secondary admissions 2013

(147 Posts)
gloo Wed 04-Jan-12 11:37:43

Anyone know when the booklets etc will come out for this application round?
Anyone know if the admissions criteria are generally expected to be the same (I know local areas vary, but just wondered if there's any big sweeping national policy change that will affect all areas that I should know about!!)

mummytime Wed 04-Jan-12 12:08:35

No major changes. Will be changes as more schools become academies. The booklets tend to come out in September, but I would suggest visiting possibilities before then. (Prospectuses usually come out in the summer.)

We have been told no changes here (at the moment).

We will get the information in September, our LEA now aim handle all applications on line.

We will be applying for a place for DS1, and I am already depressed about it.

IndieSkies Wed 04-Jan-12 12:13:17

Start your research now, though, as it can be very pressured reading all the prospectuses and making all the visits between September and the October half term when applications need to be in.
And some grammar schools start tests in September.

ChocolatEtVin Wed 04-Jan-12 12:22:09

manky, I'll join you in being depressed about it! Why is it so bad for you?

Apart from being in denial about my PFB going to Secondary school, grin
reallistically we won't have a choice.

We will probably be allocated the new build school, which as just been opened amalgamating 2 failing schools. One was so bad that the entire board of govenors was sacked! The last joint GCSE results were concerning, to say the least, though they were celebrated as "best results ever". hmm

We would prefer him to go to the smaller all boys ex- grammar school, which judging from friends experiences would be a better fit for him. It also has a 6th form, which we like the idea of.

We are right on the edge of their furthest admitted pupil range, and though they do occasionally admit from our street, usually they don't.

Moving is not an option for us, so I am just hoping that when I go to the open days/evenings I will be bowled over by the new building and teachers at the school we will almost certainly be allocated. sad

What about you?

gloo Wed 04-Jan-12 13:03:06

Thanks, I thought the council application brochures came out this/next term, so people could do summer term visits. So they come out in Sept and you apply october - eek!
Just trying to sort it all out in my head. Feel I want to have a clear idea of what's what before letting my eldest think they have a real "choice".

miniwedge Wed 04-Jan-12 13:24:18

Good luck all! We had the joy of this last year.

It was utterly awful but all worked out for the best!

prh47bridge Wed 04-Jan-12 13:43:21

The admission arrangements for 2013 have to be finalised by 15th April. Some LAs publish information about admission arrangements on their websites shortly after this date, although this is harder to follow than the booklets they issue and doesn't include details of individual schools. It will, however, allow you to check the admission criteria for community schools. Academies, faith schools and free schools may publish their admission arrangements on their websites at a similar time, allowing you to check their admission criteria as well.

The booklets the LA issue should include information on what happened in 2012 admissions to help parents see how likely their child is to gain entry to a particular school. That means the booklets aren't going to come out until May/June at the earliest and, as this is a busy time for admissions departments, probably later than that. However, some LAs publish earlier than others so you may want to check with your LA as to when they expect to issue their bookelt.

As others have said, no sweeping policy changes for 2013 admissions. LAs and individual schools may make changes to their criteria but the overall framework is unchanged and they still have to comply with the 2010 Admissions Code.

ChocolatEtVin Wed 04-Jan-12 13:43:57

Well we have twins, one boy and one girl, and live in an area with plenty of girls schools but only one good co-ed (which has a miniscule catchment which is ever shrinking). At the moment it's looking like if neither get a place at the co-ed school we'll have to move as we have three younger DSs as well sad Oh and also they are my PFB grin

We are lucky, and there is a very good girls school that historically our street always get into, so we should in theory be ok for DD, if the school suits her when her turn comes in 2 years time.

Just DS1 and DS2 that are giving me sleepless nights over schools, though DS2 is a different kettle of fish to DS1 and woulpd probable do ok at the new build.

Oh the joys of parenting.

ChocolatEtVin Wed 04-Jan-12 13:55:38

We are at the point of seriously considering moving, but anywhere with half decent schools is so expensive! We'll probably end up holding out and hope for the best.

Moving really isn't an option for us, though if we could I think we would seriously consider it. I think Ds might get eaten alive at the new school - but it might all work out for the best.

tiredemma Wed 04-Jan-12 14:01:42

We moved in Feb 2010 in order to get into the catchment area of a fantastic school. Very stressful, higher mortgage etc but just couldn't cope with the thought of sending either of my children to my old secondary school (which was the closest at our old address).

Applied in October for our preferred school (DS1 is 1012 intake), I contacted the LEA to find out if we would have been in the catchment area in 2011 intake - last child in lived 1.6km - we live 1.3 so its tight.

Really hope he gets in.

I really do empathise, its such a stressful experience that really shouldn't be. I got quite emotional looking around schools, like I didn't want to admit that my 'baby' was going to 'big school'.

good luck everyone. I will let you know in March if we have been successful.

Fingers x for you tiredemma.

IndieSkies Wed 04-Jan-12 18:54:35

ChocolatEtVin, these schools are often spoken of very favourably and seem to have at least part of a catchment which sounds as affordable as your area: BurntWood girls in Wandsworth, Chestnut Grove in Wandsworth, Dunraven in Lambeth, Harris Academy Crystal Palace, Elmgreen in Lambeth, Norbury Manor Girls. Though I realise that places for your boys seem more of a worry. What about Kingsdale?

IndieSkies Wed 04-Jan-12 18:58:25

Fingers crossed for you, TiredEmma.
Even if you don't get in in the first round of offers in March stay on the waiting list because places become available if people who have been given an offer turn it down (private school, grammar, moved house etc).
But you probably will get a place straight away.

ChocolatEtVin Wed 04-Jan-12 19:20:50

That's really useful, thanks Indie!

xyx Thu 05-Jan-12 17:01:16

Back to original post for a mo - the changes due by April will affect grammar school entry for 2013. Schools will have to give test results befor 31 Oct so we have time to include them (or not) on the CAF due back to LEAs by 31 Oct. So grammars which previously tested after 31 Oct will now have to change. Hope this makes sense. Check your school's admission policy as some have already noted the change.

I'm even more depressed now - I just found a flier in the local rag, advertising the school we will almost certainly be allocated next years' GCSE results.

"Best ever" GCSE results 46% with A* to C on 5 or more GCSE's including Maths and English.

Target next year 55% hmm sad

Kez100 Sun 15-Jan-12 15:43:55

Our school had 46% in 2010 and 54% in 2011. It's a pretty good school. We lose about 15% of the potential cohort - the real top ability, to Grammar but there is quite a distance to travel to Grammar, so a few top ability who don't want the travelling stay here.

The thing is, if the school do lose some to Grammar and are truly all inclusive, maybe cover a deprived area too, then the results won't be as high as other schools. Doesn't mean they are not a good school.

I'd go and visit and get a feeling for it.

Oh, we will go an visit, and am hoping to love it, but compared to the other school we want the results are not good.

We don't have grammars here, so it's a very mixed intake for both schools.

On the plus side it's just reopend in shiny brand new peremises, so everything will be bright and new and hopefully inspiring!

In comparison, the school we would prefer for him, at the moment, has 74% achieving a*- c at GCSE including maths and english.

Sorry, thats in 5 subjects including maths and English!

IndigoBell Mon 16-Jan-12 10:25:01

But it doesn't matter how many students get good results - it only matters what your kids get.

Most schools are streamed. So if 50% of kids are passing, that means that if your child is in a class which is in the top half of the school, then it's likely that they'll pass.

If your kid is bright and is in the top stream all the kids will probably pass.

I don't think you should worry about what grades the bottom set get, unless you expect your child to be in the bottom set.

If your child get's 4s or 5s in Year 6 then they should pass their GCSEs, regardless of the school they go to.

What is the value add of the school you're concerned about? Do most kids who get 4s or 5s pass?

The most recent value added I can find is for 2010 - it was 970.8.

The one I want him to go to has a value added score of 1019.4

Should have said, thanks for the pointers - he is my PFB, so I am flapping. smile

IndigoBell Mon 16-Jan-12 14:24:48

970 is not good. That would concern me. A lot sad

Tables aren't out for 2011 yet.

I thought so. sad

Moving isn't an option for us so we will probably have to grin and bear it, and support him as much as we can.

Maybe so many parents will be bowled over by the shiney new premises that the school I prefer will not be as over subscribed as usual. smile

2010 Headline scores:
5 GCSE A* to C incl. English & Maths: 39%

Pupils achieving GCSE A* to C in:
- English and maths: 39%
- 5 English Baccalaureate subjects: 1%
- Any 5 subjects: 57%
- 2 science subjects: 39%
- a modern foreign language: 7%

% pupils achieving any qualification: 99%
Value-added score: 970.8

Absence statistics:
Sessions missed due to absence (all): 7.8%
Missed due to unauthorised absence: 4%
Pupils persistently absent: 6.9%

Track record: 2007 2008 2009 2010
5 GCSE A* to C incl. English & Maths: 38% 37% 44% 39%

posted too soon - that's the info from last years league tables for the school we are hoping to avoid.

IndigoBell Mon 16-Jan-12 14:34:49

A bit of tutoring can go a long way?

Certainly cheaper than moving house or going private......

Even so, I'd still concentrate on what the kids 'like him' are doing, rather than the whole school population. ie do you think he is an A student? Or a C student? (Is he predicted 4s or 5s in Y6?)

Can you find any parents of older kids 'like him'.

Do any kids come out with good As and A*s? If so, is there any reason why he can't be one of those kids?

He is in YR5, was a 4b across the board when he finished YR4.

So I would hope he would be in the A & B's for ~GCSE, although I know SATS are not the only indicator.

Speaking to friends the results seem to be hit and miss really - I know a boy from across our road, got 5's in his YR6 DATS, three years ago, predicted b's across the board now.

CardyMow Tue 17-Jan-12 00:16:49

Can you belaborate on what you mean by 'Grammar schools that normally test after 31st October will now have to test before'? Does that mean that CRGS in Colchester, which normally tests in the November, will now have to test earlier? If so, that will mean my schedule for DS1 is about a month behind already!

11PlusAdvisor Tue 17-Jan-12 12:32:19

HuntyCat, new government code expected to become law this year says that admission authorities must "take all reasonable steps to inform parents of the outcome of selection tests before the closing date for secondary applications on 31 October so as to allow parents time to make an informed choice of school - while making clear that this does not equate to a guarantee of a selective place".

I suggest you contact CRGS to check their proposed arrangements. I expect a number of people will be caught out with these new rules.

And don't panic! You have plenty of time to prepare.

CardyMow Tue 17-Jan-12 23:54:45

11PlusAdvisor - it's not plenty of time if you are doing all the prep yourself, without a paid-for tutor. I am a Lone Parent on FSM. There is no money for a tutor, so I'm doing it all myself. This has put me 8 weeks behind schedule with the targets, so I am going to have to add in an extra 10 minutes of practice 2 days a week to fit it all in. Why hasn't this been widely reported? In fact, the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher of my DS1's primary school only found out about this LAST NIGHT themselves. And this is a state school, in the CRGS area, that routinely sends between 1 and 4 dc per year group on to CRGS!

CardyMow Tue 17-Jan-12 23:55:36

<<Sorry for thread hijack>>

11PlusAdvisor Wed 18-Jan-12 06:59:08

HuntyCat - helping your child yourself is, in my opinion, the best possible method of preparing your child for the 11 plus. You know your child better than any tutor will and you have the flexibility to concentrate on subject areas that need practice.

Good luck with your preparations.

DilysPrice Wed 18-Jan-12 13:52:15

<marks place>
<pours wine>

legallady Wed 18-Jan-12 14:54:18

The new timetable for many selective school exams won't just catch people out in terms of tutoring, it will also be relevant for getting supplementary forms in on time. Many schools that are moving their exams forward will require the registration form to be submitted before the end of the summer term (e.g. July 20th) whereas previously parents would have had until end september/beginning october to get the forms in.

Will schools really not allow children to sit the test if they miss the application deadline confused

CardyMow Thu 19-Jan-12 09:05:11

So when will the registration forms be AVAILABLE then? Because there isn't ^anything on the CRGS site about the changes at all. <<Doesn't want to miss date>>

gingeroots Thu 19-Jan-12 14:49:39

mmm indigobell..... but if you've got a quiet well behaved DS with supportive mc parents who is expected to get a C at GCSE you'll find he's ignored - all the schools attention will be on those who are borderline C/D and who need careful help to ensure a C and those who are achieving at B/A to help them get A .
And if your middle of the road C grade son fails he still won't get any help .
No doubt he's just lazy .

I feel a bit sick waiting for the new league tables, last years for the school, as you can see above, was not good.

Article by the BBC here about the new format for league tables which will be published next week.

I'm not sure I want to look. confused sad

ChippyMinton Sat 21-Jan-12 16:29:36

The grammar timescale changes haven't been widely reported. We are using a tutor for DS1, and she only found out via a newsletter from her daughter's grammar school. The tutors are very switched on though, and have already changed the timetable to accommodate the exams being 6 weeks earlier - sessions have been slotted into the Easter and half-term holidays.

Good point re deadlines for supplementary forms for grammars, and registering for the 11+ exams. Also the open days will probably be brought forward to the summer term.

It's a good change though, especially for those in areas where there are only 3 preferences on the CAF.

CardyMow Sat 21-Jan-12 23:10:39

I have found out that the DATE of the test in Essex will be Saturday 22nd September 2012, and the standardised results of the 11+ will be sent out to parents on the 16th October 2012.

The main problem? Essex LEA is refusing to decide a date that they will accept people APPLYING to sit the 11+ until after all the consultation deadlines on the 15th February.

So anyone in Essex that wishes to apply for their dc to do the 11+ will have to keep an eye on the CSSE site from the 15th February onwards.


CardyMow Sat 21-Jan-12 23:12:29

ChippyMinton - That's all well and good if you can AFFORD a tutor. When you have no choice but to do it all yourself - the loss of 6/8 weeks is horrid. Bucks aren't changing it until 2014, for the reason that they felt it was not enough notice for those who were to sit the test this year. Wish Essex had done the same.

ChippyMinton Sun 22-Jan-12 16:24:37

HuntyCat - not sure why you felt the need to comment on my financial status?

It's beside the point anyway, since ALL the children taking 11+ this year will have to adapt their preparation (paid for or otherwise) to the new timescale, so they are all equally disadvantaged.

Bucks admission arrangements for 2013 are out for consultation at the moment. Do you know for sure that they won't now take the opportunity to change the test/results dates?

Secondary schools league tables are out.

I can't believe the National Allocation days is going to be the 16th April Next year.

It is April 1st this year.

I'll be a nervous wreck.

And the CVa for the school we will get has not improved much, if any. sad

Banter Wed 08-Feb-12 19:24:01

That's the primary offer date. The secondary one will still be on or around 1st March.

Phew! blush

Banter Wed 08-Feb-12 20:13:37

Just noticed your name - I think that it might be different in Scotland. Can you look at your council's website to check?

It's ok, I'm from Scotland but live in Manchester now. Thanks though. smile

CustardCake Wed 08-Feb-12 23:09:42

We do seem to have some new admission criteria in our area so I am surprised to see other's don't. Its in the consultation period right now but will be finalised soon (have never known anything in the consultation period not to go through no matter what feedback they get!)

New changes include:
- children of staff at a school getting priority for places
- children who have been adopted from care (even at a much younger age) getting priority (but not children adopted within families eg by a step parent).
- Grammar schools now all have to hold tests early so those that used to test in November or January can't any more. There is a cluster of exams in September and October.

CustardCake Wed 08-Feb-12 23:10:54

- before everyone rushes out to become a supply teacher or dinner lady - you have to have held a contract for 2 or 3 years to qualify - it varies between schools. Still if you can't move house and have a child in Year 3 its worth considering!

The school I woild like DS to go to still hasn't published it's criteria for admission next year - on the LEA website for this school and one other academy it tells us to contact the school.

Go to the school website and they are still talking about last years admission criteria.

I'll have to call them later.

The other schools, even other academies, have them published.

admission Thu 09-Feb-12 20:06:53

If they have not made any attempt to publish a new admission criteria in the current consultation then in theory the school are sticking with the same admission criteria as this year. But you should ask them the question directly to make sure.

Thank you. smile

CardyMow Sun 12-Feb-12 23:45:34

Chippy - that wasn't a comment on YOUR financial situation - it was a comment at my OWN financial situation that prevents me from affording a tutor!

Just checked our Council website - all admissions criteria will be updated and posted on their website from the 1st May.

And so it begins. <eek>

Rosylee1976 Fri 13-Apr-12 20:24:48

I have been a wreck for the last 2 weeks now re secondary admissions for 2013. And in those 2 weeks I have been on the phone to the LEA twice. Coventry isn't exactly spoiled for choice and we have not a single grammar school. They all sit in Warwickshire which is a huge county and so highly unlikely we would get in. We live in a rough area, with the local school one of the worst performing in the city. Yes, best results ever this year, but still way too low for my liking. We only get 3 choices of school, whereas other areas get 6! No fair sad I am really worried about the fact that the last child admitted to the school we wanted was 1.3 miles away. We are about 3 miles. Seems so little but in secondary admissions terms it may as well be as far as the moon.

I know people say that a child will do well in any school. That's not necessarily true. Lets not forget there are multiple factors that impact on children's performance at school. The teaching may be fine, but if the children who attend come from homes where perhaps they are not supported academically, or perhaps are experiencing problems, they may not be appropriately motivated to work hard and who could blame them. Parental support and involvement is key to children achieving at school. The need to belong and fit in with peers is hard for kids to walk away from, and one can't always prevent negative peer influence. These are my fears, rational or not, I still worry.

I thought I would resurrect this thread as our DC are heading into YR6 next week.

First Secondary school open evening already scheduled, the 24th September, it's the one I would prefer (on paper), so we need to have a good look round. The other school that we are more likely to be allocated has nothing on its website yet.

I don't know whether to be worried or not - the less preferable, more likely school has not updatyd its GCSE results, the one I would like is shouting them from every local paper and they are all over their website. confused

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 02-Sep-12 08:32:36

Signing in. Got DS1's forms yesterday. <<Panics about my second child going to Secondary.>>

He is sitting the 11+ in a few weeks, for a superselective Grammar, and I'm not applying until the results for that are out, on the 15th Oct.

We have one open evening for the closest school on the 26th September, and I need to find out when the open evening is for the next closest one too. Though given their results it will be my last choice.

DD has SEN, so when she was in Y6, 4 years ago, I was asking totally different questions at the open evenings.

I am asking about top-set issues and how All the schools feel Academy status will affect their results for DS1's year, and how they push their highest achievers. With DD I was more concerned with their SEN Depts, and the help they would give her.

God, it's such a minefield!

Viewofthehills Sun 02-Sep-12 08:47:25

Couthy- I've been thinking about you and wondering how your DS's revision is going?

We don't get forms here anymore - everything will be done one line, and we will get more information when they go back to school - but probably not until they have been back a few weeks.

I'm trawling through old posts to get ideas on what I need to know.

Today is the start of DS1's last year at Primary - I feel very odd about it!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 04-Sep-12 07:07:05

Going well, thank you. He's had nearly a week 'off' from it though, as until 2 days ago, he had a yukky viral thing. I did too.

He's got some to do tonight.

Just 3 1/2 weeks to go...

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 04-Sep-12 07:09:28

I think it will hit me when I see the new Reception DC and then look at DS1. It only seems like two weeks since he started YR.

I think the reality of this being his last year at primary has hit home - he came home today and has said he has been rostered onto hall duty, so needs to be at school early in the morning, and also has hall monitor duties one lunchtime a week. He was a bit subdued!

No mention of SATs, which I am surprised about given our schools reputation.

Our LEA no longer give parents a copy of the "moving on" booklet, they have told us to down load it and apply for a place on line - I've just downloaded it and its 49 pages long! shock

We got a letter with the unique code we use to apply on line.

We have all the dates for open evenings so we know where we want to go and look round.

DS has stated a preference for the more academic boys school, and looking at the furthest allocated distance from last year we would have got in, but in previous years they have not admitted from our street, so we will go and look round and see.

Has anyone else had any information yet?

And the value added scores from the schools have not changed much.

Preferred option 1020

Likely allocated 973


FoofyShmooffer Wed 12-Sep-12 10:43:14

I received the booklet and pack the weekend before DD started Reception class last week. I've only just started looking at Secondary visits for DS. I needed to get over one change before addressing the next. Sappy, I know but it's all happening too fast.

We've got a tour of our first choice tomorrow morning. Really looking forward to it. Open day for our third choice next Thursday and open evening for our second choice the first week in October.

I need to find the thread about questions to ask, i saw it but didn't have time to read it.

The problem is DS has now decided that he wants to swap our first and second choices which bothers me. I'm delaying that conversation until we've seen both places.

We get 6 spaces to fill in, but where we are in the LEA, realistically there are only 2, or at a push if the Catholic High School is under subscribed, 3 choices for us to use.

First open evening is 24th September, last one is 2nd October!

I need to find that thread with the list of questions to ask too.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 12:35:41

Went to the Grammar school open evening in July, got the closest (most likely due to sibling link) school open evening on 26th September, and need to try to find out when the second closest one's open evening is - this thread has jogged my memory that I must ask the school office today!

Lancelottie Wed 12-Sep-12 13:08:36

Hmm. All our local-ish schools seem to be holding open days on the same day. Thanks guys!

Badvoc Wed 12-Sep-12 13:11:26

Got mine last week.
Deadline is end of oct

imnotmymum Wed 12-Sep-12 13:20:21

our applications open today and closes 30th October. Did a lot of footwork for pfb so this time a breeze.
Indigo I know it does not matter other students get but it is a reflection of school if more students do well they must be doing something right.

imnotmymum Wed 12-Sep-12 14:58:08

Just submitted only picked one choice. It is in the hands of the Gods!!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 17:41:10

Imnot - I went round all the schools for DD, but that was A) 4 years ago, and a lot can change in 4 years, B) I was asking about SEN help for DD, and need to ask questions about G&T stuff for DS1, and C) As of 1st September this year, all of the Secondaries combined forces and changed to an Academy Consortium, which may well change all the school's ethos's, they may ALL change the way things are going to work for DS's year group!

Too many questions!!

Plus, back then, I was only interested in finding the right Secondary for DD, and as DS1 hadn't even entered the juniors, it seemed a long way off! blush

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 17:43:07

One choice - that's a bit risky, unless you literally live next door to the school, or have an older child who ISN'T currently in Y11 attending the school (Y11 won't count as a sibling link) isn't it? Only putting one choice doesn't make the LA any more likely to GIVE you that school. It just gives them more opportunity to send you somewhere else.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 17:54:53

Great. For 3 out of 4 on my list, the open evenings are 2nd, 3rd & 4th October. How the hell am I meant to arrange childcare for my younger ones for 3 days in a bleeding row?!

titchy Wed 12-Sep-12 17:59:52

Take them with you! Plenty of littlies at dcs school open evenings.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 12-Sep-12 18:00:57

Can I join in? My 3rd time of going through this, but still just as stressful. Ds1 and 2 are in the same good comp but we live way out of catchment and there is no sibling policy. So DS3 is more than likely to get the sink comp just 0.85 of a mile away. I'm making him do the 11+, another new thing for us, but the grammar in town is super, super selective and DC go there from 50 miles away! The boys' grammars in the nearby town are merely super selective! So he has a chance to get in to a school he doesn't want to go to that's 8 miles away. sad I'm having a hard job trying to convince him without dissing the local comp too much, because he could still easily end up there. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but still not great.

So, visited first grammar yesterday, test in early Oct, still want him to go to the nice comp my others boys go to. At least won't have to worry next year, then it'll be GCSEs for DS1! grin

Blu Wed 12-Sep-12 18:13:03

imnotmymum - do you know for sure that you will have no difficulty getting a place in your chosen school?

imnotmymum Wed 12-Sep-12 18:26:49

School fab and is third best school in county beating a lot of indies and my girls thriving so I know it is still good. Two older siblings at school and if she does not get in will home school until does.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 18:48:48

Titchy - The Secondaries here only allow the prospective pupil to attend, not siblings. Always been the way here.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 18:51:31

Are either of the two older siblings currently in Y11 though? Because of they are, then they won't count as a sibling link. If you're fine to homeschool, I guess it's not too much of an issue - but what if a place doesn't come up before the point in Y9 when you choose options?

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 18:53:11

<<Phones round to beg for babysitting>>

They're all going to be over my DC's dinner time, too, when you add journey times in. That's really going to mess with DS2 & DS3's routine. Gah.

imnotmymum Wed 12-Sep-12 19:00:38

I am aware of the critieria. No, one in year 9 one in year 8. Have decided to put a second place now but that school 20 miles away I am confident she will get in and am happy to school anyway.

lljkk Wed 12-Sep-12 19:02:33

Blimey, I guess I should be grateful our local choices are so mediocre. Almost nowhere over-subscribed & our choices are pretty simple.

imnotmymum Wed 12-Sep-12 19:07:24

Dog eat Dog around here... Feeder school in village but our children did not go there and got a place so I am happy however it is getting more and more popular and now selective in 6th form so will only get worse.

FoofyShmooffer Thu 13-Sep-12 14:01:01

Me and Ds went to the tour at our first choice school this morning. I am totally sold on it. I knew I would be. We were told that more often than not all applicants who put them as first choice get in due to a lot of the feeder schools being little village RC schools with only 17 or 20 per class. We are RC but not in the catchment. Looks promising.
DS loved it. so that's it till next week at third choice school.
I'm surprisingly keyed up about it all. smile

signet Thu 13-Sep-12 14:11:17

We've got our first visit to our catchment school next week. DS will be going there as I'm already pretty set on it and as we literally live next door to it I'll only be putting one choice down. It's come around so quickly!

lljkk Thu 13-Sep-12 17:17:58

I think I'm still getting used to the fact that they are in Yr6. Lots seems to happen in y6 (school council, SATs, residential, awards, end-of-yr party). Secondary applications just one small part of it.

I never went thru this with DS because he switched schools at end of y5.

DS1 came home today saying that his maths class are going to be doing YR7 work! shock

We were talking tonight, and he seems set on the more academic school, but we need to look at the other one too.

It's too soon.sad

FoofyShmooffer Fri 14-Sep-12 13:33:12

It is too soon isn't it?
I found myself in that school yesterday thinking that this is where he will have girlfriends and go through all the crap that teens go through. This is the place that will shape where he goes in life. (maudlin grin)

and then this morning he drove me batshit crazy from the minute he woke up, so all sentimentality over with.

ATailOfTwoKitties Fri 14-Sep-12 14:47:56

I have DD agonising daily about the decision affecting Her Whole Life (drama llama that she is, but actually she has a bit of a point!)

We have just been given dates for school tours now too, so I am trying to book onto them on the day our school has off for training - but the second school has put a dodgy email address on, and then said to call a specific person if there is a problem, and not given the number. confused

I'm not impressed.

Right, been to one open night, and two school tours, one more open night to go.

The new build school is beautiful and well resourced, but I am not convinced that academically it is the right school for DS1.

The older more traditional and very strict school was run down and pokey, but gets far better results, and talked about the boys getting involved in the whole school ethos with extra curricular sport and activities.

DS has friends who will be going to both, and he met a nice lad there today who is sure of a place, so at the moment I think we are going with the older and more academically successful school.

We won't put our application in til after the last open evening though.

How is everyone else getting on?

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sat 29-Sep-12 09:42:26

Been on the tour of School 2, and it DID impress me, it is starting to change for the better under the new HT. I actually now think it would have been a better school for my DD. which is a shame.

DS1 went with me to School 1's open evening, and is very taken with it. He wants school 1 as his back up to the Grammar. I think I will go with that given the league table results difference between the two.

Housewifefromheaven Wed 03-Oct-12 23:20:20

Went to visit a school tonight and it was very nice. It is our nearest one, but it happens to be a Catholic school and well, my ds isn't even christened so not sure if we will stand a chance grin

Have another one to visit on saturday so we will see how that goes. I'm not looking forward to this process, we had to go to appeal with my dd four years ago and I can see the whole thing happening again. Ho hum.

lljkk Thu 04-Oct-12 10:55:24

It's doing my head in. Went to local school Open Evening last night & some of it seemed fine, good even, but one of the show classrooms was in shocking state: filthy carpet, beat up walls, damaged ceiling, the work on the walls looked primary level at a glance. This was in my first degree subject so especially disappointing.

Next door was the history teacher who came across as lovely (DD fave subject = history). I deliberately avoided looking at carpet or walls. I am under impression this school forces kids to choose either history or [my subject] at GCSE (damn, should have asked about that, but somehow there wasn't enough time for anything).

Meanwhile DD clings to the idea of attending posh expensive girl's school 1 hour's travel away with lots of homework (sigh). I am going to push the idea on DH that she could go for Yr9 entry there, when she can more maturely judge what the sacrifices (for her especially) would mean.

I am resorting to explaining to DD what the different academic standards & results mean, how the scenarios play out for her various options (she is ambitious). It seems unfair to expect her to assess the options fairly, but I think I can't feel satisfied with final decisions without a huge amount of input from her.

2 more tours before we submit applications.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Fri 05-Oct-12 09:01:10

Nail biting for the 2 week wait for 11+ results. Not holding out too much hope tbh, as DS1 didn't sit the main sitting, he sat the alternate sitting, and he was STILL ill when he sat it.

But I need to know if he has any chance of getting in to the Grammar before I fill in my application form. Grrrr.

I know his results are due on the 15th October. Until then, we BOTH have knots in our tummy.

DS1 wants to attend the Grammar FAR more than I want him there! I fear he will be disappointed. Though he enjoyed the your of what would be our second choice school, I was impressed far more by what would have been my 3rd choice school under their new HT. It has changed massively for the better, and is definitely a school on the way up.

Given the expansion plans for the second choice school, and adding in an extra site separate to the current one, I fear that this will cause issues. And it will open the second site (under same HT) when DS1 starts Y11. Not good timing IMO.

Aaagggghhh! Such a complicated decision.

Housewifefromheaven Fri 05-Oct-12 09:13:14

Yes it is isn't it. I am far more stressed this time around! The school my dd goes to doesn't have a sixth form so am looking at a move for both her and my son. Ideally I'd like fir them to be at the same school (ages meant this hasn't happened before) but I have to be realistic.

Bugger, it seems that the open evening for our local high school was last night and I missed it. The open morning was on tuesday and I couldn't have made it anyway. Oh well. He'd be going there regardless, as it's basically the same school he already attends (on a different campus: same HT, same policies, same uniform, same teachers who circulate between the middle and high school) and it's at the bottom of our road.

I applied and felt obliged to put down three out of four choices. DS1 is guaranteed to get into our first choice school because they operate a feeder system as priority 2 (1 beng looked after children) and there aren't enough children in the feeder schools to fill all the available places.

Now I have to look into first schools for DS2, which won't be as straightforward. We've got a choice of 5 different schools that we can get into (based on the published admissions information for all previous years), so we have to visit them and make actual choices.

I went to the open evening for the new school, it was very impressive, Mac's everywhere, kids wandering round with Ipads, everything shiny and new, DS loved it all, especially the sports hall.

They were touting the overall GCSE results as being 88%, but did not publish anywhere what the results for 5 GCSEs including Maths and English. When pushed they said it had not been properly collated yet hmm, which is strange given how all the other secondary schools in the area have done so. After some prodding an English teacher said it was somewhere between 40-50%.

So as much as I would like DS to go to school in lovely modern surroundings, I think the older school is going to be first choice.

lljkk Sat 06-Oct-12 18:44:37

One of our local state secondaries has a VA score of 1026; all the others around 992 (including the school DS1 is at). Rather stark contrast.
(But I don't know if it means a thing for DD).

The last league tables show the boys school having a VA of 1020, and the new build school a VA of 973.2.

I've just done the application and put the old fashioned boys school as first choice, and the new build as second. Now I just have to wait til 1st March.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 02:24:35

I am getting antsy that I can't put in my application until after the 15th.

The best achieving comp has a value added of 989.9. Not great, especially as I know that their low strainers actually make FAR more progress than they should, as I have seen it first hand with my DD there.

Which only means that it's their high achievers like DS1 that they are failing. Which cheers me no end...

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 02:28:15

Not low strainers FFS. I bloody hate Autocorrect. Low ATTAINERS.

DD started Y7 working towards NC lvl 1 (really, she has SN's). She is in Y10, and may well get C/D in some of her GCSE's. which just shouldn't be possible, in truth!

So I can't see that it's the lower sets they have issues with.

The super selective Grammar has a VA score of 1000.

EvilTwins Sun 07-Oct-12 14:11:31

Couthy, are you in Gloucestershire, or have I invented that? Just wondering, if you are, which schools you've looked at (nosy Glos mum of Yr 2s)

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 14:21:47

Nope, am in North Essex. Am looking at the superselective Boys Grammar in my town as option one, closest local school and second closest school keep chopping and changing for options two and three. Options 4,5 &6 are schools that we have absolutely no chance of getting into, due to distance, but I have to put 6 on the form. Only the Grammar, closest school and second closest school are accessible to us by public transport (don't drive due to disabilities).

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 14:22:42

We only have one Grammar here, and it takes just 96 boys from 800+ applicants from a very wide area of Essex.

EvilTwins Sun 07-Oct-12 14:27:37

Wow. Good luck to your DS. <<wonders off to ponder why she had Couthy living on the other side of the country...>>

Admissions application deadline is passed, no going back now.

Roll on the 1st March.


MaryBS Thu 01-Nov-12 08:53:10

I know Manky. I was logging on last night just to check that our application was still showing as "submitted" as I was paranoid. Thankfully it was confused

I keep checking too. grin


jennycrofter Thu 01-Nov-12 12:08:23

We had to apply on paper, for complicated reasons, so not being able to check that we are "in the system" is driving me nuts!

I did do "signed for" delivery though, and know it was delivered. oh no not over thinking this at all grin

BreakfastwithMrsBarderbedian Thu 01-Nov-12 12:27:33

I thought i'd feel relieved when the deadline was up. No going back and all that, put it out of your head till March.
I'm not though. Keeps popping into my head. Bloody worrying.

I will probably panic once the league tables are out in December too...grin

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 04-Nov-12 02:47:08

Feel super stressed about the looooong wait till March, despite knowing that he has a guaranteed sibling place (siblings are second priority, only after looked after children) at my third choice, and we are only 0.3 miles away, that I will be fine with if he doesn't get into the Grammar.

Though if he doesn't get into the Grammar, I will be appealing.

And my options had changed just before I submitted - my DS pleaded for me to add the superselective Grammar in the next town over as our second choice.

Though he is out of catchment, and hasn't made the OOC pass mark, he said that if you need to appeal the first choice on the basis of academic ability and illness on the test day, then surely you can do the same for the second choice too.

I couldn't argue with his logic. hmm

So choice 1 is the school he most wants to attend. And I most want him to attend., the local superselective GS.

Choice 2 is the superselective GS one town over that has a catchment, which we are not in, so he WILL need to appeal for to stand any chance of entry.

Choice 3 is our guaranteed, sibling linked, practically on our doorstep, local comp.

Choice 4 is the next closest comp, that I was surprisingly pleased with.

Choice 5 is the partially selective comp bloody miles away that DS stands NO chance of getting into because he didn't sit the selective test, and we are too far away.

Choice 6 is the almost crap comp more than bloody miles away, that is only on the form because I need 6 on there. And it is far better than the other two comps that he would attend over my dead body!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 04-Nov-12 02:48:30

Six months is such a looooong time. Will we all find our way back here on 1st March?

BreakfastwithMrsBarderbedian Sun 04-Nov-12 19:07:47

I'm only bumping this to tell Couthy that we had your Spicy Sticky mince the other night and it was a resounding success grin

(sorry for hijack)

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 04-Nov-12 21:08:44

grin I'm glad you liked it. It was born out of one of those "Oh, bum, I don't know what to cook" moments, and I just shoved a bit if this and a bit of that in the pan and it turned out so nice it became a family favourite!!

MaryBS Mon 05-Nov-12 08:15:00

Oo, could I have the recipe please Couthy? Even the name of it sounds edible smile

I've already started fretting about how he'll cope at secondary school (he has Asperger syndrome, but isn't statemented), the school bus is very noisy and it takes an hour or more to get there by bus.

The recipe sounds interesting! grin

First day back at school today since the deadline past, and the subject of what school we put first was topic of the day in the playground.

It seems that a lot were really impressed by the new build and have gone for that - it makes me doubt my 1st choice of the old style boys school for DS. confused

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Mon 05-Nov-12 13:16:13

I'll try to find it later, am off out right now!

BreakfastwithMrsBarderbedian Mon 05-Nov-12 16:49:48

We are in the minority too. I've stopped discussing it with them. Most are sending theirs to the large secondary up the road that we are a feeder school for. We have put the next nearest catholic secondary which is actually about 2 and 1/2 miles away. They have taken offence at this as it must mean that either their choice of school or their DCs is not good enough for us. (ok, this is true on both counts grin) but its other factors too. They haven't said it out right but the grilling and utterly put out looks I get makes it not worth a discussion.
The thing is their DCs are more or less guaranteed a place at their choice whereas our first choice is more of a risk for us. if we don't get in they will be gleeful hmm

I have been trying to forget about the school thing, but every so often it ops into my head. I wish I really could just forget about it til the 1st march!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 24-Nov-12 13:32:57

Forgot about this thread. DS3 passed the 11+ for one of the boys grammars in the next town grin , but not for the super, super selective grammar in our town, no surprises there! So we've put good but out of catchment comp where DS1 and 2 go (no sibling criteria) down as first choice, good but out of catchment comp where all his friends will go as second choice and next town grammar down as third. No point putting a fourth as he's guaranteed a place at the third choice. Roll on 1st March.

I'd like a look at the sticky spicy mince recipe, Couthy...

ATailOfTwoKitties Sat 24-Nov-12 20:31:26

No sibling priority at all, Ellen? That's pretty unusual, surely.

Breakfast -- we too have opted for a next-nearest school instead of the catchment secondary that our primary feeds into, and it does make for slightly awkward conversations! In our case it's because DD's brother was bullied into misery at the catchment school. DD will be following him to the (less highly rated) school he's moved to.

I hope.

But as it's not our catchment school, she may not get in, so I'm being careful what I say to her and to other parents!

3b1g Sat 24-Nov-12 20:34:02

MaryBS: DS2 has Asperger's and will be starting secondary in Sept 2013. I'm already worrying about how he will cope. Closer to the time, I think we should start a hand-holding support thread, maybe in Special Needs - children.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 24-Nov-12 23:03:14

3b1g, we had a hand holding thread in SN education 2 years ago for when my DS2 (with ASD) and others started secondary school. It had lots of useful advice on it, I'll try to link it later. But SN children is busier, TBH.

Kitties, stupid school has a fair banding system and no sibling priority at all. (Local school for local people!) DS1 got in on a low birth rate year, it was his 3rd choice and much better than the local comp. DS2 has a statement of SN, though still had to do the fair banding test, he was guaranteed a place as it was named on his statement. DS3 has to take pot luck. It was more important that DS2 went to the right school for him than choosing a different one with a sibling policy that would have helped DS3 (tempting though that was!) Hence our first foray into eleven plus territory. smile

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 24-Nov-12 23:06:17

This was our hand holding thread. Very useful, do start one of your own in SN. X

3b1g Sun 25-Nov-12 08:31:14

Thank you! smile

The countdown to allocation day starts now. Yikes!

GrumpySod Tue 01-Jan-13 11:49:59

DD is literally counting down days. She's so excited and I am so "Meh".

I think there will be a lot of hand wringing locally once the league tables and results are published this month.

Many parents & kids were blown away by the new schools facilities, but if the results are as poor as I have heard rumours they are, things are going to get uncomfortable for a lot of people.

GrumpySod Tue 01-Jan-13 19:07:12

Were last summer's results not already widely distributed? They were for us, all the local schools, especially because of the English-exam-timing fiasco.

No. Not at the new school - they lauded their general GCSE results, but were strangely silent on the figures including Maths & English.

And even on the DfE website, the information is sketchy up till now as the school was formed by amalgamating two failing schools.

Talking to other parents, it seem they took the information available at face value, so there will be some disgruntled parents later.

No. Not at the new school - they lauded their general GCSE results, but were strangely silent on the figures including Maths & English.

And even on the DfE website, the information is sketchy up till now as the school was formed by amalgamating two failing schools.

Talking to other parents, it seem they took the information available at face value, so there will be some disgruntled parents later.

I should have said, last year was their first year in the new building, but they had been amalgamated two year previously.

Bumping in the hope I we can use this thread as a support thread as the allocations day draws closer. grin

8 Weeks today til Allocation day!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 05-Jan-13 21:13:55

I'm happy to hold hands with you. I know DS3 will get at least his third choice school, but really hoping for 1st or 2nd.

Well, I was right to be suspicious about the new schools results - they are down 5% on last year, and they are advertising for lead teachers in English, Maths, Drama, RE as well as several other teachers.#

A bit worrying really.

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