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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:52 am 
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Just thought I'd throw this one into the mix.......
:twisted:
Two girls just received their Nonsuch results. Both attend same junior school, both receive exactly the same mark (low 230s). They live 5 minutes away from each other, but one is in catchment, one a matter of yards outside catchment.

The one in catchment will almost certainly get an offer come allocation day, the other almost certainly won't.

Now I'm firmly on the fence with this one and inevitably when a school has a catchment there will always be cases like this. However, I wouldn't like to be the parent who has to explain to their child that although she's as bright as her school friend (and their journey to school would be exactly the same) she can't go to the school because mummy and daddy don't live slightly further up the same road.

True story (and please don't shoot the messenger ) :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:32 am 
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No one will shoot you for making this sensible point! You touch on a very relevant issue, that is, the idiocy of the present so-called 'catchment' system! What in fact is just as likely to happen is that neither girl will get a place, because they will be pushed out by much higher scorers from far, far away, most likely from Prep schools.

What is to be done? Well, a start would be to repeal the Greenwich judgment which allows pupils to come from all over, thus discriminating agaist those who live 'just outside catchment.' In the case of Nonsuch, a sensible arrangement would be to open it only to residents of the London Borough of Sutton, and residents of the nearest part of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell. That would also make life much better for local residents.

Another major problem which it would solve, would be the situation where the tests are not really 'centre specific' in that groups of pupils can sit a test at one school, having sat exactly the same test at another school in a totally different borough / L.A. the previous week! If only those in the immediate area were allowed to sit, this would not happen and the test might then actually possess the integrity which it is supposed to have.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:53 am 
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Hi Huntlie

huntlie wrote:
having sat exactly the same test at another school in a totally different borough / L.A.


what school is that?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:15 am 
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I'm not sure I totally understand this prep school idea. I thought prep schools were mainly for boys who wanted to do the common entrance test at thirteen in order to go to public school which is why prep schools teach up to that age. Nonsuch is a girls school and most girls private schools only go to eleven. I don't really know of any prep schools for girls.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:23 am 
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Hi Samsa

Private primary education has changed a bit, there are the traditional boys only prep schools aimed at common entrance. But many of these have had to change- some by becoming co-ed, they have also recognised that many boys senior schools (partic GS but also independent day schools) have their main intake at 11 and really a much smaller intake at 13 and hence have many of their kids taking exams at age 11 and having smaller year 8s and 9s than they may have had previously
There are some single sex and co-ed private primaries that finish at year 6 anyway, they still tend to be referred to a preps (as in the post above) even though they are rather different from the traditional preparatory schools.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:07 pm 
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I think the situation is different in Sutton for boys and girls with regard to independent primary schools. For boys the schools are clearly preparing for common entrance and will not provide any assistance for grammar schools, indeed the rumour mill suggests they deliberately obstruct. There is at least one fairly local boys prep school which asks you to leave if it is clear it is not your intention to stay until 13.

The picture is mixed for girls with some independents with a senior school who therefore do not prepare the girls for the grammar school and at least one smaller girls school I know of locally which only caters up to age 11 and pride themselves on a high number of grammar passes.

For what its worth at Sutton grammar the vast majority of boys come from state primary. I don't have direct experience of the girls schools. I have never recognised this image of lots of posh kids turning up in 4x4s to our grammar school-most kids get the bus!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:12 pm 
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You are absolutely accurate about Sutton Grammar - and why is this? Why are Sutton Grammar boys from a wide spectrum of society, and not just the crammed-in-Maths-and-VR sector?

Simples! Sutton Grammar does not rely totally on VR and Maths tests to select their pupils - they have an exam. in English, which immediately sorts out the crammed from the literate.

Funny thing, y'know - self & intimate friends who are tutors, could live entirely on income from Nonsuch pupils who need English tuition, yet not once in 23 years have any of us been asked to tutor a boy from SGS. Wonder why? For answer, please see above!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:46 pm 
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I think I agree Surreymum, my experience is that most children who go to SGS come from state primaries, and my daughter who is at Nonsuch has no privately educated kids in her class. In fact her state primary fed in 15 kids this year, and she knows more from other local state schools.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:25 am 
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Giulio wrote:
Hi Huntlie

huntlie wrote:
having sat exactly the same test at another school in a totally different borough / L.A.


what school is that?

Hi Huntlie,

would you please substantiate your claim?

people might start to think that you are spreading rumors

:wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:51 pm 
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I didn't think the Nonsuch test was duplicated in any other school. I can't see that it would be their way of doing things.


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