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Comprehensive vs Grammar

(30 Posts)
Rollercoasteroflife Mon 08-Jul-19 17:25:25

My DS (12) goes to a good comprehensive school. It's GCSE results are average/above average.

My friend's DS (12) goes to an outstanding grammar school. It's results are well above average.

My friend seems to think that if our DS's went on to sixth form, took the same A Levels and got the same results, her DS would be given priority over my DS by universities just because he went to a grammar school.

Surely this can't be true?

OP’s posts: |
WeaselsRising Mon 08-Jul-19 17:26:54

Of course it isn't. It's more likely to be the other way around.

OKBobble Mon 08-Jul-19 17:28:03

If anything with all other things being equal if they end up with the same results then your daughter would be deemed to have performed better contextually, so she is incorrect. However what I tend to do in real life is just nod and inwardly think "dick"!

OKBobble Mon 08-Jul-19 17:28:41

oops "son" not daughter

Redpostbox Mon 08-Jul-19 17:30:37

Comprehensive students have probably had to work that bit harder so it's more likely they would be given a bit of positive selection.
I wish we didn't have grammar schools - they are so unfair on the 90% who don't get to go to one and end up in secondary moderns.

Boyskeepswinging Mon 08-Jul-19 17:40:53

Agree you're more likely to get the place if you're at a comp that's classed as Widening Participation by that uni. Where you live may also be taken into account when deciding who to give the place to. So the smaller your Polar Quintile number the better ie PQ1 most likely to be offered the place. Google Polar Quintiles to see which one you live in.

Boyskeepswinging Mon 08-Jul-19 17:44:11

Ah, sorry just re-read your OP. Most uni's only look at where you do Sixth Form for Widening Participation criteria so the school prior to Y12 makes no difference. But obvs the Polar Quintiles remains relevant.

stucknoue Mon 08-Jul-19 18:01:57

Nope, other way round. My DD's got points for comprehensive school, points for being in a crap school area, low achievement neighbourhood etc, next doors kid (private) didn't get even the low achieving post code bonus consideration.

BubblesBuddy Mon 08-Jul-19 20:02:40

An average or above average comp may not be on any list for lower university offers. On that criteria most comps in the country would qualify. Average and above average describes the majority. However, it’s rubbish that grammar is preferred.

Where there are grammar counties, more than 10% go to Grammars. The areas where there are super selective Grammars still have excellent comps. Even in grammar counties the secondary moderns might have 30-40% higher achieving pupils. They are better than many pure comprehensives!

Bythebeach Mon 08-Jul-19 20:04:05

I think the opposite is likely to be true.

Boyskeepswinging Mon 08-Jul-19 21:10:02

Bubbles some very average schools are on some uni's lists. And, yes, some of their lists are very long indeed ...

avocadochocolate Tue 09-Jul-19 13:17:10

Your friend is mistaken OP. I have a DC in Y12 at a comprehensive. My DC Is applying to Oxford and other top universities. The head of 6th form has told us that excellent A Level results from a comprehensive kid are looked upon more favourably than from a grammar school kid. The teacher is going to stress on my DC's reference that the school is a comprehensive.

BubblesBuddy Tue 09-Jul-19 15:16:02

Oxbridge care about state schools, less about type of state school.

Average means there are as many below as there are above. I’m not sure the universities all use the same list.

legocat Tue 09-Jul-19 15:18:24

Your friend is deluded.

Pineapplefish Tue 09-Jul-19 15:22:49

I think probably it wouldn't make any difference as they're both classed as state schools. But yes, if there was a difference it would be in your DC's favour, not hers.

Boyskeepswinging Tue 09-Jul-19 17:24:48

Bubbles Yes, uni's use different lists. But the chances of a state Grammar school being on any is slim.

Hertsessex Tue 09-Jul-19 18:34:39

I think the comp would potential have the advantage for Oxbridge as results are looked at in the context of the whole school (although if an extremely high performing comp then not necessarily). However, depending on the schools it may be that the grammar is better placed to help with applications - people to help with Oxbridge, personal statements, interview coaching, more experience navigating the system. Some comps also good in those respects but less likely.

LynetteScavo Tue 09-Jul-19 19:32:25

No, universities will only look at results.

Having said that, the child at the grammar will probably be pushed more by school and get better GCSE results...It's unfair but if your DS goes to 6th form universities won't really care about GCSEs, unless he wants to do medicine or go to Oxford or Cambridge.

Boyskeepswinging Tue 09-Jul-19 21:55:36

Lynette your post is factually incorrect in both paragraphs. Sorry, I don't want to be argumentative but what you're saying is simply not true.

ittakes2 Tue 09-Jul-19 22:20:15

I heard its more likely to be the other way around...

TheFirstOHN Tue 09-Jul-19 23:13:43

When university admissions departments look at GCSE results, they do compare them with the average GCSE results taken at that school. So the applicant with results of 88776655 from the averagely performing comprehensive will rate higher than an applicant with results of 88776655 from a grammar school or selective independent school.

TheFirstOHN Tue 09-Jul-19 23:21:10

For the rest of the contextual data the universities look at the postcode where the applicant lives (for example its rates of progression to higher education) not the name of the school. They are processing thousands of applications so they need to have systems which use quantifiable data that can be pulled in automatically.

TheFirstOHN Tue 09-Jul-19 23:25:24

They do have access to the attainment 8 figures from schools, along with data about % FSM etc, so I think it's more likely to be that which triggers widening participation flags rather than a list of named schools, which might change from year to year anyway.

MollyButton Wed 10-Jul-19 19:16:49

Some Universities do issue contextual offers, and one of the factors may be whether or not a school/college is on a list (Bristol University does this and the list is readily available). I know there are some Comprehensives on the list, I don't know if any real Grammars are (I know one school with the word Grammar in its name which is a comprehensive).

BertrandRussell Wed 10-Jul-19 19:20:50

You don’t automatically get lower contextual offers because you go to a comprehensive school!

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