A few posters have spotted the "elephant in the room" with regard to the new 11+ testing arrangements as published in the Admissions Consultation documents issued by the various grammar schools, and the list of FAQs published on the council website. The fact is that there is no information whatsoever regarding the arrangements for OOC applicants at non-partner schools - nor, for that matter, for in-county home-educated applicants. Compare this with the clear and comprehensive information provided some time ago by Bexley, which is also changing to CEM testing this year: http://www.bexley.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=11491&p=0
Now, responding to the Admissions Consultation could be problematic, as firstly the consultation is theoretically only open to parents living in Buckinghamshire with children between the ages of 2 - 18. (Not sure where this leaves parents in official catchment areas outside Buckinghamshire, though
). Secondly, it's extremely difficult to comment on the arrangements for OOC applicants because we haven't been told what they are going to be - nor are we likely to be told before the summer term. Therefore, in order to head off any nasty surprises, it might be a good idea for OOC parents with children in Bucks grammar schools or who are planning to enter their children for the process this year, to respond to the consultation anyway, addressing the letter to the relevant grammar school as shown in this page. http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/sites/bcc/sch
In the absence of any proposals, my main concern, which I have highlighted in my own response to the consultation, is that applicants from outside the county must be able to access the admission process under the same conditions as in-county applicants. This right is enshrined in the rules resulting from the Greenwich Judgement, which states that “pupils should not be discriminated against in relation to admission to the school simply because they reside outside the local authority area in which the school is situated”
. This could be the case, for example, if OOC applicants are unable to take the preparation tests which we are
told must be done under controlled conditions, or are expected to sit the preparation tests on the same day as the actual tests. We don't yet know what's being planned for them, so anything's possible!
The closing date for the consultation is 1st March.