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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:23 am 
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Just wondered, as there are so many appeals each year, more than 800, and about 340 are likely to be successful, does the county calculate the 11+ pass mark at a certain level knowing that it needs to leave so many places 'open' for successful qualification appeals?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:29 am 
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Location: Gloucestershire
It's similar to how Surrey used to run back in the early '70's. About 1/2 the grammar school places were allocated by exam. Then the children who passed and who had near misses (there could have been a list made up by the primary schools of those expected to pass) had their work examined by senior staff from the local grammars and the near misses were then interviewed by the panel. Looking at the work was purely academic in the case of the passes - I bet they swore when they saw the mess I produced.

In some ways I prefer it to the system we have in Gloucestershire, in that it gives some degree of flexibility - ie it's not all about who can afford the most tuition, but based partly on the reports from school. Of course, it gives more grief to the poor parents!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:33 pm 
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Cats12 wrote:
Just wondered, as there are so many appeals each year, more than 800, and about 340 are likely to be successful, does the county calculate the 11+ pass mark at a certain level knowing that it needs to leave so many places 'open' for successful qualification appeals?
I assume this relates to Buckinghamshire, Cats, and you must be right that an allowance for successful appeals is built in. There is some slack in the system, i.e. places that can be taken up by successful late selection applicants. The number of successful 11+ appeals seems to be fairly constant, even though panels are definitely not working to a quota. There are numerous panels operating every day, the composition of which is continually changing. None of them knows what decisions other panels are taking, or indeed what the overall picture is as a result of previous days' decisions. If there were to be more successful appeals than expected, it would presumably be at the expense of places that would otherwise be available at 12+.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:35 pm 
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capers123 wrote:

In some ways I prefer it to the system we have in Gloucestershire, in that it gives some degree of flexibility - ie it's not all about who can afford the most tuition, but based partly on the reports from school. Of course, it gives more grief to the poor parents!


Yes, yes yes! Any chance you can get it changed, Capers, before my little one has to do it in 2 years' time?

I think the grief for parents would be much less if school work came into it and not just 2 hours of tests on one day, which some children have been coached for 5 years for.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Some LAs already have a review system for borderline cases (which might include a report from the school or looking at school work).

Bucks felt they had to abolish their review system in order to get the 11+ results out before the 1st March allocations.

If we're talking about the exercise of discretion in borderline or otherwise deserving cases, that is something an appeals panel exists to do.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:26 pm 
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Location: Gravesend, Kent
Amber wrote:
I think the grief for parents would be much less if school work came into it and not just 2 hours of tests on one day,


Kent used to use just this system a few years ago here in Gravesend. Children left juniors at 11 then went to local secondary. The Grammar schools took children from 13 who had been assessed by their secondary school teachers as 'Grammar ability'.

I didn't live here then but my neighbour tells me people still talk about how their sons/daughters were cheated out of Grammar places by useless/unprofessional/spiteful teachers.

The system then changed to take the 11+ like other parts of Kent and it is considered much fairer because the child themselves is tested. Unfortunately tutoring does still lead to an unfair advantage for many but it seems the current 11+ is a case of 'better the devil you know'.

When I took the 11+ in 1978, (in a Bexley school but I lived 1/2 mile away in Kent) I didn't even know I'd taken it because it was kept so low-key and certainly couldn't be tutored for.

Also, the parents of 11+ passers like the system, but parents of non-passers say it is unfair.

I really don't know the answer!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:22 am 
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Yes, no system is entirely fair. My own personal view (which will be highly unpopular on this forum) tends away from selective education, but then I am a teacher (hopefully not 'useless, unprofessional or spiteful'; though I guess I have my moments at all 3!) and have watched highly intelligent grammar school 'failures' go on and get into top universities.

Maybe if there is to be a system of selection, the fairest one would involve a wide range of tests which it wouldn't be worth coaching for, an interview, and teacher assessment too. It would cost a fortune and make jobs for loads of pen-pushers - surprised no-one has introduced it yet!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:08 pm 
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I'm sure you and indeed most schools would act professionally - but I heard enough appeals to learn that recommendations from different schools lack consistency.
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a wide range of tests which it wouldn't be worth coaching for, an interview, and teacher assessment
I sympathise with the first. The second would be unlawful under the Admissions Code. And the thought of adding in inconsistent recommendations from schools fills me with horror! :roll:

Quote:
It would cost a fortune
And if you're lucky, you might even get the results before the following September! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:33 pm 
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But think of all the jobs it would create!


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