I have been lurking on the forum for a few months now, awaiting an appropriate time to make my maiden post. Thank you Catseye for providing me with that opportunity.
In general, I have found the forum to be both well-informed and supportive for parents who are going through the 11+ journey. However, occasionally, the information posted can be questionable and anecdotal, rather than based on substantiated facts, and this can lead to the development of myths.
Based on the (non-selective) prep school for which I have substantiated facts, the pass-rate for girls who sat the joint Sale/AGGS CEM-style entrance exam was circa two-thirds (the vast majority of which passed for both Sale and AGGS). I don't have any other results to benchmark this against, whether prior-year results for the same school or same-year results for other schools, but does that really represent a "hammering" or a "revolution" for Altrincham? Or perhaps the prep school for which I have accurate information significantly out-performed the others?
Parents have many reasons for opting to send their children to an independent school, whether for primary education, secondary education or both. Rightly or wrongly, some may view a prep school as improving their DC's odds for securing a coveted place at one of the local state grammars. However, for others, it may be that they view the smaller class sizes in the prep sector as a means of helping their DC achieve his/her true level, whatever that might be. In making educational decisions for their DC, we parents are all trying to do what is best for our DC based on a wide range of personal circumstances and therefore I'd hope that we would try to respect and understand the decisions made by others. Vitriolic (and possibly ill-informed?) posts are out of step with that.
Well said and welcome!