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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:56 pm
Posts: 3
Hello there

My son sat his 11+ test in November, for entry to a Devon School. We expect to receive word late in January from the school on whether he has passed or not (although - apparently - even if he has passed, he is not necessarily guaranteed a place, and will have to wait until March to find that out).

I was a little surprised to hear from his class teacher, at a parent's evening just before Christmas, that she had been asked to write something about my son by the grammar school (I suppose a kind of reference/report on his ability and achievement so far....).

I was aware that, if it came to an appeal, there would be an expectation that his primary school would provide additional info on my son - but is it normal practice to request a report from the school in advance of releasing the test results? I'm sure his teacher will have written a very favourable report - but I was wondering what (if any) weight this might in the school's decision about allocating places.

There was no indication in the school's own info on admissions that Primary schools would be contacted. I don't mind - but I suppose I'm just wondering whether the grammar does this for all applicants, or if my son - for some reason, related to his test results - might be one of only a handful for whom this is being done.

Does anyone have any experience of primary class teachers being asked to provide similar info - apart from in the case of appeals - and any idea of how it might be used by the grammar school.

Thanks all - and Happy New Year.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
Was this Colyton? Only asking as they have recently requested a report from my son's school despite the fact that we decided not to proceed with the application and my son did not sit the test!!!! (Only because we live hundreds of miles away)
I felt so guilty having to explain to his lovely teacher that she had wasted her time...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:45 pm 
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Dear Ed's mum

Thanks for this - it was indeed Colyton, So I've no need to worry that he'd been singled out...though I'm still interested to know what (if any) part these 'reports' might lay in the selection process.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
I guess it demonstrates that they want to know about children and their usual behaviour/performance at school as opposed to just taking the children who perform well on the day! Standard practice from independent schools but more unusual perhaps from a state school. It does have its rather impressive reputation to uphold I suppose...I wouldn't worry!
Glad to help. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:09 pm 
I thought this kind of thing was at least frowned on now, if not actually banned, particularly since the new admissions code came into effect. Independent schools always ask for references, of course, but state schools are not allowed to take anything into account that is not in their published admissions code. That is why they are no longer allowed to interview.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:55 pm
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One of the state grammar schools that my son is sitting for has also asked for a report from the school. I understand that they do this for every applicant and I think they ask for predicted Sats scores, attendance record etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:48 pm 
I am really surprised to hear this. I thought that where selection was allowed for state schools there should be no possibility of any subjectivity creeping in. If a child scores highly in the 11+ but has low SATs predictions and a dodgy attendance record, maybe because he is highly intelligent but bored by the repetitive curriculum at junior school (you can see why I say "he" and not "she" here!), he could then be discriminated against for entry to a grammar school?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:59 pm 
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The school also provides space on the application form for you to write about your son, i.e. achievements etc and states that you can add extra pages. I attached his Yr 5 report because it was so outstanding. A friend did ask the head about this information and was told that they don't consider it in relation to selection but allow it because some parents like to tell them about their child! I guess we will have to reach our own conclusions!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
..schools MUST NOT: ....
f) take account of reports from primary or nursery schools about children's past behaviour, attendance, attitude or achievement;


and

Given the potential for discrimination, admissions authorities may only use supplementary application/information forms that request additional information when it has a direct bearing on decisions about acceptable oversubscription criteria...

Schools Admissions Code Sections 2.13 and 1.73

It would seem that this is definitely not good practice and parents might wish to ask the Local Authority to take it up with the school.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:57 pm 
Alex wrote:
..schools MUST NOT: ....
f) take account of reports from primary or nursery schools about children's past behaviour, attendance, attitude or achievement;


and

Given the potential for discrimination, admissions authorities may only use supplementary application/information forms that request additional information when it has a direct bearing on decisions about acceptable oversubscription criteria...

Schools Admissions Code Sections 2.13 and 1.73

It would seem that this is definitely not good practice and parents might wish to ask the Local Authority to take it up with the school.


Yes, I would recommend this course of action too, especially to anyone needing to appeal for a place. It is ludicrous for the schools to say they are only asking for this information because parents like to give it, and that they don't use it when considering admissions.


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