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Torquay guidance letter
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Author:  devonlady [ Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

My daughter also received a yes from TGGS and a no from Churston. I have spoken to TGGS and it will not give me any guidance whatsoever as to the likelihood of her being allocated a place in March so we will just have to wait and see but it is a frustrating process as we were going to move her to Maynard in January if she had received a "no" so we have had to forego that place and will have to start again if we get turned down in March. I have been told that Churston was inundated with "applicants" this year and so upped its pass mark by about 5%. I would guess this reflects the fact parents and pupils are not so enamored with single sex education. The girl who was consistently top in my daughter's tutor group, generally obtaining scores in the 80s and 90s also only got a "yes" from TGGS so I am very confused as to what it all means!

Author:  Petunia [ Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

I'm really surprised by Churston giving a 'No' where TGGS is a 'Yes'. How can Churston know how many applicants they will have? Are they basing this on how many children registered with them? Or perhaps how many chose to sit the exam at Churston?

Author:  devonlady [ Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

I have no idea either Petunia. I always thought Churston was "easier" to get into than TGGS but apparently this year they had absolutely loads of pupils sitting the exams there and struggled to fit them in! And I am reliably told by a senior teacher at TGGS that they had 80 fewer pupils sitting there this year. All very odd.

Author:  equilibro [ Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

There are always likely to be year on year variations between schools, demographics, herd instinct, well-intentioned but misguided pre 11+ rumour mongering, whatever. The best advice as you now focus on CAF decisions, as with many things in life, is "hope for the best but plan for the worst".

Author:  PurpleDuck [ Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

Petunia wrote:
Thanks for your reply.

I have read a lot of posts in the Devon section, but I'm still unsure exactly what a 'yes' means. I know it's not a guarantee of a place, but how many 'yes' letters are sent out in relation to the number of places available? We've got to move house in the next couple of months, so (if we get a 'yes') I'm trying to work out whether we can assume we should move into the Torquay area.


We are in a very similar situation where we live. DS qualified for a place in one of the schools for which he passed the exam, but it is not a guarantee of a place. All it means is that we are allowed to put that school on our CAF form and as long as his score is high enough, we will get in. The school didn't disclose anyone's scores which means we have no clue at what position he ranked. The same 'congratulations, you are now eligible to apply' letter went out to over 700 children who passed the exam while the school takes fewer than 200. I know the number is reliable, as it came in an official email from one of the consortium schools. Another popular school in our area typically passes 2-3x as many children as places available.

The number of candidates who are told they are eligible depends on how many other schools there are in the area. If there are a lot of competing schools, more children get an 'eligibility' status, as the assumption is that most of them will sit exams for multiple schools and there may be a significant number of those who are eligible for 2, 3 or more schools. By the time people have decided on their first choices, the number of children interested in each individual school becomes much lower than the number of children with the 'eligible for a place' status. You can't second-guess what everyone else will decide, so the best thing you can do is list the school on the CAF form in the order of your true preference and hope you will get it.

Unless you know how well your child has passed the exam, you can't assume anything about which school you will get, so if you need to move before the allocation of places, it's probably safest to move somewhere from where it will be possible to get not only to your 1st choice of school, but also 2dn and 3rd... Good luck!

Author:  devonlady [ Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

That is an awful situation to be in. Devon is nothing like that. I did receive an email from Churston yesterday confirming that this year Churston had a much higher pass score than TGGS. Last year the opposite was true. We'll just have to wait and see.

Author:  PurpleDuck [ Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

devonlady wrote:
That is an awful situation to be in. Devon is nothing like that. I did receive an email from Churston yesterday confirming that this year Churston had a much higher pass score than TGGS. Last year the opposite was true. We'll just have to wait and see.

You're lucky - I wish we lived in Devon now! :)

Author:  aenikata [ Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

I'm guessing most students will have taken exams at the school they wish to attend, so they have a reasonable idea of first choices to give a Yes or a No.

For Churston Ferrers vs. Torquay Girls, one question is whether boys or girls did better this year, or neither. If boys did particularly well, then Churston would have a higher required mark while Torquay Girls wouldn't, for example. But from the sound of things there's many wanting a mixed-gender school, so it may not indicate any particular change in performance between boys and girls.

To me, it would make more sense if you could put more than 3 school preferences and put an application in before you've taken the exam. Then instead of guidance they could have crunched the figures and made offers rather than unclear guidance letters. I don't even know whether they tend to be optimistic or pessimistic when listing a yes?

When you don't know if the No is pessimistic or the Yes optimistic, it doesn't really help you to narrow down your 3 choices - if No is pessimistic then that may be a reasonable one to include still if you had a Yes elsewhere and might be borderline. If the Yes was optimistic, then doing that may waste most or all of your applications on schools that will actually be a no... then what?

Author:  aenikata [ Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

Well, the results are in and despite the Yes in the guidance letter, my daughter wasn't offered a place at Torquay Girls. Wondering how many others have similarly had their hopes raised by the guidance letter and dashed today :(. Hopefully not too many...

Author:  mitasol [ Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Torquay guidance letter

I'm sorry to hear you didn't get the news you wanted. Do you know where you are on the waiting lists. Places do become available after allocation day.

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