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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:32 am 
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Location: Watford
Has anyone heard any news regarding the objections to the Watford Grammar school admissions?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:12 am 
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Location: Watford, Herts
watford87 wrote:
Has anyone heard any news regarding the objections to the Watford Grammar school admissions?

I've also had no reply. They were due to have a meeting with the schools on 31st July, but that's usually just to describe the procedures.

The County Education panel meets on 17th September, but the decision might have happened by then.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:00 pm 
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I just heard that there is a public meeting on Tues 2nd Sept at the GG, 18.00

'to allow anyone with an interest in the admission arrangements and the objections to those arrangements to put their views directly to Dr Passmore' (the adjudicator)

If you are unable to attend 'she will take into account anything the parties or others wish to send to her prior to or imediately after the meeting and no later than Friday 5th Sept'


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:38 pm 
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watttyg wrote:
I just heard that there is a public meeting on Tues 2nd Sept at the GG, 18.00

'to allow anyone with an interest in the admission arrangements and the objections to those arrangements to put their views directly to Dr Passmore' (the adjudicator)

Thanks for that: should be lively.

There's a profile of Dr Passmore on the adjudicator's site. It seems that she's in her second year as an adjudicator, and hasn't had a case dealing with a partially selective school yet. Here is a case where she upholds an objection against a designated feeder school.

Her Ofsted background might be encouraging, but I don't think the personality of the adjudicator is important; they're all following common procedures.

My guess is that the cross-sibling criterion is lost, but the rest is safe.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:06 pm 
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I think you are right WP re: cross sibling but is it right that the adjudicator can say what the schools in this instance should do to replace the cross-sibling i.e. assuming that they can't have more than 25% selective under the Code anyway then it might be proximity? :?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:56 pm 
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watford87 wrote:
I think you are right WP re: cross sibling but is it right that the adjudicator can say what the schools in this instance should do to replace the cross-sibling i.e. assuming that they can't have more than 25% selective under the Code anyway then it might be proximity? :?

Yes, they can't increase the selective proportion: it's the law (the Education and Inspections Act 2006, to be precise). Proximity is all that's left.

The adjudicator can rewrite their admissions criteria, typically by striking out clauses or rewording, and then freeze them for up to 3 years. (I think objections are still possible, except that the same objection can't be made in two successive years.)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:24 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
watttyg wrote:
I just heard that there is a public meeting on Tues 2nd Sept at the GG, 18.00

'to allow anyone with an interest in the admission arrangements and the objections to those arrangements to put their views directly to Dr Passmore' (the adjudicator)

If you are unable to attend 'she will take into account anything the parties or others wish to send to her prior to or imediately after the meeting and no later than Friday 5th Sept'

I've now received the letter. It says she's considered the written evidence, and the purpose of the meeting is to receive verbal representations and for her to ask questions. (The latter are likely to be the most interesting part of the meeting.) There will be an advertisement of the meeting in the Watford Observer. (Should be quite a crowd.)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:02 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
WP wrote:
There will be an advertisement of the meeting in the Watford Observer

That advertisement has just appeared, saying that the objection is to the "cross sibling rule and the 40% intake from outside the area". The schools have also apparently written to all parents inviting them to the meeting.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:26 am 
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I may have to duck behind the sofa after posting this...but I'm not a big fan of the inner / outer admission area myself. I've absolutely no objection at all to children from the outer area going to the school, just don't see the need for the split.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:34 pm 
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tense wrote:
I may have to duck behind the sofa after posting this...but I'm not a big fan of the inner / outer admission area myself. I've absolutely no objection at all to children from the outer area going to the school, just don't see the need for the split.

From the stats, the effect of the split is to make it somewhat easier for children in the inner area (Watford, Bushey and Croxley) to get selective places than those in the outer area. The aim is to keep a large catchment without disadvantaging local children too much.

As I understand it, the objection is to allocating so many selective places to the outer area, i.e. to the size of the catchment area. (It may refer to London boroughs, but the Greenwich judgement forbids discriminating using local authority boundaries alone.) Parmiter's, Rickmansworth and Queens' also have large catchments, but the Grammars have the additional argument that larger catchments make more sense for single sex schools.


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