I wasn't aware of the revised Code of Practice consultations until this forum thread. This is a very interesting development and certainly one in the right direction. Well spotted Dibble, Steve & Co
I'm sure there are a lot of high ability children around the country whose parents are discouraged from putting a grammar school as first choice in case this miss out on a place at their good local comp.
The situation in Birmingham is interesting and certainly not clear cut even if the Code of Practice is ratified. The KE Foundation and B/Ham LEA will certainly still have to make some decisions and changes regarding the various exams and the scores.
At the moment the pass score for individual KE (and B/Ham) Grammars is actually determined statistically by the popularity of the school according to the preferences on the LEA. That the reason last year why different KE grammars had different pass marks - viz. 341 for Camp Hill boys and 327 for KEFW etc.
My understanding and reading of the Draft Code of Practice is that that will have to change. So the question is:
(a) do the grammars allocate different pass marks for each grammar school?
(b) and/or do they allocated a fixed higher pass mark for grmmar school and then apply separate over subscription criteria (viz. distance)
(c) or do they do (a) and then implement a separate review system for those who have marginally failed.
The dilema for the grammars in B/Ham is that quite a high proportion of offers are not taken up (e.g parents hedge their bets and apply to say a number of grammars in the region as well as independent schools.
I guess the true picture won't emerge until round about March next year when the KE Foundation and B/Ham LEA decide how to implement the Code of Practice.
The relevant sections of the Code of practice are:-
2.52 Grammar schools are permitted to select their pupils on the basis of high academic ability, and to leave places unfilled if they have insufficient applicants of the required standard.
Most assess ability by means of a test, but they may apply any fair and objective means of assessing ability they consider appropriate. Admission authorities should ensure that parents are aware that meeting the academic requirements for entry to a grammar school is not, in itself, a
guarantee of a grammar school place.
2.53 Methods of allocating places for oversubscribed grammar schools vary. Some admission authorities allocate available places in rank order of performance in the entrance test; others set a pass mark and then apply other oversubscription criteria to determine which of the
candidates who have passed should be offered a place.
2.54 Some admission authorities for grammar schools use a review system to consider whether children who have marginally failed to reach the required standard in the entrance test should be deemed as being of grammar school ability. This is not a statutory process, and does not
replace a parent’s formal right of appeal. In view of the need to co-ordinate allocation of places such reviews must be completed before places are allocated, so that children who are deemed as being of grammar school ability as a result of the review can be considered for
allocation of places at the same time as others.