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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:41 am 
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Puzzling isn't it? The email from Sutton and Wilson stated that 781 boys had scored well enough to be able to put Wallington on the CAF, and intimated that the passmark for that was considerably higher than the pass-mark to sit the second round. But recent emails show that 851 boys took that exam at Wilson and just over 900 sat it at Sutton. If you add on the additional 71 ((781+71=852) there was seemingly no difference in the number of boys that passed stage one despite the passmark.

On the current information we have we're supposed to believe that Wallington with a smaller intake needs to have 230/240 more students on its ranking list than the other two schools.

I have to conclude that the figure given in the letter is wrong even though when I asked Wallington they didn't contradict it even though I asked if there had been a mistake.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:56 am 
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My thoughts exactly.
The numbers don't add up!!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:25 am 
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Certainly after last year's fiasco, I can well believe that Wallington have passed close to 800 - as they're not having to mark 2nd stage papers, they have no reason not to pass as many boys as they feel will thrive - passing of course does not guarantee a place. There are 450 Sutton grammar boys spaces this year, as well as 180 at Tiffin and 124 at St Olave's. There are of course a number of independent schools in the area, in particular Whitgift (c 160 year 7 places) and Trinity (c90 year 7 places) who operate a very generous bursary and scholarship scheme, with around 30 boys getting free places each year through a combination of scholarships and means-tested bursaries. So if you thought that your school was not the most popular of the local selective schools (and the letter refers to the reduction in number of 1st choices), then you would need to pass at least 450+180+124+30=784 places to ensure that all of your seats were filled. At the end of the day a boy can only attend one school despite however many he has sat and passed!

Bear in mind that when boys register for the SET, the schools have no idea which of the 3 schools the boy might be interested in. So a boy living close to St Olave's might sit Wilson's in case he has a bad day, or if near Tiffin might sit Sutton Grammar. Prior to the SET results, the schools have no idea how many of the boys sitting are actually interested in their school rather than one of the others.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:55 pm 
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That still doesn't explain why a supposedly 'considerably higher pass mark' generated roughly the same number of students as then sat stage 2 at Wilson's and Sutton.
I thought the email sent in response to the first one was expressed in such a manner that it might have caused some people to wrongly think that their child had no chance of success because there were 781 that had a higher SET score, and it thought it would be difficult to make up enough ground in stage 2 to get within the top 500 or so that stand decent chance of getting in. I really do wonder if the exchange between the schools might have resulted in some no shows.

Either the number quoted in the letter is wrong or the pass-mark for Wallington was not as 'considerably' above the pass mark the other schools elected for the SET.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:07 pm 
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Certainly I assumed that the "considerably" higher pass mark was just puff. As is the angst that they don't want the boys to be put through too much testing etc, and want to be a local school for local boys etc.

I had wondered whether they had put a passmark on each of English and Maths (which would make sense if this is the only test, as you would want a minimum mark for each), but I'm not sure that their admissions policy had been worded clearly enough for that to be the case.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:36 pm 
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Ladymuck, the letter/e-mail clearly states an increase in 1st choice places for WCGS, not decreased as you've mentioned. Im presuming this is what you're referring to?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:04 pm 
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I think what people are forgetting is that there were so many kids taking the first SET as a mock and they didn't do the second stage for Wilsons or SGS or both. I know of someone that had a candidate number over 1200 for Wilsons which indicated to me that over 1200 had passed the first stage. In the end only what 850 odd kids turned up for the second stage (ie. 350 or so were taking it as a mock, or only interested in Sutton or Wallington etc.) but Wallington's pass mark could clearly have been much higher passing the top 751 as opposed to the top 1300. So what happens if those 350 mock takers also don't want Wallington, that pushes their number down to 401 much lower than the 550 boys who passed SGS or Wilsons. Once again Wallington could conceivably find themselves lacking in students.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:34 pm 
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They've not passed that many previously. And why if a child has passed the first test would he voluntarily withdraw before the second stage? I imagine there'd be very few reasons why. Even if the school was not the very first choice, I think you'd want to see the process through so as to have it as a possible back up. I can surmise that some people heard about the 781 Wallington passes and took fright


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:44 pm 
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Woodbine wrote:
They've not passed that many previously. And why if a child has passed the first test would he voluntarily withdraw before the second stage? I imagine there'd be very few reasons why. Even if the school was not the very first choice, I think you'd want to see the process through so as to have it as a possible back up. I can surmise that some people heard about the 781 Wallington passes and took fright


I should have explained it as follows: In previous years at the end of the SET you would have had the news that your child had passed and would now be able to sit the second stage for Sutton school. However, this year many people got a mixed message you passed the exam but 781 boys did better than you. I know people say that the how the exams are weighted makes this of less import in the eventual ranking, but emotionally it is very different from the response to just knowing it was a pass. There's an American academic Kahneman 'Thinking,fast,and slow' who has written some interesting stuff on emotion risk and chance. Basically says that emotion distorts response to the same level of statistical risk or opportunity.

My view is that announcing how many boys passed the Wallington test - especially given that the number was higher than had got through to stage 2 previous years - likely had an unhelpful affect on many candidates.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:58 pm 
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Certainly when ds2 sat 2 years ago there seemed to be around 100 boys who passed SET but then didn't turn up for stage 2. I suspect that the introduction of a similar SET at both Tiffin and St Olave's for the first time this year may well have encouraged some tourism if the Sutton date was earlier. If parents work and have other children to get to school etc then sitting an exam for a school which isn't an easy commute and would at best by 5th or 6th choice on a CAF may be a low priority. Ds2 didn't appear for Sutton as he had passed WCGS and Wilson's and had scored high enough for Judd and Skinners too - at the end of the day he can only go to one school, and it seemed cruel to spend yet another Saturday in an examhall!


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