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To think any Secondary School with 75% High Attainers and 2% Low Attainers is A Grammar School no matter itsclassifaction

(41 Posts)
motown3000 Thu 20-Mar-14 11:35:59

I have looked on the Department of education Performance Tables, and have noticed Schools like Watford Girls/Boys Parmiters, are Grammar Schools. They are Called Comprehensive Schools to be Politically correct and admit 3 or 4 Low ability pupils each year to keep the Comprehensive classification.

Why do we have to have this "Fakery" of pretending to be a Comprehensive , because they are not allowed to be a Grammar school , despite actually being one.

Pootles2010 Thu 20-Mar-14 11:38:49

Sorry don't know schools in question, but if they aren't doing 11 plus how can they be a grammar? Are they just in very high income areas?

Brittabot Thu 20-Mar-14 11:49:40

Watford Boys is a grammar school. It's full name is Watford Grammar School for Boys.

motown3000 Thu 20-Mar-14 11:49:43

They have "Selection" tests, but admit a tiny number that don't take the selection tests. The reason they do it is for "Political" reasons , because "Said" area abolished Grammar Schools, so these schools come up with clever ways to adapt.

Mintyy Thu 20-Mar-14 11:50:59

marking place

motown3000 Thu 20-Mar-14 11:51:04

Brittabot. It is classed as a Comprehensive School Under DOE regulations.
Hertfordshire Abolished Grammar Schools.

LoonvanBoon Thu 20-Mar-14 11:52:25

What pootles said - it's the fact that they're selective & select on the basis of an 11-plus type exam that makes schools Grammar Schools.

I guess you might say that the term Comprehensive is a bit of a misnomer if a school's catchment area is extremely affluent or if there are other less transparent selection methods at play (as in some Church schools) - but that's not quite the same thing.

I don't know the schools in question either.

Brittabot Thu 20-Mar-14 11:53:38

I did not know that, I assumed they still did 11 plus in Herts!

LoonvanBoon Thu 20-Mar-14 11:54:38

They actually have academic selection tests? Okay, I think you might have a point then. Didn't know this was allowed for Comprehensive Schools - thought I was reasonably well-informed on this stuff too. blush

ilovesooty Thu 20-Mar-14 11:56:58

I'm not quite sure what the point of this is. Is the OP annoyed because her child has failed to get a place in one of these schools?

I do loathe the term politically correct.

motown3000 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:03:49

The Point is "They should just be able to be Classified as Grammar Schools" I am not from that area , so no my children did not fail to get in.

This type of dogma though is preventing the Sevonoaks Grammar Annexe, ( I am not from that area either) which is needed, but unable to proceed .

LoonvanBoon Thu 20-Mar-14 12:07:49

Just looked at their website (pure curiosity, don't live anywhere near Watford!).

Sounds like they're massively over-subscribed within the "Admissions Area" (is that wider than a traditional catchment area?). They have a mixture of "test places" for those who do well in their tests (can be academic or music) & "community places". Couldn't find the info. about the ratio of test places to community places.

It also said that anyone who applies for a test place is automatically seen to be applying for a community place - so possibly a lot of the community places also go to fairly bright students? OP, what are the numbers?

LoonvanBoon Thu 20-Mar-14 12:10:32

Oh, & OP, have are you defining High & Low Attainers? In terms of how they perform in these tests or KS2 SATS results or what?

And your thread title only accounts for 77% of each intake. Who are the others?

OpalQuartz Thu 20-Mar-14 12:13:16

The middle attainers?

Mintyy Thu 20-Mar-14 12:16:50

The others are middle attainers.

It wasn't until I started looking at secondary schools for my dd a couple of years ago that I discovered an extraordinary number of comprehensive schools do a sort of selection by stealth thing. It's quite infuriating. The school is not comprehensive if it selects some of its pupils, and I don't understand why they are allowed to say they are.

motown3000 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:17:44

The other 23% are middle ability students and many Grammar Schools have up to 23% middle ability students. There is no mention on Watford Girls website about what type of school they are designated as ? If you go to Admissions for year 7 you will see "Hertfordshire Consortium" test Centre ...

ReallyTired Thu 20-Mar-14 12:18:02

Parmitars, Watford Girls/boys Grammar School are partially selective. Sibblings of children who have passed the test get in automatically. Houses near these schools are phenomally expensive.

To be honest I would be more concerned about the complete lack of chidlren whose families are entitlted to fsm or working tax credits at these STATE schools.

OFSTED aren't daft and expect all children to make progress. They understand that Francis Combe or Westfield are left with all the dregs becuase St Michaels cream off the families who can get up on a Sunday morning. OFSTED don't compare Parmitars with Francis Coombe.

LoonvanBoon Thu 20-Mar-14 12:20:58

Possibly, Opal, but defined how? Are the middle attainers those who sit the test & get "average" results? I hope the OP is going to give us some more concrete info. & data about these schools & their admissions policies - not sure how to judge the AIBU bit otherwise.

My gut reaction is that YANBU to argue that a school that is highly academically selective is more akin to a traditional Grammar School than to a Comprehensive. I would doubt the schools are trying to be "politically correct" though (I also hate that phrase) - probably just trying to exploit any loopholes they can to try & carry on being able to select their students (given that OP said Grammars were abolished in this area).

LoonvanBoon Thu 20-Mar-14 12:23:10

Thanks for explaining, mintyy & reallytired. Selection by stealth indeed.

OpalQuartz Thu 20-Mar-14 12:24:38

I assume that the way the DFE measure high, middle and low attainers is Level 3 and below in the SATs at the end of KS2 = low, Level 4 = Middle, Level 5 and above = high. These are the performance tables that show the data www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/

ilovesooty Thu 20-Mar-14 12:25:56

The hard fact is that education isn't goingto be comprehensive whilst intakes are dependent on how much money parents have and how they can affafford to pick and choose their homes and catchment area. Social mobility or lack of it is what perpetuates inequality. That's far more disempowering that anything the OP is suggesting.

ReallyTired Thu 20-Mar-14 12:30:42

Even comprehensives aren't comprehensive. Many parents move hell and high water to keep their little darlings away from poor rough children.

St George's harpenden is not a comprehensive. At least the Watford schools don't pretend to be a true comprehensive.

motown3000 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:35:53

Loonvan. The school should not have to use loopholes , to select . It should not have to admit 2% of Low Ability students each year to conform to "regulations". this is not a go at the school ( (I Like Academic Selection) more a go at the Nonsense of not allowing "Grammar Schools" in Comprehensive areas .

There is a current story regarding the Sevonoaks "Grammar" annexe , it is very unlikely to happen. This theory states they could admit 2% Low Attainers 23% Middle ability students ( Not that different from many Grammar Schools) and 75% 11+ passes ,call it a Comprehensive ( In reality being the Grammar Annexe they are after.

LoonvanBoon Thu 20-Mar-14 12:46:10

Well, I'm not in favour of academic selection, motown (& can't be arsed to argue the case, because: a) that wasn't the thread title; & b) I want some lunch!).

But I agree, as I said, that the schools you mention sound as if they are in effect Grammar Schools anyway.

FantasticDay Thu 20-Mar-14 12:57:05

I'm a bit confused. In my area, many faith and academy schools select up to 10 percent on 'aptitude' (in languages, maths, sports and music in the four I am interested in), but have to either choose the rest from criteria such as religious attendance, or across the spread of ability bands (33% higher, 33% middle, 33% lower) in the entrance tests. I thought that selecting more than 10 percent on ability in comprehensives and academies?

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