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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:49 pm 
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I know it seems a long way off when you're fighting the battles to get your children into a "good" senior school (grammar or otherwise), but my eyes have been opened recently to the problems that going to a good school may cause when applying to university.

Friends of ours are anxiously waiting for university offers and to my horror, I keep hearing stories of pupils with pretty much all A* at gcse and 3 or more As at AS level being rejected for places on their chosen course.

Inevitably, with grade inflation and so may applicants achieving the highest grades, there are not going to be places for everyone. However, of greater concern to me is that more and more universities are looking at the average gcse and A level scores achieved at the applicant's school. If the applicant achieves below that average, then he/she will lose points on their application and is likely to be rejected. The end result may be that your dc achieves easily high enough grades for the particular course they apply for, but because they "only" achieved 6 A* and the average at their school was 8, they will be penalised!

I know attending a good school is so much more than just the grades you achieve at the end (friendships, other opportunities etc) but I'm starting to wonder whether sending them to a good school is just saving up the problems for the future, particularly if they just happen to be not at the top of the school! :(


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Thanks for posting this - this is also a big concern of mine. Perhaps we should have moved DD to the local comp for her 6th form after all!! :shock:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:55 pm 
I know going to a good uni is important but I think your child's happiness, enviornment and work ethic is more important. Any bright child who has been educated in a supportive school will do very well at uni and then in future life, rather that than having a very rocky educational foundation. Too much of a risk imo.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:15 pm 
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It is a big bug bear of mine especially as I have a sneaky suspicion that some people in our area already choosing sixth forms based on it. Our local Comprehensive doesn't have a 6th form so you have a choice of going to the Grammars or another Comprehensive which is almost the same distance away but in another direction. A very bright child I know has opted for the Comprehensive even though its results are not as good and I can't help wondering why.

The thing is many people chose a Grammar because their children are not terribly self motivated and they therefore need them to be in a school that will give them a boot up the b... . I can't afford the risk and as I am so opposed to it, as I don't think it is the solution to the problem of inequality we currently have, I just keep hoping that it will go away when the powers to be accept that.

Alternatively someone or some groups may bring a case under equal opportunities and fight it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:18 pm 
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this is so on the money. My friend's daughters are at one of the top girls' schools in the country but - and she'd be the first to admit it - maybe average themselves, academically. She was just today lamenting not having snatched the older away and popped her in the comp (now that I'd like to see!) and is seriously considering it for the older one. It is crazy, simply crazy that having done what you think is the right thing at 11 can bite you on the bum so a few years later.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:39 pm 
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God-daughter goes to a top girls school in a well known spa town. Reports that several classmates left after AS levels - ie after 'lower sixth' to do final year in sixth form colleges etc for precisely this reason and to gain state school status for Oxbridge.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Tolstoy wrote:

The thing is many people chose a Grammar because their children are not terribly self motivated and they therefore need them to be in a school that will give them a boot up the b... . .


...which is precisely where DD is where she is! :lol:

Just had a quick look at the school's results, fortunately DD's results are slightly above average for the school but not sure whether they need to be a lot more above average for the school than nationally, iyswim, for the competitive course she is aiming for. :? :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:59 pm 
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Marylou wrote:
iyswim

OT: FINALLY! I work this out. I've seen it and frowned thinking it a speiling mistak but no. Need a shimmy emoticon.
As for the motivation (shimmying back onto topic), yes, yes, yes. Mine very much needs the discipline and expectation.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:49 pm 
Two things are going to happen.

Firstly the uni's are looking at GCSE results so moving a kid to a comp at sixth form is useless as both schools will be taken into consideration.

Eventually the uni's will realise that in excluding a vast number of exceptionally able children the standards will have fallen so they will rethink this policy.

In my very short stint at uni my eyes were opened to so many cultures and classes of people and I was inspired by the motivation and outlook of others. I would hate for DC to go to a place which was not diverse because only those from disadvantaged schools got in. There was also an article the other day about a girl with 6 A's at A'level who has not got an offer from any uni. Very, very odd! :?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:28 pm 
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I agree that universities need to be divers - best bit of the really. Have been hearing how hard it is to get into UCL to read medicine these days - when I went I don't think it was so tricky - they took me anyway!
There were people from a wide range of places - several americans, Japanese. gibraltarians, maltese, trinidadian, cyrpiots etc etc + people from ALL over the UK with a huge range of backgrounds and experience - many not straight from school - it was great.

We certainly must have had VERY diverse CV / UCCA forms etc - certainly not all out of the same mould. Also very different expectations - some came from strongly medical families - for some of these tghe pressure was huge, however I found one friend with hoardes of Docs in the family laughing loudly when she got her prelim pharmacology results - reason was that she was the first in the family to pass it first time round!

I hope that in being presented with lots of kids with V good marks they look at the whole person - far more entertaining in the annual christmas show.... :wink:


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