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11 plus
25

namegamer2 · 21/09/2020 20:45

So how many of you think it will happen?

My child would be an out of area candidate so it will involved quite a long journey for / separate tests.

It just seems to me that they may cancel the entire thing if:

  1. Schools close again?

  2. If they want to stop people driving around and congregating, thousands of kids sit these tests.

    What do others think?
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W00t · 21/09/2020 20:49

Our area already sat the exam- with greater distancing in the exam rooms. This was after there was an increase in cases here.
As far as I'm aware numbers were similar to usual years, but I don't have a child in that cohort, so don't know for certain.

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AlwaysLatte · 21/09/2020 20:57

I don't think they'll cancel it. There will be people in the class not taking it so it won't be the whole class and it's usually done in a hall with desks apart anyway so SD isn't an issue. It's already been put back to October half term in our area.

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namegamer2 · 21/09/2020 21:50

Interesting - I suppose I was coming at it from an outsider and I can't see them wanting all these parents and kids driving a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.

With parents milling about and children in the exam hall.

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TW2013 · 22/09/2020 09:36

Ds sitting it at school so hopefully will go ahead and hopefully there is a reserve date in case the bubble has burst. I don't know what they will do about OOC but it might mean that the pass rate is not as artificially inflated by so many children travelling in to take the exam if they don't plan to take a place.

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WishIWasSomewhereElse · 22/09/2020 10:40

Our area is wholly selective (I think it is the only area/county, in the country which is completely selective, with no comprehensives, only grammar and secondaries).

Our 11+ exams, traditionally take place in the first week of September, then the results are released in early October, allowing you to choose appropriate choices for secondary education, without wasting choices.

This year the exam has been put back to the w/c 5th November (for in county candidates, before for out of county).

This means that we have to 'waste' choices (and our secondary schools are pretty shit to be fair), as we need to choose both grammar and secondary, as we apply before the exam has been sat.

The talk of two weeks lockdown (with a week added on to half-term), is scaring the life out of me.

The county had to get permission from DfE to defer the exams, so I doubt they'll be able to do it again, yet, if the rumours are true, then it won't be possible.

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TW2013 · 22/09/2020 11:48

WishIWasSomewhereElse have you been given extra choices on the application form? We have so it doesn't feel as much of a gamble.

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BellaBella84 · 22/09/2020 12:11

@WishIWasSomewhereElse "and our secondary schools are pretty shit to be fair". Sounds like a self fulfilling prophesy doesn't it? It's true that whenever you hear the cry of "bring back grammar schools" you never hear them say "bring back secondary mods" 🙄

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WishIWasSomewhereElse · 22/09/2020 12:40

@BellaBella84 that is so true!

To be honestly fair, there are some good/better, secondaries in the south of the county, but in our town they are all pretty rubbish. I guess if we had comprehensives, the standard would be higher, as there would be children of differing abilities. Due to only having pretty poor secondaries to choose from, most higher ability children go to grammar, leaving those of above average (but who didn't pass for whatever reason - usually lack of tuition), to flounder in a school that doesn't push them to the best of their abilities.

The better secondaries are out of town, but there is so much competition that it's almost impossible to get into to.

All schools should be the same standard, but in Bucks it means either going to a grammar, or going to a secondary - which in a lot of cases means second rate.

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WishIWasSomewhereElse · 22/09/2020 12:42

@TW2013 No we haven't. We should have been, as the council knows that the children who pass will go to grammar and those that don't go to secondary, so losing choices is quite galling.

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WishIWasSomewhereElse · 22/09/2020 12:43

@TW2013 another annoyance is we have to have sent our choices by the deadline of 31/10, yet some schools aren't putting up virtual videos until the second week of October.

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TW2013 · 22/09/2020 13:53

Do try to lobby the LEA to let you have more choices, it might be too late, but other LEAs have increased the options so we get two more choices. This is in line with the DOE recommendations of at least one more choice. I would be highlighting that going against these recommendations will open the LEA to the likelihood of more appeals.

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blackheathdad · 23/09/2020 10:58

11 plus exams are becoming a national scandal .. why isnt the date to choose schools pushed back as afar as possible .. having to choose grammars when you dont even know if you have passed the test

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snoopdoop · 23/09/2020 12:23

They are a national scandal ..

Also I take from your name you live in Blackheath so like me in Greenwich you don't get a great choice of state secondary schools.

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Guymere · 24/09/2020 08:40

I live in a fully grammar school county and near me there are some very high achieving secondary moderns! Better than a lot of comprehensives elsewhere. There are a few that are not great but they are the exception rather than the rule. If people choose to live here, buying a house in catchment for a great secondary modern is key. The grammars are all outstanding so they are never a worry. Certain towns are best avoided regarding secondary moderns but there are some that parents are very keen on and are vastly over subscribed. Parents like these schools and are not all moving out of the county to get into comprehensives! Mainly because some are no better!

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Guymere · 24/09/2020 08:49

In my fully 11 plus county, the exams were second week of September and are now week commencing 2 November. There is inevitable slippage of dates but children should not be inconvenienced.

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WishIWasSomewhereElse · 24/09/2020 10:10

@Guymere You must be the same area as me, as there is only one fully selective county in the country!

As for buying houses in towns with good secondaries? That is exactly perpetuating the reality that ONLY rich people can do well under the grammar school system.

What if you can't afford to buy in an area with good schools (which are prohibitively expensive, precisely because they have good schools). It condemns those that cannot afford to live in a good school area.

Again - grammar school areas (and Bucks in particular), ONLY benefit the rich. They are the ones that can afford tuition that is compulsory if you want a chance of passing; then if your child doesn't pass, you need to be rich in order to live near a secondary that gives a modicum of decent secondary education.

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Guymere · 24/09/2020 14:46

You are completely wrong and poorly informed.

Why do you think the best secondary moderns are all in expensive towns? That’s utter rubbish. You really shouldn’t live in Bucks if you don’t like the system but if you did a bit of homework you would see there are some very good sought-after secondary moderns within cheaper housing areas.

I had one DD take the 11 plus. Many of her cohort parents were not rich (Define Rich!) and my DD didn’t have tuition that we paid for. I did it. Not intensively though. I know she had DC from a variety of backgrounds in her year group who passed. The vast majority were not especially well off. They steered their DC in the right direction and made every effort to help DC but not all had tutors. Just the angst ridden ones. Absolutely wasn’t compulsory around here.
DD went to boarding school instead of the grammar so I count myself as rich.

You should have gone to another county if you are so against the system in this one. It’s not compulsory to live here. As I said, look at the best Bucks secondary modern results and then look at the results from comprehensive schools in other areas. The Bucks schools are not that far behind!

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Guymere · 24/09/2020 14:47

Define a modicum of decent education. May I steer you to the results at Waddesdon School! Pretty ordinary house prices there.

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snoopdoop · 24/09/2020 18:38

Bit of a snarky response there .. never mind.

Ofcourse 11 plus admission is a niche industry and ofcourse your child has to go to a good school if you don't need to do much revision.

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Guymere · 24/09/2020 19:43

Well I think it’s wholly unfair and inaccurate to say you cannot get a modicum of decent education in a Bucks secondary moderns. My neighbours DS studied maths at a RG university. Others neighbours dc are studying nursing, chemistry, sociology, Law, History,Mechanical Engineering and a few I cannot remember and they went to secondary moderns. They attend universities such as Exeter, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, UWE etc. I find it rude to say they are under achieving and haven’t had a decent education. Plenty of secondary moderns here have high achievers from primary schools and they certainly can go to decent universities. I think your views are very outdated and belong in a former world. Not this one. Why don’t you look at the achievements of DC in these schools before you say they are not educating DC?

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snoopdoop · 24/09/2020 20:09

Guymere actually I think you make a lot of great points.


Where I live some of the secondaries are really poor. Doesn't sound like that rings tries at all.


I have to say where I live and it is relentless the tutor culture is big business - I know people who spend 80 to 100 a week on 11 plus tutoring. I do feel I can't compete with that. I also know people who have children who go to private schools and they don't feel the need for tutoring at all because they are taught so much more than many at state schools in primary

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snoopdoop · 24/09/2020 20:10

And I apologise Guymere it was I who was snarky. Apologies again and have a good evening.

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WishIWasSomewhereElse · 24/09/2020 20:33

@Guymere Waddesdon may be cheap for you, but for me, no! So my point remains.


Aylesbury's secondary schools are (with the exception of the new catholic school, which if you aren't catholic you've got little chance of getting into), are pretty shit!

My siblings went to Waddesdon, and yes it was good (luckily my parents were friends with a vicar who wrote a letter for them, without support from a vicar you cannot get into Waddesdon from Aylesbury).

I went to Quarrendon and The Grange. Quarrendon no longer exists, but AVA doesn't inspire much hope, and I know parents of children there who are unhappy. Same with The Grange, maybe a bit better, but not aspirational. Mandeville also has lots of unhappy parents.

So I DO know the area, I DO know the schools, and I speak from experience. Not outdated at all, I'm stuck with a DC in a school that went into special measures, and I CANNOT afford to move to Waddesdon, so it's not my views that are outdated, and you are showing again, that privilege and wealth are necessary for a decent education in Bucks.

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WishIWasSomewhereElse · 24/09/2020 20:42

@Guymere I apologise, I didn't mean to be so aggressive.

I'm frustrated as I have a DC going through this now. I would love to live in Waddesdon, but am struggling with the rent in Aylesbury. The only realistic secondary we'll get would be Mandeville or AVA, and I know enough unhappy parents, to know they are not good. I think The Grange is OK (and nearer), but for some reason our catchment school is AVA (3 miles away, compared to 1.6 miles for The Grange).

I didn't put my DC's primary school down as a choice, but it was a high birth year, so they gave us a school we didn't even choose.

I'm sorry again.

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Guymere · 24/09/2020 23:22

Actually I know Aylesbury very well and I do agree you have three schools there that have nearly always been poor. I was a governor at Quarrendon years ago and before that, Hayden Abbey next door. I was well aware Quarrendon was a basket case back then and I don’t think giving it a new name and making it an academy makes any difference. I saw first hand back then that SLT were useless and so we’re most of the mysoginistic governors who didn’t know the time of day either. I resigned.

However you have Winslow and Wing schools and they are not expensive places to live. If you can move, I would. I don’t think Waddesdon catchment rents are so much higher than Aylesbury. You only need to live there for application purposes for a short time. I’m aware Aylesbury rents are quite high but you get so much more at Waddesdon School, as you know. I am fully aware you need to find God to go there but if it was me, I’d find it PDQ! You simply have nothing to lose - everything to gain. I actually disagree with how Waddesdon admissions work but if I wanted a good school I would find God.

I’m surprised ordinary folk in Aylesbury have so much spare money for tutoring. When I was at HA, I knew hardly any parent there could afford tutoring. It’s far less prevalent on the council estate areas such as Quarrendon, Elmhurst and Southcourt when compared to the more affluent areas. I actually believe children should be given 11 plus lessons as clubs in schools to level the playing field. However parents can tutor DC and plenty still do.

I don’t think a Bucks education is overall doom and gloom but it has pockets of continual failure. I notice academy status hasn’t improved anything. I realise other schools are better and the few I’ve named are possibly accessible to you.

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