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Graveney - catchment area half 2012 distance!!

(145 Posts)
SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 10:07:46

I have just seen the figures for 2013 (and compared them to 2012) and noted the following:

Applications 2115 (up from 2076)
Selective Places 63 (63)
Looked After 6 (up from 2)
Social/Med needs 2 (down from 4)
Staff 1 (n/a)
Sibling Places 102 (up from 81)

Distance offered 1 March 532 (*down from 913*)

That is a major reduction in catchment - and wonder if anyone has got any idea of why that happened. Was it an anomaly? I guess it must be at least partly explained by the extra sibling places taken up this year.

How near do I have to be to be safe for next year?

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 10:32:31

Haven't they changed the criteria for measuring the distance from the school? That could have a significant impact if it's done "as crow flies" rather than by a walking route?

What's the total intake for the year? Is it 210 or 240?

It seems that the number of places taken by siblings/teachers children/looked after/social/medical needs account for an extra 24 children this year over last year.

Remember last year they abandoned the sibling rule for the "selective" cohort which could have increased the catchment significantly.

Know that Graveney is on paper our closest school and we did have it on our CAF list last year but DS was offered a higher placed grammar school position. We applied for selective entry for Graveney because we believed ourselves to be about 300 metres out of previous year's catchment....

My brain isn't functioning particularly effectively this morning but could it not vary wildly (from one year to the next) depending on whether those gaining admission on selective entry criteria generally live very close to the school or not? What happens if all the DCs who gained selective entry lived on the doorstep of the school - which criteria would they ultimately gain entry upon?

sorry can't be more helpful?

The Admissions Lady at Graveney used to work at DS's school and she is very helpful so you could consider asking her?

But as you said it could just be one of those 'blips' which can't really be explained?

Or is it a case that with the demand on good secondary school places only due to become more competitive in coming years, the monied middle-classes (with two/three/four children) have moved, lock, stock and two smoking barrels into catchment to secure sibling criteria admission for their whole families?

Personally I really do think that with the forthcoming, increasing demand for places with the baby-boomers, about to hit secondary school from 2014/15, lottery systems should become the norm. I just don't think for secondary schools in London the sibling policy is necessary or fair.

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 10:34:24

Heh! Bet that's scuppered some of the "moving into catchment" renter plans grin.

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 10:39:20

Hope it has! As they say 'up North' "that will larn them"

Wonder if it means that the number of appeals will go through the roof.

Personally I would have thought that the teachers' children admission effect could have a significant impact in coming years. Think this is the first year it's come into practice. Know that the teachers have to have been at the school for at least a couple of years before their DCs would qualify for entry under this criteria. But don't you think it's an attractive and enticing 'perk' in a profession where perks are hard to come by?

scaevola Mon 11-Mar-13 10:48:06

Presumably if Bolingbroke lives up to expectation, that'll ease the pressure on Graveney.

I suspect the extra siblings had a big impact on thhe shrinkage.

Marni23 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:51:11

SWandstressed can I ask you where you got the figures from? A friend of mine needs information on other Wandsworth secondary schools. Thanks.

SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 10:58:53

gazzalw - yes, I think you are right. I have just checked. In 2012 it was walking distance along public roads. Now its straight line. A little experiment or two with google earth and as crow flies distance shows that someone that is 523 meters as the crowflies might be a couple of hundred meters further away by road.

So if they gave the crow's flies equivalent, I think it might in 2012 have been around 700 meters. So not as dramatic a difference, but still quite a reduction in radius (and therefore a massive reduction in area from the centre point).

And you are right on siblings for staff, and allowing siblings for the selective cohort. The latter makes up the remainder of the difference.

The entry is 250 total. And I think if you are close by (enough to get in on distance) and get high enough up the test you get the selective place (so not freeing it up for another selective grade candidate, although freeing up a catcment place. IYSWIM).

Once the staff effect kicks in properly, the catchment will reduce even further below 500!

SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 11:00:50

Marni - I got the 2013 information from a parent who applied this year and didn't get a place. It was in the letter they received. It was Graveney only.

I got the 2012 information from the wandsworth secondary admissions booklet for 2013 entry, which covers all schools. (This will be republished in the next few months for 2014 entry which will then ahve the 2013 figures for other W schools.)

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 11:03:32

You might think so, Scaevola, but is not property in the Graveney area till relatively cheaper than in the Bolingbroke Academy catchment? So the increasing popularity of the B.A. would not impact on those helicoptering in from other Boroughs?

Also remember current Year 6,7 and 8s mark a dip in the birthrate which is now set to rise significantly year on year, so any children taken out of the equation by the Bolingbroke Academy effect will probably be more than made up for by extra numbers of children in the locale. The Graveney area is after all very densely populated, isn't it?

Blu Mon 11-Mar-13 11:05:10

As a matter of interest, why have they re-introduced siblings for selective places?

Grammar schools don't offer sibling places, do they?

Marni23 Mon 11-Mar-13 11:07:08

Ah, no wonder I couldn't find it when I googled!

My DS has been offered a selective place at Graveney this year which we are likely to turn down. Not sure if this will then be offered to someone on the 'selective' waiting list or if it reverts to a distance place, but anyway, we are likely to be creating an extra place.

SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 11:14:10

Marni - Well done to your DS.

May I ask why you are rejecting? (And I think it will be offered to someone else on selective basis.)

Also, I was confused by the figures given in the letter that I saw. Did you have to score over 250 or over 273? Both figures were mentioned and it seemed to be inconsistent/typo. I think 273 (equating to top 1%!!! of those taking the WT) must be right. Can you shed light?

scaevola Mon 11-Mar-13 11:17:30

It'll change, perhaps, who wins the selective places. Parents between the Commons might be less focussed on the Wandsworth test. And if they aren't going to Graveney, nor will their siblings. Now perhaps that might mean further flung families getting those places. Or perhaps it'll get more local. And another secondary in the borough must mean fewer children having to travel long distances out of their black hole.

And if the one on Battersea Park Road (whatever it's called now) could be genuinely improved too, then the position in Wandsworth would be much better.

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 11:30:05

What would be interesting to know is the number of selective places given to out-of-borough candidates. I know that Graveney is close to Lambeth and Merton Boroughs and wonder if most come from there or further afield?

Has anyone got any ideas?

SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 11:31:00

And another free school opening in Clapham (perhaps). Although if it gets the green light it will be a couple of years away at least....

SWandStressed Mon 11-Mar-13 11:33:05

I know two Lambeth selective entrants to Graveney. But don't know the figures. (And a few that did the Graveney "rental shuffle" from Lambeth).

I think Graveney is attractive to many from all the boroughs surrounding Wandsworth that don't otherwise have selective entry.

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 11:35:18

Blu, I don't know why they've reintroduced the sibling rule - it seems very, very unfair really.

But presumably last year's non-use of it made a significant difference to catchment boundary as I'm pretty sure the previous it was closer to this year's figure than nearly 1000 metres!

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 11:45:00

This automatic sibling place for secondary school children gives me the absolute rage, I must say!

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 11:53:52

I think it's got a place in rural/semi-rural locations, but really in London it's sadly misguided at best and totally biased at worst.

I think it will fall by the wayside as demand on places ramps up in coming years.

Our DS goes to a super-selective so his DD won't be following him, for sure. Most secondary school pupils in London find their own way to school and do so from the age of 11, many without older siblings hovering over/looking after them, so what is the rationale for sibling policies?

I would also have thought that it might prevent parents helicoptering into desirable school catchments and then helicoptering straight out again once their eldest DC has secured a place, not just for themselves but also for younger siblings too.

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 12:01:12

Quite Gazza. And I live in an area with more single sex than mixed schools - so how you can argue the need for a sibling policy here is beyond my ken.

singersgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 12:03:28

Surely sibling policies in general for schools are A Good Thing. I imagine many parents would prefer to have their children at the same school - the same holiday dates, the same concerts/plays/school fairs, no clash of parents' evenings or important events.

Sibling policies for children offered places due to academic selection are slightly different, though I can see the logic from a parental point of view. However, in terms of equal access it is another example of 'back door selection'; the school will become gradually more selective as in the majority of cases siblings of children who got in via selection would also be likely to get in on academic selection (caveats abound, of course).

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 12:12:09

Not A Good Thing for over-subscribed urban secondaries, no.

scaevola Mon 11-Mar-13 12:12:43

Schools in the same borough tend to have the same term dates, so unless you're close to a border being in different schools won't make any difference. And unless you have twins, you'll become adept at sorting out clashing events when you have both primary and secondary schools on the go. Not enough justification for a secondary school sibling rule in cities such as London.

I thinknthey're the right thing for primary though.

gazzalw Mon 11-Mar-13 12:29:26

I would agree that anything other than sibling policies in primary schools is unworkable really.

Secondary schools are entirely different though. And yes, as grammar schools don't have sibling policies, I can't see why it's permissible for siblings of DCs who've gained selective comprehensive places to automatically gain entry.

I can think of two DCs in DS's primary school cohort who have benefited from this 'largesse'

I also can't help but think that there must be some sort of discriminatory appeal potential for those of us who have DCs not all of the same gender but whose eldest attends a single-sex schools.

Mintyy Mon 11-Mar-13 12:33:21

My friend's dd will go to a HUGELY oversubscribed comp that she lives outside the catchment for, on the basis of her elder dd's dyslexia hmm.

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