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If DC fails the exam to independent school?

(11 Posts)
Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 14:20:07

Do letters usually give the marks in the exam?

Do children ever pass an entrance exam but are refused a place because of a poor reference from primary school?

If this happens are you told about it? Thanks.

voulezvou Wed 28-Oct-09 14:25:41

If your child attends a state school you are legally entitled to see the report they send but you are not if they are already at an independent school. If he doesn't get a place they will probably offer a place on the waiting list and if they don't then it's an indication that he either failed or lots of other kids had a much higher score and they are on the waiting list.

Unless DC is a nightmare wink I can't imagine a state school going out of there way to give a bad report. Independents might because if a dud comes into the school on a fabulous report then they may be wary of accepting other pupils from that independent school again.

randomeuro Wed 28-Oct-09 14:25:48

Hi Cortina

Im my experience as a former Admissions Manager at a few Independent Schools, no letters do not usually give marks they tend to say we are delighted to offer X a place then give terms and conditions etc.

Some children do pass entrance exams but are not offered places due to various factors including a poor reference, but ime not only a poor reference, would be due to that and other factors.

In my experience no generally you are not told about it, it would usually be a standard letter saying sorry to inform you but X has not been offered a place etc.

All schools are different though so you may find that the school you have applied to will give marks.

Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 14:38:30

Thanks. I am thinking of DC but also harking back to my previous experience (as I've stated on primary education).

Be grateful for your thoughts on this. Many moons ago I got rejected from a few private secondaries. I assumed I had failed the exam.

My form tutor in my new state school called my parents in. They asked them if they had done anything to upset my previous headmaster. They said they had never read such a terrible reference and it absolutely did not refer to the child they had in their class (me). They actually said they went back to check to see if there was a mix up over names etc.

They also told my parents this was strictly off the record and they would deny the conversation had happened if questioned!

I was bullied at primary (which they took to be my fault) and was unhappy but did reasonably well and no real problems.

My headteacher was a socialist who did not approve of private schools in any way, shape or form but don't think this would have affected my reference.

If this happened would it be enough for your school to have rejected me?

Would the school still have the records? Could I find out if I had actually passed the exams?

Why don't independent schools tend to reveal the results by the way?

Thanks! I know I should probably let it go and the great think is sounds like they'll have to reveal the reference to me this time around for DC!

voulezvou Wed 28-Oct-09 15:32:14

I think independents were very different at one point and would have seen taking on a state school child as a risk or beneath them so any sign of a bad reference would have given them the excuse to say no. Things are very different now and it is almost illegal to give a bad reference - at least in the work place. I have just taken my daughter to see a school and she behaved so impecably that the school offered her a place there and then. She is actually quite boisterous normally so I'm concerned that the report will be fairly negative but at least she spent three hours at the school and that should help. Try to take DC along to meet the Head and go on a private tour so they can see your child and will be able to make their own judgements.

Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 15:45:43

Thanks, it's all a bit premature but musing and no harm in seeing how these things might work.

From my own perspective I am only just beginning to wonder if I actually passed the exams? Have always assumed I failed even though I knew about this 'bad reference'. Not that it should matter now .

mimsum Wed 28-Oct-09 18:18:23

I think a bad reference would only make a difference if a candidate was borderline

I don't really think it's particularly useful turning back the clock and wondering 'what if'

bellissima Wed 28-Oct-09 18:43:38

I can't really add anything except to agree that acceptance letters usually don't give marks but to note that a friend's DD failed to get into a south London GDST recently and the letter stated that she had not achieved a particular qualifying mark (not sure if it gave her actual mark).

Have to say what a terrible thing to send an awful reference for a child who had not done anything dreadful. Doubt whether the school would still have records on non-pupils from way back when - maybe just be consoled that you have obviously survived, indeed thrived and have a DC to be proud of whatever school they go to.

thepumpkineater Wed 28-Oct-09 18:48:05

My DS1 passed the scholarship exam to an independent school (didn't need in the end because got place at v.g. grammar school) BUT the primary school had to write a reference and the teacher involved wrote about one line, nothing more.

Appeared not to 'approve' of private education nor grammar schools, although found out later her DCs not only went to a private primary school but also then transferred to a grammar school for secondary. Grrrr. What was going on there?
Suspect her DC competing for same place. Took me a long time to get over that.......

BirthdayCard Wed 28-Oct-09 19:02:49

I worry about this. We are at present trying to get our DD transferred from a small non selective secondary independent (which we are not happy with) to a more academic and selective school. I think academically she has a good chance of getting in. SHe has a medical condition which does sometimes affect her concentration and I have always had a heard time getting her present school to understand this and so most of her school reports do complain about a lack of concentration (although despite this she is in top sets and in English the top in her school year.)

The school she is at has just had an ISI inspection and I really don't think they are going to have done very well, so wouldn't be surprised if their numbers start to drop.

That combined with the economic climate at the moment might well mean they could write a bad reference to keep her there (state schools are all very over subscribed so moving her to one of those is not an option.)

Litchick Thu 29-Oct-09 09:00:21

In schools that are oversubscribed, they take into account the entrance exam, the interview, and the reference. Sometimes they ask for the last couple of school reports too.

One of our local highly selective schools makes it very plain that much rests on the scores of the exam. And the interview is more of a task with three girls taking part to see who does what.
Another less selective school makes it plain they base a lot on the interview which is a taster day. They want to see if the girl is the right fit. Though the exam has to be passed, they don't just pick the highest scorers iyswim.

If you ask the school you';re trying for, I've found them extremely open about their process.

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