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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:50 pm 
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I've just come back from visiting a local non grammar secondary school. They have introduced a 'Fair Banding' system, whereby everyone applying will take a (CAT?) test. Then the school will accept a cross-section of all abilities. Previously, there was a loose catchment area system.

As anyone come across this?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:19 pm 
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does happen in some parts of the country - occasionally means that some bands are more oversubscribed than others - hence will have varying distance priorities...

bit of an explanation here:

http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/c ... nding.aspx


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Location: Herts
Bushey Meads school in SW Herts does this.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:52 pm 
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I believe that Hugh Christie in Tonbridge have this system.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:32 pm 
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This seems to be becoming more common with more schools gaining academy status & setting their own admissions. Two of the schools we are likely to be applying to use this system. Within each band they will apply the over-subscription criteria, meaning if your child is placed in band 4 for example, and they come as 31 on the criteria they may not get a place :shock:
I think it will be more of a problem if your child is 'average' rather than well below or well above, as these will be the fullest bands. I have a feeling that in reality if your child's band is over-subscribed but there is space in he band above/ below they will be offered a place but I have no concrete evidence for this.
We have been advised to make sure among our 6 preferences is a school fairly close and a school that doesn't use banding to ensure we are offered a place.
But yes, of course we as parents get a choice in our child's school :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:17 am 
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What happens if two bands are undersubscribed and two over? Surely they won't have empty places rather than take additional students from the oversubscribed bands. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Apparently they take an equal number from each side of the under subscribed band.

The problem that we have now is that the school has now gone non-catchment which means that anyone can apply. Previously, I considered it to be my safety net - if all else fails ds 1 or 2 could go there. Its not the best school in the area, but you can do okay if you work hard and keep out of trouble. Now that option has been taken away.

There are obviously other non- selectives. However, if we miss out due to being popular, then the next best school has a catchment of about 10 cm, and the other I have mixed views on. The next non- selective, which has also introduced fair banding ( the two schools are linked ) is not the best.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
PC dont know if you have thought about Valley, from playground info everyone who appealed got in this year. We had a few from our school who didn't get in on allocation but got in on appeal or through waiting list. If its CW that's going non catchment, I am not quite sure what the effect would be. All I know is 2 or 3 years ago they changed catchment areas and people in my area didn't get in (and we are relatively close) and got S School in Lenham. There was a lot of hoohaa and in the end KCC created some additional classes including one at Valley and it was a happy ending for all.

I think the popularity for CW went down a little as most people weren't sure how it would operate under the NL brand but since it's clear now popularity may be on the rise again as it seems Valley wasn't as sort after this year as in previous years.

Have you thought about trying him for Medway too, its a pain free journey to the boys Grammar (much quicker in most cases than getting to local schools because of the frequence of buses) plus its no extra preparation apart from the writing.

Happy 1000 post :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:46 pm 
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It is CW. I think the new, very impressive building and facilities will make it popular again. Plus it is boasting the best non- selective results this year (although now I guess it has become semi- selective!). ( building- very nice. However, no school work on show last night).

Maybe V wasn't so popular because people think it is impossible to get in. Fortunately, ds is in year 5 so we don't have to make any decisions yet. Hopefully he will pass the 11+!

S school is quite a distance. My ds had football there. I was surprised how long it took to get there.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:15 am 
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My friend's dd goes to a school that does this. As I understand it, everyone sits a test on application - say there are 400 applicants for 240 places. The 400 get ranked in order of their test scores, and then divided into 8 groups of 50. Those 50 are then ranked in order of proximity to the school, and the nearest 30 are offered a place.

So there's no preset band that might be over or undersubscribed, it's all relative year by year.


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