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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:07 am
Posts: 9
Hello,

My DD is currently in Y6 and we are going through the whole 11+ process for the first time. :shock: :wink:

I’ve been following this forum for a while now and have gleaned lots of information from it – so thank you all very much for that. :) 8)

With only a fortnight to go for the CAF forms to be submitted, we have one major dilemma; do we put 2 selective and 1 partially selective schools as our choices or do we put 2 selective and 1 non-selective school down? I seem to keep getting conflicting advice..... :( :roll:

Using our local schools as an example, if we were to put down the following preferences...

1. WGGS (selective)
2. Queens (selective)
3. Bushey Meads (partially selective)

Now let ‘s say DD had a nightmare on test day, would a situation arise where DD is not selected to any and we are at the mercy of the LEA?

Would it be “safer” to put.....? :?:

1. WGGS (selective)
2. Queens (selective)
3. Bushey Academy (non-selective)

Would we be guaranteed to get a place in the non-selective school (asuming we met the admission criteria)?

Can someone please explain what the pros and cons are..? :?:

Thanks in advance. :)

P.S. apologies if this Q has been asked before but I couldn't find a direct answer...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
Posts: 1324
Location: Watford, Herts
A small quibble about terminology: we'd call WGGS and Queens' partially selective, reserving "selective" for grammar schools like QE Boys or Henrietta Barnett, and say Bushey Meads uses banding.

Pedantry aside, it depends where you live, in particular how far you are from Bushey Meads. If you just miss out on Queens', you'll probably be in their band B. The sticky tells you how far they went out in previous years -- those measurements are along roads and paths while they'll be using straight line distance this year, but it should give you an idea. If you live anywhere near Bushey (and often further afield), you'll probably be assigned Bushey Academy if you miss out on all your preferences, so adding it wouldn't change much. That is unless the school has suddenly become more popular.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6684
Location: Herts
Dear Vagabond, Welcome to the forum at this most trying time in your life! I hope it helps to be with fellow travellers. In answer to your query this is where it is so terribly unfair that London get six chioces and we poor souls in Herts only get three. It is a risk to only put selective schools down. We did it, but it was three different exams and also two different music exams so we had five different opportuniities to secure a place. Your three schools all use the same exam so if you put three schools from the Watford consortium down and your dd does have a nightmare day then, if you have no distance chances for these three schools, you will be left without a school on allocation day.

I saw a boy refuse to go in at Clement Danes last year. The poor mum tried her best but it was hopeless. As she turned and walked back to her car I wondered whether this would mean that she would be without a school on allocation day. There was the most utter despair on her face and I felt quilty that I was at just one of our five chances.

I would say best to put Bushey Academy third and then if you are close enough and dont get high enough on the exams for your first two choices you can then accept Bushey Academy and go on the waiting list for your first two choices and Bushey Meads. You then have nothing to lose. You have a school to go to and your mark will put you on three waiting lists.

I wish you and dd well.

DG


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:44 pm 
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Thanks WP, I must admit that I'm still getting to grips with the terminology as such! :oops:

My main worry is that since Bushey Academy seems to be getting quite popular, we may not even get that allocated by "default".

We live in Oxhey (very close to Oxhey Park), so the distance to Queens and or Bushey Meads may be very similar. In fact WGGS is the closest secondary school to us. However, we're not taking anything for granted and working hard for the exams.

My other query is, if a non-selective school is over-subscribed, I assume that the order of preference that you have indicated is taken into account. i.e. those that have it as their 1st preference would get priority and so on... So does that mean that having it as our 3rd preference, we may be minnimising our chances? :?

Can't seem to win! :x :? :(


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
vagabond wrote:
In fact WGGS is the closest secondary school to us. However, we're not taking anything for granted and working hard for the exams.

My other query is, if a non-selective school is over-subscribed, I assume that the order of preference that you have indicated is taken into account. i.e. those that have it as their 1st preference would get priority and so on... So does that mean that having it as our 3rd preference, we may be minnimising our chances? :?

Can't seem to win! :x :? :(



re the order - put them in the order you want. If you put a non selective school third and do not qualify for your top 2 then you will be considered equally with people who put it first.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:13 pm
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Location: Abbots Langley
Hi Vagabond

It really depends on how far away you live from the school.

If your child scored a high enough score to get into Bushey Meads Band A (give a take a couple of marks) then they would also qualify for your higher ranked school Queens', so you are looking at Bands B & C as backup.

For Band B (score 194-212), the distance of the last child allocated a place on 1st March was 2.65KM (by Sept, after CI, this distance had extended to 4.2Km). The distance differs slightly each year but is pretty consistent for Band B.

For Band C (score 176-193), the distance of the last child allocated a place on 1st March was 3.9Km. This did not change much after CI. However, this year, the distance was much further than the previous 2 years (<2Km).

If you fit well within these distances then I would put Bushey Meads. It is possible that even if you do not list it as a preference you will be offered Bushey Academy anyway if you do not qualify for any of your preferences. In 2009 there were very few applications (76 for 180 places) but this year there were more applications than places (242 applications for 150 places), although some of these applicants would also have applied for and will have been successful in achieving a place at another school. I can't find the information to show how many of the allocations were ranked and how many were non-ranked.

Not sure if this really helps. Good luck during the next few weeks/months

Just seen your later posts - The school does not know where you have positioned them on your CAF so it really doesn't matter if you put them first or third. It will be based purely on how you fit the entry rules.


BBF


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:07 am
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Thanks all for the swift reponses. :)

Quote:
The school does not know where you have positioned them on your CAF so it really doesn't matter if you put them first or third. It will be based purely on how you fit the entry rules.


In that scenario, lets say that the (non-selective) school has 100 places and 200 applicants. How do they choose which 100 to take? Is it purely distance etc. and the position on the CAF doesn't have any impact?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:03 pm 
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position on CAF has NO impact - it comes down to distance or whatever other criteria they have set. the school do not know where you have put them on the list.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:04 pm 
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hermanmunster wrote:
position on CAF has NO impact - it comes down to distance or whatever other criteria they have set. the school do not know where you have put them on the list.


Thanks for clarifiying that. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:07 am
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..I would say best to put Bushey Academy third and then if you are close enough and dont get high enough on the exams for your first two choices you can then accept Bushey Academy and go on the waiting list for your first two choices and Bushey Meads. You then have nothing to lose. You have a school to go to and your mark will put you on three waiting lists.


I didn't realise you could go on the waiting list for a school you haven't even applied to on the CAF! :shock: :oops:

That's great - seems to cover all the bases.


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