With the recession in full swing, it seems to me that many parents of children attending private primary schools have tried the selective tests at Grammar schools in Nov 2008 to see if their children can be successful and, in the process, save the hefty private fees. These kids have been taught in small classes, got a lot of individual attention, have covered the required curriculum and beyond and obviously are at an advantage when compared to children who have attended state primaries.
My DD has taken a selective test at two GSs where around 900 girls compete for 130 places. A high percentage of girls taking the test come from the private sector, however no grammar school will tell you which percentage of their intake comes from private schools.
I wonder if this information is or should be made public. GSs should be there to benefit academic children no matter where they come from, but in reality this system benefits the lucky few who can afford spending lots of money on private primary education.
Yet, if it comes to appeals, it seems that questions like "has your DD been tutored?" or "How many practice papers did she do?" are the norm and can work against you.... however no questions are asked to those who pass and who come from the private sectors in terms of the material covered for each subject.
At the end of the day, we parents of children in state primaries, do not have much of a choice if our DD is top of the class but still more than a year behind what a child in the private sector would be, so the only choice is to pay for a tutor, give lots of support at home and keep our fingers and toes crossed....until March 2nd....