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 Post subject: Pates increasing PAN?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:40 pm 
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We received a letter this morning via our primary school. So Pates are finally planning to introduce PP like the other grammar schools. But a PAN of 180 would make it the biggest - 6 classes per year!

Other schools increasing PAN have unofficially increased it a year early, so I wonder if they may implement this in time for those taking the test in September 2019 (2020 entry?).

All assuming it goes ahead - but surely an extra 30 GS places can only be a good thing?

19th March 2019

Notice of Consultation: Admissions Arrangements for Pate’s Grammar School
The Governors of Pate’s Grammar School are proposing to extend the opportunity for
children from all backgrounds to benefit from a Pate’s education by expanding our
published admissions number. Additionally we are determined to increase the number of
students from disadvantaged backgrounds who attend the school.
The Department for Education is making this possible through its Selective Schools
Expansion Fund (SSEF) and prior to making an application we are keen to hear the views of
parents, staff, the local community and other stakeholders. This initial consultation will run
from Tuesday 19th March until Tuesday 16th April.
In summary our proposals are to;
• Increase the Published Admission Number (PAN) for Year 7 entry from 150 to 180
from September 2021.
• Lower the qualifying standard for students who are ‘Looked After or Previously
Looked After’.
• Lower the qualifying standard for students who qualify for Pupil Premium funding.
Alongside, and of equal importance to the proposed policy changes, Pate’s plans to
develop further the outreach programme in the local community.
The Governing Body would be keen to hear your views. You can respond in a number of
ways;
1. If you would like to write a letter then please send it to the school addressed to the
Chair of Governors.
2. If you would like to submit a response by email, please do so to the Chair of
Governors at consultation@patesgs.org by the end of Tuesday 16th April.
3. Should you wish to discuss our proposals then you are invited to attend an
informal meeting at the school between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on Monday 1st April.
All comments will be considered by the Governing Body before a final decision is made,
however it will not be possible to respond individually to emails or letters.

Rebecca Flaxman Russel Ellicott
Chair of Governors Head Master


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Pate’s already give priority to those who qualify who have PP/looked after by putting them into the top 150, but it’s only a small number who qualify, maybe 2 or 3. This looks like they’ll actually give some PP/looked after DC a bit of an extra advantage. Not to get too political, but grammar schools are supposed to give bright children from all backgrounds a more focused, academic education. But they tend to qualify predominantly middle class children who already have advantages in life. Any means to redress this balance is welcome. So long as they don’t end up with demotivated, bright DC who can’t keep up with the others.

I’m not sure if increasing the PAN is a good idea. The school might lose some of its character.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:17 am 
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I think they are going to struggle by simply dropping the qualification mark. They are going to then be fishing from the same pond as STR, Denmark rd etc which aren't exactly awash with PP students.

I find the PP criteria quite a blunt tool anyway. There are so many factors that might disadvantage a bright child. Health problems, SpLD, disinterested parents, overworked parents. I find it a bit crazy where you could have 2 identical kids. In family a) dad on low income, sahm who is helping child with 11+ prep and income low enough to qualify for pp and the "advantage" that brings. Family b) dad has same low income job, mum working full time minimum wage job to keep family out of poverty. Parents have no time/ energy to help their child study, and they have no pp "advantage" as income is too high. Which child is most disadvantaged?

Anyway, what they might want to do is guarantee a place for the top child in each class in Cheltenham schools ie qualifying top 2 children for a 2 form entry primary. This won't benefit the middle class, high tutoring schools as they will already have kids going to Pates going from those schools. However, it might encourage bright kids in less affluent schools to give it a go, as they will know who in their class they will be competing against, so it will feel like a more doable prospect. Just an idea....


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:47 pm 
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I wondered which would be the first grammar to move on increasing PAN when the county's schools are so full this year.

Glos18, I agree pupil premium is a blunt tool. Both the low-income scenarios you outline are probably pretty far away from the average Pate's intake however. I don't know if anyone has put a recent FOI request to them re: how many of their year 7 intake come from the private sector, but teachers I know there suggest that a high number do. Whilst I applaud the attempt to make grammar schools more diverse, I suspect they know full well it is little more than lip-service in practice and actually they just want the money that 30 more pupils per year would bring. I imagine it would be unlikely they would get the PAN change through without prioritising pupil premium children. Sorry to be cynical but unless the outreach programme includes lowering the entry requirement specifically for those literally on the school's doorstep, this move is more likely to be due to the chronic under-funding of schools than a genuine attempt to diversify their intake.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:56 pm 
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Glos18, I agree PP is a blunt tool for the reasons you state, but I think your novel idea about taking the top child from each primary wouldn't work in practice. Firstly, how would it be decided who the top child was? There would still have to be some kind of exam. Secondly, there will be schools where there is no clear 'top kid'. In DD's year there was one child who stood head and shoulders above everyone else (he did go on to Pates) but in DS' year it's different. He and another kid are very evenly matched at the top of the class. Both are hoping for Pates. You could have another school where the top kid was of a lower level than these two just because it's all relative. Yet that child would get a place while one of the other two wouldn't. The 11+ is far from perfect but at least it's the same test for everyone.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:32 pm 
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I meant that it would be the top child who had taken the 11+ from each school, so still same exam. Agree, it would cause issues where child scoring higher does not get a place, when child scoring lower does, but this is what Pates is suggesting anyway by bringing down pass mark for pp kids.

Onthefence, I agree, it is all down to money. It is shocking how many of our local schools receive below the bottom limit for funding. I don't blame Pates for wanting to expand, given how squeezed they are, but it is sad they feel they have to. Dressing it up as helping disadvantaged kids is just to please the anti grammar brigade. If the government did want to help disadvantaged kids they would fund all schools properly so they can employ TAs etc.

I have to say, I felt the way PP families were treated on last year's results day was pretty dreadful. No co-ordination between schools meant a bunch of confusing results, and they were disproportionately caught up in admin errors. I hope Pates do a better job with this new venture.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:24 pm 
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I don't know if anyone has put a recent FOI request to them re: how many of their year 7 intake come from the private sector, but teachers I know there suggest that a high number do.

The number in Y7 isn't published. However, it's possible to work out (roughly) how many came from the private sector in each Y11 from the GCSE data published by the government on gov.uk

As private schools don't tend to take KS2 SATs, the number of children without 'progress' data - ie without KS2 results - is a first approximation to the number of children who came from private schools. It hides under the 'results by prior attainment' heading.

In 2018, 122 children took their GCSEs at Pates. 97 were included in the progress data by prior attainment, which means that 25 had no KS2 data. Thus, approximately one fifth of that year group were likely to have come from private schools.

I have no idea whether that is typical, but anecdotally it sounds entirely possible?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:52 pm 
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ooh, interesting Cheltenhammum. In the interest of fairness I have also included the following schools from 2018 GCSE results: -

SHS - 12 /119 have no prior attainment recorded.
HSFG/DR - 22/122
RH - 9/119
Marling 13/123
STR - 21/119
Pate's - 25/122
Crypt - 11/125

I guess some of these children would be home schooled? Also, one private prep school nearer the Stroud grammars includes SATS results on its website so I guess some private schools are able to give prior attainment figures. So it is likely, but not necessarily conclusive, that for that year group approx 20 per cent of Pate's, STR and HSFG/DR pupils were privately educated/home schooled at KS2, but for the others it may be closer to 10 per cent. Does this sound plausible? It would be interesting to know how these proportions have changes since each one of those schools has now increased its PAN.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:44 pm 
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There are obviously other reasons for not having SATs results - coming from another country after Y6 and being placed in that secondary, being home schooled etc - as well as it being possible that some private schools take SATs. That's why I emphasise that the data only gives a rough approximation.

For comparative purposes, some Cheltenham non-grammars:
Bournside 16/268
Balcarras 9/196
Pittville 11/90
All Saints 18/149

The balance of 'reasons for not having KS2 results' are likely to be different between different schools, given their very different demographics. Also, the relatively low turnover of pupils in some schools vs the much higher turnover of others might mean more students arriving e.g. from other countries would be placed in certain schools.


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