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WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Old Nov 22nd 2008, 11:46 am
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Default WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

...OK. If you are completely lost trying to figure out whether a move to WA would be good or bad for the education of your kids, look no further ()

In my ongoing turmoil trying to discover which schools in WA are 'good' and how they compare with 'good' schools in the UK ...?), I've developed the following simplistic (crude?) comparison table.

I should appreciate input into how this comparison could be improved upon - it is very rough and has significant flaws but I feel that it may give parents help in navigating the minefield of school choice. More info on specific errors is found at the bottom. This only deals with university-bound students.

The key higher education entrance requirement in the UK is the A level. In WA it is TEE (the TEE is the name given to the final exam taken in school).

In WA, the easiest reference figure is the state average achievement which is split into thirds - upper third, middle third and lower third. An average school should have the same percentage of its students in the upper third as the state average - i.e. 33% - the same in the middle (33%) and the same in the lower (33%).

For the purposes of this comparison we'll take the upper third as being the benchmark. This tells us what proportion of the school are high achievers.

In the UK, the benchmark we'll take to be the percentage of A grades at A-level. In 2008 this was a shade under 26%. In other words, 26% of all entries at A level scored grade A. If your current UK school achieved 26% A grades then it is 'average'.

Given that, you can work out how much your school (in the UK or in WA) is above or below the average in terms of the chance of getting your child into university. So, if your UK school achieves 40% A grades at A level then it is about 54% above the average (40/26 = 1.54). A school which scored 12% A grades is 46% below the average etc.

Similarly a school in WA which manages to get 40% of its students into the top third is achieving 21% above the state average etc

So, if your child wished to attend univeristy and they are currently attending a UK school which is socring 26% A grades and they will move to a WA school which achieves 40% in the top third then their chances are probably improved significantly by the move.

Bearing that in mind the following figures might be useful:

UK (Date from here)
Selected schools
Nottingham Girls High School, 70% A grade, 169% above average
Lancaster Royal Grammar, 54% A grade, 107% above average
St Marys School, 42% A grade, 62% above average
Haydon School, 23% A grade, 4% below average

WA (Data from here)
Christ Church Grammar , 66% in top third, 100% above average
Guildford Grammar , 38% in top third, 15% above average
Carine SHS, 32% in top third, 3% below average
Duncraig , 30% in top third, 9% below average
Ocean Reef SHS , 17% in top third, 48% below average
Padbury SHS , 7% in top third, 79% below average

Although this gives a good rough idea, I would be interested to know how we can improve it...

Issues:
1. Only half of Y12 WA students study for the TEE - not sure of the % of Y13 students who study A level in the UK.
2. No account is taken of the distribution pattern of the UK figures.
3. No account of standard deviation.
4. No account of standards but universities in the UK and WA tend to 'rank'students for entrance anyhow.
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Old Nov 22nd 2008, 10:15 pm
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Good work mate.

St Stephens School Carramar, where mine are going - 35% in top third, 6% above average, OK by me when compared to the other choices around here.
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Old Nov 22nd 2008, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

My son starts year 1 at Guildford Grammar next year. I'm happy with the school, it's policies and what it has to offer.
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Old Nov 22nd 2008, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Excellent work. I have an agonising wait till April to find out where my daughter will go in 2011. I don't know what I will do if she doesn't get into either school I have her down for because our local catchment has 5% top third and 85% bottom third. I can't even think about that.
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Old Nov 23rd 2008, 1:09 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

My son is in Year 11 in WA. I have found his school (catholic fee paying) is very good and comparable with A levels.
He is doing academic subjects, eg Maths, Sciences.
Im no longer concerned, he will do just as well as he would in the UK.

We have noticed they catch up by Year 11, not sure how but they do.
However as in the UK, bad and good schools about.

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Old Nov 23rd 2008, 11:32 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

How do you feel about the TEE only being taken by half of WA Y12 students and that I don't know the proportion of kids taking A levels in England?

I am a bit puzzled by the fact that the top schools in WA are ''only'' 100% above the average schools and yet top schools in the UK are 300% and more above average schools.

I'm not putting this forward as a value judgment, more as a problem for my methodology.
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Old Nov 23rd 2008, 11:35 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by northernbird View Post
Excellent work. I have an agonising wait till April to find out where my daughter will go in 2011. I don't know what I will do if she doesn't get into either school I have her down for because our local catchment has 5% top third and 85% bottom third. I can't even think about that.
NB, I hate to say it, but if she doesn't get in to the school of choice, then you need to move. A dreadful thing to say but are you really going to send her to those SHS you mention...???
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Old Nov 23rd 2008, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by NKSK version 2 View Post
NB, I hate to say it, but if she doesn't get in to the school of choice, then you need to move. A dreadful thing to say but are you really going to send her to those SHS you mention...???
We can't afford to move, I wish we could. I don't know what we will do if that happens. I am behaving very much like an ostrich at the moment.
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Old Nov 23rd 2008, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by NKSK version 2 View Post
...OK. If you are completely lost trying to figure out whether a move to WA would be good or bad for the education of your kids, look no further ()

In my ongoing turmoil trying to discover which schools in WA are 'good' and how they compare with 'good' schools in the UK ...?), I've developed the following simplistic (crude?) comparison table.

I should appreciate input into how this comparison could be improved upon - it is very rough and has significant flaws but I feel that it may give parents help in navigating the minefield of school choice. More info on specific errors is found at the bottom. This only deals with university-bound students.

The key higher education entrance requirement in the UK is the A level. In WA it is TEE (the TEE is the name given to the final exam taken in school).

In WA, the easiest reference figure is the state average achievement which is split into thirds - upper third, middle third and lower third. An average school should have the same percentage of its students in the upper third as the state average - i.e. 33% - the same in the middle (33%) and the same in the lower (33%).

For the purposes of this comparison we'll take the upper third as being the benchmark. This tells us what proportion of the school are high achievers.

In the UK, the benchmark we'll take to be the percentage of A grades at A-level. In 2008 this was a shade under 26%. In other words, 26% of all entries at A level scored grade A. If your current UK school achieved 26% A grades then it is 'average'.

Given that, you can work out how much your school (in the UK or in WA) is above or below the average in terms of the chance of getting your child into university. So, if your UK school achieves 40% A grades at A level then it is about 54% above the average (40/26 = 1.54). A school which scored 12% A grades is 46% below the average etc.

Similarly a school in WA which manages to get 40% of its students into the top third is achieving 21% above the state average etc

So, if your child wished to attend univeristy and they are currently attending a UK school which is socring 26% A grades and they will move to a WA school which achieves 40% in the top third then their chances are probably improved significantly by the move.

Bearing that in mind the following figures might be useful:

UK (Date from here)
Selected schools
Nottingham Girls High School, 70% A grade, 169% above average
Lancaster Royal Grammar, 54% A grade, 107% above average
St Marys School, 42% A grade, 62% above average
Haydon School, 23% A grade, 4% below average

WA (Data from here)
Christ Church Grammar , 66% in top third, 100% above average
Guildford Grammar , 38% in top third, 15% above average
Carine SHS, 32% in top third, 3% below average
Duncraig , 30% in top third, 9% below average
Ocean Reef SHS , 17% in top third, 48% below average
Padbury SHS , 7% in top third, 79% below average

Although this gives a good rough idea, I would be interested to know how we can improve it...

Issues:
1. Only half of Y12 WA students study for the TEE - not sure of the % of Y13 students who study A level in the UK.
2. No account is taken of the distribution pattern of the UK figures.
3. No account of standard deviation.
4. No account of standards but universities in the UK and WA tend to 'rank'students for entrance anyhow.
If your child is smart, works hard and has a supportive home environment then they will get the marks at school. Students who go to schools like Guildford grammar tend to have parents who are lawyers, doctors etc. However, there are some state school I would not send my children to as the social "culture" of the school tends to be poor, ie slutty girls and boys who commit criminal acts etc
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Old Nov 24th 2008, 1:46 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

....."the TEE is the name given to the final exam taken in school."

My children are still at primary school so I know very little about the TEE or the modern day A level. Does the above mean that the TEE comprises a single exam paper, as used to be the case with A levels, or are there modules that contribute towards the final grade?
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Old Nov 24th 2008, 1:59 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by hoveactually View Post
....."the TEE is the name given to the final exam taken in school."

My children are still at primary school so I know very little about the TEE or the modern day A level. Does the above mean that the TEE comprises a single exam paper, as used to be the case with A levels, or are there modules that contribute towards the final grade?
Tertiary Entrance Exam.

There's one for each subject taken - usually 4 or 5 (or 6!). So TEE maths, TEE physics etc etc
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Old Nov 24th 2008, 2:05 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by aussietobe View Post
If your child is smart, works hard and has a supportive home environment then they will get the marks at school.
I partly believe this.

But if the teacher doesn't teach the whole syllabus - because of distractive kids, lack of skill or ability - then your child is stuffed - unless you can make good the gaps.

There may be little difference between your child's performance in a middling school compared with a high performing school but a school which is 80% below state average...? I don't know.
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Old Nov 24th 2008, 2:06 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by northernbird View Post
We can't afford to move, I wish we could. I don't know what we will do if that happens. I am behaving very much like an ostrich at the moment.
Rent your house and rent another?
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Old Nov 24th 2008, 2:08 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by NKSK version 2 View Post
Rent your house and rent another?
Renting our house out isn't possible. Our mortgage is massive and we would have about $1800 shortfall on the mortgage a month plus the $1500 extra rent to rent in a better area. We just can't afford it.
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Old Nov 24th 2008, 2:14 am
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Default Re: WA and UK Schools: A comparison...

Originally Posted by northernbird View Post
Renting our house out isn't possible. Our mortgage is massive and we would have about $1800 shortfall on the mortgage a month plus the $1500 extra rent to rent in a better area. We just can't afford it.
It's frightening that families like yours are put into this situation by a shoddy education system.
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