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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:34 pm
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I know for some this may be provocative, but more and more it appears that the watford grammar schools have become a follow on school for local private preps. With the reintroduction of the cross sibling rule for only 20 places to be awarded to boys all within 320m of the school basically means about 3 roads worth, most of which are houses well over 500k in value. I so far know of very few children from local state primaries who have achieved academic places. My dd school would normally expect 3-4 places at each of the grammars on academic places yet we are yet to hear of any, and only know of 1 girl who has a score we believe will get her in. ( my dd got the 3rd or 4th highest score in her year of 82, and 1 who did better chose another school as her 1st choice) are the local private preps who all prepare the children for a number of years for the tests taking more and more of the places and then their siblings taking up places so less distance places for local children.
just interested in peoples views?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:50 pm 
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Anecdotally, this does seem to be the case, although I don't have the stats to back it up. In the current Y8, there certainly seem to be more boys from independent primary schools and more boys from outside Hertfordshire than I would have expected.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:43 pm 
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Herts wide, I calculated that 9.2% DCs from out of county got placement. So that's not too much I believe, overall. There were 21.37% out county applications actually so these DCs have a lower chance of getting a Herts school.

Specifically for Boys Grammar, there were 17.8% out of county DCs. There were 16.1% allocated at Girls Grammar. These percentages are much higher than the overall out of county allocation percentage.

Both schools allocate 10% of academic places to Outer Area (is this Out of County?). There is also about 5% for music from Outer Area. That's about 15%, close to the actual out of county allocation.

All in all, it does not sound too bad as for both grammar schools more than 80% DCs are from Watford Area.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:16 pm 
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Out of area does not necessarily mean out of county, although out of county is always out of area for the grammars. Both have fixed postcode catchment areas although these are not enforced for siblings so you can rent close, get oldest child in, move back to middlesex/ hillingdon and get siblings in without any issue. I just think it sad that our local schools are unable to get even their brightest 5% into the grammar schools ( even with additional private coaching) and that it appears that you can buy yourself into a top class free secondary education either by private prep school or moving to within 300m of the school


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Mgnmum don't forget there is still likely to be movement on CI lists so you may be lucky. I think you have a good chance, as you have previously mentioned your score. However as I have said before 236m is not very far at all on distance for WGSB so perhaps any parents who live close by with children in current year 5 should think about going to school adjudicator to get cross sibling rule abolished again.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Hi Mgnmum!

You may know that this phenomenon - prep schools and money - is not restricted to Watford. My DD is at Henrietta Barnett and, anecdotally, a lot of her peers are out of prep schools. (The Head, too, has previously spent many years in private secondary schools. .... Also, one nearby state primary sells itself as being so good that it's a 'free' private school. Needless to say, it is surrounded by very expensive houses.)

I asked Barnet Borough as a Freedom Of Information request just how many in the last 5 years and guess what? They said they don't keep analysis by primary school for any secondary school.

I fear that the character of grammars has changed and they are, in effect, partially or substantially 'free' private schools, schools without formal tuition fees.

Q E Boys and HBS are also new academies, described formally as 'independent' and considered by some of us as now set on the slippery slope to privatisation.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:45 pm 
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My DC's went to Cassiobury Juniors and in the years they joined the grammars my DD had 14 of her friends going to WGGS which has risen to 16 in the past 2 years through staying on the CIO list and last year my DS had 18 schoolmates going to WBGS. Both were years of 60 DC's or so so a very high percentage. It is a pretty good school but no different to Nascot wood from friends experience and I am sure many other junior schools in Watford.

The biggest problem is that state schools do not teach to the consortium exams so it is left to the parents to teach or tutor independently. What I did find at Cassiobury is a very tight parent community which was extremely aware of the challenges facing secondary entry so it was easy to be educated as to what was needed and great contacts for the good tutors and the fact you needed to get you name down with them very early (year 4 at the latest).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Cutting42 would you be willing to let have details of the tutors you refer to please? by PM if you prefer? thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:31 pm 
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Jean.Brodie - that is a very interesting post. When I went to visit HB earlier on in the week the Head did remark that he saw HB as being in many ways 'a private education for free'. I noticed that a fair few of the girls there were wearing what I thought was probably private school uniforms and it did make me v v curious t know what %age of girls at HB come from the private sector and what %age from the state sector. My dd is in a state primary and AFAIK she is the only girl from it to make it into HBS for a number of years.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:14 pm 
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ajooba wrote:
Cutting42 would you be willing to let have details of the tutors you refer to please? by PM if you prefer? thanks


Sure, let me look them up and I will pm you this weekend


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