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Sibling Places at Academic Grammar Schools

(10 Posts)
snakeface Sun 16-Feb-14 22:41:14

My DD has a sibling place at a highly academic grammar school. My DS got one of only a handful of 'out of catchment' places and is very bright and very academically able.
I am worried that my DD will not receive the attention, education and care that her brother has because she is not as clever as him.

Has anyone else had this kind of situation and how did it pan out for the younger child?

tiggytape Sun 16-Feb-14 22:58:26

Super selective grammars (the ones that select pupils based purely on score) aren't allowed to have a sibling policy.

Other grammar schools however do. Some have a passmark and anyone above that mark qualifies in theory for a place. However, if too many have met the pass mark, the school whittles down the numbers using distance or siblings or a combination of both as the tie breaker

Is that what happens at your school? If so, she has reached the pass mark for the school and should be fine. Just because she isn't as academic as DS doesn't mean she will struggle or be ignored.
If however this is purely a sibling place and she is some way behind her brother then it might not be so good for her to be with a class who all got in by passing a highly academic test and to perhaps feel behind. It depends what the mix of abilities at the school is like - if they take lots of siblings it might be quite diverse.

ReallyTired Mon 17-Feb-14 09:16:57

Some partically selective schools in hertfordshire have a sibbling policy like snakeface describes.

Do you think that a grammar school is the right place for your dd? Surely she would happier in a comprehensive where her educational needs are met and she isn't made to feel like a failure because she can't keep up with the gifted and talented crowd.

Any state school has a duty of care towards a child. Prehaps you should ask the school how they manage such a situation. It may well be that your dd will be absolutely fine. If you have a gifted son then its easy to unestimate the academic ablity of a simply bright child. You might have a shock and find that your dd is in the middle of the ablity range for her class.

Suffolkgirl1 Mon 17-Feb-14 09:33:18

Since the OP has written, "my DD has a sibling place", presumably she can't be taking about a state school, as offers are not made for another two weeks.

Marmitelover55 Mon 17-Feb-14 09:41:40

Although at lots of state schools with sibling links for admission purposes, you can be fairly guaranteed that a sibling will get a place at least that is what I am banking on for DD2

tiggytape Mon 17-Feb-14 09:46:22

It might be one of those schools where every sibling always get a place. Of course nothing is ever totally certain but there are quite a few schools where it is practically certain all siblings will get in - especially at secondary school age.

ThreeBeeOneGee Mon 17-Feb-14 14:18:28

Some partically selective schools in hertfordshire have a sibbling policy like snakeface describes.

We are hoping to use this rule for DS3 and DD. The schools have "grammar" in the name but aren't true grammar schools as there are none in this county. Admission is partially selective, with the rest being siblings/distance.
DD is of average academic ability, which will put her in the bottom quarter at that school. I think about 25% of the intake is usually of middle ability and less than 5% is of low ability.
DS1 & DS2 are already at the boys' school and say that the lower sets have fewer children and more staff. So the lower ability children get more input, not less.

ReallyTired Mon 17-Feb-14 14:27:43

Low ablity children get plenty of resources at ds's comprehensive. Do you think that there is a danger that middle ablity children end up seeing themselves as low ablity children when they are anything but.

Do you not think it might be better for a child to be in set 3 out of 8 at the comprehensive than set 6 out 6 at the partically selective school?
Unless your child truely has learning difficulties do they actually get anything out of being in a class of 12 with a TA. Most parents are not scrambling to get their child moved into the bottom set inspite of the high ratios.

Even the most sought after schools have behavioural problems in the lower sets. Its nothing to do with the child's ablity. Being in the bottom set can rip a child's self esteem apart however good the teaching is. Children with low self esteem are more likely to have behavourial problems.

ThreeBeeOneGee Mon 17-Feb-14 16:42:36

Unless your child truely has learning difficulties do they actually get anything out of being in a class of 12 with a TA

Well they all come out with an A in GCSE Maths, for a start, unlike the middle sets of the nearest comprehensive.

ThreeBeeOneGee Mon 17-Feb-14 16:49:04

I think there is a danger that being bottom set of a very selective school can give some children a deflated view of their own ability (I saw this at my own school).

This has to be weighed against the other strengths of the school (better pastoral care, better SEN provision, better results for middle and low ability children).

DD has spent a lot of time in the bottom set and in intervention groups (she had mild global developmental delay and until Y4 was behind 'normal' developmental ranges). It never seemed to bother her.

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