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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:44 pm
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It seems that a large proportion of places have been given via the cross sibling rule, brought back for this year. What was the reason for this reversal and do you think there is any remote chance, that it might be reversed again. Have a child in current Yr 5, who will be massively disadvantaged if this stays.
And is it fair? What does everybody think?
Thanks for reading.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:28 pm 
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I think both Watford 'Grammars' are both Academies which means they can set their own admissions criteria wrt siblings etc? They just can't up their selective %.
I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.
:lol:


Last edited by K1w1mum on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:07 am 
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Why did they reverse the decision?
Rumour has it that after the cross-sibling rule was removed, they were concerned that the intake had become less academically able, which would affect results and hence league table position. They are now academies, which gives them more autonomy over their admissions criteria.

Is it likely that they will remove it again?
No. Especially not for this coming year (2014 intake).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:14 pm 
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It was also thought that the reintroduction of the cross sibling rule would reduce the lowest score needed for academic intake this year, since the siblings concerned would not need to sit the 11 plus, thus reducing competition for academic places.
However, this was not the case, as the lowest score for both WGGS and WBGS this year so far is 242.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:16 pm 
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3b1g wrote:
Why did they reverse the decision?
Rumour has it that after the cross-sibling rule was removed, they were concerned that the intake had become less academically able, which would affect results and hence league table position. They are now academies, which gives them more autonomy over their admissions criteria.

Is it likely that they will remove it again?
No. Especially not for this coming year (2014 intake).


They reversed it because they never wanted to see it go in the first place. It was only removed when a group of parents complained to the adjudicator and the adjudicator forced them to remove the policy. I believe the school has always wanted to provide the benefits of sibling places like all other (non fully selective) school do. As they are single sex, it made sense to partner with each other to provide the cross sibling places.

Whilst there might be some evidence that children from the same family group are likely to have similar academic ability it is probably more aimed at attracting parents who might otherwise discount a single sex school if they have DD and DS. When my DD was initially viewing schools her favourite was WGGS but I favoured Parmiters, not because it was better but as it would give an automatic place to my DS without him having to take the consortium test. Not saying I am correct, just saying what I thought at the time.

The grammar schools are very popular and even when there was no sibling policy you had to live very close to the school (700metres) and despite it being our nearest school we had no chance on distance so had to rely on academic or music as our entry method and if there was a way to avoid doing it twice with all the angst and cost that entails I would have taken it.

Ultimately, DD got into WGGS so we had to do do it twice anyway but I personally feel it would be more consistent with all the other local schools which allow siblings to attend if the cross sibling policy continues. I also appreciate that others may not agree.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:07 pm 
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There has been a lot of debate on this forum about sibling rules - arguments for and against - especially with reference to DAO. I understand from other posts on the 'DAO sibling rule' thread, as well as on this one, that by law partially selective schools are not allowed to increase their % intake from selection. In the case of DAO this year they have gone over PAN due to the number of siblings and that they have honoured the full number of exam places offered by the academic criteria, the criteria that has been affected is the second distance rule. This has meant you still have the same chance under academic entry but less with regards distance. Whether this is good or bad depends on personal perspective.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:44 pm
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Thanks so much for all your comments, had not idea it was so complicated. Do you think the sibling intake will be pretty stable year on year, or was this year a high, or low, sibling year?
But at least I can see that it looks to be here to stay and guess we have to work hard for the exam, same as hundreds of others!!
Any tips from experienced parents who have been through this unpleasant process?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
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We have just been through the whole process. Good luck and if you have any questions or queries post them on here as there are lots of people who have been through it before that can help! See the link from last year about the best materials to use for preparation. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24928


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:20 pm 
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My big tip would be not to ignore the Maths paper. Because it's quite straightforward and is based on material that has been covered at school, it's tempting to spend less time practising this. Due to the fact that the mean score on the Maths paper is usually high, each correct Maths question can translate to several extra points on the standardised score, which gives it a much greater weighting than each VR question. Quite a few children get full marks on the Maths paper so accuracy and checking are key.

With VR, speed is the key. 100 questions in 45 minutes is a tall order. An extensive vocabulary goes a long way, as vocabulary questions are most often the ones in which marks are lost.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Why should one sibling have to sit the exam to gain a place to support a sibling who doesn't?

Completely unfair IMO. My dc are of differing academic abilities, not wildly so but enough for one to be suited to a v academic school and one not.


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