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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:06 pm 
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See Sally Anne's post re telegraph on general 11+ topics. To be honest makes depressing reading! Kent applications up 21% this year. Next year may well be worse. Found situation difficult with the first child, looks like will be even worse with the second!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:43 am 
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Location: kent
21% increase in grammar school applications in Kent looks very high. If it is correct, and I wonder how it was measured, it presumably is the case that there was a similar increase in the numbers passing the Kent 11+. This would be peculiar too.

I'm not sure that one could argue that the credit crunch accounts for it; this would suggest that in the past a significant number of pupils took the 11+, passed it, and then went to independent schools without applying to a grammar school, and that this year a high proportion of such people are choosing to apply to grammar schools, This sounds like an unlikely explanation for such a large increase either.

I would ignore it!! Probably it should say 2.1%!!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:12 am 
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Location: The Garden of England
21% could be about right. I believe the number taking the Kent 11+ rose from around 9,500 last time to over 11,000.

Mainly because of 'results before application'. The credit crunch and related financial woes could mean more parents than usual hoping to avoid paying fees.

Presumably the test (plus appeals) selects the strongest 25% of the full year's cohort rather than the top 25% of those who sit the exam. If so the number of passes will vary only by annual fluctuations in numbers in the system and should be largely unaffected by numbers taking the test.


??


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:27 am 
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The figures are correct, the 11,000 was confirmed in the Kent 2009 admissions booklet. The number of places available and grammar schools hasn't changed however. 25 % of the Kent cohort is still the target (21% on the test and another 4% on Head Teachers appeal in October and Parents appeals in March).

There was a massive increase this year, sometimes partially ascribed to the credit crunch. However 1. Since many independent school candidates are put in for the 11 plus as back up anyway 2. Some parents only put their children in for prep but then go state grammar 3. The decision to register would have been taken before the credit crunch/recession really hit, I can't see this making a big difference.

The moving forward of the test date is obviously the reason. On this forum one TW primary school supposedly entered everyone! At a year 4/5 evening I heard a teacher encourage everyone to have a go next year as they had nothing to lose. I disagree and think this is irresponsible, parents need to make sure hey think it is a suitable route for their child, realise the effort involved and how their child will cope if they do not pass. Only the children who prepared passed in my DDs School, those who just had a go including some bright kids crashed and burnt. The format of the test in unlike their normal school work, from the missing maths syllabus subjects which in state primary’s don’t cover everything until year 6, to the format of the NVR, to the vocabulary needed in VR it needs preparation of at least familiarisation and filling in the gaps. Any parent just throwing their children at the exam to “have a goâ€


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:31 am 
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I wouldn't knock the 'have a go' attitude.

A number of kids we know through school/ football/ socially/ other sports who are NOT from 'academic' or comfy middle class backgrounds (and who might otherwise not have sat the Kent Test) but who are bright, did take the test and passed with very good scores.

It is some of the highly coached kids (whose parents would rather buy another £50K 4x4 than pay fees) who scrape through who will struggle and deny places to perhaps more deserving candidates.

Grammar schools should, as they were intended to) educate all bright kids, not just the offspring of the 'Range Rover set'...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:10 pm 
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Location: East Kent
I support the have a go at it attitude, unless the child really doesn;t like the grammar school in question or is very far behind academically there is no harm in trying. Perhaps all the super coaching and pressure might stop if this continues.

At the risk of sounding like my mother, in my day we all took the 11+ and had a fairly good social mix in school.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Don't understand why class has anything to do with having a go, more people took it because they would know the result before they applied whatever their social background and there was no risk in missing out on the alternative school options. My point is parents should prepare their kids for it in whatever way they think is best for their child and can afford. You don't need to spend a fortune on tutors or prep schools ,WHSmith/Waterstones or some of the products associated with this site are viable alternatives. No prepration whatsoever and not passing for a bright child is not a good call (which I witnessed).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Location: East Kent
I agree with you.

It is like anything else, the child needs to have some practice in the techniques. It is naive to just think they will be able to cope.

I am against the tutoring from year 3 for the test,


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:18 pm
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Location: kent
But going back to the original post, there has not been a 21% increase in the number of children applying to grammar schools in Kent. There has been a 21% increase in the number sitting the 11+. This isn't the same thing.

Also, to put it into further perspective there's a thread somewhere else in this Kent section which says how many more have passed the 11+ in Kent this year than last year. It really isn't going to change one's chances of gaining a grammar school place or not.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Location: The Garden of England
TinDad wrote:
Don't understand why class has anything to do with having a go, more people took it because they would know the result before they applied whatever their social background and there was no risk in missing out on the alternative school options. My point is parents should prepare their kids for it in whatever way they think is best for their child and can afford. You don't need to spend a fortune on tutors or prep schools ,WHSmith/Waterstones or some of the products associated with this site are viable alternatives. No prepration whatsoever and not passing for a bright child is not a good call (which I witnessed).


IMHO 'class' (as you call it) has a lot to do with it. Educated and/ or more affluent people are likely to be more aware of the implications of having a grammar system, the values of a grammar education and more likely to encourage and push their children to do well at school - not to mention moving house to get the right schools etc!

The test before application has helped extend the grammar option to some families who perhaps wouldn't have normally considered it. Good thing.

Finding (selecting!) the brightest kids from all backgrounds should be an imperative. Sadly, the present government think 'selection by academic ability' is a dirty word


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