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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:53 pm
Posts: 5
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking for too long on EPE, so now its time to say hello - and ask a question!

My son is doing 11+ in September for our local grammar school. At the open evening, the Head stated (quite obviously) that if you want to come to this school, you MUST put it as first choice on the Local Education Authorities CAF.

However, although my son is working his way though GL Assessments and Bond 11+ papers like there's no tomorrow, his results are not staggering - he's hitting 70-80% in maths, but better in VR & NVR - around 80 - 85% in those.

As is typical, we're out of catchment area for the Grammar school, so admission is based on results - the higher your results, the more likely you are to be offered a place.

Planning for the worst, we've also got our eye on a (relatively) local Academy school - it's fantastic.

HOWEVER - at their open evening, the Head said....if you want to come to our school, you MUST put it as your first choice on the CAF. DILEMMA!!!!

So Grammar school is first choice, and assuming he passes the entrance exam, we'd want to put it down as first choice. But because his results aren't amazing, there's a chance he won't be high enough up the "league table" to be offered a place - but we're unlikely to be offered a place at the Academy because we didn't put it down as first choice!!!

Has anyone come across this sort of problem before, or have any tips as to how to deal with it, should the situation arise?

Thanks in advance guys

CG :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Welcome! You do know that now you are here you can never leave?
My understanding is that the schools do not know where you put them on the form and it has no effect on whether you are offered a place. You should put the schools in your genuine order of preference. If you cannot be offered a place at your first choice, through results, distance etc, the system will then look at your second choice and so on.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:45 am 
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Scary mum is right, you must put them in genuine order of preference.

What the Heads are saying is just that - if you want to come here put it first .. as all the CAF does is indicate preference and if it isn't first then they can't mind read and give you a place.

If you pass well at the GS but do not put it first then they will assume that you really want to go to your first choice school (wherever that is) and give you a place there and you won't be considered at the GS.

However if you put the GS first but don't get the score , then that choice will be discounted and your second place will be considered as your first.

Just make sure you are eligible by distance whatever for all the schools on the CAF. We have had people whp do not put the local school down and are out of traditional catchment / distance for all the schools they put and end up miles away at somewhere with spaces.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Yes, the heads are not explaining well. Read the admissions policy for each school so you are not caught out. And read the admissions booklet produced by each relevant local authority. Make sure you have something on you caf that you will get a place at and that you are happy with if your favourites do not work out. Or do you live close enough to your a ademy to be pretty sure of a place?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Every single year I know a family who misses out on a place won through hard work at a selective school because they put their backup school first. Your LA cannot read your mind and will allocate you the one you put first even if your second choice is one thousand places above in the league tables. Put the one you want first, not the one you think you have most chance of getting into. If your first choice does not allocate you a place and your second place does then you will be offered your second choice. No school knows where you ranked them, only that you applied. We know somebody who was in the top twenty in the DAO results but lost the place because they put the local comp first. Another student 150 plus down the waiting list is now enjoying life at the school in their place. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:53 pm
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Thanks for the replies everyone, apologies for being absent - just returned from a week in Mallorca, the calm before the storm!!

The local school (our "default" school as it were) is terrible - we know clever kids who have just plummeted to average performance over 2 or 3 years.

Our current plan of action is:

1. Grammar school (assuming he passes the entrance exam) - or -
Academy school if not (even though it's not the closest)

2. Academy school (If he passes Grammar School exam) OR -
A new Free school that's opening a mile or so away (although we're not in the catchment area)

3. Don't know yet - don't want to put our local High School as we're afraid it would be difficult to appeal if we did end up getting a place there when it was on the list. BUT - if we don't put this school on the list we could end up anywhere!!

Luckily, the GS exam results are announced before the CAF form has to be submitted.

Never really given any thought to this before, but it is so unfair that a child's education is subject to "the luck of the draw" - how can it be right that there are 2 schools less than a mile apart that can offer an education that's poles apart from each other?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:48 am 
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Good to see you are sorting your way through this minefield before you get to the exams / results / filling in the form etc etc !!

just a couple of points to add to the mix.

.
Quote:
1. Grammar school (assuming he passes the entrance exam) - or -
Academy school if not (even though it's not the closest)

2. Academy school (If he passes Grammar School exam) OR -
A new Free school that's opening a mile or so away (although we're not in the catchment area)

3. Don't know yet - don't want to put our local High School as we're afraid it would be difficult to appeal if we did end up getting a place there when it was on the list. BUT - if we don't put this school on the list we could end up anywhere!! Putting the local school down and getting a place is not an issue at appeal as you will be appealing FOR a school elsewhere and not AGAINST the school yo have been allocated

Luckily, the GS exam results are announced before the CAF form has to be submitted. Just be careful ... depending on the school, passing isn't always enough - need to check whether oversubscription is via score or distance - trouble is you just don't know until march 1st whether your score / proximity is enough in any one year - there is info from previous years, and if you say which school you are considering, we can see if the info is here - however getting a place one year won't guarantee it another year.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:53 pm
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hermanmunster wrote:
Good to see you are sorting your way through this minefield before you get to the exams / results / filling in the form etc etc !!

just a couple of points to add to the mix.

.
Quote:
1. Grammar school (assuming he passes the entrance exam) - or -
Academy school if not (even though it's not the closest)

2. Academy school (If he passes Grammar School exam) OR -
A new Free school that's opening a mile or so away (although we're not in the catchment area)

3. Don't know yet - don't want to put our local High School as we're afraid it would be difficult to appeal if we did end up getting a place there when it was on the list. BUT - if we don't put this school on the list we could end up anywhere!! Putting the local school down and getting a place is not an issue at appeal as you will be appealing FOR a school elsewhere and not AGAINST the school yo have been allocated ++Does this mean that if you get allcoated a place at the school you don't want, they won't say "you've been allocated a place, so we're not going to grant your appeal for the school you DO want? ++

Luckily, the GS exam results are announced before the CAF form has to be submitted. Just be careful ... depending on the school, passing isn't always enough - need to check whether oversubscription is via score or distance - trouble is you just don't know until march 1st whether your score / proximity is enough in any one year - there is info from previous years, and if you say which school you are considering, we can see if the info is here - however getting a place one year won't guarantee it another year. ++ Yes, oversubscription is managed via score only. The GS in question is Heckmondwike Grammar in West Yorkshire, but I've not seen much mention of it on the forums ++


Quote:
Just make sure you are eligible by distance whatever for all the schools on the CAF. We have had people whp do not put the local school down and are out of traditional catchment / distance for all the schools they put and end up miles away at somewhere with spaces.
++ This is one of the problems - we're only eligible by distance to 2 schools - one is a brilliant Academy (so good, its almost pointless putting it as a choice as it's in a heavily populated town and will be massively oversubscribed), and then the school that's closer to us is the naff High School that got an OFSTED report of Inadequate in January :-( For all other schools, we're out of the published catchment areas so it's all down to the luck of the draw.

Thanks to all so far for your contributions :)
Geographically, the rubbish High School is closest to us, yet it's the one we drastically want to avoid!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:57 am 
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3. Don't know yet - don't want to put our local High School as we're afraid it would be difficult to appeal if we did end up getting a place there when it was on the list. BUT - if we don't put this school on the list we could end up anywhere!! Putting the local school down and getting a place is not an issue at appeal as you will be appealing FOR a school elsewhere and not AGAINST the school yo have been allocated ++Does this mean that if you get allcoated a place at the school you don't want, they won't say "you've been allocated a place, so we're not going to grant your appeal for the school you DO want? ++

Basically at appeal, you are appealing FOR a school, the panel shouldn't know where you have a place and if they do happen to know, then they should ignore it. For all they know you may have a place at the most oversubscribed school in the area but have since decided that it may not be the right place for your DC and you want to apply elsewhere - things do happen between exams and allocations.

In an appeal the aim is to say why the school is the right school for your DC, not a case of why the allocated school is not what you want - occasionally you may find on a panel that someone has had a good experience of the allocated school and won;t want to hear it run down! (though of course they should not let this affect their judgement :wink: )

Re Heckmondwike ... yes tends to be quiet up her in Yorkshire, i'll move the thread to Yorkshire section and there may be some more response and I'll also look at some figures.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Are you sure it will be as hard as you think to get in to the good academy? What stats have you looked at?


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