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Petition against changes to St Olave’s sixth form entry nears 1,500 signatures

PUBLISHED: 11:37 18 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:28 23 May 2016

St Olaves School in Orpington

St Olaves School in Orpington

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The petition was started last week

A super-selective school in Orpington is coming under fire from parents and students alike after it changed its entry requirements for sixth form applicants.

The changes, which will affect current year 10 students applying to St Olave’s Grammar School, mean the former entry requirement of 60 points, six As and three Bs, will now go up to 64.

In opposition to the news, an online petition is gather momentum and has gained nearly 1,500 signatures in a matter of days.

A student at the school, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have seen the effects of excessive stress on students in my peer group and how the school has seemingly become a ‘grade factory’ to many.

“Personally I believe that the lack of transparency in the issue is rather outrageous and if the school does not get students into its own sixth form then it is them that have failed as an institution not a failure on the students behalf.

“Furthermore no one knows how students will do in the new GCSEs being taken next summer, and so changing the requirements before even testing the water on the new system seems a little strange.”

In a statement, the headteacher at the grammar school, Aydin Önaç said a review was necessary due to changes to GCSE grading: “This review was carefully undertaken by St Olave’s governing body in the autumn term and the draft was properly consulted on for the required statutory period in December/January.

“In a December 2015 newsletter, all parents were informed that the proposed policy was published on the school website and responses were invited as part of the consultation. The proposals were also included in a local authority consultation circular as well as being highlighted prominently in a local newspaper.

“In response to the consultation only 1 anonymous response was received.

“The new policy, effective from 2017, was subsequently determined by governors and has been posted on the school website since March. “Governors took great care to ensure that this policy is appropriate to a selective school of this stature.”

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