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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:06 am 
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I don't know how to insert a link - but see the post on general 11 plus topics called "for anyone applying for a GS across a county boundary".

Does anyone know how this "fits" with the GS's which have no catchment areas such as King Edwards in Birmingham?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Link here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?t=8225

Sorry - can't comment on King Edwards in detail, but a school with no catchment area should be precisely that and therefore open to anyone willing to travel. Even parents desparate for a GS place will realize that there has to be a limit to travelling time so hopefully this would be the restricting factor.

Personally, I think Northants CC is on a hiding to nothing if it thinks it can stop parents from applying outside the county by attempting to manipulate a neighbouring county's arrangements. I can't see how the adjudicator's decision is in any way consistent with the principles of parental preference. If places are available in Rugby, and provided qualifying in-catchment children are catered for first, then I can't see any problem in offering the "spare" places elsewhere in the same way as a school without a catchment area. Surely it's up to the Northants authorities to improve what's on offer in Daventry if it wants to keep its bright pupils?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:28 pm 
I think there is no formal boundary to King Edward's--it's just reasonable travelling distance which is open to interpretation. My eldest did the exam when we were living in Scotland and my youngest is at school with children who came from America and Belgium to sit it this year. The furthest anyone travelled in my eldest's year was outside Kidderminster to Five Ways but I suspect people will know of further.
Hopefully common sense would prevail if the distance is too far.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:40 am 
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The problem with Rugby seems to be that it DID, in effect, have a "catchment area" (10-mile radius) which included Daventry in Northamptonshire. The position with King Edwards is therefore quite different. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how the Rugby schools deal with this matter - the problem there seems almost insurmountable since by law schools can't just set catchment areas willy-nilly along LEA boundaries. Whilst it is possible to set a catchment limit which runs along an LEA boundary, this can only be done if there is some geographic sense to it and not merely to exclude children from the neighbouring LEA. If, in the alternative, Rugby just does away with catchment altogether this will reduce the intake from Daventry, which is what the adjudicator wanted, but perhaps not by enough to satisfy him. I do think the adjudicator's decision is very poorly thought through (and wrong in law).

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:08 pm 
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Well, Dr Tappy's letter has stirred up a right old hornet's nest in Daventry!

Here's the response:

http://www.daventrytoday.co.uk/letters/A-fantastic-education.4737455.jp

and

http://www.daventrytoday.co.uk/letters/Towns-schools-among-best.4737485.jp

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Yes Marylou, quite true. One of the (many) faults I find with the School Adjudicator's report is (as referred to in Mr Dudley's letter above) the adjudicator assumes that Daventry education is "inferior" as a result of the grammar schools and that the Rugby schools are socially divisive, without any evidence whatsoever - merely on his own hypothesising. In fact there is now empirical evidence to the contrary - ie that grammar schools are less socially divisive than comprehensives - though unfortunately not published until a few days before the adjudicator's report, so probably missed by him - see www.suttontrust.com/reports/SuttonTrust ... tFinal.pdf
(can someone with some IT knowledge transform this into a blue link please?). This is particularly important research coming as it does from from the Sutton Trust, an organisation which might generally be expected to try to find against grammar schools if it possibly could.

Unfortunately I think a judicial review of this decision is unlikely to happen since (as already mentioned on this board) the decision is probably convenient for both Northants and Warwickshire, and an appeal to the judiciary is probably beyond the means of the foundation schools. Unless some foundation governors have the guts to give up catchment areas entirely (maybe a fair result might be for one or two of the schools to do this?) it looks like the Rugby schools are going to end up with tiny catchment areas and accordingly far lower standards, and social divisiveness will be increased due to people who can afford it moving into the catchment. Totally wrong imho.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:33 pm 
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It's interesting that KE 5-Five Ways used to have a big map of the West Midlands on one of the corridor walls with pins inserted to show where are the pupils live.

I was amazed to see just how far some pupils live from the school. I recall there was even a couple of pins at Worcester which is about 25 miles away! Also quite a few at Sutton Coldfield which is probably a similar distance.

I'm afraid that I'm firmly in the camp that is in favour of open cross county access. We live in Wythall which is in Worcestershire but very close to the Birmingham and Solihull boundary.

We have only 1 catchment Comprehensive School (Woodrush) in our area but all of the other Worcestershire Schools are at least 10-12 miles away in Bromsgrove. If we were only allowed to apply to Worcs schools then we would have a no choice at all. All I can say is thank goodness the KE Foundation have open access on ability (or rather 11+ plus exam results) only.

In truth, Wythall shouldn't really be in Worcs at all, all reasonable logic would see this as part of Birmingham, but Worcs want to keep Wythall so they can keep a green belt and stop Birmingham expanding!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:27 am 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
KenR wrote:
We live in Wythall which is in Worcestershire but very close to the Birmingham and Solihull boundary.



My son's (car) route to Camp Hill for sixth form took us through 4 LEAs in 20-odd minutes - Solihull, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Birmingham


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:34 am 
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I think Warwickshire's arrangements governing admission to selective schools in their authority were sloppy, just as their Eleven Plus examination arrangements were hitherto. I also agree with the postings of another contributor that the "Priority Circle" is effectively a catchment area by another name. However, it surely cannot have escaped anyone that there is an ideological devide operarting here. The letters from Daventry school pupils illustrate the point perfectly and they have every right so to do. Leaving aside the highly contensious assertions of the present education system, A levels and their merrits/demerrits, the single greatest weakness in the state Comprehensive sytem is the doctrine that schools outside the system (independants) and that Devil of Devils the Selective school inhibit the true operation and function (of the Comprehensive) whos merit is unimpecheachible. To me, whatever merits this argument holds, it is Stalinist thinking and deserves to go the way of the Cold War.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:16 am 
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Sassie'sDad wrote:
I also agree with the postings of another contributor that the "Priority Circle" is effectively a catchment area by another name.
My understanding is that the word 'catchment' has been replaced with 'priority'. The net result is the same but it is intended to end the notion that living 'in catchment' entitles one's child to a place.

Sassie'sDad wrote:
...the single greatest weakness in the state Comprehensive sytem is the doctrine that schools outside the system (independants) and that Devil of Devils the Selective school inhibit the true operation and function (of the Comprehensive)
But this is true and it must be very frustrating for those trying to operate a comprehensive system.

Sassie'sDad wrote:
To me, whatever merits this argument holds, it is Stalinist thinking and deserves to go the way of the Cold War.
We have a state education system and this is a good thing! The problem arises because there is little consistency in LEA approach leading to incompatibilty of objectives. I would like to see a more 'Stalinist' approach :wink:

Edited to add: One way or the other - selective or comprehensive. In my opinion both systems can work educationally. Socially, though, is a whole other topic!


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