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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:56 pm 
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I have been having a look around the other regions this weekend since it seems very busy all of a sudden. I now see this is because many regions had results posted recently. Some of the posts got me thinking that the London / Surrey system just isn’t as good from a parents point of view.


A lot of areas seem to have systems whereby a set score gets you a guaranteed place. Or, if not, they tell parents the rankings. Or they have a “likely” “probably” “unlikely” key attached to all results. Or, better still, they invite parents to call the school once results are known to chat over the likelihood of being offered a place.


Some grammars are also open to remarking exam scripts or letting parents come to see them so they can put any disappointing results to rest and feel reassured all results are correct.
Some have informal coffee mornings for children who have met the required score and might want to come for another look round and a chat about what’s on offer.
It just seems so much more civilised than a pass/fail letter and the “please don’t contact us vibes” from the grammars in this region.


I suppose London is a seller’s market due to numbers applying but I couldn’t help but think that some of the anxiety surrounding the process could be eased by having more information from the schools and a slightly more personal approach to potential applicants.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:24 pm 
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loopylou wrote:
I suppose London is a seller’s market due to numbers applying

Yeap. I think you have hit the nail on the head.... far too oversubscribed for comfort (and schools with no distance criteria!)
Regards
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:40 pm 
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St Michael's Grammar in Barnet gives ranking number, but most girls have it as 1st choice so they aren't covering the number of places the list moves down before allocation!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:54 pm 
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2 of our grammars take major part of entrance test after the CAF date. So these can't even give outcome properly to make informed choice. Some others will tell that child had passed and is one of 700.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Perhaps, for some very popular schools as 2Girlsmum says, anything less than the top 80 or top 100 still leads to some uncertainty. Equally though, if your child is number 40 on that list, or number 400, you would feel pretty certain where you stood in deciding to list a school that is everybody's first choice.


tiffinboys I agree. I was particularly thinking of schools where 600 or 700 children pass but no further information is given. In some regions, and for some schools, only 700 or 800 children sit for the entire test!
Of course the introduction of late second stage testing also adds to the uncertainty for many parents.


There are so many applicants for schools in Surrey and London that things will always be more of a lottery here but I do think the schools could be slightly more open. Some parents posting today already know enough from the test results to feel certain their child will get a place at X, may also get a place at Y but is below the historic pass mark for Z. As well as being very helpful in terms of filling out the forms, it also eases the anxiety for those families. Even the ones who know their pass is good but probably not good enough to get a place can come to terms with this now and consider other options instead of continuing to hope against hope right up until March. Indeed beyond March since the waiting list positions aren't always immediately available either.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:38 pm 
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How wonderful does this sound? (from another region posted today):


Quote:
You gather in the hall, you are given a sheet of paper to write a question on which you leave on your seat. Y 8 boys take groups of boys and parents on a tour of the school. The questions are gathered up. The head and SLT go through the questions. After a 40 minute tour, you gather back in the hall and the head answers all the questions asked. Of course, lots are the same so there were only about 6 questions asked, all worded differently. The head is very honest and open.



Imagine that? A special meeting for all children who have reached the pass mark to not only reassure them that they will definitely get a grammar place somewhere in county but to give them an extra tour of the school too. Plus a chance for their parents to ask anything they want to about the school before filling in their forms.
Again, I don't see it working too well here but it would be wonderful if it could.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Ah, how very civilized!!!


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