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Grammar schools and 11+ exams

(18 Posts)
Onedaughteronecat Fri 01-Jul-16 09:37:31

We live in a town where there are three very good grammar schools that require an 11+ exam pass to attend.

AIBU to think that you should only be able to apply to attend these schools if you live in the actual town itself, or its' outlying villages? We have been visiting these schools over the past few days and have met pupils who come from 20 or 30 miles away to attend school.

Why can't these pupils attend their local schools? Why should they be filling up much needed spaces in our own town schools? If you want to attend a school in our town, then surely you should live in our town?


hesterton Fri 01-Jul-16 09:39:35

Why should one town have all the places at a grammar? They are funded by the whole county.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 01-Jul-16 09:39:45

Unusual time to have open days. State school open days are usually in September & October, including grammar schools.

SaltyMyDear Fri 01-Jul-16 09:42:10

All schools have their own admissions criteria. Some use distance. Some don't.

Have you read the admissions criteria? Does it go on pass mark then distance? Or does it go on highest score and not take into account distance?

Grammars in bucks and Berks aren't full because you need to pass to get in. And not enough people who pass apply.

With so many grammar schools in such a small area I'd be surprised if you get enough pupils passing from a small catchment.

LIZS Fri 01-Jul-16 09:44:26

You need to check the criteria. Often there are categories allocating a specific number of places to those who achieve top scores regardless of address, the highest within a catchment area, then allocated on score/distance. It isn't unusual for a child to sit for various schools and state their preferences accordingly.

Onedaughteronecat Fri 01-Jul-16 09:45:20

Our three local grammar schools have all had their open days this week, so it is not unusual.

And there are way more pupils who want the 11+ places (and are tutored to get through the exam) than there are places.

I feel it is unfair that my child is having to compete for a space in our towns' grammar schools again the whole counties' children.

ColdAsIceCubes Fri 01-Jul-16 10:02:55

Yabu. We live in a super selective area (places given to highest scoring children, no catchment areas and distance only becomes relevant on tied scores) and my dd has had to compete with children all over the country.
Not all children are heavily tutored either (we diy'd as we are on an average income so couldn't afford tutoring) and get there though their own steam.
We were lucky and my dd starts grammar school in September, if she wasn't successful she would be going to the local comp with the majority of her classmates.

NotCitrus Fri 01-Jul-16 10:06:45

The grammar schools are there to serve the whole county's children, and in fact the country's children - the point of grammar schools, like it or not, is to exclude at least 2/3 of children .

AnecdotalEvidence Fri 01-Jul-16 11:43:20

So if a child lives in a town that doesn't have a grammar school, they shouldn't be allowed to apply?

If you really believe in the whole approach of grammar schools, then distance shouldn't be relevant at all, surely it should be entirely filled by the highest scoring pupils.

bojorojo Fri 01-Jul-16 11:44:18

There are super-selective grammar schools and county-wide grammar school selection, as in Buckinghamshire. In Bucks, there are lots of grammar schools and mostly they fill up. Not with local children though because insufficient numbers pass the 11 plus, especially in the North of the county. The grammar schools will never, ever, lower their standards, so children have to meet what is required. If too few children in a town, or the catchment area, gain selection, then the school cannot be half empty. It cannot afford to be because there would be redundancies and a shrinking of the curriculum. It will recruit from a wider area. Bums on seats = money! What would you expet them to do? No grammar school will want to lower its reputation but some grammar schools are easier to get into than others. It depends where you live and the numbers of grammar schools available. In the areas with super-selective grammar schools, lots of the other schools are very good because as few as 5% get to the grammar schools. Buckinghamshire takes way more than this.

BerriesandLeaves Fri 01-Jul-16 16:22:10

Is this the Sutton Boys' Grammars?

2StripedSocks Fri 01-Jul-16 17:11:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chewbecca Fri 01-Jul-16 19:39:04

There's not enough children in my town reaching the required level to fill the grammars.

(Open evenings for yr4&5 prospective pupils are this week here too)

iklboo Fri 01-Jul-16 19:41:01

It's open evenings for the grammars this week here too for the 2017 intake. The 11+ will be held in September. Criteria seems to be pass results first, proximity is a later factor.

Badbadbunny Fri 01-Jul-16 20:04:27

Grammars need to do the open days early, both ours do them in June, as the 11+ exams are done in September. There'd be no time between open day, entry date and exam date otherwise.

Ours too take in children from 20/30 miles away. They say it's because not enough entrants in the immediate area score high enough in the 11+. They say they take all those who reach the standard from the town and it's immediate area and then the remaining places are allocated to the highest scoring pupils from the outlying areas.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 01-Jul-16 20:49:51

Yabu. If there had been one within a reasonable journey time, my dd would be at one. Suprisingly my thought process wouldn't have been 'I'll send dd to a dire school, and keep my fingers crossed that the inappropriate but ok school let's her in from the waiting list, so the local dc get a place at the grammar'. In exactly the same way I didn't expect anyone able to pray/ buy their way into a good local secondary to opt for our dire catchment school so the kids from round here could get a place.

PettsWoodParadise Fri 01-Jul-16 22:06:54

As others have said every school has its own admission criteria. In our borough there are only two grammars, one boys and one girls. The boys school has no catchment and those who sit it come from all over the country. The girl's school where DD starts in September, in comparison takes from a 9 mile radius. It just so happens that this girl's grammar is our closest secondary school and the next nearest school, an outstanding comprehensive, we are out of catchment for based on distance. The neighbouring borough does their grammar places on pass and then distance so a good number go from our borough to theirs and vice versa. Many of Kent's grammars have a system like the one you express a preference for OP, there are defined parishes that get priority, but saying that there are a number of the Kent schools which have places for 'out of catchment' pupils and these are highly sought after. In some instances where applicants have applied from a long way away they do end up moving to a nearby town as the logistics otherwise are too difficult. I am so glad that the whole thing is behind us as it is a minefield.

allwornout0 Tue 05-Jul-16 14:01:16

I live in a Grammar school area. I do think that all children that qualify for Grammar school and that live in the grammar school county should be offered the places first, then if there are empty places they can be allocated to out of county pupils.
Unfortunately, where I live there is a Grammar school near to the county border that has decided that children from the next county can have a place before children that qualified and live only 10 mins away in the correct county (A lot nearer than the children in the neighboring county)

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