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Grammar offers 10 places to those triggering "pupil premium"

(176 Posts)
legallady Fri 20-Dec-13 10:36:05

Forgive me if this is a regular occurrence at other grammars but for those on the recent grammar thread, I thought it was interesting that Nonsuch High ( highly selective grammar in S W London) has reserved it's first 10 places for girls who have triggered the pupil premium at their primary school at any time in the last six years.

I know it's only ten out of 180 but at least they have thought about it. It may well be that they're just after the additional money but I like to think that their motives are a little more altruistic than that!

lainiekazan Fri 20-Dec-13 12:26:19

Annoys me, frankly.

It's always those just above any cut off who suffer.

lougle Fri 20-Dec-13 12:28:24

You're begrudging a priority for 5% of the places to go to children who are/have been disadvantaged lainikazan? That's hardly letting anyone else 'suffer', is it??

lottysmum Fri 20-Dec-13 13:46:19

This is a government initiative....and is happening with all Grammar Schools now ...special legislation was approved recently.

Finally - the Grammar schools will begin to make moves to serve the purpose they were intended too ...I understand that this will increase every year ....

I do feel sorry for those just above the Pupil Premium line ...but at least its the first step to cutting down the number of pupils who are tutored or sent to prep school in order for them to get into Grammar School when they can clearly afford private education... although in stating this I would like to see private education fees reduced by the cost of the state education cost - so everyone has a fair playing ground ....seems silly that the families paying the most tax dont get some monies towards their children's education...

ShoeWhore Fri 20-Dec-13 13:48:39

Lottysmum private schools have charitable status though - this must keep fees considerably lower than they would otherwise be?

lottysmum Fri 20-Dec-13 13:56:36

I believe the charitable status is only in place if they offer so many scholarships or bursary's.....

The HT of one of the Independent Schools in out town was certainly making allot of noise about reducing fees to take into account the cost of state education a few years ago (that's if the Government would agree to adopt this policy and pay over a fee per child)

ErrolTheDragon Fri 20-Dec-13 14:14:33

It's sort of good but a sticking plaster. Its still unfair on a kid whose parents have money but don't for whatever reason familiarise them with the 11+. Time was this was the job of primary schools...

tiggytape Fri 20-Dec-13 14:15:24

seems silly that the families paying the most tax dont get some monies towards their children's education

I think that's a whole other debate really.
This move is designed to help disadvantaged children who are hugely underrepresented at grammar schools. Even grammar schools located in mixed areas (economically speaking) do not reflect their local populations or the population as a whole in terms of how many poorer students they take. People put forward lots of reasons why this may be the case - the whole tutoring issue costing so much money for example - but the numbers speak for themselves and the schools have been getting less inclusive year by year as the competition for places increases.

This seeks to remedy that basic fact. The pupil premium may be a pretty crude way to measure these things but it is all the schools are allowed to go on and I think this is a positive step.

prh47bridge Fri 20-Dec-13 15:08:19

This is a government initiative....and is happening with all Grammar Schools now ...special legislation was approved recently

News to me. As far as I am aware the only provision is that Free Schools and Academies can give priority to FSM children provided their funding agreement allows this (Nonsuch is an Academy). Other schools may not give priority to FSM children (or, indeed, any other children based on their parents occupational, marital, financial or educational status). Admissions Code 1.9(f) and footnote 22.

scaevola Fri 20-Dec-13 15:28:15

"this must keep fees considerably lower than they would otherwise be?"

THe value of charitable status (for those schools which are charities) is estimated at about £200 per pupil per year. The fees themselves are VAT exempt (same exemption as university tuition fees - and this is an EU classification).

The variation between fees at different schools is often much greater than that £200.

Pupil premium covers FSM, ex-LAC and Forces children, doesn't it? And am I right in thinking that a grammar can set a minimum standard which mus be achieved in entrance exams and can leave places empty rather than be forced to take a prospective pupil at does not meet that mark (OK that probably doesn't happen in practice, given level of applications, but it does mean that all admitted children make the grade)..

ProphetOfDoom Fri 20-Dec-13 15:42:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Fri 20-Dec-13 15:54:54

Pupil premium covers children registered for FSM, children who were eligible for FSM at some time in the last 6 years and children who have been looked after for 6 months or longer.

Yes, a grammar school can set a pass mark and leave places empty if there are not enough applicants reaching that standard. Some grammar schools don't set a formal pass mark, simply taking those pupils scoring highest on the entrance exam. In that case they cannot leave places empty.

A lot of grammar schools are changing their admission policies this year

They can only prioritise pupils eligible for the pupil premium if they have converted to academy status. If they have not converted they would be in breach of the Admissions Code.

straggle Fri 20-Dec-13 16:12:41

It is a first step that they are doing this voluntarily but I would like to see them required by law to take a proportion of FSM children equal to the number who were previously educated in the private sector for at least two years.

About 13% of grammar school pupils come from schools in the private sector so that would be a fair proportion. In some superselectives it is more than a third. It would be fair to apply this to all schools - although there is a much lower percentage transferring from prep schools to comprehensives even in the leafiest comps, and they are generally at a lower ability level. It is also a more targeted approach than a system of lotteries proposed by the Sutton Trust, which most parents seem to dislike because of the uncertainty.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 20-Dec-13 16:14:53

Isn't that a breech of admission code?

straggle Fri 20-Dec-13 16:37:20

What, my suggestion? The Admissions Code was changed in 2012 and it could be changed again. In fact Labour has proposed a change to enable fairer admissions if it gains a majority in the next election:

'That is why I would bring forward changes to the Schools Admissions Code to allow all schools to prioritise disadvantaged children who are eligible for the Pupil Premium, a provision that currently exists only for academies.'

curlew Fri 20-Dec-13 16:44:27

How on earth can they do that?

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 20-Dec-13 16:46:15

How would it work though I mean of it's "triggered PP in past six years" then a lot an change in that time. They may no longer be in need of priority and have bought a house in catchment for the school. If a place went to that kid then that's one less space for someone who's just gone onto FSM and is currently more disadvantaged?

straggle Fri 20-Dec-13 17:02:32

Both would be on pupil premium though. Why wouldn't the one newly on FSM get it?

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 20-Dec-13 17:05:33

The original post said that it was triggered at any point in the past six years. Didn't say that they had to still be on it or why go so far back? If it was only current that needed it?

I'm just wondering how they would check as things can change in time and depending on cut off points they may be off it shortly after or on it shortly after.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 20-Dec-13 17:08:15

And how woul you work out which 10?

straggle Fri 20-Dec-13 17:09:46

How can they do that? The government has made changes to primary legislation on equalities, special needs, exclusions etc. that can override funding agreements with academies - a lawyer explains it here around p.106. So they could make such a provision compulsory and possibly set a minimum, although I doubt they would frame it as 'the proportion of pupil premium pupils to be prioritised to the exact proportion of private school pupils'.

lougle Fri 20-Dec-13 17:11:33

The whole point of 'Ever 6 funding' is covered here:

"Children who have been eligible for FSM at any point in the past generally have poorer academic results than those who have never been eligible for FSM. These pupils therefore should benefit from the additional support the Pupil Premium funding will be able to provide.

We also know there is under-reporting of FSM. We will in future, through the Ever FSM measure include some pupils who are currently eligible for FSM but are not registered.

Why extend coverage to six years?

There is a particular issue with the under-reporting of secondary school pupils. Extending eligibility to those eligible for FSM in the past six years means that a child previously registered in the last year of primary education will remain eligible for the Premium up to Year 11."

The general point is that the funding will not only benefit children who have previously suffered disadvantage, but will mop up some of the under reporting of children who are currently eligible but don't actually declare that they are.

lougle Fri 20-Dec-13 17:14:35

straggle this particular Academy intends to do it as follows:

"4.1. For entry to year 7, all girls must sit and pass all parts of the two stage test. The first stage is the Selective Eligibility Test and the second stage is the Nonsuch Entrance Examination.

4.2. The Selective Eligibility Test comprises two multiple choice tests: a numeracy test and a literacy test.

4.3. Those girls who pass the Selective Eligibility Test will be invited back to sit the Nonsuch Second Stage Entrance Examination which comprises two tests: one in English and one in Mathematics.

4.4. Girls must pass both tests in section 4.2 and section 4.3 to be deemed of selective ability and to be eligible for a place at the School.


5.2.2 Up to 10 places linked to the Pupil Premium. This will be on the basis of score in the entrance tests in order of highest score to children whose permanent place of residence on 31 October 2014 (the deadline for submission of the Common Application Form) is 5.25 km or less from the front door of Nonsuch measured in a straight line who have triggered the pupil premium for their current school at any time in the six years prior to 31 October 2014. Documentary evidence to support such an application may be required. Where a child regularly lives with one parent for part of a week and with the other parent for the rest of the week, the permanent address will be the address at which the child lives for the greater part of the school week, i.e. Monday to Friday. If the child lives equally with both parents at different addresses, the child’s home address will be taken to be the address of the main parent/carer eligible to receive Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit, if applicable. Documentary evidence may be required."

tiggytape Fri 20-Dec-13 17:16:13

Isn't that a breech of admission code?

No not at all. This is completely allowed. There have been a few changes to the Code that are just coming in to effect (where schools choose to adopt them - they are free not to) eg children of teachers can now be given priority as can siblings of former pupils if the school wishes. The Pupil Premium addition is open to Free Schools and Acadmies at the moment to adopt if they want to.

The school is not allowed to means test parents with wage slips and benefit details or anything like that. All that it is allowed if for them to look at PP which is a very crude indicator but better than nothing. Nobody qualifies for PP without being in need of it in some way (although I agree some don't qualify who are equally in need).

If there are more than 10 girls qualifying under the PP criteria and who pass the 11+ test then there will be a tie breaker. This may be the 10 girls with the highest score (at Nonsuch there is a pass mark but normally girls have to far exceed it to actually get an offer) or it may be distance. The admissions booklet will have to tell parents what the tie breaker will be as it does for all other categories of applicants.

JohnnyBarthes Fri 20-Dec-13 17:17:18

I predict thread after thread from sharp-elbowed parents trying to establish how to qualify for free school meals (temporarily, natch).

You could join the forces as well of course, although that seems a little extreme grin

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