Students at an Orpington grammar school have started a petition to fight the ‘shocking’ decision to raise the entry grades to their sixth form.

The petition, which has almost 1,400 signatures, calls for St Olave’s Grammar School in Goddington Lane to rethink a rise in entry requirements for prospective sixth form students.

The changes will affect current year 10 pupils, who will start Sixth Form in 2017.

The new points grading system scraps the A*-G marking guide in favour of a 9-1 scale, with 5 being a good pass and 9 being the highest score, set above the current A*, according to government guidelines.

Previously students were required to get six A’s and three B’s and A’s or A*s in the subjects they planned to study in the Sixth Form - equivalent to 60 points in the new system.

News Shopper:

Mr Aydin Önaç, Headmaster at St Olave's Grammar School

Under the points based system, effective from 2017, students will be required to achieve a minimum of 64 points from nine GCSE’s, with grades C or lower discounted, which is an increase of four points.

At St Olave’s a grade 9 will be worth the same amount of points as a grade 8 when applying to the sixth form.

Pupils signing the petition, who have mostly chosen to remain anonymous, cite harder GCSE’s, too much focus on exam results and a lack of consultation as their main objections.

One protestor wrote: “The expectations and pressure placed on a student, from the start of their adolescence, is unimaginable, especially in a school such as Saint Olave’s.

“Many people currently are being kicked out in year 11 as their GCSE grades may be too low for the school's liking.

“6 As and 3 Bs is already enough pressure on us, and a dream for most year 11s in the country.”

Another said: “The performance of internal students who were good enough to pass the 11+ exams but later do not meet the sixth form entry requirements is a failure by the school and it's teaching.”

Headmaster Mr Aydin Önaç said: “For schools with sixth forms, the forthcoming changes to GCSE gradings meant that Governors were required to review their admissions policies.

“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, parents were informed that the 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 the News Shopper newspaper.

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

“The new policy was 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.”

Will your child be affected by these changes? Get in touch on 01689 885 725 or email