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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:10 am 
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Hi Woobywoo,

I am still trying to make sense of the pupils on roll this year. They have reported

Yr7: 186
Yr 8: 185
Yr 9: 180
Yr 10: 180
Yr 11: 179
Yr 12: 200
Yr 13: 183

Seems like 186 is their highest strength in a year group.

I am assuming the intake for year 8 went up to 185 as a result of successful appeals but have no data to support this. They have not included any appeal success data with the paperwork and I can’t find anything online.

Sebs


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:12 am 
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You could also ask if they will be taking an extra 6 every year now. If they say yes then it shows a capacity for more children in school as a whole.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:13 am 
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Good point. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:25 am 
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Here we go! wrote:
Yes, that is frustrating.

Do you know how many generally get in on appeal and how many over pan they go each year? I wonder whether (assuming they do go over numbers each year) if it’s worth at stage one asking if they went over pan last year, when they say yes, asking how many health and safety incidents or children’s safeguarding alerts they reported as a result of going over pan? It seems that their argument is regarding prejudice caused by admitted extra children. I’m not that knowledgable but they are arguing that existing children are at risk if more pupils are taken on. If there have been no such incidents formally reported then this may weaken their case?

I don’t know though, maybe someone more knowledgable could advise.


Good luck and do let us know how it goes.



Hi,
It doesn’t seem like they have even gone over their PAN in the previous years. It makes me wonder if there have ever been any successful appeals :(


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Hi - yes my reading of the PAN numbers you have shared is that there were possibly 5 successful appeals last year. I’d be interested to know why they decided on 6 as the number to add this year. Is this based on the overall school capacity? Certain areas of the school being too pinched? I’d link this to a follow up question on whether their PAN will always increase to 186 from now on.... as per my previous post.

Finally it is possible that they had some successful appeals previous years but other pupils left, therefore the overall PAN hasnt changed? Please correct me someone if I’ve got that wrong.

Woobywoo x


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:01 am 
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Woobywoo wrote:
Hi - yes my reading of the PAN numbers you have shared is that there were possibly 5 successful appeals last year?

Woobywoo x


What is curious is that their intake in year 7 last year was 180. The figure of 185 in year 8 maybe due to successful 12+ appeals?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:04 am 
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Woobywoo wrote:
I’d be interested to know why they decided on 6 as the number to add this year. Is this based on the overall school capacity? Certain areas of the school being too pinched? I’d link this to a follow up question on whether their PAN will always increase to 186 from now on.... as per my previous post.


Woobywoo x


The reason they have provided is to relieve pressure on required school places.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:08 am 
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Woobywoo wrote:

Finally it is possible that they had some successful appeals previous years but other pupils left, therefore the overall PAN hasnt changed? Please correct me someone if I’ve got that wrong.

Woobywoo x


Entirely possible, it seems odd as they have always kept the exact number of 180 for the past few years. I hope Etienne will also be able to shed some light on this. I have absolutely no idea about this.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:16 pm 
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Quote:
I am assuming the intake for year 8 went up to 185 as a result of successful appeals but have no data to support this. They have not included any appeal success data with the paperwork and I can’t find anything online.
Probably successful appeals a year ago.
Another possibility is that there might have been one or two additions as a result of in-year Education Health Care Plans naming the school (I note that there are 3 EHCPs in Y8, but it depends when they were admitted).
Ask for an explanation at stage one, and for evidence (not anecdotes) of exactly what prejudice has been caused by the extra 5.

Quote:
interested to know why they decided on 6 as the number to add this year
It's a six form entry school, so I guess they opted for a minimum of one extra per class.
If they had opted for an extra 5, everyone would claim there's 1 vacancy (even though they're over PAN).

The willingness to take an extra 6 raises a question mark over previous claims that the school could not possibly admit more than 180!

Quote:
Finally it is possible that they had some successful appeals previous years but other pupils left, therefore the overall PAN hasnt changed? Please correct me someone if I’ve got that wrong.
This is entirely possible.


Quote:
"Additionally, the following also ensure the process is fair, consistent and objective:
• The SR process is open to every parent ......"
If openness is evidence of 'fair, consistent and objective', you might think (with a score of 119) that automatic moderation should be open to every parent with a very close score!
Why do they keep changing the headteacher recommendation criteria for moderation?
What training do primary headteachers as a whole get to ensure that headteacher recommendations are FCO?
Isn't it a known fact that HTRs vary considerably from school to school, some being too strict, some being far too generous?
How can a process that uses inconsistent HTRs be fair, consistent and objective?

Quote:
"...... panels are made up of different headteachers. This helps develop consistency as the experience of holding the discussions with different colleagues provides more common ground, and seeks to ensure that the process is fair, consistent and objective."
So, as a result of all these discussions, what is the consensus about the criteria for determining "grammar school suitability"?
Without clear criteria how can the process be fair, consistent and objective?


I would be surprised if they don't win their case for prejudice, but you might be able to dent it a bit.

Did the school made exactly the same arguments when its intake was 180?
And yet it is willing to admit 6 more pupils???

Quote:
"Effect on specialist teaching areas"
Evidence? Have results suffered?

Quote:
"Health & Safety"
How many reportable accidents attributable to overcrowding?

Quote:
"effect on the quality of learning"
Evidence? Have results deteriorated?

Quote:
"room usage in excess of 90%"
How many successful secondary schools in Bucks have room usage of less than 90%?
None?

Quote:
"there is no doubt in the mind of any professional that a class size of 30 is the maximum"
School cases too often resort to anecdotal "evidence". Research published by the DfE says:

      "The evidence base on the link between class size and attainment, taken as a whole, finds that a smaller class size has a positive impact on attainment and behaviour in the early years of [primary] school, but this effect tends to be small and diminishes after a few years.

      4.5.2 Secondary schools. There is very little evidence on the importance of class size on secondary school attainment.
      "

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... -RR169.pdf


The school case gives figures for SEN support, which are below average, and for Education Health Care Plans, which are way below average.
There is no mention of EAL or FSMs, which immediately suggests these figures are very low.

Statistics from the DfE for 2018 reveal:
Education Health Care Plans
This school 0.3%
National average 4.4%

SEN support
School 8.5%
National average 10.4%

free school meals (a measure of deprivation)
School 2.3%
National average 28.6%

English as an additional language
School 7.5%
National average 16.5%
(One Bucks grammar school has around 30% EAL!)

What about challenging behaviour/disruptive pupils?
How many pupils has the school had to permanently exclude in the past year?

Would the school agree that the figures show it does not face some of the huge challenges many other secondary schools have to contend with?

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 10:35 am 
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Hi Etienne,
Thank you so much for providing such valuable analysis and highlighting these points out of the school case. I am very grateful. I am now preparing questions to raise at Stage 1. I just hope there are other parents there raising some points too. I wonder how many questions I will be able to ask safely without seeming to be too forceful. I am usually not very outspoken in public meetings unfortunately.

I will keep you posted.
Thanks


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