danes and the Watford Grammars select 10% of their intake by musical aptitude; Queens' select 5% (and another 5% for aptitude for sport).

Applicants under the music criterion first take an aural test, marked out of 60. Those who score sufficiently highly are invited to an audition, which is marked out of 45. Here are the lowest audition scores allocated places under the music criterion at each point.
Code:
  2005   |   2006   |   2007   |   2008   |   2009   |   2010   |   2011   |   2012   |   2013   |   2014   |   2015   |   2016   |
Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep |
---------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+--------------------
 -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  | 37   36  | 38   34  | 36   34  | 37    ?  | 37    ?  | Parmiter's
 -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  |  -    -  | 21   18  | 24   10  | 23   12  | 26   18  | 12   12  | Queens'
 -    -  | 22   17  | 20   15  | 22   18  | 29   21  | 22   15  | 25   18  | 32   28  | 27   13  | 26   21  | 32   24  | 27   19  | Rickmansworth
27    ?  | 28    ?  | 24    ?  | 29    ?  | 33    ?  | 31    ?  | 34   28  | 32   21  | 33   17  | 33   25  | 36   32  | 36    ?  | St Clement Danes
 -    -  | 36   35  | 35   35  | 35   33  | 32   31  | 35   35  | 38   33  | 29   28  | 33   33  | 37   37  | 39   35  | 39   31  | Watford Boys (inner)
 -    -  | 33   33  | 39   37  | 37   36  | 40   39  | 39   37  | 38   38  | 37   36  | 38   35  | 35   35  | 38   38  | 31   22  | Watford Boys (outer)
 -    33 |  -   27  |  -   31  | 24   24  | 39   36  | 36   34  | 33   33  | 38   35  | 36   35  | 40   39  | 37   36  | 40   39  | Watford Girls (inner)
 -    33 |  -   36  |  -   30  | 22   22  | 41   39  | 40   39  | 41   39  | 39   35  | 40   37  | 43   41  | 40   38  | 40   22  | Watford Girls (outer)

Before 2012, Parmiter's and Queens' used the sum of the aural test score and the audition score, and thus cannot be compared with the above:
Code:
  2005   |   2006   |   2007   |   2008   |   2009   |   2010   |   2011   |
Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep | Mar  Sep |
---------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-----------
 -   80  |  -   75  |  -   81  | 83   83  | 80   80  | 81   78  | 86   86  | Parmiter's
 ?   57  |  ?   60  |  ?   46  | 42    ?  | 64   64  | 78   64  | 77   72  | Queens'


Last edited by WP on Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:33 pm, edited 96 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Posts: 103
Wow WP !!!

Thank you for taking the time out to resource and to publish such interesting information.

This does bring to mind one question though ...

How do I know EXACTLY how far I live from each school?

I contacted Herts County, after a meeting at my child's school, with the Admissions Officer, who had indicated that Herts use their own computer mapping system to work out exact distances from pupil's homes to the schools. I provided my address and postcode, and waited, and waited and waited, for an answer. When I did receive a reply, I was told that they could not provide the answer !!!

Do you have any idea, how I can work out the exact distances from my house, to the schools that I/my child are interested in, bearing in mind that Herts seem to use their own mapping system.

I know I could google it, but would this be an indicative enough distance measurement, or just a guess?

Any ideas would be most welcome.

Thanks WP :D

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:40 am 
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Location: Watford, Herts
Google maps or similar will give you a rough estimate of the distance. Then again, the cutoffs aren't known precisely either, as they vary quite a bit from year to year.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Thank you WP :-)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:24 pm 
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WP

Can you tell me if I am reading your figures correctly. Did the distance criterea increase from 1087 to 1995 from March 09 to September 09 for the Boys Grammar School, or am I reading the wrong line. This seems like an enormous increase, and surprising, as this would mean that the distance is now further than it is for the Girls Grammar School which has not been the case for past year.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
JP wrote:
Can you tell me if I am reading your figures correctly. Did the distance criterea increase from 1087 to 1995 from March 09 to September 09 for the Boys Grammar School, or am I reading the wrong line. This seems like an enormous increase, and surprising, as this would mean that the distance is now further than it is for the Girls Grammar School which has not been the case for past year.

I've checked the letters again, and those are the figures the schools gave me. The March 2009 distance figures are also in the county Moving On booklet. Note that the 1450 figure from Watford Girls is rounded to the nearest 50m, so it might represent anything from no change at all to an increase of 57m.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Thanks WP for the response. I would be very happy if the distance had extended out that far as my DS will be sitting the exam in 2010 and does not stand a chance of getting in academically, but that distance easily puts me within the distance zone. Saying that what happens one year does not necessarily influence the following year. I will look with interest to the figures for 2010. We were one of the people caught out on the X Sibling rule. The only reason I can think of for the huge increase is Cassiobury Park getting in the way.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:57 am 
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Location: Watford, Herts
JP wrote:
I would be very happy if the distance had extended out that far as my DS will be sitting the exam in 2010 and does not stand a chance of getting in academically, but that distance easily puts me within the distance zone. Saying that what happens one year does not necessarily influence the following year. I will look with interest to the figures for 2010. We were one of the people caught out on the X Sibling rule. The only reason I can think of for the huge increase is Cassiobury Park getting in the way.

And yet in the other direction you have West Watford, which is fairly high-density housing. I'm afraid I agree with your original skepticism: that seems an extraordinary increase, and I begin to suspect it is a typo in the letter they sent me. (The September 2009 distance figure for Queens' also looks wrong.) Sorry that's bad news in your situation.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:16 pm 
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Maybe it's meant to be 1095 as the 0 key is next to the 9 key on the keyboard. That would be more of a realistic increase. Is it worth me writing to the school to ask the question as it would be good to have data on here that we are comfortable with? If I do write do I need to cite the Freedom of information Act or are they normally fairly happy to provide this information.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:29 pm 
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Hi JP,

I've found the admissions secretary at WBS to be very helpful, though I've called in or phoned as it's easier to explain your interest. I know they don't really need to know this but it establishes you as a person with a genuine and personal reason for asking for information.

I don't see why they should withhold information as the March numbers are freely available, so I wouldn't cite the FoI act - unless of course I hit a brick wall!


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