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12+ and transfer to grammar school

(20 Posts)
sam84uk Wed 01-Jun-16 17:31:15

My DD didn't pass this year's 11+, we also appealed due to extenuating circumstances but lost.

Recently the headteacher at our preferred school wrote to invite DD to sit the 12+ in September (4 days before the children return to school). She said we'd get the results that day & if successful we'd then fill in a transfer form and the local authority would deal with the transfer from there.

Today I contacted my local authority to ask how long a transfer would usually take. They've said that they won't consider any transfers until after the October half term. This would mean that DD would have to attend her current allocated school until at least November despite potentially knowing that she'd be moving school before even starting! The preferred school has places available and the headteacher has planned the 12+ test deliberately early in the term to get the ball rolling asap for the children.

I get the impression that there is some animosity between the head and the local authority about the timing of the test.

The authority have said that their reason for the delay is to allow children to settle in to their new school before deciding to transfer however in this case we've already expressed interest, appealed for this school and DD will have already sat the entrance test! They also said that delay is due to the workload that they'd have in the September with those wanting to move schools.

Does anyone have any advice or experience in anything similar?

Thanks in advance.

bojorojo Wed 01-Jun-16 19:20:57

I have just looked up the in year transfers in my LA. We have grammar schools. If the school tested this term, instead of next term, my LA would process the application before the start of term. So, it depends when the school tests, and this is up to the school. After 1 September, my LA would have processed the majority of in year transfers (and probably have filled the spaces - it says there is a high volume to work through) so I do not understand why the school is taking so long to test. Surely if they tested fairly soon, all this problem could be avoided? Why are they waiting so long if they have spaces?

bojorojo Wed 01-Jun-16 19:24:44

I meant to add that if the application is made by 10 June, the transfer (or not) will be communicated by 21 July. Later dates result in a later decision date but there are no application and decision dates for September.

sam84uk Wed 01-Jun-16 19:29:36

Their policy is that if a child sat the 11+ test (& didn't pass) in the Autumn term of Yr 6 than the earliest they can retest is Autumn term of yr 7 (I'm not sure why they have this policy but it seems to be the same at other local grammars too). The LA aren't happy that the head in this case is performing the test on Sept 2nd as the children don't actually start until Sept 6th. The upshot of this appears to be that the LA refuse to process any transfers until November.

Usually this school don't have so many spaces, no one is quite sure why they have so many this year.

SaltyMyDear Wed 01-Jun-16 19:34:51

If the new school want you you don't need to wait for the LEA to officially ok it, you can start.

Then eventually the LEA will transfer the paperwork. But you won't notice any different.

(We did this. Started the day the school said we could start. And let them sort out the paperwork later)

sam84uk Wed 01-Jun-16 21:13:18

That sounds promising.

That's not the impression that the LA and the head gave me but I'll certainly put it to them.

The LA tried to tell me that they deliberately leave it that long to give the children a chance to settle in at the school before transferring them.

sam84uk Wed 01-Jun-16 21:14:36

I.e. to ensure that they definitely want to transfer.

LongChalk Wed 01-Jun-16 21:19:24

I agree with Salty. If she passes and the school are happy for her to start then let her start and let the paperwork catch up by half term. I've known this to happen twice with in year transfers whenLAs have a back log but the child has moved house and needs to start school. In both cases (different LAs) the parents just received a letter about 6wks after starting to say their child could start.

sam84uk Wed 01-Jun-16 21:37:12

I've emailed the LA to ask to see their policy on delaying the transfer and also to ask what the policy is for those new to the area as I can't imagine that they'd take the same stance in that instance.

I'll definitely put it to the school though and fingers crossed there'll be no issue.

Heifer Thu 02-Jun-16 12:47:44

DD has several friends that have taken the 12+ this year. They got told the next day if they had passed and offered a place immediately. Some opted to move literally the next day and some at the end of the term. I think paperwork from LEA must have caught up later.

Takeiteasymum Thu 02-Jun-16 13:30:01

Are they grammar schools and which ones?

sam84uk Thu 02-Jun-16 22:20:42

Does your LA usually manage the admissions to that school though Heifer? I understand that some grammar schools manage their own.

In our case the admissions arrangements are as follows:

"The Council administers the assessment arrangements for Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral Grammar School for Boys and Wirral Grammar School for Girls. The grammar schools have criteria to determine which children will be given places if more children achieve the standard than there are places available."

The school in question is Wirral Grammar for girls.

Heifer Fri 03-Jun-16 10:03:37

Hi Sam84UK. My LA is your LA :-) The school I am referring to is actually West Kirby Grammar school.

My understanding is that they have free spaces now, whereas Wirral don't have this year. We have lost around 5 or 6 from DDs to WK since Christmas. All could start as soon as they found out they had passed.

sam84uk Fri 03-Jun-16 12:56:37

Ah small world Heifer.

Very useful to know too. That kind of supports the theory that the animosity between the headteacher at Wirral Grammar Girls & the LA is causing the issue. The woman I spoke to the LA knew which school I was enquiring about without me mentioning it or giving anything away and was quite short with me too.

Heifer Sat 04-Jun-16 12:56:25

I would ask Wirral Grammar why DD can't take the test in June! That would simply things a lot, as would give the LA lots of time to sort out the paperwork...

If WK can manage to test people immediately (people aren't waiting to be tested, it's happening regularly) and the LA are handling their paperwork - or at least the school is allowing the girls to start immediately if they wish, I can see no need for your DD to have to start another school year at a school she wants to leave!

oh just realised your DD is currently yr6 not yr7 like DDs friend - that may be why she can't take the 12+ until Sept...

sam84uk Sat 04-Jun-16 16:20:56

Yes that's why she has to wait as she's current yr6. To be honest a few months to wait wil probably benefit her too as we've arranged a lesson a week with a tutor between now & Sept to help her feel more confident with the test (she had no tutoring for the 11+).

I'm hoping that when I speak to the head next week we'll be able to discuss options.

bojorojo Sat 04-Jun-16 17:23:32

You said in your headline it was 12 plus transfer. You are actually talking about late 11 plus transfer and having another bite of the cherry. Somewhat different. They could retest in June but it may be the LA is responsible for administering 11 plus, therefore it is their call. If you wait until the start of the new school year it becomes 12 plus.

sam84uk Sat 04-Jun-16 18:24:59

It's definitely the 12+ here and the policy is that she can't be retested until Autumn term when she'll be starting in Yr 7.

As the school is holding the test on 2nd Sept (the children start back on 6th - 5th is an inset) my only issue is why wait until November to transfer.

I've used the word transfer as she already holds a place for a different secondary school so it would be treated as a transfer despite her not being there yet. I've been told I'll have to complete a transfer form.

sam84uk Tue 14-Jun-16 13:55:14

Just to update I spoke to the headteacher who contacted the LA. Since then the admissions team at the LA emailed me to say:
"^It has been agreed for this year only that as there are still places available at the Grammar School for Girls that pupils may be tested in September and complete transfer forms then and not having to wait until October half term.^"

Thanks for the suggestions.

Goodlife10 Wed 25-Oct-17 03:19:26

Hi Sam84 do you have any advice on the appeals process for Wirral and do you know whether Wirral grammar offered this second test this year 2017 as I will be appealing for my daughter? Any advice would be most welcome.

Kindest regards

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