Tiffin Schools Admission Arrangements(332 Posts)
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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.
btw whatever aguments you espouse for 'Localism' (whatever that is supposed to mean) - be it for or against; community does work - it is an incredible means of empowerment and facilitation in education. i was at my DSs primary today & i do concur with the heads words, which still resonate all these years on: selective schools - on balance "You might like to take a view on that". TS, or any other state selective / gammar / academy for that matter, for all their plaudits or wherever they fall in the league tables are not a patch on the primary my children attend; not in even the same league. Sure it has a catchment, but children are welcomed there from all backgrounds, social, ethnicity, etc: in many respects it is far more diverse, affords its pupils more opportunity and is a better school for it. if people supported their local schools instead of shopping around to secure the best deal based on league tables, then all schools could raise the bar in a very short period of time; without buy in from 'local' parents - while they choose to send their able children tens of miles away for schooling, that can never ever happen.
...in any event, Tiffins gold standard measure of a childs ability or potential based on nvr/vr testing alone as a means of determining eligibility for admission is a total farce. it proves absolutely nothing; the school and parents alike in the current environment with hysteria over testing, levels, grades obsession - so called sink comprehensives (not fair in my opinion) has created a situation where people are associating a causal relationship (wrongly), whereas in fact there is none. the link between these kinds of tests and future performance is at best tenuous. if you look at the stats published by the school, 'performance' in the test has risen steadily, as have the number of candidates that sit, year on year - for past 6 years. whatever you do to the raw data, cohort, group, rank, age weight it - whatever, the distribution of scores will follow a normal Gaussian distribution about the mean. if you add in more pupils taking the test, effectively you are adding in more mico-normal distributive curves; year on year - so more children in each band. with a fixed number of places, therefore over time the 'qualification score' (or cutoff) necessarily 'rises' - apparently. of course it is nothing of the sort, since the numbers of candidates on all the lower bands also increases by similar amounts. is simply a matter of supply and demand - pumping more numbers into a Gaussian curve, the test and the score; since it adheres to a normal distribution but with a fixed number of places on offer (allocated from the top down) is only really an accurate measure of the degree oversubscription vs. place availability. it eays nothing else. look at the yr on yr figures past six years, you will see that in 2007 final qualifying mark was 221. Tiffin will have taken all boys into the school who achieved this age weighted band score (+2 on appeals who must have scored 220 or lower); these boys are still there - actually at the school now; they will go up into upper sixth to complete their studies in the next academic year (2014). if 231 is deemed a measure of selective ability now; how on earth have these poor boys coped with the pressures of being at Tiffin. yet i would imagine thay have all netted the mandatory multi-stash of A/A* grades in their GCSEs and A/Ss. the system is fundamentally flawed; should be a cutoff (220 would seem logical - since boys who have scored this are at the school, so it clearly is an adequate measure of selective ability). beyond that they need some other way of allocating the places; be it proximity, interview, or as at the girls school, second bank testing of different parameters, such as English or Maths (although in truth, that can only work for the first intake, who have not been afforded the opportunity to tutor for it). i was yesterday informed of a parent, who's DS is at Tiffin School, and who had 1:1 for over a year prior to taking the tests in order to gain admission, she related (and i quote directly); 'Several times a week, we literally opened his head up and stuffed the information and practice papers into him until he could take no more'. Great; so well done Tiffin School - if that is the kind of broken, abused children or insane parents you want at your school; that is exactly what you have got. (and i'm sure there is a deal more that is worse than this, bubbling away under the surface.) bravo.
? unless of course you are referring to Coombe; but that is only 4 girls that it is performing highly, the boys school that was confederated with it (formerly Beverley) i gather is still a work in progress.
i know they are both good enough for an able chile to achieve; Teddington School is adding its own sixth form, but pressures are on there with breaking of link status, so we are unlikely to get in. Kingston school you are referring to we have been offered and accepted place for DS2; they have fast track strem testing prior to yr7 entry, so with 5a/6 levels DS2 should b ok for that.
Zoffany51, the two comprehensives nearest Tiffin enter nearly as many high attainers for all Ebacc subjects as in the Tiffin schools - way above average for comprehensives. The one in Rchmond got the best results in 2012 and has been working in partnership with Tiffin for a few years getting pupils into their sixth form, so is used to having children who get top grades. This is London, not Kent! Good luck.
...quite interesting i think - i do recall, on mentioning Tiffin when our children went up to their Ofsted outstanding (and yes very affluent in terms of catchment) primary, the head literally bristled and replied 'You might like to take a view on that'. well now i guess we do have to, and with two DS, barely anything between them in terms of ability as measured by real educational criteria - the ones that count, it will be interesting to see how they progress. how the outcomes compare.
@muminlondon - 'three times as many of those in the grammars who only achieved Level 4 prior to getting into the school (because they were tutored within an inch if their life - 15% of the total) were entered for all Ebacc subjects compared to those in Kent non-grammars who had gained Level 5.'
Therein lies the problem - where do you send a child like ours, DS2 who is level 5a literacy, level 6 maths if the local grammar won't take him? where is he to go? Yet we know of a child at Tiffin, who by yr8 - did not know what a vase was! Not exactly wide read is he. You are right, overtutoring is creating a cohort of one trick wonders; only thing they are actually good at is vr/nvr entrance tests, or at least disproportionately so.
I'd agree with that. I don't like selective schools at all, but it's hard to get rid of them now, and in SW London the parents most actively chasing those places are likely to go private if they don't get in - so the brain drain isn't so obvious. London does have better schools than the rest of the country and they get much better results in more deprived areas now too.
But it's hard for any parent if your only option is a local school that performs less well.
Indeed, the more selective a school is, the less of a brain drain there is from surrounding schools.
I don't mean money - it costs more to send a child to a juvenile detention centre than Eton! I mean time, critical mass of a whole class of pupils, even two if set by ability and still enabling the timeabling of a subject option (e.g. between languages). Then each child can sit exams for subjects they chose, that are appropriate to their level, at 16 years old - without being herded into different schools at 11. You need at least 60 high attainers in a cohort of 200 to do that , which is a top set of 30% - and very few comps or sec mods in Kent have that. The figures are actually worse than I thought - three times as many of those in the grammars who only achieved Level 4 prior to getting into the school (because they were tutored within an inch if their life - 15% of the total) were entered for all Ebacc subjects compared to those in Kent non-grammars who had gained Level 5.
Kingston isn't anywhere near as bad as Kent because the Tiffins are super selective and I hope it stays that way.
My understanding is the grammar schools are given less resources than failing schools.
Localism is unfair, but it suits affluent parents who can buy a house in catchment and then not have to worry.
'Competitive entry is much more egalitarian.'
It isn't - it concentrates resources and subject choice into a small number of schools and reduces options for the majority in other schools. And that affects pupils from deprived families or localities disproportionately. Look at Kent - half as many 'high attainers' in the non-grammars are entered for Ebacc subjects as those in the grammars. Only 1% at Tiffin Girls are disadvantaged but 16.1% in the local authority. Only the Catholic schools come close and they select, in a different way, from a wider catchment area but are not open to all.
The fairest admissions are equal banding across a whole area (as suggested here). But that can also fall down if it's applied only partially. So localism is the next fairest criteria but not combined with selection in the same school.
No it's not impacting on any particular bad school catchment, it's impacting on lots of them
@FillyPutty - but if you look at the postcode allocation for Tiffins, taking one pupil from KTx, another couple from GUy, etc is hardly making an impact on the opportunities of those in any particular 'bad school catchment', either individually or collectively is it. Yet collectively, the numbers add up to deny those living within close prximity of TS/TGS -where we actually have no other options. Many parents in KoT are now out of catchment full stop, and would have to travel 5+ miles to get to the 'bad school'. How is that fair?
There are wealthy parents at comps too.
The indisputable fact is that while you can tutor your children for a few quid worth of Bond books, or perhaps a few hundred in fees to a tutor, a school in the catchment of a good London school will costs hundreds of thousands of pounds more than in a bad school's catchment.
...since it is not borne out in practice; there are a good many wealthy parents at Tiffin i can say, irrespective of where they come from. Prep scholls, performance Italian cars, home swimming pools, etc. One way or another, it all boils down to money in the end. Sad but true.
@FillyPutty Localism is NOT a fair means of allocating school places, since it is highly correlated with parental wealth, and indeed in London family houses in the catchments of good schools can cost over a million. So unless you are a millionaire it's very hard to get in. Competitive entry is much more egalitarian.
I find this very niaive i have to say; some at DS2 tutor group had been tutored 2 years, including 5 days a week for the six months prior to sitting test for TS. How is it you think that doesn't come down to money? £25 a session. Do the math! Everything comes down to money in this country - egalitarian; just a stupid word.
DS2 sta Slough as practise, but we were never intending to send him there. Similarly Sutton (we didn't sit); he said, not going there, that's miles away. So there you have it, maybe KoT children are a bit different from others in that it is they too that want to be educated locally. Is not merely parental wishes.
In our case, at 220 - DS2 failed to qualify by est. 3 questions; if you consider the likely final entry cutoff will be 228 again (based on historic: first allocation is at 231), effectively he achieved 96.5% of qualifying score.
At level 6, yes we want Tiffin also so his levels can be maintained; state secondary non-selective schools so called 'fast-stream' will put him back two years - where is the motivation supposed to come from if he is not being developed or stretched?
We want DCs to be able to progress at their ability level, to be educated together (anyone would ant that), and to have the benefit of like minded peers.
As a level 6 i do consider DS2 is definitely of selective calibre.
By comparison, DS1 did not finish Tiffin papers and left some questions even 'unguessed' - scored 244.
By our recknoning (and his), that means he got practically every question he did correct; 100%.
Yet in terms of real ability, there is nothing between them. DS2 stronger in maths; DS1 stronger in literacy, but normal family variation. Their levels are comparable; DS2, marginally higher i would say.
So it pretty much is a lottery; the difference in style and application typifies the difference in approach, which in turn is characterised by birth position in the family.
We know of so many families locally where this has been the case; similar story.
@FillyPutty - re: housing, no not everyone in KoT lives in a $million property round here. If you look at KT postcodes there are plenty of areas that are comparatively poor.
We basically had to go over the river to RoT, since all of the local schools in KoT were oversubscribed for DS1 as a millenium child. We were fortunate enough to get in as the school allocation expanded two to three form; but certainly it is in a $million catchment yes, and would never get into the school nowadays. We were very lucky i have to admit.
I think this argument will soon be resolved, as i gather from good authority that one of the Tiffins is now actively considering catchment.
Point i was making is that we would have sent our DCs to Tiffin as our local - nearest state secondary, irrespective of whether it was selective or not.
zoffany - I sympathise with you and do agree on some of your points. The 11+ exam is just a snapshot - an indication of overall ability but never totally accurate and never claims to be. As a tool to pick children who are very bright from children who aren't, it does the job very well. Where it falls down is when you have 400 pupils all roughly equal and have to decide between them. The super bright children - 20-50 or so of them - are safely in but for the rest it comes down to the difference between one silly mistake on one question, needing the loo halfway through a maths paper or not seeing one question at the bottom of the page. It ceases to be about superior ability when you are talking about 2 boys who have both passed with flying colours but one has an extra mark so wins the place.
In situations where one boy is on 226 and one on 232, it makes no odds in terms of the schools standards which boy gets the place. They are of equal ability. But it makes all the difference in the world to the 2 boys if one lives in Slough and one lives in Kingston. I am sorry you've had such a bad outcome.
Hmm, you said your child goes to an outstanding primary in Richmond, and now you want an outstanding secondary in Kingston. I am not convinced by your arguments of fairness. Do people in Hounslow not deserve access to outstanding schools?
Nobody ever clamoured to get into their local failing school.
Good schools are a scarce resource. Everyone will claim they have a right to a good school on different grounds, localism, religion, ability, and so on.
None of these reasons are fair. If you have access to an Outstanding primary in Richmond you are very fortunate, not just in terms of education, but probably housing too.
As a parent the only thing you can do is work with the rules to get the best school you can find. It can never be fair that there are so many shit schools in this country that children are sent to. I don't sense that you are particularly interested in that though, you've just got spurious arguments about why your child should get in to one of the best schools in the country.
We applied to a top Catholic school and a top comprehensive, neither let DS in, because we didn't meet the criteria. That's what it is, and I could no doubt come up with admissions criteria that would have earned my DS a place, but then there are thousands of parents who would like to do the same.
Localism is NOT a fair means of allocating school places, since it is highly correlated with parental wealth, and indeed in London family houses in the catchments of good schools can cost over a million. So unless you are a millionaire it's very hard to get in. Competitive entry is much more egalitarian.
Does anyone have any idea how the consultation is going?
...but insofar as it is selective, priority should go to local families; 80/20 - catchment vs. open selection would be about right. (btw @FillyPutty - what do you suggest i tell my second son; that i am a hypocrite?)
@FillyPutty - this is simply not true.
How would you know my reasons for wanting my children to go to Tiffin?
Tiffin is a Kingston school, our nearest state secondary (as i stated we live within 1km from the school gates) - that is my reason. Proximity, not selection (or superselection either for that matter).
We had to sit DCs for the test because it is selective entry; personally, i would rather it wasn't and that it catered for the needs of the local community. (Which at present, it most certainly does not.)
All of the the Kingston parents with children at the school feel pretty much the same; i know this for a fact.
'The only reason you want to go to Tiffin is because it is selective' is a perfect statement that applies to all those parebts who apply on behalf of their children and who live outside of the borough - it does not apply equally to those who live within.
After all, what child who lives say 20 miles away from these schools, in all honesty gets up one morning and says to his/her parents - mum/dad i really want to go to Tiffin? I find that rather hytpocritical to be honest.
But the only reason you want to go to Tiffin is because it is selective. Most children do not have access to selective schools in this country. You have stated that your son has a place at another local school. If that school were the selective one and Tiffin was not, you would prefer that school. When you chose Tiffin for your first son, you presumably rejected your local non-selective school where both could have been educated together.
You appear to be in favour of selection, but only if your children pass the exams.
Rather hypocritical I feel.