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State applicants to Academic Indies 11+ London

(7 Posts)
givemesomewineplease Mon 01-Apr-19 13:39:43

I hear contrary opinions as to whether state applicants have a lower mark they need to reach on academic 11+ papers for the London schools compared to private applicants. Does anyone know? I feel it’s all hearsay as the schools themselves seem to say they assess the applicants equally.

OP’s posts: |
nylon14 Mon 01-Apr-19 14:13:18

Yes, I remember hearing this as well. I think that state applicants still need to meet the admissions criteria of the school. Many say they actively try and recruit more state kids, but I wouldn't count on it.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Mon 01-Apr-19 14:41:57

Private schools are businesses. They are trying to fill their spaces with the best candidates they can with parents willing and able to pay the fees. Bursary applications are different and different rules apply.

marytuda Mon 01-Apr-19 21:00:13

Aren't they supposed to be charities? For tax purposes, at any rate? Just saying wink

PatienceVirtue Tue 02-Apr-19 11:23:10

In answer to the OP, I don't think they have a lower exam pass mark per se. Private schools, unlike grammars, can take a whole range of factors into consideration when deciding to offer places. These will include - head's ref, siblings, school they currently attend, summer v winter, boy or girl, extra curricular stuff etc.

They will also have years of data that will show them how kids perform once they're in the school. In other words, if kids from a certain prep seem to underperform relative to their exam score or if children from state schools tend to do better.

Generally the whole system is a bit opaque and you'd never get a straight answer from the schools as they want to keep it that way. My children go to pretty selective secondaries having been to a state primary and there a fair few of others who also got in at 11. I would say mine are almost unique in having gone to a non-faith, non-very sought-after state primary with high numbers of FSM (>60%).

givemesomewineplease Tue 02-Apr-19 12:38:43

Thanks for the replies. I don’t think there is a clear answer on this ... it seems to depend who you speak to, and as you say PatienceVirtue, it must depend hugely on the type of child/background that each individual school feels will thrive in their environment. So there probably isn’t any clean-cut answer to this. Most parents I know who have been through it think it’s just the results that matter (and reference from school + interview) but my dd’s tutor is certain state school kids don’t have to reach quite the same level (although it’s probably a marginal difference).

Relevance to us is that our dd in yr 5 is not being taught much at school, certainly not following the full curriculum (we are on the case and the head is promising to provide more support but the teacher is inherently unsuitable to this role so I can’t see it improving much), and we are keen to move her to a private school asap but the secondary indies she wants start at yr 7 and not long now until entrance tests so it’s not really worth it. That’s why I was just interested if anyone could give me anything more concrete about the private vs state applicant chances to make me feel better if she stays state! At the end of the day, my instinct is my dd will end up in whatever is the most suitable school for her, I don’t want her to scrape into a school so if she can’t make it from a state school (admittedly one that is failing her) then it’s probably not the right place for her anyway. She’s academic, musical, sporty, and motivated so I feel that she should be in a good position whatever the school she applies from, it would just make me feel a bit better about staying in the state if the lesser teaching of that school might in some way be taken into account.

Her tutor group is full of private school kids and I know how much those schools prep the kids for 11+ as it is so I am very aware of the disadvantage my dd is at (like all other state kids). Which is why it makes sense to me that this is in some way taken into account when considering each applicant. If they want the best material, surely it is relevant that the prep school kids have been primed for years every day to pass the tests, so therefore one would naturally expect them to achieve higher results - it doesn’t mean that they are more intelligent and able than those achieving very slightly lower who haven’t had the same level of support and preparation.

OP’s posts: |
cakeisalwaystheanswer Tue 02-Apr-19 14:29:59

And then how would the senior schools allow for state school applicants who have been tutored to death by parents/tutors as opposed to those who have "just done a few bond books" ? I have known lots of state school parents drop all other activities in Y5 and 6 just to focus on 11+ entrance exams.

My youngest in Y9 now but tutoring from his prep was very rare, firstly because there wasn't time with all the other activities, but also because prep heads have to send a report to a senior school and they are very unlikely to reccommend a child to a school they know will be unsuitable for them. Most parents want a happy DC in the right school, not the "best" school.

I can appreciate that you feel disadvantaged but there are a lot more senior school places available in this area than prep school places so there's lots to go round. Also, boarding schools which were avoided after 2008 have become popular again leaving even more day school places available.

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