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Admissions test. Non-verbal reasoning. Why? For YR7. Academy.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by grumpydogwoman, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter



    Grandson starting YR6. Daughter suddenly faced with, "Where the hell does he go next year?" Yes, OK, I've been telling her for ages to think about this but....

    So. One local school (the Everyman's Academy For Whatever) is asking for the above.

    This is what she has been told. You cannot fail it (well, duh) and the school says its' to ensure "all children are accessing the school at all ability levels".

    My guess it's an additional benchmark to assist in grading them for added value etc. Or may help with setting. I don't see how it can make a school more inclusive because that's just dependent upon who applies!

    She's worried. So I said I'd ask. Doesn't help that she and the dad want different schools but hey. Not my problem. Just trying to help ease my daughter's mind. I think this test is of no consequence whatsoever but what IS the point of it?

    Thankee kindly.
  2. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Because testing them in their first few days of secondary school causes unnecessary disruption?

  3. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Well doh. There is obviously no other way to do this - it must be done via a non verbal reasoning test. Stands to reason eh?
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    And of course, putting any weight on NC levels is not really necessary.
    hhhh likes this.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    So far so good. As I thought. Pointless. Irrelevant.

    Anyone else?

    Conspiracy theories welcome. ;)
  6. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Do the kids get an interview and test then? Or is the test administered at the primary school? How are places allocated - not through the local authority then.
    It's all a mystery to me now.
    High School places and mobile phones. All too complicated.
  7. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    are we having Grammar Schools and pretending that we don't?
    It is a conspiracy.
    What does the admission policy have to say apart from the bit that you quoted? Is it very mysterious.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It has baffled me, I admit.

    I know a lot of secondary schools distrust the SATs scores and routinely retest the YR7s in September. And I think non-verbal reasoning is an interesting tool.

    But I don't believe the reason they're giving the parents so I'm wondering what the real reason can be.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @grumpydogwoman have you looked at the academy's published admissions criteria? Do they say anything how this test will be used to decide admissions? Do they use Banding for example? A vague reference to wanting to ensure "all children are accessing the school at all ability levels" isn't sufficient to meet the legal requirements of the School Admissions Code. It needs to be expressly stated how the tests are used to decide who gets a place.

    In my LA we still use Banding in the LA schools. All children in the LA are assessed as being in band A B C or D, each being 25% of the ability range. Schools then admit 25% of their intake from each Band. This is permitted under the Schools Admissions Code and is designed to make sure each school's intake is truly "comprehensive".

    But if Banding isn't part of their formal admissions criteria it is arguably illegal to ask for these tests as part of the admissions application process. It would potentially allow some selection on basis of general academic ability to take place, not allowed in non-selective schools. I chair the Admissions Independent Appeals Panel in my LA and if a case like this came before my Panel I'd be taking legal advice on whether it was legal and whether to make a referral to the Schools Adjudicator.

    Unless it is a selective school, I assume it isn't.

    Doing a tests like this after pupils start in Y7 is common though, but that's a different matter.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Thank you @Rott Weiler

    That's extremely helpful. I shall get my daughter to do her research. I'm not going to do it as I refuse to be blamed if he goes to the "wrong" school. It won't be MY fault!

    An indie? No, quite correct. The chances of the grandkids going to an indie are about the same as me winning the lottery on Saturday. And I don't buy a ticket so....

    I have copied and pasted your post and emailed it to her. Very good to know. I had absolutely no idea about any of that!!!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    My friend's daughter had to do this when applying for her first choice school. The pupil's choice, actually - her mpther wasn't that keen, but had told her daughter she'd respect her choice! I think my friend was abit concerned it was selection by the back door, but from what she said subsequently, I do think it was to ensure a broad range of pupils. The school is by no means a high flier in the league tables; in fact, quite the opposite.

    It's worked out really well - child loves the school, and is doing well there.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Thanks @chelsea2

    I only want him to be settled and not fall in with the "wrong crowd". Just the basics really. If he ends up with a couple of GCSEs then that'll do nicely.

  13. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I don't think it is good practice to ' isolate ' a score (snapshot ) from a battery of tests and then make a judgment about a student's ' potential '...... I understand why it has prioritised NV but I don't agree with it as a criteria for admission ..... using a range of data to inform future planning ( e.g. support/ curriculum model / delivery ) for a prospective Y7 co hort makes sense to me but the cynic in me questions their motives on this issue. Let us know how things go ? What about all the wonderful qualities a child can bring to a secondary school which don't show up as a ' score ' ?
  14. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Grammar schools have lots of tests and are clear that a child will not be allowed if s/he does not perform as well as they want.
    I know of lots of nursery/primary teachers saying they have 'welcome/settling' days where they effectively 'assess' the children, although they presumably do all the set tests when they actually start. One teacher told me they call the more able group 'more confident', as parents are less likely to complain if their children are in the 'less confident' group, whereas they'd complain if their children were placed in a 'low ability' group. She worked in the state sector (LEA).
    You want conspiracy theories? OK.
    They want to see which parents get them there for the test.
    They want to see which parents complain/comment on the existence of tests.
    They want attention-well they've got us typing about it.
    They are trying to get rid of all government tests and use only what they think works well to cut teacher workload.
  15. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    The wrong crowd is ubiquitous. That is its stand out feature.
  16. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    for banding I guess, around here, there is band 1,2 and 3, and band 2 is 50 %, with subdivisions. 50% of the intake are from band 2, and 25% from each of band 1 and 3
  17. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    This has been complete news to me. These bands!
  19. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I have only ever worked in schools and nurseries etc where you admitted any who applied - or prioritized the most vulnerable too.
    I do no know how the academies fit with the local authority allocation process. Do they offer places before the LA schools allocate places? Like church schools used to do?
    Is the lack of places in some areas making it possible for schools to pick and choose?
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @grumpydogwoman This is what the 'School Admissions Code' says about Banding. Banding itself is voluntary but if they do Banding compliance with the Code is compulsory for all state schools, LA and academy. It may be what the school your Grandson is considering is going to do with the test results. Note para 1.27 - details of the tests and how they will be used must be in the published admissions arrangements of the academy. There must be transparency in, eg test score cut offs, and so on. They can't get applicants to do the tests and then do some sort of hidden social engineering behind the scenes!


    1.25 Pupil ability banding is a permitted form of selection used by some admission authorities to ensure that the intake for a school includes a proportionate spread of children of different abilities. Banding can be used to produce an intake that is representative of:

    a) the full range of ability of applicants for the school(s);

    b) the range of ability of children in the local area; or

    c) the national ability range.

    1.26 Admission authorities’ entry requirements for banding must be fair, clear and objective. Banding arrangements which favour high ability children that have been continuously used since the 1997/98 school year may continue, but must not be introduced by any other school.

    1.27 The admission authority must publish the admission requirements and the process for such banding and decisions, including details of any tests that will be used to band children according to ability.

    1.28 Where the school is oversubscribed:

    a) looked after children and previously looked after children must be given top priority in each band, and then any oversubscription criteria applied within each band, and

    b) priority must not be given within bands according to the applicant’s performance in the test.

    1.29 Schools that operate admission arrangements which include both banding and selection of up to 10% of pupils with reference to aptitude shall set out clearly in their admission arrangements how those two methods of selection will be applied.

    1.30 Children with statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plans may be included in banding tests and allocated places in the appropriate bands but, regardless of any banding arrangements, they must be allocated a place if their statement or Education, Health and Care Plan names the school.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.

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