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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:10 pm 
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When we were picking QE we asked about the rumored QE cull and where told by the school that it does not happen anymore.

However now we find that although our son is predicted, by QE, GCSE grade A*s in subjects that he wants to do at A' Level he is not being allowed to choose those subjects. QE say they base their decision not on GCSE results alone but lots of other factors such as internal tests, home work, class work, etc.

Hopefully other good colleges will be willing for our son to take those same subjects at A Level given his predicted GCSE grades. He has already obtained many GCSE grade As and has more GCSEs to take next June with predicted grade A*s.

Our plan is for our son to work hard between now and the next prediction stage to see if QE will change their minds. Failing that he either does subjects QE believe he can get excellent A Level results in, without any risk to QE so that QE can maintain their League table position, or he moves colleges for A Level and do subjects he enjoys doing.

It seems that QE is putting their own interests before the interests of capable hard working students.

To be fair to QE at the start of the year QE informed parents of the process and deciding factors i.e GCSE results was not the only criteria for entry to A Levels. However they did not make clear that boys getting GCSE grade A* will not be good enough to take a subject at A Level. QE does not write to parents about progress on all these other factors except that they write to inform of progress on predicted GCSE grades. So when they predicted A* we were not alerted that QE thought there was any problem so are very surprised now.

I plan to speak to his teachers to see what our son needs to achieve for QE to change their mind.

Has anybody been through this experience that can offer any advice.

Is there any legal or other recourse that we can take?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:23 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Not local to QEB, but the Admissions Code http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/fi ... 202012.pdf states the following:

Quote:
2.6 Applying for places at Sixth Form - Children and their parents applying for sixth form places may use the CAF, although if they are already on the roll they are not required to do so in order to transfer into year 12. Admission authorities can, however, set academic entry criteria for their sixth forms, which must be the same for both external and internal places. As with other points of entry to schools, highest priority in oversubscription criteria for sixth form places must be given to looked after children and previously looked after children who meet the academic entry criteria. As stated in paragraph 1.9 m) above, any meetings held to discuss options and courses must not form part of the decision process on whether to offer a place.


I can't find any references on the QEB website to a Sixth form admissions policy, and yet one would think that a "cull" of the sort you mention could also create vacant places? Those vacant places would therefore trigger a requirement for a published 6th form Admissions Policy.

BTW, paragraph 1.9 m) reads as follows:

Quote:
In the case of sixth form applications, a meeting may be held to discuss options and academic entry requirements for particular courses, but this meeting cannot form part of the decision making process on whether to offer a place.

It may be shot in the dark, and as I say, I don't know how QEB operates, but the Admissions Code is the legal framework you need to guide you.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:47 pm 
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Thanks Sally-Anne.

QE cull about 25-30 boys out of 180. They do not fill the vacant positions, possibly because they could not judge external candidates on the same criteria as pupils in their current fifth form.

I will look at your suggestions further.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:24 am 
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Location: Watford, Herts
Yes, QE say in their admissions policy that they don't admit external candidates to the sixth form.

See also this thread for a report that they also restrict continuing to A2 with subjects taken at AS.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:45 am 
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Location: Herts
You need to get a reason in writing or request a meeting and write down what you are told.

A Latymer family appealed their child into the sixth form successfully this year even though he had had previous exclusions. He had the grades so they were forced to take him. QE is not a law unto themselves, they must operate under these same rules. What reason have they given you and your son so far. Do you have the results of the internal tests and the homework proof? DG


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:52 am 
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bullred, I am sorry to hear of your son's predicament. I'm afraid it's all too common at QE. It affects around 40 pupils in each Year 11. And, yes, it's all about A2 grades and QE Boys' league table position. .... What's sad is that they simply do not state up front at 11 plus that, after five years, they will filter and reselect into the Sixth Form, which is what they do. They also bully pupils into doing subjects which suit the QE Boys' grades agenda rather than the pupils' interests and enthusiasms.

There is an implicit moral contract between a school and a family at the start of Year 7. This ought simply to take the child through to the end of Year 13. The QE Boys Management and Governors happily breach this commitment. ... I have spoken to a number of current and past QE teachers and they all confirm this. They are all afraid of the Management, too. Many QE parents are also very uncomfortable when this matter is raised.

This Forum and others have highlighted this point many times over many years. Quite probably, what QE has done in the past was indeed unlawful, but now their paperwork seems to have become neater. They can be embarrased in Court but they will probably not lose. The case Daogroupie mentions involves Latymer, a very different animal and in a very different Local Authority and, crucially, a Latymer Sixth Form which takes in an external intake into Year 12.

I'm afraid that the lesson with QE Boys is: only go in with your eyes very much open. What they choose to do well, they do very well and with clinical, brutal effectiveness. They are a well oiled machine, be it at Swimming, Music, Rugby, A2 League tables or Oxbridge Entrance. Their Year 11 cull is equally clinical and equally brutal.

Best to accept this tough reality, put your son's welfare first and move on. ... A very tough life lesson. But your son will be happier and do better elsewhere. ... Good luck with GCSEs and beyond!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I disagree. Stay and fight. Why should you be driven out of the school if your son is happy there? Find out the reasons they are unhappy with his progress in his chosen subjects and fix it. Agree to drop out after AS if he does not get an A then. They are a state school and cannot make up their own rules. You must find out what their objections are. They want great grades and league table position. You need to convince them your son can get the grades. It is not personal, they are just protecting what they have. Prove to them that your son can also help not hinder in that quest. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:46 am
Posts: 157
I am finding it very difficult to understand this behaviour by QE. They have themselves predicted op's boy to get the highest possible grade in gcse. What more can the child do?
Have they not already got very bright boys?
Isn't the school now an academy?and does that make them less answerable?
If QE can't handle that many pupils in A level maybe they should take one less form in their year 7 entry.refusing a boy predicted(by them) to get a* to do an A level of his choice is unacceptable.
If the school refuses to let him choose then I think it's better for the boy to pursue the subjects of his choice either privately or simply changing schools.
Sgcmum


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Daogroupie,

You are suggesting that it's possible to reverse QE Boys' decision: it is not. Their decision is purely rational and has been based on careful consideration of more than four years' evidence. It's in their interest to get these decisions 'right'. They can be proved wrong only by a number of A* grades at A2 and an elite university place.

In the meantime, what are the chances of the boy being happy at QE rather than making a fresh start elsewhere, at a Sixth Form where he is wanted and supported, a place where his self esteem is nurtured and his self confidence can grow? ... I know a boy, now at Uni, who actually made the cut at QE Boys and struggled. He found the pace very tough but worked very hard, including during his vacations. He didn't make his first choice course at Imperial and had to settle for a less valued course at a less prestigious Uni. He was very unhappy in the Sixth Form, having been fairly happy up till then. He was a solid 11 plus candidate, quite talented but not exceptional. His steady, hard work paid off at GCSE but he lacked the basic extra talent to be happy in that environment after Year 11. And all this despiote being selected to be in the QE Boys Sixth Form in the first place. ... QE Boys is not for everbody at 11 plus; similarly, QE Boys is not for everyone at 16 plus.

You are recommending probable misery for the boy. Why compound the cruelty and the unfairness?

Sgcmum,

If QE Boys took fewer boys into Year 7, they would get about 22% less money overall at KS3 and KS4. 22% staff cuts, anyone? ... They also want the option of choosing 140 out of 180 into Year 12 after having a good, long look at them all. It works for them, so why change?

Well, they might change if there is a sufficient financial incentive. A Sixth Former attracts more money than a junior pupil. So, for example, they would get more money per head if they had more Sixth Formers. But they have to physically fit them in and somehow slot them into their staff availability and staff specialisms. ... And there is the dreaded challenge of how to super-super-superselect from sixteen year old boys they know nothing about: extreme number of A*s at GCSE and four tough written papers for four proposed AS subjects?

What we are saying is that we are all shocked and upset at this culture. I feel really sad for bullred and son.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:46 am
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@jean.brodie,
I wrote more out of angst than anything else. Perhaps they should follow the HBS model and have more faith in their pupils' abilities. I feel really bad for those boys. Imagine taking a gcse knowing fully well that even if you get A* your school won't let you continue onto A level.
@bullred
I would once again say that you explore all options to try to give your boy the chance to do the Alevels he wants even if that means changing schools. Hope it all works out for you.


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