Graveney - catchment area half 2012 distance!!

(145 Posts)
SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 10:07:46

I have just seen the figures for 2013 (and compared them to 2012) and noted the following:

Applications 2115 (up from 2076)
Selective Places 63 (63)
Looked After 6 (up from 2)
Social/Med needs 2 (down from 4)
Staff 1 (n/a)
Sibling Places 102 (up from 81)

Distance offered 1 March 532 (*down from 913*)

That is a major reduction in catchment - and wonder if anyone has got any idea of why that happened. Was it an anomaly? I guess it must be at least partly explained by the extra sibling places taken up this year.

How near do I have to be to be safe for next year?

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 12:35:40

Yes, I know a family with more than two DCs - the eldest has a chronic medical issue and got a place at a highly sought-after secondary so all younger siblings will get in too.

singersgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 13:42:23

All the reasons you've given are reasons why a sibling policy isn't as necessary at secondary school as at primary school, but none of them seem to suggest to me that it isn't preferable for the majority of people. I live on a borough boundary. I guess as many people live near borough boundaries as have twins. And the fact that you can juggle things when you have twins doesn't make it desirable to have to do so.

Say I live 800 metres from an oversubscribed school and my older child gets in on distance. Two years later my younger child doesn't get in on distance and has to travel across the borough on two buses to the nearest school with places. Why is that a good thing? Why is it any less fair for the sibling to be denied a place than for an older child of a second family who know lives outside the distance area?

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 13:46:03

"Why is it any less fair for the sibling to be denied a place than for an older child of a second family who know lives outside the distance area?"

I'm sorry but I can't understand that last sentence of yours but if there is no sibling policy then the system just becomes fairer.

Blu Mon 11-Mar-13 13:53:29

Singersgiirl, but why would it be worse for a younger sibling to have to make that journey than the oldest child living next door (one door closer, prehaps) applying at the same time, and who hasn't got a sibling?

There are many pros and 'not necessaries' about sibling admissions at secindary level, but in the context of this thread, I can't see what the justification is that children who get into a super-selective stream can then pave the way for priority siblings irrespective of the siblings ability.

Especially in a school which maintains a distance criteria for the rest of the intake - it seems to remove their chances of gettiing into what for those who are not of siper-selective ability, is their local comp.

The sibling policy for selective admissions is a way of doubling the sibling intake and halving the distance intake (depending in overall numbers).

I have no stake in this - no DC at Graveney - but I do know families with children there.

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 13:54:19

But your child's convenience (by getting in on sibling policy) could mean another child has to do that journey across Borough.

It is less likely to cause seething resentment if the system is totally fair and sibling policies really are antiquated.

Lots of children have to cross Boroughs to go to school, siblings or no. Where's the fairness of that, particularly if they've not go siblings to gain them entry to a school.

As I've said, Graveney was our closest school but DS wouldn't qualify on distance so we had to go down the selective route instead. He now has an hour's journey door-to-door each way because he couldn't get into the local school.

SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 14:02:23

And even if there are sibling policies in general (and I can see the argument on the basis of community standing of the school), there is surely no justification for those who have entered this school or the selective criteria to also have their siblings enter on a free pass (as it were). Those entering on that criteria have opted out of the "community school" (whereever they live) for a grammar-ish education.

Its pure social selection on the part of Graveney.

BanoffeeSplitz Mon 11-Mar-13 14:19:48

"Yes, I know a family with more than two DCs - the eldest has a chronic medical issue and got a place at a highly sought-after secondary so all younger siblings will get in too."

I can see some logic / fairness in that actually - if one DC has a chronic medical issue then something that could make that family's life a bit easier, like having siblings all at one school, doesn't seem too unreasonable.

wrt to siblings of selective pupils, agree it's blatant backdoor social selection.

tiggytape Mon 11-Mar-13 16:27:23

Sibling policies are great for anyone who gets their eldest child into a great school and has younger children of the same gender and a small enough age gap to follow up with guaranteed places. For those people I can see the appeal.

For everyone else, sibling policies are not so great. It means many people cannot get their eldest child / only child / other gender child / youngest child with a big age gap into any local state school at all. So many places are taken up with siblings of children in Year 11 who live 5 miles away that people on the doorstep cannot get in.
These sibling pairs won't be travelling to school together, doing the same clubs or plays and in fact will have nothing to do with each other given that they are teenagers and Year 7 baby siblings are an embarrassment!
I don't know any siblings at the same secondary school who travel together. I know we never did!

For primary schools, sibling policy makes perfect sense but at secondary it just blocks places in local schools for people who actually live near the school who get pushed out very often by those who don’t live as close or very close at all.

We have the double whammy that DC2 cannot follow DC1 to the same school yet every other school DC2 will apply to has a sibling rule!

singersgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 18:10:30

Oh, I didn't mean it would be worse for the younger sibling than the hypothetical older or only child; it wouldn't be great for either of them to have to travel a long distance. Although I suppose you could argue that in a sense it would in fact be worse for the younger sibling, as they would probably be hoping and expecting to go to the same school as their older sibling - who after all did live close enough to the school to get in.

But I can think of many reasons to do with community cohesion and family cohesion that would make having two or three children in the same school desirable - both from the family's perspective and from the school's perspective.

If you have three children in three separate schools, you're much less likely to become a governor of any of them or join the PTA; the family will already know the school, teachers and school routines which will make it much easier for them the second or third time around; the school will already have a relationship with the families so ditto.

Distance from school is clearly a good way to decide who should go to a school, but it's not the only way nor is it necessarily the only fair way.

I'm not talking about siblings of children who got selective places, by the way - just siblings of children who got in on distance. Distance changes from year to year, so a few hundred metres difference will mean that it is probably still their nearest school. You could have cases where an older child living next door to a sibling gets in but the sibling doesn't - that doesn't seem particularly fair either.

Anyway, I have no especial axe to grind on this one and am off out now, so will leave it for people who really care about Graveney's catchment to agree with each other.

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 18:13:40

I feel your pain Tiggytape. I know we have similarly aged younger DCs.

My worry is that Graveney again won't be an option for us, unless she gets in on 'selectivity' (and not sure if she will achieve that) or they have changed their admissions criteria (we can live in hope!). The three other local schools are no gos for us I'm afraid. And the girls comprehensive which is doing well is on the other side of the Borough and although she would currently qualify for a place, I'm not sure that that will be the case four years down the line with increased closer population and appeal (it's definitely on the up!).

GRRRRRRR!

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 19:56:11

The sibling policy definitely contributes to some schools becoming the destination school within any given area, with all other schools being perceived to be less desirable. And then that becomes a self-fulfilling whatsit.

Very interesting what has happened in a certain SE London borough with a completely over-hyped school, their selective admissions, their massive PR-loving ht and yet, after all that, inadequate leadership and teaching which has resulted in poor results for the students.

If secondary age children (in the state system) could just go to their nearest school and be sure of a good education. What a blooming Utopia that would be.

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 21:32:23

My idea has always been that if every state secondary had a grammar intake then every school would be more appealing to a wider range of parents and it would prevent this 'ghetto' vs desirable, oversubscribed secondary school effect which is so negative the children being educated and to the schools themselves.

Ha, Mintyy are you talking about the school about which there have been quite a few Mumsnet threads (which get deleted as potentially libelous) and about which there was recent focus on exam cheating?????

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 22:23:48

Yes, but that is all I can say <taps nose>.

But that school is perfect example of how a school can get "talked up" leading to a stampede to get in. I shouldn't think there will be quite such an over-subscription problem this year.

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Mar-13 10:22:10

Going back to Graveney, does anyone know what the pass mark was to get a selective place this year?

Presumably most of those 2000+ people who applied (who apart from the 80-100 or so living nearest) would know they didn't stand a cat in hell's chance of getting in on distrance and clearly all but 102 didn't have a sibling. So 1800 applying for the 63 selective places!

Wow.

aliasPrickleandJones Tue 12-Mar-13 10:23:10

Couple of things I want to add.

I know someone with dc in the lowest stream in yr 7 at Graveney this year. Her dc is lovely, quirky and fun and dyslexic. She is now in this stream forevermore no matter how she develops. There are already some behaviour issues in the lowest stream and she has no chance of making friends in the other streams as they do not share any lessons.

To me, this is not a very satisfactory state of affairs and I am surprised that Graveney continue to be so popular when the majority of the dcs at the school are not in the grammar stream. Their experience of secondary education are IMO not as good as in other schools that practice mixed ability teaching.

As for that other school wink local gossip tells me that plans are a foot for them to stop sibling priority...

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Mar-13 10:42:28

But the immense popularity is only the 1800 people who want to get in via selection (and therefore into the top stream).

For everyone else, it is simply a community school serving an ever-shrinking local catchment where (if you are on the outskirts) there is little else to go to....

tiggytape Tue 12-Mar-13 10:43:47

The mark is out of 282 and the children offered places are generally in the 270's and upwards. Last year I think 98% was the required score and this year, I think it is around 97% (273 out of 282).

The score is standardised by age though so it is not quite that simple but, generally you have to aim to score near full marks to get one of the selective places.

mushroom3 Tue 12-Mar-13 10:50:26

aliasPrickleandJones, do you mean Kingsdale are thinking of scrapping sibling links?

aliasPrickleandJones Tue 12-Mar-13 10:53:34

Yes this is what a mother with a child at the school told me (she has a younger sibling to follow)

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Mar-13 10:57:44

Ah yes, its coming back to me from previous threads.

Although - and I am not a statistician - I think it is a little bit more complex than that. I remember reading that the maximum 282 was the standardised score (a mean of 100 per paper, equalling 200 in total with 242 at the maximum measure of the bell-curve).

Thus that 270 or 273 does relate to 97/98% but I had thought that that simply meant you were in the 97/98 percentile. Ie DC was one of the 2 or 3% scoring highest. It doesn't mean though that they had to get all but 2 or 3% of the answers right (there aren't 280 questions!).

IYSWIM.

aliasPrickleandJones Tue 12-Mar-13 10:59:11

OhDearConfused, yes you are right that it is a community school but it is not like any other (at least in this neck of the woods) on account of the grammar stream.

The non-grammar streams are not mixed ability in the true sense of the word as those in the top ability have been creamed off...?

Its hard to get a true measure of the place as places like MN only really focus on the grammar.

Mintyy Tue 12-Mar-13 11:01:32

Oh, I hadn't heard that AliasPrickle. I am just about to send you a pm btw.

OhDearConfused Tue 12-Mar-13 11:06:30

But, Alias, it would be interesting to know how many of those that get a selection place were so local that they would have got in on distance. My guess is not many at all.

In any case, all that is then really happening is rigid streaming. Many community comprehensives do it. It just that Graveney has a particularly high-ability top stream (1800 applicants for 63 places). The Upper Stream (next one down) is high ability also just not "superselective".

aliasPrickleandJones Tue 12-Mar-13 11:18:47

DearConfused, I don't know either about how many of the grammar stream are local but not sure if I agree with you that many community comprehensives do it.

One that my dc goes to is mixed ability until yr10. I think its great because the friends they make are not based on ability so they get to be friends with a really diverse set, at least that's been my dc's experience.

aliasPrickleandJones Tue 12-Mar-13 11:20:22

You may have gathered that I'm really anti-rigid streaming smile

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