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Parts of the country with both grammar schools and decent comprehensives?

(76 Posts)
traipsingalong Tue 02-Oct-12 13:47:51

Could anyone list any parts of the UK which have both grammar schools and reasonably good comprehensives? We are aware that we're going to need to move house at some point before dc hit secondary school, and want to give them the best chances - i.e., a stab at a grammar school, but failing that, a reasonable non-selective secondary within catchment.

We're happy to consider any areas really although we are not rich, so sadly, areas close to London are going to be off limits for us.

GreenShadow Wed 03-Oct-12 23:07:02

Those considering Gloucestershire, don't forget the Stroud area, which also has grammar schools and decent comprehensives

tiggytape Wed 03-Oct-12 23:07:53

Alcofrolic - not incompatible at all.

In Sutton, Gloucestershire and other areas too, getting into the grammar school is so hard that the comps take many children who achieve level 5 and level 6 in their SATS (i.e. traditionally thought of as being grammar school ability).

So called super selectives have no catchment area so only a tiny fraction of local children will get a place at grammar school. In a primary school with 60 in Year 6, 3 might go off to grammar but the rest of the top group - perhaps 15 or 17 children will all go to the comp despite having very high ability / very high SATS scores etc.

In some areas 30% are creamed off to go to grammar but in other areas it is more like 1% - 8% so has no effect on the local comps at all

alcofrolic Wed 03-Oct-12 23:33:50

As I said, some hope somewhere. smile
Where I am, they're totally incompatible.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 03-Oct-12 23:45:55

>Lancaster is good.

Or other parts of lancashire. There's only about 4 grammars left in the county, so mostly its 'proper' comps ..though quite a lot are 'faith'. The trick is to live in the catchment of one of the good comps but near enough a bus route to the nearest grammar and then if your kid is bright enough to get a residual place you've got both options. You can probably do this from parts of cumbria too- I think round kendal theres a choice of good genuine comps.

BackforGood Wed 03-Oct-12 23:50:09

In Birmingham, it's not a "grammar school area", so the top 10, 15, or even 25% academically don't go into grammars, but there are (I think it's 7) grammar school that still exist. However, as B'ham is such an enormous authority, this only means the 1-2% most highly tutored pupils don't go into the "comprehensive system", still allowing room for some comprehensives to be very good. There are no fixed catchment areas here though, once you've fone LACs, Statements, (sometimes faith) and siblings, it's on door to door distance, so getting a place from one road one year, doesn't guarentee a place the next year.

sashh Thu 04-Oct-12 08:31:44

I am a strong believer in the 'fact' that if there's a grammar, the other local secondaries cannot, by definition, be comprehensive.

Not always, Wolverhampton has a girls grammar but not a boys. And many gorls who pass the entrance exam chose not to go there.

Many moons ago when I was at school in Lancashire the RC schools were comprehensive, the other schools were grammer/high school,, although selection was at 13 not 11.

LittenTree Thu 04-Oct-12 08:44:39

But surely that only means that the boys schools are comps but not necessarily the girls? It doesn't alter the fact that if you cream off the top academic layer, the remainder do not represent a truly 'comprehensive' intake.

I fully understand why this isn't a popular idea- the term Secondary Modern comes loaded with negative assumption, after all, doesn't it? (and I always thinK true 'Bring Back the Grammars!' supporters should be obligated to spend between 70 to 95% of their protesting time crying 'Bring Back Secondary Moderns!' to reflect the number of DCs whose futures were potentially blighted by failure at 11... but that's a different post!)

Farewelltoarms Thu 04-Oct-12 11:14:15

Yes litten and all the Londoners who tell me they're moving to Kent 'for the grammars' should likewise make sure that three out of every four times they replace that with 'for the secondary moderns'.

tiggytape Thu 04-Oct-12 11:35:28

But Litten - if the grammars only take the top 1% to 8% of local children then obviously, the other local schools will be comps because the vast majority of top group children will not be at the grammar school.

In London the grammars take a tiny fraction of local children so the other schools nearby are true comps (a level 5b minimum is required to get into their top sets for example and many children attending them start with a mix of levels 5's and 6's across every subject attend and finish by getting places at Oxbridge)

There are comps right on the doorstep of the grammars where well over 75% of all pupils get 5A*-C grades (including English and Maths) which is higher than some comps in areas where no grammars exist at all.

LittenTree Thu 04-Oct-12 15:32:20

Tiggy- the clue is in the term 'super selective'. In some places in Kent, the grammars take 30+% of the DC; in some of the London grammars, they take 1%, as you agree. I believe some NI GS take 50% of the DC!

The point I made is that if the 'local GS' is 'just' an ordinary GS, they will have creamed off all of the local 'A' stream in its entirety.

And, tbf, 75% of all DC getting '5 passes at GCSE inc Maths and English' isn't really such an achievement, is it? That 'measure' merely says 'solid achievement' to me, not bloody amazing- 13 A*s says that to me! The 5 (only) GCSE DC wouldn't have gotten into a GS 30 years ago, let alone now!

Ingles2 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:37:23

if you move to near Tenterden in Kent, you can be in the catchment for a super selective, a selective and an excellent comp...
And it is a comp, it has a grammar stream as only a small % of children in the immediate area choose a selective.

happygardening Thu 04-Oct-12 17:11:33

Agree with •Justgettingby• North Wilts I understand it has high performing comps but you can also apply for entry into the grammar schools in Glocestershire including Pates at Cheltenham one of the countries top performing grammar schools.

tiggytape Thu 04-Oct-12 17:57:36

LittenTree - I think you misunderstood: the 5 passes A*-C is the minimum each of those 75% achieve.
It means 75% got a minimum of 5 very good GCSEs in key subjects and that statistic includes the ones who do get 13A* grades and go onto Oxbridge as well as the ones who get 10 GCSEs at A - C grade.

This is considered a high achievement by any school's standards.
The average comp gets about 50 - 60% of 5 A*-C inc maths and English and the best grammar gets 99% or 100% 5A*-C but that doesn't mean none of those children got more than 5 GCSEs! 5 is just the benchmark they use to ensure like for like comparisons.

ItsRainingOutside Wed 10-Oct-12 00:50:31

South Somerset, with easy access to Colyton Grammar in Devon. Lots of good comps, academies within half an hour travelling time. Try Huish Academy in Langport or Castle School in Taunton.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 10-Oct-12 08:49:29

Do children honestly commute to grammars in Gloucestershire from Wilts? That's nuts. confused

I probably live closer, yet can't think of a single child that does this.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 10-Oct-12 08:52:47

Actually I don't live closer than Malmesbury. Still seems off though.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 10-Oct-12 08:59:13

I'm in Essex. We have grammars here ( which I fundamentally disagree with but that's another thread) and my dd goes to one of two ofsted outstanding secondaries in our small town

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 10-Oct-12 09:20:50

Odd not off. Blinking auto correct.

I'm with other posters here; I'd avoid grammar areas altogether. As a parent whose child moved up 5 sublevels in Y6, the idea of my child's secondary school career being decided by a test at the start of Y6 seems ridiculous to me.

JustGettingByMum Wed 10-Oct-12 11:41:03

Jenai A fair few travel to Stroud Grammar schools from Malmesbury. I think there is a bus for them.

But I agree, not sure why anyone would look at a Grammar school, when you have a good comp on your door step.

Farewelltoarms Wed 10-Oct-12 11:53:31

Jenai - wow 5 sub levels, why do you think that was?
Mind you, my ds did something not dissimilar in y2 and I was v glad I'd long abandoned vague plan to do 7+ as he'd have done v badly one month and v well the next.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 10-Oct-12 14:44:57

He had a little bit of tutoring Farewell, but in all honesty I'm not actually sure it was that which helped (it was one of the well known companies - not Kumon).

I was pretty gobsmacked, I must say. In a good way, obviously grin

I'm not sure if his SATs score is artificially inflated now or not; his secondary don't set until Y8 so they're not reliant on Y6 levels. Time will tell, I guess.

figroll Wed 10-Oct-12 16:25:35

Birmingham? There are some excellent grammars there but also good comprehensives. The Birmingham music service is also pretty fab with a plethora of orchs, ensembles and wind bands.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 10-Oct-12 20:05:43

If you move to a grammar area be DARNED certain that the alternatives are good - just in case.

notyummy Wed 10-Oct-12 20:08:02


TalkinPeace2 Wed 10-Oct-12 20:12:50

Where are the comps in Lincolnshire?
It has a completely tripartite system.
DH has worked in some of the Grammars and some of the SecMods there - there is no top set in the non grammars.

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