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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:21 pm
Posts: 43
At NLCS for 11+ last year, we were told that, if there was a major discrepancy between a girl's exam result and headteacher's report, they would usually invite the girl in for an interview to resolve the discrepancy. They gave an example that, if XYZ's math score was below standard for an interview but XYZ's primary school head called and stated that XYZ was their best math student and must have had a bad day on the test, they (NLCS) would prefer to err on the side of calling XYZ in, presumably for a math-heavy interview.

OP, have you discussed this situation with your DS's school?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:19 pm 
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expat wrote:

OP, have you discussed this situation with your DS's school?





Yes - they are also trying to find out what happened and to make a case...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:40 pm 
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Northlondonparent wrote:
Yes - they are also trying to find out what happened and to make a case...

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
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It seems a shame that for those without siblings or parents who are alumni it’s not a level playing field.
I also think it is important to tell children sitting the 11 plus they might not got an interview or a place and be really upbeat about all other options.
At age 10 not getting called for interview may well be the first real experience of some form of rejection.
How that is managed really matters.
You might have sat on the top table since age 4 and not be aware that doing so doesn’t necessarily mean you are super bright.
The exams are testing where a child is in the cohort which might be very able or less so depending on the year.
Every year both state and private there are surprises with children no one expects gaining places and vice versa.
As parents putting their children in for the tests it is important to help them through the outcome particularly when unexpected.
Personally I wouldn’t want to send a child to a school that had initially rejected them.
I think it would get things off on the wrong foot.
It’s good you have an interview at MTS and hopefully that will result in a place and you and your child will be really happy with the outcome


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:12 pm
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expat wrote:
Northlondonparent wrote:
Yes - they are also trying to find out what happened and to make a case...

Good luck.


Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:12 pm
Posts: 16
Moon unit wrote:
It seems a shame that for those without siblings or parents who are alumni it’s not a level playing field.
I also think it is important to tell children sitting the 11 plus they might not got an interview or a place and be really upbeat about all other options.
At age 10 not getting called for interview may well be the first real experience of some form of rejection.
How that is managed really matters.
You might have sat on the top table since age 4 and not be aware that doing so doesn’t necessarily mean you are super bright.
The exams are testing where a child is in the cohort which might be very able or less so depending on the year.
Every year both state and private there are surprises with children no one expects gaining places and vice versa.
As parents putting their children in for the tests it is important to help them through the outcome particularly when unexpected.
Personally I wouldn’t want to send a child to a school that had initially rejected them.
I think it would get things off on the wrong foot.
It’s good you have an interview at MTS and hopefully that will result in a place and you and your child will be really happy with the outcome


Thanks - I agree in principal of course. It's always good to understand a surprise/shock result though...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:49 am
Posts: 123
There is no certainty when the numbers applying are so huge. Even a great candidate can have an off day when others are having their best day ever. They cannot interview everyone and actually if someone has performed well well down the rankings it's kinder to say 'no' before the interview, because actually the exam will count for so much and being turned down age group interview is harder as it feels more personal. Those who are marginal will be included in those interviewed.

Remember all these schools interview more than they need and offer more places than they can take, as so many sit multiple schools and can only accept one, so they have to over offer. In terms of both interviews and offers they go significantly further down the rankings than the number if palaces available, but there has to be a cut off.

Personally I think there is a time to accept this too, rather than taking the attitude that a parent or their Head can talk their way into anything they would really like to have. I think some parents struggle with the idea that they can't always have what they want.

Ask for feedback if the result is a total surprise (not just to be a chancer) and if you have a Prep Head, ask them to do the same if and only if they too really think it's a surprise (and sometimes the Prep Head didn't strongly recommend the particular school and isn't at all surprised at the lack if interview) but don't expect lots and lots of detail or that things are really going to change. These schools are already interviewing more than they need and can offer to, and have more above the standard of your DC already. It's a shame that these things are judged on the performance if one day, but that is the reality.

In the schools I've been involved with, siblings and children of alumni certainly haven't been guaranteed interviews. If they have been marginal, they have probably been included in the list, but every year, phone calls are made to some parents to say they can't offer an interview - the phonecall is a courtesy and nod to not wanting to purely send a letter to people they have links with. But the thing is, if you've performed significantly lower than the required standard in the exam, what exactly is the interview going to do.....is it really going to win you a place.....in almost all cases it isn't and just gives false hope and is a waste of everyone's time.

Interviews are generally used to decide about the marginal candidates and to weed out the few high achievers who really don't want to come to the school. For most who've got the required standard, they are just there, because the school wants to check out the marginals and likes to say that there is more to it all than academics. They know about extra curriculars from references and applications. So some around the margins will find they impress and get a place despite their exam performance being a little below the preferred standard and some around the margins might find they don't impress and despite having done better in the exam than a handful of others who get offers, don't. But those significantly below just aren't interviewed because their results are low enough to mean however they come across on the day, it isn't going to swing it. Those who are significantly above the required standard, unless they show they don't like the school or do something very surprising are pretty much guaranteed an offer. The things is candidates and parents don't know in most schools if their child is marginal or not, so all have to do their best in interview.

And those who don't get one, I'd say, have to know from the start that it's a very real possibility and to prepare themesleves and their children for that, so it's not a disaster for either party, and be willing to accept it, even though it's hard.


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