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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:14 pm 
We all know that newspapers are full of ****, but in today's 'Times,' the most extraordinary report - they state that at Appeals time, a Grammar School in Faversham had 28 empty places out of 128 - and a merely 'above average' kid got in.

Sureky estate agents in Faversham have been besieged? I'd think about it myself - you have to be an Einstein to get in at our local Grammar (the Head admits it - in her speech - 'Don't even think about it unless your daughter got a Level 5 in her SATS tests at Year 4 - these are the future barristers, brain surgeons and CEOs...' and they have 180 places for which 1200 apply!

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:51 pm 
The "Kent test" (11+) is administered across most of the county with a common "pass mark" set so as to "pass" about 23% of the year 6 group as a whole.

This can mean that if the higher performing kids aren't evenly distributed across the county some areas may have more grammar places than local children to fill them. In that case, conversly, there will be areas with more children with selective assessments than there are grammar places. A bit of shuffling around then ensues.

Whether this relatively broad grammar entry (possible because most of Kent retains a full grammar system) is preferable to a narrower entry band is a matter of opinion. If you want your child to be surrounded by only the brightest peers then you need a very selective school. Obviously you will have to then clear the higher entry hurdles like everyone else. If you are happy for your child to be with a mixture of the very bright and "above average" children then by all means come to Kent.

As for house prices, because grammars are selective they normally have much wider catchment areas than popular comprehensives. You can live nearly anywhere in Kent and get a grammar place somewhere. Grammar schools don't, therefore, produce the spikes in house prices that good comprehensives can cause around them. One effect of this is to widen the social mix. This has been a central arguement of the pro-grammar lobby in the recent furore caused by the Tory decision not to extend the system.

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