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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:59 am 
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Hi, this is my first post so apologies if it is in the wrong place.
Basically, we live on the outskirts of Town B, but close to Town A. Town A has several grammar schools and a couple of independent schools, and there is a primary (School A) there which we like. Town B has no grammar schools, and a few independent schools, and there is also a primary (School B) in that area which we like. School B is within the grammar school area, and regularly sends children to the grammar schools as well as the independents. School A is outside the grammar school area and does send a few to the grammars, but as most of its pupils don't live in the grammar school area, they tend not to take the 11+. My question is: would it be sensible to choose School A, given that we'd like our child to have the best chance of getting into a grammar school in Town B? We like both schools equally and they are an equal distance from us.
(I'm not sure I have expressed that very clearly! :D )


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:23 am 
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It may be easy to answer if we knew which region you were taking about.

In general you should list the state schools on your CAF in your true order of preference. That way you will get offered the school you are eligible for that you prefer most. You also need to know the admissions policy for each school you apply. As this will detail how the school allocates places. These can be found on the website of the schools in question.

Applications to indie schools are outside of the normal state school applications process and you apply to them directly. So you would have school options via both routes.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:32 am 
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What age is the child? It reads to me as if they have not started at primary school yet - the difficulty could be that admissions criteria for state Grammar Schools can and do change - so the criteria now may not be the criteria in 5 years time, when you are actually applying!

If you could avoid being cagey and just say the areas and/or schools, forumites would be much better able to advise you! Reality is, whilst you are looking at primary schools and saying they "regularly send" children to the grammar schools, it is very likely that it is cohort dependant and aided by parents paying for tutors...it is very unusual for schools to have much hand in a child getting into a state selective grammar school - yes some private schools do 11+ tutoring, but I am not sure that they send vastly higher proportions to GS's than state schools with involved parents - but this does deend on the area, with the South East appearing much more cut throat regarding GS places than elsewhere!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:01 pm 
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Ok, so the child is currently in a state school, KS 1, and we're on the Birmingham/Solihull border. The (large) state school publishes their outcomes to current families, and last year no children went on to the Birmingham grammars. I also know other people with older children in the same school who are now looking into the 11+ and getting no support from the school. We briefly considered tutoring but for a variety of reasons think we would prefer private primary. Both School A and B publish their outcomes too so we've had a look at those, though I certainly agree that it's cohort-dependent.
I suppose I'm just asking whether it's a risk to send a child (whe you know you want them to at least try the 11+) to a school that isn't in a grammar area. Will the school be less focused or aware of what is necessary in terms of teaching, preparing them, etc?
We really wouldn't want to pay for both tutoring and private primary.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:07 pm 
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Worth noting that towns that have many grammar schools will (generally) be easier to get into than towns that only have one or the (so called) super selectives. In theory, your child shouldn't need extensive prep and if they do then a state comprehensive school may be more suitable or perhaps a less pressured indie. Time will tell. Indeed, the town without any grammars will likely have good comprehensive schools as a result.

So if it were me, I'd chose the primary school for other reasons.

Edit:- Just seen that you named Birmingham. Above was a general comment.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:08 pm 
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State schools are not allowed to help with the 11+ so that is why the school is not helping. I would be very very surprised if the children from the private primary who went to the GS were not tutored AS WELL, as their parents paying private school fees. Tutoring is big business in Birmingham - either paid or diy- do not think that by sending your child privately, they will do it all for you, they won’t and don’t.

Birmingham does not currently have catchment areas as entry is purely on score, regardless of where you live - I suspect any school in your area would be fairly aware of the 11+. Remember just because they don’t have catchments now, it might change in the future. From Solihull, you could access Warwickshire grammar schools too - they have a 17 mile priority circle which takes in some parts of Solihull from memory.

Mods might be worth moving this to Birmingham.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Moved to Birmingham


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:23 pm 
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Is the private primary in Solihull or elsewhere? If in Solihull it is likely that they will be quite geared to the 11 plus


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:45 pm 
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YeomanOftheGuard wrote:
Ok, so the child is currently in a state school, KS 1, and we're on the Birmingham/Solihull border. The (large) state school publishes their outcomes to current families, and last year no children went on to the Birmingham grammars. I also know other people with older children in the same school who are now looking into the 11+ and getting no support from the school. We briefly considered tutoring but for a variety of reasons think we would prefer private primary. Both School A and B publish their outcomes too so we've had a look at those, though I certainly agree that it's cohort-dependent.
I suppose I'm just asking whether it's a risk to send a child (whe you know you want them to at least try the 11+) to a school that isn't in a grammar area. Will the school be less focused or aware of what is necessary in terms of teaching, preparing them, etc?
We really wouldn't want to pay for both tutoring and private primary.


I am not surprised with that outcome YeomanOftheGuard, as State schools are not known for preparing children for 11+ exams outside of their normal curriculum. You will find that most children preparing for 11+ in Birmingham take the private tutoring route rather than just relying on their respective school. Yes, there are independent prep school, who do prepare children, but from my experience of the process, and knowing some tutors, independent prep school children are more likely to have further private tuition as compared to state schools, and more likely to gain a place too.

Few years back, I believe more than half of the intake for CHB and CHG was from private sector. I remember receiving this information from a trusted source few years back, requested under FOI.

More than half of CHB entrants were from Indies - mainly just Hallfield, Blue Coats, West House with a few from Norfolk House and Ruckleigh's .
Just under half of CHG entrants were from Indies - mainly just Hallfield, Blue Coats, EHS and some from Ruckleigh's too.

Of the other pupils, they were mainly from very good state schools like Harborne, Hall Green, King David, Moseley CE etc. and not many inner state schools featured in the list at all.

As someone who has been through the process twice with my children, I would recommend looking at hiring a specialist 11+ tutor, if you have the necessary resources available, and, of course, not the time or knowledge to DIY.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:50 pm 
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My children go to a state primary that is not in Birmingham or Walsall. My DS has just taken both tests and scored high enough to go to any of the schools. Area doesn't matter for these schools.

Our primary does not do any preparation for the 11 plus and few children take the exam and even fewer gain a place....only 1 or 2 each year maximum. This does not bother me. The school is fantastic and my children are happy. My DS was challenged in school to an adequate level.

That said we are not in a position to afford prep school so it was never an issue. Best of luck with your decision. Honestly though, choose the area and school that brings you and your family the most happiness now.


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