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 Post subject: Catchment area abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:52 am 
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 697713.ece


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Compare this with Warwickshire, who are drastically reducing their catchment area and refusing out of county applications. Do we live in the same country?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:08 am
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Yes, it's very confusing. It may help to know, though, that according to a friend of mine who is very well up in these things, the Sutton one is really all about league table position.

The Head at Wallington said that she was open for bright girls, no matter where they live, which sounds very virtuous, and makes it seem as though this change will make it easy for poorer girls to get in. That would imply that at present, it's only the middle classes who can afford to buy nearby, who can make it. Nothing could be further from the truth: I live in this area and I can tell you, firstly, that the areas around all but one of Sutton's Grammar schools (the exception being Nonsuch) are not at all upmarket/ middle class/ expensive.

Even more relevantly, the present catchment areas of Nonsuch and Wallington are quite broad, 3 miles I believe, and include the largest council estate in the borough and one of the largest in London, plus a very significant slice of social housing. So the idea that this change will bring in bright but poor girls, is nonsense.

No - what these schools want is to be where Tiffin Girls is, that is at No 1 and not at No 24, which is where they are now. How to do that? Cast your net all over the place and count down from the top. Result? Even more places going to pupils from private preps - not to mention more applications from Dubai and so on. And, even fewer girls going to these schools from the local primaries, which used to be their 'feeders' - not any more!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Surrey
I completely disagree with you, huntlie.

They are doing thus mentioned as a result of years of taking girls into their school by catchment when they didn't do so well in the test, and then realising that they weren't very bright in the first place (sorry in a bit of a mood today, no offense).
That, in my opinion, is the best thing to do at this stage.
If they just carried on taking more by catchment then their status will start slipping away...

LQ

P.S. Feel free to argue with me, the more the merrier! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Of course, I will argue with you! The girls who were 'not very bright in the first place' would almost certainly be the ones who were intensively coached at prep school to pass in Maths and VR, but could not then cope with English and related subjects. In the experience of my friend (ex teacher at a Sutton GS) these were by far the weakest.

How does abolishing the catchment area help with that?

And, may I say, if you were correct about the desire to get very much brighter ones, isn't that just further evidence of worrying about their League Table place? Grammar schools are meant to be for bright kids but not for geniuses (or sis that genii? English not my strong point)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:24 pm 
Huntlie, for someone that has virtually no experience of prep schools, except hearsay, you seem to think you know it all and make some sweeping, and probably inaccurate, remarks.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:27 pm 
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By the way, your comment about 'if they just keep taking more by catchment their status will slip away' just proves my point!

And - these schools have been doing brilliantly for many years - what was the problem? They were almost all catchment in the past, and did not suffer in those days. Every girl in my class was from the local area.

No - it's purely League Table. If they really want to do something, they ought to give priority to local state primary kids, which they do not do now.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:28 pm 
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tipsy. my experience of both prep and Grammar schools is extensive and profound, and everything I say is based on firm evidence.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:33 pm 
So you're grandaughter goes to a prep school then?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:41 pm 
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When my niece was coming up to high school age, my sister put her in for both GS and the local GDST school - when the primary school knew of this, my sister was told 'If you can afford the privilege of a private education, you should not expect to be treated equally for a place at 11+.'

This was some years ago, but I have very strongly advised my son to keep quiet about my granddaughter's application to that GDST school.


It's interesting Huntlie how you think prep school parents are being unfair taking GS places from other children but you are quite happy to do what it takes to make sure your granddaughter's place isn't jepordised.


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