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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?

Classicsgirl Mon 18-Mar-13 21:25:58

Hello graveney Lady, thanks for raising your head above the parapet! Since you asked....I'm interested in why it seems fairly easy to do the Graveney shuffle, ie rent a house and get a place on distance, while still owning another property. I've always wondered why the school doesn't check harder to see whether there is another house that is the real home, especially when it comes to siblings. I've no axe to grind, as we couldn't afford to do the shuffle and don't live close enough to be impacted - and our two had to both get in on the test when there was no sibling link - , but it is pretty common and I don't think anyone's lost a place as a result of it. Done the school condone it? Thanks!

irisgrey Mon 18-Mar-13 22:08:16

Blu, I think it can be a bit misleading to talk about selective entrants in terms of borough because Graveney is so close to Merton and Lambeth. I know a child who travels in from Putney, ie within Wandsworth, with a journey of about an hour. In the same class I know a child who walks a few minutes up the road from a Merton address which is around 550m from Graveney. Both children took selective places but it is certainly the Merton child who has grown up as part of the community around Graveney.

Blu Mon 18-Mar-13 23:22:07

True, borough is not necessarily an accurate indicator of distance.

Blu Mon 18-Mar-13 23:53:17

Classicsgirl: There was a huge thread about that very subject last year. here

TWOTB Tue 19-Mar-13 09:07:48

Thanks, KandyBar

GraveneyLady you sound like you have inside knowledge. Did you see the question above on which types of papers are best to prepare, and what sort of score you DC needs to be getting on them to know if there is a realistic chance of getting in. I know of course that it differs year-on-year and it depends on standardisation. I also picked up on this thread or another that you need to get 270 or so out of the maximum 282 on standardised scores. But how does that relate to real papers we can see and practice on and the raw marks.

aliasPrickleandJones Tue 19-Mar-13 09:38:06

My dd (yr 6) and I were talking about her friends and the secondaries they will be going to today. One of them is going to Graveney as she passed the selection test. Another is already there but got in on distance and is in the lowest stream on account of her dyslexia.

My dd is very confused and assumes all children who go to G are superbright as she assumes they all have to pass the test. I had to explain to her that her dyslexic friend got in on account of distance and did not pass test. The conversation rapidly got quite complicated and at the end of it I don't think she really understood.

I just wish all secondaries had a straightforward transparent system that everyone including the children themselves understand. I find it v. uncomfortable having to explain to my 11 year old how much 'brighter' X is compared to Y.

My dd's secondary does everything on distance (no banding, tests, scholarships). Its so much easier to explain and seems a lot fairer to the dc.

GraveneyLady Tue 19-Mar-13 11:59:39

Hi all

Various questions - not all of which I have the answer to!

gazzalw, I joined last April so wasn't involved with the change of sibling policy. I believe, however, that is was designed to foster even further the sense of family/community. And as another poster mentioned, smart kids quite often have smart siblings who are likely to get in on test on their own account.

Blu - I can do you the borough figures if you would like them, but as irisgrey says above it doesn't necessarily tell you much. Not a problem though. Which year are you interested in?

TWOTB - I just answered the same question on EPE! Was it you? The papers that GL Assessment recomment are
Multiple Choice Verbal Reasoning
Pack, ISBN 9780708719879.
Multiple Choice Non-Verbal Reasoning
Pack, ISBN 9780708719862.

Classicsgirl, the rental thing is a perennial issue. I wonder if any of you know any other schools/authorities that have found a good way to tackle this?

Keep 'em coming!

Blu Tue 19-Mar-13 12:09:36

I am interested to know the distance from which selective students came last year - and boroughs, too - but not if it involves you in endless work!

GraveneyLady Tue 19-Mar-13 13:07:31

For the 2012 intake, the selective students came from the following boroughs:

Wandsworth 38
Merton 15
Lambeth 9
Southwark 1

The distances for the selective intake were as follows:

Under 1000m 7
1000 - 2000m 12
2000 - 3000m 5
3000 - 4000m 13
4000 - 5000m 8
5000 - 6000m 9
6000 - 7000m 5
Further than 7000m 4

All bar 1 of the pupils coming from more than 6000m are Wandsworth residents.

aliasPrickleandJones Tue 19-Mar-13 15:50:56

GraveneyLady said And as another poster mentioned, smart kids quite often have smart siblings who are likely to get in on test on their own account.

If this was apropos my comment earlier then you could not be further from the spirit in which it was said. GraveneyLady, I don't know how 'official' you are regarding the school but if this is the view of the school and the reason they reintroduced the sibling policy then I am shocked!

How can you say that just because one sibling got through the test, the others in the family also will. It is not fair to other families who want to send their dcs to the school.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 19-Mar-13 16:08:25

I think what many people are curious to know are how many of those admitted as siblings of those with selective places did not score highly enough in the test to gain a place in their own right? Does this hppan often or is it a rarity?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 19-Mar-13 16:09:22

Know is


aliasPrickleandJones Tue 19-Mar-13 16:17:19

ComeIntoGarden, but if you had already secured a place for a child through sibling priority then would you bother entering him/her through the test?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 19-Mar-13 16:20:37

Hmm, Alias. I don't want to say too much for fear of outing myself, but I believe it's quite common for children who are applying as siblings also to take the test. Hence my question to GraveneyLady.

GraveneyLady Tue 19-Mar-13 16:21:54

No Alias, to the best of my knowledge that never came up. I was just trying to smooth some feathers by suggesting that it won't be a disproportionate part of the intake - but it didn't work. Apologies.

Maud, I did some work on that. For the 2011 intake, there were 4 siblings who were not admitted because the elder sibling got in on test, and the younger did not score highly enough/live close enough to be offered a place under those criteria. For 2012 intake there were 12 in that position. 2013 intake still shaking down so too early yet to tell how many "extra" entrants we will get who would not have been offered a place in previous years.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 19-Mar-13 16:25:53

Thank you, GraveneyLady.

gazzalw Tue 19-Mar-13 16:27:43

All but the out of Borough siblings of selective place pupils would have sat the Wandsworth Test anyway, wouldn't they?

It is by no means a certainty that just because you have one highly capable child, all the rest in the family will be of equal intelligence. I can think of loads of cases where that is not the case. Is it not proven, research-wise, that eldest siblings are usually the cleverest so one could argue that generally younger siblings wouldn't be as bright.

Anyway doesn't that just skew the statistics for those attending the school to be a more academic cohort than they should be?

I am definitely of the camp that it should be a local school for local children, but not filled with the offspring of pushy parents who've helicoptered their large families into the area to secure no. 1 sibling a place and then can sit back and relax while all subsequent children get a 'free ticket' into the school.

gazzalw Tue 19-Mar-13 16:29:57

Sorry that last paragraph was a rather long, punctuation-free sentence blush!

gazzalw Tue 19-Mar-13 16:33:31

Hi Graveneylady,

If you look at the intake figures for the past five years are there any trends or are there really no discernible patterns from which we can draw any conclusions on intakes/catchment areas etc.?

I guess if the past two and the 2014 intake mark a dip in the birthrate we wouldn't be looking at statistically significant data anyway?

brass Tue 19-Mar-13 17:22:26

You don't get to choose which criteria you are applying under. Everyone takes the test and if there is a sibling present their name is entered on the application form. After the results are in they are placed according to which criteria they satisfy (or not).

GraveneyLady you say 4 did not get automatic sibling entrance in 2011 because they didn't score enough. Will that be the case going forward i.e siblings also need to score highly if 1st child got in on test?

KandyBarr Tue 19-Mar-13 19:19:06

I am definitely of the camp that it should be a local school for local children

But gazzalw that's dog-in-the-manger: you live locally to Graveney but have opted to send your DC to grammar school elsewhere. Why shouldn't others do the same?

gazzalw Tue 19-Mar-13 20:46:54

But we don't live locally enough to get in on distance.....So near and yet so far... We put it 4th on DS's CAF because we already knew DS had passed two 11+ exams (and a third result was pending) and we couldn't guarantee he'd get a high enough score for Graveney (I think he got 271 out of 282 if my memory serves me correctly) anyway....

Believe me if DS (and his younger sibling) could just get in on distance I very much doubt we'd have gone down the grammar school route. We were just very lucky that DS proved bright enough to get into a grammar school. Not convinced about DD so Graveney is even more attractive a proposition for her, but with rising birthrates and increased demand on all secondary school places, I very much doubt she will qualify for catchment entry to Graveney either!

KandyBarr Wed 20-Mar-13 07:41:54

But Gazzalw that really sounds like double standards. It seems 'being local' is a badge of honour that is really just a matter of convenience, used to argue an entitlement to a place at Graveney when it suits, but if a better offer comes along miles away in another borough then avidly 'local' parents are happy to pass over the school.

Graveney isn't a community school and has never claimed to be - there are other schools locally that perform that function. It's a foundation school, before that it was grant-maintained, which means it sets its own criteria - so if you move locally expecting to be entitled to a place, you are likely to be very much misguided.

In the past the school has argued that its system, at least in theory, allows a bright child from a poor background in, say, Brixton the chance of a place and a top-notch education. Many people support that - and find it preferable to 'being local' - which is a byword for selection by accident of birth - i.e. ability of parents to pay for highly expensive local housing.

gazzalw Wed 20-Mar-13 08:51:45

Well I can see where you are coming from but I would argue it wasn't, given that DS already had two 11+s in the bag by CAF submission date. Most people go with a certainty rather than a maybe (particularly when it comes to very sought after schools) which is what we did. Had the Wandsworth Test results come out before the CAF had to be submitted, it might have been higher up our list (if we thought his mark would potentially be high enough to get a selective place, which I'm not entirely sure it was, when we did find out in mid-Feb).

Anyway, DS, for whatever reason wasn't at all struck by Graveney even though we were. As I recall it was actually difficult negotiating it into 4th place on his CAF!

Graveney is a very appealing school to us (we've visited it twice now) and it wasn't about passing it over for "a better offer" but what made sense for DS and fitted in with where he wanted to go. We always saw him in a single-sex school (as did he) and he was fortunate enough to get the offer of one so why shouldn't he have taken it up?

For DD it would make perfect sense for her to go there, but we won't get in on distance (unless it embraces a lottery system) and it is yet to be seen whether she will make the grade for selectivity.

I wonder what % of bright children from poor backgrounds do get in on the selectivity test though? Probably a handful? Whereas I am pretty sure that more than a handful of not so bright children with rich parents helicopter in to get catchment places.

tiredaftertwo Wed 20-Mar-13 10:05:06

Gazzalw, do you mean (your first para) you filled in the CAF in the order of likelihood of getting a place? That is not how the system work: the only reason for putting Graveney fourth is that it was your fourth favourite school, not your fourth most likely. If as you suspected he hadn't got the mark needed for Graveney, then putting it first would have had not impact on your other choices.

Which is a decision I think you are entitled to make btw, not double standards at all - that is the way the rules operate. It is perfectly reasonable to wish that your "local" school did have a catchment big enough to meet the needs of children living close enough to walk (say), while recognising that in fact it does not and you therefore need to look further afield, as you are also likely to live too far from your next most "local" school to qualify on distance there either. That is a position many Londoners are in.

The problem is that schools that do not (completely) serve their local communities still occupy a physical space within them, so people living close to schools that use lotteries, partial selection etc may miss out - and have to apply to schools in other areas that operate those policies too.

I dunno which is best - I can see the selection by postcode argument too. But all you can do is stick to the rules, surely - it isn't double standards to think that in an ideal world, things might work differently, and to recognise that in a higgledy piggledy mess of admissions policies and demography, some people may be winners or losers?

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