More than 200 children miss out on secondary school places in south west Hertfordshire

More than 200 children miss out on secondary school places in south west Hertfordshire

More than 200 children miss out on secondary school places in south west Hertfordshire

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Web content editor

More than 200 children in south west Hertfordshire have missed out on getting the secondary place of their choice as the school admission system reaches "breaking point".

Labour and Liberal Democrat county councillors have spoken of the "shocking" figures released earlier this week.

Although 95 per cent of Hertfordshire children have been allocated a place at one of their preferred secondary or upper schools, more than 630 were not.

In Watford, Three Rivers and Bushey, 222 children were placed in a school they did not want to attend.

Labour councillor Anne Joynes said: "These figures make for shocking reading where Watford pupils are concerned, 120 children in Watford haven't been allocated one of their choices."

Liberal Democrat councillor Mark Watkin said: "Through no fault of their own, these children will suffer the hardship of being separated from their school friends, and having to travel much further than they planned to a school that wasn’t in their top four preferences.

"We have been seeing the massive increase in demand for primary school places over the last few years, and here is the start of the secondary bulge.

"The pressure for additional capacity in south west Herts is near breaking point."

In total 12,080 Hertfordshire children were allocated one of their ranked schools.

Chris Hayward, executive member for enterprise, education and skills, said: "I do appreciate that some parents may be disappointed with the school they have been allocated, but would encourage them to visit the school and speak to the headteacher before dismissing the offered place. They may be pleasantly surprised by what they see."

All applicants who have not been offered their first preference school will automatically be placed on the continuing interest list for any Hertfordshire schools named higher on the application form than the school offered.

Comments (50)

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12:15pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Cuetip says...

Chris Hayward ‘disappointed ..’
Many Watford parents feel more than just disappointed as not only are they denied their first choices but no school place despite paying local taxes as they watch scarce places being taken by those living in areas like Brent and Harrow.
Chris Hayward ‘disappointed ..’ Many Watford parents feel more than just disappointed as not only are they denied their first choices but no school place despite paying local taxes as they watch scarce places being taken by those living in areas like Brent and Harrow. Cuetip
  • Score: 32

12:43pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Cuetip is correct but there are legal precedents that means this is unlikely to be changed.

There is another problem though, mentioned in the article - "pressure on school places in general". Hundreds and thousands of new homes are being built all the time and with them come more children who then need more school places.

A large part of the problem is with the elephant in the room. Uncontrolled, open-door immigration from the EU.

Immigration, whilst a good thing for the UK, has to be managed or you find the infrastructure - homes, schools, hospitals, doctors, opticians, roads etc just cannot cope, and then it becomes a bad thing for the UK.

We currently have completely unmanaged immigration from the EU and this is adding to pressure on resources, as in this case on school places.

By all means let's have good positive immigration into the UK, but let's manage it properly.

No country should be expected to find school places for anyone who wants to come from the EU to take advantage of their education or health system, particularly when, as in our case, the whole population of the EU, 430 million people (excluding those already in the UK) could turn up tomorrow if they so wished.

The potential scale of the problem is huge. We really need to regain control of immigration to the UK so that we can try to avoid situations like this.

Only Ukip proposes managed immigration.

LibLabCon are all in favour of the current uncontrolled open-door immigration policy of the EU - they have no choice if they want to stay in the EU and they all do want to stay in the EU. In fact the LibDems are wildly in favour of it, can't get enough of it - you only have to listen to Vince Cable to see that.

If you think immigration should be managed - not stopped, just managed - then there is only one party to vote for and that's Ukip.
Cuetip is correct but there are legal precedents that means this is unlikely to be changed. There is another problem though, mentioned in the article - "pressure on school places in general". Hundreds and thousands of new homes are being built all the time and with them come more children who then need more school places. A large part of the problem is with the elephant in the room. Uncontrolled, open-door immigration from the EU. Immigration, whilst a good thing for the UK, has to be managed or you find the infrastructure - homes, schools, hospitals, doctors, opticians, roads etc just cannot cope, and then it becomes a bad thing for the UK. We currently have completely unmanaged immigration from the EU and this is adding to pressure on resources, as in this case on school places. By all means let's have good positive immigration into the UK, but let's manage it properly. No country should be expected to find school places for anyone who wants to come from the EU to take advantage of their education or health system, particularly when, as in our case, the whole population of the EU, 430 million people (excluding those already in the UK) could turn up tomorrow if they so wished. The potential scale of the problem is huge. We really need to regain control of immigration to the UK so that we can try to avoid situations like this. Only Ukip proposes managed immigration. LibLabCon are all in favour of the current uncontrolled open-door immigration policy of the EU - they have no choice if they want to stay in the EU and they all do want to stay in the EU. In fact the LibDems are wildly in favour of it, can't get enough of it - you only have to listen to Vince Cable to see that. If you think immigration should be managed - not stopped, just managed - then there is only one party to vote for and that's Ukip. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -4

12:59pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Sara says...

There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated.
There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated. Sara
  • Score: -14

1:08pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Nascot says...

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford wrote:
Cuetip is correct but there are legal precedents that means this is unlikely to be changed.

There is another problem though, mentioned in the article - "pressure on school places in general". Hundreds and thousands of new homes are being built all the time and with them come more children who then need more school places.

A large part of the problem is with the elephant in the room. Uncontrolled, open-door immigration from the EU.

Immigration, whilst a good thing for the UK, has to be managed or you find the infrastructure - homes, schools, hospitals, doctors, opticians, roads etc just cannot cope, and then it becomes a bad thing for the UK.

We currently have completely unmanaged immigration from the EU and this is adding to pressure on resources, as in this case on school places.

By all means let's have good positive immigration into the UK, but let's manage it properly.

No country should be expected to find school places for anyone who wants to come from the EU to take advantage of their education or health system, particularly when, as in our case, the whole population of the EU, 430 million people (excluding those already in the UK) could turn up tomorrow if they so wished.

The potential scale of the problem is huge. We really need to regain control of immigration to the UK so that we can try to avoid situations like this.

Only Ukip proposes managed immigration.

LibLabCon are all in favour of the current uncontrolled open-door immigration policy of the EU - they have no choice if they want to stay in the EU and they all do want to stay in the EU. In fact the LibDems are wildly in favour of it, can't get enough of it - you only have to listen to Vince Cable to see that.

If you think immigration should be managed - not stopped, just managed - then there is only one party to vote for and that's Ukip.
'Control C/Control V' from a previous post.
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford[/bold] wrote: Cuetip is correct but there are legal precedents that means this is unlikely to be changed. There is another problem though, mentioned in the article - "pressure on school places in general". Hundreds and thousands of new homes are being built all the time and with them come more children who then need more school places. A large part of the problem is with the elephant in the room. Uncontrolled, open-door immigration from the EU. Immigration, whilst a good thing for the UK, has to be managed or you find the infrastructure - homes, schools, hospitals, doctors, opticians, roads etc just cannot cope, and then it becomes a bad thing for the UK. We currently have completely unmanaged immigration from the EU and this is adding to pressure on resources, as in this case on school places. By all means let's have good positive immigration into the UK, but let's manage it properly. No country should be expected to find school places for anyone who wants to come from the EU to take advantage of their education or health system, particularly when, as in our case, the whole population of the EU, 430 million people (excluding those already in the UK) could turn up tomorrow if they so wished. The potential scale of the problem is huge. We really need to regain control of immigration to the UK so that we can try to avoid situations like this. Only Ukip proposes managed immigration. LibLabCon are all in favour of the current uncontrolled open-door immigration policy of the EU - they have no choice if they want to stay in the EU and they all do want to stay in the EU. In fact the LibDems are wildly in favour of it, can't get enough of it - you only have to listen to Vince Cable to see that. If you think immigration should be managed - not stopped, just managed - then there is only one party to vote for and that's Ukip.[/p][/quote]'Control C/Control V' from a previous post. Nascot
  • Score: -4

1:27pm Fri 7 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Mark, if you have been seeing the increase over the last few years, what has been done about it up until now? Sympathy is not what people need right now. Action is needed.

Chris, by your comments given in the article, you show complete ignorance of the situation in Watford. My son is in year 4 and I visited all the local schools last year, with a view to doing additional visits before finalising my choices on the CAF form. I am not unique in doing this, in fact I met a fair number of other parents I know during the school visits.

What I would really love to know is how the cut off marks for 1st round entry, at pretty much all the ranked schools in Watford, have jumped by approx. 10 marks from last year? Could it actually be that the children sitting the SW Herts 11 plus are coming from pretty much every county that touches borders with Hertfordshire. If they get a high enough score, they simply rent, one of the shanty town, one or two bedroom boxes (currently being described as affordable accommodation - not sure many families with 2 or more children would agree that the demand for affordable housing is being met but that's a subject matter for a whole new discussion), get their place and then move out 6 months later to their actual family home.

I would so love someone to do a run and analysis on address postcodes for all the year 8 and 9 children currently attending the ranked schools in Watford (it's never going to happen as the schools are quite happy with the frenzy surrounding the whole entry process. It does their PR work for them for free. However, it might actually give a more accurate point to start from for planning future school developments and requirements.

I think the parents in Bucks need to hold on tight to their hats as I think they are about to feel the impact of the tidal wave that has just hit Watford. I for one don't think I will even bother with any of the Watford schools when it comes the turn of my DCs, I think I will be looking OOC.

There are so many problems with local children getting access to local ranked schools in Watford that it is going to take something close to a bulldozer to clear up the mess. Unfortunately it is going to need someone to actually hold their hands up and agree that there is a mess that needs clearing up in the first place. So far local politicians seem to be of the opinion that local parents are holding their sights too high and that they, the local politicians, are simply powerless in doing anything about the situation. In fact one local politician claims that the whole situation has been created by the schools themselves, Isn't that right Dorothy Thornhill? When did schools become more powerful than politicians. I've obviously missed something here.

From my point of view, living 358 meters from a school does not qualify me for a distance place at that school. Really? Odd given that the school's playing fields actually back onto my road. I walk there twice a week for my children to do music lessons and it takes 10 minutes. The next nearest school is a 30(ish) minute walk, crossing one of the most congested roads in Watford.

The grammar schools used to allocate distance places. These, from what I can tell are being given to siblings. If this is not the case, can someone explain to me how you can fit 19 children into a distance of 220 meters (a large amount of which is actually taken up by the school's playing field at the back). With the exception of a huge block of flats, I can't see how it would be possible. Most of the properties would have to have multiple children of the same age residing there.
Mark, if you have been seeing the increase over the last few years, what has been done about it up until now? Sympathy is not what people need right now. Action is needed. Chris, by your comments given in the article, you show complete ignorance of the situation in Watford. My son is in year 4 and I visited all the local schools last year, with a view to doing additional visits before finalising my choices on the CAF form. I am not unique in doing this, in fact I met a fair number of other parents I know during the school visits. What I would really love to know is how the cut off marks for 1st round entry, at pretty much all the ranked schools in Watford, have jumped by approx. 10 marks from last year? Could it actually be that the children sitting the SW Herts 11 plus are coming from pretty much every county that touches borders with Hertfordshire. If they get a high enough score, they simply rent, one of the shanty town, one or two bedroom boxes (currently being described as affordable accommodation - not sure many families with 2 or more children would agree that the demand for affordable housing is being met but that's a subject matter for a whole new discussion), get their place and then move out 6 months later to their actual family home. I would so love someone to do a run and analysis on address postcodes for all the year 8 and 9 children currently attending the ranked schools in Watford (it's never going to happen as the schools are quite happy with the frenzy surrounding the whole entry process. It does their PR work for them for free. However, it might actually give a more accurate point to start from for planning future school developments and requirements. I think the parents in Bucks need to hold on tight to their hats as I think they are about to feel the impact of the tidal wave that has just hit Watford. I for one don't think I will even bother with any of the Watford schools when it comes the turn of my DCs, I think I will be looking OOC. There are so many problems with local children getting access to local ranked schools in Watford that it is going to take something close to a bulldozer to clear up the mess. Unfortunately it is going to need someone to actually hold their hands up and agree that there is a mess that needs clearing up in the first place. So far local politicians seem to be of the opinion that local parents are holding their sights too high and that they, the local politicians, are simply powerless in doing anything about the situation. In fact one local politician claims that the whole situation has been created by the schools themselves, Isn't that right Dorothy Thornhill? When did schools become more powerful than politicians. I've obviously missed something here. From my point of view, living 358 meters from a school does not qualify me for a distance place at that school. Really? Odd given that the school's playing fields actually back onto my road. I walk there twice a week for my children to do music lessons and it takes 10 minutes. The next nearest school is a 30(ish) minute walk, crossing one of the most congested roads in Watford. The grammar schools used to allocate distance places. These, from what I can tell are being given to siblings. If this is not the case, can someone explain to me how you can fit 19 children into a distance of 220 meters (a large amount of which is actually taken up by the school's playing field at the back). With the exception of a huge block of flats, I can't see how it would be possible. Most of the properties would have to have multiple children of the same age residing there. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 12

1:31pm Fri 7 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?
Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest? justiceforwatford
  • Score: 3

1:43pm Fri 7 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

As a side point, Sara, do you think parents are delighted at the fact that they have spend literally hundreds of pounds preparing their children for the 11 plus exam, only to find that the only school available is one that does not even need the exam in the first place. Further more, depending on where people are located in Watford, it really does fall down to just the one school taking on the children that didn't make it.

Stop hiding behind the weak excuse that there were places available on allocation day. Final acceptances have not been submitted, there are still two more rounds of the CI lists to be run so your comment is completely meaningless at this point in time. If you can make the same claim in September when the new year 7 children start then your point will have been made.

I'm looking at two years time and I see very little being done. Are you happy to guarantee me, right now, that my son will have a place in Westfield when it comes to his turn. Just to make it clear Francis Coombe is miles away from where I live so is not even an option.

What I fail to understand is why the decision was made to take one of the lowest performing schools in Watford and double it in size. A clear demonstration that people involved in the provision of educational services are only interested in the figures on paper. How is the school going to perform in the future with the added pressure of so many more students to accommodate?
As a side point, Sara, do you think parents are delighted at the fact that they have spend literally hundreds of pounds preparing their children for the 11 plus exam, only to find that the only school available is one that does not even need the exam in the first place. Further more, depending on where people are located in Watford, it really does fall down to just the one school taking on the children that didn't make it. Stop hiding behind the weak excuse that there were places available on allocation day. Final acceptances have not been submitted, there are still two more rounds of the CI lists to be run so your comment is completely meaningless at this point in time. If you can make the same claim in September when the new year 7 children start then your point will have been made. I'm looking at two years time and I see very little being done. Are you happy to guarantee me, right now, that my son will have a place in Westfield when it comes to his turn. Just to make it clear Francis Coombe is miles away from where I live so is not even an option. What I fail to understand is why the decision was made to take one of the lowest performing schools in Watford and double it in size. A clear demonstration that people involved in the provision of educational services are only interested in the figures on paper. How is the school going to perform in the future with the added pressure of so many more students to accommodate? justiceforwatford
  • Score: 4

1:54pm Fri 7 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Cuetip wrote:
Chris Hayward ‘disappointed ..’
Many Watford parents feel more than just disappointed as not only are they denied their first choices but no school place despite paying local taxes as they watch scarce places being taken by those living in areas like Brent and Harrow.
I believe Stanmore is quite a popular area to live for a fair number of the girls at the grammar school.
[quote][p][bold]Cuetip[/bold] wrote: Chris Hayward ‘disappointed ..’ Many Watford parents feel more than just disappointed as not only are they denied their first choices but no school place despite paying local taxes as they watch scarce places being taken by those living in areas like Brent and Harrow.[/p][/quote]I believe Stanmore is quite a popular area to live for a fair number of the girls at the grammar school. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 13

2:40pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Be Nice says...

12% of places at Watford Boys went out of area, 17% at Watford girls and 20% at Bushey Meads!

Approximately 50% of allocations at The Reach Free School went to children who had not been given any of their 4 preferences, so were put there.

146 of the 275 allocated Westfield had not selected it as a preference.

Bushey Academy was ranked 1st preference on more applications than both Rickmansworth & Bushey Meads this year and increased its planned intake of 210 to offer 265 places.

However 83 Hertfordshire children were offered a Hillingdon school (Northwood, Haydon, Bishops Ramsey or Harefield).

This document makes for pretty interesting reading.
http://www.hertsdire
ct.org/docs/pdf/admi
ssions/allocationsta
ts
12% of places at Watford Boys went out of area, 17% at Watford girls and 20% at Bushey Meads! Approximately 50% of allocations at The Reach Free School went to children who had not been given any of their 4 preferences, so were put there. 146 of the 275 allocated Westfield had not selected it as a preference. Bushey Academy was ranked 1st preference on more applications than both Rickmansworth & Bushey Meads this year and increased its planned intake of 210 to offer 265 places. However 83 Hertfordshire children were offered a Hillingdon school (Northwood, Haydon, Bishops Ramsey or Harefield). This document makes for pretty interesting reading. http://www.hertsdire ct.org/docs/pdf/admi ssions/allocationsta ts Be Nice
  • Score: 8

3:03pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Be Nice says...

Sara wrote:
There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated.
Sara I think you are incorrect.

According to the Out Turn Report produced by Herts County the only school with places available was The Reach Free School. Westfield & Francis Coombe were with children who had not be allocated a school of their choice.
http://www.hertsdire
ct.org/docs/pdf/admi
ssions/vacancies0303
14
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated.[/p][/quote]Sara I think you are incorrect. According to the Out Turn Report produced by Herts County the only school with places available was The Reach Free School. Westfield & Francis Coombe were with children who had not be allocated a school of their choice. http://www.hertsdire ct.org/docs/pdf/admi ssions/vacancies0303 14 Be Nice
  • Score: 6

3:15pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Sara says...

Be Nice wrote:
Sara wrote: There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated.
Sara I think you are incorrect. According to the Out Turn Report produced by Herts County the only school with places available was The Reach Free School. Westfield & Francis Coombe were with children who had not be allocated a school of their choice. http://www.hertsdire ct.org/docs/pdf/admi ssions/vacancies0303 14
Sorry, you misunderstand me. There were places available at those schools to which those not allocated a school of their choice were allocated. There are now no places at either of those schools. But all the children who were left without one of their choices have been allocated a place within the Borough.

There are four secondaries within the Borough of Watford, two selective single sex schools, and two all-ability co-ed schools.
[quote][p][bold]Be Nice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated.[/p][/quote]Sara I think you are incorrect. According to the Out Turn Report produced by Herts County the only school with places available was The Reach Free School. Westfield & Francis Coombe were with children who had not be allocated a school of their choice. http://www.hertsdire ct.org/docs/pdf/admi ssions/vacancies0303 14[/p][/quote]Sorry, you misunderstand me. There were places available at those schools to which those not allocated a school of their choice were allocated. There are now no places at either of those schools. But all the children who were left without one of their choices have been allocated a place within the Borough. There are four secondaries within the Borough of Watford, two selective single sex schools, and two all-ability co-ed schools. Sara
  • Score: -2

3:19pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Sara says...

justiceforwatford wrote:
Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?
We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy.
[quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?[/p][/quote]We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy. Sara
  • Score: -10

3:33pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Sara says...

I'm not hiding behind excuses, being complacent or anything else I'm accused of. Partly I was refuting the point made by Phil 'stuck record' Cox. There are (just about) enough places to go around, but they are not at the schools parents want for their children. Those points are fact.

Schools which are academies cannot be forced to expand. Very few want to do so, for a number of reasons. The County Council are in the middle of planning for a new school in SE Croxley Green, which is partly intended to take children from West Watford. The Reach Free School will at some point unveil their proposed permanent site. That will bring more places to Rickmansworth & Chorleywood.

These are the facts. People may not like them, as they may want their child to go to a selective school. The hard fact is that by the very nature of the word, not everyone can go to a selective school. The problem us that whilst the numbers of children in SW Herts increases, the proportion of selective places falls.
I'm not hiding behind excuses, being complacent or anything else I'm accused of. Partly I was refuting the point made by Phil 'stuck record' Cox. There are (just about) enough places to go around, but they are not at the schools parents want for their children. Those points are fact. Schools which are academies cannot be forced to expand. Very few want to do so, for a number of reasons. The County Council are in the middle of planning for a new school in SE Croxley Green, which is partly intended to take children from West Watford. The Reach Free School will at some point unveil their proposed permanent site. That will bring more places to Rickmansworth & Chorleywood. These are the facts. People may not like them, as they may want their child to go to a selective school. The hard fact is that by the very nature of the word, not everyone can go to a selective school. The problem us that whilst the numbers of children in SW Herts increases, the proportion of selective places falls. Sara
  • Score: 1

4:25pm Fri 7 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara wrote:
justiceforwatford wrote:
Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?
We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy.
That's nice for you. I'm facing the prospect of getting neither my first choice or my nearest school. Very easy to judge people when you are sitting exactly where you want to be. I'm guessing you are within 220 meters of the school too.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?[/p][/quote]We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy.[/p][/quote]That's nice for you. I'm facing the prospect of getting neither my first choice or my nearest school. Very easy to judge people when you are sitting exactly where you want to be. I'm guessing you are within 220 meters of the school too. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 5

4:31pm Fri 7 Mar 14

ED12 says...

This is one reason why we should stop building new homes in Watford.
Watford is Full !
This is one reason why we should stop building new homes in Watford. Watford is Full ! ED12
  • Score: 14

4:47pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Sara says...

justiceforwatford wrote:
Sara wrote:
justiceforwatford wrote: Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?
We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy.
That's nice for you. I'm facing the prospect of getting neither my first choice or my nearest school. Very easy to judge people when you are sitting exactly where you want to be. I'm guessing you are within 220 meters of the school too.
I said we were fortunate. It was an academic place, but it is the closest school to the home into which my daughter was born and where we have lived ever since.

I'm giving you facts, not opinions. Every year I work with parents to get the best school possible fot them. But the truth is that there are precious few places at selective schools available.
[quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?[/p][/quote]We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy.[/p][/quote]That's nice for you. I'm facing the prospect of getting neither my first choice or my nearest school. Very easy to judge people when you are sitting exactly where you want to be. I'm guessing you are within 220 meters of the school too.[/p][/quote]I said we were fortunate. It was an academic place, but it is the closest school to the home into which my daughter was born and where we have lived ever since. I'm giving you facts, not opinions. Every year I work with parents to get the best school possible fot them. But the truth is that there are precious few places at selective schools available. Sara
  • Score: -4

4:52pm Fri 7 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara wrote:
Be Nice wrote:
Sara wrote: There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated.
Sara I think you are incorrect. According to the Out Turn Report produced by Herts County the only school with places available was The Reach Free School. Westfield & Francis Coombe were with children who had not be allocated a school of their choice. http://www.hertsdire ct.org/docs/pdf/admi ssions/vacancies0303 14
Sorry, you misunderstand me. There were places available at those schools to which those not allocated a school of their choice were allocated. There are now no places at either of those schools. But all the children who were left without one of their choices have been allocated a place within the Borough.

There are four secondaries within the Borough of Watford, two selective single sex schools, and two all-ability co-ed schools.
So there are four secondary schools in Watford. Two of which are being targeted by children outside of Hertfordshire, let alone Watford, and no one has seen the need to build additional schools sooner. This is another case to too little, too late.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Be Nice[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: There were school places available in Watford on allocation day - just not at the schools people wanted their children to attend. There were a lot of places available at Westfield and also Francis Coombe, to which local children have been allocated.[/p][/quote]Sara I think you are incorrect. According to the Out Turn Report produced by Herts County the only school with places available was The Reach Free School. Westfield & Francis Coombe were with children who had not be allocated a school of their choice. http://www.hertsdire ct.org/docs/pdf/admi ssions/vacancies0303 14[/p][/quote]Sorry, you misunderstand me. There were places available at those schools to which those not allocated a school of their choice were allocated. There are now no places at either of those schools. But all the children who were left without one of their choices have been allocated a place within the Borough. There are four secondaries within the Borough of Watford, two selective single sex schools, and two all-ability co-ed schools.[/p][/quote]So there are four secondary schools in Watford. Two of which are being targeted by children outside of Hertfordshire, let alone Watford, and no one has seen the need to build additional schools sooner. This is another case to too little, too late. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 2

5:06pm Fri 7 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara wrote:
justiceforwatford wrote:
Sara wrote:
justiceforwatford wrote: Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?
We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy.
That's nice for you. I'm facing the prospect of getting neither my first choice or my nearest school. Very easy to judge people when you are sitting exactly where you want to be. I'm guessing you are within 220 meters of the school too.
I said we were fortunate. It was an academic place, but it is the closest school to the home into which my daughter was born and where we have lived ever since.

I'm giving you facts, not opinions. Every year I work with parents to get the best school possible fot them. But the truth is that there are precious few places at selective schools available.
How can you be working with parents to get the best school possible for them when there are only four to choose from and two of them are becoming unobtainable. Surely to make this claim you would need to be choosing from more than one School (depending on whether you are in the North Watford end or West Watford). I suppose it makes it a fairly easy task for you really. Let me see Mrs XYZ, you can choose from either Westfield or erm, well, Westfield really.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: Sara, what school did your children go to, out of interest?[/p][/quote]We were fortunate enough to be allocated a place at our first choice of school, which is also our closest school. Other than that, my family who are not up for election get to keep their privacy.[/p][/quote]That's nice for you. I'm facing the prospect of getting neither my first choice or my nearest school. Very easy to judge people when you are sitting exactly where you want to be. I'm guessing you are within 220 meters of the school too.[/p][/quote]I said we were fortunate. It was an academic place, but it is the closest school to the home into which my daughter was born and where we have lived ever since. I'm giving you facts, not opinions. Every year I work with parents to get the best school possible fot them. But the truth is that there are precious few places at selective schools available.[/p][/quote]How can you be working with parents to get the best school possible for them when there are only four to choose from and two of them are becoming unobtainable. Surely to make this claim you would need to be choosing from more than one School (depending on whether you are in the North Watford end or West Watford). I suppose it makes it a fairly easy task for you really. Let me see Mrs XYZ, you can choose from either Westfield or erm, well, Westfield really. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 3

5:23pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Sara says...

Actually I'm in Abbots Langley. And I support parents at appeal every year for primary and secondary places. I also suggest to parents what might be realistic to apply for, based on their location and child's ability.

I don't determine the system, I don't make the rules. What I do is get the best possible for residents.
Actually I'm in Abbots Langley. And I support parents at appeal every year for primary and secondary places. I also suggest to parents what might be realistic to apply for, based on their location and child's ability. I don't determine the system, I don't make the rules. What I do is get the best possible for residents. Sara
  • Score: -6

7:50pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Be Nice says...

Sara wrote:
Actually I'm in Abbots Langley. And I support parents at appeal every year for primary and secondary places. I also suggest to parents what might be realistic to apply for, based on their location and child's ability.

I don't determine the system, I don't make the rules. What I do is get the best possible for residents.
Just because its all you are going to get, doesn't mean its the best possible. It's frustrating and unfair that many children don't get their local school as the system is so flawed, some end up with over an hours commute at the age of 11, how can that be right?

All children should be offered an equal chance at education and not written off at age 11, often just because their parents haven't had the means to get them tuition to coax them through the consortium test.

Also to your point above about Francis Coombe & Westfield, there were no spaces, over 50 more children were allocated the Free School in Rickmansworth which doesn't even have a proper school building.

However, when you scrape beneath the surface some of the so called best schools are not as good as they once were and their results have consistently slipped over the past few years and are living off their past reputations. Which when considering they take the cream of the crop when it comes to academic ability you would expect them to continue achieving excellent results!

Within the next few years the secondary schools in the area will all be at capacity and the schools such as Westfield & Francis Coombe need to be improved as a matter or urgency so that all children are given the opportunities in life they deserve.

Good luck to all those applying in the next few years, I think you are going to need it!
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: Actually I'm in Abbots Langley. And I support parents at appeal every year for primary and secondary places. I also suggest to parents what might be realistic to apply for, based on their location and child's ability. I don't determine the system, I don't make the rules. What I do is get the best possible for residents.[/p][/quote]Just because its all you are going to get, doesn't mean its the best possible. It's frustrating and unfair that many children don't get their local school as the system is so flawed, some end up with over an hours commute at the age of 11, how can that be right? All children should be offered an equal chance at education and not written off at age 11, often just because their parents haven't had the means to get them tuition to coax them through the consortium test. Also to your point above about Francis Coombe & Westfield, there were no spaces, over 50 more children were allocated the Free School in Rickmansworth which doesn't even have a proper school building. However, when you scrape beneath the surface some of the so called best schools are not as good as they once were and their results have consistently slipped over the past few years and are living off their past reputations. Which when considering they take the cream of the crop when it comes to academic ability you would expect them to continue achieving excellent results! Within the next few years the secondary schools in the area will all be at capacity and the schools such as Westfield & Francis Coombe need to be improved as a matter or urgency so that all children are given the opportunities in life they deserve. Good luck to all those applying in the next few years, I think you are going to need it! Be Nice
  • Score: 9

12:12am Sat 8 Mar 14

Sara says...

The children allocated to Reach Free School are not from Watford, they are from Rickmansworth and Chorleywood areas. Watford children have mostly been allocated to Westfield, the remainder to Francis Coombe.
The children allocated to Reach Free School are not from Watford, they are from Rickmansworth and Chorleywood areas. Watford children have mostly been allocated to Westfield, the remainder to Francis Coombe. Sara
  • Score: -2

8:20am Sat 8 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara wrote:
The children allocated to Reach Free School are not from Watford, they are from Rickmansworth and Chorleywood areas. Watford children have mostly been allocated to Westfield, the remainder to Francis Coombe.
Sara, that's very odd as I know a child who lives in Watford who has been allocated The Reach Free School. I know two other children who live in Watford who started there when the school opened.

Be Nice, what the ranked schools are not considering is, if the brightest local children can't get into the local schools, they are going to go elsewhere. This will bring up the grades and performance of those other schools. Will the ranked schools be able to out perform the other schools in five to 10 years time. I suspect that, with the level of manipulation going on to get children into the ranked schools, it is going to be the schools undoing. This is why I find it quite odd that the schools are turning a blind eye to it all.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: The children allocated to Reach Free School are not from Watford, they are from Rickmansworth and Chorleywood areas. Watford children have mostly been allocated to Westfield, the remainder to Francis Coombe.[/p][/quote]Sara, that's very odd as I know a child who lives in Watford who has been allocated The Reach Free School. I know two other children who live in Watford who started there when the school opened. Be Nice, what the ranked schools are not considering is, if the brightest local children can't get into the local schools, they are going to go elsewhere. This will bring up the grades and performance of those other schools. Will the ranked schools be able to out perform the other schools in five to 10 years time. I suspect that, with the level of manipulation going on to get children into the ranked schools, it is going to be the schools undoing. This is why I find it quite odd that the schools are turning a blind eye to it all. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 3

10:29am Sat 8 Mar 14

Felinefrenzi says...

My child is one of those will none of their selected schools, I can tell you it is devastating. Born here and lived all their life here.
I am particularly angry at the abuse and manipulation of the Cross-Sibling rule that was re-intruduced a number of years back to the Watford Boys and Girls Grammar Schools. It was and is, a mystery to me ( and countless other families) how this could be so, between two separately run schools, different heads, different governors and on completely different separate sites!
I can understand it, if the schools shared a site or were adjacent, as this would make logistical sense for parents getting their kids to school, but this is plain stupid.
What is increasingly apparent is the increase in buy/rent near one of these Grammar schools (see the 224m furthest distance at the Boys, allocated this year, how is that 'natural' ??).
How 'honest' are these letting agents, must be getting loads of 'Commission'
Oldest sibling get their much prized place, stays for the respectable 6 months or so, and then hike back to Hillingdon/ Stanmore/ Harrorw/ Pinner etc.
And then next year, surprise surprise, there appears a sibling and cross sibling, lovely, and they walk into an undeserved place, and the next year, another one. Once that out of catchment family are in, there are 2/3/4 more kids stealing our dwindling secondary places.
Would be interesting to see some stats on 'permanent' addresses, for Grammar school kids in current years 7, 8 & 9.and what addresses they were using at the time of application. (bet the same addresses are used used every 2-3 years as the flats and houses are shuffled round and re-let! )

What this is doing, not only taking places from kids who were have lived all their lives in Watford or legitimacy live within its boundaries, but it is escalating the crush on our existing schools, caused by Watford's over-development, incessant house building, and lack of supporting infrastructure. We are seeing this year the cascade effect that is happening, Grammar to Ricky, Ricky to Queens, Queens to Westfield etc.
I cannot see Watford's position improving for the next 3+ years until the Croxley Free School, and hopefully others, are up and running (if it is even on time), with 100% preference to 'local' children.

Therefore it is more important than ever for the County Schools Adjudicator, the Politicians, Parents and and Secondary Schools to properly administer and police their admission criteria and stop the abuse, by savvy and rich, out of catchment families.
Watford's central academy schools must be forced to give more preference to kids living IN Watford, to help alleviate the places crisis, if they are unwilling to expand.
Abolish the Cross-sibling rules Grammars!
No admissions under any criteria for non-Watford Post codes, unless genuine SEN.
Keep this for 3 years and see the improvement on schools pressure.

Now there's an idea .....
My child is one of those will none of their selected schools, I can tell you it is devastating. Born here and lived all their life here. I am particularly angry at the abuse and manipulation of the Cross-Sibling rule that was re-intruduced a number of years back to the Watford Boys and Girls Grammar Schools. It was and is, a mystery to me ( and countless other families) how this could be so, between two separately run schools, different heads, different governors and on completely different separate sites! I can understand it, if the schools shared a site or were adjacent, as this would make logistical sense for parents getting their kids to school, but this is plain stupid. What is increasingly apparent is the increase in buy/rent near one of these Grammar schools (see the 224m furthest distance at the Boys, allocated this year, how is that 'natural' ??). How 'honest' are these letting agents, must be getting loads of 'Commission' Oldest sibling get their much prized place, stays for the respectable 6 months or so, and then hike back to Hillingdon/ Stanmore/ Harrorw/ Pinner etc. And then next year, surprise surprise, there appears a sibling and cross sibling, lovely, and they walk into an undeserved place, and the next year, another one. Once that out of catchment family are in, there are 2/3/4 more kids stealing our dwindling secondary places. Would be interesting to see some stats on 'permanent' addresses, for Grammar school kids in current years 7, 8 & 9.and what addresses they were using at the time of application. (bet the same addresses are used used every 2-3 years as the flats and houses are shuffled round and re-let! ) What this is doing, not only taking places from kids who were have lived all their lives in Watford or legitimacy live within its boundaries, but it is escalating the crush on our existing schools, caused by Watford's over-development, incessant house building, and lack of supporting infrastructure. We are seeing this year the cascade effect that is happening, Grammar to Ricky, Ricky to Queens, Queens to Westfield etc. I cannot see Watford's position improving for the next 3+ years until the Croxley Free School, and hopefully others, are up and running (if it is even on time), with 100% preference to 'local' children. Therefore it is more important than ever for the County Schools Adjudicator, the Politicians, Parents and and Secondary Schools to properly administer and police their admission criteria and stop the abuse, by savvy and rich, out of catchment families. Watford's central academy schools must be forced to give more preference to kids living IN Watford, to help alleviate the places crisis, if they are unwilling to expand. Abolish the Cross-sibling rules Grammars! No admissions under any criteria for non-Watford Post codes, unless genuine SEN. Keep this for 3 years and see the improvement on schools pressure. Now there's an idea ..... Felinefrenzi
  • Score: 7

10:45am Sat 8 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara wrote:
The children allocated to Reach Free School are not from Watford, they are from Rickmansworth and Chorleywood areas. Watford children have mostly been allocated to Westfield, the remainder to Francis Coombe.
Sara, this is exactly what concerns me. As you've already stated, there were 'just' enough places this year and that's with some children choosing to go outside of the Borough. Surely there is an expected increase in school applications for next year so where are they all going to go?

With more and more children sitting the SW Herts 11 plus and relocating into the area to get a ranked school place, the need for additional school places is increasing substantially. That's not even taking into consideration the number of families moving to Watford from abroad.

The pressure on school places is clearly demonstrated by the number of children not getting ANY of the schools listed on their CAF form.

The proposed new school in Croxley is aiming to be opened in 2016. If this doesn't happen where are the children that year going to go? It is looking like there is a good chance that my DS is not going to be going to ANY local school, so where is he going to end up?

I know that Westfield is going to undergo a huge increase in size but I've not seen a single piece of communication that gives me any details such as completion deadlines etc. or is this expansion just a rumour?

I should not be facing this 'wait and see' scenario. At this point I should have a fairly good idea of what options will be available to me so that I can make informed decisions to ensure the best choice is made for my DS's education. Instead I'm asking myself if I'm wasting my time and would it be better to move to somewhere where I know he is not going to be facing a journey to school that most adults travelling to work would dread.

I am hoping that at some point the penny is going to drop and politicians are going to FINALLY realise why local parents are getting so upset about the whole educational system in Watford. At the moment we are being told we are being too picky. Actually, as I posted previously, I just want a guarantee that my DS will be able to go to school in Watford.
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: The children allocated to Reach Free School are not from Watford, they are from Rickmansworth and Chorleywood areas. Watford children have mostly been allocated to Westfield, the remainder to Francis Coombe.[/p][/quote]Sara, this is exactly what concerns me. As you've already stated, there were 'just' enough places this year and that's with some children choosing to go outside of the Borough. Surely there is an expected increase in school applications for next year so where are they all going to go? With more and more children sitting the SW Herts 11 plus and relocating into the area to get a ranked school place, the need for additional school places is increasing substantially. That's not even taking into consideration the number of families moving to Watford from abroad. The pressure on school places is clearly demonstrated by the number of children not getting ANY of the schools listed on their CAF form. The proposed new school in Croxley is aiming to be opened in 2016. If this doesn't happen where are the children that year going to go? It is looking like there is a good chance that my DS is not going to be going to ANY local school, so where is he going to end up? I know that Westfield is going to undergo a huge increase in size but I've not seen a single piece of communication that gives me any details such as completion deadlines etc. or is this expansion just a rumour? I should not be facing this 'wait and see' scenario. At this point I should have a fairly good idea of what options will be available to me so that I can make informed decisions to ensure the best choice is made for my DS's education. Instead I'm asking myself if I'm wasting my time and would it be better to move to somewhere where I know he is not going to be facing a journey to school that most adults travelling to work would dread. I am hoping that at some point the penny is going to drop and politicians are going to FINALLY realise why local parents are getting so upset about the whole educational system in Watford. At the moment we are being told we are being too picky. Actually, as I posted previously, I just want a guarantee that my DS will be able to go to school in Watford. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 4

11:24am Sat 8 Mar 14

ajuba1 says...

i have emailed Mark Watkins and Dorothy asking them to arrange a public meeting for watford residents so that they can tell us what they are doing about the crisis in secondary school places in watford, why they think doubling the intake for a the worst performing school is a good idea and why they aren't doing anything to tackle the abuse in distance places. those of you who feel strongly about this should do the same. themayor@watford.gov
.uk
mark.watkin@watford.
gov.uk
I don't hold out much hope, but they are here to represent the interests of the community they serve so should be ready and willing to listen to our concerns and try to address them.
i have emailed Mark Watkins and Dorothy asking them to arrange a public meeting for watford residents so that they can tell us what they are doing about the crisis in secondary school places in watford, why they think doubling the intake for a the worst performing school is a good idea and why they aren't doing anything to tackle the abuse in distance places. those of you who feel strongly about this should do the same. themayor@watford.gov .uk mark.watkin@watford. gov.uk I don't hold out much hope, but they are here to represent the interests of the community they serve so should be ready and willing to listen to our concerns and try to address them. ajuba1
  • Score: 2

11:37am Sat 8 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

ajuba1 wrote:
i have emailed Mark Watkins and Dorothy asking them to arrange a public meeting for watford residents so that they can tell us what they are doing about the crisis in secondary school places in watford, why they think doubling the intake for a the worst performing school is a good idea and why they aren't doing anything to tackle the abuse in distance places. those of you who feel strongly about this should do the same. themayor@watford.gov

.uk
mark.watkin@watford.

gov.uk
I don't hold out much hope, but they are here to represent the interests of the community they serve so should be ready and willing to listen to our concerns and try to address them.
Unfortunately such a meeting took place a couple of months ago. Dorothy attended but Mark was not there (I'm not sure if he was asked to attend to be honest). The SW Herts admissions secretary was invited to attend but she was told by the SW Herts consortium that she was not allowed to.

What I got from the meeting is that the whole situation in Watford has been created by the schools. There is nothing that the local politicians can do and there are plenty of places at Westfield but no one wants them.

She was very proud of the fact that she sat the 'original' 11 plus and did very well.

She also claimed that parents in Watford have options but they just don't like them. Pretty much what Sara has posted above really.

When I told her that getting a place at Westfield or moving out of the area were pretty poor options. Her response was, yes, but they are options.
[quote][p][bold]ajuba1[/bold] wrote: i have emailed Mark Watkins and Dorothy asking them to arrange a public meeting for watford residents so that they can tell us what they are doing about the crisis in secondary school places in watford, why they think doubling the intake for a the worst performing school is a good idea and why they aren't doing anything to tackle the abuse in distance places. those of you who feel strongly about this should do the same. themayor@watford.gov .uk mark.watkin@watford. gov.uk I don't hold out much hope, but they are here to represent the interests of the community they serve so should be ready and willing to listen to our concerns and try to address them.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately such a meeting took place a couple of months ago. Dorothy attended but Mark was not there (I'm not sure if he was asked to attend to be honest). The SW Herts admissions secretary was invited to attend but she was told by the SW Herts consortium that she was not allowed to. What I got from the meeting is that the whole situation in Watford has been created by the schools. There is nothing that the local politicians can do and there are plenty of places at Westfield but no one wants them. She was very proud of the fact that she sat the 'original' 11 plus and did very well. She also claimed that parents in Watford have options but they just don't like them. Pretty much what Sara has posted above really. When I told her that getting a place at Westfield or moving out of the area were pretty poor options. Her response was, yes, but they are options. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 4

1:00pm Sat 8 Mar 14

ajuba1 says...

that's interesting. but I don't think its good enough for the council to say they can't do anything. other boroughs in London have clamped down hard on temporary renters so why can't watford? As far as I'm aware the council is involved in the administration of allocating places so they should carry out more stringent checks.
that's interesting. but I don't think its good enough for the council to say they can't do anything. other boroughs in London have clamped down hard on temporary renters so why can't watford? As far as I'm aware the council is involved in the administration of allocating places so they should carry out more stringent checks. ajuba1
  • Score: 2

1:26pm Sat 8 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

ajuba1 wrote:
that's interesting. but I don't think its good enough for the council to say they can't do anything. other boroughs in London have clamped down hard on temporary renters so why can't watford? As far as I'm aware the council is involved in the administration of allocating places so they should carry out more stringent checks.
The problem is the subsequent checks needed when the child gets the place and then 6 months later they move back to the family home.
[quote][p][bold]ajuba1[/bold] wrote: that's interesting. but I don't think its good enough for the council to say they can't do anything. other boroughs in London have clamped down hard on temporary renters so why can't watford? As far as I'm aware the council is involved in the administration of allocating places so they should carry out more stringent checks.[/p][/quote]The problem is the subsequent checks needed when the child gets the place and then 6 months later they move back to the family home. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 2

6:48pm Sat 8 Mar 14

mummy_1 says...

justiceforwatford wrote:
As a side point, Sara, do you think parents are delighted at the fact that they have spend literally hundreds of pounds preparing their children for the 11 plus exam, only to find that the only school available is one that does not even need the exam in the first place. Further more, depending on where people are located in Watford, it really does fall down to just the one school taking on the children that didn't make it.

Stop hiding behind the weak excuse that there were places available on allocation day. Final acceptances have not been submitted, there are still two more rounds of the CI lists to be run so your comment is completely meaningless at this point in time. If you can make the same claim in September when the new year 7 children start then your point will have been made.

I'm looking at two years time and I see very little being done. Are you happy to guarantee me, right now, that my son will have a place in Westfield when it comes to his turn. Just to make it clear Francis Coombe is miles away from where I live so is not even an option.

What I fail to understand is why the decision was made to take one of the lowest performing schools in Watford and double it in size. A clear demonstration that people involved in the provision of educational services are only interested in the figures on paper. How is the school going to perform in the future with the added pressure of so many more students to accommodate?
Many of the places allocated went to kids, who had studied really hard for the 11 plus since Y3,

I am the parent of a Y10 boy (who probably like many who have posted above) spent a year or so preparing. My son did well but not well enough.

From Y3, while my son did some practice papers the majority of the time he was enjoying his family, playing and watching every sport imaginable, watching TV, hanging out with his mates and 'nerding' FIFA,

The kids who academically met the grade were in extra lessons, libraries and tutor groups for many evening and during their Xmas, Easter and summer hols. To succeed fully in the selective schools this is the on-going dedication needed.

If your child was tutored and still failed to make the grade, well that tells another story

If you feel cheated and you feel your child is naturally academic enough to compete with kids at the selective schools, what are you worrying about? they will be do just fine wherever they go.

My son is doing so well in Francis Combe. He walks to and from school every day, his grades are fantastic, he has social skulls beyond his years, has real friends from the area and does not feel lesser than (his ex primary school friends who go a Selective School. It is local people who are dumbing down FCA, BA and Westfiekd, not the kids or the grades! Your child will be judged on their grades.

Spend time supporting you Y6 child because wherever he/she end up they will need your support as the best school in the land is never enough to prepare them/youyou for the pressurea that secondary schools bring.
[quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: As a side point, Sara, do you think parents are delighted at the fact that they have spend literally hundreds of pounds preparing their children for the 11 plus exam, only to find that the only school available is one that does not even need the exam in the first place. Further more, depending on where people are located in Watford, it really does fall down to just the one school taking on the children that didn't make it. Stop hiding behind the weak excuse that there were places available on allocation day. Final acceptances have not been submitted, there are still two more rounds of the CI lists to be run so your comment is completely meaningless at this point in time. If you can make the same claim in September when the new year 7 children start then your point will have been made. I'm looking at two years time and I see very little being done. Are you happy to guarantee me, right now, that my son will have a place in Westfield when it comes to his turn. Just to make it clear Francis Coombe is miles away from where I live so is not even an option. What I fail to understand is why the decision was made to take one of the lowest performing schools in Watford and double it in size. A clear demonstration that people involved in the provision of educational services are only interested in the figures on paper. How is the school going to perform in the future with the added pressure of so many more students to accommodate?[/p][/quote]Many of the places allocated went to kids, who had studied really hard for the 11 plus since Y3, I am the parent of a Y10 boy (who probably like many who have posted above) spent a year or so preparing. My son did well but not well enough. From Y3, while my son did some practice papers the majority of the time he was enjoying his family, playing and watching every sport imaginable, watching TV, hanging out with his mates and 'nerding' FIFA, The kids who academically met the grade were in extra lessons, libraries and tutor groups for many evening and during their Xmas, Easter and summer hols. To succeed fully in the selective schools this is the on-going dedication needed. If your child was tutored and still failed to make the grade, well that tells another story If you feel cheated and you feel your child is naturally academic enough to compete with kids at the selective schools, what are you worrying about? they will be do just fine wherever they go. My son is doing so well in Francis Combe. He walks to and from school every day, his grades are fantastic, he has social skulls beyond his years, has real friends from the area and does not feel lesser than (his ex primary school friends who go a Selective School. It is local people who are dumbing down FCA, BA and Westfiekd, not the kids or the grades! Your child will be judged on their grades. Spend time supporting you Y6 child because wherever he/she end up they will need your support as the best school in the land is never enough to prepare them/youyou for the pressurea that secondary schools bring. mummy_1
  • Score: 3

8:35pm Sat 8 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

mummy_1, you have made some very valid points and it always good to hear when someone has found a school that is a good match for their child.

However, I know a child who went to Westfield and they literally hated the last couple of years there. The mum was regularly going to the school to discuss and resolve bulling and related issues. Whilst I am sure bulling goes on at every school, seeing people you know dealing with it, it does make you weary of the school, especially when you get an insight into how the school deals with. Incidentally the mother has no intentions of sending her youngest child there.
mummy_1, you have made some very valid points and it always good to hear when someone has found a school that is a good match for their child. However, I know a child who went to Westfield and they literally hated the last couple of years there. The mum was regularly going to the school to discuss and resolve bulling and related issues. Whilst I am sure bulling goes on at every school, seeing people you know dealing with it, it does make you weary of the school, especially when you get an insight into how the school deals with. Incidentally the mother has no intentions of sending her youngest child there. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 1

9:30pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Sara says...

I will keep on giving factual information even though it appears no one here wants to hear it.

There is no point asking the Mayor to do something about this situation. Watford Council has no power over education. The Local Education Authority is Hertfordshire County Council. In this case, all the schools are academies, so even the LEA has no power to make them change their admissions arrangements.

The County Council are far too slow to react to the need for new schools. That is obvious. There are still delays in bringing forward new schools. There is a huge need for permanent places to serve the new homes being built, but no permanent places are being planned yet.

I have pointed out the facts and the present situation. That doesn't mean that I agree with it, but it is what parents and pupils have to work within. All elected councillors can do is help people make the best of a bad situation.

I would also say that it is not essential for a child to give up their life for years to get an academic place at a local school. My daughter certainly did not, working just one session a week from halfway through Year Five. Many of her peers did likewise.

Finally I would say two things. Firstly I am the only elected politician willing to come onto this site and explain the situation under their own name. I don't agree with people demanding respect, but I do not think I deserve to be abused for it. Secondly, whatever you may think of me and the facts, my daughter is her own person. She is still legally a child and she won a school place on her own merits. Those of you who hid behind a cloak of anonymity to give that fact (an honest answer to a question I was asked) the thumbs down should be ashamed.
I will keep on giving factual information even though it appears no one here wants to hear it. There is no point asking the Mayor to do something about this situation. Watford Council has no power over education. The Local Education Authority is Hertfordshire County Council. In this case, all the schools are academies, so even the LEA has no power to make them change their admissions arrangements. The County Council are far too slow to react to the need for new schools. That is obvious. There are still delays in bringing forward new schools. There is a huge need for permanent places to serve the new homes being built, but no permanent places are being planned yet. I have pointed out the facts and the present situation. That doesn't mean that I agree with it, but it is what parents and pupils have to work within. All elected councillors can do is help people make the best of a bad situation. I would also say that it is not essential for a child to give up their life for years to get an academic place at a local school. My daughter certainly did not, working just one session a week from halfway through Year Five. Many of her peers did likewise. Finally I would say two things. Firstly I am the only elected politician willing to come onto this site and explain the situation under their own name. I don't agree with people demanding respect, but I do not think I deserve to be abused for it. Secondly, whatever you may think of me and the facts, my daughter is her own person. She is still legally a child and she won a school place on her own merits. Those of you who hid behind a cloak of anonymity to give that fact (an honest answer to a question I was asked) the thumbs down should be ashamed. Sara
  • Score: -2

12:05am Sun 9 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara, first of all, thank you for posting. At least I know there is one politician that has listened to what some local parents feel about the situation in Watford.

Secondly, if you daughter has just been allocated a place at a ranked school then she has done amazingly well on such a small amount of preparation.

However, if the place was gained in previous years I would ask you to compare the result to those released this year and ask yourself if she would still have got that place this year. If the answer is no, would you have been happy with the alternatives. Just to be clear, I'm not asking what your answers are to these questions.

I would say that the vast majority at my DSs school start preparing for the 11 plus from yr 4. This involves using a tuition centre, one-on-one tutoring and practice papers at home with parents.

Is all this preparation because they are not really academically bright? I can give you an example of an actual child I know. They did 2 years of tuition, did practice papers at home with their mum and sat 3 sets of mocs, they are projected to get level 6 on their SATs, they are on the school gifted and talented list and are amongst the top in their class. They are currently on the CI list for a ranked school. Would you say this child is bright or that the primary school have got it wrong? Again, I'm not asking for an answer, just giving some points for thought.

Regarding the thumbs down for your post about your daughter getting a place at her chosen school which is also her nearest. Did you really think you would get a positive reaction from people who are facing the prospect of no school place, let alone a ranked school place. I personally see It as simply kicking someone when they are down.

You have mentioned that the ranked schools are all academies. This has only come about fairly recently and most likely in a bid to protect themselves from having to sacrifice their performance in order to fix a problem that was not of their own creation i.e. the lack of school places to meet future demand. Had action been taken sooner, the academy status would not even have been a factor.

My DS attends a school that was forced to expand. Prior to this happening they seriously considered and actually started the process to become an academy in a bid to prevent this happening. There has been an evident impact on the school as a result of the expansion. This is exactly why I am questioning the move to increase the size of Westfield.

I appreciate that Watford Council has no direct power over this situation. However, there is nothing stopping local politicians from championing the cause. I get plenty of canvassing leaflets slating opposition parties and outlining how they are supporting local issues. However, I see no of mention of local education issues and these issues are local. How many other locations in the UK have the same educational provision that is being presented to Watford residents?

If local politicians are powerless to help improve the situation why are they not at least coming forward to give advice on who local residents should contact (by which I mean actual names) and how they could go about making that contact?
Sara, first of all, thank you for posting. At least I know there is one politician that has listened to what some local parents feel about the situation in Watford. Secondly, if you daughter has just been allocated a place at a ranked school then she has done amazingly well on such a small amount of preparation. However, if the place was gained in previous years I would ask you to compare the result to those released this year and ask yourself if she would still have got that place this year. If the answer is no, would you have been happy with the alternatives. Just to be clear, I'm not asking what your answers are to these questions. I would say that the vast majority at my DSs school start preparing for the 11 plus from yr 4. This involves using a tuition centre, one-on-one tutoring and practice papers at home with parents. Is all this preparation because they are not really academically bright? I can give you an example of an actual child I know. They did 2 years of tuition, did practice papers at home with their mum and sat 3 sets of mocs, they are projected to get level 6 on their SATs, they are on the school gifted and talented list and are amongst the top in their class. They are currently on the CI list for a ranked school. Would you say this child is bright or that the primary school have got it wrong? Again, I'm not asking for an answer, just giving some points for thought. Regarding the thumbs down for your post about your daughter getting a place at her chosen school which is also her nearest. Did you really think you would get a positive reaction from people who are facing the prospect of no school place, let alone a ranked school place. I personally see It as simply kicking someone when they are down. You have mentioned that the ranked schools are all academies. This has only come about fairly recently and most likely in a bid to protect themselves from having to sacrifice their performance in order to fix a problem that was not of their own creation i.e. the lack of school places to meet future demand. Had action been taken sooner, the academy status would not even have been a factor. My DS attends a school that was forced to expand. Prior to this happening they seriously considered and actually started the process to become an academy in a bid to prevent this happening. There has been an evident impact on the school as a result of the expansion. This is exactly why I am questioning the move to increase the size of Westfield. I appreciate that Watford Council has no direct power over this situation. However, there is nothing stopping local politicians from championing the cause. I get plenty of canvassing leaflets slating opposition parties and outlining how they are supporting local issues. However, I see no of mention of local education issues and these issues are local. How many other locations in the UK have the same educational provision that is being presented to Watford residents? If local politicians are powerless to help improve the situation why are they not at least coming forward to give advice on who local residents should contact (by which I mean actual names) and how they could go about making that contact? justiceforwatford
  • Score: 4

12:40am Sun 9 Mar 14

Sara says...

"Regarding the thumbs down for your post about your daughter getting a place at her chosen school which is also her nearest. Did you really think you would get a positive reaction from people who are facing the prospect of no school place, let alone a ranked school place. I personally see It as simply kicking someone when they are down"

Please remember, you asked me the question as to which school my children attended, I gave the answer without naming a school. Otherwise I would not have volunteered the information. I did not expect a positive reaction: I expected neutrality. If I had not given an answer, I would have been accused of avoiding the question. We didn't rent a spoof home. We didn't apply for a school miles away. We didn't hothouse our daughter.

If I answer the question, I am wrong. If I don't, I am also wrong. And the public wonder why so many even minor politicians lime me are not prepared to be honest and answer questions.
"Regarding the thumbs down for your post about your daughter getting a place at her chosen school which is also her nearest. Did you really think you would get a positive reaction from people who are facing the prospect of no school place, let alone a ranked school place. I personally see It as simply kicking someone when they are down" Please remember, you asked me the question as to which school my children attended, I gave the answer without naming a school. Otherwise I would not have volunteered the information. I did not expect a positive reaction: I expected neutrality. If I had not given an answer, I would have been accused of avoiding the question. We didn't rent a spoof home. We didn't apply for a school miles away. We didn't hothouse our daughter. If I answer the question, I am wrong. If I don't, I am also wrong. And the public wonder why so many even minor politicians lime me are not prepared to be honest and answer questions. Sara
  • Score: -2

8:55am Sun 9 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Sara, could I put another point out there for consideration. You say that local politicians a powerless with regards the school situation in Watford. I note that Dorothy has been very vocal about her support for the Hospital development. One sound bite states: Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, said: "We have been very demanding about what we want to see happen on the site: good quality homes, new business premises to encourage job opportunities, great open spaces with places for people to walk and exercise and the right mix of facilities such as shops, restaurant and cafés." I have to seriously question the part about "the right mix of facilities". Where are the educational facilities?

Again, looking at the development timelines on the schedule, where are the children being brought into and raised in the new homes on the site going to attend school?

Why are educational facilities always a secondary consideration/option and often years along the line. Surely, given the necessity for a good eduction to procure a job should make it a primary consideration.

I have a friend who's a surgeon. He works between Watford and St Albans hospitals. He has been looking for two years for a three bedroom home in Watford he can afford. He needs a three bedroom home because he has two children, a boy and a girl. He has been looking for the right house for him and his family, but family properties near the schools he would ideally choose are very scarce. Looking at the Hospital development, do you think it is going to be an attractive proposition to him? Just to add his eldest child is a boy. If this is the reason for the plans for the increase in size of Westfield, I think you need to think again as I know that if that is the only option he is presented with, he will move out of the area.

Also to add his son will be in the next sitting for the SW Herts 11 plus after the Summer.
Sara, could I put another point out there for consideration. You say that local politicians a powerless with regards the school situation in Watford. I note that Dorothy has been very vocal about her support for the Hospital development. One sound bite states: Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, said: "We have been very demanding about what we want to see happen on the site: good quality homes, new business premises to encourage job opportunities, great open spaces with places for people to walk and exercise and the right mix of facilities such as shops, restaurant and cafés." I have to seriously question the part about "the right mix of facilities". Where are the educational facilities? Again, looking at the development timelines on the schedule, where are the children being brought into and raised in the new homes on the site going to attend school? Why are educational facilities always a secondary consideration/option and often years along the line. Surely, given the necessity for a good eduction to procure a job should make it a primary consideration. I have a friend who's a surgeon. He works between Watford and St Albans hospitals. He has been looking for two years for a three bedroom home in Watford he can afford. He needs a three bedroom home because he has two children, a boy and a girl. He has been looking for the right house for him and his family, but family properties near the schools he would ideally choose are very scarce. Looking at the Hospital development, do you think it is going to be an attractive proposition to him? Just to add his eldest child is a boy. If this is the reason for the plans for the increase in size of Westfield, I think you need to think again as I know that if that is the only option he is presented with, he will move out of the area. Also to add his son will be in the next sitting for the SW Herts 11 plus after the Summer. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 3

10:06am Sun 9 Mar 14

mummy_1 says...

justiceforwatford wrote:
mummy_1, you have made some very valid points and it always good to hear when someone has found a school that is a good match for their child.

However, I know a child who went to Westfield and they literally hated the last couple of years there. The mum was regularly going to the school to discuss and resolve bulling and related issues. Whilst I am sure bulling goes on at every school, seeing people you know dealing with it, it does make you weary of the school, especially when you get an insight into how the school deals with. Incidentally the mother has no intentions of sending her youngest child there.
While not for a minute am I suggesting this was the case for the child you are talking about but 'in my experience' the kids who are less settled tend be the ones who have entered the non favoured, non selective school after failed appeals and without the positive support of their parent.

These parents tend be very anti the school from the 'get go' their children (and the parent) are looking for any excuse to prove themselves right.

Bullying goes on in every school (I know plenty who have claimed to have been bullied at Parmiters WBS and WGS). Teen kids need more than just 'the best school’; they need the best school for them, confidence, love, friends, support, and encouragement...

It is a few years of what is hopefully the rest of their happy lives. Next it will be Uni places and we will use the polar opposite argument of what is fair to gain entrance (best exam results regardless of geographical residence). People of Watford, the selection process is what it.
[quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: mummy_1, you have made some very valid points and it always good to hear when someone has found a school that is a good match for their child. However, I know a child who went to Westfield and they literally hated the last couple of years there. The mum was regularly going to the school to discuss and resolve bulling and related issues. Whilst I am sure bulling goes on at every school, seeing people you know dealing with it, it does make you weary of the school, especially when you get an insight into how the school deals with. Incidentally the mother has no intentions of sending her youngest child there.[/p][/quote]While not for a minute am I suggesting this was the case for the child you are talking about but 'in my experience' the kids who are less settled tend be the ones who have entered the non favoured, non selective school after failed appeals and without the positive support of their parent. These parents tend be very anti the school from the 'get go' their children (and the parent) are looking for any excuse to prove themselves right. Bullying goes on in every school (I know plenty who have claimed to have been bullied at Parmiters WBS and WGS). Teen kids need more than just 'the best school’; they need the best school for them, confidence, love, friends, support, and encouragement... It is a few years of what is hopefully the rest of their happy lives. Next it will be Uni places and we will use the polar opposite argument of what is fair to gain entrance (best exam results regardless of geographical residence). People of Watford, the selection process is what it. mummy_1
  • Score: 2

11:26am Sun 9 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

Mummy_1 again all very valid points. However, as Be nice has stated "Just because its all you are going to get, doesn't mean its the best possible." I think the only option being presented to many parents in Watford is they can have what's left, as demonstrated by the fact that they are not getting ANY of their choices. This does not really give them the opportunity to select the right school for their child.

I don't agree with the claim that if your child is bright they will thrive where ever they go. I know adults who have very deep life long scars from being bullied at school for being the bright kid / swot. This affected their whole outlook on education and a few of them actually left school as soon as they could just to be out of the environment.

Yes parents should be supportive, but there is only so much you can do when the child is being bullied for wanting to learn or for any reason for that matter. The bullying at school goes on whilst the parents are not there. How are they supposed to support their child then.

I agree bulling goes on at every school. However, how the school deals with the problem is what makes a difference. As I have stated I know someone with first hand experience of this and they have spoken to me about how it was dealt with by the school.

All this said, the point of bulling is a whole different kettle of fish from my real main concern. My outlook is for two years time and from where I'm standing there is a possibility that there won't be a school place for my son at ANY school in Watford, be it the boys grammar (which would NOT be my first choice Incidentally) or Westfield.
Mummy_1 again all very valid points. However, as Be nice has stated "Just because its all you are going to get, doesn't mean its the best possible." I think the only option being presented to many parents in Watford is they can have what's left, as demonstrated by the fact that they are not getting ANY of their choices. This does not really give them the opportunity to select the right school for their child. I don't agree with the claim that if your child is bright they will thrive where ever they go. I know adults who have very deep life long scars from being bullied at school for being the bright kid / swot. This affected their whole outlook on education and a few of them actually left school as soon as they could just to be out of the environment. Yes parents should be supportive, but there is only so much you can do when the child is being bullied for wanting to learn or for any reason for that matter. The bullying at school goes on whilst the parents are not there. How are they supposed to support their child then. I agree bulling goes on at every school. However, how the school deals with the problem is what makes a difference. As I have stated I know someone with first hand experience of this and they have spoken to me about how it was dealt with by the school. All this said, the point of bulling is a whole different kettle of fish from my real main concern. My outlook is for two years time and from where I'm standing there is a possibility that there won't be a school place for my son at ANY school in Watford, be it the boys grammar (which would NOT be my first choice Incidentally) or Westfield. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Be Nice says...

I actually don't agree that a 'bright child who wants to learn' will thrive and reach their full potential at whichever school they go to. That kind of statement actually infuriates me!

I went to a school which was failing, was placed on special measures etc. The classes were chaotic, disruptive children were not controlled effectively damaging the learning and taking teacher time away from the rest of the class, bullying was rife and led to high levels of truancy, again this affects the whole class and topics need to be covered over and over. I know this affected my education and I could have achieved more. I don't think its something you can fully understand and appreciate until you have been through it.

I am not suggesting the 2 non selective Watford school are at this stage, presently, but they do need serious improvement from where they are currently at.

When selecting a school for my child it was as important for me to speak to parents and children attending the school to see how happy their were there as well how well it was performing academically.

Yes, children who are academically gifted should be pushed, but those who are not as naturally academic should also be pushed just as hard and the best schools will be doing this. I am not talking generally here.

JusticeforWatford I think you are right to be concerned, good luck!
I actually don't agree that a 'bright child who wants to learn' will thrive and reach their full potential at whichever school they go to. That kind of statement actually infuriates me! I went to a school which was failing, was placed on special measures etc. The classes were chaotic, disruptive children were not controlled effectively damaging the learning and taking teacher time away from the rest of the class, bullying was rife and led to high levels of truancy, again this affects the whole class and topics need to be covered over and over. I know this affected my education and I could have achieved more. I don't think its something you can fully understand and appreciate until you have been through it. I am not suggesting the 2 non selective Watford school are at this stage, presently, but they do need serious improvement from where they are currently at. When selecting a school for my child it was as important for me to speak to parents and children attending the school to see how happy their were there as well how well it was performing academically. Yes, children who are academically gifted should be pushed, but those who are not as naturally academic should also be pushed just as hard and the best schools will be doing this. I am not talking generally here. JusticeforWatford I think you are right to be concerned, good luck! Be Nice
  • Score: 2

2:18pm Sun 9 Mar 14

mummy_1 says...

Be Nice wrote:
I actually don't agree that a 'bright child who wants to learn' will thrive and reach their full potential at whichever school they go to. That kind of statement actually infuriates me!

I went to a school which was failing, was placed on special measures etc. The classes were chaotic, disruptive children were not controlled effectively damaging the learning and taking teacher time away from the rest of the class, bullying was rife and led to high levels of truancy, again this affects the whole class and topics need to be covered over and over. I know this affected my education and I could have achieved more. I don't think its something you can fully understand and appreciate until you have been through it.

I am not suggesting the 2 non selective Watford school are at this stage, presently, but they do need serious improvement from where they are currently at.

When selecting a school for my child it was as important for me to speak to parents and children attending the school to see how happy their were there as well how well it was performing academically.

Yes, children who are academically gifted should be pushed, but those who are not as naturally academic should also be pushed just as hard and the best schools will be doing this. I am not talking generally here.

JusticeforWatford I think you are right to be concerned, good luck!
One of the ways for he improvements to come about is for a better mix of kids. The 'better teahers' would then not be drawn to the 'better schools' and the selection of abilities would drive the school grades/reports up.

And why are we talking about bullying in the non selective schools? Bullying happens at every school and if you are not hearing about it, you should be even MORE worried..
[quote][p][bold]Be Nice[/bold] wrote: I actually don't agree that a 'bright child who wants to learn' will thrive and reach their full potential at whichever school they go to. That kind of statement actually infuriates me! I went to a school which was failing, was placed on special measures etc. The classes were chaotic, disruptive children were not controlled effectively damaging the learning and taking teacher time away from the rest of the class, bullying was rife and led to high levels of truancy, again this affects the whole class and topics need to be covered over and over. I know this affected my education and I could have achieved more. I don't think its something you can fully understand and appreciate until you have been through it. I am not suggesting the 2 non selective Watford school are at this stage, presently, but they do need serious improvement from where they are currently at. When selecting a school for my child it was as important for me to speak to parents and children attending the school to see how happy their were there as well how well it was performing academically. Yes, children who are academically gifted should be pushed, but those who are not as naturally academic should also be pushed just as hard and the best schools will be doing this. I am not talking generally here. JusticeforWatford I think you are right to be concerned, good luck![/p][/quote]One of the ways for he improvements to come about is for a better mix of kids. The 'better teahers' would then not be drawn to the 'better schools' and the selection of abilities would drive the school grades/reports up. And why are we talking about bullying in the non selective schools? Bullying happens at every school and if you are not hearing about it, you should be even MORE worried.. mummy_1
  • Score: 1

2:51pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Be Nice says...

mummy_1 wrote:
Be Nice wrote:
I actually don't agree that a 'bright child who wants to learn' will thrive and reach their full potential at whichever school they go to. That kind of statement actually infuriates me!

I went to a school which was failing, was placed on special measures etc. The classes were chaotic, disruptive children were not controlled effectively damaging the learning and taking teacher time away from the rest of the class, bullying was rife and led to high levels of truancy, again this affects the whole class and topics need to be covered over and over. I know this affected my education and I could have achieved more. I don't think its something you can fully understand and appreciate until you have been through it.

I am not suggesting the 2 non selective Watford school are at this stage, presently, but they do need serious improvement from where they are currently at.

When selecting a school for my child it was as important for me to speak to parents and children attending the school to see how happy their were there as well how well it was performing academically.

Yes, children who are academically gifted should be pushed, but those who are not as naturally academic should also be pushed just as hard and the best schools will be doing this. I am not talking generally here.

JusticeforWatford I think you are right to be concerned, good luck!
One of the ways for he improvements to come about is for a better mix of kids. The 'better teahers' would then not be drawn to the 'better schools' and the selection of abilities would drive the school grades/reports up.

And why are we talking about bullying in the non selective schools? Bullying happens at every school and if you are not hearing about it, you should be even MORE worried..
I was not suggesting at all that there was more so a bullying issue at the non selective school, than the selective schools.

This is not really about bullying but the lack of available school places in South West Herts, not just Watford, about how children don't have a local school or if they do, have no chance of accessing it.

Yes, there were places at FC & WF's but they were filled with NRA's, so the only school in SWH with places available on allocation day was RFS. Schools can be turned around BA proved a very attractive option to parents & children this year. Instead of becoming a last resort, its become oversubscribed, but that is now another school which is completely full this year and no doubt will be next.

So what happens when they are all full in a year or 2?
[quote][p][bold]mummy_1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Be Nice[/bold] wrote: I actually don't agree that a 'bright child who wants to learn' will thrive and reach their full potential at whichever school they go to. That kind of statement actually infuriates me! I went to a school which was failing, was placed on special measures etc. The classes were chaotic, disruptive children were not controlled effectively damaging the learning and taking teacher time away from the rest of the class, bullying was rife and led to high levels of truancy, again this affects the whole class and topics need to be covered over and over. I know this affected my education and I could have achieved more. I don't think its something you can fully understand and appreciate until you have been through it. I am not suggesting the 2 non selective Watford school are at this stage, presently, but they do need serious improvement from where they are currently at. When selecting a school for my child it was as important for me to speak to parents and children attending the school to see how happy their were there as well how well it was performing academically. Yes, children who are academically gifted should be pushed, but those who are not as naturally academic should also be pushed just as hard and the best schools will be doing this. I am not talking generally here. JusticeforWatford I think you are right to be concerned, good luck![/p][/quote]One of the ways for he improvements to come about is for a better mix of kids. The 'better teahers' would then not be drawn to the 'better schools' and the selection of abilities would drive the school grades/reports up. And why are we talking about bullying in the non selective schools? Bullying happens at every school and if you are not hearing about it, you should be even MORE worried..[/p][/quote]I was not suggesting at all that there was more so a bullying issue at the non selective school, than the selective schools. This is not really about bullying but the lack of available school places in South West Herts, not just Watford, about how children don't have a local school or if they do, have no chance of accessing it. Yes, there were places at FC & WF's but they were filled with NRA's, so the only school in SWH with places available on allocation day was RFS. Schools can be turned around BA proved a very attractive option to parents & children this year. Instead of becoming a last resort, its become oversubscribed, but that is now another school which is completely full this year and no doubt will be next. So what happens when they are all full in a year or 2? Be Nice
  • Score: 3

4:47pm Sun 9 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

mummy_1, I can only draw my own conclusions from my own experiences, as I am sure you have drawn your conclusions from your own experiences.

I have a friend with an older son at Parmiters. I regularly ask after him, as that's what friends do. To date all I have been told is that he loves it (well obviously in a lot more detail than that). This has come from both the mother and son. They could have chosen the Boys Grammar as she lives very close to the school but she chose Parameters as she felt it was a better fit for him.

I have a friend with a son at Bushey Meads. He started two years ago. On speaking to the mother and son, he loves it. He has grown in confidence and his grades have gone up considerably. She chose Bushey Meads because she felt it was the best match for her son.

I have a friend with two daughters at the Girls Grammar. One in year 8 and one in year 9. The feed back I get from the father, mother and both daughters is that they are very happy with the school. Their academic progress is excellent and they are very much enjoying being at the school. I see the girls a lot and they have proudly shown me work they have done and I have to admit I am very impressed. They are confident they made the right choice. The only down side they have expressed to date is that after the 1st year a lot of the children move out of the area so the social side of things becomes much quieter.

I have a friend with a daughter at Queens. They are very happy with the school and are looking for their other two children to go there. The only down side is their daughter travelling home in winter. The bus connections to where they live are not great and on a wet, dark night it can be grim. They get around this by the mother picking her daughter up in the car.

I have a long standing friend who's daughter went to Rickmansworth. Her daughter loved the school and went on to do a degree and masters so obviously her education did not suffer from being there.

I don't know anyone with children at the Boys Grammar. Actually I do but not well enough to chat in detail about how their boys are getting on at the school. This does make me wonder how many genuine local children go the boys grammar.

I know one person with a daughter who attended Westfield (left last year) and I have told you about that. They have no intentions of sending their son there.

I don't know anyone from Francis Combe but then I'm the other side of Watford so not much surprise there.

If you were in my position, what conclusion would you be making?

I appreciate that you are of the opinion that if people give the the non ranked schools a chance and put their bright children in them then the school will be transformed. Unfortunately that is a very simplistic way of looking at things. Simply putting bright students in a school will not make the school an instant success.

Yes putting bright children in a lower performing school might bring their averages up in the short term. However, it will do nothing to improve management, teaching, resources or funding, nor will it provide extra places for the overcapacity that Watford is facing in future years.

Whilst I am genuinely pleased to hear positive feedback from a parent with a child at Francis Combe school, it is not a school that I am likely to be offered as I am miles away. Also bear in mind, just because you and your son have had a positive experience at this school, it does not mean your son would have had the same experience at Westfield.
mummy_1, I can only draw my own conclusions from my own experiences, as I am sure you have drawn your conclusions from your own experiences. I have a friend with an older son at Parmiters. I regularly ask after him, as that's what friends do. To date all I have been told is that he loves it (well obviously in a lot more detail than that). This has come from both the mother and son. They could have chosen the Boys Grammar as she lives very close to the school but she chose Parameters as she felt it was a better fit for him. I have a friend with a son at Bushey Meads. He started two years ago. On speaking to the mother and son, he loves it. He has grown in confidence and his grades have gone up considerably. She chose Bushey Meads because she felt it was the best match for her son. I have a friend with two daughters at the Girls Grammar. One in year 8 and one in year 9. The feed back I get from the father, mother and both daughters is that they are very happy with the school. Their academic progress is excellent and they are very much enjoying being at the school. I see the girls a lot and they have proudly shown me work they have done and I have to admit I am very impressed. They are confident they made the right choice. The only down side they have expressed to date is that after the 1st year a lot of the children move out of the area so the social side of things becomes much quieter. I have a friend with a daughter at Queens. They are very happy with the school and are looking for their other two children to go there. The only down side is their daughter travelling home in winter. The bus connections to where they live are not great and on a wet, dark night it can be grim. They get around this by the mother picking her daughter up in the car. I have a long standing friend who's daughter went to Rickmansworth. Her daughter loved the school and went on to do a degree and masters so obviously her education did not suffer from being there. I don't know anyone with children at the Boys Grammar. Actually I do but not well enough to chat in detail about how their boys are getting on at the school. This does make me wonder how many genuine local children go the boys grammar. I know one person with a daughter who attended Westfield (left last year) and I have told you about that. They have no intentions of sending their son there. I don't know anyone from Francis Combe but then I'm the other side of Watford so not much surprise there. If you were in my position, what conclusion would you be making? I appreciate that you are of the opinion that if people give the the non ranked schools a chance and put their bright children in them then the school will be transformed. Unfortunately that is a very simplistic way of looking at things. Simply putting bright students in a school will not make the school an instant success. Yes putting bright children in a lower performing school might bring their averages up in the short term. However, it will do nothing to improve management, teaching, resources or funding, nor will it provide extra places for the overcapacity that Watford is facing in future years. Whilst I am genuinely pleased to hear positive feedback from a parent with a child at Francis Combe school, it is not a school that I am likely to be offered as I am miles away. Also bear in mind, just because you and your son have had a positive experience at this school, it does not mean your son would have had the same experience at Westfield. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Sun 9 Mar 14

mummy_1 says...

justiceforwatford wrote:
mummy_1, I can only draw my own conclusions from my own experiences, as I am sure you have drawn your conclusions from your own experiences.

I have a friend with an older son at Parmiters. I regularly ask after him, as that's what friends do. To date all I have been told is that he loves it (well obviously in a lot more detail than that). This has come from both the mother and son. They could have chosen the Boys Grammar as she lives very close to the school but she chose Parameters as she felt it was a better fit for him.

I have a friend with a son at Bushey Meads. He started two years ago. On speaking to the mother and son, he loves it. He has grown in confidence and his grades have gone up considerably. She chose Bushey Meads because she felt it was the best match for her son.

I have a friend with two daughters at the Girls Grammar. One in year 8 and one in year 9. The feed back I get from the father, mother and both daughters is that they are very happy with the school. Their academic progress is excellent and they are very much enjoying being at the school. I see the girls a lot and they have proudly shown me work they have done and I have to admit I am very impressed. They are confident they made the right choice. The only down side they have expressed to date is that after the 1st year a lot of the children move out of the area so the social side of things becomes much quieter.

I have a friend with a daughter at Queens. They are very happy with the school and are looking for their other two children to go there. The only down side is their daughter travelling home in winter. The bus connections to where they live are not great and on a wet, dark night it can be grim. They get around this by the mother picking her daughter up in the car.

I have a long standing friend who's daughter went to Rickmansworth. Her daughter loved the school and went on to do a degree and masters so obviously her education did not suffer from being there.

I don't know anyone with children at the Boys Grammar. Actually I do but not well enough to chat in detail about how their boys are getting on at the school. This does make me wonder how many genuine local children go the boys grammar.

I know one person with a daughter who attended Westfield (left last year) and I have told you about that. They have no intentions of sending their son there.

I don't know anyone from Francis Combe but then I'm the other side of Watford so not much surprise there.

If you were in my position, what conclusion would you be making?

I appreciate that you are of the opinion that if people give the the non ranked schools a chance and put their bright children in them then the school will be transformed. Unfortunately that is a very simplistic way of looking at things. Simply putting bright students in a school will not make the school an instant success.

Yes putting bright children in a lower performing school might bring their averages up in the short term. However, it will do nothing to improve management, teaching, resources or funding, nor will it provide extra places for the overcapacity that Watford is facing in future years.

Whilst I am genuinely pleased to hear positive feedback from a parent with a child at Francis Combe school, it is not a school that I am likely to be offered as I am miles away. Also bear in mind, just because you and your son have had a positive experience at this school, it does not mean your son would have had the same experience at Westfield.
I understand that you can only draw on what you know. My view may be simplistic but atleast it is an even playing field then the school and and pupils can only benefit as the gulf between good and not so good may reduce, thus attracting better Management, teaching staff and funding,
[quote][p][bold]justiceforwatford[/bold] wrote: mummy_1, I can only draw my own conclusions from my own experiences, as I am sure you have drawn your conclusions from your own experiences. I have a friend with an older son at Parmiters. I regularly ask after him, as that's what friends do. To date all I have been told is that he loves it (well obviously in a lot more detail than that). This has come from both the mother and son. They could have chosen the Boys Grammar as she lives very close to the school but she chose Parameters as she felt it was a better fit for him. I have a friend with a son at Bushey Meads. He started two years ago. On speaking to the mother and son, he loves it. He has grown in confidence and his grades have gone up considerably. She chose Bushey Meads because she felt it was the best match for her son. I have a friend with two daughters at the Girls Grammar. One in year 8 and one in year 9. The feed back I get from the father, mother and both daughters is that they are very happy with the school. Their academic progress is excellent and they are very much enjoying being at the school. I see the girls a lot and they have proudly shown me work they have done and I have to admit I am very impressed. They are confident they made the right choice. The only down side they have expressed to date is that after the 1st year a lot of the children move out of the area so the social side of things becomes much quieter. I have a friend with a daughter at Queens. They are very happy with the school and are looking for their other two children to go there. The only down side is their daughter travelling home in winter. The bus connections to where they live are not great and on a wet, dark night it can be grim. They get around this by the mother picking her daughter up in the car. I have a long standing friend who's daughter went to Rickmansworth. Her daughter loved the school and went on to do a degree and masters so obviously her education did not suffer from being there. I don't know anyone with children at the Boys Grammar. Actually I do but not well enough to chat in detail about how their boys are getting on at the school. This does make me wonder how many genuine local children go the boys grammar. I know one person with a daughter who attended Westfield (left last year) and I have told you about that. They have no intentions of sending their son there. I don't know anyone from Francis Combe but then I'm the other side of Watford so not much surprise there. If you were in my position, what conclusion would you be making? I appreciate that you are of the opinion that if people give the the non ranked schools a chance and put their bright children in them then the school will be transformed. Unfortunately that is a very simplistic way of looking at things. Simply putting bright students in a school will not make the school an instant success. Yes putting bright children in a lower performing school might bring their averages up in the short term. However, it will do nothing to improve management, teaching, resources or funding, nor will it provide extra places for the overcapacity that Watford is facing in future years. Whilst I am genuinely pleased to hear positive feedback from a parent with a child at Francis Combe school, it is not a school that I am likely to be offered as I am miles away. Also bear in mind, just because you and your son have had a positive experience at this school, it does not mean your son would have had the same experience at Westfield.[/p][/quote]I understand that you can only draw on what you know. My view may be simplistic but atleast it is an even playing field then the school and and pupils can only benefit as the gulf between good and not so good may reduce, thus attracting better Management, teaching staff and funding, mummy_1
  • Score: 3

1:47pm Mon 10 Mar 14

garston tony says...

The only parents I have sympathy for are those that put down their nearest school(s) as a choice and didnt get into them. They are the only ones really suffering from this ability to apply for pretty much any school that you want.

I get parents want to send their kids to what they think is the best school(s) even if they are not close by but by definition those schools are going to be over subscribed. Its obvious and I really dont get why people act so shocked when their sprog doesnt get in, especially if they dont live nearby!

Further to that I also dont get when parents who put down schools that were miles away from where they live but dont get them then complain about their kid going to a school that is also miles away. You were able to travel miles for the school of your choice so yuo're able to travel miles to the one that they actually got into!
The only parents I have sympathy for are those that put down their nearest school(s) as a choice and didnt get into them. They are the only ones really suffering from this ability to apply for pretty much any school that you want. I get parents want to send their kids to what they think is the best school(s) even if they are not close by but by definition those schools are going to be over subscribed. Its obvious and I really dont get why people act so shocked when their sprog doesnt get in, especially if they dont live nearby! Further to that I also dont get when parents who put down schools that were miles away from where they live but dont get them then complain about their kid going to a school that is also miles away. You were able to travel miles for the school of your choice so yuo're able to travel miles to the one that they actually got into! garston tony
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Mon 10 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

garston tony wrote:
The only parents I have sympathy for are those that put down their nearest school(s) as a choice and didnt get into them. They are the only ones really suffering from this ability to apply for pretty much any school that you want.

I get parents want to send their kids to what they think is the best school(s) even if they are not close by but by definition those schools are going to be over subscribed. Its obvious and I really dont get why people act so shocked when their sprog doesnt get in, especially if they dont live nearby!

Further to that I also dont get when parents who put down schools that were miles away from where they live but dont get them then complain about their kid going to a school that is also miles away. You were able to travel miles for the school of your choice so yuo're able to travel miles to the one that they actually got into!
Well know you know why so many parents are not happy about the situation. I live within 400 meters of my nearest school. It's distance cut off this year was 224 meters (the majority of which is taken up by the school playing field at the back). Bear in mind that parents can put more than one choice on the CAF, and I'm guessing 99.9% of the time they do. From the parents I know, every one of them listed their nearest school as well as others on the form.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: The only parents I have sympathy for are those that put down their nearest school(s) as a choice and didnt get into them. They are the only ones really suffering from this ability to apply for pretty much any school that you want. I get parents want to send their kids to what they think is the best school(s) even if they are not close by but by definition those schools are going to be over subscribed. Its obvious and I really dont get why people act so shocked when their sprog doesnt get in, especially if they dont live nearby! Further to that I also dont get when parents who put down schools that were miles away from where they live but dont get them then complain about their kid going to a school that is also miles away. You were able to travel miles for the school of your choice so yuo're able to travel miles to the one that they actually got into![/p][/quote]Well know you know why so many parents are not happy about the situation. I live within 400 meters of my nearest school. It's distance cut off this year was 224 meters (the majority of which is taken up by the school playing field at the back). Bear in mind that parents can put more than one choice on the CAF, and I'm guessing 99.9% of the time they do. From the parents I know, every one of them listed their nearest school as well as others on the form. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

There's a system in Herts which allows parents to pick three schools. I have every sympathy with parents who did not get one of their choices.

There is a poster, Mummy1, who comes out with sayings like "My view may be simplistic but at least it is an even playing field then the school and and pupils can only benefit as the gulf between good and not so good may reduce, thus attracting better Management, teaching staff and funding"

Who says it can only benefit schools and pupils? It's an experiment in social engineering and it may be successful and it may just as easily be a failure. Mummy1 cannot know the outcome any more than you or I can.

As a parent myself I know how stressful it is to get your child into school. I also know that if my child was about to go to senior school I would not necessarily feel too happy about a social engineering experiment being undertaken on my childrens education.

Children only get one go at senior school education. We all need to work together to make it the best we can offer. We need to make sure the people who control our education system provide an education that meets the needs of the people it serves.

At the moment the allocation is unfair. Those that can afford to live very close to the school of their choice or who have a child bright enough to take advantage of expensive tuition can do well.

It's not an even playing field for parents and children and that is letting down our children when it comes to education.
There's a system in Herts which allows parents to pick three schools. I have every sympathy with parents who did not get one of their choices. There is a poster, Mummy1, who comes out with sayings like "My view may be simplistic but at least it is an even playing field then the school and and pupils can only benefit as the gulf between good and not so good may reduce, thus attracting better Management, teaching staff and funding" Who says it can only benefit schools and pupils? It's an experiment in social engineering and it may be successful and it may just as easily be a failure. Mummy1 cannot know the outcome any more than you or I can. As a parent myself I know how stressful it is to get your child into school. I also know that if my child was about to go to senior school I would not necessarily feel too happy about a social engineering experiment being undertaken on my childrens education. Children only get one go at senior school education. We all need to work together to make it the best we can offer. We need to make sure the people who control our education system provide an education that meets the needs of the people it serves. At the moment the allocation is unfair. Those that can afford to live very close to the school of their choice or who have a child bright enough to take advantage of expensive tuition can do well. It's not an even playing field for parents and children and that is letting down our children when it comes to education. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -1

5:27pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Felinefrenzi says...

Its four choices not three, so to not get ANY of your four, is devastating.
Time for the cross sibling rule to go, and clamp down on the abuse of the system from families with kids, not in local primaries, who pretend to live 2-300 metres from Watford schools, grammars in particular,, to get the school of their choice.
We have few enough places as it is, how can we continue to allow out of Watford families, to pince our places, by pretending to live here.
Shame on your grammars! for turning a blind eye.
And here is another scam, pretend your cousin is your sibling, stay over, and get a place.
This has to stop. WE need the places.
WO time to investigate properly.
Its four choices not three, so to not get ANY of your four, is devastating. Time for the cross sibling rule to go, and clamp down on the abuse of the system from families with kids, not in local primaries, who pretend to live 2-300 metres from Watford schools, grammars in particular,, to get the school of their choice. We have few enough places as it is, how can we continue to allow out of Watford families, to pince our places, by pretending to live here. Shame on your grammars! for turning a blind eye. And here is another scam, pretend your cousin is your sibling, stay over, and get a place. This has to stop. WE need the places. WO time to investigate properly. Felinefrenzi
  • Score: 4

9:14am Tue 11 Mar 14

Cuetip says...

Felinefrenzi wrote:
Its four choices not three, so to not get ANY of your four, is devastating.
Time for the cross sibling rule to go, and clamp down on the abuse of the system from families with kids, not in local primaries, who pretend to live 2-300 metres from Watford schools, grammars in particular,, to get the school of their choice.
We have few enough places as it is, how can we continue to allow out of Watford families, to pince our places, by pretending to live here.
Shame on your grammars! for turning a blind eye.
And here is another scam, pretend your cousin is your sibling, stay over, and get a place.
This has to stop. WE need the places.
WO time to investigate properly.
To

ajuba1

Felinefrenzi

Justiceforwatford

garston tony

Be Nice

mummy_1

Phil Cox

ED12

If we assume that the right to a decent education is a fundamental guiding principle of this country, HCC would undoubtedly be put into special measures for a clear dereliction of duty and care for the taxpayers of Watford like any failing school as this only perpetuates the high unnecessarily high unemployment amongst our young people?

The thoughtful and considered comments clearly show that there is serious distress and anger at yet another year where local parents are put though the mangler.
[quote][p][bold]Felinefrenzi[/bold] wrote: Its four choices not three, so to not get ANY of your four, is devastating. Time for the cross sibling rule to go, and clamp down on the abuse of the system from families with kids, not in local primaries, who pretend to live 2-300 metres from Watford schools, grammars in particular,, to get the school of their choice. We have few enough places as it is, how can we continue to allow out of Watford families, to pince our places, by pretending to live here. Shame on your grammars! for turning a blind eye. And here is another scam, pretend your cousin is your sibling, stay over, and get a place. This has to stop. WE need the places. WO time to investigate properly.[/p][/quote]To ajuba1 Felinefrenzi Justiceforwatford garston tony Be Nice mummy_1 Phil Cox ED12 If we assume that the right to a decent education is a fundamental guiding principle of this country, HCC would undoubtedly be put into special measures for a clear dereliction of duty and care for the taxpayers of Watford like any failing school as this only perpetuates the high unnecessarily high unemployment amongst our young people? The thoughtful and considered comments clearly show that there is serious distress and anger at yet another year where local parents are put though the mangler. Cuetip
  • Score: 1

2:53pm Tue 11 Mar 14

anon349 says...

I fail to understand why people direct abuse at children from surrounding boroughs getting places at the grammar schools. They are partially selective meaning that those who do the best in the test get in. It is the very fact that the cleverest children from a wide area are at these schools which makes them so good.

None of the surrounding boroughs have selective schools so there is nowhere remotely as good in Hillingdon or Harrow for bright children to go. I am sure that if the surrounding boroughs had partially selective schools then this would not be an issue. I do not see how anger can be directed at bright children who did better in the test than those who don't have a place so have a much deserved place at the school.
I fail to understand why people direct abuse at children from surrounding boroughs getting places at the grammar schools. They are partially selective meaning that those who do the best in the test get in. It is the very fact that the cleverest children from a wide area are at these schools which makes them so good. None of the surrounding boroughs have selective schools so there is nowhere remotely as good in Hillingdon or Harrow for bright children to go. I am sure that if the surrounding boroughs had partially selective schools then this would not be an issue. I do not see how anger can be directed at bright children who did better in the test than those who don't have a place so have a much deserved place at the school. anon349
  • Score: -2

4:15pm Tue 11 Mar 14

justiceforwatford says...

anon349 wrote:
I fail to understand why people direct abuse at children from surrounding boroughs getting places at the grammar schools. They are partially selective meaning that those who do the best in the test get in. It is the very fact that the cleverest children from a wide area are at these schools which makes them so good.

None of the surrounding boroughs have selective schools so there is nowhere remotely as good in Hillingdon or Harrow for bright children to go. I am sure that if the surrounding boroughs had partially selective schools then this would not be an issue. I do not see how anger can be directed at bright children who did better in the test than those who don't have a place so have a much deserved place at the school.
I think you will find most of the objections are aimed at people from the surrounding boroughs who rent flats close to the ranked school, have their children sit the test and once they gain a place, move back out to where they actually live. If their child is so bright they should be able to gain a place legitimately by obtaining the pass mark for outer/out of catchment.

Another criticism of the people sending their children to schools miles away from where they liven is, how will their children really perform once in the school if they have had to get up at 6 am to face a full day at school and then miss out on all after school activities due to limitations imposed on them through public transport. This hardly gives them or their parents an opportunity to be involved members of the school community. This was clearly demonstrated to me when the last train strike was on. Believe me there were a fair few children stranded outside the Met Station. I felt particularly sorry for the residents of Shephards Road who had to put up with gridlock from all the cars trying to park to collect their children.
[quote][p][bold]anon349[/bold] wrote: I fail to understand why people direct abuse at children from surrounding boroughs getting places at the grammar schools. They are partially selective meaning that those who do the best in the test get in. It is the very fact that the cleverest children from a wide area are at these schools which makes them so good. None of the surrounding boroughs have selective schools so there is nowhere remotely as good in Hillingdon or Harrow for bright children to go. I am sure that if the surrounding boroughs had partially selective schools then this would not be an issue. I do not see how anger can be directed at bright children who did better in the test than those who don't have a place so have a much deserved place at the school.[/p][/quote]I think you will find most of the objections are aimed at people from the surrounding boroughs who rent flats close to the ranked school, have their children sit the test and once they gain a place, move back out to where they actually live. If their child is so bright they should be able to gain a place legitimately by obtaining the pass mark for outer/out of catchment. Another criticism of the people sending their children to schools miles away from where they liven is, how will their children really perform once in the school if they have had to get up at 6 am to face a full day at school and then miss out on all after school activities due to limitations imposed on them through public transport. This hardly gives them or their parents an opportunity to be involved members of the school community. This was clearly demonstrated to me when the last train strike was on. Believe me there were a fair few children stranded outside the Met Station. I felt particularly sorry for the residents of Shephards Road who had to put up with gridlock from all the cars trying to park to collect their children. justiceforwatford
  • Score: 2

6:07pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Felinefrenzi says...

Anon349-
Can I point out that the children from Watford are not competing on a level playing field. If they were, this would not be such an issue, and we as parents would not be so angry.
The problem, in addition to the renting near the schools and then leaving the area, once a place is secured, which is cheating in my book, is the fact that the children in most Watford primaries are prevented from being prepared for the SW Herts Consortium Tests. A protocol was signed many years ago, 15-20 I understand, with the SW Herts Consortium Secondary schools. This was with the, now outdated, opinion that all kids in Watford should have an equal chance of competing for a place on one of those schools.
However, times have changed and so has the population of Watford and the surrounding areas. Kids from outside the borough, from non Watford primaries, ARE being prepared in their schools! and so this not a level playing field. Therefore they are dragging the marks up, so local kids can't compete unless from fee paying prep schools, or by having lucky parents who have no choice but to shell out for tutors in order to just compete, but this year even, that was not enough. The cheats on the doorstep, educated outside the Borough are not competing fairly, why should they, when the system is allowing this to continue unchecked.

The Consortium schools in Watford owe it to the families of Watford:
- to allow the local schools to prepare their children in schools, and allow them to compete fair and square.
-They also owe all in Watford to clamp down on the dishonest practice of renting and buying near schools and then leaving. They know....
- abolish cross sibling rule at the grammars. They are not the same school so why have it? No cross siblings especially for those who have chosen to move back out of the area, to Harrow, Hillingdon, Stanmore.

Watford has 750 more houses planned on the allotments, Watford families need theses school places more than ever.

No new secondary within Watford for AT LEAST 3 years. You work it out....
Anon349- Can I point out that the children from Watford are not competing on a level playing field. If they were, this would not be such an issue, and we as parents would not be so angry. The problem, in addition to the renting near the schools and then leaving the area, once a place is secured, which is cheating in my book, is the fact that the children in most Watford primaries are prevented from being prepared for the SW Herts Consortium Tests. A protocol was signed many years ago, 15-20 I understand, with the SW Herts Consortium Secondary schools. This was with the, now outdated, opinion that all kids in Watford should have an equal chance of competing for a place on one of those schools. However, times have changed and so has the population of Watford and the surrounding areas. Kids from outside the borough, from non Watford primaries, ARE being prepared in their schools! and so this not a level playing field. Therefore they are dragging the marks up, so local kids can't compete unless from fee paying prep schools, or by having lucky parents who have no choice but to shell out for tutors in order to just compete, but this year even, that was not enough. The cheats on the doorstep, educated outside the Borough are not competing fairly, why should they, when the system is allowing this to continue unchecked. The Consortium schools in Watford owe it to the families of Watford: - to allow the local schools to prepare their children in schools, and allow them to compete fair and square. -They also owe all in Watford to clamp down on the dishonest practice of renting and buying near schools and then leaving. They know.... - abolish cross sibling rule at the grammars. They are not the same school so why have it? No cross siblings especially for those who have chosen to move back out of the area, to Harrow, Hillingdon, Stanmore. Watford has 750 more houses planned on the allotments, Watford families need theses school places more than ever. No new secondary within Watford for AT LEAST 3 years. You work it out.... Felinefrenzi
  • Score: 1

9:12pm Wed 12 Mar 14

ajuba1 says...

ajuba1 wrote:
i have emailed Mark Watkins and Dorothy asking them to arrange a public meeting for watford residents so that they can tell us what they are doing about the crisis in secondary school places in watford, why they think doubling the intake for a the worst performing school is a good idea and why they aren't doing anything to tackle the abuse in distance places. those of you who feel strongly about this should do the same. themayor@watford.gov

.uk
mark.watkin@watford.

gov.uk
I don't hold out much hope, but they are here to represent the interests of the community they serve so should be ready and willing to listen to our concerns and try to address them.
response from Dorothy:
I have now for many years challenged the system in south west Herts. It has actually been reviewed by government about 7 years ago and I gave evidence to that commission. The report ended by suggesting some changes to the admissions criteria which have happened.
BUT it also said that the schools were acting lawfully. They all have to stick rigidly to their admission rules and their allocations are made public to show this.
I suspect you are upset because your child did not get into the school which shows that the school is very popular so in short there is no move by parents to change the system. everyone wants their children to go to the school!! ( or schools as parmiters and queens also very popular and oversubscribed)

Distance is a very misunderstood criteria. But there is a very clear definition of what is means and again that is stuck to.

If as you allege " abuse is rampant" I think both myself and the head would want to hear your allegations.

I can arrange for you to meet us if you like?

I have called and attended public meetings in the past and they do not achieve anything . The heads of those schools are not going to change their rules. Abuse of those rules is a different matter so yes please give me the evidence and I will follow it through.
[quote][p][bold]ajuba1[/bold] wrote: i have emailed Mark Watkins and Dorothy asking them to arrange a public meeting for watford residents so that they can tell us what they are doing about the crisis in secondary school places in watford, why they think doubling the intake for a the worst performing school is a good idea and why they aren't doing anything to tackle the abuse in distance places. those of you who feel strongly about this should do the same. themayor@watford.gov .uk mark.watkin@watford. gov.uk I don't hold out much hope, but they are here to represent the interests of the community they serve so should be ready and willing to listen to our concerns and try to address them.[/p][/quote]response from Dorothy: I have now for many years challenged the system in south west Herts. It has actually been reviewed by government about 7 years ago and I gave evidence to that commission. The report ended by suggesting some changes to the admissions criteria which have happened. BUT it also said that the schools were acting lawfully. They all have to stick rigidly to their admission rules and their allocations are made public to show this. I suspect you are upset because your child did not get into the school which shows that the school is very popular so in short there is no move by parents to change the system. everyone wants their children to go to the school!! ( or schools as parmiters and queens also very popular and oversubscribed) Distance is a very misunderstood criteria. But there is a very clear definition of what is means and again that is stuck to. If as you allege " abuse is rampant" I think both myself and the head would want to hear your allegations. I can arrange for you to meet us if you like? I have called and attended public meetings in the past and they do not achieve anything . The heads of those schools are not going to change their rules. Abuse of those rules is a different matter so yes please give me the evidence and I will follow it through. ajuba1
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