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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:27 pm 
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Last year in the "transferring to secondary school" booklet published by Trafford said that the last place was offered to 5.42 miles (if I remember correctly). This year it says 11.77 miles!! :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:48 pm 
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Mandy21 wrote:
Last year in the "transferring to secondary school" booklet published by Trafford said that the last place was offered to 5.42 miles (if I remember correctly). This year it says 11.77 miles!! :shock:


That doesn't necessarily mean that the official catchment for the school has changed, though, just that there were fewer girls than PAN living closer to the school who applied for and were successful in obtaining a place. Are places allocated on a pass score then distance, or purely on score (presumably not, if there is a catchment area)? Or on score / distance within a certain defined area, then offered out by score and / or distance to girls outside that area?

I seem to remember that someone was rather exercised last year that the distance of the last place allocated meant that it was possible that girls from Salford might have got in; is this a particular source of concern in Altrincham, or was Salford just being used as an example of somewhere considered to be a ridiculously long / difficult journey for those having to make it? Seriously, it can't be worse than the 96-odd-mile round trip from Ilford to Colchester County High School for Girls that some parents will have started their 11 year old DDs off on this term.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:24 pm 
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It actually ended up much further than that - in May they had gone out to 16.5 miles (as the crow flies), offering a place to someone living in Glossop. You can phone the school or Trafford Admissions Authority who will confirm the final distance.

The catchment area doesn't really mean anything any more. There were, apparently, 1023 girls in the cohort. Unfortunately, they don't just set a pass mark, eg whereby anyone who scores at least 95% passes - they play with the figures (standardise, adjust for age and give different weight to the different papers - 30% of non verbal score, 30% of maths score and 40% of the verbal reasoning papers) so that they only have a certain number of pupils who actually reach the pass mark.

You can't tell me that there are not enough bright girls in Trafford to fill their places that they have to go as far as Glossop, Tameside and Runcorn!

Existing pupils already achieve A* grades so why do they need to reject local children as no longer being good enough for children that far away?

Why would you want your child to have to travel that far to school every day?

At least 47 of the places offered for AGGS this year were to pupils that went to a private primary school (for some schools the data refers to "less than 5" so have assumed only one from each of those schools).

Last year AGGS shared the exam with Sale Grammar. This year it is being shared with Urmston and Stretford and parents can opt to have their scores shared with all of the schools - many will no doubt request this which means that all those privately educated/heavily tutored girls that might not have sat Urmston, Stretford or Sale if they had been separate exams, will now likely have their scores included in the mix.

Add to this the change in exam format to CEM and, I feel, it is all becoming a bit of a lottery.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Sorry that's just my shorthand when I said catchment - I didn't mean the official catchment had changed.

Pinecone - I'm not sure I understand what you mean about offering upto 16 miles when the official information says they only offered upto 11+ miles. Has the school published something different to Trafford? Would be interested in reading that!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:12 pm 
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Unless I've misunderstood, or looked up the wrong school, the rules are:

- Catchment is a radius of 8 miles around the school
- a standardised score of *** and above is a pass
- places are offered firstly to qualifying girls living within catchment, the only limit being the PAN for the school
- then to qualifying girls living outside catchment, if PAN gap not been reached.
The oversubscription criterion in each case being distance, not score.

So, for OOC girls actually to have been allocated places at the school, all IC girls who qualified and placed the school on their CAF above any other school for which they also qualified must have been given a place - unless there is evidence that the admissions policy has not been adhered to?

A separate issue would be, whether a sufficient number of more able / better prepared OOC candidates are taking the test, cause a significant increase in the raw scores needed to obtain the qualifying standardised score.

Isn't Glossop rather further away even than 16 miles?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:19 pm 
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AGGS has always been a bit odd, when it says it selects the top 30% this is misleading.
It selects the top 30% from within the self selected cohort who sit the exam not the top 30% from the national cohort.

To put it a different way, AGGS selects the top 30% from students who are most likely already in the top 40%-50% nationally(guessing here, but sounds like a reasonable assumption to me)-so it is ,in a fact, selecting from the top 10-15% of the national cohort.

That's why it is so high up in the league tables!

If it selected from the top 30% ability range in the country indeed there would be enough local girls to fill PAN but it doesn't so there isn't the local 'talent' to fill the 170 odd places available.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:53 pm 
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The format changed from GL to CEM. Less people were prepared or aware. A lot were likely relying on prep schools or tutors doing the same old thing as per previous years.

This year 4 schools are doing the same CEM exam. Results should be v interesting if AGGS had to go 16 miles to fill places. Tutors etc have had a year to improve tuition focuses and techniques. 11 miles was first round offer. 16 miles must have been further rounds.

Aside, there must be a point at which parents feel it is just too far - how much further would people be willing to send their daughters than 16 miles? Wonder how close to this limit the AGGS intake is - was there a danger of not filling places this year?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:30 pm 
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Yes the 16.5 miles offer (further if not flying) was not made until May so whatever the OP read was out of date and has not been updated.

No, the school didn't have a problem filling places - they had over 1,000 girls take the exam and the passmark is based on the performance of the cohort so as to result in a certain number of passes (say top 30% = 300 offers). They actually put on an extra class above PAN as they have done for a number of years now.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:54 am 
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I wouldn't have thought its out of date - its the booklet Trafford produces for information for prospective parents making applications for secondary schools - specifically for 2016/17, applications close in October. It lists every single secondary school in Trafford and how far down their admission criteria they went. It was only produced in August and says some places were awarded to category 5 (in the over subscription criteria) and says "Last offer by distance 11.77 miles". Where are you getting your info from Pinecone (not saying its wrong, just interested!).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:29 pm 
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Hi Mandy.

The school's Admissions Dept confirmed in May that they had gone out to 16.5 miles.

Why don't you give them a ring to satisfy yourself and find out if that was the final distance or whether it went out further than that in the end and then let us know on here.

Alternatively, you could phone Trafford Council Schools Admissions Department as they send out the offers on behalf of the schools and they will be aware of the final distance.

The brochure you have read was probably done before they went out that far and has not been updated - just goes to show you can't take anything at face value.

I asked Trafford whether the number of school places available to Trafford children had been affected by the number of OOC children being offered places and they said no but they didn't mention that that was probably because most of the grammars have put on an extra class.


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