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 Post subject: MGS
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:48 am 
Last year Maidstone boys grammar was oversubscribed but after appeals the school opened a new class making total intake 207. This year their PAN is back to 175. Does anyone know if this has set a precedent and would be likely to happen again this year? I am concerned as we live in a village outside of Maidstone and would not get a place at MGS because of the distance criteria should the same oversubscription happen again this year. Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:39 pm 
Who can say? You wouldn't think that they could keep adding new classes as it would mean that they would soon run out of rooms in which to teach them all. I gather that this year the head at MGS took it upon himself to admit enough extra boys to make up an entire new form because so many appeals had been upheld. For this he seems to have incurred the wrath of KCC. Perhaps appeal boards will bear this in mind next year and allow fewer appeals.

This year's problem has presumably occurred because Maidstone had an unusually high number of qualified boys wanting places at grammars in relation to other parts of the county. Hopefully this was a "blip" which won't be repeated next year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 55
Location: Kent- duh!
I'm really not sure what will happen about the next intake- but I just want to say don't panic about distance yet!
My son has just started at MGS this term. At the the parents' information evening last term we were told that 389 boys had applied for 180 places- and that just over 80 appeals were being heard at that time. On that information, if my son hadn't already got his place there, I think I'd be panicking about him not getting in, as we're outside Maidstone. I don't know how far from Maidstone you are (or which side) but, if it helps, we live near West Malling and I was worried about the distance being a problem- but my son got a place just fine. The best thing to do is probably go along to the open evening and ask the staff. There's always someone around to speak to.

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Of course I'm out of my mind! It's dark and scary in there!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:54 am 
My son came home with a letter from MGS yesterday. I understand places will now be allocated on highest scores, not where you live, due to the school becoming a foudation school.


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 Post subject: MGS
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:36 pm 
My son brought home the letter too - it relates to September 2009 admissions, not 2008. So, the oversubscription criteria will be as stated in the book that has come with the CAF.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 55
Location: Kent- duh!
My son brought that letter home, too.
For the 2009 intake, places will be based on ability 'as shown by ranked totalled test scores'. When scores are the same, priority will then go to those nearest MGS 'as the crow flies'.
So it will be perfectly possible for a boy living several miles from Maidstone to get a place over a boy living near the school, as long as his scores are higher.

_________________
Of course I'm out of my mind! It's dark and scary in there!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:34 am 
Thanks for all your replies - unfortunately my son is 2008 entry and we live right on edge of catchment so I will just have to keep my fingers crossed that the same oversubscribtion doesn't happen again this year. By the way how are your sons getting on - are you and they still happy with MGS and what made you choose it over Oakwood?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:50 am 
Of course, there will be winners and losers if the admissions criteria change. This includes amongst people living some distance away from the school since siblings will no longer have priority. So anyone, wherever they live, with a son already at the school who was assuming that younger siblings merely had to pass the 11+ to get a place will be disappointed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:22 pm 
In reply to Madwoman - my son is thoroughly enjoying life at MGS - he has just gone into year 8. We live closer to MGS than Oakwood, so logistically it was the first choice. However, he's my eldest child, so it was the first time through the system for us, so we decided to look at both schools with an open mind, and worry about the travel plans later. It was really my son's choice - he is someone who likes boundaries, and likes to know that someone's in charge - and I think he just got that kind of feel about it when we visited. I liked the headteacher's philosophy of 'give me the boy and I will show you the man' - the headmaster has been there a number of years and there is a feeling of stability (possibly famous last words - you never know what's round the corner!) Also, all his friends had chosen MGS as their first choice - so that certainly had some bearing on the decision!

MGS has 'specialist language status', which means the boys have a wide variety of languages (Italian, Spanish, French, German & Latin from year 7, and I believe other languages such as Mandarin later on). I believe Oakwood Park has an 'IT' status, or something (I am sure someone can correct me on that) In reality, how much difference this makes to teaching direction or choices, I'm not too sure.

I have 2 nephews who go to Oakwood, one also in year 8, and one in year 11 - and again, both are thoroughly enjoying school. I think it's a case of going with where your son feels comfortable - academically you can't pass a blade of grass between the schools.

I am just about to go through this hideous process again with my second son - I feel no more confident or more able to deal with the stress than I did first time round. My third son's just started infant school - and who knows what the system will be by then - but I'll be too old/drunk to care by then!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:01 pm 
I know someone who teaches at MGS and boys at both schools. I get the impression from both teacher and parents that there is a definite distinction between the two schools in terms of the arts/science balance or feel. I don't know how much of this is due to differing curricula and how much due to the fact that each school tends to attract the boys with a definite bias towards their perceived specialism.


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