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Cressex Community College - does the majority of High Wycombe really end up going there??

(24 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Sun 09-Mar-14 17:10:59

It seems, from my research, like a pretty dire upper school.

But having checked the postcodes of pretty much every address in High Wycombe, it seems this is the catchment upper school for the entire town minus the outskirts.

If your children don't get into grammar and you live in Wucombe is this really the only option? According to ofsted, it's 75% English second language...so where do all the high Wycombe native English speakers go???

Trying to buy a house & it's a minefield, so many we'd like to consider being ruled out by catchment area...

LIZS Sun 09-Mar-14 17:24:41

don't think so . dn's live there and went elsewhere.

BoyMeetsWorld Sun 09-Mar-14 17:44:08

This is what I suspect, but would like to be more sure before buying a house in this catchment

motown3000 Sun 09-Mar-14 19:54:18

Boy. On Page 49 In this Section There is a thread Entitled:

DD Is Distraught at having to go to an Upper School ( Bucks)

I have just Stumbled Across it , there are a few posts about Cressex Community School on the thread ( A few Silly Ones Though) but it might be of interest to you.

hedwig2001 Mon 10-Mar-14 20:41:16

Try looking at Sir William Ramsay in Hazlemere. Just up the hill from High Wycombe.

BoyMeetsWorld Sun 17-Apr-16 18:20:03

Just resurrecting this thread. Once again looking to move and back in the Cressex catchment dilemma. I see it's now an ofsted Good...is it really that bad? & has anyone from Wycombe centre managed to get their kids into secondaries other than this one?

bojorojo Sun 17-Apr-16 20:24:39

There is Highcrest. Lots appeal and go to Holmer Green. The Highcrest head is leaving after a lot of success at the school. Cressex has a very good Head. I think it is now a Co-Op school.

Many of the secondary modern schools in Bucks have been RI or worse. The ones that are good are in the leafier areas, but not exclusively so. Most people don't live in central Wycombe and want another school. You can see that from the data about Cressex. You can live on the outskirts and try for Princes Risborough, Great Marlow, The Misbourne and Holmer Green. Safer to buy in the catchments though. What is attractive about central HW?

BoyMeetsWorld Sun 17-Apr-16 20:48:28

Bojo - nothing other than no chance of affording a 4/5 bed in the "leafier areas" as you say.

Are you saying even half the people living in the outskirts aren't happy with their allocated schools?

Holmer Green comes up as in area for the one we like. How comes so many need to rely on appeals to get there, do they not put it as first choice? I've never understood what the grounds for appeal would be - other than just not liking the allocated school...

MillicentMargaretAmanda Mon 18-Apr-16 08:42:28

Can you be further out? The villages on the edge of Bucks have access to the schools in Oxon. This is often the first choice. Somewhere like Stokenchurch will give you access to Icknield Community College in Watlington, or Hambleden way should give you Gillotts in Henley. That being said, all I know of Cressex is its rep from years ago. I would recommend trying to have a quick visit if house hunting and see if it 'lives up' to the hype.

BoyMeetsWorld Mon 18-Apr-16 17:27:00

That's interesting thanks MMA hadn't thought about secondaries out of county. Stokenchurch we could afford, although v few properties seem to come up the size we want.

It's just a shame as we've really fallen for this house in the centre. Well, Sands area.

I was just wondering if all children in Cressex catchment WILL end up at Cressex. PRB in 2015 for example, data shows accepted 100% of admissions from within Bucks...so could we get there regardless of where we live or is that far too risky...

MillicentMargaretAmanda Mon 18-Apr-16 18:14:26

Anecdotally (?sp) no they don't. I know kids from Downley that have gone to the Misbourne and from Sands who have gone to PRS and Icknield. I think you'd be unlucky if you didn't want Cressex and couldn't get somewhere else but I suppose it depends on the demographics of that year.

bojorojo Mon 18-Apr-16 18:22:21

What I am saying is that people who live in central Wycombe (and I include Sands in that) are less likely to appeal against their allocation of school. They will be happier with it. As you move to the outer areas, people become more dissatisfied with the two main secondary schools and appeal to go to others. Holmer Green has always been popular and The Misbourne even more so. You will be aware that many parts of High Wycombe have a diverse community and this is reflected in the secondary schools. The outlying schools are less diverse. They are also more "middle class". The people appealing can see there is a difference in these schools and the grass is always greener.

You would have to look at the distances away from schools where children live to see where you can live and reasonably expect to get into the school you want. You also have the problem that lots of primary schools are full.

BoyMeetsWorld Tue 19-Apr-16 14:34:07

Thanks both.

That's reassuring MMA.

Bojo I see what you mean re likelihood of appealing. Primary isn't so much an issue as one child already in a good primary out of area which we don't mind driving to as can't afford to live near it & have been pretty much assured by the head that younger sibling should be fine on the sibling rule as the school isn't hugely popular (though we really like it).

Have looked in detail at stats for this year and seems even in Sands we'd have had a good shot at PRB, Holmer Green , Great Marlow oddly as they went up to 8 miles and then some others further out of got Cressex. Or Highcrest but I think that's meant to be equally bad. Ideally we'd like Ramsay but can't seem to find any properties in roads we can afford that fit the bill for that catchment...

MillicentMargaretAmanda Tue 19-Apr-16 14:50:06

I would be careful re Great Marlow. I know that there was quite a lot of upset in march last year as kids to the West of Marlow, in catchment i believe, where GM is the nearest school in county and they did not get a place on first round allocations and got sent to Burnham. Not sure what happened in the end but I wouldn't be putting too many eggs in that particular basket from Wycombe. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

bojorojo Tue 19-Apr-16 22:19:14

Great Marlow did not allocate to all in its catchment last year. Princes Risborough allocated up to 6.2 miles. Holmer Green admitted everyone who applied - how things change! Highcrest admit by 11 plus score! I didn't know that. I am not sure what I think about that. I guess SEN children with are not wanted there. It does not feel inclusive to select like that. Children with moderate learning difficulties will probably be in the lowest category for admittance and what about children who don't take the exam at all?

BoyMeetsWorld Tue 19-Apr-16 22:26:52

I'm getting really confused now...Where did you get those figures from bojo, as they're totally different from the ones here on the Bucks CC website (if you click the Allocation Profile link on the page) www.buckscc.gov.uk/education/schools/admissions-and-moving-school/admission-to-secondary-schools/allocation-of-secondary-school-places/

That says that as of March 16, PRB allocated 100% of applicants, GM up to 7.6 miles and Holmer Green took 91%. Am I missing something?

tapdancingmum Tue 19-Apr-16 23:36:05

Highcrest don't admit by 11+ score, they have to take a separate entrance exam and then get banded. They then take so many from band one, say 20 then nos 20-40 from band 2 then 40-60 from band 3 so if your child scores 23 in band one they won't get in. Princes Risborough, even though it has RI from Ofsted is oversubscribed year on year and from personal opinion not a bad school ( though others may disagree). The unfortunate problem with Cressex is that people who are allocated it fight tooth and nail to not go so the trend will never be bucked. But who wants to be the trendsetters!

bojorojo Wed 20-Apr-16 13:46:21

My apologies, tapdancingmum. It does not make that clear on the BCC previous allocations pages. That is even worse in my view. A selective secondary modern and not even on religious grounds! Don't live in HW is my advice! An exam still selects out Sen children with learning difficulties.

The information I found was: Education - Schools - Admissions and moving school - Policy Hub - Allocation of School Places. Scroll down to "September 2015 Entry. - Allocation of Secondary places". The data goes back to 2011 if you want to look at trends. It is also in the "Moving up to secondary school in September 2016" section. Scroll down to "Find out more about previous allocations".

As far as 2016 is concerned, you can also download the "All secondary school allocations by preference for 2016 entry - March 2016" on the "Allocation of School places" page. Happy reading!

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 20-Apr-16 18:03:00

Chiltern hills looks possible...100% admission every year since 2011 according to this. Does that seem accurate? Ofsted looks slightly more appealing than cressex or highcrest

bojorojo Wed 20-Apr-16 19:23:17

Chiltern Hills is in Chesham and the choosy parents from that area have preferred The Misbourne if they can get in. Chesham is quite a way from Sands in HW. I would see if Princes Risborough has improved. . Anecdotally I believe it has and is easier to get to than Chiltern Hills. The schools that take all who apply tend to be the ones parents do not want. C of E tend to have secondary academies in Bucks that no other sponsor wants! Aylesbury Vale being another one.

MillicentMargaretAmanda Wed 20-Apr-16 19:53:34

With regard to PRS it does semi to do well by high achieving pupils. I've known of several over the last few years who've moved on to Grammar sixth forms after great GCSES and are now off to Russell Group universities. How much of that they would have done at any school I can't say...

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 20-Apr-16 20:12:22

Yes agreed, I wouldn't be too concerned about PRB (despite currently being RI). & it's DS' preference. But moving to Risborough is well out of the way for DH & my work, & we can't afford Naphill way. So it would be a case of whether we could live elsewhere - inc the house we love in Sands & still manage to get in.

Going through the stats since 2011, in a fair few years PRB did take everybody. Just in some it didn't, so hard to predict.

Chiltern Hills has been consistent in taking everyone. I can see why it's less popular than some of the others, but there are a lot of positive comments in the ofsted report, the league table results are certainly not the worst...& it doesn't take predominantly non English speakers which is my big concern. Chesham would be doable for us.

Can't see many other CoE ones except Waddeson which is hugely oversubscribed? St Michaels is RC...But their results don't look so great anyway?

Though has to be said for Cressex, in all my research it looks like they are getting better and better each year. Now the catchment covers parts of Downley, Radnage, Stockenchurch, West Wycombe (all areas we would have considered) surely the place has to get better...what happens to all the kids from these areas? Does every single one appeal and go elsewhere? Do they all miraculously get into grammar? Was trawling rightmove looking at school checker for various properties and there are some v expensive houses with Cressex catchment...what happens to their little darlings?

MillicentMargaretAmanda Wed 20-Apr-16 21:01:51

Downley tend to appeal for Misbourne or Risborough from what I can tell, and Stokenchurch and possibly Radnage have free transport to Watlington as it's actually their nearest school.
I agree that Cressex does seem to be getting better. The thing that would concern me most is the paucity of aspiration. Certainly the last time I looked the offering in the sixth form was much less academic than pretty much any other sixth form in South Bucks. Which would be great for a more vocationally oriented child, but if I had even a vaguely academic child I would want them at a school where they saw A Levels as the norm.

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 22-Apr-16 16:10:16

Out of interest...if we could find some way to stump up for private school in the event we couldn't get them in anywhere else, up until Yr 11, how hard is it to do a transfer into another school (one of the better bucks secondaries ) for A level?

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