Tiffin Schools Admission Arrangements

(663 Posts)

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tiffinboys Fri 27-Apr-12 00:56:58

Tiffin Schools (Boys & Girls) have issued their Determined Admission Arrangements for 2013-14. Boths Schools have decided to ignore pleas from the local community and opted to continue with Open Selection.

Though most of the grammar schools have catchment/proximity rules, some even going to the extent of denying applications to sit for their entrance test in breach of Grenwich ruling, Tiffins would continue open selection policies. Only handful of children from Kingston & surrounding areas get places in Tiffins. Most of the places go to the children living at very very far away places, eg. Harrow, Southall, Greenford.

Grammar schools from Bromley (St. Olave & Newstead Wood), Redbridge (Woodford County & Ilford County) or Barnet/Herts (DAO & Latymer) or Slough (Langley) would not allow out-of-catchment children to even apply for admission tests. Other schools like Kent grammars would only give places to children living near to the School. Some schools have most of the places for catchment area (Nonsuch, Wallington etc.).

This year, Reading grammars (Kendrik & Reading) and Chelmsford grammars (both boys & girls) have changed their over-subscription criteria from 100% open selection to 100% catchment and 80% catchment respectively.

It is high time that children from Kingston and surrounding areas also get level playing field. Until all grammar schools are 100% open selection, it is fair that some priority is restored for these children.

We have therefore proposed that Tiffins give 80% places on the basis of proximity to the Schools (or such other Centre point in the Borough, as previously proposed by the LA) to those children who pass the entrance tests. Other 20% may be given on open selection.

This proposal complies with Greenwich/Rotherham rulings. We are aware that it would take lot of persuation for the Governors of these school to accept this proposal. We call upon all parents from Kingston & Surrounding areas t write to the Tiffin Schools in support of this proposal and copy these to your local MPs and Councillors.

tiffinboys Thu 07-Feb-13 22:09:53

1. I don't see how open selection could be compatible with the requirement of giving admission to children wholly or mainly drawn from the area in which it is situated. Tiffins are situated in Kingston Borough. And the children from Kingston are a small minority.

2. Tiffin School has put their admission data on its website. Have a look at it. You would conclude that each year on year, the number of children from Kingston Borough and immediate surrounding areas is declining rapidly as the number of applicants is rising at a faster rate. TS has not given the figures of applicants sitting 2012 test (2011: 1685). TGS figures are 1879 (2011: 1471). The applicant numbers have risen by about 300-400 a year since 2010. Sooner or later, Schools would have to think about distance/catchment policies as TGS has attempted to do now.

In current scenario, open selection policies are very unfair to the children living in the surrounding areas and Kingston Borough as many other grammars have catchment policies - resulting in over-whelming pressure on the Tiffin Schools.

prh47bridge Fri 08-Feb-13 00:10:58

The requirement is to provide an education to pupils wholly or mainly drawn from the area in which the school is situated. That does not mean they have to admit wholly or mainly from the local area every year, although clearly if admissions are consistently mainly from outside the local area they will eventually fail to comply. Note that the legislation fails to define what it means by "the area in which the school is situated". It could mean anything from the streets immediately bordering the school to the entire South East of England. Those are extremes and I doubt the courts would go with either of those but, given the Greenwich judgement, I would be surprised if the courts interpreted it as meaning Tiffin have to draw children from Kingston ahead of anywhere else.

Yes, Tiffin say that the number of children drawn from the local area is falling. That is why they have introduced a designated area that comes into play when scores are equal. They say that at the cut off point each year there are a significant number of applicants with the same score. If that is true the change will increase the proportion of successful applicants from the local area without excluding higher performing applicants from further away.

I note that Tiffin say that the proposed designated area is where a significant majority of the school's existing students live. If that is true it would appear that they are currently complying with their funding agreement and the changes they are making will ensure that they continue to do so. From their viewpoint the change you want will result in a drop in standards as it would make where a pupil lives more important than their ability as measured by the tests.

Assuming Tiffin go ahead with the proposed changes you have the right to lodge an objection with the Schools Adjudicator.

tiffinboys Fri 08-Feb-13 09:10:13

Lot of contradiction in your post, prh. So let's agree to disagree.

prh47bridge Fri 08-Feb-13 10:49:40

Really? I challenge you to point out a single contradiction. To help you, here is a simply summary:

- The legal requirement is to provide an education to pupils wholly or mainly from the area. Provided the majority of pupils in the school are from the area they are meeting that requirement.

- If the majority of admissions are consistently from outside the area the school will fail to meet the requirement. However, that does not mean that the majority of admissions must be from inside the area each year, which is what you want. To make this clearer, suppose a school has 600 pupils of whom 400 are from within the area. They are going to admit 100 pupils. Even if all 100 pupils were from outside the area, there would now be 400 pupils out of 700 total from within the area so they would still be in the majority.

- The legislation does not define what it means by "the area in which the school is situated". Given the Greenwich judgement I would be surprised if the courts said that it meant Kingston.

The remainder of my post points out that, if what Tiffin Girls say is true, they are complying with their funding agreement and the proposed changes will ensure that they continue to do so.

I know you want Tiffin to prioritise lower scoring local applicants over higher scoring applicants from further afield. As I say, you can refer this to the Schools Adjudicator if Tiffin go ahead with the proposed changes. However, if you do I believe you will be disappointed with the outcome.

Tasmania Fri 08-Feb-13 13:08:12

Huh? Am I missing something here??

I dind't read the entire thread because I couldn't really get past the first post...

Personally, I believe that OPEN SELECTION IS THE WAY TO GO. Despite the tutoring, etc., it is a far more meritocratic way of selection... compared to, say, catchment area lottery which the OP seems to prefer.

It's not like Harrow, Southall and Greenford are posh places - Kingston's surrounding area has plenty of green/leafy suburb type places, where properties go for a lot more money. By creating some dumb catchment rule, you will just be accentuating that.

Maybe the OP is an estate agent for the area or has a dc that didn't get in?

OhDearConfused Fri 08-Feb-13 13:57:35

OP has a bee in her bonnet about this - although I think she is simply a concnered partent with a DC that did get in (despite open competition). If you look at the 11+ forum Surrey section you will see she goes on and on and on about getting a catchment for Kingston. It is incredibly repetitive, and it is impossible (almost) to discuss Tiffin without her chipping in with that theme. (At least - to be fair to her - this is her thread).

CecilyP Fri 08-Feb-13 14:23:18

Do people really go to Tiffins from Harrow? How on earth do they get there?

tiffinboys Sun 10-Feb-13 23:38:49

Some of the above comments made me laugh.

1. So if area is green and leafy, the local grammar must be open selective for all and sundry, while their local grammars may be 100% catchment (Langley, Redbridge etc etc) or their LA abolished the local grammars. Now 2 small schools in Kingston (Tiffins) must take care of the rest of the world.
2. So if the local parents argue for catchment or distance (as in Langley, Kent, Bucks. Redbridge, and so on and on), they must be the estate agents.
3. So if the 'area' is not clearly defined in Academies Act, we must forget all about common sense (I admit it is not so common these days) and consider Harrow or Langley or Guilford or even Bournemouth and Manchester (yes, there were admissions from there too last year) as in the 'area'.
4. So if being resident of Kingston and having a declared interest in Tiffins for my kids and other local kids, still I should not chip in the discussions involving Tiffins.

Oh dear, dear.

Tasmania Mon 11-Feb-13 01:37:29

Tiffinboys - Just give up. What is your problem?? Your DC got into Tiffin. So what's the point of this thread? Seriously, be happy your DC is at a school that is not 90% Kingston kids, and there is actually a little bit of diversity.

As far as I know, the UK is not quite like the US where the funding of schools almost completely depends on just the surrounding area's taxes. So... really, no school should have a catchment area at all.

JoanByers Mon 11-Feb-13 01:42:38

I would be my life's savings that no-one in Manchester or Bournemouth is at school in Kingston.

tiffinboys Mon 11-Feb-13 07:45:10

@Tasmania
As you would see from my posts, I never started this campaign for my DCs alone. My DC got 'comfortable' scores (yet to get offer - waiting for 1st March), but local parents campaign has to be continued. Incidently, 2013 is 20 years since distance rules were dropped.

I would cease to campaign once all grammars are open selective (glad you agree with that too) or Tiffins has distance/catchment policy too.

@JoanByers
TGS admission data for 2012 include girls from BH10 (Bournemouth) and WA14 (Altrincham, Greater Manchester), besides other distant areas. Data is as provided by School (under FOI) to us.

Muminwestlondon Mon 11-Feb-13 08:18:30

I imagine the girls applied and their families moved once they got the place. I know a girl who was overseas when she applied and had to come back especially for the test. Her family moved back to the UK over the summer. Their DD's education was a major factor in deciding to move back. I don't see what is wrong with that to be honest.

prh47bridge Mon 11-Feb-13 08:59:05

I did not suggest that Manchester could be considered as part of the area. The point I made was that, given the lack of definition and in view of the Greenwich judgement, the courts may well take the view that the "area in which the school is situated" is not just Kingston but includes some or all of the surrounding boroughs.

tiffinboys Mon 11-Feb-13 20:14:24

I wonder if any sensible judge would consider Southall (UB1 & UB2) as in the Tiffin Schools area (KT2).

Muminwestlondon Mon 11-Feb-13 20:51:40

In my opinion, and I know Tiffinboys disagrees, the Tiffin schools are situated in Greater London and I would say the area they should serve is anywhere within an hour or so travelling time. (I am aware it is no longer possible to use actual travelling time as part of admission criteria). Families, including my own, think long and hard about sending their kids on long journeys. Unfortunately for some there are no viable alternatives and schools like TGS are a godsend.

tiffinboys Mon 11-Feb-13 21:35:51

We can always agree to disagree. Each one can have his/her own view.

I know Tiffins are godsend. The problem is most grammars have catchment/distance policies. Therefore, few remaining open-selectives have to take the pressure from all over the place.

Greater London is not a small place that can be catered by two small grammars in Kingston. On top of that Kingston children do not have level playing field. Langley is 100% catchment and even the children from Langley catchment comes in a big way to Tiffins. Consequently, the entrance test pressure grows to an extend that most children in Tiffins are over-tutored. Children are in great pressure to score higher and higher each year as the cut-off score has been increasing.

Therefore, to bring some normality to the situation and giving level playing field to the children of Kingston and surrounding areas, we need distance or catchment policies.

As regard to other viable option, after Tiffins, the boys in Kingston have no viable option too. For girls, onlt Coombe Girls offer some option; but for bright children, even that is too little.

MonkeySea Mon 11-Feb-13 21:43:05

Kingston children have the same chance as any other children to get into the Tiffin schools.

I don't believe this 'over-tutored' business. A marginal local grammar school would be easily tutorable, but a super-selective one requires bright children to get in.

Lots of children in lots of areas have no good schools to choose from.

prh47bridge Mon 11-Feb-13 22:27:37

The requirement is for the majority of children to be in the area in which the school is situated. Even if Southall is out of area admitting children from there is not an issue as long as the majority of pupils are from the school's area.

tiffinboys Mon 11-Feb-13 22:35:25

1. Agree that Kingston children have same chance to get into Tiffins - why does then so many grammars (Langley, Newstead, Nonsuch, Wallington, Slough, Herschel etc. etc.) have catchment places? Why the children there needs reserved places?

2. Not believing some thing does not change the situation. There is over-tutoring and just by denying it, that won't go away.

3. Does Kingston have to cater for every area that does not have good schools to chose from.

MonkeySea Mon 11-Feb-13 23:40:32

1. I would concentrate on levelling the playing field in those areas personally.

2. So are the results suffering? Or is it just an assertion on your part?

3. It's not Kingston, it's two grammar schools in Kingston. If you have a sub <100 IQ and live in Kingston then you won't get into the Tiffin schools under any circumstances. All these distant children in Southall and places amount to what, 10% of the school? Less than that? The idea that these schools would suddenly become a local school for local people if you excluded a small minority of the intake is clearly wrong. It would given a few marginal children in the local area a slightly better chance, while excluding the same number of distant children who might be much brighter (certainly some of them would be) and perhaps otherwise faced with going to a sink school.

tiffinboys Tue 12-Feb-13 09:22:19

Your comments makes me think that you have not come across 11+ tests in the recent past.

zoffany51 Fri 01-Mar-13 14:59:06

@tiffinboys - thank you so much for continuing to post to this thread, despite as i gather your DC having gained admission to Tiffin (well, in all probability, congratulations!!!).
DS1 is currently at the school; however, DS2 with a score of 220 will likely be denied in this years intake from going up to join his elder brother (based on historical score, barring a miracle).
By current applied methods of determining distance, we live less than a kilometre from the school gates (indeed, both DS have done so from birth, we have not moved into the area).
DS2 attends a primary in Richmond borough, oustanding across the board as judged by Ofsted - where he has consistently performed at the top of his respective year group; over his entire KS1/2 'career'.
He recently smashed level 6 mocks, is on the talented and gifted register for sports, sings in choir, etc.
We are within effortless walking distance of Tiffin, indeed it is our nearest secondary school - and we want to bring him back over to KoT to further his education and re-unite him with his elder sibling.
I simply do not see why a child of his talent, ability, and calibre - who lives within touching distance of this school should be denied a place, in order that all and sundry - these kids from Timbuktu postcodes can take up places.
With his score and track record he is more than capable, and would easily cope with the work (since we know what the work entails); in fact one of DS1s teachers rubbed their hands together eagerly in anticipation on seeing there were siblings - at the school they are most keen to teach them.
Also, i do not understand how the school can apply distance criteria to 140th ranked candidates in the event of tied scores, but not use the same criteria more widely.
I would not have a problem with the top x% of places being allocated, irrespective of distance - though i do feel a 5-7 miles catchment say would be more realistic.
Look at the post code distribution; one from here, two from there, is destroying the community of the school.
Tiffins should more properly represent and serve the areas in which they are located - this is surely obvious to any right minded individual. smile

OhDearConfused Fri 01-Mar-13 18:11:23

Yes indeed. Make it a community school and remove selection. I agree with you. No tests. Just admisison by distance.

zoffany51 Sat 02-Mar-13 09:08:54

Precisely. tbh, we would have sent all our DCs to it anyway, irrespective of performances and league tables - since it is our local secondary school, nearest by far, and should be returned to the community it was created to serve. Taking one child from TW10,000, or whatever is not benefitting those communities whatsoever, it is only to the detriment of Kingston residents, and those living within reasonable distance nearby. Not to be able to send your children to their nearest state secondary is galling; performances matter far more to those coming from further afield, otherwise why would they come here? If Tiffins were say 85%, there wouldn't be any uptake from Brentford, Hounslow, Harrow, or wherever would there - let's be honest, these families are shipping their kids in purely for what they can get. Nothing more. Which is why the school is practically broke. I went to talk about my child, they asked me if i had any money i could give them - what kind of a school is that? If they committed to the local community, their financial worries would be all but erradicated; there's plenty of coin around here, but locals (myself included) are not willing to stump up to pay to educate kids from Timbuktu; why should we? grin

zoffany51 Sat 02-Mar-13 09:14:29

Having seen the figures this year; i am in no doubt that DS2s place will have been given to some boy who has been tutored to within an inch of his life - possibly over many a year as well. But we know for a fact that a good many of these candidates performances - their supposed potential, is not borne out in reality when they go up to Tiffin. The correlation between test score and perfomance withi the school is at best tenuous. smile

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