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'References' from primary school? X posted

(8 Posts)
Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 12:54:26

I see that some independent secondary schools ask for 'references' from previous schools.

If these are luke-warm or negative can these prevent a child gaining a place even if they pass the entrance exam?

If a teacher described a child as a 'loner' or 'anti social' could this mean they would be rejected? Has this been true in the past?

Can you ask to see these 'references' and question them before they are sent to prospective secondaries?

Are they written only by the class teacher?


gorionine Wed 28-Oct-09 12:59:45

Sorry I am just lurking as I have asked myself the same questions.

I seem to remember that in our school they have a file with some of the dcs best work and comments from the teacher. I think they add every year the comment from latest teacher to the previous ones. If that is the case, it would be several teachers imput rather than just year 6 teacher. I will have to ask the school after the break to know a bit more how things work.

Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 13:08:15

Be interested to hear what you think etc.

I know in my own case my parents were called in during my first year at secondary school. My form teacher said she had to check 3 times to see if there was a mix up. Could there be two pupils with the same name? The child she read about simply didn't describe me, the 'report' was shockingly negative and, in her opinion, didn't describe me at all.

My form teacher also told my parents this was strictly off the record and she would deny the conversation had taken place if challenged??

I failed to get a place the schools I'd sat exams for. Always assumed I'd failed the exams. My head master, at primary, was very against me sitting exams for independent schools. I've often wondered if I did actually pass an entrance exam?

I doubt this could happen today? Surely there must be transparency and parents have every right to see a child's 'reference'.

gorionine Wed 28-Oct-09 13:29:17

I am very new to this as I grew up abroad and am learning how the school system work as go along with DD! (now year 6). I hope i will do less stupid mistakes with her siblings as I am now not just trusting what the school is telling me without challenging anything.

DD1 recently sat 2 grammar school exams (they are state school as the borough next to ours has kept the grammar school system). She passed one but not the other. We had to write that school as our first choice of secondary school but she might not get a place as we are not at all in the catchement.

I do not know how it was when you sat your exams, but here, we (parents) got the result trough the post. The school was not evemn aware that DD has sat an entrance exam (I did not tell them as I wanted DD to have no pressure at all before and no "have you passed" every five minutes once done.)

How come your parents were not told the result? Was the process (registration fot it) done through your primary school rather than your parents?

Why was your HT against you sitting an exam to an independant school? Accadenic reasons or just the idea of independent school?

Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 13:59:28

First off it was a long time ago!

As crazy as it may sound I've often wondered if there is a way now of knowing what my 'score' was and if I actually 'passed' the exam but was rejected because of references?

Would the schools keep a record?

From what I remember my parents got a letter to say that the school regretfully was unable to offer me a place. That sort of thing (for 4 or 5 private schools - didn't do a lot for my self esteem at the time).

My head teacher was a socialist, objected to private schools, and was generally a bit odd. This might have made no odds to my reference though.

I did have a tough time at primary school, I was bullied and this was always seen as being my own fault. I was reasonably bright but not sure if I was bright enough to pass the exams.

The primary school had to know because the secondaries I was applying to wanted references.

How were the letters your DC received from the grammars worded? Did they give you a pass rate etc? Good luck with the appeal etc. Well done to your DC .

gorionine Wed 28-Oct-09 14:18:29

They were saying something like:

<< We are pleased to inform you that your DC has successfully passed the exam for XYZ school. The score needed was 334 points and your Dc got 399. points.
then it says the amount of points per paper like

Verbal reasonning 134
Math 231
Non verbal reasonning 101

(All ficticious numbers and they do not even add up correctlyblush)

You will now have to fill your concil application form for secondary school. Succesfull resuts do not garanty a place for your child in XYZ school....blah blah blah>>

The one she failed also said: << 350 girls were successfull in the test, the mumber of places available at our school is 174 and will be allocated according to the usual local autority rules>> ( I think by that they mean catchment/siblings in the school).

Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 14:23:37

Thanks. Do independent schools not reveal your 'score'?

I know my letters made no mention of my performance in the exam just that they regretted no place could be found. No breakdown in results although I took several papers at each school.

gorionine Wed 28-Oct-09 14:34:03

I do not know how it works for independent school. Maybe you could ask them? Even if they have not got records that they can show you, they might be able to tell you how it worked at the time?

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