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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
I came across some interesting information on the DfES and TeacherNet sites regarding the new admission procedures for Sept as a result of the new Code of Practice which becomes law on the 28th Feb this year:-

Quote:
Following discussion with the main commercial suppliers of LA admissions software, the earlier release of these example file specifications will allow the release of new (first or beta) versions of processing software from April 2007. Testing of transfer files should take place in April 2007.


So the inter LEA admissions software providers have written some new software to cope with the Code of Practice changes and will have the new version available for LEA to test in April 2007.

Nothing particularly unusal in that, but the software uses a revised government transfer format (called a schema using computer language called XML) which is published on official government web sites. When you analyse some of the new data fields they have created to cope with the new Code you get an idea of how the new Procedures may operate.:-

Quote:
LEAPreband -Lookup. LEA to OAA schools only. Available for use where the LEA, following testing, places each pupil into a band where the banding information is used in school admission policies.


Quote:
<xs:documentation>
1A = Band 1A (Highest)
1B = Band 1B
2A = Band 2A
2B = Band 2B
3 = Band 3 (Lowest)
U = Band Unknown
</xs:documentation>


This seems to suggest that in future LEAS and selective schools may wish to have the option of allocating 11+ exam results into bands.

Has anyone come across this before? Would this make sense with the new Code of Practice and procedures or is this just a feature in the new software that LEAs and schools will not use?

Seems an interesting approach which I hadn't thought of.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:44 pm 
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Posts: 37
Location: Bournemouth
Ken - I posted about this aspect in a previous post but got no response on the banding aspect.
Apparantly there is a new admissions code which is recommending changes in admissions for secondary schools. There are recommendations for "lotteries" - ie random allocation. Also for banding of pupils at 11 at junior school, and requiring secondary schools to take a proportion of pupils from each band. It looks like the traditional catchment and sibling criteria will be abandoned and you will not be guarenteed a place at your local school. It's to stop people moving houses to ensure places at good comprehensives and to ensure that each school takes a wide range of abilities. I've read that the code comes into force in February for admissions starting in 2008. So any child in current Year 5 downwards will be affected

My understanding is that the banding is not for 11+ results, but will be done by junior schools for all pupils and then the secondary schools will have to select according to set proportions of "bands". For particular secondary schools there could be too many applicants in the "top" bands. These people will be sent to further away schools who have a deficit of applicants in top bands and who may struggle to fill their places. The idea of "locality" and distance to school and even sibling priority would appear to go out of the window.

I presume that this applies to comprehensive / secondary schools only, not grammar, who will continue to select by the 11+ test.

So for all those who do not get into grammar, their fate will be even more precarious. When I know which school my daughter is going to, I intend to write to the head and ask if they are planning to change their admissions criteria in line with the Admissions Code as I am already concerned about the fate of my second daughter who is in Year 4. There would appear to be no guarentees that she would get into the same school as her sister.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:06 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
Banding is already used by some comprehensive schools. Under the Admissions Code it is not permissible to leave places unfilled, however, if there are "spaces" left in another ability band. I assume, like the previous poster, that the programme is designed for these comp or sec schools.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:54 am 
Tower Hamlets already uses banding. I understand schools have to submit their 2008 admissions arrangements by the beginning of March,so the LEAs should be in position to give information regarding changes soon.



12 Moving to a Secondary School in Tower Hamlets 2007

Questions and Answers
on Moving to a Secondary
School
What is banding?
Tower Hamlets has a policy of banding to try to ensure
that its schools take in an even balance of pupils in
different ability ranges. All Tower Hamlets community
schools, Central Foundation, George Green’s and Sir
John Cass schools use banding. The band for a pupil
attending a Tower Hamlets primary school will be
determined from the Optional Standard Attainments
Tests (SATs) that were taken in June of Year 5. The results
of the tests will be used to place a child in one of four
bands ranging from Band A to D. D is the highest
scoring band.
The banding for pupils applying from primary schools
outside of Tower Hamlets will be determined from the
SATs taken in the primary school, where this is available,
or according to an assessment by their school. Please
put your child's scores for English and Maths on the
Tower Hamlets supplementary form.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:01 am 
This seems to do away with the idea of any parental preferences and you wouldn't have a clue where your child would end up!

Don't they use this method for selecting american football players from college. ....

On face value it seems like a nightmare.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:05 am
Posts: 445
Location: LONDON
I must say that I find this new system very worrying. We live virtually next door to a good comprehensive (where my oldest child goes) and I am left with the possibility that if my second child does not pass grammar exams he could be shipped off to the far side of our borough to a school that I would not be happy with.

KenR could you possibly put a link up to the document you mentioned with all the information on it.

Thank you

loulou


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
What happened to parental choice?
How are they selling this, stunning (not) new program, to the parents?

DP, as the LA control admissions, would it not be up to them and not the individual schools to go down this fearful route.

I won't be best pleased, as my oldest is currently in yr5, with two more to follow. My second, also, desperately wants to go to the same school as his older brother.

Hopefully, the LA, would need to put out a consultation before bringing in such a lottery system. I know that they would meet with quite some resistance from folks around here.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:08 pm 
I don't think a consultation is needed since the admissions code becomes law on 28th Feb.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:19 pm 
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Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
I have no other kid to personally care what happens to the admissions system (my only one will either go to the grammar or else whisked to an independent; in two weeks I will know), but I know some schools that make banding and it equates to branding. More fundamentally, the problem is not the quality of the students that enter a school and trying to engineer that, but the quality of the teaching that they receive once there. As a taxpayer I find this very annoying as I expect a good quality of teaching for all children, not just my own.

As for random allocation while the reasons behind its inception are admirable, it will lead to a flood of appeals as dissapointed parents will face the prospect of ferrying their kids at different schools causing a commuting chaos. It will be adopted and within two years abandonded, after having broken many parents' hearts for no reason at all. And no, it is not that I care at all about these people that have bought on purpose a home next to the school; they should have known better given the changing whims of the British government.

INEX

Alex wrote:
Banding is already used by some comprehensive schools. Under the Admissions Code it is not permissible to leave places unfilled, however, if there are "spaces" left in another ability band. I assume, like the previous poster, that the programme is designed for these comp or sec schools.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:36 pm 
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Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
This is correct. The time for consultation (views from LEAs and schools) has come and gone. However, because I browsed quickly on documents pertaining to this, it does seem to me that it will affect children currently in year 5. Otherwise, the grammars in London would already be in a panic trying to to figure out when to place their exams so that children know their results before they start filling in their CAFs. Of course, this will also have a knock on effect on the days of exams by independents. The more I think about the implications just in London, the more confusing it becomes!!

INEX

Anonymous wrote:
I don't think a consultation is needed since the admissions code becomes law on 28th Feb.

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sj355


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