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£50 non refundable deposit for 6th form - normal?

(33 Posts)
Reindeerballs Wed 07-Jan-15 15:37:40

My daughter in year 11 is applying to various 6th Forms. She has just received a letter of offer from a state school academy which stipulates the following:

6 A/A* GCSE
Sixth form must be first choice
£50 non refundable deposit must be submitted asap to secure place as they are allocated on 'first come first served' basis.

The school does promise that she will be on a "fast track" with extra support for uni applications etc. it does not say the deposit in any way funds this, it appears to be purely to secure a place.

I am absolutely incensed at being asked to effectively pay for a place at a state school. Is this a normal procedure - what about those who can't pay?

Leeds2 Wed 07-Jan-15 15:47:44

I have never heard of that, and would be very cross if I received such a letter.

Reindeerballs Wed 07-Jan-15 15:54:31

Thanks. I wondered if I was over reacting. I did a quick Google and it appears that Camden School for Girls used to do something similar which was referred to the Adjudicator.

I think I will send a copy of the letter to the Adjudicator and let them deal with it if they think it breaches the Admissions Code.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Wed 07-Jan-15 15:59:03

It sounds very harsh, as does the 6A/A* GCSE's. Ds is at a private (academic, top 20) school and they ask for 5 A/A*. It looks like they are being 'private school' picky, and the deposit will remove a lot of low income families.

caringdad66 Wed 07-Jan-15 16:04:08

Outrageous

prh47bridge Wed 07-Jan-15 17:20:57

This is a clear breach of the Admissions Code paragraph 1.9(n). A school may not request a financial contribution as any part of the admissions process. It is also potentially a breach of 1.9(e) which says they cannot give priority to children on the basis of any practical or financial support parents give tot he school.

The Adjudicator ruled against Camden School for Girls on precisely these grounds. I would suggest that as well as sending this letter to the Adjudicator you send the school a copy of the Adjudicator's decision in the Camden case.

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 07-Jan-15 17:25:08

The grades sound fine to me. Most of our sixth form have significantly higher than that. The deposit? Nope, weird.

titchy Wed 07-Jan-15 17:25:18

Does the requirement to put them first also break the code? Although how would they know....

Might be worth accepting the place give that it's first come first served, but explain you won't be sending a deposit as this is an illegal request.

titchy Wed 07-Jan-15 17:26:28

Drdonna - SIGNIFICANTLY higher than 6 As? Really?

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 07-Jan-15 17:28:28

Yes.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Wed 07-Jan-15 17:32:28

How many GCSE's do state school children study? I did 7, I wasn't allowed to study any more. They are creaming off the best by the looks of it, which will guarantee that their A'Level results are all fabulous hmm

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 07-Jan-15 17:34:14

Ours do at least 11. It is a super selective though. I know loads of people here disapprove of the grammar system but that's a different argument.
For a selective the grade offer seems fine, the rest seems a bit much to me.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Wed 07-Jan-15 17:38:31

Are there many children in your school who are on free school meals, DoctorDonna? What if your child's in the local sink school and has very little chance of getting into the grammar system or getting 6A/A* without tuition, which you can't afford?

titchy Wed 07-Jan-15 17:39:29

Blimey - even Tiffin only ask for 4 A grades! What grades are needed then drdonna - 8 A* grades?

prh47bridge Wed 07-Jan-15 17:42:44

Does the requirement to put them first also break the code?

Missed that bit. Yes it does. It implies a "first preference first" system which is not allowed.

AugustRose Wed 07-Jan-15 17:45:03

It seems a bit harsh for a state school. I don't think they are allowed to charge you without stating what it is for, state school are not allowed to charge simply for making an application to the sixth form.

It's certainly not something we came across when applying for sixth form.

bigTillyMint Wed 07-Jan-15 17:49:59

How would you put them first? DD is applying and each school/sixthform is an individual applicationconfused

Or maybe it is different outside of London?

So glad she decided not to apply for Camden (no chance of getting in anyway!)

Many sixth forms stipulate minimum grades to study certain (mostly the traditional ones) subjects - A's in the most popular schools round here.

prh47bridge Wed 07-Jan-15 18:05:18

I don't think they are allowed to charge you without stating what it is for

They are not allowed to charge PERIOD. They cannot ask for money as part of the admissions process no matter what they want the money for.

5madthings Wed 07-Jan-15 18:09:37

prhbridge can I ask what the rules,are re interviews for 6th for places? Ds1 had an interview on Fri, meaning he had to miss school to go to it. It's to go over his mock results, discuss which options he wants to take 'to make sure the 6th form is suitable for him' it's an hour long. This.is for an academy 6th form.

The.other two has applied for don't interview.

superram Wed 07-Jan-15 18:10:38

Surely you apply to sixth form directly-there is no admission 'system' as such? They can't ask for money.

Reindeerballs Wed 07-Jan-15 18:18:43

BigTillyMint it is London. The form thing you send back has a line saying you agree to put them as first preference - I assume so you know you can't get the deposit back. Obviously they don't know how many other Sixth Forms you applied to and how many offers you hold. I think it is to try and trick parents into accepting their wonderful offer.

TeenAndTween Wed 07-Jan-15 18:20:53

5mad The 6th forms round here do interviews but they are only 15/20 minutes. DD1 has had 1 so far. They discussed what courses she wanted to do and why, and predicted grades and a few bits and bobs.
It definitely wasn't an academic selection interview (which I think aren't allowed?, just minimum criteria to do the courses). i.e. No 'speak to us in French' or 'tell us about nuclear power' questions.

5madthings Wed 07-Jan-15 18:25:25

See I think these interviews are about selection... It's the wording of them.

Ds1 and I have already been.told he will get a place due to mock results/predicted grades and also because the school he currently try attends it part of the same academy chain... Think Rachel de souza.

Oh and.his current.school doesn't have a 6th form and.that seemingly bumps them.up the list as the local 6th forms have a policy of offering places to students who come from a school without a 6th form first iyswim?

DoctorDonnaNoble Wed 07-Jan-15 18:26:32

Our entry grades do vary. We do get students from the local 'sink' school and they go on to do very well. Didn't want to derail the thread just to point out that some schools do have entry requirements like that.

smokepole Wed 07-Jan-15 18:30:43

Is the school in "Essex"? The one that requires 54 Points the equivalent of 6As and 2Bs, yet at A level only it Averages a B and is not in the top 30 Grammar schools !.

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