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Y6 Destinations - non selective schools not included

(28 Posts)
MmeMorrible Mon 10-Mar-14 10:32:35

Help me work out why this is bothering me so much. DDs school has for the first time decided to put posters up all over the school listing secondary schools and the number of places and scholarships that the current Y6 have been offered.

But the list doesn't include any of the 'non-selective' schools so the state boarding comprehensive school my DD is going to isn't listed, nor the local free school and two other comprehensives that children in her year group will be going to. In short about 1/3 of the year groups choices are not on the list.

Said list includes all the places offers, not just those accepted so actually 3 of those places and 1 of the scholarships are DDs but we have politely turned them down, yet our actually choice is not fit to be listed?

I can't quite out my finger on what's making me feel that this is all wrong. Am I being precious?

redskyatnight Mon 10-Mar-14 10:38:46

Is it a Y6 desintations list, or is it a �look at the offers our Y6 pupils got � list?

If it�s the latter , then it seems like they are presenting exactly what it says on the tin.
I presume this is a school where many parents will be looking to see what offers children at the school typically get?

I guess the only slightly dodgy bit is where a single child gets multiple offers and these are all listed � gives the impression that all children are getting offers at selective schools whereas it might be the same few children multiple times.

Pooka Mon 10-Mar-14 10:40:15

I take it this is an independent school?

I have a friend who was hassled like crazy by her dc's indie school to have her grammar test remarked because she was just off being in top 180 (so would have had choice of grammars in neighbouring area).

Friend declined, because actually, their nearest comprehensive gets comparable results and is local and friendly.

The head teacher was NOT impressed, and when they published leaver destinations at the end on year 6, strangely the local comp wasn't listed as one of them, unlike the grammars/independent secondary destinations.

It left a really bad taste in my friend's mouth - because she and her dd were happy with the decision they had made and the school were unsupportive, obviously purely for PR reasons.

It didn't help that a lot of the girls in year 6 were saying stuff about the "rubbish" comp.

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 10-Mar-14 11:53:29

We'll if it's a selective school then their main marketing tool is the results that they get and the results are measured by how many offers for selective schools their pupils achieve.
Offers for non selective schools are no use from a marketing point of view, anybody can get one of those if they live in the correct catchment.

CecilyP Mon 10-Mar-14 12:26:30

I agree with you and don't think you are being precious. Seems the list is a marketing tool rather than general interest or to wish children the best of luck in the next stage of their education. This isn't about your child any more; they are trying to show themselves in the best light for the next group of potential customers.

TheBeautifulVisit Mon 10-Mar-14 13:19:08

At some prep schools they list all the independent destination schools individually, both selective and non selective, and they list all the state schools under the heading 'maintained schools'. Like one big heap of steaming shit. [shit]

Oh and it's totally common for them to say we won 3 academic scholarships, 3 music scholarships but fail to tell you the 3 academic scholarships were won by just one boy, and one boy won three music scholarships.

It's really very cynical and horrible.

OP - can you please name the school.

tiggytape Mon 10-Mar-14 13:55:13

As others have said, it is a marketing ploy. I expect they have an open day planned. Parents coming to look around are swayed by seeing that lots of scholarships have been awarded to the current Year 6. Of course they won't know that most of these awards go to just a few children. they will assume the school is so good that it gets lots of children into good secondary schools with awards and could therefore do the same for their children.

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 10-Mar-14 16:58:55

Thebeautifulvisit - what would be the point in the OP naming the prep school for doing something that the vast majority of prep schools do? Listing maintained schools under one heading isn't likening them to one pig pile of shit at all it's simply that the point of a preparatory school is to prepare children for a selective senior education. The school is naturally going to want to show off which selective schools it's pupils have secured places at as that's how the success of the school is viewed by prospective parents.
If a prep school doesn't get any pupils into selective senior schools then it really isn't fulfilling its purpose of bing a prep school.

TheBeautifulVisit Mon 10-Mar-14 17:14:01

Impatiens - don't be ridiculous. If they name senior schools that aren't academically selective, I would have thought naming state schools individually was the decent way forward too.

If private schools were totally transparent I suspect their numbers would decline considerably.

My son was offered a place at two selective boys' independents at 13. He had no tutoring. He went directly from his state comp (and before that he was at a state primary). There's a lot of spin about prep schools being essential for entry to senior schools, and a lot of spin about the level of difficulty getting into senior schools. Academically selective schools aren't very difficult to gain entry to, provided you have £16K per annum per child slooshing around in your bank account. grin

It would be a good idea to name schools that indulge in underhand sales tactics, as described by the OP.

LIZS Mon 10-Mar-14 17:20:17

Is there an open day coming up ? hmm dc prep only publishes awards and like yours some children apply for multiple schools and get several .

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 10-Mar-14 17:20:48

The parents of children at prep schools (or those considering prep schools) are not generally interested in knowing how many got a place at a maintained school. Do you not understand that parents have a choice over which independent school they choose but have little or no choice over which maintained school they choose, so what exactly is the point in listing maintained schools individually?

MmeMorrible Mon 10-Mar-14 17:34:26

Thanks all. Yes it's a small independent prep school in a rural area but it part of a much bigger group of independent schools. I can't name the school as this will out me (and DD) straight away.

This is one of a few things that are bothering me about the school. I think it's changed a lot since DD started here in nursery. At that time it was owned by the Head but she sold the school to a group company when DD was in Y3 and retired a year later.

TBH it's not just the list it's the also the reaction of the head when DD excitedly told her she had a place at the non-selective school. The attitude seems to be that any indie school would be better than a state school. Given that the excellent local grammar schools and also the school that DD is going to out perform all the local indie this is patently not true.

I also have a DS who is lower down the school although I'm wondering about whether he will stay through to Y6 if things keep changing.

TheBeautifulVisit Mon 10-Mar-14 17:36:07

Impatiens - How do you know they have no interest? Some maintained schools are much better than their fee-paying neighbours you know. I think this terrifies a lot of independent schools.

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 10-Mar-14 18:31:43

Even if they have an interest (which most likely won't), they still are not likely to have any choice. Most people only have the option of one maintained school - the catchment one. There's no point in advertising that 5 children got into their catchment schools, it's just postcode admission.

TheBeautifulVisit Mon 10-Mar-14 18:40:04

impatiens - well people might decide to bear that info in mind if they move house during their kids' tenure at the ghastly prep. And in any case, even if there is no house move planned, not all maintained schools' admissions policies are based entirely on being nearest to the applicant's home. Some are single sex, some are academically selective, some admit on grounds of faith, some admit for musical ability, some are state boarding schools etc.

A prep school has a moral duty to provide a complete picture of the outcomes of pupils who were educated at the school. Instead they put a lot of effort into occluding the outcomes. And lots of the scholarship children were admitted at 11 from state schools. They should tell you that too, but they never do.

MmeMorrible Mon 10-Mar-14 18:44:31

Actually there are a wide variety of state schools in our area as we are close to the border with a neighbouring county. Our choice for DD is not our catchment school. We had to complete a SIF form and DD had to attend an interview. It's a vastly oversubscribed school, almost 1,000 applications for 120 places so my no means a given that she would get a place. Add to that the 4 local grammars, the free school and another 4 grammars further south in our county and there are a lot of state options that are not just based on postcode.

I think my main issue is that the posters are not just going to be read by prospective parents looking around - all the kids will read them too. What does it say to those kids whose next schools are not on the list?

mulv2222 Mon 10-Mar-14 18:56:34

I'm surprised at that Mme, I can only agree with others that is about the marketing of such school, especially if numbers are poor and they have lots of local competition. Many smaller preps are struggling so need to use everything they have. How far will dd travel out of interest?

MmeMorrible Mon 10-Mar-14 19:06:39

DDs place is for weekly boarding at a state boarding school which is about 30 mins from home. Boarding is totally her idea, not ours but we are supporting her & it's a great school.

breatheslowly Mon 10-Mar-14 20:02:46

I think it is important to know that children from a prep school do move onto non-selective (and selective) state schools. Even when the intention is to move your child onto an independent school, family circumstances change and knowing that pupils have the skills to integrate into state schools is important. I don't mean that there is a prescriptive list of skills that are needed for state secondary rather than independent secondary, but elements of resilience, organisational skills, coping with bigger classes, mixing with a different range of people are all strengths that might be important.

I didn't realise that a school might list multiple scholarships earnt by one pupil. That is quite useful to know.

I also agree that the list gives an unpleasant message to pupils whose destination isn't listed.

MmeMorrible Mon 10-Mar-14 20:09:02

If you add up all the offered places on the current list there are 48. There are only 37 children in the whole of Y6. I didn't count up the scholarships but I know that several children have been offered more than 1.

Ladymuck Mon 10-Mar-14 20:24:08

Our local state boarding schools always comes to the prep school "senior school presentations" for year 4 and 5 parents to promote themselves as a "value for money" competitor to some of the local day/boarding schools.

MmeMorrible, you are of course entitled to upset that your preferred option has been ignored. I'd drop an email on the lines of "I noted the recent destination list and spotted that you missed out [name of state school]. We are of course delighted that DD got a place at this, our preferred school, and we chose it over St As, St Bs and St Cs because [insert reason here]. There may of course be other parents who would value knowing about the school as an option for similar reasons."

It is a tricky balance with destination tables to be able to give sufficient information about destinations and options without disclosing too much information about each child. But yes, they are certainly a marketing "tool" for prep schools.

TheBeautifulVisit Mon 10-Mar-14 23:55:55

Yes it's a shame for children who are going to the maintained sector (or their brother or sister has gone there and theby may join them later) to see the list and feel totally ignored by their school. It's very bad manners quite apart from anything else.

fluffycushions Tue 11-Mar-14 02:02:41

It is rather pathetic of the school to act as if the state schools don't count. But worse, it is insulting to the children who are under their care. I think it is worth a letter, to the Governors as well if response not good enough, as this action does not promote inclusivity.

Also, there are parents - like myself - who actually search for state schools in final destination lists and are attracted to a school that has students who choose this option. It suggests a mixed, non-snooty intake.

DalmationDots Tue 11-Mar-14 10:17:26

There was outcry at my DDs school a few years ago when a girl who had got a place at a prestigious dance school was not put on the full leavers list because the school didn't think it was academic or worthy.
A blank was left next to her name making it look like she hadn't had any university offers.
It was really awful and if I was a prospective parent looking around I'd much rather honesty and to see that the school celebrated all results.
I'd write a polite but clear letter explaining how let down you feel that they are unable to see that a decision to not include one girls' school choice could damage her self-esteem significantly and leave her feeling very bitter about her time at the school.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 11-Mar-14 10:49:16

Yes it's a shame for children who are going to the maintained sector (or their brother or sister has gone there and theby may join them later) to see the list and feel totally ignored by their school. It's very bad manners quite apart from anything else.

I wouldn't imagine that the school puts names next to the children and which school they have chosen / been offered. From what I have seen most schools publish the leavers destinations as:
15 children to x grammar school
14 children to y grammar school
12 children to a independent school
8 children to state maintained schools
4 children to other independent schools (usually those that are far away and not usual destinations for children from that school),

Some also state that between the 40 children 110 selective school exams were sat and 105 offers of a place were made.
I don't really see how that ignores the children who have chosen maintained schools. It's just giving parents an idea of where the majority of children choose to go and how successful the school is at helping children get to those schools. The prep school isn't influential on state school admissions.

And as the OP is talking about a state boarding school then it is very different from a normal state school because most families could not afford the boarding fees for a state boarding school. I have looked into state boarding schools and the boarding fees are £9500 per year which is a damn sight more than most of the prep schools in my area (average £6500 per year) and is not so different than independent senior day school fees local to me (£10,000 pa). Only families who can afford independent schooling can afford state boarding fees.

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