What is the South West Herts Consortium?
The South West Hertfordshire Admissions Consortium is a group of state-funded schools with a common academic admissions test. In all these schools, there are places available on non-academic grounds, such as musical or sporting prowess. All schools also have a sibling admissions rule.
How do I apply?
Applications to take the test in September 2018 are open from Monday 30th April until Friday 22nd June on the South West Herts Admissions Consortium website. Registration for the test is not an indication of interest in any of the specific schools, which comes later in the application process.
You will be notified through your account on the admissions portal of the date of your child’s test on the 4th July. You must have verified your account through your email address before you will be able to log on to the consortium website to register your child.
It is very important that you ensure that you use your child’s full name and that it is the same in all correspondence. Use of nicknames or inputting incorrect information could result in processing delays, making the school application process much more difficult.
If your child may need extra support when taking the exam, it is important that the consortium is informed, so that they are not disadvantaged. Written evidence from your child’s current head-teacher should be sent to the consortium. Should you need any advice on this issue, let us know, and we can help.
Sitting the exam does not mean that you’ve applied for any of the individual schools. This is done later.
Which school are part of the Herts Consortium?
When do the tests take place?
The academic test will take place on Saturday 8th September 2018, at whichever test centre your child has been assigned. It does not matter where your child takes the test, centres are specified for logistical reasons, and it has no bearing on any school preference.
On the day of the test, you will be asked to register your child, and then collect them at the end of the day. Adults are not permitted to remain at the test centre. Your child will need to have two pencils and a rubber and may bring a snack.
What is in the tests?
The academic test is split into two parts: verbal reasoning and mathematics. The maths is standard GL, and the VR is CEM based. These are both things that we teach at BYT, and should you have any questions, your child’s tutor will be happy to speak with you. A familiarisation paper for each subject is available on the South West Consortium website. Click here to visit the site.
There is also a music aptitude test, and a sports aptitude test for Queens only. More information regarding the music test may be found here.
How are the tests scored?
The papers are all marked by a very strict mark scheme within the individual consortium schools. The raw score that a child achieves is standardised for their age (in years and months), and this is the final score that they will receive.
It may be possible to request a re-mark of the test, but only after 1st March. Requests must be made to the centre where your child took the test.
What happens after the exam?
Exam results are available online from the parent portal from 17th October 2018. This is the same site where your child was registered for the test.
If I do well in the exam, am I guaranteed entry to a school?
The exam does not have a ‘pass mark’, as the marks required for admission vary from year to year. You can find information regarding the minimum marks that successfully admitted students achieved on the schools’ websites.
Each school also has a catchment priority area, and the number of students admitted from outside this area is very small. Catchment areas are postcodes that are close to the school, and students living in these areas are given places at the school first. Due to the over-subscribed nature of many of the schools in the consortium, students from outside the catchment area are unlikely to be given a place.
How do I apply to schools?
The Herts Secondary Transfer Application should be filled in and returned by the end of October. There are also School Information Forms that can be found on the website of each school, that must also be filled out and returned by the deadline. You may need to include your child’s test reference number and score on the form.
You can apply to four schools in order of preference on this form, which does not include independent schools.
I have other questions – where can I get more information?
Give us a call on 01727 260239 to discuss admissions options or have a chat with your child’s tutor about any academic questions. You can always make an appointment to discuss any concerns that you may have!
The individual schools’ websites can be found by clicking the logos at the top of the page.