I don't know if this helps but... The system for allocating places is quite complicated and the reason the Consortium won't give you a straight yes or no is that they don't offer the places.
It's not as straightforward as saying if he came in the top 240 he should get a place, because he would also have to score above the minimum Southend Pass mark to be considered. Last year Southend offered 113 of their in borough places but Westcliff only offered 63 so only 176 of the 240 in borough places were offered out. This is because not enough boys who put them down as a choice scored high enough. Therefore in that situation being in the top 240 is not good enough.
Bear in mind that a ranking of 1 is the top scorer working downwards.
Also the two schools are not lumped together when ofering the places. When your son takes the test he will be ranked on the in borough list of everyone who named Westcliff as a choice and also separately on the list for Southend.
For example on the Westcliff rankings if your son achieved a score of 340 but five boys scored higher than him he would be ranked sixth on their list. With the same score he will also be ranked against boys on the Southend list but there may be twenty boys who scored higher than he did so he would come twenty first. On both lists he would have scored high enough to be offered a place but the LEA will offer you the highest preference on your form.
Hoefully I can find some information that is easy to understand and not wrapped up in red tape.
My son sits the 11+ this year and we are trying to work through the mindfield of preferences/rankings/scores etc.
We have been assured both by the LEA and the Consortium that The 2 grammar school do NOT get to see the oreder of preferences (I personally have my doubts, but for the sake of this argument I'll accept that).
The hypothetical scenario is that we place Southend as first preference and Wetscliff as second.
Therefore, as there are 125 places (in catchment) at Southend and 115 places at Westcliff....surely it is logical to assume that if our son is ranked in the top 240 he will be offered a place at one of these schools???..even if he is ranked 239 and every child before him chooses Westcliff or Southend as a first or second preference?
I cannot get a straight answer to this question...just keep getting sidetracked with stuff like..."depends how many other preferences/applications for Southend are received"...but surely this is irrelevant as it goes on achievement in 3 exams and then rankings??
Are we missing something really obvious here? We write as parents that have taken the 11+ ourselves years ago so would assume we have a modicum of intelligence, but may be not.......any info would be greatly appreciated....thanks