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 Post subject: Double standards?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:20 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Lincolnshire
Hi

We attended the open evening of one of our local comprehensive schools last night. During the Headmasters address, we were left in no doubt whatsoever as to his personal opinion of selective education. I have absolutely no problem at all with this as everyone has a right to their own opinion and I see no reason why (if we choose to send our son to this school) it would have any bearing on his education.

However, I was rather taken aback when he went on to explain how they had achieved a truely comprehensive school. This is something that they as a school were very proud of. He showed us a model of a true comprehensive with a smooth curve showing equal percentages of gifted and lower ability students rounding up to a peak of average ability students. He then showed us the effect that Grammar school have on this curve by creaming off the higher ability children and leaving a glut of children placed in the middle to lover end of the model. (Stay with me here! :? ) They as a school had managed to achieve a perfect curve for the past 2 years, however. At this time I was a parent govener for my childrens primary school and recalled how the comp in question had written to all primary schools requesting they supply them with projected sats levels of all year 6 students who have applied for a place! (Our school had refused)

It therefore becomes clear, that the comp use the sats, to decide how many children working at each level they will need to take in to maintain their perfect curve!

The Head had been so very proud that there was a place for children of any ability, I say this may be so unless you happen to be a child of just below average ability for instance, and it just so happens that the quota of children in this catagory has already been filled.

Can anyone shed any light on how this is not selective. I realise I am not an education expert but as a parent this left a rather bitter tast in my mouth
angelz


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:55 pm 
Hi Angelz,

Any school must follow its own admissions criteria (whether that be the County policy in the case of community and controlled schools or their own in the case of Foundation schools), and they must admit all applicants up to their PAN. Some schools use a "banding" criterion for admissions whereby certain numbers are admitted into each of several ability bands - this is permitted - but only if it is part of the published admissions policy. Would be interesting to know what the school's published admissions policy is.

Sara


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 171
Location: Lincolnshire
Am I wrong,but I hasten this is only my opinion, all this demonstrates is that the "system" is not fair and I am so tired of trying to get the right level of eductaion for my son.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:53 pm 
This is a quote from the DfES Code of Practice on Admissions:

"The Government believes that banding arrangements are compatible with the comprehensive principle, provided the arrangements are fair, objective and are not used as a means of admitting a disproportionate number of high achieving children."

It also states that places at a banding school cannot be left unfilled, so if there are places left over the school will have to admit the pupil no matter what band they are in. Also the banding must be based on the abilities of the APPLICANTS TO THE SCHOOL, not, for example, the abilities of all the children in that LEA or nationwide.

All this raises more questions than it answers doesn't it? If the school are saying that having selective schools "creams off" the top ability children, then according to the above code, the banding should not really affect their intake that much. If they are using it to admit more of the able children than would otherwise get in then they are passing the problem of a skewed population, caused by the selective system, down to the other schools in the area.

It is my belief that some of the so-called comprehensive intake schools are, in fact covertly (or sometimes not even so covertly) selective. I was informed at one school that any child with 3 level 5's at SATS would get in on appeal if they had not got a place in the first round of admissions.

Sara


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