Brilliant threebeeonegee - that's really useful to know. Thank you. It will probably all have changed by the time DD goes to secondary, and since she's still really young (and my other child is unborn!!!) it's pretty impossible to tell if they'll be academic/music/sporty (I very much doubt sporty, given their genes!), but given how quickly you get on the nursery/primary school/secondary school train, and how difficult it is juggling all those different timetables once they begin (DH and I both work), it's just worth us bearing it in mind, I think.
The distance criterion is considered separately from the academic or music ones.
If you live in one of the postcodes above, then the highest scoring applicants are taken until the specialist places are filled. Once the places are filled, then if there are two children with the same score and only one place left, then distance is used as a tie-breaker.
Each of the schools in SW Herts has their own criteria but, for Watford Girls Grammar School you need to live in one of these postcodes in order to be in with a chance of getting a place:
The Admission Area comprises the Watford Area and the Rest of the Admission Area as defined in this note. All the postcodes are treated equally within each area. The Watford Area comprises postcode sectors: WD17 1 to 4 WD18 0,6to9 WD19 4 to 7 WD23 1to7and9 WD24 4to7and9 WD25 0,5,7to9 WD3 3 The Rest of the Admission Area comprises postcode sectors: WD3 1,4to9 WD48and9 WD5 0 WD6 3 WD77and8 HA3 6 HA5 1to5 HA6 1to3 HA73 and 4
Get yourself over to the scary 11+ forum and go to the Herts section for more information than you ever thought you needed to know!
BUT - I'm about to move to South Bucks/SW Herts (Amersham/Chalfonts/GX/Chorleywood/Rickmansworth area) and am compiling info on schools/nurseries/commuting times etc.
Does anybody know: do the academic/musical/sporting selection tests for the SW Herts Consortium schools (Rickmansworth/Watford grammars/Queen's/Parmiter's, etc etc) partly override the catchment areas? I note that unless you live within about a mile of these schools, you probably won't get in. But does that still apply if you got a brilliant score on the admissions tests? (i.e. - if you had a particularly brilliant child who passed all the tests and lived in Rickmansworth, but really wanted to go to Watford Grammar 5 miles away, would he/she have a realistic chance of getting in?) Or is distance still king?