Newstead Wood 2017 admission(31 Posts)
What is the cut off mark for Newstead Wood ?
It varies from year to year. They offer to those with the highest scores first, going down the list. There is no "pass mark" as such.
Do you know what the total marks attainable are. DD got 215 and wondering whether to put it down as her first choice.
Don't they give you last year's cut off as a guide?
However, you should put down schools in your order of preference, not in the order in which you think they are likely to be offered. If her score is not high enough, it will just be as if it wasn't on her list.
I just googled, and it looks like the cut off was about 225 last year.
I think the top mark possible is 280 (i.e. 140+140).
The cut off for 2016 entry was a record low of 215. It was higher on offer day, around 225. It hadn't been as low as 215 before. I would be surprised if was as low again but you never know. Typically in the years before 2016 years entry and while they've had an intake of 160, it has shuffled down to 218/219 by start of term. No harm putting it on the CAF form but it is unlikely you'll get a place on first March and it will be a tense wait. Good luck.
I'm interested in this thread, esp PettsWoodParadise's views on this and other threads. My DD has now left Newstead but I would approach the school with caution. The cutoff for yr 7 has been dropping each year. They are also struggling to retain girls from year 11 into sixth form, when they compete with the very high achieving and 'Oxbridge friendly' St Olave's who look to take 100 girls into yr 12. During my DD's time at NW there were three different heads including the current interim head who doesn't seem to want it permanently. The school had severe financial difficulties even before the forthcoming gov cuts which meant no new GCSE/A level textbooks and very few other resources. The IT system needs overhauling urgently and has previously crashed. The governing body needs to be more communicative with parents, as recommended in their last Ofsted. The school were constantly asking parents for large donations of money and I've been told they are now phoning parents to encourage this! Due to the finance issues Newstead is now joining a very large multi-academy trust. There are no comparable state schools in the MAT and it would gain control of the Bromley Tennis Centre which the school owns and is a great local asset. Is it possible the MAT would look to enlarge the school further and/or dispose of the Tennis Centre? On the good side, there are some excellent teachers and the pupils are very high achievers, although many have outside tutors, benefitting the school's league table position. Pastoral care has greatly improved under the interim head, thank goodness.
The school has bought all the new text books for the new GCSEs and A levels - yes mostly thanks to the parental contributions. I was cautious about the MAT but it seems most schools to survive are having to be part of a bigger picture. Tennis courts are a liability to the school as far as I am concerned so if they did go it would be sad they were not a resource but not the end of the world - in their last filed accounts they got no income from the courts but had expenditure which could go on other things. The teaching has beeen great and DD is loving the school. It isn't for everyone of course.
Yes, PettsWoodParadise, my DD loved the school too and we were sad to apply outside but with no senior school accountant, the poor management of the finances, and the subsequent impact, means she will take her A levels elsewhere. I believe your DD is in a lower year group and I would suggest you talk with parents of older girls at the school for their experience. Friends with DDs in GCSE and A level years tell me that they are still missing textbooks. Perhaps the school is putting a positive spin on it and who can blame them. The excellent teaching staff are trying to manage on extremely tight budgets. You will have received the direct debit forms for donations of £600+ per year. This request is to cover the £300,000 shortfall from the empty places in sixth form from 2013 - 2016 when the school roll fell. The government is pushing schools into MATs, similar to being run by a private company, one that decides how much to top slice off the school's income for central costs and in this case governs from Peterborough. I still use the Tennis Centre so I hope it stays!
They are not hiding anything (except all the redacted stuff in relation the tennis courts!) when you look at the Head's newsletters, comms re the MAT etc the are brutally clear about financial problems and Headteacher shortages. Yes the Governors redacted minutes are small on detail and I'd like to see more but they are published on the website for all to see. I have a friend whose DD left in the summer and went all the way through the school including sixth form, another who has a DD in Y8. However most telling is that friends with DCs in other schools - these themes are not unique- Newstead is not the only school who has experienced financial pinches or other problems. My niece's comp in the same borough had a suicide a few years ago. That didn't make the press, Newstead is an easy target in that regard. I applaud the school that unlike some other grammars they haven't cut the music programme and if that means going cap in hand to the parents or charities and asking for money then so be it. Many other schools of all guises do too. Newstead spend 90% of their budget on teachers which I knew when DD chose the school, I knew it wasn't the most sparkly. However I choose to be positive, without sticking my head in the sand either, and engage with the school, offer my time on spruce up days and foster the collaborative spirit. I see a lot of friends with DCs who've been and are in all sorts of schools upto and including GCSEs and A Levels and they've seen a shift so there are a lot of uneasy parents. I also think the concept of a single school managing its own finances is a recipe for disaster - they don't have the expertise. Newstead hasn't been scammed like some other schools but it is so easy not to know the best deal. The expertise the admin of an MAT offers will help with this. Slicing off 4% of income when it covers what they are already spending on Microsoft and admin licences sounds like a good deal. I too was nervous about the change but talking with the Governors makes it clear of all the advantages as well as the risks of not joining. Of course money isn't the only solution but for anyone unhappy with how their school is suffering with funding arrangements then I would urge you to write to your MP.
I think Newstead is experiencing more than a financial pinch.
Which academy chain is taking it over again? It's not Harris I know. Can't remember the name.
Just remembered. It's United Learning with 56 schools currently under its belt.
Hi Cauliflower, it is all on their website. United Learning. The MAT has done its due diligence and has been known not to accept schools in too dire straights as it could adversely affect the whole Trust.
United Learning's involvement would worry me - they have just closed down the senior school of Greenacre in Banstead and are turning the site into a massive prep, and collapsing two other preps into it.
Oh no - little concerned reading this as DD is supposed to be starting at NW this September. We were a little conflicted: we have a very good girls' comp locally, and it's very new and shiny compared to NW, but I have friends with daughters in Ys 9 and 11, and they are both very happy. The news about NW possibly joining a MAT came after we put NW as no 1 on the form: MATs do not have a very good reputation (.
The following article is just one example. Rats, this has rather taken the shine off...
MATS are the new "way forward" as they can share resources. It's knowing which MATS are immoral, money-grabbing arses and which are not that is the problem.
I don't know United Learning at all.
Thank you merlottime. I am concerned to read that the MAT is closing the Greenacre senior school in Banstead. Although independent, it is very similar to NW, girls only, very good results and in an affluent area. The public consultation by UL re NW seemed very quiet. Current NW parents I know were given 6 days' notice of the consultation meeting with UL reps on Jan 18. Really not enough notice. They told me they heard the two parent governors, only a few months before end of their 4 year tenure, resigned at the same time joining a MAT was mooted by the board back in July 2016. There are now no parent governors on the board and no vacancies seem to have been advertised. One of my concerns when my DD was there was that the same governors just rotated. NW's green fields and ownership of the Tennis Centre make it an attractive acquisition for any MAT. The 90% staff costs aren't though. UL won't allow those costs to be so high, when the norm is 75%. Also, 4% top slice sounds low but MATs charge extra for consultants to help sort out old problems. I wonder if the Tennis authorities were consulted as the Tennis Centre is a great local asset. Perhaps a current parent could start a new thread to see if you can connect with other like-minded parents. The school has not yet joined the MAT. You could ask more questions of UL and/or your school governors.
The consultation was anything but quiet, trust me! Lots of questions were asked by lots of parents so is positive and reflects engagement - answers were posted to the MAT page www.newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk/Newstead-Wood-School-MAT-Consultation/index.asp
I expect Greenacre parents also thought they had been properly consulted! PettsWoodParadise I appreciate you are being positive but I had direct experience of Newstead and again I would suggest parents ask many questions, in fact of any school/MAT they are interested in. I can see that you have had your own reservations on Newstead on your previous post on the thread:
More tests or high achieving school which gut instinct says will 'fail'? PettsWoodParadise Thu 12-Nov-15 22:27:38
Scenario: DD has passed 11+ and wants to go to our closest school the 'excellent' superselective. But there are MAJOR buts. It has major debts, the fabric of the building is crap, the teachers are reportedly OK but some are not. Nearly all the girls do well but general consensus is that the only reason they do so is they are surrounded by like-minded girls who were selected based on ability. Pastoral issues are major at this school but are clearly being addressed with firm decisions by the acting Head. No headteacher at present and only likely to know who it is when DD possibly starts in Sept. last OFSTED in 2014 was outstanding but my gut says if they were inspected tomorrow they would be failing. The Governors used to meet every six weeks, last year they met four times and so far this year they haven't met which all yells 'problem' to me. Just prior to hitting 'send' on the CAF form I was out voted in family meeting by DH and DD (grrr) on sending DD to a grammar that is IMO is better (but not superselective) in the next borough - the argument being transport times. We are not in catchment for a great local comp as otherwise would have jumped at that.
I am going to bow out of this thread. I find it is trying to turn into a bashing session and despite others also saying they have had good experiences and their friends too it is now turning to an investigation on me and not anything about the good things the school is doing. Yes, I have done a lot of investigation. Yes a lot of parents investigated the MAT and asked questions. We made a decision as a family. DD is happy there and I can't fault the school to date - other than the plumbing.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Ok, just getting the hang of Mumsnet Talk. I was reading layercake9's reply when it was deleted! Well done MNHQ. PettsWoodParadise, I hope you do read this. We are in the same boat, interested parents trying to find the best for our DDs. We were elated when our DD got into NW in the good old days of the long term head. It has not been the same since that head left in December 2013 after 12 years' service. There are many lovely teachers, parents and pupils, but I believe there have been too many changes at the top, both in heads and governors. United Learning may well be able to turn it around and I hope for the sake of your and your friends' DDs they do. The hard working teachers especially deserve it to be great again. My DD has very fond memories and made life long friends. Good luck to your DD.
This is worrying me as my daughter also has got a place for 2017 entry. It's her top choice as she loved the school and atmosphere when we visited on open day. I really hope the school can address the issues. I did go to the MAT consultation and was concerned. It seems the governors are not very experienced to me. However joining united learning may not be such a bad thing and I was quite impressed with the CEO- Jon Coles. Hopefully there will be better days for the school but I am concerned as my daughter is just about to start her academic life there and everything is so uncertain. We also had Townley near us and chose Newstead over Townley so hope the decision will be worth it!
Hi sobz70, just read through all my posts, which are depressing. But DD's experience was up to 2016. Looking to the future I firmly believe that with such talented girls carrying each other along and some excellent teachers the problems could be turned around. It needs United Learning to bring in new governors as the longer term governors have had too much influence and parents/teachers are too scared to challenge them. It needs new blood and I know of professionally qualified parents who are particularly keen to join the board but no vacancies have been advertised for the 2 vacant parent governor positions. UL also need to plough money in, particularly for the IT system and then just let the teachers teach. An additional point: you will find parents are continually asked to financially contribute, which we did, but despite assurances from the governors no accounts were published for the donations, making it hard to see where the money went, so I would advise waiting until you can see where UL are taking the school. Although, I can't see why parents should contribute after a MAT has taken over a school - why save the MAT money? As extra insurance you could ask to go on the Townley "in-year" waiting list after Sept 2017. At a larger school there may well be movement, there was even in my DD's NW class, some families move abroad etc, so new girls joined in year 8 and 9. You could always turn down a Townley waiting list offer if you didn't need it. Just a thought?
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