Go to navigation
It is currently Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:25 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 9:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 8:57 am
Posts: 3
Hello all,

I am new here, however I just felt I had to post and query this!

I have been re-reading the admission criteria for some schools I'm interested in for admission Sept 2012.
Dame Alice Owens ( DAO ) and a few others for example.

It seems that if you buy a house and move very close to the school, the closest 22 children will be guaranteed a place automatically under the admissions criteria - without having to take any exams etc!

Is this correct?

Is this fair?

I mean whats the point of stressing so much for the entrance exam, if you are unsure whether you child will pass or not - just move!
It seems this way you will get a place at one of the best schools in the Country - guaranteed!

This just does not seem right. Could someone clarify this for me...
Many thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6685
Location: Herts
hello wibbly, the 22 places are for local children who are part of the community, not for those with money to try and buy a place at the school. DAO have asked the local community to help them police this and report to them any house that may be being used in this way. We know three families who did this, including a governor at one of our local primary schools. DAO are doing their best to bring in safeguards against it including monitoring which addresses are being used for distance applications each year to avoid the same house being rented out to a different family each year. They are also monitoring change of address after place allocation. All good schools have this problem, the schools in the Herts Consortium allocate many more distance places and so there is likely to be more abuse of the system. It is actually hard to make sure that you are within the 22 at DAO if you are prepared to cheat in this way as you have no idea which houses have a Y6 child living in them. If you look on the website you will see that the distances went a lot further in 2010 than they did in 2009 so they are making some headway in stamping out the abuse. It is my personal belief that letting your child get a place without having to bother to do the exam will backfire on you big time. My sibling daughter did the exam even though she did not have to. The question of her not doing it never even came up. DAO is a school of many opportunities, it seems that the children who worked really hard for the exam are happy to then work hard and get into the sports teams and the orchestras and the choirs and the clubs. What message do you send your children if you just fix it for them? I cannot see these families prospering in a school where there are many talented children all doing their best to achieve. DG


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 8:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 392
I think the answer is "yes" if you're going to stay there. Just renting somewhere for the admissions period is risky in addition to being ethically dubious. However, if you buy a home there with the intention of staying there (and it would make sense to have a short journey!) then I don't see why anyone should have a problem with it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 8:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:20 pm
Posts: 28
Its strange that a school would go to this trouble to ensure a level playing field when at the same time some suggest the same school poaches pupils from other schools.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:35 am
Posts: 45
I disagree that DAO tries to poach students from other schools - there is simply no need for them to do so. Unlike QE Boys and HBS who are notorious for such practices, DAO is partially selective and they have enough talented children on their waiting list to avoid such practices. I agree that buying a house with an intention of getting a place in the school is likely to backfire in the long run if the child is not geared up for it. My DD did examinations at the school even though she had a guaranteed place as a sibling. The school also needs to be commended for the steps it has taken to stamp out the dubious practice of parents renting out near the school to get in through the distance criteria; I believe the head was personally ckecking out all the addresses last year for occupancy!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:12 pm
Posts: 302
Is it fair? That question assumes that all the other stuff is fair.

Some of what parents do, in order to secure a sought after place for DC, is generally deemed to be acceptable like paying for a tutor so that DC has a better chance than the DC of some limited income parent. But using your superior income to rent a home is not. Men sweat but women 'glisten'.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 392
To be fair, OP said "buy" not "rent". If the move is genuine then why not? It's not as though there would be any more problem from that person than someone else who might have claimed one of the 22 places. Temporary rental is (I think) pretty unarguably unethical, but like I said, a genuine move into a new neighbourhood is fair game.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 8:57 am
Posts: 3
Hi,

Thanks for the replies.

I am not personally intending moving, however I can't believe the stress and aggro some parents go through preparing their children for the exams in some cases for years, when one could, with a bit of forward planning, move into a house very close to the school and breeze in.

I take the point about schools tightening up on people trying to cheat the system and rent for a short period and am glad that 'loophole' has been blocked.
However a legitimate move to the area seems like a good bet for those that can do so, short travel to school and guaranteed entry (depending upon proximity).

I disagree with Daogroupie on the move necessarily being disadvantageous to the children, as they can always tutor the children through school both before joining and through the school years, and encourage the children to do well. After all people who are prepared to move to the area for the school are probably motivated to see their children do well!

Still it does seem a bit tough on the rest of us who have to try and get their children well enough prepared to actually stand a chance of gaining a place the hard way! :?
As to whether it's fair or not? I take your point PushyDad lol ! :D

Although I would like to think I only glisten - even though I'm a bloke!
:wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6685
Location: Herts
If you only have one child and you are not involved in the area where you live and could commute from Potters Bar as easily as where you are now then maybe. But don't forget you have to be there over a year before you start which means you have to commute to your existing primary school and if you have siblings then it gets a lot more complicated. With a bit more forward planning you can make sure you are in the catchment area of a good school in the first place. I just don't think it is that easy to just uproot your life and get a house close enough to qualify, especially as you dont know how close you need to be. DAO have released a new document with more checks including usage on your electricity and gas bill, extra checks if you are now more than three miles away from your primary school and checks if you are applying from an address that has been used before recently and the warning that if you move from the area in Y7 without very good reason your child will lose their place at the school. As to continuing to tutor how much money do these parents have? If it was that easy then you are right, many would do it, rather than working away with an uncertain outcome. The fact that only a handful do shows that it is not the easy quick fix it might appear to be. We spend a lot of hours at the school at clubs after school and saturdays and events and it would be a lot easier for us to live in Potters Bar, but our life is elsewhere and we are not prepared to give it up just to live in the place where DAO happens to be. It was the school we wanted, not the location. We know people who have moved and they miss family and friends. Being close to school is great but for some it is not worth what else they lose. DG


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 5:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 8:57 am
Posts: 3
True there are many factors that will come into account when moving, regardless of whether you are moving just for the school or not. Commuting to work, links in current area etc. Moving is never easy, it is always hassle!

Therefore it wont be for everyone - however for those it does suit, it is certainly an easy way in!

The checks don't really matter as if you really are living there, then bills etc will not be difficult to provide.

Although reading through the admission reports for Dame Alice Owens (DAO) for the last few years it does seem that you would have to buy a house very very close to the school to guarantee entrance this way, I would say no more than a 1/4 of a mile radius from the school post code.

Anyway good luck to those of us who will be taking the exams!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016