Tiffin Schools Admission Arrangements(663 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
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.
Why, as long as children aren't travelling for too long, does it matter where they live?
QE boys and Henrietta Barnett are by merit only and fair enough I say. It takes a hell of a lot of work to get into these schools(even if children are being tutored), so fair play to anyone who gets into these schools purely by merit.
Really don't see why Tiffin should change. If your child isn't smart enough or doesn't want to put in the work to get into Tiffin, then choose another school.
I have not checked all the schools you name but those I have checked are not breaking the Greenwich ruling. They have a catchment area which, for the ones I have looked at, does not coincide with the local authority boundary. They test everyone inside the catchment area. They only test children outside the catchment area if places cannot be filled by children living within the catchment area. It therefore isn't the case that they "would not allow out of catchment children to even apply for admission tests". They simply don't subject children to the admission test when there is no chance of them getting a place. All of that is perfectly legal.
tiffinboys since we don't have a universal grammar system in place, it's far fairer to select on merit than on postcode. What you are suggesting introduces an element of inequity into the process and that can't be good.
I think what tiffinboys is saying is that as many other areas have stuck at catchment only or are reverting to that this year, those who live in the vicinity of the Tiffin schools are put at a significant disadvantage. For example, children who live within catchment of the Slough grammars can still apply for the Tiffin schools whereas Kingston children cannot do the same and apply for the Slough grammars.
Obviously views on this will differ greatly depending on where you live
Just to be clear, Kingston children CAN apply for the Slough grammar schools. They just have very little chance of getting a place whereas Slough children applying to Tiffin schools have a reasonable chance of getting in.
Really don't see why Tiffin should change. If your child isn't smart enough or doesn't want to put in the work to get into Tiffin, then choose another school.
Easy-peasy then. The real problem is the lack of non-selective provision in the north of Kingston. If your child isn't 'smart enough' you will be living too far away from other popular Kingston schools to get a place. Neighbouring Richmond, where your nearest non-selective will be located, operates a system of feeder primaries, so if your child doesn't attend one of those, choices will be very limited.
Richmond upon Thames is moving to home to school distance for all secondary schools for 2013 entry
except waldegrave which has some weird boundary thing
I have a child at one of the Tiffin Schools and we don't live in the local area. I am in favour of open selection. Frankly most of my child's friends at the school are local to the Kingston and New Malden area. I have seen this argument being aired on another forum and local residents seem to be pretty apathetic about changing anything unless their kids don't get in and they start bleating on about how unfair the whole thing is! One of my other children didn't get in because others simply did better in the exam - we were disappointed but got over it, we didn't try and change the rules to give sibling priority!
I live in an area where 5 out of 6 local secondaries base their intake on various religious beliefs - I don't particularly like it, but accept that they have the right to select in that way and to change the admissions processes would be to fundamentally change the character of some excellent schools.
To try and skew the intake in favour of local residents in Kingston would just lead to people buying or renting in the catchment area - it would not be fairer at all. It would also weaken the schools as beacons of academic excellence. If you want more school places lobby in favour of the new school that was supposed to be being built next door to Tiffin Girls' not try and destroy the existing schools.
Good debate; but if you read all of my post, you would have agreed with me.
I proposed that Until All Grammar Schools Adopt Open Selection, Tiffins should also bring in catchment/proximity rules.
Why Kingston should bear all the load from as far away as Slough/Harrow, when the other grammars (Langley, DAO, Latymer, Watford etc. etc) have catchment/proximity rules and Kingston & surrounding areas children cannot even appear at their entrance tests.
So may be we should all lobby government to make all grammars Open Selective. Until then, it is fair that our children gets same privilleges as children of Langley, Barnet, Chelmsford, Reading, Kent, Buckinghamshire etc. etc. are getting.
Henrietta Barnett (Barnet) has open selection, I don't know the other schools. Therefore it is simply not true that all other grammars have catchment areas. Where are you going to draw the boundary? - Tiffin Girls is just over the border from Richmond - what about the girls from there or New Malden? Are you really a local property owner trying to up the prices in the local area, because that will be the biggest effect!
Tiffin Girls is now an academy, wants to keep open selection, and as a Tiffin parent who is very happy with the school, I would like to keep it the way it is. I am not going to go round trying to destroy my local church schools because my children can't get into them and by analogy I don't see why you think you have the right to utterly change the intake and ethos of the Tiffin Schools.
Our Kent grammar has open selection- lots of children travel down from other areas. They only use distance if there is a tie on score. There are 2 other schools here the same. Chelmsford and Cheltenham the same too I believe.
playgroup, the change in Richmond admissions will be good news for residents of north Kingston.
tiffinboys, while some of the other schools you have listed have catchments, many of those catchments are huge. For example, Latymer's catchment takes in a very wide area of north and east London covering several inner and outer boroughs. Likewise, the girls schools in Sutton. How would you propose the catchment of Tiffins? On a radial basis, if you make it large enough to reach the south of Chessington, the catchments will also take in children from Richmond, Hounslow, Merton, Ealing, Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham and Surrey - so in terms of numbers would only make a difference regarding a few children.
Again some people are responding without reading the original post.
I have not proposed any catchment area. I have proposed that place be allocated to those children who achieve minimum standard i.e. not every one and then, on the basis of proximity to school.
It is not necessary that those who live nearby would achieve minimum standard. So it is more likely that the based on the minimum standard (to be fixed by the school - say 220), children from as far as 5 to 7 miles from the school would get admission. Current cut-off for Boys is 229 (last year 228), so 220 is not much lower and the Schools standard would not be effected an inch.
Only children coming from over long distance, say from Hharrow or Greenwich, will be effected and it is in their interest that they take up place in their nearby school. We are aware from other threads that parents have declined admissions in other grammar schools (such as Langley) and taken place in Tiffins.
Other point, I always mentioned Kingston & surrounding areas, obviously this mean whole of Kingston borough (from Chessington to Richmond Park), and all adjoining areas such as part of Richmond/Twicenham/Esher/Wimbledon/Worcester Park.
Hope this clears some of the mis-understanding.
No another poster, no I don't live in or any where near North Kingston ( if that what you think Kingston is).
I see. Wouldn't the heads of the schools just insist that minimum standard is the mark achieved by the top 150 pupils? Incidentally, if you allocate on proximity to the school, children living in the boroughs listed in my previous post, will still have a better chance of getting in than children from the Chessington area of Kingston.
But there are schools in Barnet for a start that have places allocated purely on the exams.
Children travel for miles to attend these schools.
Your idea that there is something unusual with the admissions criteria for the school you are talking about is incorrect.
What you are suggesting is that in order to get into the schools people will probably need to
a. have a very bright child
b. tutor them for the exams
c. be wealthy enough to buy or rent a property near to the school
That sounds like a terrible idea.
@ CecilyP; Children from Chesington would have far better chance in my proposal than at present. Chessington is far nearer than Harrow or Slough.
@SardineQueen: In whole of greater London, there are handful of school on open selection. In Barnet, DAO and Latymer would not allow out of catchment to even appear for their entrance test. Another excellent school Parmiters is also there. I know QE is open selection.
In Kingston, we have only 1 grammar school for boys and 1 for girls and both are quite small. In Kent (proximity rules), there are 31 grammars. Another cluster of grammars is in Buckinghamshire. Again they have proximity rules.
If most of the grammars have catchment or proximity criteria, my thinking must have some merit.
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
Got anything to back that up?
@SardineQueen: Don't tutor them. DIY them. And like me, you don't have to live next to Tiffins.
@corlan; yes and to confirm we have made FOI request to both the Tiffin Schools.
The only time distance comes into allocating places at Wilsons (in Wallington) is when they allocate the final places where a number of boys have the same score in the entrance exam. The same is true for Wallington County Grammar and Sutton Grammar. Other that that it is the boy's rank in the test - i.e. ability, pure and simple.
Why don't you just move to Kent or Bucks/ Isn't that easier than changing the whole school to suit you? judging by the threads on here, the Tiffins seem to be v popular schools - presumably the parents like them as they are?
Which parents - the one from Timbuctoo or the ones from Kingston and Surrounding areas?
Why do over 90% of the grammars have catchment or proximity rules? As I said, if all are open selective, then its fine for Tiffins to be open selective.
The Grammars that get the best results allocate places according to test score and only take proximity into account for the final place, if there is a draw on the score achieved. If Tiffins were to change its policies to favour depth of pockets over merit that would be a sad day, I reckon.
@soupdragon: Do Sutton parents like that? I still remember complaints to the School Adjudicator and public meetings.
Besides Nonsuch and Wallington girls have most places on catchment basis and their catchment is also very narrow (5.25km and 6.7 km respectively).
I had to move to get into the catchment for my preferred schol - i didn';t try to rewrite the catchment to suit me.
if you prefer how the other 90% of schools work, then move to one of their catchments.
I think catchment grammars are quite nice because they have a more local feel and find the Tiffins a bit hot-housey personally, but then clearly lots of parents disagree - hence the high number of applications.
More grammars is one solution - then you can have a local catchment grammar AND a super-selective grammar to pick from.
Why not campaign for that?
As far as I am concerned, schools near me have places based on performance in examinations.
So to me that is quite usual.
I also think that introducing a "being able to afford a nearby house" criteria goes against the concept of entrance on ability.
I really don't understand the problem with this.
@metabilis3: if Tiffin adopt proximity rules, how it would be favouring depth of pockets? Kingston and surroundng areas also have some low income areas and comparatively low price housing. Do you find housing cheap in Ealing/Greenford/Harrow?
Secondly, if the cutoff score goes down to 220 from 226, that would hardly make any difference to the quality of the intake. Also those who live nearby, could study better due to less travelling time. They would also be able to participate in after school activities. They would also not need to catch the bus at 6:30 am as some children have to do now.
Currently, Tiffins are isolated from the local community. Schools need to be part of the local community; They are continously scoring lowest on community cohession in the Ofsted reports.
Catchment grammars are intrinsically fairer in poorer areas - as nearly all kids can afford to live in the area. Hence they prob work quite fairly in Kent, say, but not in posher areas like Kingston, as it is so expensive anyway. Hence it would become selection based on ability to afford house prices.
Sorry - cross-posted.
Where is cheap near Kingston? All seems fairly pricey to me!
Not ansered my earlier points I see - why should the school change rather than you move??
We have several grammar schools in Gloucestershire, all without catchment areas. This means if you are a parent with high aspirations for your child you get them into Pates and drive a long way. If you are a lazy parent like me you send them to the local grammar and they go on the bus.
Kingston is a funny shaped borough. Should children who live in Molesey / Hampton/ Teddington get similar priority to children who live in the Maldens?
I think the issue is the boundaries of Kingston. This throws up odd anomolies other than education. It is silly that people in Molesey cannot use the Surbition refuse dump or Kingston libraries.
I suppose the answer is for Tiffins to set up an anexe like a Kent grammar school has done in Sevenoaks. However kingston has many outstanding secondaries, that Tiffins is bit of an irrevelence.
@ CecilyP; Children from Chesington would have far better chance in my proposal than at present. Chessington is far nearer than Harrow or Slough.
Can't argue with that. Do you know how many children come from as far afield as that?
tiffinboys - you say you have evidence that most pupils at Tiffin live very far away - what statistics do you have? I'm genuinely interested.
Might be worth mentioning that the Tiffin schools haven't always been open selection. Some posts on here suggest that the ethos/character of the school will change for the worse if open selection is removed.
I attended Tiffin Girls when you had to live in the Borough (with the exception of one or two pupils) and it was still an excellent school. I suppose then we didn't have the neurosis inducing league tables so people weren't as fixated with which schools were "the best." After the Greenwich Judgement, the school moved to selection on a different catchment basis from living in the Borough.This was scrapped, however, when it was seen that pupils living in the South of the Borough were not gaining entry in as many numbers as those in the North.
Not advocating which system is better by the way, just wanted to make it clear that the move to open selection is a relatively new thing in the 150 year history of the school
Where is the level playing field for the children in Ealing, Southall and Greenford you propose to exclude? There are no grammars available to them.
@allotmentlady: Ealing is in the catchment of Langley Grammar; Out of catchment children cannot even sit for Slough test there.
@legallady: you are so right. Tiffins have no local charecter now. In fact, some one claiming to be a Tiffin Teacher said on another forum that 'we have no responsibility to the local children'. Even after Greenwich, school had proximity criteria, which was upheld even in 1992 Judicial Review.
Tiffinboys you seem peculiarly badly informed about TGS in particular. There are aren't any after school clubs (apart from the sports on the adjoining site). If the girls are all so stressed travelling why are they consistently near the top of the league tables? The local community does make use of the Tiffin Girls sports facilities etc which is more than can be said for my other child's local school. It would be nice if we all had local grammar schools but that is not the way education in the London area works anymore. I would like to work near my home but I can't do that either. There are NO grammar schools in central London. Why should my child be discriminated against - they scored a higher mark in the test than some of the local applicants - though as already stated most of my child's friends at the school are from the local area. To be honest I think the new admissions procedures for TGS will benefit local applicants anyway, as no doubt through networking, they will be able to communicate what they are looking for.
Tiffinboys - How come you claim to be representing the local community when you (or your buddies) were saying on the "elevenplusexams" website that hardly anybody in the local community even bothered to comment on the new admissions proposals?
Any reason why there are no after school activities at TGS? Is it because all girls have to rush to catch no. 65 or walk to train station to get on with their long travel back home? And then do home work? If they were within 5 mile zone, they could do even better.
You are right about the second point. Few parents write to the Schools because over the last 20 years, they have seen the attitude of the School Governors. Now we don't write to the schools; we will put pressure on them. As these are Kingston Schools, they would eventually have to listen to the local people and have to look after the local children. Example of Reading Schools is the very recent one.
Absolute bollocks - most at TGS come from the local area, not commuting for hours as you want to put across. In my child's class I would say that well over 90% are within 3 miles of the school, let alone 5 miles.
The consultation was on the Borough's website - anyone could have commented on it online and from the comfort of their own home - but very few chose to. I don't believe you represent the local community at all.
If your kids cannot get in then don't try and change the rules for that that can.
Repeated - why don't you move if you would prefer a catchment-based grammar? Why assume the school should change to accommodate you instead?
Nobody has forced you or anyone else to live in kingston - others move to areas because they like the local schools. It's not rocket science.
Why should we move, when we have a grammar school with 4 mile radius and If our children meet the ability standard......
Why Tiffins should not have proximity criteria when other 95% grammars have this criteria?
My friends son has been offered a place at tiffins. He lives in Greenford
Once again I'd ask - where is your evidence that the majority of pupils live 'very
very far away'?
I think you missed my earlier post. We have made FOI to the schools to get the actual numbers; however, with the help of parents in many local schools we have a fairly good idea about the number of local children getting into Tiffins.
If you have some statistics, why not present it for all of us.
@soupdragon: Do Sutton parents like that?
I have no idea and, TBH, I don't care. I am not a Sutton parent.
Well IF your children meet the ability standard why are you complaining? I notice that at 4 miles you are probably further away from the school than the majority of my child's TGS class mates. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that the majority of TGS students travel 5 miles or more because that is totally different to my own knowledge as a TGS parent.
Where is the evidence for your 95% figure for other grammar schools or did you just make that up along with your purported groundswell of local opinion against the schools?
I am a bit suspicious as to what is really behind all this. In my opinion, one of TGS's strengths is the ethnic diversity of it's intake. I think the proportion of ethnic minority students at TGS is perhaps greater than the proportion of ethnic minority residents in Kingston as a whole. I assume this is because many successful students come from backgrounds in which education is very highly valued. Is this what is really bothering you - the relatively small number of ethnic minority students who make an effort to travel a long way to an outstanding school?
tiffinboys - I don't have any statistics. I thought you must have and I was interested to know what they are - but it looks like you don't have any statistics either!
@ mumofjust1: There are many children who come from Greenford and nearby area, even if they get place in Langley as well. Consequently, the second tier children get into Langley.
Tiffins have regular coaches coming from Greenford/Southall area. If coaches can come to Kingston, coaches can go from Kingston too, if other grammars were also open selective. But many of other grammars, would not even allow to take their entrance test, what to talk of place.
@beingfluffy: No, we don't have any agenda other than that Kingston and nearby children get same preference as the children of other grammar areas have. What do you find wrong with that?
I think, you have not been to Kingston area, otherwise you would know that large ethnic population lives here. I need not say more. In my children's year group, majority of children are non-white, if that's what you want to know. All of these children would benefit if Tiffins bring in same rules as most other grammars.
Kingston is one of the whitest places in London - What are you on about??
(Unless I've got really confused and we're talking about Kingston Jamaica)
I used to live in Ealing and know there are no good localschools - why the hell shouldn't they apply to Tiffins?
Why do you assume your child should have a right to a place at a top school just because you live locally? If your child genuinely has met the standard as you say then they will get a place, so no problem - I assume your child has met a rather lower standard hence the moaning at the school.
If Ealing doesn't have good schools, then is it fault of Kingston children that they should keep all doors open? Ask your LA or the Government to build some good one or even a grammar school there.
There were over 1300 grammars at one time. Our Labour government (Shirley Williams was the Incharge of Education - now sitting with Liberals , who also oppose grammar schools) closed these and now there are only about 160 left.
Next election, vote for the party that would build and support good schools in your area.
I note your comments about the coaches (which I have never actually seen) from Greenford and Southall. I doubt you have ever been to TGS because you would have seen the numbers of girls walking home. Your comments about the school are complete and utter crap.
I don't expect my local church school to change it's rules because it is an outstanding school and I want my child to go there; why should the Tiffin schools change just because your kids aren't clever enough to get in? If you really want them to be local schools, why not two miles or even one mile - oh because you are four miles away, it has to be a five miles radius!
Your evidence is non existent for the opinion of local people; the proportion of children from outside 5 miles of Kingston and the 95% of grammar schools that you state have a catchment. Your whole "campaign" is based on jealously and bitterness. I am really glad that my child has had the chance to go to TGS, and I don't think it should just be confined to local residents. There are no grammar schools in most of London. It should be based on ability not geography.
@BF: I keep ignoring your comments about my children but you don't seems to get any sense of manners of discussing on open forum.
Neither I would call your ideas as crap, as no matter how wrong, you are entitled to your views. If you don't know what decency is then I can't help.
We are campaigning for all the children in Kingston and nearby areas. About the grammar schools which have catchement policies, you could get the names of atleast 70 of these in my original post. You could go their website and chech it out yourself.
You also forget that I have not proposed catchment of any radius. We have proposed 80% places on proximity based on achieving minimum score, just like in Kent (with 31 grammars on this criteria). We don't see any difference in ability of a child scoring 225 (who doesn't get the place, even if living next to the School) and the child scoring 226 who comes from far away, say Greenford, travelling for hours.
1. Who are "we"
2. "Why should we move, when we have a grammar school with 4 mile radius and If our children meet the ability standard...... " Well if they didn't get in then they obviously didn't meet the standard
3. It's not unusualllll <channels tom jones> for places to be based on exam performance. Really, it isn't.
@SardineQueen; Why does then most of the grammars have catchment/proximity criteria? What's wrong if we want the same for Tiffins?
Tiffinboys - if you come on to a forum and spout a load of rubbish i.e. that most girls at Tiffin are from outside the area, bussed in from Greenford or wherever, don't have after school clubs because they live too far away and too tired to do their homework because they are exhausted; all of which I know to be totally and utterly untrue, I call it whatever I want. I am a Tiffin parent you are not - and apparently not likely to be unless you can change the rules. Your sole purpose seems to be to manipulate the rules to give yourself the best advantage.
I do not live in or near Kingston and do not want to; my child is one of those with a long commute because we live in a non grammar school area. She beat the competition to get in and is doing well. Why does she have less right to go to a great school than a child in Kingston or Richmond? I don't object if people want to travel across London to attend the outstanding church schools in my area.
I do not believe your campaign has widespread local support; I do not believe you or frankly even care if 95% of grammar schools have catchments and I know for a fact that your estimates about the number of non local children are wrong.
Firstly, congratulations to your daughter. There is no argument about Tiffins being the outstanding schools.
Secondly, I have not discussed your children, nor i have moaned about my children.
Thirdly, I can understand that all of those who live far away from Kingston have vested interest in keeping Tiffins 100% Open selective.
Same way, it is in our local children's interest to have some priority for them and we are campaigning for this objective.
You are arguing for your interest and we have to look for our interest. Afterall, none of you ever reply to my question that why do most grammars have catchment/proximity criteria. Why Tiffins should not have these rules? Are we responsible if your area doesn't have a grammar school?
@tiffinblys super selective grammars don't. That's part of what super selective is. If you take the superselectiveness away from Tiffins then it would probably be less attractive to some people. Including possibly you.
There is no need for Tiffins to be super-selective. These were doing fine even when these were catchment schools till 1991. Even at that time, these were heavily over-subscribed and it was an honour to get place here.
Your opening post is inaccurate re the Bromley and Kent grammars.
St Olaves has open selection, as the school moved from Lewisham borough to Bromley borough, and it was deemed unfair for the boys who would have been able to go to the school to become ineligible because the school had moved.
Newstead has an open selection, for girls living within a 9 mile radius of the school. As it is about 9 miles from central London, this encompasses a huge number of potential students. Girls living beyond this can also apply, but in practice are never offered places. Selection is based on test scores only, ie looked after children and siblings are given no priority.
Kent grammars for boys such as The Judd, Skinners and Dartford Grammar are all super selective, with an open selection policy. The cut off score for these in recent years has been about 417, from a maximum of 420.
Dartford girls grammar, on the other hand, could not even offer places to all in area girls this year. Selection there is based on passing the test (score of 360) and living close to the school.
I have a DC at one of these schools, and know quite a number at my DCs school, as well as some of the other super selectives. I also know children at the bexley grammars which admit the top 25%, mostly based on proximity to the school, after the 11+ test pass.
The two types of grammar are entirely different. You would find that the Tiffins would be very different schools if they were not super selective.
Good for your DD, beingfluffy
Strong smell of sour grapes on this thread.
@HMT: Catchment is a catchment, whether it is 9 miles or 5.25 km. About Kent, if you read all of my posts I have mentioned 31 of the Kent grammars have proximity criteria. Only 3 have become super-selectives recently after becoming Academies, I suppose.
If Tiffins become non-super selective and less attractive for those who decline other grammars place (even if close to theit homes), still these would be great schools for the local children.
Secondly, Until all grammars become open selective, our proposal is 20% open selective for very bright children and then 80% on proximity to those who achieve minimum score, say 220. If you see the raw score data of Kent or Buckinghamshire, you will agree that 220 at Tiffins is far difficult to achieve than else where due to the nature of their tests and cohort. I read at some other forum that about 80% raw score would get full 140 in Kent. If correct, this would be unimaginable at Tiffins.
Also we don't think that most places will be taken by nearby children; only children living very far away would not get place and I estimate that, looking at the cutoffs at TS of 229 currently, that children as far away as 7 miles or over would get in. Of-course, those who live more than 10 miles away would have to look elsewhere.
@SardineQueen: My morals stops making comments about certain type of fish.
Have you and your group (this mysterious "we") considered setting up a free school?
I am not sure what you are hoping to achieve on MN.
St Olaves has always had open selection, for the reason given in my post above. The Judd, Skinners and Dartford Grammar were super selective before the recent introduction of academies.
Newstead was established to give Bromley girls the same opportunity to attend a grammar as Bromley boys, once st Olaves had moved to the borough. I appreciate your point about catchment, but I doubt many girls could come from much further away than the 9 mile radius.
@SardineQueen: Good question: No, 'we' have not considered setting up the Free School. Not enough resources (financial, or otherwise) at our disposal. But we would support if any such school is being set up.
For your second question, we achieved what we wanted. We generated a good debate and we now know that arguments would be made against our proposal and how to deal with those.
@HMT: some children comes to Tiffins from over 15-20 miles away. Quite a load comes from Harrow/Greenford. They even have arranged a coach. Few are said to be coming from Guildford and beyond.
@HMT: Thanks for correcting me about St. Olaves.
Does any one know how to edit a previous post?
you can't edit. You can just ask for it to be deleted.
Nonsuch: This offers 44% on the basis of ability, and (assuming 5 places for SEN/looked after children) roughly 53% on proximity.
Wallington Girls offer 100 based on pure ability and up to 110 on proximity. So pretty much a 50/50 split.
Both are well away from the 80% you want to pressure Tiffins into adopting. Whilst your comment that "most" places are catchment is technically true, one wonders how many more of your "facts" are not as clear cut as you try to make out.
Lol @corian Kingston Jamaica.
Although Kingston has the biggest Korean population in New Malden, and a big Sri Lankan presence too. 60% of girls in dd's class (not TGS!!!) are non-white.
tiffin I'm not arguing from any motive of self-interest at all, since I'm geographically remote from your area, nor am I in need of a grammar school other than the one I'm in the old catchment area for but which is now super-selective, a system I fully support.
If OP was serious about increasing places for local kids she would be campaigning for a new school build - the one that was planned next to Tiffin Girls' seems to have now been shelved - I have heard rumours recently that the Tiffin schools were considering sponsoring a new school as an academy. Why doesn't she get involved in that instead of wasting the schools' time with FOI requests for this silly campaign, which locally seems to have little or no support.
OP seems obsessed with the idea that the schools are filled with the undeserving from Greenford, Southall, or god forbid, Ealing. I can only judge by my own experience as a Tiffin parent, that the majority of the girls at least in the upper school are local. I also think that excluding those from further away will disproportionately affect ethnic minority applicants.
I think the unofficial feeder schools will be given sufficient information by TGS to enable them to prepare girls adequately for the new style admissions tests and I think that will be to local advantage, as people further away are less likely to have access to that knowledge. My own opinion is that that current NVR/VR tests used to perform the function and local tutors were extremely adept at preparing candidates; however as the information is now more widely known that advantage has evaporated.
Personally I would prefer to see a test based on raw ability as I don't think students whose family cannot afford tutoring or resources should be disadvantaged, but recognise that the schools are looking for highly motivated students and families that really really want them to go there and will support them and the school once they are there.
OP - my old school, HBS, was a normal grammar when I went, with all girls coming from the Borough of Barnet or nearby. At some point within the last decade, that informal catchment - which still existed a decade ago when I phoned up to ask about catchments, when i was told that where she is dojng well. pupils had to live within an hour's travelling time on public transport - has changed, and the school has become superselective. Like you, I prefer catchment grammars - so decided not to send my dd to the hothouse i felt my old school had become, and moved to a diferent area in order to apply for a catchment grammar, where she is now very happy.
What I did not do was start a huge campaign to get the school to run how I wanted it to be.
I see precisely zero evidence on this thread that anyone other than yourself desires the change to Tiffins' current practices.
If you don't like the school as it is, either apply elsewhere or move elsewhere. You've stated that it's ok for kids in other areas like Ealing and Greenford not to have any access to grammar schools at all - why should Kingston be entitled to special access?
The reality is so,e areas have grammars and some have super-selectives and some don't. I'd like to see a return to the situation we had decades ago where every area had a local grammar so all bright kids could get an appropriate education. Fight for that if you want a truly local grammar school. But in the absence of that set-up, there is no logic in restricting entrance to the few grammars we do have - especially as there appears to be no local support at all for this measure.
I have a close friend who moved to Kingston because of the excellent schols. She knows her kids may not make the Tiffins (the eldest is only 4, so who knows!) but isn't too bothered because of the range of good local schools. You have lots of other choices. Stop moaning.
Despite having lived next door to the grammar for decades, I support the idea of open selection in my area because ours is the only grammar in a wide area. And I support every child who could benefit from the education the school provides having a chance to access it. That said, like bread, I'd far rather a decent grammar system was re-introduced nationwide.
@yellowtip it's a 50 mile radius isn't it? But AIUI most of the kids do come from the valley.
Not most, no. But a good number. Increasing numbers from your direction!
Well I'm sure developments at St Ms will make more people look in that direction. I'm not looking forward to doing the whole process with DD2 to be honest.
1. If Tiffins should be open selection so that children from every other town from as far away as over 20 miles could come here, why then Langley, Latymer, Reading, Kendrik, Newstead Wood, Ilford County, Woodford County etc are not open selective - why these are 100% catchement based?
2. Why it is Kingston LA area 2 small grammar schools need to make provision for other area's children, when doors are closed for Kingston children there?
3. Most grammar schools are catchment/proximity based. Just by saying it is not correct, does not make any difference.
Kent area - 30plus grammars are 100% proximity based.
Buchinghamshire - all the 13 grammars have first preference for local children.
Newstead in Bromley - 100% catchment based.
Woodford County in Redbridge - 100% catchment based.
Ilford County in Redbridge - 100% catchment based.
Langley in Slough - 100% catchment based
Latymer in Barnet - 100% catchment based
Reading Grammar - 100% catchment based
Kendrik in Reading - 100% catchment based
King Edwards in Chelmsford - 80% catchment based.
Chelmsford Grammar for Girls - 80% catchment based
Nonsuch Girls in Sutton - 100 out of 180 places are catchment based
Wallington Girls in Sutton - 110 of 210 places are catchment based.
any many others (e.g.Birmingham area) - list will go on. In addition, many other grammars have places for local children (Slogh Grammar, Herschel Grammar in Slough) as well many partially selective schools (e.g. Dame Alice Owen, Parmiters, Watford Grammars etc) have 100% selective places on catchment basis.
Is Tiffins only supposed to have open selection?
4. For those who ask Kingston residents to move out. If local residents/parents do not campaign for local children, who will do it? and why should they move out? I don't see any opposition to 100% catchment in Langley catchment area, for example. So why should people from that area oppose proximity proposals for Tiffins? Note that we have proposed proximity; not Kingston borough based catchment. Hope you understand the difference.
You seem to be the sole representive of this campaign - where is your local support - non existent.
As far as I can see the other grammar schools with catchments are in areas where there are a fair number of grammar schools. The two remaining grammars in Kingston are an anomaly, it is not a grammar school area therefore you cannot argue for a proximity rule.
You seem extremely confused about what you want - you state Tiffin schools should be for Kingston residents. Yet you the say it should be based on proximity. If that was the case girls in south Kingston would probably be excluded anyway as TGS is in the extreme north of the borough. I have told you that the overwhelming majority of girls in my daughter's class at TGS are local. I would say that a substantial number are within a few hundred yards of the school and the overwhelming majority within 3 miles. Yet you still persist in your fantasy that there are coachloads coming from Southall or Greenford.
If schools have a particular admissions policy it is up to them, not for one or two disgruntled parents to be upset that they didn't get in and try and change it. TGS consult on theirs every so often and anyone is free to comment, very few responses are received which makes me think that most are content with the status quo. One of my children goes to TGS, another didn't get in. We were disappointed but accepted it - we didn't run around bleating that it wasn't fair, that they didn't have a sibling policy for example.
There is an excellent catholic school near me which attracts kids from all over London, their admissions are also not proximity based. There is also a shortage of places in my borough and a new school is planned. I don't go running around trying to change the admissions criteria of an excellent school just because my kids can't go there and I am jealous of those that can.
If you want more local school places, get behind the campaign for the new school on the North Kingston site.
If you close your eyes, only then you would se the coaches parked outside the Tiffin School.
If you don't argue for change in the admission policies of your local school, it is upto you. We want change and we are campaigning for that.
You have no answer as to why so over-whelming number of Grammars have catchment/proximity.
It other grammars can look after the interest of their local community, Why Tiffins should not do the same?
The first sentence in the previous post should read as "Only if you close your eyes, only then you will not see the coaches parked outside Tiffin School".
I know someone whose ds got into tiffin this year and I have been utterly shocked by what he's had to do to get a place. He is a vey able child and top of his class in his state primary. From year 4 he was tutored very specifically to pass the allegedly untutorable NVR and VR tests. He went to a tutoring firm for one hour a week then he was given 3x 50 minute pieces of practice homework to do a week. He was given lists and lists of words to rote learn and if he got less than 90% in any test his tutors advised his mum to make him redo them aiming for a score of 95%. His parents were also advised not to go on holiday during the summer holidays at the end of year 5 but to spend the 6 weeks doing at least 5x 50 minute NVR and VR tests each day which they did. I think Tiffin school know the majority of its intake has been subjected to this sort of drilling drilling and should be concerned about the childrens' welfare and the quality of its recent intake due to the narrowest of its test.
And yes he is about of borough child
Sorry meant out of borough child, stupid iPad!
mumzy he might have got a place without the tutoring and even had his parents done the sensible thing, ignored the advice and gone.
The tutoring firm is that much better off though, of course.
tiffin where a grammar is the only one in a wide radius, its fair in these days of high demand to continue a policy of open selection.
Oh God and on top of that 7 years of long distance travelling.............
You don't appear to even know where TGS is. There are no coaches parked outside - the majority of girls are local - get over it. If someone from far away wants a place they compete against everyone else - that is the way the school allocates places and that is fine by me.
You want a five mile radius because that suits you personally yet you want the schools to be for Kingson only - it doesn't make sense. If there was a catchment on distance that for TGS would be largely outside the borough.
"We" appears to be a one person campaign. If you want more local places campaign to build a new school. Campaign to turn the Tiffin schools non selective, you would probably get more support!
I have answered your question as to why some grammars have catchments - it is simply because they are in grammar school areas - Kingston is not a grammar school area. The two schools are an anomaly.
The community of the schools are the children, staff and parents. Random people living with a five mile radius are hardly "the local community". The TGS does share some facilities with people who live nearby and supports other schools.
TGS is a great school not because it is in Kingston, but because it selects the brightest - get over it and get a life.
It is also much more fair that schools cater to local community, like other grammars are doing.
Now that all schools are their own admission authority, the distinction of grammar and non-grammar is finished.
I know it is irritating for you to think that Tiffins at some time would have to look after local children.
No the distinction between grammar and non grammar is not finished. Only grammar schools can select on academic ability. As the Tiffin schools indeed do. What is coming to an end is the control the LA had over schools in their area. Tiffin Girls' like other academies now receive their funding direct.
I imagine if you lived near Oxford University, the LSE or wherever you would be campaigning to make those available for local applicants only as well! And why stop there, what about jobs in the borough only available to Kingston residents, or maybe having to show your Council Tax bill to use the 65 bus route!
Know of another child who also took the same exam last year, lived in Kingston,and again top class, brightest child school has had for years etc he did similar tutoring started in year 5 every week unti the exam in year 6 but didn't do it with such an intensity as the other family. He didn't get in and his mum told me she felt he hadn't been tutored as much the kids who passed!
I totally agree with you about the tutoring Mumzy, and I hope the new admissions system at the girls school with go some way to addressing it - I think it will give locals an advantage as local schools will get to know exactly what the school is looking for. I would prefer to see a test that it is not possible to tutor for, but that is another debate...
If anyone had suggested to me that we didn't go on our summer holiday the summer before DD1 did her 11+ I would have been appalled. And I wouldn't have listened. I did buy one of those revision books you see in WH Smtihs which had so called 10 minute Maths tests in it and suggested to her she might want to do 10 minutes a day. She did about 3 the whole time we were away.
What she did instead was plenty of falling off surf boards, lots of music, and she read lorry loads of books. Par for the course. I expect the books certainly helped, the rest probably didn't but hey, it was her holiday too.
As far as I can see the other grammar schools with catchments are in areas where there are a fair number of grammar schools. The two remaining grammars in Kingston are an anomaly, it is not a grammar school area therefore you cannot argue for a proximity rule.
This is a circular argument. Kingston is a grammar school area; it still has the only 2 grammar schools that it has ever had since becoming an LEA in 1965. The only reason it could be argued that Kingston is not a grammar school area is that these 2 grammar schools have now opened their doors to all and sundry.
The word 'area' was missed from my earlier post. It should read as follows.
Now that all schools are their own admission authority, the distinction of grammar and non-grammar 'area' is finished.
I know it is irritating for you to think that Tiffins at some time would have to look after local children....... just as other grammars are doing. Perhaps you would read what the HT of King Edwards, Chelmsford had to say in this regard.
FYI, The Chelmsford and Reading grammars changed their policies from this year and Langley changed last year. Reading grammars and Langley are now 100% catchment. Chelmsford grammars are 80% catchment.
We are not seeking catchment, to be fair. We are campaigning for 80% places to be allocated on proximity, until all grammars are open selective, so that children of Kingston get some level playing field.
What would be good would be that parents whose child has been accepted at Tiffins (and other private/selective schools) to give up their 'state' school place asap to get the waiting lists moving for children who have not been offered a place at their nearest secondary !
You've paid for all the tutoring , you've paid your fee now give up your state place and stop keeping your 'options open' .
Bloody annoying - rant over - as you were !
You do not understand. A grammar school area is not defined by having one or two grammar schools. OP is attempting to argue (albeit incorrectly) that all other grammar schools have catchments. I was merely pointing out that the areas she refers to still operate the previous system of grammar schools and comp/high schools and not the wholesale change that many other areas, including the whole of London were subject to in the 1970s. Therefore the two Tiffin schools are not in a borough where the "old" system still operates. In my view the LEA would have preferred them to become comprehensive but that is a moot point as TGS is now an academy and receives direct funding. To compare them with other areas is therefore incorrect - not that I particularly care what happens in other areas; it is a rather weak and petty argument in my view.
We are not seeking catchment, to be fair. We are campaigning for 80% places to be allocated on proximity, until all grammars are open selective, so that children of Kingston get some level playing field.
While I feel you have every right to complain and lobby for what you want in you local area (and feel it is outrageous for others to suggest that you move), I really don't think you have thought it through.
If you want all children who live in Kingston who attain a certain pass mark to have a chance of a place, you absolutely have to have a catchment which includes the whole of Kingston. Otherwise, if you allocate on proximity, children living in the south of the borough will be excluded in preference to out-borough children living nearer (and not necessarily very near) the school.
OP if it was on proximity to the school then the girls in the south of Kingston would be excluded in favour of those in Richmond.
By coaches parked outside the school do you mean the two minibuses that parents from slough have arranged for them to save travel costs? Or do you mean the coaches there on an afternoon to take the boys to their games afternoon?
I think you need to get your facts straight before posting such claims.
Frankly, until there are good schools in all areas, not necessarily grammars, people are going to be attracted to schools outside their own area. I don't like my DD travelling a long way but I thought she would be bullied in local schools, which was my main motivation for the original application. Academically she would have done well anywhere. Tiffin Girls' has been a brilliant school and the right one for her. However If she was 10 now, instead of 16, we probably would apply to my local comp as it has improved immensely in the last few years - it one of the best performing schools, does Latin, sends kids to Oxbridge - my other daughter now goes there. The top stream which she in is easily equivalent to Tiffin Girls and frankly some of the teaching is better, as well as the overall school facilities.
You cannot blame families for wanting the best and until all local schools are good schools, people will apply to schools with open selection, even if it means years of tutoring, or under the system OP is proposing, potent to "cheat" and buy or rent in the catchment areas. Unfortunately arguing about catchment areas or who has the "right" to attend a good school will not solve the problem.
You do not understand. A grammar school area is not defined by having one or two grammar schools.
It depends on the size of the LEA whether one or 2 grammar schools make it a grammar school area. Kingston is small and the 2 grammar schools in Kingston would have enough places for around 17% of Kingston children.
I agree that OP is mistaken in saying that all other grammar schools have catchments and she needs to put more effort into researching the position.
I was merely pointing out that the areas she refers to still operate the previous system of grammar schools and comp/high schools and not the wholesale change that many other areas, including the whole of London were subject to in the 1970s. Therefore the two Tiffin schools are not in a borough where the "old" system still operates.
But you are wrong. They are in a borough where the old system operates. The fact that all the surrounding boroughs have changed their systems is irrelevant. If Kingston Council would have preferred them to become comprehensive, they had over 40 years to make that change; they chose not to.
I work with someone who used to work for the LEA many years ago who was also a Tiffin parent and apparently they did try to get rid of the grammars but one of the schools at least threatened to go private. There is a whole history to this of attempting to admit more local children and then not and so on.
I really don't care if schools have catchment areas or not, but I think OP is completely wrong on the facts and the history that has led to this.
The definition I would use for grammar school area is where the 11 plus is available to a wide range - such as Bucks, Berks, Kent, Essex etc.
We know that if Tiffins do not adopt to the reasonable local demand, consequences could be similar to Reading.
We are also aware that the majority group in the Kingston Council is ideologically opposed to the selective schools. If Tiffins keep itself totally isolated from local community as at present and say that 'local children are not our responsibility. These are not our children' then I am afraid they would soon rock the boat. All it needs, as Reading has demonstrated, is 10 parents to requisition parental ballots. And if this happens, unlike Reading, Kingston Council's majority group would support this action. We know that many parents in the local area would like to do this as the Council previously attempted. It's parent like us who stopped that from happening.
We support Grammars in Kingston - we are not saying Tiffins for Kingston. We are campaigning for proximity criteria for 80% places only (not 100%); and also not for 100% Kingston based catchment. You can very well work it out that proximity would take the likely admission radius to cover many parts of other boroughs, e.g Richmond, Elmbridge, Sutton and Merton.
We hope that Tiffins would soon realize the fairness of our proposal.
What is wrong in the following statements.
1. Most grammars have catchment/proximity. A whole list is given in earlier post.
2. Like-wise, we want Tiffin to give priority to those living nearer to the school. We are campainging for 20% open places and 80% places on proximity basis to those who have selective ability.
3. Kingston is not responsible for all the rest of the areas, if they do not have grammar or good school.
What an unpleasant person you are - threaten and blackmail if you can't get your own way., So if the school doesn't do exactly what you want - change the rules to favour your personal circumstances there will be "consequences". There is no law that I am aware of that forces schools to admit local kids and the school is no longer under LA control.
You appear to be threatening to orchestrate a ballot on selective status. If your kids can't go to a selective school - no one can - you prefer to destroy it for those able enough to get in. If you want to convert the Tiffin schools to bog standard comps go ahead be my guest, my DD will have left in two years time.
Wow what an attitude tiffin! (not in a good way).
Wrote the reply, but the site went offline.
@Beingfluffy: Calm down, Dear! Calm Down.
You are quite a person. You start accusing others without even thinking for a moment.
No, we are not threatening. We are campaignging for proximity rules. Obviosuly, children living far away would be losers; but far more of the children living nearby would gain. We are not campaigning for or aganist any particular child - your DD included.
Yes, we support our grammars and know that it takes just few parents to petition for ballots, as demosntrated in Readings. And based upon our recent communications with Council, we believe that the majority group in the Council would support such change of status of Tiffins.
Children of Kingston and nearby areas have suffered for a long time due to mistatements, misunderstanding and inaction of the Council/LA.
We believe that Tiffins should now look ahead and adopt the proximity rules, which were cleared even by the Judicial Review.
Please re-read my OP and other posts. I used the words 'almost all' in OP and there-on 'most'. I have not said that 'All' the grammars have catchment/proximity rules. Your response is, therefore, based on wrong presumptions. Hope that this clafies.
Oh dear, not again.
Not clafies - it should be clarifies.
My friend just called me to correct me.
Even in my OP, I used the words 'most of the grammars' and not 'All the grammars'.
I stand corrected. Thanks
Latymer does have a catchment area but effectively is the whole of north and some of east london - see below criteria
1. Those who live in the following postcode areas; there is no preference within this list.
E2, E4, E5, E8, E9, E17
EN1, EN2, EN3, EN4, EN5 (Sectors 1, 2, 4, 5 only), EN8 (Sectors 7, 8, 9 only)
N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N9, N10, N11, N12, N13, N14, N15, N16, N17, N18, N19, N20, N21, N22
This is a massive catchment area when you take into acccount the population density. Kids from chingford, enfield and islington and hackney. The entrance procedure is skewed to favour natural ability through precedence being given to nvr performance rather than english and maths. This is to give kids that havent been tutored but are naturally bright more of an opportunity to get in.
op you are proposing that tiffins should favour the wealthier kingston residents
You need to stop comparing Tiffin with the Kent and Bucks grammars, they are not the same thing.
You mention the petition that was generated in Reading. That was laughable, and it got virtually no local support, except from those parents who were clearly upset that their children didn't get in, or weren't even entered because they stood no chance of getting in. They seemed to be under the same illusion you are under. If the selection criteria is changed, they won't be the same schools and they won't get the same results because they won't have the same calibre of students.
I don't think what you are hoping for will make the difference you expect it to make. I only really know about Reading School, but there are plenty of people who feel it does not serve local children because the majority of children there come from other LAs, other boroughs, other counties. The catchment is so huge that it's worthless, children from outside the catchment wouldn't even be able to get to school, do a days work and get home again. Even those on the outskirts are a long way away.
And if you want to apply from put of catchment, you can do so as a boarder.
Op - who are 'we' in this thread? I have yet to see anyone in this thread who supports your proposals. Who other than you actually wants these changes?
Oh dear oh dear! This is a very heated thread!
It seems that Tiffinboys is being attacked for being the "lone voice" in this by others here who doesn't live in Kingston.
Let me set the record straight, I live in Kingston and near to Tiffin Boys and Girls, my kids attend a local primary - I can assure you that every parent in my son's class (year 4) supports to a degree of what TiffinBoy is advocating. Now there are four year 4 classes in my son's school and I would dare wage a big sum of money that the majority of parents of the 3 other classes also supports it, albeit to a varying degree.
So, PLEASE, for a start, don't shoot TiffinBoy down for not having support from the locals - HE DOES! So end this " NO LOCAL SUPPORT " accusation once and for all, especially if you don't live in Kingston, ok?!
Now I have a lot more to say, I would like to argue on the merit of the case, but its past midnight, so I will continue when I have the time.
P/S I do not know TiffinBoy personally, but I sure want to know him now -
TiffinBoy - can we get intouch? I could get around 50 parents to sign up your petition!
Beingfluffy said "I think the unofficial feeder schools will be given sufficient information by TGS to enable them to prepare girls adequately for the new style admissions tests and I think that will be to local advantage"
YourLifeSuccess - can I ask you whether your primary school does anything to prepare children for the Tiffin exams? They absolutely do not in Richmond and I would be really surprised to hear it if you tell me they do in Kingston.
I really feel for the bright girls of North Kingston who fail to get in despite being perfectly clever enough to excel at a Grammar school, and find themselves in a secondary school black hole.
YourLifeSuccess - I look forward to hearing what else you have to say...
@YourLifeSuccess -- precisely, well put!!!
@tiffinboys -- i agree with your proposals; get in touch, i support the campaign 100% ...as for that fact so do vast majority of Kingston parents. Tiffins for local children - it's about time.
TropicalFish is right - technical Latymer has a catchment area but it's pretty much the whole of North London, parts of E. London and some of Herts!
This is equally true of Dame Alice Owen for selective entry, unless you are lucky enough to live in a small number of streets that have community entry.
As for the best grammars in the country Henrietta Barnet and QE Boys in Barnet?
As for the best grammars in the country Henrietta Barnet and QE Boys in Barnet?
Open to the WHOLE of London and the rest of the world.. And that includes the Tiffin applicants .
The whole system is flawed. Unless all grammars change at the same time, it makes no sense to have one or two schools changing in isolation. All this moaning about admissions makes it more likely that all grammars will be abolished and the chances of many bright children will be much reduced.
@SchoolFool -- you make very valid points and i do agree 'The whole system is flawed'; there ought to be a single entrance policy that applies to all grammars and is prerequisite for grammar school to qualify for that status. (Ore certainly pan-London at least, like the CAF form application). Then the arguments would cease for good.
@tiffinboys: btw 220 cut off is largely irrelevant, since this will have no bearing when TGS / TS change over and the new entrance / selection criteria are set in place. Actually this will redress the balance, and afford local children a more equal chance of gaining entry to either of the Tiffins. Of course, the down side is that it will inevitably lead to more tutoring over longer periods of time. I know of parents who intend to tutor a girl from age 4 for TGS (and that news came to me via the Midlands); so there you go!!! Reputation of Tiffins spreads far & wide.
? In any event, it's not difficult to do the math -- superselective is just what it is -- does just what it says on the tin, 1700 candidates for 140 places is always going to be a challenge for any candidate; whatever criteria you apply, there are more candidates year on year, yet no more places (well, a few at TGS i gather, but not many).
A Co-ed satellite grammar sponsored by the two Tiffins would be a good move for KoT area, since KGS - our only option in Kingston town is independent. (p.s. Don't think grammars will be abolished any time soon; not under Cameron they won't.) Otherwise, the Tiffins should have consolidated sixth forms and freed up more spaces in the lower schools - most top independents have mixed sixth forms nowadays, even Charterhouse / Rugby. Why should this not work equally well for Tiffins?
Btw i don't see why everyone feels so sorry for NK residents specifically; historically, if TLC campaign had been more inclusive across the borough its chances of success would have been greatly elevated. However, these parents fought their vested interest - they wanted the schools all for themselves. (Ditto the proposed new secondary, now scrapped.) Tiffins are not NK-exclusive schools, their origins date back to Fairfield - where the original Victorian building that housed the girls / boys joint school still exists. Shortage of secondary school places in KoT; selective or otherwise is a Kingston borough wide issue & needs to be dealt with as such.
Kent grammars are not all for local children. The three nearest to me are super selective, they take children from anywhere in the country as long as they can get there.
It is score only. We have huge numbers coming from London and the coast to west Kent.
And this is not new or anything to do with academies, they always have been. There is a skinners academy but that is a completely different school to the superselective grammar.
Actually a huge amount of children from the Kingston area go to Tiffin.
From my Sons year group there were at least 16 ( that I know of) who live within a 3-4 mile radius of the school.
From my Daughters year group even more.
Maybe there are lots of bright kids in the area.
I must say I am with Chickydoo. I have a dd in sixth form and the vast majority seem to come from the local area. Bearing in mind that the school is nearly on the border with Richmond, more seem to come from the Kingston side.
Zoffany's idea about a co-ed Sixth form is a good one. DD and I were talking about that the other day. The new Sixth form centre at TGS is crap to put it mildly (much too small) and I think the cliques and bitchiness would be much improved with boys around.
I cannot see any possibility of TGS having a catchment area or losing grammar status - it is now an academy and out of LEA control. I have stated before that I think locals will have an advantage with the new test (as they used to with the old tests before tutoring went "viral").
I think that rather than wasting time trying to force the schools to change, local parents should be putting presure on for the new academy. Whether sponsored by TBS/TGS or not. Will anyone be interested in a Free School for Kingston perhaps!
Sixth form thing frustrates me immensely i have to say; far more so than any issues regarding intake / boundaries; TGS have already built theirs, whereas TS are at plans submission and beyond this must raise the necessary funds to build.
Adopting a diamond model with a join co-ed Sixth form would have benefitted both the girls & boys greatly i feel. There is ample space left in Kingston twon that could have been used - a car park just off the Fairfield by the old Post Office building springs to mind - you could have built something sensational; landmark - would have been an asset to both schools & the town as a whole. Was at Venus & Adonis earlier this year - first joint performance on such a scale involving both Tiffin schools in living memory; yet clearly the pupils were able to collaborate really effectively - the combined talent and the result was phenomenal, stunning. I did hope that the appointment of a former deputy head of TGS as head of TS would further the relationship between the two institutions, since there is clearly much to be gained. Building a joint sixth form would have been so obvious a move - i wonder why was it not considered?
Tiffin (girls and boys): Remember that every funded school has to comply with regulation and prescribed school admissions codes. Further it is possible to complain about such to both the Office of the Schools Adjudicator www.education.gov.uk/schoolsadjudicator/decisions/a0076144/objectionand/
or the newly formed Education Funding Agency www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/complaintsprocedure/b00212240/making-complaint-school. To complain to both is FREE!!
As with all things in life the more people who complain the more likely notice will be taken and action taken.
The Schools Adjudicator has partly upheld one complaint against Tiffins (the girls' school I think) just this week. They didn't consult properly on admission changes and didn't have proper admission arrangements in place for statemented children.
Their response: to change the admission arrangments yet again (and again with no consultation) to add another test date this year although I am not sure how that helps. I got the impression local people (and not so local people whose children have already sat the first test) aren't happy at all but I don't think the Schools Adjudicator has done anything / can do anything to make them change or look at it again.
I think they had a lot of complaints because of the cut off date moving from late October to July - a lot of people simply didn't realise. Not sure if there is a massive advantage in sitting late - they have to name the school on the CAF. I hope they have a different paper though! I can imagine zillions of appeals - one way or another!
DD was invigilating on Thursday - whole day of no teaching - 1800 girls sitting plus parents and siblings queuing. Massive disruption. She saw people lining up for photos in front of the school and doing practice papers in cars nearby - bizarre. Not pleased as a current parent that there is going to be another day of disruption. Hopefully they won't have to take sixth form out of lessons.
1800 girls - that's crazy! And what's with taking photos??
I think you're right - I've already heard the mumblings about people planning to appeal and they haven't even had the results back yet.
Second test date simply anihilates any credibility the two Tiffin schools may have had. Appeals will go through the roof; why not have a third or fourth as well for that matter??? For those who 'didn't realise' the second...
If parents cannot be bothered to find out when the dates are - well then that's just tough. Entrance exam is on a particular date, applying the prescribed timelines / dates and criteria as per statute. (Or at least it should be.)
This second date does not comply with the new governmant requirement, that parents should be informed of the outcomes prior to submission of CAF. In effect the schools are running the old and new system this year in parallel.
So for that matter why doesn't everyone in the country with children of appropriate age just have a go: after all, distance is no bar - Tiffin School / Tiffin Girls School - come along ladies & gents - bring your children, roll up, roll up. Everyone a winner!!!
Look at the numbers: 1700 sat for TS; 1800 for TGS - for 140/150 places, respectively, so where is the need to test some more candidates??? I know for a fact TS would prefer it if rather fewer candidates sat; well, this is a very odd way to go about it...
A second test will almost certainly snatch places away from candidates who sat in what has now become the first tranche and who were borderline. How can that be fair???
RBK selection procedure is but a joke.
...if 3500 families combined across the two schools understood the rules and timelines perfectly well and were able to comply & present their children as candidates for selection procedure at the allocated test centres at the correct time; then surely the procedure must have been communicated clearly and effectively enough. Why on earth should these families now be dissadvantaged???
@BeingFluffy '...because of the cut off date moving from late October to July - a lot of people simply didn't realise'. I gather the reason is that the new 'rules' actually changed several times during implementation. Furthermore; RBK admissions procedure booklet does not mention July date in Key Dates at the front and states that CAF / SAF must be submitted by October end [oops], as it used to be. So it's a balls up all round really -- i think the schools have been left to pick up the pieces - i do not think it is in fact the schools fault or 'decision', they are trying to make best of a bad situation; but some parents / children will inevitably suffer or lose out as a result. Which is not good.
...second test dates should not cause major disruption at the schools i would have though; since anyone serious about applying to Tiffins would most likely have sat in the first tranche already -- this is borne out, as numbers were up on last year; both TS / TGS. Having to commit to putting the schools on the CAF will likely deter those who would have just given it a go in the first sitting from throwing their hats in for the second -- would be a risky tactic indeed. Finally, many may well have already secured their first choices elsewhere, so Tiffin will no longer be a priority. Well, least am hoping that will be the way it plays out. All of this impossible to quantify though of course.
I wonder how many of the candidates at the first sitting have or had little intention of applying to the schools at all, but were using it as a practice?
Will they still let 450 or so through to the maths/English test from the first sittings but also let the children who reached the standard of number 450 through from the second chancers? If not how will they do it.
What worries me is that, if the same paper is used there is potential for cheating but if another paper is used how do they know it is equivalent?
If a child doesn't reach the standard in the first test, would they have to name the school on the CAF in order to be able to appeal?
A school local to me uses Art Aptitude as an admissions criterion. Are they in breach of the code because they test in December and not before the CAF deadline? I notice St Marylebone which has performing arts aptitude has moved their tests forward while Greycoats which uses language aptitude hasn't.
i cannot see how the schools can arrive at fairly weighted scores, with the two tests 10 weeks apart. Age weighting alone certainly would not balance the two. @BeingFluffy -- agree; whether they use the same paper or different -- it is problematic either way. TGS two stage testing is more complicated still i guess; & the point you raise of whether unsuccessful candidates would then have to put the school on their CAF in order to be eligible to appeal is very valid. All a bit of a mess i'm afraid.
Whole process a nightmare this year, stakes upped as new tests and taken earlier, so harder to get tutors to 'fix' it for rich parents. Have been reading shocking stories of blatant May Contain Nuts type cheating actually occuring this year - sounds like the schools have not really taken necessary precautions but their loss as it will impact on their results and credibility in future.
Should add not at Tiffins - at another school...before anyone on this thread panics.
New to all this but I am in the early stages of identifying an 11+ private tutor to prepare my little one J2 in order to give her the maximum chance of taking her 11+ on an equal playing field with all other candidates. Could anyone recommend a tried and tested tutor around Haringey,Crouch End, Muswell Hill , Finsbury Park, Sroud Green area? Thx
Best start a new thread '11+ tutor needed, Haringey'
Otherwise people have to wade through 148 posts to find yours.
Had anyone heard about a second date? We missed the deadline and we already have DD1 in the school, so I really don't think the date was clearly advertised! We made a late application and spoke to the admissions person but haven't heard a thing. In the meantime DD2 has decided she'd rather go elsewhere so it's not a big deal for usl. But the school hasn't even confirmed to us whether or not there would be a second sitting. That's really tough if people don't even know whether they can scrap the exam practice or whether they need to keep going!
I think the poor communication would also have had a much bigger impact on families who are not using paid tutors. (Yes, these do exist!)
@BellaGallica -- it was a government change, so this would have been the same across the board, applies for all grammars / state selectives (that they would have sat early this yr in order to turn around results to applicants prior to CAF submission); surely if you are in the group of candidates sitting for selectives, you should know this???
The change to the rules has been in national press, on television, radio, etc. Hardly a secret...
Moreover, it was clearly communicated by the schools as soon as their guidelines for admissions where released, as evidenced by the fact that record numbers sat the test at both TS/TGS this year (TS - 1700 candidates/TGS - 1800 candidates). Dates change yearly (certainly for TS; November, December, January, and now September), so you would have to refere to this .pdf or contact the school anyway. Certainly for TS it is still there, easily accessible on the website - i viewed it only yesterday.
What is really tough and utterly unfair is that a second sitting is even being considered, let alone implemented! This means a good many candidates who had to prepare and sit 'early' this year will undoubtedly be denied a place they rightfully have earned in 'superselective' competition against their peers; to others in a 2nd tranche who are in the privileged position of additional 10 weeks to prepare. Plus all other tests far behind them.
By the way, the second dates were clearly advertised on both TS / TGS websites subsequent to what has now become 1st tranche; on the front/landing page - i saw them (in fact you could not miss them). It is possible they were removed after parents complained (pure speculation on my part); but certainly they were up there for a good week. And besides which, if you have a child at TGS already, she would not have been in school on the September date of the original sitting, so i really don't see how you could have missed them? I find this quite remarkable.
Parents whose DCs sat 'the test' on the correct date, having submitted applications at the correct time by the closing date and in the prescribed manner are justifiably incandescent.
Many of us also have DCs at one or other of the Tiffin schools, and do not want siblings denied their opportunity to join them as a result of the RBK fiasco. If you have somewhere else DD2 would rather go, i.e. 'choice' in the matter then I'd count yourself very fortunate indeed - in Kingston we have literally no other options; nowhere to go.
Late application candidates are required to have put TS / TGS on their CAF to be eligible to sit the second test anyway; so i am wondering, are you really sure you understand the procedure? If you nominate the school on CAF then don't sit, or want DD2 to go elsewhere then you have simply wasted a place on the form? Especially so, when considering the numbers applying, you would have to place Tiffin high up (first) to stand a realistic chance of gaining admission.
...if you have 'put in a late application' and also nominated TGS on your CAF form, then i would not worry as the school will contact you about the date in due course. That's basically how it works.
you would have to place Tiffin high up (first) to stand a realistic chance of gaining admission
Rubbish. Tiffin won't know whether you have made them your first choice or your sixth choice. They are not allowed to give priority to people who make them first choice. To make sure they don't the LA is not allowed to give them this information.
You also seem to be suggesting that the school should refuse admission to anyone who missed the first test. That would be a clear breach of the Admissions Code. The school has no choice - every applicant must be allowed to sit the test regardless of when they apply.
The school has no choice - every applicant must be allowed to sit the test regardless of when they apply.
phrh47bridge, Could you explain this please? Can't the school require a timetable to be adhered to? Ie apply by a particular date to sit on a particular date. And so if it then decides to give late applicant's a further chance at applying, it is doing so voluntarily rather than because it has to? (Otherwise, late applicants for that would also have to be given a chance to sit the test.) Am I missing your point?
[Agree with your other point: yes, place on list makes absolutely no difference to chance of getting a place - only that you might be lucky and get a higher preference and so not offered Tiffin]
This all seems hotly debated at the moment. The old Admissions Code said schools mustn't refuse to consider a pupil just because they'd missed the test date but that's not the same as saying they must offer them the test. In fact the old code described how this situation might be handled - other evidence to show ability I think.
The new slimmed down code uses the phrase 'solely' - a pupil cannot be rejected solely because they missed the testing dates. Tiffins have taken this to mean they cannot refuse anyone who wishes to apply even if they've missed the test. I know a lot of people are cross about this because they think the latercomers get an advantage.
Also, all the other grammar schools are sticking to their old position of 'we'll consider you but we won't test you' for latecomers because they don;t believe the slimmed down code changes this obligation whereas Tiffins has basically said it must test anyone who names them on the CAF even if they missed the test date. I don't know if one interpretation is correct but, at the moment, different schools are doing different things.
So how are these other schools 'considering' the application? Surely they would need evidence that the child is sufficiently clever? Which they can't do without testing? So they can't really 'consider' the application?
So how are these other schools 'considering' the application? Surely they would need evidence that the child is sufficiently clever? Which they can't do without testing? So they can't really 'consider' the application?
Just found this thread. Very interested as a local resident with a 3 year old DD. TGS is my local school - closer even than all the primaries.
I'm another who wants to back up what tiffinboy said (although I realise it was a few months ago now and the thread has moved on). There are three primaries within 5 minutes walking distance of where we live in North Kingston - two of which have expanded to three form entry in the last two years to cope with demand. And another four with in a ten minute walk. And not a single secondary. Except for TGS/TS. Where do all those primary children go when it's time to move on to secondary school?
The biggest issue in North Kingston is the lack of secondary provision for the very large number of children living there. There is still lots of local pressure for a new free school on the site next to TGS - not shelved as far as I know, but possibly not in their original form.
The reason that the lack of catchment for TGS and TS is an issue is for two reasons:
a) it limits the options of local parents. I don't think I'll put DD in for the entrance exam for TGS - the competition is too intense. She would need more tutoring than I would feel comfortable with to stand a chance. If the competition were limited by catchment, I would feel more comfortable putting her up for it as I think she would stand a better chance on her own merits. (Disclaimer - she's 3, so I have no idea yet how academic she's going to be).
b) it means that EVERY child then has to travel to school. All the ones coming into TGS from outside the local area, but then also all the ones from the local area travelling to other schools. DD will HAVE to go to a school that is at least two bus rides away - there is nothing closer.The area is already a transport bottleneck because of the frequent delays around Petersham and the proximity to the river.
Creating a catchment for TGS would only be part of the solution. A new non-faith, non-selective secondary is what is really needed. And I would gladly send my DD to that and not give TGS a second glance if it was any good.
I don't know skippy. All I know is the old code dedicated a paragraph to how they could do this which the new code doesn't.
Tiffins have taken this to mean that they must test all latecomers.
The other grammar schools have set no additional tests for latecomers and are relying on the part of the new code that says they can't turn someone down 'solely' because they missed the test. Tiffins is totally the odd one out by offering late tests on demand (the others do offer it for illness but only to people who filled in the form on time in the first place and then subsequently were too ill to go on the day).
As Tiggytape says the current Admissions Code states that the school cannot refuse admission solely because the child has missed the entrance test. They are also not allwed to refuse admission because the child applied later than other candidates.
Tiffin offers places based purely on the test score so the only way they can comply with this is to test all applicants regardless of when they apply. Even if someone misses the main admissions round completely, their child must still be tested in order to determine position on the waiting list.
Many other schools simply use the test to decide whether or not the child is of grammar school standard and do not use the score to determine priority. They can take a different approach such as looking for other evidence of whether or not the child is of the appropriate standard. But if you use the score to determine priority I think you have to test every applicant.
That is my interpretation of the current Admissions Code. It could be that the Schools Adjudicator will disagree but I would be surprised.
I'm always confused. Never more so than here. I'm sure your right, Tiggy, but then does "on demand" mean if I put the school on the CAF without even making the second test date they have to offer a test date just for my DS?
BTW: I'm not sure I buy the "unfairnes" to the first set of applicants mind you. They could all be standardised so that 3 months extra "practice" "tutoring" or whatever makes no or very little difference. Not saying tht TS are doing that, but they quite clearly could.
Ah my confusion just answered. I will write to them and ask for my DS to be tested. Looking at my calendar, I have a couple of mornings free in late February. Before offer day of course.
The confusion is that the grammars in that part of the country are Super Selectives i.e, they select only on score not on pass /fail followed by catchments or siblings.
So for example, the next nearest boy's grammar schools to Tiffins are in the Sutton and Croydon areas. Like Tiffins they test all children and select the top scorers with no regard to catchment areas. Unlike Tiffins however they refuse to do extra tests for latecomers. They say the new code doesn't mean they have to. Tiffins disagrees and says they are obliged to. Both seem to think they are right.
As prh says, unless someone takes it to the Adjudicator (either a parent cross as the perceived advantage that latecomers to Tiffins get since they don't standardise scores or parents cross they've missed the Sutton Grammar deadline and aren't offered a new test date), I doubt there will be a clear answer as to what schools are supposed to be doing on this point.
For example Wilsons (also in Surrey, also a Super Selective and only awards places based on score) says on its FAQ:
Can the test only be sat on the entrance test day?
Yes, unless your son is ill. If he is ill you should ring the school on xxxxxxxx to let us know he is unwell. You will then need to take him to the doctor and produce a doctors certificate with the same date as that of the entrance test. We will then arrange for him to sit the test at a later date.
@phrh47bridge The school has no choice - every applicant must be allowed to sit the test regardless of when they apply. OH REALLY!!! THAT'S AN INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE... So presumably, there will be numerous other sittings of the test at TS / TGS this year, ad infinitum - until everyone who quite frankly could not be bothered to ascertain the key dates in the application process are satisfied. Let's hope their DCs are more organized, if successful. DS1 has already been denied a days education for the first; now a further days school closure is planned for the second - where does this all end? What is the point of killing yourself to get into a school - if you are hardly ever there?
There is one key date, the date of the common application form.
Position on CAF does matter - that's obvious; if you put Tiffin second, a n other school first, and the latter offers then you will not receive an offer from TS / TGS. If you really want to go to a particular school, even though the schools do not see or select based upon your preferences - you must put the high up (first). RBK Secondary Schools Admissions literature explains this, and even gives an example where appplicant takes test, puts Tiffin second on CAF, passes test, but receives offer from first place nominated school - so cannot take up Tiffin. Passing the test does not confer upon you a 'choice'.
@SkippyYourFriendEverTrue - correct; but effectively Tiffins are running old & new system in tandem this year. Not surprisingly this is not well received. Has led to much confusion and anger amongst parents. Childrens futures is unsure.
TBH they should all just move to December testing so that the common application form can be genuinely common.
The early testing system really does favour the pushy parent.
I hate to disagree with tiggy but Wilsons do NOT use the score to rank candidates. It is a straight pass/fail (108 marks is a pass according to their FAQ). Ranking is by distance only with candidates from within Sutton having priority.
They should still have some mechanism in place to allow them to determine whether children who apply too late for the test should be classed as passing or failing. If they do not and simply refuse admission, any appeal should work on the assumption that the child is of the required standard. So I am of the view that Wilsons do not have to run extra tests for latecomers.
Tiffins, on the other hand, rank purely by score - those with the highest scores get places. If they don't test an applicant they would have no way of knowing where to place them in the ranking. If they gave all late applicants a notional test score without actually testing them I think the Schools Adjudicator would say that broke the Admissions Code.
prh - lol we never argue but:
Wilsons is by straight score only. It is true, for the last tied places, where there are a few places left aon the same score, they give priority to Sutton children for that last place but the vast majority of placements do not fall under that category. Top scores win. The same is true at Sutton Grammar and Wallington boys who also refuse to do additional test dates.
better explained here:
There are 150 places available of which approximately 85% to 90% (128 to 135) are allocated in rank order without any reference to place of residence. When we allocate the last 10% to 15% (15 to 22) of places we need to discriminate between boys who have the same rounded score in the test. For these final places, preference is given to those candidates who live within the London Borough of Sutton. Where two or more candidate share the same rounded standardised score in the test, the places are offered first to boys who live within the London Borough of Sutton and where there are more than two candidates to those who live closest to the school.
@OhDearConfused BTW: I'm not sure I buy the "unfairnes" to the first set of applicants mind you. They could all be standardised so that 3 months extra "practice" "tutoring" or whatever makes no or very little difference. Not saying tht TS are doing that, but they quite clearly could. WHAT??? This is to completely miss the point. Take TS: 1700 at first sitting. Since the school is being closed (again); one could assume a significant number at the second. Standardize / Normalize - meh, dowhatever; statistically both score sets will follow a normal Gaussian distribution. This means, that necessarily there will be increased numbers of candidates for each score value if you combine - so, with no additional places to allocate; counting down in rank order from top score to n = 140 means that many who would have been included if the process were applied after one sitting will definitely lose their school place. Only possible way this would not be so is if everyone sitting test 2 scored below those sitting test 1 - this is hardly likely. More candidates, rank order allocation of a fixed number of places; mathematically it's a no brainer. Why should any candidate who sat in accordance with the rules, and to the agreed procedure and timeline be denied a place at Tiffins by a late applicant??? How can that be fair???
Sutton Grammar also only selects on score and only has one test date. If you miss the test date you have to contact the school and they filter applications by SATS levels and then, only if there is a vacancy, they will test you. No vacancy = no test.
prh you may well be right though that all of this is against the Admissions Code but because the strict 'one test date only' is in operation at all other schools, Tiffins is seen to be too lax and therefore unfair. It may be Tiffins are right and the others are wrong though. The lack of clarity though is the problem.
...some candidates i know of for sure who sat this year; tutored 5-days/wk. Wk in / wk out. So ten additional weeks, that equates to an awful lot of papers more practice - DS1 is at TS; didn't take him long to work out the math. You cannot standardize to offset that level of tutoring; especially where one or two points / questions is the determinant between failure or success. It's simply not possible.
So - as Zoffany says - there will be ever more test dates. Every time someone says "test my DC", Tiffin will do so. I suppose it will be a decreasing number each time, mind.....
Still got my eye on a date in February - should be less stressful for DS if he is on his own .
Well actually it has 2 test dates but a valid application is defined as having sat the first test on a fixed date only and passing it AND naming the school on the CAF to then go forward to sit another exam in November to determine rank order.
I know this because a lot of
mad determined parents in and around London want their children to also sit for Super Selectives in Kent, Essex and all over the place. The test dates often clash and the schools point blank refuse to offer alternate test dates which is a yearly source of outrage and something all schools except Tiffins have stuck to even though the Code may mean they should be more flexible.
zoffany51 - Yes, it is correct that if you put Tiffins as your second preference and qualify for a place at your first preference you will be offered that rather than Tiffins. That isn't what you said in your earlier post, although it may be what you meant. You implied that putting Tiffins as a low preference means you won't be admitted regardless of whether or not your higher preferences had places.
And yes, I do think that Tiffins will have to run tests repeatedly. Just for clarity, although the deadline for the CAF is 31st October you may still be treated as an on time applicant if you apply by 14th December. They will therefore have to test everyone who applies by that deadline.
If you apply after 14th December you are definitely late and your child only be considered if there are not enough on time applicants so there will be no need to test your child immediately. Most people who apply after mid-December will do so because they have just moved into the area rather than through disorganisation.
Once the waiting list is in operation (i.e. after the initial offers have been made) any late applicants must be included and cannot be put at the back of the list because they were late. Tiffins will either have to test any late applicants at this point or, at the very latest, test them when a place becomes available so that they can order the waiting list correctly.
@zoffany at 13:47 Since Tiffin wants the brightest only those who sat first test and that are knocked out by those who scored higher on second are not in the "brightest" 140 of those wanting to go. That's how it can be fair.
Yes - its rough round the edges with standardardisations / different sample sizes. But (hey) lets face it 1600 of those 1700 DS are of "grammar standard". Its a lottery
how much parents want to pay or can afford to pay for tutoring that determines it.
zoffany at 13:51 sounds like that tutoring you describe is a little bit too much. There are only so many practice papers. My guess is that it makes no difference and may backfire on the child. And they had a crap summer. poor kids.
Tiggytape - My apologies. I missed a sentence on the admissions page of Wilsons website where it says they rank by score. That being the case I fail to see how they can comply with the Admissions Code if they do not test all candidates. At a minimum I think they must test everyone who applies by 31st October. If they refuse to do so I think their position at admission appeals will be untenable. I can't see any way of interpreting that other than as a refusal to admit a child solely because they missed the entrance test.
This thread is moving too fast!
I agree that lack of clarity is a problem. The practises used by Wilsons and Suttons would have been acceptable under the old code where testing took place after the closing date for applications. Now that tests have to be conducted earlier I think they are wrong.
It needs a parent to refer Wilsons, Sutton or Tiffins to the Schools Adjudicator. Personally I would go for Wilsons or Sutton and argue that they are effectively refusing to admit pupils solely because they miss the test.
I totally agree prh and the more I read this, the more I think it is the other schools not Tiffins who have got it wrong.
The grammar schools have always taken the stance that the test date is set and if you miss it - tough. This has been the case for years because parents have been forced to choose between schools where test dates clash for example.
One lady on the other 11+ thread had a DS who was ill for the Essex test this year (which all schools make allowances for). This is fine except when called back for a later sitting, it reads that her DS was even more ill but forced to sit it regardless as that was the last date the school would allow. I think she rightly intends to appeal if her DS's score isn't high enough for a place.
The other schools around London have not changed their stance on a fixed test date so Tiffins doing so has caused outrage whereas it should probably be the case that all the grammars allow late testing for anyone who applies by October 31st and it is they, not Tiffins who are acting unfairly or at least against the Code. Nobody knows though and until someone challenges it officially, I think both sideswill continue to think their process is the correct one. I have no idea what happens for example to someone who missed the Wilson's or Sutton Grammar test but names it on their CAF regardless.
@OhDearConfused sounds like that tutoring you describe is a little bit too much. There are only so many practice papers. My guess is that it makes no difference and may backfire on the child. well... actually the child in question plateaued / levelled off at a consistent 99% which must have been frustrating for *; but however you look at it the parents have effectively bought a Tiffin place. Which is basically shocking. (So that's 1700 for 139.)
@OhDearConfused. Since Tiffin wants the brightest hmm, not sure about that one either; so why are there children in class avec dictionary who simply do not even know what a vase is then (in English)??? I'd have thought if you were in top couple of percent of country ability wise that your vocab should stretch to that.
...the test is the test and that's it; it proves little more i'm afraid than the candidates ability (or otherwise) to pass it.
Actually: its 1699 for 139 so slightly better odds.
(But who knows if the child performed on the day? Which is what gets me about all this
excessive tutoring (and why we will go a gentler approach we are a year away). Yes, it may make a difference, and may get you the place. But such a large investment/effort just imagine how youd feel if there was a mess-up on the day. Or if they changed the test to something completely different/unpractised for. )
@OhDearConfused -- Yes, that's true.
Thx for correcting my math; u shud have no trouble!!!
@Treats - btw, why are you reading a Tiffin Schools Admission Arrangements thread with a 3 yr old - and why find it 'interesting' with a daughter of that age - utterly bizarre; Tiffin seems an obsession for all NK parents, practically from the point of conception!!! Still remember all the bitchy 'Tiffin talk' between the mums in the playground from reception at a particular NK primary; 'head start'; DSs/DDs, each & every one of them very t&g (naturally... chip off the old block), pushy delusional parents & all that crap: lol - some considerable number of years later and actually none of them got in. Not a single one. So at least there's some justice in this world.
As i pointed out previosult, seconday schools issue is RBK wide - not a peculiarity to NK 'principality' (lol: though never would you guess it .) Many live within touching distance of the school, 'specially TS and live in (dare i say it); South Central.
...some actually get in. Very few to my knowledge do so from NK; so maybe these children are just overpressured.
As regards catchment though - a good many of the children are 'local' - RBK or not far beyond; certainly at TS this is the case, so rumours of boys commuting in from Mars or further afield are not true!!!
Similarly, from what i can gather - few girls i think attend TGS from Venus and beyond; the girls are mainly 'locals' or thereabouts. So the initial thrust of this thread is maybe not so pressing an issue as some might consider it. Just lack of secondaries vs. primaries numbers coming up in RBK in general. Whether a free school will ever materialise in KoT; personally i doubt it, most parents here want it laid on or else just moan about it. Setting up a new school would simply require too much effort; better off go skiing. Which is also why i gather many want Tiffins as sponsor; however, this is also highly unlikely to happen, imo. So the problem persists.
@tiggytape - agree; if all grammars allowed late testing that at least would even out the field. Also agree Tiffin is not trying to be unfair - but to prospectives it can feel that way.
Treats I thought that they were going to build a new secondary school in North Kingston (probably on Richmond Road) to cope with all the additional classes already established and continuing increase in demand for places.
I know they lost the funding they had been promised under Labour (Building for Schools), but I didn't think they had dropped the plans?
(Used to live in North Kingston but moved out of London, this thread is like a return to 2006 - thought things had moved on? No grammar schools round here, nobody talking about Tiffins - Woohoo!)
(But I still seem weirdly drawn to comment on this thread
Would like to add, re: OP. When I lived in Kingston I quite liked the fact that only a very small amount of children from each year group went to the Tiffin Schools. If we had to have grammars, at least it didn't divide the class into 'clever' and 'not clever' because you could still be bright but not get in.
If Tiffin were to only take children from Kingston, it would change all secondary schools in the borough, not necessarily in a positive way. (Assuming that the OP is right and the majority of pupils are now out of borough).
I do however think that there should be another secondary in North Kingston, and Kingston funding for the Tiffin schools should be proportionate to the amount of Kingston pupils. (For all I know it already is).
Worst thing about 'out of borough' is that when said parents of these DCs actually find out you are local; live in KoT, within a few mins walking distance from the school - conversation just drops dead, there seems quite a lot of resentment against RBK parents - least from what we experienced. Which is wrong: our DCs were born, baptized and brought up here; surely then they have every right to attend their local grammar, or at least you would have thought so. If you are gonna make your DCs get up at the crack of dawn, travel miles & miles to school (...which i know is the case for some), hire private mini buses etc to bring them in - then that's your problem!!! To those parents, I'd just like to say get over it & stop being so chippy. (Oh, if you could actually attend a few meetings and contribute something to the community of the school as well; that would be gr8 - a richer life is about what you can bring, not just what you can take - which seems to be pretty much the jist of what this thread is about. Grammar schools - hey, what's in it for me, me, me: lol)
@merrymouse how about another secondary in South Central area of RBK; which would be of benefit to all, North & South of the borough alike. Tear down the wall; dismantle the N/S divide - do it once and for all. SC is where pretty much all of the remaining affordable land is; NK erected Sainsbury & Esporta posh health spa on the best possible site; now an posh, penthouses & apartments soon to follow (...under construction) on remaining land at Skerne/Canbury. Very shortsighted; but there is still a good possibility of a proper secondary that could cater for all around here.
Proximity of the proposed NK secondary to TGS/Fern Hill Primary is ludicrous; already have been fatalities on this stretch of road. To further increase traffic/congestion here would be a total disaster. Cannot believe they even considered it, let alone thought it the best option. [sceptical]
...at a recent presentation on proposed expansion / new build there were just 4 parent attendees, myself included. Which is absolutely shocking; to add insult to injury - woman behind me leaned over to man (neither local) & said "Well i'm only here to find out whether it will benefit my son". Sad to say it, but for so many of the 'out of borough' crew, that attitude just about sums it up!!! They were all very conspicuous in their absence.
? How do you expect this thing to ever get built; where will the funding come from exactly, if these parents do not participate - engage, bring their support & join in. This is the worst of not having catchment / more locals - it would be built in double quick time i guarantee if Tiffin schools enjoyed the same levels of parental support that the local RBK primaries get. This is where the community really misses out; RBK & Tiffin alike.
...or beyond it - Phase 3 / Phase 4 for that matter? Tiffin could far outstrip the local grammar competition in practically every respect if parents committed more, got involved - really engaged. Heaven knows; we had to work hard enough to get in here - so why not make it count?
I don't think the people of north Kingston built Esporta and Sainsbury's themselves!
Only 4 people at presentation? That's shocking!
I just think they need to sort out secondary school places ASAP. Children who entered school just before and since the first emergency 'bulge' primary classes have had years of disruption and uncertainty. They deserve to leave building sites behind when they reach secondary school.
Anyway I am lucky to be well out of it.
Zoffany - what's 'bizarre' about having a general interest in my area's schools? Yes, my dd's only 3, but I'll have to start thinking about primary soon, so of course I'm also interested in secondary provision around here, in case that should have a bearing on my choice.
I didn't move to NK because I want my daughter to go to Tiffin - I didn't even realise what it was when we moved. I only started reading this thread because I'm interested in finding out more about it. I'm VERY under-informed compared to other people here.......
I don't have a chip on my shoulder about being a 'local' and wanting only 'local' girls to get in. I was only pointing out that having a super selective school on your doorstep creates a logistical difficulty for your own child's schooling.
And the main point of my post was the lack of secondary school in the local area and that Tiffin's lack of catchment could only be PART of the solution (if any solution at all).
minimouse - I also said that they're still planning to build a school but haven't got it all agreed yet.
<<reads a bit more of thread>>
Zoffany - apologies - you're a Kingston resident too. Somehow I took it from your first post to me that you thought I wanted to be treated specially because I live round the corner.
Absolutely spot on about the dangers of Richmond Road and the unsuitability of the site, however. The whole Skerne/Canbury development you're talking about is horrible, imo. Very poor town planning decisions at Town Hall. Although - tbf - we do need the supermarket. It's the only one for miles.
Not conscious of a N/S divide - what do you mean?
Re supermarket, they only realised they were short of school places in spring 2008. 200 children still had no reception place anywhere in June 08. Many children were being taught in corridors in sept 2008. Sainsbury's was finished a couple of years before this. Wasn't so much poor planning as no planning.
Agree that children in north of borough lose out if all kingston schools except Tiffins select on proximity. You are right, you should be interested because currently the council has not made provision for your child to have a secondary school place.
I was always a bit confused by the north south thing. However I think bit of Kingston nearer to posh bit of ham is generally considered more expensive because of proximity to park and petersham. Having said that, plenty of social housing in this area, just not so obvious as Cambridge estate which I think is considered to be in south (although it is metres from the north)
Sadly, this was inevitable i think: www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/9991253.Parents_outcry_over__unfair__Tiffin_entrance_exam_advantage/
@merrymouse Anyway I am lucky to be well out of it. Agree - you most certainly are!!!
@merrymouse. re: N/S divide - well NKers always cite Cambridge Estate; similarly they throw that one at you - as if we are responsible, we built it ourself??? As you correctly point out there is planty of social housing in NK, but residents there seem blind to it as though it doesn't exist. They are not held accountable!!! But we are...
All this leaves me wondering; will this year see us adding a 'Kingston Judgement' to those of Greenwich, etc. If challenges to the Tiffins selection fiasco are indeed to be mounted through the courts.
On a final point - although i do have some sympathy for the Tiffin schools; if indeed they are obligated to test all candidates as they claim, and the situation here is just awful - yet more controversy they both could well have done without; the suggestion by the Head of TS, given the situation re: three months extra cramming / tuition time afforded late applicants that "Many parents seem to think that the remaining weeks of practice will make a huge difference. This is not true." frankly beggars belief!!! How niaive is the supposition. So what difference will it make, and how precisely shall we quantify it, or make allowances. Presumably then if one follows the logic, had the first tranche sat end of June instead of September their scores would have been exactly the same. No discernible difference. Arrggghhh. I cannot imagine how this one can ever be resolved; rep of these schools is surely now in tatters.
That is where standardisation
is supposed to comes in.
I'm not an expert, but its bit beyond the realms of possibility to Allow for 3 months extra
Saw it covered in story today : www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/kingston/9991253.Parents_outcry_over__unfair__Tiffin_entrance_exam_advantage/
Sorry on my phone: "not beyond"
Results of what has now become Tiffin schools first tranche are being sent out today; so we will just have to wait and see how this whole mess plays out. If ultimately there is a discernible leap in cut-off, will potentially be legal mayhem. In any event, thanks a bunch to DC & his Bullingham cronies for yet another
well thought out hair brained scheme. That's most definitely put parents in the driving seat & improved educational choice. Not. What's next, oh yeah - screw up the examinations system; lol: again!!!
@OhDearConfused. "not beyond the realms of possibility to Allow for 3 months extra
tutoring learning." Well it is because it simply will not happen; the schools will normalize for age-weightings only; no allowances will be made for extra tuition since Tiffins always flatly deny it makes any difference. Indeed, why bother revising / rehearsing / practising for any exam then??? And to think these are amongst the best schools in UK...
TS Head has now gone public and said it; admissions have also said it in conversation - it is the Tiffin stock response. Me.thinks it a bit niaive personallly, still would be most deleriously happy if were to be proved wrong!!!
Colchester Grammars do open selection right now too. Though that is likely to change next year with a change to a 10 mike catchment area.
God knows what a 10 mike catchment area is?! 10 MILE!
@CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz 10 MILE! lol: if Tiffins applied that, then would encompass most of London!!!
I can understand that, but right now there are people coming from London and Redbridge to the Colchester Grammars!
lol: as Tiffins results are issued to the 'first bunch' today, and considering the ongoing controversy re: fairness of this years testing / entrance arrangements - i wonder is there someone at RBK who's job it is to 'start up the fan!!!' Would not want to be in their shoes - not for any money. Cud this sound the death knell of these schools as
superselectives??? Or will it just go on, year on year ad infinitum without change. Surely after this; something has to happen.
London to Colchester; ooh err, that's a trip i wudn't wont to daily make!!! Not as a kid anyway.
Well it is because it simply will not happen; the schools will normalize for age-weightings only; no allowances will be made for extra tuition since Tiffins always flatly deny it makes any difference.
I'm not sure how they cannot standardardise to remove any perceived advantage. Lets say 1700 take the test first time and (not sure what the numbers are, but just bear with me) 1000 take the test second time.
If the "cut-off" for getting in is 230 this year and only 5% of the first bunch got that much, but 10% of the second bunch got that mark - it would be obvious and an immediate ground for appeal. I know I am exagerrating, but those that think 3 months extra practice actually makes a differe
Indeed, why bother revising / rehearsing / practising for any exam then??? And to think these are amongst the best schools in UK
Doesn't follow. Yes practicing makes a difference, but (and it was higher up this thread) you eventually plataeu and then further practice (as I know from my DD's piano practice) simply back-fires.....
oops. Wish there was an "edit" button. Ah well - you get the gist of what I was saying..
12 wks at 1 NVR/1VR each per day; that's 168 additional test papers!!!
Wish our DS had the benefit of this; we could have easily got up to 95+% i'm sure with an additional 3 mths to prepare.
An advantage of this magnitude will mean some weaker candidates from second tranche will now likely outperform stronger ones from the first sitting; based purely on time. It's plainly a ridiculous situation.
If you use the same test, then it's open to abuse; if different, then you cannot compare - not for entry in the same year. It is common practise for Tiffin tutors to wait at the gates or lurk around corners after the Tiffin test, in desperate hopes of gaining insights into the questions - one actually related this...
Boys who sat for the 'first test', believing it to be the only one will obviously have divulged some details, albeit unwittingly - thinking it was all done & dusted, exam season over. Either to others or else their peers.
If TS/TGS insist on testing a second tranche (why not a third or fourth as well) - for whatever reason, then places allocated should be separate & additional - over & above 140 from the 1700 who sat the test at the correct time.
Stick 'em in a field classrooms or something, as happens with the primaries.
After all, these are candidates whose parents simply couldn't be bothered to check the dates with the school, website or RBK.
It is a simple fact that 1700 were able to make it there on time - so why on earth should this second sitting now be afforded the advantage and privilege of effectively stealing places from those who genuinely want to go to Tiffin schools and put in the requisite effort?
Compared to previous years, the first tranche are now 'early sitters', so clearly at a disadvantage in terms of the time they had to prepare. Tiffin will not adjust for this - having spoken to them i know this to be the case. Parents are quite rightly furious, left feeling cheated, shortchanged.
lol: maybe RBK could build another school pronto to accomodate them all!!! Call it Tiffin Academy INXS.
@OhDearConfused... am not sure NVR/VR bears comparison with DDs piano practice; most children are
forced oops, nay encouraged by their overzealous parents into music lessons; imho: not for the many would it be through choice. iPad yes; piano no.
Well constructed VR/NVR tests are resistant to a practise effect. Familiarity with the question formats helps but, once a child has got the basic idea, repetition does not necessarily improve the outcome. Research suggests that factors such as having a good night's sleep and being healthy have a much bigger impact on the outcome of such tests than repeated practise. Age is the biggest factor affecting performance in such tests. Of course, all this depends on the tests used by Kingsdale being well constructed and practise-resistant. I don't know whether or not this is the case.
Similarly, if you know the exact questions you can memorise the answers but simply knowing the general type of questions is of little use. If you talk to those who have already taken the test you are likely to get half remembered versions of questions mixed and some wrong answers. I doubt that using the same test for later applicants will lead to abuse. Some schools have done this for years without problems.
I note that some parents are talking of legal action. I doubt that will achieve anything other than wasting money, both their own and the school's. The constraints with which the school MUST comply by law are:
- they must "take all reasonable steps" to inform parents of the outcome of the tests before the closing date for applications (31st October)
- they must treat everyone who applies by 31st October equally
- they may not give priority to people who applied before the test deadline
- they may not refuse entry to a child just because they missed the test
As Kingsdale use the test result to determine priority for admissions I cannot see any way of meeting those legal constraints unless they test everyone who applies by 31st October. Some posters seem to be suggesting that Kingsdale should simply refuse entry to everyone who missed the test. They cannot do that in my view. The other grammar schools mentioned that appear to be excluding anyone who misses the tests are, in my view, on very dodgy ground and will likely be told to mend their ways.
The government decided that selective schools should give results of entrance tests before 31st October so that parents do not waste a preference on a school where their child is not of the required standard to gain entry. It was not their intention that parents who apply early should get an advantage over those who apply later as some here clearly want.
Those who missed the tests have a disadvantage in that they are applying to Kingsdale without knowing their child's test score. They may, therefore, be wasting a preference.
I understand the concern of parents who think those applying after the deadline for the first tests are getting some kind of unfair advantage. However, I am aware of extensive research into VR and NVR tests that suggests there is no advantage as long as the tests used by Kingsdale are properly constructed.
Apologies - got distracted whilst typing the above. Please replace all references to Kingsdale with Tiffins
168 additional practice papers . do they even exist?
Seriously, love Zolfany's posts , but agree with the (as usual) sage words of prh47bridge.
There really will be no advantage for later students. 3 months extra ageing will easily be capable of being standardised for.
While I can understand your sense of frustration that the openness of Kingston schools isn't reciprocated elsewhere, it would be regrettable for it to go the same way as others.
Birmingham consortium, Wolverhamtom-Walsall-Shropshire consortium are largely open [not that I am suggesting Londoners should go as far :-)]. Even the Langley one has really wide catchment area now, and has been a sore point for those who reside in Slough/Langley itself - not sure when they'll get it squeezed too !
While an unbiased observer can see your point, those who live across various parts of Greater London without owning (or being able to own) a property and keen to escape sink school entrapments have just a few places to look forward to - HBS, Tiffins, ~ 180 seats in Sutton ! And of course, not everyone send their DDs by coaches, for long distanes for all years of secondary education. Most relocate to Kingston/adjoining areas anyway. Not sure if this 'corrective' move (based on whether DC gets seat in Barnet or South) is sufficient to diffuse :-)
I have to agree with prh47bridge. I can't see how the schools could possibly concede that a later test date gives any advantage to those candidates. If they were to accept this argument, then they would be admitting that more practice/ tutoring time can make a material difference to a child's score. In that case, the test would be failing in its principal purpose, which is to identify natural ability. Of course, there are all kinds of reasons why these tests may not be quite as neutral as they are designed to be, but selective schools must surely argue that their tests are 'tutor-proof' or they will be opening themselves up to much more serious challenges.
And of course everyone knows that the tests are not tutor proof.
It would be funny if it were not all so outrageous.
A bit out of date as my daughter is now in Sixth Form. Many girls of her acquaintance had been tutored to get in, some by the legendary Mrs W. There were definitely some girls who were of a lower standard than others (while still able). They may have got in because of chance, but more likely because they were heavily tutored. In my opinion (at least in those days) there were a limited number of vocab questions/words in the NFER test bank, if you learnt the majority you were in with a good chance. It was considered that a mark of 85% in the practice tests would get you in.
My own daughter started practising about 3 months before the test. She wasn't tutored but did about 3 papers a week. She learnt all the question types and got one of the highest marks in the cohort. She is very clever but no genius - we just systematically learnt the question types.
Moral of the story - if you are able anyway - GOOD tutoring will give you the edge and an advantage. I think extra time will be of an advantage to some students. I have heard some heartbreaking stories of girls being tutored for years and not getting in. A fellow student of DD knows a girl who took a month off school to prepare for the tests.
Tiffin Girls' is a nice school, but there are a lot of nice schools. It is high in the tables because all the girls are clever. Not because the teachers are better or try particularly hard. In retrospect DD would have done well at any school. I think the teaching is better in my younger daughter's comp tbh.
I wish there was a ban on publishing results (except for current or prospective parents), I think league table rankings are largely to blame for the hysteria over this and other super selective schools.
I hope that the new maths and English test level the playing field a bit, and make a place at the school possible for all clever girls not just the tutored.
And of course everyone knows that the tests are not tutor proof.
Really? How? What evidence do you have for that assertion?
I repeat that there is plenty of research showing that properly constructed VR and NVR tests are resistant to practise effects. Surprisingly, even repeatedly taking the same test will not have any significant effect on the outcome. Familiarity with the types of questions helps, of course.
The problem with anecdotal evidence such as that from BeingFluffy is that no-one knows what scores would have been achieved without tutoring/practising.
I do not know if the tests used currently by Tiffins are properly constructed, of course. If they are not then tutoring may help. I have not seen the Tiffins tests nor am I qualified to judge whether or not they are properly constructed so I cannot comment on that.
The basic question is whether or not these tests measure ability. If they are not tutor proof they are failing in their basic objective. In order to measure ability they should, like IQ tests (which is essentially what they are), be resistant to tutoring and practise.
Just to add that I am always suspicious of "everyone knows" statements. Just because "everyone knows" something doesn't mean it is true. In my experience the things "everyone knows" are frequently completely untrue.
prh47bridge you are right. I have no evidence other than the anectodal evidence of almost all posters on entry to this school. We are of course a self-selecting samples - but i just don't recall reading (or if I have there are few) any poster ever saying - and my DC just went in there without practice/tutoring.
And my own personal experience. I can see an increasing improvement in the scores my DC do in practice papers (and don't accepts it simply a question of age): its a factor of practice, and I think of my explaining (no tutor here) the "question type" and strategy. Sure, a gifted child may well be able to work out strategies on the day without this prior work - but the competition is so high (and questions per hour so high) with only a few marks making the difference between top of cohort and below the 140/150 mark - that they
surely must (I know I have no evidence) be a disadavantage over those who have worked them out (or had them taught to them) in advance.
As an 'outsider' to this debate (we didn't consider Tiffin entry as felt it was too anomalous an exam and DS is now very happily attending SGS), I have no axe to grind one way or the other.
I do however totally agree with those who reckon that repeated practice doesn't necessarily make perfect. I distinctly recall with DS, last Summer, that he definitely peaked and then started going backwards with his scores.
I think you have to accept that the Tiffin Schools and their Heads are a lot more experienced in these matters of exams than most parents. If they say that it won't make a difference for some of the candidates to have had an extra three months tuition you can be assured that they will have academic research to back up their claims.
Personally I think that all that extra time to prepare is probably counter-productive. Any DC who has any oomph about him/her will get to the point of saturation with practising and just want to down tools and get on with the rest of their lives and having fun (particularly in the lead up to Christmas). All those extra weeks just add to anxiety, pressure etc..... (particularly if you have discovered that you haven't passed any of the other local-ish super-selective 11+ exams).
Moreover, OhDearConfused,you are talking about your child and you cannot generalise to a wider population on the evidence of one! There may be variables particular to your child that could not be applied to others DCs....
I find this whole 'lay' challenge to the sagacity of the Schools on these matters to be rather irksome. If a child is bright enough to get in they will get in and if they're not they won't. Simple. It seems to be a peculiarly Middle-Class characteristic to never accept that the 'Authorities' might just know what they're talking about (the whole MMR fiasco being another which springs to mind).
This whole 'cult of Tiffin' which doesn't seem to extend to the other super-selectives in the area is very strange, to my mind. I just don't get it. If you look at League Tables is is generally way below Wilson's (in recent years) and the difference twixt SGS, Tiffins (Girls and Boys), Nonsuch and WCGS is negligible.
I am also pretty sure that there won't really be 1000 extra children taking the 11+ exams in November/December for The Tiffin Schools. There might be some for whom it is a last attempt at a grammar school place, having failed the 11+ exams for other super-selectives. But everyone knows that the exam for Tiffins is anomalous so it's a very long shot indeed.
gazzalw I don't disagree that it can be counterproductive and indeed there will be a peak in readiness from which either the effect of tutoring/practising and so is negligle or harmful even.
[I don't buy into the Tiffin cult either, its just - being on a line from Central London - convenient to us (for DS) which the other schools aren't!]
Gazzalw: "If a child is bright enough to get in they will get in and if they're not they won't."
I'm afraid I have to disagree with this - I know of several girls who didn't get into Tiffin but did get into the likes of St Pauls/LEH. They have achieved straight A*s at GCSE and A2 and are now at university, some at Oxbridge. You can't tell me that they weren't bright enough to be Tiffin material?
I think the difference between getting in and not is so very slight - my own daughter missed by 8 or 9 marks but that put her 80 something on the waiting list (and that was a few years ago, when I think about 1100 sat the test). There are a few at the top of the normal distribution who will always get in, but there is a huge swathe of bright kids who, on the day, could get in or not depending on slight differences in speed and a few lucky guesses.
I don't think you can say that those who made it were bright enough and those that didn't are not. It's not that cut and dried!
I have a nephew at Tiffin, clearly bright and tutored for under one year, another boy in his year was tutored from the age of 3 and was just above average at his local state school but very good at verbal and non reasoning after 7 years of practise papers, as any above average child would be. Both got in. My son went to a local fee paying selective school, there were many local boys who failed to get into Tiffin in his class, without exception they did as well if not better when it came to A levels than the boys in their year at Tiffin. That said Tiffin is a good school and should be for local children of parents who pay some of highest council taxes in country and don't get a fair choice.
That they should all tutor from the age of 3 just to stand a chance is clearly wrong, what sort of child does that produce, one that may not be up to scratch at A levels clearly. The only people wining are the tutors who at my calculations are earning around £60,000 a year from worried parents who just want the best chance for their child.
Getting into Tiffin or similar is not the end of the line, getting into a good university is whole new trial - only 8% get into the 'top 20'. - and believe me at this level the tutoring starts all over again, in fact for some poor pushed children it never stops.....
Gazzalw: "If a child is bright enough to get in they will get in and if they're not they won't."
This is definitely not true. DS1 is at Tiffin; pretty much top of his year group. DS2 just took the test and will not be joining his brother i'm afraid; but his levels are higher and he is every bit as intelligent and capable.
Please all here - STOP using the Tiffin entrance tests as if some kind of benchmark of a childs intellect/ability/aptitude/motivation/drive, or whatever... meh; it is nothing of the sort.
Tiffin Entrance test is
basically just some lunacy dreamt up by the school/RBK to stress out children and poor parents alike an indicator of the childs ability (or otherwise) to gain an age weighted, non-linear, HTU value that places it within top 140 by rank order. Nothing else...
We hosted a small gathering of Tiffs last night; during apple bobbing when asked why an apple floats - they struggled, each to a one. Some of the boys present scored exceptionally high in the Tiffin Entrance Examination.
After a year or so of brilliant teaching at an outstanding school this surprises me (lol: not. So what do they learn in Physics exactly; would they even know it's a Physics Question - personally, i doubt it) - anyhow, it's not exactly genius is it?
@BeingFluffy Tiffin Girls' is a nice school, but there are a lot of nice schools. It is high in the tables because all the girls are clever. Not because the teachers are better or try particularly hard. Totally agree - ditto, Tiffin School. If you gave the teachers at TS/TGS children from any 'ordinary school', would be a very different picture - interesting to see how they would do. Bit like Oxford & Cambridge i think - they don't do anything spectacular with their intakes either. I do not think the results of Tiffins are exceptional, if indeed the tests are effective and select children based on the highest levels of ability/potential.
The interesting thing about Tiffins is that, despite having the pick of such a large number of very bright applicants, they don't come at the top of the league tables for GCSEs and A levels. I think the major defect in their process is that they don't include anything which allows them to assess whether the child can produce a sustained and coherent, literate piece of writing, and that is where other schools are able to score.
21GumMum - what happens if the over tutored child had grown in intellect due to hard work? - some think it's possible. In fact if you believe intellect and ability can grow isn't that a reason to start 'tutoring' asap? Especially if child isn't learning well at primary for whatever reason. Some 'coach' right from the start for want of a better word. Those at a prep school have effective coaching from the start too, small class sizes, great teachers (in the best preps) etc. Why is tutoring always seen as a negative? Why not see it as enrichment where children are stimulated and encouraged, not necessarily drilled for tests - it's possible to see a tutor and just have the Tiffin test requirements as an aside, a necessary evil. That teacher can potentially talk to you about art, literature, the best poets, writers etc. The right person can add so much value.
I had a Cambridge undergraduate tutor me for an A'level resist once, my intellect definitely developed - suddenly I just got it. He was fascinating, brilliant, interesting a fantastic mentor. I'll never forget him. Everyone needs a mentor I think. I went up 4 grades in 3/4 months.
@OhDearConfused - in DS1 class there are absolute zero pupils that were not tutored to get into Tiffin; i know this for a fact, since during a lesson where the boys were considered ill-behaved & unruly (yes, indeed as with any other school it does happen) - the teacher asked the boys to 'Raise you hands if you were tutored to get here'. Every boy in class did so. So much for the untutorable test, eh? I will not relate what was said next...
@Hamishbear - with respect, you cannot 'grow intellect' - it cannot be cultivated like a crop; intellect is a measure of latent ability. You cannot seed or fertilize intellect by tutoring.
Zoffany. I am not sure. Perhaps it depends on what you mean by intellect?
Take a child that's a voracious reader, starts with those loathsome Rainbow Magic series (for example) and with an adult's encouragement quickly outgrows. With support they begin to read more and more, moving on to say the simpler children's classics. They then get the 'bug' - and they just begin to eat books. Their reading age sky rockets, their vocabulary increases, you speak to them and are blown away. They are still only 8 but they have the vocabulary of an adult etc. They could be intellectually ordinary but they appear anything but? Has their intellect not grown exponentially? A child with more latent potential who never reads may never be able to get such a high VR score.
Cultivating, fertilising of the mind - yes, I think all is possible and would hate an educator to think my child couldn't intellectually grow.
Some believe in brain plasticity and think the intellect can grow. I'm not sure. Personally I find it hard to improve my 'set' capacity for NVR type stuff and maths but for VR the sky is the limit with practice. I've seen children who many would consider far from intellectually bright write extraordinarily well. It's a tricky one and comes down to what we tend to value - logical ability seems to trump a lot.
lol: yes, well, erm... actually that's the only diff. between DS1/DS2 - lots & lots of books; so would agree.
...can lead a horse to water; not all choose to drink.
vocab comes from books, not tutoring.
...but is more to Tiffin than just the tests; what lies beyond - the school will be more interested in your DC's ability on the rugby pitch, even if they are successful & do get in. Of course that's where NVR/VR fall down; DS2 may be only 220, yet would literally have filled Tiffin cabinets with trophies, since he is gifted/talented at practically every sport. Lol: their loss - best hope they don't come up against hin at Grists.
...for a 'rugby school' - pretty crap.
Could anyone help me with names of tutors for Henrietta Barnett for 11 +? Thanks
Since my last post, TS and TGS have gone different way on entrrance tests and now admission policy. TGS is consulting on a very wide and haphazard catchment area. We need to respond to the consultation as for variety of reasons, this proposed catchment is full of anomalies and does not meet the objectives TGS had set in its statement of rationale for the change. It is far better to have distance policy subject to a minimum required score in the entrance test.
Another point to respond is about 2nd stage test being taken after CAF date. IMO, this is against the spirit of the new Admission Code as parent would not have full information to make an informed decision about the preferences.
We also need to respond to the TS consultation and emphasize their duty to the chilren of the area and to strictly follow the requirements of the Academies Act, by enacting distance (or less preferably, catchment) policy.
There is no requirement in the Academies Act to use distance as part of admission criteria.
If what you are referring to as the second stage test is the test for those who apply to late to sit the initial test I stand by my view that this is what is required by the Admissions Code. To suggest that it is somehow against the spirit of the Admissions Code is nonsense. Those parents who apply in time will know whether or not their child has passed the test. Those who apply too late to sit the test will be disadvantaged as they will not know whether or not their child will pass the test prior to naming their secondary school preferences, so may end up wasting a preference on Tiffin.
It seems you didn't carefully read my post before making comments.
No, I didn't mean late tests. I meant 2nd stage test and my post is about 2014-15 consultation.
About the late tests held for 2013 entry, No, these were not required by the Admission Code. Wrong interpretation. If it was, why so many other grammars didn't conduct late tests. You would see that under the draft policies being consulted, TGS or TS have not proposed any late tests. Tiffins will come under considerable strain from appeals from the parents who may be aggrieved that late testers have push their children down the rankings. We shall wait and see.
And about the requirements of the Academies Act. Perhaps you will like to read the Act itself and the Funding agreement of the Tiffin School with the Secretary of the State.
prh - The Girls' grammar has decided to use a 2 stage, knock out selection process for the 11+. So all applicants take a first test in September and the results of this are communicated to all parents.
These results however only form part of the overall mark because girls who do well on them will be invited back for round 2 in December (after the CAF deadline) to sit more tests.
I suspect though that Tiffin's stance on this is that all girls who qualify for Round 2 are automatically deemed to have passed the 11+ and this is the only information they are required to pass on to parents before the CAF deadline. Nothing says they have to give scores.
The December tests will be used to rank the 400 or so children who pass the 11+ in order to decide which ones are offered a place.
tiffinboys - My thinking was more that it poses problems for appeals. If a girl narrowly fails stage 1, she is excluded from stage 2 and cannot sit it. The appeal rules say (I think) that a child can only appeal for a grammar school if they have sat all the tests for it. It looks potentially possible that being denied the chance to sit round 2 of the exams might deny children their right of appeal but prh would know more on that and could perhaps advise?
Hi, tiggytape... there is more to this. For TGS, imagine that originally 450 girls were supposed to go to stage 2. With late tests, more took stage 2 tests. No official numbers yet, but grapevine is 530 to 580. Originally, 150 were to selected from 450; now it will be from a larger pool. One could make a good case to consider late entrants after the in-time applicants (as in Kendrick arrangements).
Same applies to Tiffin School. Originally, the 140 were to be selected from 1700 or so who registered in time. Now it would be 140 from nearly 2000. (not the official figure). Obviously, i) the cutoff score will be higher and ii) some late entrants would have scored higher and they had 2 extra months to prepare. On top of this consider the fiasco of late tests not on one day, but 2 days - week apart.
30 to 40 children below the cut-off score would have a strong case as late tests were not in the schools DAA (as in Kendrick case) and are not being considered as late applicantions.
You really want to tell me to read the Academies Act? I know it inside out. Perhaps you would care to read it yourself and point to the section that requires an academy to use geographical admission criteria. I'll give you a clue - there isn't one.
I have also read the funding agreement. Again, there is nothing in there requiring them to use geographical admission criteria. There is a requirement to consult in the "relevant area" but that has no bearing whatsoever on the actual criteria.
Now that I understand what you are talking about I agree that the stage 2 tests are debatable. However, I stand by my view that those grammar schools that refuse to test children who apply after the tests have taken place but before the deadlines are in breach of the Admissions Code unless they have some other mechanism in place for determining whether or not these children are of grammar school standard. They cannot simply refuse to give places to children who applied too late for the tests. That would be a clear breach of the Code.
How can you miss the relevant clause, if you have read these documents well enough?
Clue: these clauses were used by another grammar school in 'successfully' defending their catchment policy.
I know nothing about the Academies Act so will definitely bow out of that one!
I do know however that late applications must be considered as per the Admissions Code (both old and new).
Grammar Schools are absolutely obliged to consider late applicants even if they have missed the test date. The only difference is the interpretation of how to do this. Tiffins interpreted it that they must test all late comers with a late sitting of the entry exam.
Other grammar schools offer no late test for people who simply missed the deadline but must still have systems in place to ensure that, when presented with a late candidate, they can make a judgement call on whether that child is of selective ability or not. No grammar school has the power to tell a candidate 'tough luck, you've missed the test so we won't even consider your application.
The obligations on all grammars is the same but it is true different interpretations exist:
All grammars must have a system for assessing suitability of late entrants. Tiffins argues that this means they must test them. Other schools wont test them but must still have a procedure to ascertain suitability
All grammars must inform parents of the outcome of the 11+ exams before the CAF deadline where reasonably possible. Some schools interpret this to mean holding one test in September, telling parents the exact score achieved and giving information as to whether that would have been a qualifying score last year. Other schools interpret it much more loosely and simply tell parents that their child is one of 400 or 700 children to have passed but that they still have a less than 50:50 chance of an offer and must come back again in December to take further tests.
In each case it might be obvious which option parents would prefer but that doesnt mean the interpretation that benefits on time applicants wishing to get a definitive answer before the CAF deadline is the right one.
Matter of interpretation? Obviously.
We will see if Tiffins would have this late test arrangements for the next year. From their consultation documents, it clearly seems that late tests have been abandoned.
I am aware that you are referring to Academies Act Section 1(6)(d) which states that the school provides education for pupils who are wholly or mainly drawn from the area in which the school is situated. This is repeated in paragraph 10(c) of the funding agreement. However, I repeat that this does not require the school to give priority based on distance in their admission criteria.
A catchment area or distance based criteria can be a way of meeting this provision but neither the Academies Act nor the funding agreement mandates the use of such criteria. I suspect that most applications for Tiffin come from Kingston and the surrounding boroughs. If that is the case Tiffin do not need to use geographical admission criteria in order to meet the requirements of the Academies Act or their funding agreement, although I note that they do actually use such criteria as a tie breaker when test scores are equal. Even if in a particular year successful applicants from outside the area outnumber those from inside this is still not a problem as long as the majority of pupils in the school as a whole come from the local area.
Looking at the proposed admission arrangements they state that a child who misses the stage one test will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and with supporting evidence. If the child is accepted they will then be allowed to sit the stage two test. I think this can be challenged on two grounds.
Firstly, as Tiggytape says, they are required to treat all applicants who apply by the national deadline equally. I am not convinced that saying a child who misses the stage one test will only be considered in exceptional circumstances meets this requirement. That would be an interesting question for the Schools Adjudicator.
Secondly, admissions are determined by combining the score from both tests with a weighting - test 2 * 0.7 + test 1 * 0.3. The proposed admission arrangements do not explain how this will work for a child who misses the stage one test and is then accepted. If they assign an arbitrary mark for the stage one test that is clearly unfair - if it is too high they may get a place they do not deserve, if it is too low they miss out on a place they should have got. If they simply use the raw test 2 score without any weighting that is again unfair - it may be higher or lower than the combined score would have been. The only fair way I can see is to get any child who has been accepted despite missing the stage one test to sit that test. Whatever they intend to do should be clearly stated in the admission arrangements.
I note that there is no mention in the proposed arrangements of test scores being normalised for age. Raw VR and NVR scores increase fairly rapidly at this age so failing to normalise could favour older candidates.
1. I don't see how open selection could be compatible with the requirement of giving admission to children wholly or mainly drawn from the area in which it is situated. Tiffins are situated in Kingston Borough. And the children from Kingston are a small minority.
2. Tiffin School has put their admission data on its website. Have a look at it. You would conclude that each year on year, the number of children from Kingston Borough and immediate surrounding areas is declining rapidly as the number of applicants is rising at a faster rate. TS has not given the figures of applicants sitting 2012 test (2011: 1685). TGS figures are 1879 (2011: 1471). The applicant numbers have risen by about 300-400 a year since 2010. Sooner or later, Schools would have to think about distance/catchment policies as TGS has attempted to do now.
In current scenario, open selection policies are very unfair to the children living in the surrounding areas and Kingston Borough as many other grammars have catchment policies - resulting in over-whelming pressure on the Tiffin Schools.
The requirement is to provide an education to pupils wholly or mainly drawn from the area in which the school is situated. That does not mean they have to admit wholly or mainly from the local area every year, although clearly if admissions are consistently mainly from outside the local area they will eventually fail to comply. Note that the legislation fails to define what it means by "the area in which the school is situated". It could mean anything from the streets immediately bordering the school to the entire South East of England. Those are extremes and I doubt the courts would go with either of those but, given the Greenwich judgement, I would be surprised if the courts interpreted it as meaning Tiffin have to draw children from Kingston ahead of anywhere else.
Yes, Tiffin say that the number of children drawn from the local area is falling. That is why they have introduced a designated area that comes into play when scores are equal. They say that at the cut off point each year there are a significant number of applicants with the same score. If that is true the change will increase the proportion of successful applicants from the local area without excluding higher performing applicants from further away.
I note that Tiffin say that the proposed designated area is where a significant majority of the school's existing students live. If that is true it would appear that they are currently complying with their funding agreement and the changes they are making will ensure that they continue to do so. From their viewpoint the change you want will result in a drop in standards as it would make where a pupil lives more important than their ability as measured by the tests.
Assuming Tiffin go ahead with the proposed changes you have the right to lodge an objection with the Schools Adjudicator.
Lot of contradiction in your post, prh. So let's agree to disagree.
Really? I challenge you to point out a single contradiction. To help you, here is a simply summary:
- The legal requirement is to provide an education to pupils wholly or mainly from the area. Provided the majority of pupils in the school are from the area they are meeting that requirement.
- If the majority of admissions are consistently from outside the area the school will fail to meet the requirement. However, that does not mean that the majority of admissions must be from inside the area each year, which is what you want. To make this clearer, suppose a school has 600 pupils of whom 400 are from within the area. They are going to admit 100 pupils. Even if all 100 pupils were from outside the area, there would now be 400 pupils out of 700 total from within the area so they would still be in the majority.
- The legislation does not define what it means by "the area in which the school is situated". Given the Greenwich judgement I would be surprised if the courts said that it meant Kingston.
The remainder of my post points out that, if what Tiffin Girls say is true, they are complying with their funding agreement and the proposed changes will ensure that they continue to do so.
I know you want Tiffin to prioritise lower scoring local applicants over higher scoring applicants from further afield. As I say, you can refer this to the Schools Adjudicator if Tiffin go ahead with the proposed changes. However, if you do I believe you will be disappointed with the outcome.
Huh? Am I missing something here??
I dind't read the entire thread because I couldn't really get past the first post...
Personally, I believe that OPEN SELECTION IS THE WAY TO GO. Despite the tutoring, etc., it is a far more meritocratic way of selection... compared to, say, catchment area lottery which the OP seems to prefer.
It's not like Harrow, Southall and Greenford are posh places - Kingston's surrounding area has plenty of green/leafy suburb type places, where properties go for a lot more money. By creating some dumb catchment rule, you will just be accentuating that.
Maybe the OP is an estate agent for the area or has a dc that didn't get in?
OP has a bee in her bonnet about this - although I think she is simply a concnered partent with a DC that did get in (despite open competition). If you look at the 11+ forum Surrey section you will see she goes on and on and on about getting a catchment for Kingston. It is incredibly repetitive, and it is impossible (almost) to discuss Tiffin without her chipping in with that theme. (At least - to be fair to her - this is her thread).
Do people really go to Tiffins from Harrow? How on earth do they get there?
Some of the above comments made me laugh.
1. So if area is green and leafy, the local grammar must be open selective for all and sundry, while their local grammars may be 100% catchment (Langley, Redbridge etc etc) or their LA abolished the local grammars. Now 2 small schools in Kingston (Tiffins) must take care of the rest of the world.
2. So if the local parents argue for catchment or distance (as in Langley, Kent, Bucks. Redbridge, and so on and on), they must be the estate agents.
3. So if the 'area' is not clearly defined in Academies Act, we must forget all about common sense (I admit it is not so common these days) and consider Harrow or Langley or Guilford or even Bournemouth and Manchester (yes, there were admissions from there too last year) as in the 'area'.
4. So if being resident of Kingston and having a declared interest in Tiffins for my kids and other local kids, still I should not chip in the discussions involving Tiffins.
Oh dear, dear.
Tiffinboys - Just give up. What is your problem?? Your DC got into Tiffin. So what's the point of this thread? Seriously, be happy your DC is at a school that is not 90% Kingston kids, and there is actually a little bit of diversity.
As far as I know, the UK is not quite like the US where the funding of schools almost completely depends on just the surrounding area's taxes. So... really, no school should have a catchment area at all.
I would be my life's savings that no-one in Manchester or Bournemouth is at school in Kingston.
As you would see from my posts, I never started this campaign for my DCs alone. My DC got 'comfortable' scores (yet to get offer - waiting for 1st March), but local parents campaign has to be continued. Incidently, 2013 is 20 years since distance rules were dropped.
I would cease to campaign once all grammars are open selective (glad you agree with that too) or Tiffins has distance/catchment policy too.
TGS admission data for 2012 include girls from BH10 (Bournemouth) and WA14 (Altrincham, Greater Manchester), besides other distant areas. Data is as provided by School (under FOI) to us.
I imagine the girls applied and their families moved once they got the place. I know a girl who was overseas when she applied and had to come back especially for the test. Her family moved back to the UK over the summer. Their DD's education was a major factor in deciding to move back. I don't see what is wrong with that to be honest.
I did not suggest that Manchester could be considered as part of the area. The point I made was that, given the lack of definition and in view of the Greenwich judgement, the courts may well take the view that the "area in which the school is situated" is not just Kingston but includes some or all of the surrounding boroughs.
I wonder if any sensible judge would consider Southall (UB1 & UB2) as in the Tiffin Schools area (KT2).
In my opinion, and I know Tiffinboys disagrees, the Tiffin schools are situated in Greater London and I would say the area they should serve is anywhere within an hour or so travelling time. (I am aware it is no longer possible to use actual travelling time as part of admission criteria). Families, including my own, think long and hard about sending their kids on long journeys. Unfortunately for some there are no viable alternatives and schools like TGS are a godsend.
We can always agree to disagree. Each one can have his/her own view.
I know Tiffins are godsend. The problem is most grammars have catchment/distance policies. Therefore, few remaining open-selectives have to take the pressure from all over the place.
Greater London is not a small place that can be catered by two small grammars in Kingston. On top of that Kingston children do not have level playing field. Langley is 100% catchment and even the children from Langley catchment comes in a big way to Tiffins. Consequently, the entrance test pressure grows to an extend that most children in Tiffins are over-tutored. Children are in great pressure to score higher and higher each year as the cut-off score has been increasing.
Therefore, to bring some normality to the situation and giving level playing field to the children of Kingston and surrounding areas, we need distance or catchment policies.
As regard to other viable option, after Tiffins, the boys in Kingston have no viable option too. For girls, onlt Coombe Girls offer some option; but for bright children, even that is too little.
Kingston children have the same chance as any other children to get into the Tiffin schools.
I don't believe this 'over-tutored' business. A marginal local grammar school would be easily tutorable, but a super-selective one requires bright children to get in.
Lots of children in lots of areas have no good schools to choose from.
The requirement is for the majority of children to be in the area in which the school is situated. Even if Southall is out of area admitting children from there is not an issue as long as the majority of pupils are from the school's area.
1. Agree that Kingston children have same chance to get into Tiffins - why does then so many grammars (Langley, Newstead, Nonsuch, Wallington, Slough, Herschel etc. etc.) have catchment places? Why the children there needs reserved places?
2. Not believing some thing does not change the situation. There is over-tutoring and just by denying it, that won't go away.
3. Does Kingston have to cater for every area that does not have good schools to chose from.
1. I would concentrate on levelling the playing field in those areas personally.
2. So are the results suffering? Or is it just an assertion on your part?
3. It's not Kingston, it's two grammar schools in Kingston. If you have a sub <100 IQ and live in Kingston then you won't get into the Tiffin schools under any circumstances. All these distant children in Southall and places amount to what, 10% of the school? Less than that? The idea that these schools would suddenly become a local school for local people if you excluded a small minority of the intake is clearly wrong. It would given a few marginal children in the local area a slightly better chance, while excluding the same number of distant children who might be much brighter (certainly some of them would be) and perhaps otherwise faced with going to a sink school.
Your comments makes me think that you have not come across 11+ tests in the recent past.
@tiffinboys - thank you so much for continuing to post to this thread, despite as i gather your DC having gained admission to Tiffin (well, in all probability, congratulations!!!).
DS1 is currently at the school; however, DS2 with a score of 220 will likely be denied in this years intake from going up to join his elder brother (based on historical score, barring a miracle).
By current applied methods of determining distance, we live less than a kilometre from the school gates (indeed, both DS have done so from birth, we have not moved into the area).
DS2 attends a primary in Richmond borough, oustanding across the board as judged by Ofsted - where he has consistently performed at the top of his respective year group; over his entire KS1/2 'career'.
He recently smashed level 6 mocks, is on the talented and gifted register for sports, sings in choir, etc.
We are within effortless walking distance of Tiffin, indeed it is our nearest secondary school - and we want to bring him back over to KoT to further his education and re-unite him with his elder sibling.
I simply do not see why a child of his talent, ability, and calibre - who lives within touching distance of this school should be denied a place, in order that all and sundry - these kids from Timbuktu postcodes can take up places.
With his score and track record he is more than capable, and would easily cope with the work (since we know what the work entails); in fact one of DS1s teachers rubbed their hands together eagerly in anticipation on seeing there were siblings - at the school they are most keen to teach them.
Also, i do not understand how the school can apply distance criteria to 140th ranked candidates in the event of tied scores, but not use the same criteria more widely.
I would not have a problem with the top x% of places being allocated, irrespective of distance - though i do feel a 5-7 miles catchment say would be more realistic.
Look at the post code distribution; one from here, two from there, is destroying the community of the school.
Tiffins should more properly represent and serve the areas in which they are located - this is surely obvious to any right minded individual.
Yes indeed. Make it a community school and remove selection. I agree with you. No tests. Just admisison by distance.
Precisely. tbh, we would have sent all our DCs to it anyway, irrespective of performances and league tables - since it is our local secondary school, nearest by far, and should be returned to the community it was created to serve. Taking one child from TW10,000, or whatever is not benefitting those communities whatsoever, it is only to the detriment of Kingston residents, and those living within reasonable distance nearby. Not to be able to send your children to their nearest state secondary is galling; performances matter far more to those coming from further afield, otherwise why would they come here? If Tiffins were say 85%, there wouldn't be any uptake from Brentford, Hounslow, Harrow, or wherever would there - let's be honest, these families are shipping their kids in purely for what they can get. Nothing more. Which is why the school is practically broke. I went to talk about my child, they asked me if i had any money i could give them - what kind of a school is that? If they committed to the local community, their financial worries would be all but erradicated; there's plenty of coin around here, but locals (myself included) are not willing to stump up to pay to educate kids from Timbuktu; why should we?
Having seen the figures this year; i am in no doubt that DS2s place will have been given to some boy who has been tutored to within an inch of his life - possibly over many a year as well. But we know for a fact that a good many of these candidates performances - their supposed potential, is not borne out in reality when they go up to Tiffin. The correlation between test score and perfomance withi the school is at best tenuous.
Would advise anyone who has same sex siblings to consider this as part of the equation when applying for superselectives. We are resident in the borough some 20 years+ and over that time have seen many a family succeed at first in gaining entry, then subsequently falter. There is even case of twins being separated by the entrance test (though now reunited through the sixth). Just a caveat. Ok for only children
I wonder how many families do not contribute to the Tiffin school fund.
Zoffany51, I really don't think you can blame the precarious finances of Tiffin Boys on the fact that some boys come from far and wide. I don't think locality makes people more or less inclined to pay the voluntary contribution.
I thought the finance problem surfaced a few years ago and was the reason the previous head left - there were rumours of mismanagement.
By the way my daughter goes to the girls' school and there are regular appeals to build new facilities and people are encouraged to donate, but I have never experienced begging for money at a parents evening or anything like that. Sounds like the school equivalent of chugging to be honest.
I don't live in the local area but probably have more to do with TGS in various ways than at my other child's school which is in my "community" - at least it is fairly local at about a mile and in my home borough (my nearest community school though 2 church schools are nearer). The local school do not encourage parental involvement in any shape or form, though I make a voluntary donation of the same amount I contribute to TGS each month.
Tiffin boys perform very well at GCSE and A Level. Certainly better than a 'local' grammar school.
@FillyPutty - this is to entirely miss the point. I have a child in tears today, who simply wants to join his brother at his nearest state secondary, and cannot understand why this is not possible. Most parents in KoT would gladly accept 'local' grammar school standards - whatever it is you are inferring, if it meant their families were not cleaved in half by this superselective nonsense.
However, at 220+ catchment, i strongly suspect that standards would rise, rather than fall, as the local primaries are more than capable of turning out high performing pupils. Having to attain 97+ percentile to gain access to your local secondary school is just plain ridiculous.
@Mrsrobertduvall - i wonder how many families do not contribute to the Tiffin school fund. Well i don't for one - i have no intention of donating to educate children from miles away, many of whom have nowadays been put through preps. If TS is floundering financially, they might like to revise their admissions criteria and add catchment. As i said previously, that is the only way the situation is ever likely to get resolved. Messrs J+T Tiffin did not found the school to educate all and sundry, it was founded for the benefit of local children, and it is for the benefit of local children that the school should be returned. tlc.
...the school place we have been offered is non-selective, but subject to a narrow catchment area of less than 2km, so why are children allowed to attend Tiffin from 10+ miles away? We now have to take a place from a pupil who would really want to go to this school, incidentally our third choice - in order that our DC can travel past his preferred school in order to get to it. Somewhere he doesn't want to go. It's total insanity.
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.
@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 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?)
Does anyone have any idea how the consultation is going?
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
...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.
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.
@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?
No it's not impacting on any particular bad school catchment, it's impacting on lots of them
'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.
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.
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.
Indeed, the more selective a school is, the less of a brain drain there is from surrounding schools.
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.
@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.
...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.
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.
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.
? 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.
...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.
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.
@tiffinboys Your argument is completely invalid, as you constantly refer to my school (upper 6th boy here) as 'Tffins'. If you knew anything about the school, then you would realise it's called 'Tiffin', with no s. Please show the courtesy of naming my school correctly, as it infuriates me when you don't. Thank you.
Not sure that a misspelling the name of the school invalidates the argument (it is a bit irritating I'll grant you) Tiffinboys makes some good points and echoes what many local parents feel.
My brother went to 'Tiffin's' years ago and calls it both that and 'Tiffin'. As do many of his friends.
My parents still live locally and they are anti the superselectiveness. They don't think it's fair to local children.
Tiffinboys, your arguments would have been correct if Tiffin was the ONLY state school in the area. You are NOT entitled to the best education, but to FREE education. Therefore, you can choose any state school in your area and educate your child without payment.
What, however, you seem to want, is to get to Tiffin superselective school based not on merit, but proximity from it. Can't you see that the next step would be to get to Oxford not on merit, but because you child happened to attend a state school or a posh selective public school. The next step, perhaps, would be the demand for your DD (if you have DD not DS) to marry a prince, because she is prettier, cleverer, etc than the one he loves. The list could go on. Sour grapes is not a solution.
Alas, the only solution would be to raise standards of state schools to an acceptable level. As for superselectives, well, there are geniuses, bright spartks, talented and gifted. They, by the way, have their burden to bear, and a part of such burden is always somebody's envy. Please accept that superselective ARE looking for superbright. Selective look for bright. Mixed ability take all. Make mixed ability of superselective does not solve problems of very bright unchallenged and understretched children in mixed ability state schools.
If your child does not get in, this is not a good school for your child. Your child can be happier and achieve more, perhaps, compared to some Tiffin children. But it would only happen if you let your child into a good school where she/he won't struggle and feel inferior because they can't match up intellectually. There are good grammar schools around which are not superselective. Hope this helps.
Can't you see that the next step would be to get to Oxford not on merit, but because you child happened to attend a state school or a posh selective public school. The next step, perhaps, would be the demand for your DD (if you have DD not DS) to marry a prince, because she is prettier, cleverer, etc than the one he loves. The list could go on.
It is a list of non sequiturs.
It's not really a 'next' step because it would be a reversion to the way Tiffin used to operate. When none of the other very interesting-sounding steps on the list followed, either.
Yes for clarity - it is Tiffin School, or simply just Tiffin - not 'Tiffins' (ha ha) or 'Tiffin Boys'; neither of the latter two exist, well not in Kingston at any rate - so pointless applying to them. Even RBK get it wrong by referring to the school often as Tiffin Boys - there is no such place!!!
Hi, Kid; Just by the way, the header reads Tiffin Schools, meaning the two schools known as Tiffin School and Tiffin girls School, collectively referred as Tiffins locally.
2000 plus boys have registered for entrance tests this year. Tests likely to be over 2 days.
Hope Tiffins governors get a little wiser and sort out their admission arrangements.
lol: that will never (ever, ever) happen. Perhaps the time has come where locals should vote with their feet, take their DCs elsewhere and fully support the Kingston/Richmond borough non-selectives; there are plenty of good schools around here - spoilt for choice; one credited recently by Ofsted as outstanding across the board.
The exam results of Kingston state schools are extremely good. Obviously their children have not come to harm for not going to Tiffins. I really don't have any sympathy with the kingston residents who are some of the richest people in the country. There are lots of really good private schools near kingston as well.
Parmitars (a partical grammar) near watford only takes children from certain postcodes for the selective places. I wonder how Parmitars gets around the Greenwich ruling. Prehaps a similar system would work for Tiffins.
I would like to see certain proportion of places at Tiffins reserved for bright kids on free school meals and a complete ban on private school kids applying. Now that would really annoy the wealthy kingston residents.
Although the thread was about 2012 consultations for 2013-14, it is still generating interest.
From reallytired: I really don't have any sympathy with the kingston residents who are some of the richest people in the country. There are lots of really good private schools near kingston as well.
Well, reallytired, sooner you come out of dreamland that Kingston residents are rich enough to afford private schooling, it would be soothing for your nerves.
The nearest other school option to us Coombe Boys. We could also try Southborough, as it has some vacancy. To see how these are performing, here is league table.
Hopefully, you will see that Kingston Borough do not have that hyped-up too many good state schools.
@ReallyTired: I would like to see certain proportion of places at Tiffins reserved for bright kids on free school meals and a complete ban on private school kids applying. Now that would really annoy the wealthy kingston residents.
The private school kids, as you refer to them are not from Kingston - they go up to Tiffin from much further afield; though in principle this is wrong - it would not 'annoy' KoT residents. Of the Kingston children who do attend, there is a fair representation of those from less advantaged backgrounds - although cost of tutoring may well be an issue, as this limits access.
There are significant pockets of resistant poverty and under-privilege within KoT, much as there are in all London boroughs - to suggest otherwise, that all residents here are 'rich' is ridiculous. Our DC is at Tiffin and is eligible for free school meals, so there is one for you. Boys do get in from the local council estates as well. Tiffin is not what you think it is.
To be really fair, the tests should really be uniquely constructed year on year, totally different, with only the sample questions in the actual exam sitting for practice. No books, no tutors - nothing available - now that really would sort out the wheat form the chaff. None of these issues would be pertinent if this was the case.
A complete ban on private school kids applying would be illegal.
Kingston has areas of genuine povery just like elsewhere especially if you look at the borough as a whole (Tolworth, Chessington etc) rather than just the town centre (although even there, they have an enormous council estate that used to be a no-go area but is probably better now).
I think the frustration comes from the fact that there aren't many other options for Kingston parents - there aren't an abundance of good comps in the area to send children to - especially boys.
As of this year, it has improved slightly because Richmond have stopped giving priority to their own children via the feeder school system and have also opened a new school to ease pressure. Kingston will also get a new school soon.
It used to be that a lot of Kingston children lived near Richmond but couldn't get into those schools because of feeder school rules, couldn't get into Tiffins because of the huge number eligible to apply, couldn't get into the Catholic schools because of so many Catholic applicants and didn't live close enough to the New Malden comps. If there had been any alternatives, people wouldn't have been half as bothered.
Sutton has a similar set up to Tiffins for the boys (Grammar schools which are open to the whole of London and 2000+ applicants this year). People in Sutton don't get quite as het up about clever Sutton boys not getting grammar school places because Sutton has decent comps with grammar streams on the doorstep to cater for them.
"There are significant pockets of resistant poverty and under-privilege within KoT, much as there are in all London boroughs - to suggest otherwise, that all residents here are 'rich' is ridiculous. Our DC is at Tiffin and is eligible for free school meals, so there is one for you. Boys do get in from the local council estates as well. Tiffin is not what you think it is.
I am pleased that such a gifted young man has managed to get a place at Tiffins. He has clearly managed to beat the odds. He is exactly the kind of child that Tiffins was originally built to serve. However there are lot of bright children from the council estates whose parent don't even believe that Tiffins or any other super selective grammer is an option.
I know there are poor people in south-west London and kingston. I grew up there. However its naivety to suggest that low income families can compete fairly with the more well off families.
I don't think that its financially realistic to design new exam papers every year. Reserving a certain number of places for families below a certain income is possible and completely legal.
The other possiblity would be for Tiffins only to take chidlren from certain feeder primary schools. Lots of non grammar schools around the country already do this so it would not be illegal. This would indirectly block private school kids from applying to Tiffins. The Greenwich ruling made it illegal to use a borough boundary as a catchment area, but there are other ways of having the same affect.
I would love to see admission arrangements of a fully selective grammar school which restrict offers to feeder schools. I have not come across any as yet. Most of these schools have distance or catchment policy. Only a handful have open selection policy.
If you are talking about 'partially selective' schools or bilateral schools, then so far as I know, Tiffin schools cannot be converted to that status now. It can only be converted to a fully comprehensive school, under parental ballots.
I am afraid that there can not be a ban on applicants from independent primary schools, neither there can be ban on tutoring. We are not living in 1970's China or Russia.
Reserving certain number of places for children on free school meal is a good idea and should be explored further by Tiffins and all other selective schools. It would be something like bursary schemes run by independent schools.
In our experience, DIY was more useful. If that is not possible and the child is really bright, then at the most one lesson per week for few months is more than enough, which would cost as low as £15-20 per lesson. I know even this much may give difficulty to some families, but for most it is quite affordable and manageable, if their priority is education.
We did mostly DIY. There is lot on material available on free forums and independent schools' websites. We bought many practice papers at fraction of original price from parents of older children at our school and many parents gave much valuable advise and help to us in our 11+ journey. Only our School hated preparation and even mention of Tiffins and other grammar schools. It was another story when time came for SATs; then HT was too involved in pushing children to do tens of practice papers and was too happy with the grammar lot.
Reserving a certain number of places for families below a certain income is possible and completely legal
No it isn't. Schools are not allowed to give priority based on the occupational or financial status of parent. As Tiffin is an academy it could give priority to children eligible for free school meals but it would need to get the government to agree a change to its funding agreement to allow it to do so. Even then it is not clear if they would be allowed to reserve places for such children. They may only be able to give them priority over other children which would be complicated for a selective school that uses the test score to prioritise admissions. I doubt they would want a situation where all FSM children were admitted ahead of everyone else regardless of test score.
I know there are poor people in south-west London and kingston. I grew up there. However its naivety to suggest that low income families can compete fairly with the more well off families.
@reallytired: if low income families do not try, even against the odds, then we would never have social uplift. We have to try. We shouldn't give up, no matter what the odds. Margaret Thatcher grew up over grocery shop; John Major failed to get the job of Bus Conductor; that didn't stop them progressing against all odds and becoming PM.
I must say with a daughter at Tiffin Girls that the majority do appear to be reasonably wealthy; professional parents etc. DD does have friends with ponies and pools.
Some of the school trips are incredibly expensive but are always fully subscribed.
Ironically some of the poorer ones are the girls who commute from elsewhere.
I don't think anyone could get in now without tutoring - home tuition is not exactly cheap either.
Would just like to point out that Coombe Boys scored 70% A*-C inc maths and English this year at gcse.
While this is certainly better than before, A*-C is not a strong measure. How many A*-A and how does that compare with Tiffin or Sutton Grammars?
At A-level, Cs would not get place in any RG University.
I think you have to consider Kingston and Surrey schools in context. Unlike most parts of the country there are a huge number of selective private schools. (ie. Kingston Grammar, Hampton, Kings Wimbledon, Lady Ellenor Holles, Surbition High, Claremont to name a few...)
If you look at the results of Kingston schools then none of them are really bad compared with the rest of the country. The comprehensives are very heavily creamed by the private schools as well as tiffins.
Well of course it doesn't compare with Tiffin/Sutton A and A*S...the boys there are creamed off. Of course they will be getting 100% results.
My ds is at Coombe Boys and predicted As and A*S.....as are many of his cohorts. I have no particular desire for my ds to go to a RG university.
I don't like the dismissive attitude of a lot of Kingston parents to Coombe Boys, which was very prevalent at his primary school. And still exists.
*While this is certainly better than before, A*-C is not a strong measure. How many A*-A and how does that compare with Tiffin or Sutton Grammars?
At A-level, Cs would not get place in any RG University.*
That is a silly comparison. Tiffin (both) cream off the top 5% or whatever. You need to compare the top set at the local non-selective school (and even then the top of the top set) to get a sensible comparison.
There is certainly a good argument that these types of schools do not "add value" - they take the best in and they achieve what they would have achieved elsewhere.
The reason for going to them is mainly social not educational.
Sorry that should have been in quotes
"While this is certainly better than before, A*-C is not a strong measure. How many A*-A and how does that compare with Tiffin or Sutton Grammars?
At A-level, Cs would not get place in any RG University."
It is not fair to compare the results of coombe boys to a comprehensive yet alone a super selective grammar school.
Stastically boys tend to do less well than girls at school age because boys are more immature. The very bright/ well off parents in Kingston tend to use private schools far more than the rest of the country.
To make an assessment of a school you really need to look at the results in detail.
Clearly Coombe boys achieve amazing things for boys with low SATs results. It is less good for high achieving boys, but still respectable at GCSE level. It is a far better school than lots of comprehensives around the country.
I don't know the school, but I from the internet it looks like that something worrying is happening with the sixth form. Why do so many boys leave? Prehaps there is a logcial explanation.
Obviously there is no problem with sixth form, they are in a federation and OFSTED have just given them outstanding.
I havent read all 15 pages but it does seem that posters want the very best for THEIR children. Good so far, but you cannot change the boundaries and rules to suit your own personal circumstances.
I live in a grammar school area where the fighting to attend the grammars is fierce. I really dont think that you can pass 11 plus without tutoring. Of course someone will come on and say they didnt tutor or do anything to prepare and the DC just passed. I just dont beleive it. I have friends who tutored but until I got to know them better and they felt they could trust me wouldnt admit it in a million yrs!
The fact is that some schools like Tiffin are very sought after and there just arent enough spaces for everyone. You also have to pass the exams. Not everyone will do that.
I opted out of all of this many years ago and have gone private. I believe until vocational qualifications are seen as equally as important i.e a proud parent telling all their DD has got into a top hairdressing or plumbing course will things really change.
I do think (it happens around here all the time) that people move into an area and even claim they have broken up with their partner to move into a key catchment area only to move back once they 'make it up with them'
Of course someone will come on and say they didn't tutor or do anything to prepare and the DC just passed. I just don't believe it.
Personally, i know of only one parent who got two DS into Tiffin School that i believe did so without employing a tutor - but still, if you are DIY - whatever, it's still tutoring/hot-housing; those parents who do it at home do so in the belief that it produces better outcomes for their DC.
So for Tiffins, boys and girls - 100% are tutored to get in - and a good many thereafter in core curriculum subjects throughout all the years they are at the under school. So to speak of outcomes for the children who are creamed off and cohort through and to compare to other schools available locally or nationally is utterly meaningless. There can be no true unbiased measure of progression for these children as there are so many artificial factors coming into play.
*There is certainly a good argument that these types of schools do not "add value" - they take the best in and they achieve what they would have achieved elsewhere.
The reason for going to them is mainly social not educational.*
as a caveat ...although that does depend on what you mean by 'the best'. Best at Tiffins particular brand of VR/NVR certainly, but not necessarily all other things.
Some interesting papers:
Government paper on Grammar Schools:
Any wonder why parents of bright children go fro grammars?
Percentage of children attaining Level 6 in Maths:
Percentage of children attaining level 6 in SPAG (new English test):
Any wonder why Kingston/Richmond parents feel aggrieved by Tiffins' admission arrangements?
Sorry, forgot to acknowledge. For highlighting the above information, thanks to Okanagan & Snowdaddy at 11+ forum.
Also hope that one typo in the above post would be forgiven. I can usually spell 'for' correctly.
SATs levels i do not think are necessarily a good indicator - our DCs are/were educated in a top RoT state primary, Ofsted outstanding across the board - certainly, we count ourselves incredibly lucky in this respect - but the children there were prep'd to destruction for Year x SATs tests - it doesn't necessarily correlate with them being able to perform at that level day on day in a classroom environment
It is merely a snapshot in time. Perhaps as parents we place too much store on SATs as an indicator of ability, which is understandable - since the latest flavour of testing invariably features heavily in the broadsheets most of the time.
Logically then, high performing SATs pupils (level 6sers') from Kot/RoT should account for the vast majority of successful applicants at Tiffins' - yet this clearly is not the case. SATs are curriculum based, whereas Tiffins' entrance tests (well certainly the boys, no longer the girls) are not.
Any wonder why parents of bright children go for grammars? Not entirely convinced that all of them do? It may feel like this when you have DC at grammar, but there are yet still to be found some tantalizing sparkles of educational competence nay brilliance, far and wide beyond...
Moreover, the educational landscape re: secondaries is now changing rapidly in this area particular area for local children (as it did previously for primaries - this is inevitable); and it will be interesting to see the impact of factors such as the recent breaking of link schools status in Richmond borough and the addition of sixth forms to secondaries there. Paradoxically, Kingston parents have more choice this year than ever before - we did not manage to secure a place at TS for DS2; yet received offers from three good/outstanding state secondaries, which left us effectively spoiled for choice - with difficult decisions to be made.
I am sure there are many areas of the country that are far less privileged educationally than us; indeed the figures you cite do kind of say it all.
1. All tests are snap shot at a given time. SATs or any entrance test for selective school.
2. Yes, there seems to be big anomaly between RoT & KT SATs results & the children of these areas in Tiffins.
3. A minor point. DC may have been eligible for 3 schools based on where you live, but he would have received only one offer.
4. In view of your current view about grammars & Tiffins in particular, I am surprised that you put your DC through the tests & the rest.
Wish your DC all the best at his new school.
Many years ago it was possible to get several state school offers to chose from.
Now it is not possible - you only get one offer but if you also secure a waiting list offer, there may be a period of about 3 to 5 days when technically you hold 2 offers. They don't give you long to think it over though to keep it fair for everyone else and by accepting one you automatically forfeit the other
Speaking as an insider with a daughter at TGS I do not think the school itself is that good. A lot of parents tutor not because their girls are dimmer than the rest but to fill in gaps in teaching.
The school gets consistently good results because all the girls are clever. Some teachers are good and some simply cannot teach despite their impressive qualifications.
Behaviour is fine with generally compliant and well behaved girls, that is what I think attracted us to the school. Pastoral care is non existent and the school handles complaints very badly, particularly those about teaching.
If anyone really thinks that teaching at TGS is poor, they always have the option to choose their nearby comprehensive school from the very beginning or at least from 6th form. As far as I have heard, except for the girls not meeting the entry requirements, all other girls stay at TGS and many new joins from other comprehensives and perhaps also from independent schools.
TGS is one of the top ten schools in whole of England. There is little point in trying to undermine it, even though their admission arrangements needs a major overhaul.
If you change the admission arrangements, you may find it is no longer one of the top 10 schools in England but languising somewhere in the rankings with the Kent grammar schools. Clever children from aspirational families (as they would be as it is an opt in system) can do an awful lot on their own to make up for a few poor teachers.
Would it be like that? Kent has some good example of girls selective a with distance policy and are as good as TGS.
I actually said that some( not all) of the teaching is exceptionally poor even at KS4 - many parents are savvy and make sure their daughters spend Saturday with a tutor.
It is rumoured that the AS results were well down which they don't publish. A lot of girls do leave at 6th form - many for independents which is my personal choice. I haven't hired a tutor but I am in a minority. It will be interesting to see if next years GCSE results are as stellar. In one class the girls are teaching themselves and the school is not interested.
TGS is only in the top 10 or so because it takes the brightest and/or those committed to working hard.
@tiffinboys In view of your current view about grammars & Tiffins in particular, I am surprised that you put your DC through the tests & the rest. Meow!!!
DC was not 'put through' the tests - he chose to sit them. Way you see it there is Tiffin only, rest of education in this country is crap - not a very balanced perspective.
TGS is one of the top ten schools in whole of England. Is it? By what measure? The Sunday supplements?
I know a parent who's daughter went there and she hated practically every minute - came away saying that at least it was something you can put on your cv - not an isolated example either.
DS has friends there and many of the girls are far from happy with the pressure they are put under. This is common knowledge.
Neither of the Tiffins are as 'good' as you think they are, nor are the alternatives - the comprehensives as you refer to them - nearly as bad.
Last week one boy in DCs class at Tiffin was grilled and likened to a door stop - well that's hardly inspirational teaching is it?
I must say that my experience at TGS has made me think that the super selectives are not a healthy atmosphere for a lot of adolescent girls. I don't know how widespread the pressure is and I know girls at St Paul's etc who are also have high expectations put on them; but telling 13/14 year olds they have to walk away with 11 or 12 A/A* or they are failures is creating a problem.
@TGSmum. Precisely. How many barriers does a child need; how many opportunities to fail? And at so tender an age.
Interesting that Waldergrave Girls (86% A*-C inc maths and English GCSE) in Richmond Bourogh has elected to introduce a combined sixth form - apparently at the girls request.
Imho, would have been far better in my opinion had Tiffins gone this way and combined talents and aspirations post-16, instead of wasting money on separate endeavours.
Venus & Adonis - the first production performed jointly by the girls and the boys of Tiffins schools apparently in 'living memory' - was an absolute triumph. There should be more interaction and collaboration between the two schools like this.
Quite surprised to read that. If girls are teaching themselves without teachers, then it is something parents should straight away take it with the Head Teacher and the head of the year.
Yes, that is a really good idea! Some girls do leave after year 11 because they would prefer a co-ed school or college. It could potentially offer a wider range of subjects.
I sometimes think the girls live in a hothouse bubble and need a more normal existence. There is a fair amount of unsisterly behaviour throughout the school. I for one would welcome it.
Tiffinboys - they are teaching themselves because the teacher is rubbish..the school do not want to know.
@zoffany: I am glad that your DC had found a better choice than Tiffin. Nothing like to be at school where kids are happy.
@TGSmum. ...the school do not want to know. Agree - this can be a problem; when a school climbs to the top of the league tables - 100% GCSE success - they can become unresponsive to concerns. Happens at TS also to an extent - quite frustrating. Like children, we parents should be seen but not heard.
Do you know how many at the Tiffin schools come from Kingston? It was just under 40% in 2008 but that's old data so it might have changed. The fact that it is a superselective is exactly the reason why Kingston's other schools do much better than Kent secondary moderns. There are more children getting A/A*s in English in the rest of Kingston's schools as at the grammars, but it's harder for individual schools to get those results without some sort of critical mass, e.g. having a good-sized top set. Results aren't the only reason why parents may prefer a comp to a grammar but I wouldn't want the Tiffin schools to wreck the balance that exists by creaming off more from Kingston/Richmond.
1. Yes, both Tiffin Schools gave their admission data upto 2012 entry. TS even published it on their website. This data confirmed that less than 30 children from Kingstom get places in each of these school.
2. Tiffins are not large schools and there are not 5 or 30 grammars in Kingston. The so called balance will not be disturbed. As it is, some go to grammars in other borough or some go to independents.
Tiffin Girls is only a couple of minutes walk from the Richmond "border" and lots of girls come from that direction in the 65 bus. As TGS is an academy it is theoretically more or less independent of the LEA. I think looking at it from the point of view of borough boundaries is quite misleading. Girls can be local but not within Kingston at all.
Yes, you are right. If you have seen the figures on 11+ forum, the figures for Kingston & surrounding areas (including Richmond & lot more) are much much lower than children from considerable distance and have decreasing trend since 2009.
I'm relieved at this decreasing trend, personally. I worked out from this Guardian tool and the Ebacc subject entries in the performance tables that there were more girls at Coombe Girls and Waldegrave combined getting A/A*s in English than at Tiffin Girls (you could quibble over A*s but I won't). And those schools were educating another 270 girls with other talents/interests on top.
Actually, did you mean 30 children from Kingston per school = 60 (23% of 260 places) or 30 in total? I know that 15 out of two Richmond primary schools got places for 2013 in the schools combined.
Sometimes parents turn down the offers in favour of private schools so there may be more offers than acceptances.
I am totally new to this thread, if I may just butt in and ask a question or two? What level maths and English are the children who are accepted? Are there any statistics on this? Just wondering if there is a point considering it for my youngest at all. He is just Y4 so we still have some time I think.
Quint - the general consensus is that a child needs to be a sound level 5 by the end of year 5 or a 4a at the end of year 4. Of course that doesn't guarantee a place because lots of children within a 20 mile radius are going to at this level and there aren't enough places for all of them. It is possible to be at the right level and not get in simply due to the sheer numbers applying.
He was a 3c at the end of year 3, but I think we will be easier to see this year. He started Y2 straight from nursery in Norway, so I think it is pretty good to have caught up and reached "national average" in two years. He could not read at all, nor write at the beginning of Y2, so he has made a fast progress. We are just up in Wandsworth, so not that far away.
I don't think you can diss TGS results, girls have achieved 92% A/A* at GCSE for the last two years across the subjects. I think there are anomalies from year to year due to a poor teacher or exam boards cracking down and catching them out, I think English last year was an example as it was across the country.
Of course at most comprehensives you are going to find equally clever girls. TGS claim their girls are in the top 7% of ability. I think a lot of ambitious parents send their girls to TGS thinking there is something superior about the teaching but there isn't, I think most girls are motivated and keen to learn and there is not the overtly disruptive behaviour that comes from kids who don't - that is the main difference.
But over a third in Richmond/Kingston are reaching Level 5 in reading, writing and Maths combined and most are among the 4,000 who apply for 300 places or whatever it is.
I think even more people are entering the stage 1 test because they know if they are not successful they can put a good comp down as first choice. Last year second preference offers to the most oversubscribed schools in Richmond dropped from 15% to about 5% of the total, no doubt because two-thirds had already been rejected from Tiffin before they submitted their application. But you'd have to live very near the school to qualify for a second preference if rejected after the stage 2 tests. It's a risk I wouldn't want to take.
Re the level, difficult to say as DD went to a private primary with no SATS. All girls were level 8 in English and most level 8 in maths by the middle of year 9, so at least level 5 on starting the school.
I think KS levels are quite crude though. My daughter was identified by teachers quite early as G&T in music and literacy and the cleverest in her class, whether that is the effect of early labelling or whether she was genuinely more able I really can't say.
TGSmum no dissing, just making the point that there are lots of bright children everywhere working hard in whatever school they go to. My last point was that some parents don't even bother applying to grammars because the comps are really good.
I must say I have completely changed my view about grammar schools in comprehensive areas since my daughter started. Both my husband and I attended selective religious partly subsidised private schools at different ends of the world and we thought selective was the way to go.
Personally I think the future for TGS is either selective independent like LEH or comprehensive.
you'd have to live very near the school to qualify for a second preference
I'm not sure muminlondon if you are implying that children who list Tiffins first (but don't get in) and a comp second are less likely to get a place at the comp.
This isn't the case.
Equal preference means if you don't qualify for number 1 on your list, then the second choice school becomes your automatic first choice.
The council don't deal with all the first choice applications first and the second choices later - that's not how it works at all. As an example:
- Person A lives nextdoor to Coombe Girls School, passes round 1 at Tiffins but not round 2. They don't know they will fail round 2 so they list Tiffins 1st followed by Coombe 2nd.
They will get a place at Coombe - definitely.
- Person B lives 5.8 miles away from Coombe Girls and fails Tiffins stage 1 test so doesn't list Tiffins at all. They put Coombe as their first choice but they won't get a place at Coombe.
- Even though person A wanted Coombe less than Person B, Person A qualifies for it more (by living closer) and that's all that matters.
- Order of preference is only looked at if a child qualifies for lots of schools and the council has to decide which one to allocate (since only 1 allocation per child is allowed). They give the child the highest ranked school they qualify for. If you don't qualify for a school liking it and putting it first does not help in any way.
.... and even if person A didn't live nextdoor, if they lived 1.8 miles from Coombe (or whatever the last distance offered is), they would still always beat Person B to a place because they live closer and that's what counts in the admissions criteria.
The order you put the schools in is irrelevant unless you are in the happy position of qualifying for more than one school due to sibling / distance / faith or passing a test. In that case you'll get the highest one you listed. If you qualify for 1 school you will get it whether it is your 1st or 6th choice. If you qualify for none, you won't get an offer even if you really want it and put it first.
I know that's the theory but what confuses me is, looking at one oversubscribed school surrounded by three other oversubscribed comps near the Richmond/Kingston border:
295 first pref apps, 220 offers = 75%
337 2nd pref apps, 25 offers = 7%
Is that because most second preferences to that school sensibly applied for their nearest comp as first choice?
You have to ignore 1st and 2nd choices to a large extent. When you list 6 schools they are all equal. The only time anyone will bother to look at your form to see which one is your 1st choice and which is your 2nd is if your child happens to qualify for 2 or more of the 6 schools you listed. Otherwise, if you only qualify for 1 school (which many people do) it doesn't matter where you list it on the form.
Those stats prove that. If it was first preference those stats would say:
295 first pref apps, 245 offers = 83%
337 2nd pref apps, 0 offers = 0%
But they don't. They prove that 75 people who put it first didn't get an offer and yet 25 people who put it second did.
DS1 has just started Y2, but having been told multiple times over the summer that we should be thinking about secondary schools now, I have started doing some research
Call me naive, but I am genuinely shocked at the lack of choice in Kingston. There are theoretically 10 possible schools DS could attend...but by the time you strip out the under performing school, the RC schools and the girls' schools...we are actually left with 3. Including Tiffin. Which, as the original OP points out, is open to anyone who wishes to apply. I am actually really concerned now.
@Zoffany - you wrote
" Paradoxically, Kingston parents have more choice this year than ever before - we did not manage to secure a place at TS for DS2; yet received offers from three good/outstanding state secondaries, which left us effectively spoiled for choice - with difficult decisions to be made."
I am curious as to which schools you're referring as I just can't find them? Did you go outside the borough? Understand if you don't want to comment in public, but maybe you would PM me?
@muminlondon: my figures are based on 2007-2012 data provided/published by both Tiffin Schools. I also have 2013 data for one school and data for Kingston/Richmond data for another school. We are waiting for full 2013 data for both schools under FOI. Hopefully these would be available soon.
@HomeecoGnomist: perhaps zaffany means that if you live more towards Richmond, then Grey Court may be an option. Or if near Surbiton, Hollyfield may be an option, as they have a top stream which performs well and consist of mostly the pupil who are bright, but may have narrowly missed Tiffins entry. (note the emphasize on mostly)
If you live in rest of the Kingston borough, then your choice is Coombe boys, Southborough & Chessington Community.
the excellence of the options to the majority of Kingston children, such as my children, is as follows.
School: GCSE points, Ebacc, A-level points
Tiffin School: 442, 92%, 1168
Coombe boys: 359, 11%, 555
Southborough: 328, 9%, 545
Chessington: 314, 4%, 493
Tiffin Girls: 451, 79%, 1211
Coombe Girls: 364, 31%, 718
Tolworth Girls: 362, 18%, 693
Other than Tiffins, what are the real options in Kingston if your child is bright? Independent schools?
Tiffinboys - you've hit the nail on the head. There is no real choice, is there ...and with two boys who will overlap for 4 years at secondary school, independent schooling is just beyond our means (rofl at the idea that Kingston is packed with millionaires who can just pay up or move house to solve the problem)
We don't live on the Richmond side, so not sure anything there is an option.
I thought the primary school process was bad enough, but this is terrible. Please point me in the direction of any petitions that need support to change this system!
You cannot measure the worth of a school by exam statistics. The Ebacc is particularly misleading. Even at TGS some girls choose RS instead of history or geography and don't have the right subject combination. Exam results to an extent indicate how many bright in the sense of academic children are in a school - not much else.
A new school is opening next to TGS next year, which will no doubt ease some of the pressure on places. If TGS was to restrict entry to Kingston children only - though why should it as much of Richmond is equally close- the results would fall - not much point being a grammar then.
Most grammar schools do restrict access though - not by borough but by distance. The definition of a grammar isn't 'open to all on an equal basis'. In fact more often, grammars definitely aren't.
The Sutton girls' grammar schools reserve about half their places for girls living within a 6 or 7km radius of the school (which crosses borough boundaries). Even within that category, they still get to cherry pick top scoring children. So many children apply to the schools that hundreds of girls reach and exceed the pass mark. The top few 'in catchment' are selected and as such standards are high.
Most grammars strike a balance between serving the local community and selecting the best of the best.
@HomecoGnomist: More local parents should write and you can write to the Governors of both Tiffin Schools and copy to your local MP and Councillors, demanding distance policy for both the Schools. The Schools would be reviewing their admission arrangements any time now. So your timely e-mail would be really helpful. I could pm you later if you want e-mail addresses.
@TGSmum: If exam statistics / league tables were plainly worthless, I doubt anyone would have travelled to Kingston from Harrow or Willesden or Kensington or Croydon or Southall or the rest of the country, leaving nearby 'good' and 'outstanding' comprehensives (and even other grammars) and causing 'brain drain' in their local schools.
Most grammars strike a balance between serving the local community and selecting the best of the best.
Sutton has too many grammar schools. It has always provided more secondary places than it has resident pupils but it affects neighbouring boroughs disproportionately. In 2010 its grammars imported 1,000 pupils from Croydon and nearly 500 from Merton. Subsequently their own comprehensives have suffered from imbalance. Even Sutton's 'good' comprehensives import middle class pupils from other boroughs. Disadvantaged pupils don't travel as far.
What is your view on the Thames being a natual barrier to Kingston catchment areas?
If you include Teddington Lock as a safe river crossing to school, which the Kingston borough does not accept at present, distances to Kingston schools for Teddington and Hampton Wick students would meet vicinity admission requirements.
HomeEco - there is now no restriction in Richmond by feeder schools if you live near the border, although most north Kingston primaries were actually linked by 2008 to Grey Court which is outstanding (48% Ebacc provisional 2013 results).
There is a new school from 2015. Coombe Boys is part of a federation with Coombe Girls with rapidly improving results. Southborough Boys got 38% Ebacc this year too.
The landscape is shifting fast.
@frequentflyer: Kingston LA now follows straight line distances as opposed to safe walking distance.
Extract form 2013 Kingston Secondary School Admissions.
(iv) Distance from home to school
If your application is likely to be considered under the distance criterion, try to consider
whether you live close enough to the school for your child to qualify for a place. The final
“cut-off” distance for admissions over the previous three years has been included (where
appropriate) on the individual school pages in Section 3.
However, please note that for entry in September 2014 onwards we are changing the
method of measuring home to school distances for all schools, to a straight line
measurement. Therefore, even if your address falls within the previous years’ cut-off
distances for a school, there is no guarantee your child will obtain a place there for next
While it is good to see Kingston schools making improvements, there is long way to go. And is it necessary to reduce local children intake in Tiffins to improve results of other comprehensives? Seems to me that those ideologically opposed to grammars are running these admission arrangements.
I think that the Tiffin schools needs to look at what other grammars do to restrict their catchment which is LEGAL. The catchment needs to be what is a sensible distance for children to travel to school rather than focussing on the boundaries of the LEA. Having children travelling to the moon and back to get to school is bad for the child health and social welbeing. Places like Richmond, Hampton Wick, Teddington, Molesey are easily commutable for a child. However Greenwich is stupidly far way. The Tiffins schools would still be superselective if they only tested children who live in a 5 or 10 mile radius.
The Tiffins schools have academy status and are directly funded by the government. They are no longer under the kingston LEA. The two schools are there to eduate the super bright rather than Kingston children.
Sutton .... has always provided more secondary places than it has resident pupils but it affects neighbouring boroughs disproportionately. In 2010 its grammars imported 1,000 pupils from Croydon and nearly 500 from Merton. Sutton's 'good' comprehensives import middle class pupils from other boroughs. Disadvantaged pupils don't travel as far.
So either you are advocating Sutton should adopt local catchment or what! By the way, the figure you gave hardly mean 15-30 children per year in the grammar/partially selective/'good' comprehensives of Sutton, if we take that there would be atleast 10 schools in this category.
If disadvantages children don't travel as far, then LAs should look into the possibility of providing transport; not denying their local children admissions in the grammars or abolishing the grammars altogether.
I never advocated Tiffins for Kingston children only. Bright children from Kingston and surrounding areas (you mentioned just some of these) would be great.
Surely the answer is to improve other local schools to give parents more choice?
Thank you tiffinboys. I will contact Kingston LEA on their straight line policy. I am not sure how they treat the river in this new policy.
tiffinboys I think we are in complete agreement. Children at superselective school have a special need and you need a reasonable pool of children to pick from to have a superselective.
If all children in the Kingston area with level 5s could get into Tiffins then it would stop being a superselective. The idea of a superselective is to challenge the truely gifted child and have an appriopiate curriculum.
"Surely the answer is to improve other local schools to give parents more choice?"
Kingston schools are generally good compared with the rest of the country. It is better to look at the progress that children make than league table positions. Not every school can be top of the league tables.
It is just a fact of life that these schools have less intelligent children than Tiffins because the best have been creamed off by the private schools and Tiffins. Most Kingston comprehensives have excellent teaching, prehaps better than Tiffins for the moderately bright (non gifted) child.
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.
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").
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
I would be too happy to support your local selective indie to have catchment. Really that doesn't bother us at all.
Why just Grammars? Even the comprehensives should not have catchment/distance arrangements, as your local 'selective indie' does not have one.
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.
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.
Superselective isn't an official term with an exact definition, zoffany51; it is a colloquialism - one that definitely applies to the Tiffin schools.
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.
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.
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.
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
Sorry - didn't refresh page before posting!
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!
tiffinboys, £18K gross p.a. Far from the higher tax band.
And what VR has got to do with this?
I wonder if lower band earner could take out £15k for independent school fee and have some left for food, even if housing is provided by Council?
And VR is has to do with reasoning, I suppose.
If you want to include private school fees in the overall family income then £30K per annum is way too low. However, many families, such as ours, have two incomes. One can be spent on living expenses and the other on school fees.
VR has nothing to do with reasoning in this sense - it's about the logic of words and word patterns. But I suppose you should know that, judging by your nickname, so I was puzzled to find reference to it in this discussion.
word problem? e.g. how much to earn to pay £15k school fee and meet other expenses.
@tiffinboys - since your DS is now installed at Tiffin School (and as I recall gained entry 'comfortably' re: the test); moreover, his year (current yr7) will have come from all over everywhere, as usual - and this yr group cohort would not be impacted in any way by a change in admission policy henceforth - am found wondering where is your motivation for this crusade - DS2?
I fail to see how you would benefit by changing the admissions criteria at TS now, as your son was successful in gaining entrance - so the current criteria presented no bar to you?
Perhaps you would be kind enough to clarify/explain? Why all the fuss? Why does this particular issue bother you so much?
As an aside, what has the cost of indie education got to do with anything - or other peoples personal choices with how they dispose of their income for that matter? They have earned it after all, and are subsidizing for state sector, in addition to not taking up a place...
Presumably, you must also harbor resentment against all those children who inhabit KGS across the road from Tiffin?
Since you have effectively secured a place in 7th most oversubscribed school in England; I do wonder why this is not enough? Most parents in your position would be counting their blessings.
Challenging the admissions criteria as an insider might not serve you well - it will make you deeply unpopular at the school with Tiffin 'powers that be' - wouldn't wish to be in your shoes if indeed you do decide to take them on!!! Good luck with that one...
FWIW, I would kist love not to have to pay for my DC's education - but saw a massive difference after moving DS from outstanding primary to mildly selective prep. If grammar schools weren't so rare and hence so sompetitive I would aim for them but, being realistic, I can only see a comparable level of education at a selective indie. So will have to pay. It is a choice but a forced one.
@PrettyBelle. I'm afraid logic here does not make sense - if grammar schools were not so rare, and entry not so competitive - then necessarily, standards would not be high enough at them to meet your needs - effectively they would be 'as bad' as the outstanding primary that you moved your DS from. Grammars would be more like comprehensives 'top set'; from what i gather, that is not what parents want. Parents seem to want to gain access for their DCs most to the mythical 'superselectives'. Tiffins for one (or two for that matter).
Indies rely heavily upon social selection for their successes - ability of parents to pay - which is why a 'mildly selective prep' works well for you - academic considerations not being the overarching consideration... A 'mildly selective grammar' simply would not work in the same way - academic standard would presumably be lower, since candidates would be drawn from a far wider spectrum of socio-economic strata. Again, most parents who opt for grammars do not want this - they may say they do on bulletin boards, but in reality it is about exclusivity - supply & demand - of having effectively 'made the mark'. Must be something satisfying in this.
zoffany51, admittedly I don't have first-hand experience with senior schools yet but if some comprehensives provided the "top set education" in all subjects and for free then I would be more than happy. As things are, my local comp has a 300 pupil intake each year. I am not sure how much you can expect from that. My son is not a genious but he is bright and capable however he needs to be organised and encouraged. At his primary he only started moving up the sets when DH and I started giving him homework and generally pushing (his school had a no-homework policy). So my worry is that he would be "lost" at a huge comp school. That's why I am looking for either grammar or selective indie.
With regards to grammar schools, I understand that they are picking the best of the best of the best due to the sheer number of applicants and the limited places. That means that there are hundreds of capable students which are grammar material but had to give way to even brighter ones. If there were more grammar schools such boys would be catered for.
'Massive difference' you observe is doubtless because your outstanding primary is catering to pupils of all ability groups - working across the board - we have first hand experience of this and the difficulties it presents - frankly i salute them; to be outstanding in a comprehensive setting is not easy. if parents of more able children then opt out, it becomes more difficult still - so i think they have done a really good job.
zoffany51, in my DS's school academic consideration is overarching, big time. It's a prep school and, since the only local senior school is one of the top ones in the country, it cannot afford not being academic. When I said mildly selective I meant that their exams at 7+ are not as complex as for another boys prep school so they take a wider range of anilities, but by the time they reach the 11+ stage the expectations are very high.
FWIW; Tiffins do not set much homework - well cerrtainly not the boys - DS spends more time on the i-pad. So if 'industry' or to be seen to be working is a big factor in your decision then TS is probably not the way to go.
...school thinks that too much homework makes the boys boring.
I believe homework is crucial at the time of preparation for exams. But once they've got in their chosen schools it can become much less, I have no problem with it.
@PrettyBelle. in actual fact it is the sheer number of applicants that is doing the job for these schools - it is the parents, not the schools, they are not really inviting it - off-record: TS would rather fewer boys sat the test, since the vast majority have little or no chance of gaining access to the school or the education it provides.
last year applications dipped a bit at 1644, but this was due to the change in dates - early sitting - if as has been reported for the next intake 2000 will sit for TS then the situation will certainly get worse - i am surprised that at some point parents don't just say 'not worth it' - we have now done this, despite having DS at the school - it is not really that difficult. Our last will transfer from Ofsted Outstanding primary to Outstanding comprehensive without the trauma of VR/NVR. We are much relieved for this - none of the boys like the selection process, or prosper much from it.
zoffany51, we do have 2 oustanding compehensives nearby - one is a church school and since this criteria we also also meet, we stand a good chance of getting a place in either of them. Maybe this will be a fall-back option in the end. As I said, apart from the local super-competitive indie, other boys school do not seem worth the huge fees - not to me. So it may well turn out that for DS it's either TS, or that indie, or one of the local comps. That's why he is definitely sitting the exam at Tiffin.
and I had thought that I will not look at this thread today.
thanks for raising your concerns about 'the powers that be'. Actually, they are not that bad. Their motivation perhaps is an annual rise in league tables and good press, without working too hard to get to these levels. Their attitude has hardened over the years and change looks like defeat to the HT and some Governors.
My motivation has always been our local children and fair play for them. I would be very happy to see more local children in Tiffins and the Tiffins gaining its local character back, which has been lost due to inefficient and laid back LA and Councillors. I was never too bothered with my DCs alone as I was/am happy with their progress.
In fact, I am more than happy that my DC would not benefit from any change in TS admission arrangements now. I too could have kept quite as most of the Kingston parents have been doing, if we believe that very few respond to the Schools consultations. In fact, some parents take this matter up with the schools and give up as soon as the admission process is over for their children. So Schools know that all campaigns will fizzle out after some months. Only if we keep writing and communicating with 'the powers that be' that eventually, there will be some change.
When we raise this matter, we were bluntly told that catchments are illegal. Perhaps, LA was not aware of Rotherham judgement or didn't understand its implications.
Then I and some other parents at our local school, did some research and found that most grammars do have catchment or distance policies and that many grammars would not even allow to sit for entrance tests if one is out-of-catchment.
We were then told that Tiffins' open selection is due to a court judgement. When we asked for copy of that judgement, we were told by the Council Member for Education (current Council Leader) that LA does not even have a copy on record. I suspect this was not true.
We had to engage a Solicitor to get the copy of this judgement and we found to our utter surprise that High Court had actually held that Tiffins' policy of distance was legal and allowed it. Despite this judgement, Tiffins and LA chose to change its admission policy from 1993 and adopted open selection.
In my view, the LA agrees to whatever is suggested by the Schools or LA lacks sufficient knowledge about the changes which happened after the Greenwich judgement. After TS became foundation and its own admission authority, there was no reason that TGS admission arrangements could not have been changed. But proposals by the Kingston School Admission forum (2006) were thwarted by TS, and LA gave up believing that both schools must have same arrangements, although TGS at the time was LA maintained school and remained so till April 2012.
Last year's fiasco of multiple late entrance tests is another example of LA's and Schools' knowledge of the Admission rules. How many other selective schools conducted late tests? Is Tiffin itself carrying out late tests this year in mass?
No, never against the independent schools or pupil there. My light-hearted replies to 'prettybelle' were in the context that 'if indies don't have catchment, so Tiffins should not have any catchment as well'. Well, wake up. No connection, my Ladies.
in terms of number of places and such like - that's a tough one - DS2 sat Tiffin and was unsuccessful - his secondary transfer school has PAN of 240; whereas TS was 100 lower at 140 (though set to increase to 150 for next intake, and 180 at some future point beyond this). where would you put the cut-off i numbers? if TS PAN = 240, then DS2 would have gone up to join his brother this year. but i don't think parents would welcome the increase in numbers either - there has been considerable resistance to this - as i said before it is precisely the exclusivity / 'superselectivity' that is so sought after - so there-in lies the dilemma. if you want something that is so scarce then you just have to go for it and accept the risks concomitant with it. Good luck in any event - whatever you decide.
All fair points I suppose, but there are NO grammar schools in our area at all. None. Tiffin is the nearest and it's 25-30 min by car. And surely the right to high quality education applies to children from our area too?
I think I explained already why I do see connection between grammars and selective indies in terms of catchment. Both are supposed to provide a higher level education and parents often consider both equally when making a choice. The only difference is, at grammar schools you get it for free.