Hi. I attended the open day yesterday. The head said there were only 2 letters
one saying 'would benefit from grammar school education' and one saying 'would struggle with grammar school education'
There was no mention of 'strongly encourage' in the presentation....
The letter we received last Friday said 'Given ***** standardised score we believe he would benefit from a grammar school education and would strongly encourage you to include Adams' Grammar School on your local preference form'
The Head said there was a cut off (pass/fail) mark, which incidentally they refused to disclose. ( I would make an educated guess
it will be around 310 mark) All you have to do is score above the cut off and you get a 'would benefit from' letter
This means anyone in catchment, who passed the exam ie, got a 'would benefit from' letter will get a place (there won't be 90+ applications from within catchment) However this means they get in even if they only just scraped a pass. Out of catchment (OOC) will go to score system, highest scores in first until all spaces filled.
The head said he wanted to make it fairer to local boys as it is a local school serving local people and most years only 10% of the intake live in catchment. He wants to increase this, therefore he has made it easier for boys in catchment to get a place.
I actually think this is unfair. Local boys had as much chance of getting a place before catchment was introduced, they just had to score well in the exam like everyone else. The head also seemed to suggest that rich 'outsiders' were coming in a taking all the places by tutoring their kids to pass
and he wants to put a stop to this.
I am annoyed about this, the reason so may outsiders choose Adams is that there are no other free state grammar schools anywhere in our region. Not Telford, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth....where are people from these areas supposed to send their boys if they want them to go to a good school without paying huge private school fee's?
As for the lack of scores, everyone was asking at the end...why didn't we get scores???? and we were all simply told that the school thought scores were of no benefit to the parents or boys. We said it would benefit us!! It would give us an idea of where we might be on the waiting list for a place, but they stuck to their guns....so angry about that. No parents we know are happy with the lack of scores, yet the school say they have done it with our best interests in mind...really?
We are clueless as we are OOC and don't know if ds just scraped a pass and stands no chance or if he aced the exam...so frustrating. I wonder if we could somehow force them to reveal results, but like someone else said you don't like to rock the boat in case it ruins ds chances!!
Is there a 3rd letter? stating you could apply without the strongly encourage bit? would really help to know if this is a myth...pretty sure it is
Sorry for ranting, just so frustrated......