You're right about the 11+ maths,I'd never finish it in time
but I'm talking about the folks who are prepared to move house to where ever they get a place or rent nearby, those who spend on prep schools at a couple of grand a term or more and those who, on a smaller scale, spend hundreds on rail travel.[/quote]
People bring their own life baggage to this sometimes too.For example, if they went to grammar or indep schools, then they can be absolutely terrified of Comprehensives and have exaggerated pictures in their minds of the dangers that lurk within.They are very strange, huge and scary places to them.
I also think if people had a bad school experience themself, then they spend their whole life in some cases feeling it has "held them back". They are often very determined when they become parents to avoid this for their children at all costs.
I have also met parents who do not really understand league tables and yet put a lot of trust in them. For example I know a girls grammar school that dropped considerably in the tables this year because they allowed a very troubled girl to sit her GCSEs and she came out with less than 5 and no A*. When it comes to top of the table schools this can cause a massive drop.You need to be able to understand what you are reading to make an informed judgement.
The prime example of this is a parent I know who two years ago uprooted their whole family to move to the school that topped that table that year.There was a school in their area that came in the top ten.The difference in postition boiled down to one less A* by a couple of pupils. To him it looked , from the table, as if it was a significantly different school.
I could witter on but IMHO and life experience the people that pursue grammar with absolute determination from almost leaving the maternity ward, are often doing so because of some of the above reasons as well as others.