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Kent & Bexley Mums

(38 Posts)
starlady Sun 09-Oct-11 17:57:19

I am really curious how tax paying Kent and Bexley mums feel about out of borough children being tutored up to their eyeballs/ going to private crammers coming in and taking grammar places away from Kent and Bexley tax-payers?

qumquat Sun 09-Oct-11 18:12:15

People in other boroughs pay tax too. I'm not sure what your point is.

(I teach in Bexley comp, if I had my way I'd scrap all the grammar schools, so I guess you're pleased I'm not in charge!)

Lasvegas Mon 10-Oct-11 11:32:09

I have no experience of state schools but thought that you had to live in a certain radius of the school and if there was places left then people who lived further away got the places, so that the school was not half full. It is weird how you pay council tax to one borough but can use the school in another, is there cross funding between the boroughs?

troisgarcons Mon 10-Oct-11 13:48:52

Well only 18% of the children in our grammars are from Bexley Borough. Don't have an issue with it myself. My son didnt need tutoring to get to grammar but I can see why some parents would.

Eg if a child comes in from Greenwich or Bromley - then those LAs pay Bexley per head for educating the child. The same applies if a child from Bexley goes to Crown Woods or Beaverwood.

What would you do with the Harris Academy in Falconwood (Bexley) that has a 1.7mile catchment - which is 70% Greenwich?

Lasvegas Mon 10-Oct-11 15:08:00

thanks trois. As I understand it Harris schools are supported directly by central Govt/charity and not by LA. So if a Bromley child goes to a Bexley Harris school does Bromley LA pay the Harris school? is there a set amount per child across the UK? I suppose not as it must cost more to educate in westminster LA than newcastle for example, staff must cost more etc.

troisgarcons Mon 10-Oct-11 15:11:33

No, it fluctuates between boroughs.

I think the LA has a set amount it receives from the central government pot though. That is approx £2,700 per child Y7-Y11 and almost double that for 6th form. (I only 'think' Im not in school finance)

That however is not what boroughs pay each other.

Lasvegas Mon 10-Oct-11 17:44:52

trois very interesting £2,700 is massively less than fees charged at private schools and no way is the differnece just profit. Does anyone know if this £2,700 is to include over heads like insurance, capital expenditure etc.

OP if I lived in LA that had a grammer I would feel that my council tax should be spent initially on providing education to those kids who parents paid council tax to that LA.

Personally I refuse to tutor my child to try and get them into a grammer school. As its not just about getting it, if they cannot pass entrance exam confortably, ie without tutoring, then once they are there I don't think it will be good for self esteem to always strugggle and be the bottom of the class.

troisgarcons Mon 10-Oct-11 18:30:36

I have no idea - I can ask tomorrow. The whole funding thing is very complex. There are other bounties attached to some pupil such as ESL/Statement/traveller. Travellers get the biggest bounty. School 'like' having them on their books. It massively increases the CVA.

starlady Wed 12-Oct-11 13:31:20

Actually qumquat, I don’t think I made myself clear. I am against grammars too, and I don’t live in Kent or Bexley. My point is if people from Kent and Bexley want and have voted for grammars, that’s fine. But I’d LOVE Kent and Bexley parents to stop parents from other boroughs muscling in on the grammars.
So many children going outside of their London boroughs is having a knock-on effect on the surrounding areas. In Lewisham for example, it’s leaving a racially segregated schools population.
According to the last census publishes 2001 – around 30% of population are Afro-Carribean (OK, this has probably risen a bit in ten years – we’ll see when the next census is published, and I’m guessing there’s a higher concentration of younger people in this 30% ). But, even given this, the three schools I’ve been looking at in Lewisham are closer to 80%.Afro-Carribean.
My children are mixed race, and in my children’s primary school, we are ‘living the dream’ – 35% black, 45% white, rest of kids mix - Asian, Arabic, etc. Nearly all of them, who would otherwise be going to secondary school in Lewisham, have set the grammar test for Kent and Bexley. It’s pushy (usually, but not exclusively, white) parents behind the tutoring etc, hence the distortion of schools.
Have to say on the plus side a lot of these kids in Lewisham schools are doing well. But socially, I think it is a real shame.

troisgarcons Wed 12-Oct-11 15:20:30

I would disagree -the heavily Black West African Christians do an awful lot of tutoring. As do Asians. Look at Townley - its roughly 1/3rd each White/Black/Asian.

I think grammars should brought back across the country. They are the best social leveller. Comprehensives cause 'segregation'.

Why do ethinic minoritories from out of Bexley bring their children to us, regardles of whether they pass their 11+ or not? We have children who travel from the Isle of Dogs and Tower Hamlets to get into a non-selective Bexley school. Hell of a journey - but their own parents don't want them mixing 'ghetto style'

forehead Wed 12-Oct-11 19:51:21

I agree with trois, there are many children of West African origin in Kent and Bexley Grammar schools.West African perents regard education as very important and they are prepared to pay in order that their dcs get into the best grammars.

starlady Thu 13-Oct-11 14:45:57

Forehead I know it's true that many African parents care deeply about education, and I think it's interesting what troisgarcons say about Townley. But I don't think this is the case at other grammars - ie Chis and Sid - from what I have been told. And if what you said was true (ie loads of Afro-Carribean children going to grammars from Lewisham), it would mean there wouldn't be this unbalance in the school population.

I think the segregation in Lewisham is being caused by the proximity to the grammars, and the fact there are pockets of wealth in Lewisham where people ship 'em off privately.

Although if we had grammars everywhere my child would probably get in, but sorry, I still don't think it's right to select at ten, and fail 75% of all children. So I think we'll agree to disagree!

starlady Thu 13-Oct-11 15:37:13

Also, in terms of the children in Bexley grammars, only 31% of these come from Bexley borough and 69% will come from out of the borough....
Seems to indicate out of borough kids tutored more. Fair system? Perhaps Bexley actually want to kids who come from pushy homes who can afford tutors. Many still get tutored afterwards too. System is a crock.

CecilyP Thu 13-Oct-11 17:01:52

Starlady, Bexley and Kent councils are not allowed to reserve places for resident children in their schools, because of the the 1989 Greenwich ruling which established that local education authorities could not stop children travelling to their schools from outside their boundaries.

Some schools get round this to some extent by giving priority to children who have attended primary school in their LEA. Others like the girls grammars in Sutton have catchments for around 40-60% of their allocations, though, as these catchments are on a radial basis, large chunks of the catchments are outside the borough.

I think for selective boroughs, Greenwich provided a win-win situation in that they could still have selective schools but their non-selectives would have sufficient able children to show up well in the league tables.

Crabapple99 Thu 13-Oct-11 19:50:31

Incidentally, does anyone know what the pass mark and the top 180 mark are, now the results are out?

Smadarama Thu 13-Oct-11 22:00:08

crabapple 218 and 254 this year .

Crabapple99 Thu 13-Oct-11 22:10:01

Thank you very much

troisgarcons Thu 13-Oct-11 22:12:40

218 was the pass mark .... letter on my mat this morning,

You want the statistics?

4862 children sat the test, 1394 deemed selective.

troisgarcons Thu 13-Oct-11 22:18:36

and fail 75% of all children

"fail" is never a word used other than by parents. Schools never use " fail"... there in lays theproblen -parental perception.

Actualy - Im quite upset today - i've seen DS3s classmates totally distraught at "failing" their parents expectations. Frankly parents that put that pressure on kids are so damned awful that I cant actually put my opinion on paper.

starlady Fri 14-Oct-11 11:20:22

I didn't sit my child for the grammar, but yes, troisgarcons, in our school playground there were plenty of distraught children and parents too.

I had to ask one of ds friends who was boasting about his result to remember the other children - his teacher who overheard me backed me up.

Like your take on the semantics, but if the grammar is put up as this fabulous goal, inevitably, people will perceive it as failing.

Troisgarcons, I'm glad it worked for you, but today has just reiterated to me how fucked up the system is on so many levels.

CecilyP Fri 14-Oct-11 12:47:12

If you take an exam with a specific goal in mind, how else are you supposed to perceive not achieving that goal?

Jinx1906 Fri 14-Oct-11 15:08:41

This is an interesting one.

I live in Bexley. I know that a few years ago a lot of Bexley parents signed a petition to try to stop so many OOB parents coming in from OOB. It think it was 2 or 3 years ago and made the local news shopper. I don't really understand this so called rule that Bexley are not allowed to favour their own residents in the GS allocations. I know that some of the Kent schools do exactly that, which is one of the gripes of the Bexley parents i/e people for areas surrounding Bexley are coming in to Bexley GS area but it is more difficult for Bexley parents to hop over the border to Kent. If you look at the admission criteria of some of the Dartford GS they actually specify some Dartford parishes as a priority subscription criteria. How Dartford gets away with it and Bexley can not I don't know. I once asked Bexley council but never got a response.

troisgarcons Fri 14-Oct-11 19:55:45

Interesting - I know the woman who started that petition, she was Chair of Brampon PA at one point.

troisgarcons Fri 14-Oct-11 20:07:19

Sorry - posted too early

The woman that started that petition was Chair of Brampton PA a couple of years back.

I would be interested to know the ratio of non-residents to resident. Again a collegue who lives near Chis&Sid was walking down the road when the out-of-borough exam was taking place - she reckoned there were in excess of 200 children queuing to get in. One girl was crying and the mother dragging her along telling her to 'get a bit of backbone'.

That is the side f the 11+ I dont like.

Oddly, mine are Y12, Y11 and Y6 - this year with my Y6 the message coming out from the primaries was 'withdraw your child if you know they have little hope of passing'. I wanted to withdraw, infact we left it until the last minute and he decided to sit the exam. We never put any pressure on him - he's (on paper) far brighter than my Y11 @ grammar but he just isnt grammar material. He cried all the way through one paper and had to be taken out. I really wish I'd made the decision and withdrawn him anyway.

I was 'pushy' with my Y11 - no extra tution BUT I was evil enough to take him school viewing, starting with the worst schools in the borough, ending with the grammars. That ws back in the day where you viewed, put in your choices, then sat the 11+. It was the motivator for him to know he didnt have any intention of ending up at Welling or BBA.

At my Y6 school, only 10 are deemed selective out of 60. St Michaels, no boys have passed this year. I think thats a 2 form year group too.

I refuse to consider a non-selective secondary with banded entry testing too. I will not have my child deemed by others to have 'failed' twice before he enters Y7.

troisgarcons Fri 14-Oct-11 20:08:54

Also, in terms of the children in Bexley grammars, only 31% of these come from Bexley borough and 69% will come from out of the borough

The Y6 talk we had, with lovely side show ...... only 18% of grammar intake were Bexley resident in 2010

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