11+Application Questions

(20 Posts)
FiddleOnTheRoof Tue 01-Oct-19 10:48:03

Quick questions. Have noticed on many applications that they asked for

1. Parents occupation
2. What other schools are you applying to

One application even asked what school any other siblings attend and whether you (parent) had attended the school.

Is there a valid reason for any of these types of questions? Do the admissions department use this info to accept or reject an application?

Would be really interested in knowing
Also, although I answered the above for fear of it affecting our application, does anyone know would not answering these questions harm your application?

OP’s posts: |
Usernamealreadyexists Tue 01-Oct-19 12:18:04

I think this will become increasingly irrelevant as independent seniors are selecting from states.

LIZS Tue 01-Oct-19 13:48:29

Siblings/family attending will be more related to placing in same house and whether a fee discount applies, likewise employment ( Forces, religious professional, staff etc).

juicyjuicymangoes Tue 01-Oct-19 14:06:40

Parents occupation was asked at our independent school as parents were sometimes asked to participate in careers events and offer work experience for kids. It wasn't often used but it was useful for the school to know.

NumberblockNo1 Tue 01-Oct-19 14:08:43

Bevause they are judging you on your profession - likelihood to contribute something to the school/type of persom they perceive you to be. The right sort...

NumberblockNo1 Tue 01-Oct-19 14:09:48

So a former student, now works in finance may build a different picture to other applications.

SheShriekedShrilly Tue 01-Oct-19 18:09:13

The GDST schools asked for any relative who had been to them - I had to phone my mum and ask her for the dates, wondering all the while why on earth they cared about someone who was a child in the 1950s! It had just occurred to me that maybe they think you are more likely to take up their offer if this is the third or fourth generation going to a GDST school? Which might help in terms of numbers of offers to make.

FiddleOnTheRoof Tue 01-Oct-19 19:01:09

A few reasonable answers, but none so far that justify these questions!

What school a sibling attends?... please can someone address this question...
And while they might want to know who they are competing against, in terms of other schools, it really isn't any of their business... again... I am happy for someone to point out a valid reason to place parents in a position where they might want to lie lol or just leave blank

OP’s posts: |
underprepared Tue 01-Oct-19 19:08:32

Asking for the other schools where you applying helps the school know the real likelihood of you accepting a place if offered. If the school is middling in academic terms, a top performing pupil in the exam who is applying to other more highly academic schools is unlikely to accept the place. This is then factored into the school's thinking when deciding number of offers to places.

LarkDescending Tue 01-Oct-19 19:23:19

What school a sibling attends:
- how likely are you to accept an offer from us?

So if a girl applying to St Martha’s has 3 older sisters at St Winifred’s, St Martha’s might think there is a reasonable chance they are a backup option for DD4

This shouldn’t affect whether DD4 gets an offer, but may be a factor in the school’s judgment as to how many places to over-offer this year.

SheShriekedShrilly Tue 01-Oct-19 19:46:08

Thinking about it some more, I’m fairly sure that our list of other schools (plus a good exam performance) was why dd was offered a scholarship from what was clearly the least academic school on her list. Presumably they thought she would do well in the other exams but that we might persuade her choose their school if given a sufficient financial incentive.

And I think the sibling thing is also about judging how likely you are to accept their offer. Offers (and over offering) is very much a dark art, and it is a problem for schools if they end up with too many acceptances or if they under offer and have to go deep into their waiting list.

FiddleOnTheRoof Wed 02-Oct-19 10:01:53

Still not completely sold by any answers given am afraid. So it seems we all just need to conform until they reform this system.

I get that certain occupations may be relevant as mentioned by Liz but it would be just as easy to replace the general occupation question with a target specific question related to Forces, religious professional, staff etc

I also understand the sibling/parent previously having attended may be useful for allocating houses, but again this can be asked at the point of an offer letter requiring more info with any acceptance of a place.

In the case of not wanting to send too many offer letters out, asking what other schools you have applied for is not precise at all and is unlikely to give much insight, especially where all other schools are similarly competitive.

Really wish they would remove these types of questioning. Their unnecessary to the initial application!

OP’s posts: |
ForeverbyJudyBlume Wed 02-Oct-19 14:29:58

LarkDescending is right, not sure why you won't accept that explanation. It's all about helping with their algorithms, of course it's not 100% precise but they will have a good idea from previous years' data, which percentage of dc who applied to x in the end went for y and so on. Occupation - I haven't the foggiest, my dcs' school didn't ask that

Huffthemagicdragon Wed 02-Oct-19 16:24:21

I agree re. occupation, that's irrelevant and a bit intrusive to ask.

But the bit about the siblings is really important in making the right number of offers. The head at one of my kid's school said that making the correct number of offers (i.e. over-offering to end up with the correct number of acceptances) isn't rocket science. If a child lives next door to a sought-after school and has a sibling there, then they make a calculation that they'll accept the place there if offered. The school will still make an offer if they want them but will put them on the 'probably won't accept' pile.

This head said that a good admissions person can make these calculations v accurately. Sure enough this school made exactly the right number of offers to get the number of acceptances they wanted, then one girl dropped out as she'd got a waiting list offer from another school and they ended up taking just one girl from their waiting list.

The alternative is so-called exploding offers so it's a small price to pay.

WombatChocolate Sat 05-Oct-19 10:16:06

It isn’t about making snob value judgements but all about making offers and future marketing.

Answers to those questions show the profile of families who apply and those who receive offers and those who accept offers. It tells the school about typical occupation, where people live, other schools their kids go to at various ages. All of this helps the school with future marketing - magazines read by people with certain occupational profiles, websites, banners etc. It helps them decide which primary schools it’s worth having an outreach programme with and which it’s not worth it with, and which Preps to target and attend their senior school events. It helps them decide where their current parents are and where to try to expand the net to and to indeserstand what some of the barriers might be for some potential customers. Because these families are potential customers and the bigger the pool of applicants you can draw, the higher the standard of the children you can offer to and take.

Honestly schools aren’t deciding who to offer to based on if they are the ‘right type’ - this is quite different to acknowledging from the data that every school does have some broad types of family who apply, and wanting to understand that for marketing.

As has already been said, the info also guides schools when making offers and even deciding who to offer scholarships to. They face the tricky task of over offering to the right level, so that when some reject the offer and choose another school, they still fill, but don’t exceed capacity.

Knowing where someone lives isn’t to tell you just they have a big house (or not) but if they are close enough to be likely to accept an offer, or if there’s a very similar or better school much nearer.....and in all likelihood they will accept an offer from there. So they might give ‘likelihood of accepting an offer’ scores to applicants when making offers to try to get the numbers right. Equally, lots of older siblings at another independent is a good indication the child will go there rather than to the school in question. If they haven’t applied anywhere else they are more likely to accept an offer.

So don’t feel personally judged by those questions. People aren’t thinking you’re ‘good enough’ or not, but looking for patterns of who applied and trying to work out how serious you are about committing to 7 years of big fees!

FiddleOnTheRoof Sat 05-Oct-19 11:05:17

Hi Wombat, your points do make sense, but would you not agree that all children are different.
One sibling may well be at a different school as that suits them from a learning profile perspective, but that might not be right for the second child.
I would hate for my DC to not receive an offer as they have profiled my child as 'not likely' to attend. Have to say this is my personal dilemma.

One child is very academic and the other isn't. I am actually choosing different schools that best suit their individual learning profile. I appreciate the difficulty with over offering is a real problem, but would rather this be an anonymous questionnaire, which I think would be fairer.

OP’s posts: |
WombatChocolate Sat 05-Oct-19 11:55:15

I don't think being in the 'unlikely to accept' pile means they won't give an offer - simply that when they decide how many offers to make, they factor in how many of those they would like to accept the offer, are likely to do so. This simply means they need to make more offers to fill their places, because quite a lot of the 'unlikely to accept' people, will go elsewhere.

So it won't affect whether you get the offer, but their calculations about how many offers to make.

And yes, schools know that families sometimes send their children to different schools, but also that they often don't too. It is all part of their overall calculations about numbers of offers so they hit the magic number of being full without exceeding capacity come September.

So go ahead and apply to all the schools you are interested in. That's fine, but you can see how the fact that lots apply for 3,4,5 schools and can only accept and attend one, makes it difficult for schools to hit the magic number.

MarchingFrogs Mon 07-Oct-19 07:12:26

All these questions - bar the sibling school one, as giving priority to siblings is permitted - would be illegal on the SIF for a state school. State schools are only permitted to ask for contact information and information relevant to their admissions criteria and 'What Daddy does for a living' is specifically prohibited by the Admissions Code.

No such regulation in the private sector, as far as I am aware, either on the school asking, or using the information as a deciding factor when considering applications. People actually like indies for their freedom to apply a holistic approach to their selection system...

Have you asked the school(s) concerned what use they make of the information requested at the application stage,?

AnotherNewt Mon 07-Oct-19 07:23:20

They ask for other schools applied for, because the registrars all know each other and are trying to work out (roughly) how many actual DC there are behind the number of applications.

And it is about how many offers they make, not to whom they make them

YobaOljazUwaque Mon 07-Oct-19 17:49:32

When I was arranging my wedding, we had budget and capacity for 120 guests but I did something very like this and estimated likelihood of coming for various categories of people, and over-invited. We ended up with 118 acceptances which was fine - and much better than just inviting 120 at first and thereby telling 30 people they are second-trache friends by giving them the invite 3 weeks after everyone else.

This is the same principle. No one is going to be not invited on the grounds they might say no. The probability that any given individual might say no is used to help determine how many extra places to offer.

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