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 Post subject: Francis Combe
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 6:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:32 am
Posts: 193
Location: Herts
I know that there was a meeting recenlty for all the parents whose children had been offered a non ranked school. I know that lots of local children were offered FC, and I was wondering whether this meeting did anything to alleviate people's frears anout FC, did any of you go and have a second look around? if so did this change your minds?

I am curious because, although I do not have children there, I have aquaintances who do, and they are all ( without exception) very happy with the education and care their children have received, in the short tiome they have been there, and indeed the early year 7 pastoral care has been second to none.

I guess I am suggesting an open mind if possible, what do you folks who are in this position think?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:09 pm
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I was at thwe said meeting, which did nothing to alleviate fears and came up with no answers or alternatives.

My children did not get Francis Coombe but I know many parents who di. Many are now a little happier having visited the school and met the fairly new head. She seems very nice and I'm sure will eventually turn the school round, as did Gary Lewis at Kings Langley.

At the meeting we were told that Bushey Hall was now in special measures, so many parents who had been offered FC were suddenly feeling that things could have been worse!

I still, however, feel that so many parents getting a school they had not put on the preference form is unacceptable. Also unacceptable is the way county allowed FC to go downhill for many, many years without doing anything about it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 6:30 pm 
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Location: Herts
I saw in the Watford Observer a couple of weeks ago that there was going to be a special meeting for Abbots / Kings Langley parents about the schools admissions process. Anyone know whether that helped at all?

I don't know much about FC but have a number of friends whose children were allocated Bushey Hall and are devastated (many of them wanted places like Bushey Meads & Queens - not even the super selectives).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:15 am 
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Location: Herts
I think the meeting you refer to Tense was the meeting to which I referred in my original post, and I have heard, as as Toony, that some of the attendees came out happier with the knowledge that they have been given FC and not BH. Anyone else at said meeting??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 7:01 am 
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Location: Herts
Ah I see - sorry. I know there was a "come & meet us" meeting at BH a couple of weeks ago & I wrongly assumed this was the same for FC.

Quote:
I still, however, feel that so many parents getting a school they had not put on the preference form is unacceptable

Sadly, surely this is bound to happen to some people? I know parents who list three of the consortium schools (& I mean the "top" ones") & are then outraged when their child does not secure a place at any of them (not saying you did this Toony!).

T.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 9:30 am 
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Location: Herts
I know what you mean Tense, and I think the really awful thing this year is that people thought they were putting a "banker school" such as Kings and they still came unstuck! In previous years they would have been fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 11:45 am 
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Our situation was slightly different as we have twins and only one secured a place at a consortium school, despite this schools admission criteria stating that the other twin would automatically be issued a place.

However as you say many of their friends this year put a 'banker' school, indeed many put Kings as first choice, but did not get it.

One of the things the panel were saying at the meeting is that parents should be given more advice to make more realistic choices. However this year, even though who did make what they believed to be safe choices came unstuck.

I do believe that we should get more than 3 choices, then you have room for consortium schools and a couple of back ups. However the stark choice seems to be that the schools people don't want in the Watford area are the ones that are 'community' schools.

The consortium schools are very powerful in the Watford area - they call the shots, they pick and choose the children they want. The LEA seem powerless to alter this, have no say in their admission criteria or Published Admission Number and have, until recently done little to improve some of the community schools.

A lot of the parents from the Rickmansworth area at the meeting were upset that CD had been given a great deal of money to enlarge their school but there were still not enough places for children from the local area. Again the LEA are powerless to insist that CD ensures these places are for Mill End parents since they are a self governing school.

At the meeting they did give us the figures for number of children out of county who had secured places at the Consortium Schools. There were 16 of the places at Parmiters and a similar number at each of the other schools. This is in addition to the children who travel quite a distance from St Albans, Radlett, Hatfield, etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 12:33 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
toony wrote:
Our situation was slightly different as we have twins and only one secured a place at a consortium school, despite this schools admission criteria stating that the other twin would automatically be issued a place.

That is puzzling. As I understand it, your daughter was given a place at Queens' (ranked 3rd), while your son was given an unranked school. If Queens' was ranked on your son's form, surely they have broken their rules by not offering him a place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 1:35 pm 
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I agree!

They have now offered a place, it just took 3 weeks of waiting for the next run of continuing interest.

Whilst we knew it was likely he would be near the top of the sibling list, it was still a time of worry as there didn't seem to be the guarantees that their admissions criteria implied.

Queens said it was a problem with county not tying up the twin applications.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
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Location: Watford, Herts
toony wrote:
They have now offered a place, it just took 3 weeks of waiting for the next run of continuing interest.

Whilst we knew it was likely he would be near the top of the sibling list, it was still a time of worry as there didn't seem to be the guarantees that their admissions criteria implied.

Queens said it was a problem with county not tying up the twin applications.

Glad to hear that. It's not Parmiter's, but Queens' is a fine school.


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