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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:42 pm 
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I've noticed this in the South East/London area, and it seems the same nationwide. Does anyone have any idea why? I have checked birth rates, and they are the same roughly as 3 years ago, and only very slightly more than the last couple of years. In our area applicant numbers are up 20% on average - a rumoured 70% increase since 2010 in one school :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:51 pm 
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Location: Reading
people don't have the money for Indies any more?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:20 pm 
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People are more aware of options.
Many state schools in London don't operate a simple "distance" system any more, so you have to try for as many options as possible.
In London and SE the competition for the indies is still very tough, so I don't think that people are fleeing from the indies, though I know plenty who are thinking carefully about the commitment.
Public transport has changed, and it is easier to find routes to schools which you wouldn't have imagined working in years gone by. If there isn't a distance or catchment criteria, then I need to look at all schools that I could get too. From somewhere like East Croydon you can get into Surrey fairly quickly as well as out to Wimbledon, up into London/Clapham etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Well in Essex the grammar schools seem to get better academic results than the local private schools, which seem to accommodate students who aren't able to get into the state selective schools.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:59 pm 
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In North London the Grammar Schools also get better grades than the Indies, and many children who fail to secure places at the selective schools go on to secure places at good Independent schools (sometimes with scholarships). Our transport system hasn't changed, and TFL allowed route searching 3 years ago, just as they do now. Also our local state schools have improved results. I wondered if the media have made people more aware of the 11+???


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:49 pm 
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The admissions code has changed - albeit a few years ago but the effects are now being felt in full. In the past you could be running a huge risk by putting a school down on the common application form which a child might not have passed for and then because of the fact that your preferences were considered in order, you could miss out on another school. Now, if you don't meet the criteria for your first choice, the second becomes the first, and so on...so less to lose all round.

An additional factor which I think now applies to all areas (?) is that you must find out the results of a selective entrance test for a state school before filling in the CAF - so it is worth 'having a go' and seeing where this leaves you once you know which schools a child has qualified for.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Competition for indies around London has increased. Some have introduced a pre test to be taken at age 11 despite the fact that the school doesn't take children until Year 9. This is an extra layer of testing to whittle down candidates to more manageable numbers.
It increases parental anxiety about competition for places and encourages people to cast their nets wide.
It also forces more parents to prep children for Year 6 exams when, in the past, they would only have prepped for the CE exams in Year 8. Since they're going to be forced to take exams two years earlier than expected, they reason that they may as well put all that early prep to use and take the grammar tests as well and potentially save a lot of money in the long run.

There is more emphasis now on SATS reporting in primary schools now. Parents of older children will know that even 3 or 4 years ago, some primary schools treated SATS levels in Years 4 and 5 almost like a state secret. That's not the case now that Ofsted attach such importance to progress and knowing individual targets. Parents who know that their child is a solid level 5 may now feel practically obliged to put them in for every grammar school they can get to.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:54 pm 
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But in our area there are 6 choices on the school application form (I know nearby counties only have 3 or 4 though). Most local Independent schools have the 11+ (with useful free sample papers!) and a large number of children apply at that age. I know of children 3 years ago and last year who failed to obtain places at St Michael's and Latymer, but subsequently gained places easily at Palmers Green Girls School, Channings and Highgate. KS2 exams have been around since 2002 - 11 years. Sorry to play Devil's Advocate, but to me none of these factors explain the real jump in numbers. HBS has seen 700+ more applicants this year for a school with 93 places (over 2000 have applied) which to me is madness. Our 2 choices of school have seen numbers rise too, from when DD1 sat the tests in 2010 (340ish to 423 for 96 places, and 1750 to well over 2000 for 186 places). I will be interested to see how/if this affects pass marks. Many of the children I saw at Latymer School on Saturday seemed to be 'having a go' rather than really driven, but that wasn't the case at St. Michael's Grammar the day before when the cohort seemed very focused. ......


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:35 pm 
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So maybe the C E M advertising in the national press has worked? More people are having a go because they have read it is now a test of native with rather than being prepared?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Quote:
So maybe the C E M advertising in the national press has worked?


When was this?


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