Tiffin Schools Admission Arrangements

(663 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

tiffinboys Fri 27-Apr-12 00:56:58

Tiffin Schools (Boys & Girls) have issued their Determined Admission Arrangements for 2013-14. Boths Schools have decided to ignore pleas from the local community and opted to continue with Open Selection.

Though most of the grammar schools have catchment/proximity rules, some even going to the extent of denying applications to sit for their entrance test in breach of Grenwich ruling, Tiffins would continue open selection policies. Only handful of children from Kingston & surrounding areas get places in Tiffins. Most of the places go to the children living at very very far away places, eg. Harrow, Southall, Greenford.

Grammar schools from Bromley (St. Olave & Newstead Wood), Redbridge (Woodford County & Ilford County) or Barnet/Herts (DAO & Latymer) or Slough (Langley) would not allow out-of-catchment children to even apply for admission tests. Other schools like Kent grammars would only give places to children living near to the School. Some schools have most of the places for catchment area (Nonsuch, Wallington etc.).

This year, Reading grammars (Kendrik & Reading) and Chelmsford grammars (both boys & girls) have changed their over-subscription criteria from 100% open selection to 100% catchment and 80% catchment respectively.

It is high time that children from Kingston and surrounding areas also get level playing field. Until all grammar schools are 100% open selection, it is fair that some priority is restored for these children.

We have therefore proposed that Tiffins give 80% places on the basis of proximity to the Schools (or such other Centre point in the Borough, as previously proposed by the LA) to those children who pass the entrance tests. Other 20% may be given on open selection.

This proposal complies with Greenwich/Rotherham rulings. We are aware that it would take lot of persuation for the Governors of these school to accept this proposal. We call upon all parents from Kingston & Surrounding areas t write to the Tiffin Schools in support of this proposal and copy these to your local MPs and Councillors.

tiffinboys Mon 23-Sep-13 13:54:51


Quite right. The Tiffins would also need to look into the entrance tests. Working like mad for 2 years or more on NVR/VR is no sign of being super bright. TGS has taken a good step in conducting maths/English tests.

OhDearConfused Mon 23-Sep-13 14:58:16

2 years?! Surely 2 months is more than enough for a super bright child....

Just goes to show that Tiffins are not really for the super bright, but for the "children of motivated parents" - the children who get in are those who have the parents who want it the most (assuming a base level of "bright").

muminlondon Mon 23-Sep-13 15:19:46

is it necessary to reduce local children intake in Tiffins to improve results of other comprehensives

Yes, in general. Or you increase the catchment area and provide transport, prioritising FSM children in the whole cohort.

I wonder what the intake of north Kingston's new school will be like sandwiched between an outstanding school in Richmond and a grammar school taking more from Kingston? Inevitably the knock-on effect may be worse in the undersubscribed schools further away.

tiffinboys Mon 23-Sep-13 18:11:43

perhaps you forgot about closing Tiffins altogether!!!!!!
That will solve all the ideological problems with the grammar schools.

Just that this experiment of comprehensive or Secondary modern is going on since last 40 years, allowing independent school to grow. The Labour closed down Grammars without replacing equally good schools. Even in areas with no grammar school, none of the comprehensive matches results of even the average grammar school.

muminlondon Mon 23-Sep-13 19:25:50

I don't think the closure of Tiffin grammars or change of status to comprehensive is very likely or it would have happened in the 1970s.

'none of the comprehensive matches results of even the average grammar school'

Of course they wouldn't. The difference is entirely dependent on intake - 33% average high attainers at comprehensives vs 97-98% at Tiffin grammars.

Critical mass tends to help performance so grammars and comps with a good top set and/or excellent teaching to all abilities usually achieve better results. But comprehensives take all children - average 15% FSM, average 17% low attainers (and a certain overlap there), average 10% SEN. Grammars exclude most of them. As has been pointed out, a good social mix is good preparation for life.

But still, even academically comprehensives can outperform grammars in some subjects. Take Orleans Park: 38% 'high attainers'. Last year 32% achieved 5 Ebacc subject passes and this year over 50%. It entered 61% for languages and 89% passed, 56% A/A*. Every single pupil taking German passed. This proves that that achievement extends beyond the top set, but probably depends on having enough academically able pupils to attract teachers in shortage subjects.

I will not suggest closing Tiffin if you do not cream the top set off my comprehensive.

tiffinboys Mon 23-Sep-13 21:45:10

Ok, that's fine. Tell your boys not to put Tiffin on their CAF. If they can't resist, at least put it at no. 6.

muminlondon Tue 24-Sep-13 07:34:47

The cohort of a school is not an extended family over which I have influence, unfortunately. That's we have admissions policies and consultations to gather the views of the community and make sure that the privileges enjoyed by one group are not detrimental to the wider community.

tiffinboys Tue 24-Sep-13 09:40:04

So you think that the policies of over 100 grammar schools which have catchment/distance plolicies (e.g. 30+ Kent grammars, 13-14 Bucks grammars, Slough grammars, Redbridge grammars, Nonsuch, Wallington high and so many others) are detrimental to the wider community.

I think it is more detrimental to the well-being of the child to allow long travel every day for 7 years, which happens in case of open selectives, e.g. Tiffin.

OhDearConfused Tue 24-Sep-13 09:55:37

Yes, actually, TiffinBoys - these grammars are all detrimental to the remainder of their community. That's why most areas in the country have lost grammars. But we have to live with the system that we have.

tiffinboys Tue 24-Sep-13 10:14:36

I beg to disagree and I am not confused about it. If majority of parents/voters didn't want grammars in their area, the remaining ones would have gone too.

As it is, the Kingston Council tried that in 1986 (Labour/Liberals administration) and miserably failed in the wake of local parents opposition. Current Council Leader (Liz Green) has written to me that she would have converted Tiffins into comprehensives, if she had such powers.

But the way things are, many local parents are so upset and Tiffins have made themselves so irrelevant to Kingston children that it is matter of time before some group puts up parental ballots for conversion.

PrettyBelle Tue 24-Sep-13 14:43:02

Well, DS is sitting 11+ this year and the only boys' senior private school in our town also happens to be one of the top ones in the UK. Which also means that it is extremely competitive and lots of places are taken up by non-local boys - who may well have other good schools near by but prefer to try for ours (understandably). Other boys schools are within 25+ min. driving distance. As far as I am concerned, if our local selective indie schools don't have a catchment area then grammars shouldn't have them either. DS is also applying to Tiffin (which is 30 min drive from us but again, the nearest selective no-fee school).

tiffinboys Tue 24-Sep-13 16:36:10

Independent schools have automatic selection. Either you must have atleast £30,000 p.a gross surplus income per child or must be on fsm to be eligible for bursaries. Grammars are state schools and nearly all state schools have distance/catchment policies.

Also the State school parents usually calculate distance by time on public transport. Not by cars or chelsea tractors. wink

tiffinboys Tue 24-Sep-13 16:39:04

I would be too happy to support your local selective indie to have catchment. Really that doesn't bother us at all. smile

tiffinboys Tue 24-Sep-13 16:57:14

Why just Grammars? Even the comprehensives should not have catchment/distance arrangements, as your local 'selective indie' does not have one. smile

zoffany51 Tue 24-Sep-13 17:13:24

Tiffin school is not superselective - it has an open selection policy, and there is no passsmark - how can that be superselection. That the mark is increasing incrementally is purely a statistical phenomenon associated with more parents 'sitting' their children for the test year on year. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the schools selection policy - if a parent or indeed a child wants to sit then they are permitted to do so. Seems fair. smile

zoffany51 Tue 24-Sep-13 17:14:12

...cut-off mark, that is.

zoffany51 Tue 24-Sep-13 17:16:54

DCs who gain entrance are not necessarily more t&g than those who do not - this is pure myth; witness the boy who was likened to a block of wood!!! Maybe he is special needs, but could be at the other end of the spectrum.

CecilyP Tue 24-Sep-13 17:20:08

Superselective isn't an official term with an exact definition, zoffany51; it is a colloquialism - one that definitely applies to the Tiffin schools.

PrettyBelle Tue 24-Sep-13 17:27:46

tiffinboys, not all independent schools have automatic selection - the best ones are very selective and children of parents willing to pay £15,000 per year (£30,000 is the price for a boarding school, not day school) are competing fiercly for the privilege. Many of our local schools are like that. It is not easy to get in at all and places are awarded based on exams with a number of applicants per place. So as a parent looking for academic education I often don't see any difference between academic independenst and grammar schools in terms of selection criteria so see no reason for grammars have catchment.

As for comprehensive schools - I am pretty sure that Kingston has plenty of those apart from Tiffin but it's Tiffin that got 2000 applicants that year. So they should not be compared.

PrettyBelle Tue 24-Sep-13 17:28:48

Sorry for the typos!

zoffany51 Tue 24-Sep-13 17:32:43

The idea of a superselective is to challenge the truly gifted child and have an appropriate curriculum. No, idea of 'superselection' is a social construct.

TGS has taken a good step in conducting maths/English tests.

Not really, since this plays into the hands of those children who are more heavily tutored and fron an earlier age; many DCs are being tutored in core curriculum from year 2, so English/Maths would almost certainly mean less kids getting in from disadvantaged backgrounds.

However you cut it, education in UK pretty much boils down to how much money. smile

CecilyP Tue 24-Sep-13 17:42:41

Honestly, zoffany51, there was no idea of the superselective to support truly gifted children. These schools really came about as an accident of history; some LEAs kept their selective schools when all about them other LEAs were going comprehensive. This was followed by the Greenwich Ruling which meant that no LEA could prioritise children from within their area. Of course, they could have got round this with a fixed catchment, extending a bit beyond their boundary but the main reason they didn't want to do this was nothing to do with how they wanted the selective schools to be, but rather that they still wanted the full ability range within the non-selective schools.

tiggytape Tue 24-Sep-13 18:11:18

Superselective is an accident not a concept.

After most grammar schools closed, and after the Greenwich Ruling, brighter children from further and further away applied to the few that were left. This created the superselectives - a term which applies to how hard it is to get into them not how hard the curriculum is once a child is in.

More children of selective or exceptional ability apply to the remaining grammars than there a places so then those children must compete directly against each other for a place.
It isn't enough to reach a passmark (where one exists) each child must exceed it by a huge margin and, importantly, by more than several hundred other children of roughly equal ability.

Grammar schoosl were originally intended and deemed suitable for the top 20-25% in each area. Superselctives only have physical room for the top 5-8% such are the numbers of applicants they get

tiggytape Tue 24-Sep-13 18:11:44

Sorry - didn't refresh page before posting!

tiffinboys Tue 24-Sep-13 18:18:49

How much £15000 net would be in terms of gross annual income, at higher tax rate of 40% and NIC of 12.5%?

Question of maths or VR may be!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now