Very Confused wrote:
Please can anyone help? A score of 209 is just outside last years 2014 AQS for Alcester at 210 making me believe it is worth applying to get on the waiting list for Sept 2015. However the rank for this is 603 / 1229 all children in south and 309 / 595 boys which seems too low to even consider applying. I feel the 2 results contradict each other as 603 is way off where 209 is near....unless this is this an indication that the AQS for Alcester will probably be a very high one this year? In addition, will the extra 30 places have an impact on keeping AGS within reaching distance of 209 even with this rank. Parents, my child's friends and teachers seem to be saying we have a good chance when I genuinely don't think we do and I want to manage our expectations and prepare alternatives. Please can you help clarify our situation as I feel like I am on a roller-coaster. Thank you
Alcester Grammar School took the 30 "extra" places last year (a year earlier than advertised) so the PAN for last year is the same as it is for this year - 150.The key thing to focus on is the rank scores
- this year scores appear to be really bunched meaning that the same score from last year would this year give you a much lower rank score. There are around 150 ish places for boys in the south, so, effectively, you are relying on the same number again to choose alternative schools/areas to move your son up the rankings. At the same time, the AQS, which is set by a panel of heads, may have to set higher than last year, as the AQS needs to be able to accommodate everybody who scores higher than it (so where there is lots of children ranked on the same score, they would ideally all get a place). So the bunched scoring not only puts you at a lower ranking than last year but it also may force the AQS up to find the point where they can comfortable accommodate everyone. There is also some uncertainty over how many PP places will be taken in the initial round of offers.
This all looks very doom and gloom - it isn't meant to be, just a realistic assessment as it looks to me like the teachers/parents/friends you refer to are focussing on the score, as compared to last year, rather than the rank which is the better comparison tool.
However, if AGS is your preference and you are in Warwickshire, then you have lots of choice spaces on the CAF so by all means put it at your first choice. Make sure you big up your alternative to your child - you may not get AGS in the first round - you may get a place off the waiting list - you may not. But you have nothing to lose putting it as your first option.
I generally agree (your better at figuring this stuff than me!), but more so the case for previous years.
I think rank is much more an unpredictable factor this time as scores seem to be earning far lower ranks than last year even with the extra 100 children (South Circle) who took the test (it was only 30 more the year before).
That can only be due to either higher general scoring so bunching up the mid range - in which case this years tutors should be getting bonus payments!
Or possibly there are a substantial number of Birmingham scores padding out the distribution, if these parents don't put AGS 1st (as they may well not) will be filtered out for the purpose of the AGS AQS calculation, effectively moving those left up the rankings... well here's hoping anyway!
I saw somewhere else that someone reckoned the number of actual Warwickshire entrants this year was something like 2200 but I have not found last years number yet for comparison.
The results we were sent were for 2847 children so who are the other 600?
And why do they keep messing with the system and making it more complicated!