I've been invited to a meeting for parents of G&T. Please can someone explain.

(10 Posts)
treehouselover Thu 24-Oct-13 13:26:22

DD (new Y7) is fairly bright. I think I have a good understanding of where she's at, which is above average but not so far as to elevate her above her peers.

She got level 5 across the board in her SATs. She did get 98% in her L3-5 paper but just missed out on the L6 by 1%. We just got her CAT scores and she averaged 114. She's in the top sets for everything, but is mid-pack within these sets.

As I say - above average (or average for mumsnet as it's also known!) but I don't think she needs any additional support or input.

I have been invited to a meeting in a few weeks for parents of G&T kids. I am surprised she's made the cut. She's at a comprehensive with good but not great results. I'm sure in a selective school or in a more high-achieving catchment area she wouldn't be in the G&T group.

So do they just base the G&T group on the top 10% for the school? If so, doesn't that mean that much brighter kids in other schools would be getting overlooked? Is this just a funding chasing exercise?

Just trying to decide whether there's any benefit to going to the meeting? TBH I feel a bit nervous about it, like the other parents are going to be wondering what I'm doing there!

Periwinkle007 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:44:19

sorry - I can't really help but I was reading this thinking WOW she is exceptional - I thought she was 7 years old not yr7. oops, must read more carefully.

I think it depends very much on the school what they do with regards to G&T now. certainly it does at primary level.

She is very bright, they wouldn't have invited you if she wasn't justified at being in the group in her school. Yes there may be people in other schools who are brighter but that doesn't affect her and what support she can get access to.

I would go and be proud to be able to go, other parents won't know how clever she is so how can they doubt whether you should be there.

treehouselover Thu 24-Oct-13 14:09:57

Thanks Peri

I'm not sure why I feel so awkward about it. I probably will go. If nothing else I don't want the school to think I'm not interested.

PiqueABoo Thu 24-Oct-13 14:22:19

There are no rules although the average on G&T registers across secondary was something like 14% a couple of years ago (the DfE stopped asking schools for that data).

I didn't think there was any specific G&T funding now, but OfSTED are interested in how schools support their "most able" children by which they (roughly) mean the top 33%.

A just missed L6 is still pretty good. You've been invited so I'd go anyway and ask the same question of them, impress or shame a few 'wondering' parents with your integrity wink

Acinonyx Thu 24-Oct-13 17:16:41

The G & T system is pretty arbitrary for all the reasons you give. My personal take is that I'll go along with any such system if it gets something improved for my child that wouldn't otherwise happen. I really think every child should be catered too and feel guilty if dd is singled out for anything extra (although tbf - there tends not to be much in the way of actual consequences anyway hmm). But she's my child and frankly I'll take what I can get. So maybe you could go with a view to seeing what's in it for your dd - that's what I would do.

EvilTwins Thu 24-Oct-13 22:45:16

Current OFSTED recommendations are that a student who achieves L5 at KS2 is "able" and schools must cater for their needs. Within that, schools are expected to identify students who are "talented" but this can change from subject to subject. To put that into context, I teach Performing Arts. Across my Yr 10 groups, I have 13 (out of 59) who are seriously talented, and of those, 9 are also termed "able". However, within that same cohort, a further 8 are "able" (ie L5 at KS2) but not, in my view "talented" at Performing Arts. I have to ensure that I cater appropriately for all of them within my lessons.

The meeting it likely to explain what the school intends to do to cater for your DD. With L5s at KS2, the school will be aiming to enable her to achieve AT LEAST A grades at the end of KS4. The recent OFSTED report into able students clearly states that extra-curricular activities and a culture of ambition at home helps able students to achieve their potential so that might be part of it too.

PiqueABoo Fri 25-Oct-13 13:36:34

It's interesting to see what schools think OfSTED mean because I think this area is an incoherent Kakfka-esque mess with them flinging around "brightest", "able", "most able, "highly able", "high attaining" and so on without bothering to provide any credible definitions.

There are other places and Wilshaw's sound-bites to add to the mix, but if you take that report literally then "most able " means the top 50% of children in the country. Attempting to squish the top half of the bell curve into a A/A* should be interesting even before we get into how far you can predict performance in any subject whatsoever based on performance in just a few subjects at KS2, what "potential" means etc.

I got my 33% above from an average score for English, Maths and science being in L5+ territory and perhaps they really meant that, but it still doesn't make all the issues go away.

EvilTwins Fri 25-Oct-13 13:52:44

Pique - OFSTED published a document in the summer which defines "able" as L5 at KS2. They go on to say that only 64% of "able" students come out of non-selective state secondaries with A/A* grades, which is what they "should" be getting.

PiqueABoo Fri 25-Oct-13 14:24:06

I know and having waited for it's long delayed publication read the "Landmark" document the very morning it hit their site, too optimistically hoping for something that might have more relevance to my DD. Their idea of a "definition" for words used in the [bleeping] title of the document isn't anything like a definition in the real-world and was buried in a footnote:

"‘‘most able’ is defined as the brightest students starting secondary school in Year 7 attaining Level 5 or above, or having the potential to attain Level 5 and above, in English (reading and writing) and/or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2. Some pupils who are new to the country and are learning English as an additional language, for example, might not have attained Level 5 or beyond at the end of Key Stage 2 but have the potential to achieve it.’"

Which is where you can get the ~50% from and probably start crying over "potential to achieve" part which could mean anything and might easily get us up to 75%. May as well just give up and make it 1 SD to the left of mean and call it 84% (which by-and-by, happens to be where the 'Secondary Readiness' is supposed to sit).

One label fits all.

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 27-Oct-13 23:00:19

It could be that she has a particularly high score in one of the CATs categories? Ds's overall score was somewhere in the 120s, which they weren't particularly excited about, but his NVR score was considerably higher and means they're expecting good things from him in certain subjects. Strangely, he's achieving his very best in English at the moment (yr 8) but was invited to science summer school.

I would go to the meeting and see what they have to say. You have nothing to lose.

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