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 Post subject: King Edwrad Vi Aston.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:54 am
Posts: 25
Hi all,

New member, please be gentle with me!

My son Jack has recently sat the entrance exam for King Edward VI Aston however, like many other children his application was sadly declined.

For this reason we appealed against the decision and informal investigation has been made by the headteacher of the school and his test paper remarked. There were no discrepancies found within the test paper and the headteacher has advised that he will oppose any further action in relation to Jack joining the school, his reasons are based purely on his test results.

Jack scored 310 in the exam, the score of the last child to be admitted was 328 meaning he was 18 points short of entry, (obviously subject to other criteria) however, on the recommendation of the head teacher of Aston, Jack did not have 11+ tuition. I would also highlight that the average was 300 which Jack exceeded.

Guys, I need help, should I continue with the appeal?

Has anyone ever appealed at KEA before?
:(


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:33 pm 
Jacknicmeg wrote:
Hi all,

New member, please be gentle with me!

My son Jack has recently sat the entrance exam for King Edward VI Aston however, like many other children his application was sadly declined.

For this reason we appealed against the decision and informal investigation has been made by the headteacher of the school and his test paper remarked. There were no discrepancies found within the test paper and the headteacher has advised that he will oppose any further action in relation to Jack joining the school, his reasons are based purely on his test results.

Jack scored 310 in the exam, the score of the last child to be admitted was 328 meaning he was 18 points short of entry, (obviously subject to other criteria) however, on the recommendation of the head teacher of Aston, Jack did not have 11+ tuition. I would also highlight that the average was 300 which Jack exceeded.

Guys, I need help, should I continue with the appeal?

Has anyone ever appealed at KEA before?
:(


My advice would be not to put Jack and yourself through it. I know children who have appealed just one or two marks below the cut off, but nobody ever seems to get in. With a mark of 310 there could be over 100 children above him on the waiting list as lots of children get the same mark. The grammar schools are full so they can only admit one or two more at the most, so it would have to be very exceptional reasons. But of course how desperate you are depends what your alternatives are and I do sympathise with that. But I still don't think it's worth the bother. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Hi Jacknicmeg

I'm afraid to say that statistically I don't think there is any chance. Last year there were 164 Appeals across all KE Schools and only 4 were successful.

We don't know the precise reason for the successful Appeals but it's likely to be a combination of factors, such as:-

A test score that was very close to a pass.
Outstanding academic evidence from primary school
Support of the primary Head
Illness of the day of the exam.
Death of a close relative near the day of the test.
Specific external factors such as disruption during the exam.
Abuse of equal opportunity rules
etc etc

You can get a better idea of the criteria and evidence that Appeal panels consider by looking at Etienne's stickys on the Appeal sections

The other thing to bear in mind is that Foundation grammar school (such as the KE schools) are not bound by the same discretionary rules as LEAs so they all tend to play straight down the line and use the test results as the sole criteria for selection.

Unfortunately boys in Birmingham have a poor deal, it's much hearder for them to get a place at a KE grammar than girls, particularly this year. As you observed, 328 was the lowest pass for KE Aston whereas 317 was ok for KE Handsworth.

Your son's average was about 103/104 per paper which is about the 60th percentile but you would need to be at about the 72nd to get into KE Aston this year.

I'm afraid the tutoring argument (or lack of it) doesn't hold any weight with the Foundation, as you say they all say you shouldn't do it - but as you can tell from the popularly of this site - lots of parents do some form of tutition. The Univ of Durham (who set the KE 11+ exams) claim that the tests are tutor proof - but quite frankly that's absolute rubbish.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I thought you would want honest answers.

Do please remember though that there is still a good chance of getting in to a KE School for the 6th form so long as you son gets some good GCSE grades.

What school has your son been allocated?

Regards

Ken


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:54 am
Posts: 25
Thanks for the response everybody, honesty is the best policy and I thank you all for being, "straight down the line"...

The school offered for Jack is Park Hall, Castle Bromwich hence my despair to get him a place at KE. Having read the latest Ofsted report for the school I have big concerns that socially Jack won’t mix and his educational ability at present will seriously be affected.

Jack, his mother an I went to Park Hall for a look round just last week and were disgusted with our findings. Blackboards had abusive language written on them, the teachers showed no interest to the school other than they were excited about a new school being built, (the historic PH School is being demolished) but - this is not going to fix the already huge chaos that’s currently in the school.

See Jack has been a lucky boy, currently he goes to a sought after J&I school in Castle Bromwich where he has been since kindergarten. Jack, although his mother an I know kick ourselves for this has always had a secure school environment, protected and never really mixed with social networks of, well boys from other schools. He is slightly naive whereby he although he understands right from wrong he would easily be led by other boys, especially boys within Park Hall. I know you all probably hate me for saying that but its true. Although he is academically capable he isn’t mentally ready to go to Park Hall.

With the above, if I could say that Jack is on the "same frequency" of boys whom already attend KE that should explain things again without me sounding horrible. His Head teacher BTW has written a reference for Jack to say that he is expected to deliver level 5's in all his SATS so, again he is more than able to hit the ground running should we just get him in!

I know its a long shot but to think, what if for the rest of my life, I want to do it for Jack also, he loves that school. The look in his eyes at Park Hall says it all, it was clearly a, "fix it for me daddy" look!

He is currently 165th on the waiting list and scores ranged between 162 & 443, the average being 300.

Thanks all! Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: KE Aston
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 41
Hi Jacknicmeg

Did your son take the tests for Bishop Vesey or Handsworth Grammar?
If so, are you on their waiting lists?
The reason I ask is that I understand that it is slightly easier to get into Bishop Vesey and quite a bit easier to get into Handsworth, and although these schools are not considered as being in the same league as KE Aston, they are still far better academically than the local sink schools so I would not pin all my hopes on Aston and rule them out

We were in a similar situation to you in that living in Hodge Hill we were faced with the choice of these local schools:-
Hodge Hill (17% A*-C GCSE Inc Eng & Maths)
Kingsbury Erdington (24% A*-C GCSE Inc Eng & Maths)
Park Hall (29% A*-C GCSE Inc Eng & Maths)
Washwood Heath (33% A*-C GCSE Inc Eng & Maths)
None of which were suitable for a bright child like ours (The tour of Hodge Hill included a demonstration on cake decorating, car maintenance, travel & tourism etc - not the traditional academic education I wanted for my son and to top it off the delightful young ladies who showed us around commented on how they don't like 'coloureds' which considering my wife is Black didn't go down too well!)
Kingshurst CTC changed their entry criteria this year basically restricting entry to within 3 miles - which we are just outside

Our son is very much like as you have described and I also had the same concerns regarding him being led astray etc
Although not really wanting son to go to a grammar school we felt we were left with no other option so researched considerably and home-tutored

Son took tests for KE Foundation, Bishop Vesey and Handsworth and will be going to Bishop Vesey

I really understand where you are coming from, hope you will be successful in getting a place elsewhere and wish you good luck

HodgeHillDad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:37 am
Posts: 96
Hi Jacknicmeg

It's very sad to hear about a child who haven't quite passed the GS mark. But it's heartbreaking to hear that they have a really bad alternative!

The only solace i can offer is - when we looked around KE Fiveways a 6th former was our guide. She told us that she had failed to gain a place in year 7 as she had not passed the 11 plus, and she had been accepted into the 6th form because she had gained excellent GCSE's 8 A*, 4 A's! She had achieved these grades at a comp which only produced 26% A - C (inc Maths & Eng).

She was very mature and grounded and her spell at the local comp hadn't done any harm, and she spoke about her old school warmly (but she was clever enough to want to move in the 6th form).

I think if your son attends a school that does achieve low grades, you and he will have to keep on top of the syllabus and make sure that he covers everything he needs to do well in his GCSE's.

Best of luck
Lottie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 47
Location: birmingham
I can echo Lottie's comments. The most impressive boy at KECH was someone from Wheeler's lane technology college. He didn't pass the entrance test but achieved something like 12/13 A* at Wheelers. His view was that he had done so well because the teachers had put their efforts into him knowing that he wanted to work. He also said that being sporty helped and that if you wanted to work you could do so anywhere.
My neighbour's daughter, a timid girl, also failed the KE entrance but left school with 10 A* from a poorly performing school. She chose not to go to KECH 6th form. Another friend's son scraped in to KEFW, was always behind and hated not being one of the talented children anymore. He left with very poor results and low self esteem.

What I'm trying to say is that you seem to be at your lowest point now but there can be some benefits from going to a rough school such as how to recognise trouble and how to develop independence of thought. It should be OK if you are able to provide sufficient guidance, love and activities at home. My school was appalling but I benefitted from meeting a wide range of people I would never have met otherwise - hopefully your son will benefit too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:13 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Kings Heath
Hi Jacknicmeg!

We are in exactly the same situation. My eldest son got about the same score as yours and was nowhere near getting into Camp Hill, the King Edwards grammar closest to us. The school he was allocated (all our choices seeming to have been ignored) was Kings Heath Boys, which I am too frightened to send him to.

So we are going to live on baked beans and he's going to private school until we can move to somewhere with better schools. Australia is my current plan :!: My friend is currently trying to get her son into a better Comp than the one her boy was allocated, as he didn't get a place at Camp Hill either and she has moved closer to the school she wants.

We thought about appealling, but there was such a huge gap between his score and those of the children who got places, that it seemed pointless. The whole episode has been horribly stressful for him and I didn't want my little boy to be dissappointed any more.

I wish the little toad could have done the test now, as he seems to be doing so well at school and has just told me he got a level 5 in a sats practice for his comprehension, which was his weakest area by miles. But it isn't to be and he can be an Australian surfer instead :lol:

_________________
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:54 am
Posts: 25
Thanks so far for everyones feedback, the date is here for the appeal and its this Thursday, worried as ****!

The headmaster from my original letter to the school oppoesed the decision to admit Jack on the basis that he is bright enough and that there are numerous other chidren whom scored a higher mark in the examination. Well, I/we knew about the marks but seriously, the letter, the notes from the school advising parents to read before confirming the date do say that in his opionion he isnt bright enough to attend.

How can one make this judgement just on a 11 plus exam. Afterall, we followed the advice of the headteacher and didnt give Jack 11 plus.

For someone who isnt bright enough though, he has scored, or rather his teacher has predicted leval 5 in his SATS which he has recently took.

Other circumstances of opposing the appeal was that to admit Jack would casue an over crowding problem, take time away from teachers as he would need more attention... its wrong! Others were that the were no extinuating circumstances to say why he didnt score so well in the exam - hang on, i'm not going to lie about his pet dieing or something to jus blag, once again its wrong.

Please someone help me, i need as much advice as i can get so i can pitch my heart out for Jack but without coming accross as arrogant.

As always, your comments are very much appreciated!

Scott.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Hi

If you want specific advice about Appeals and in particular the conduct and protocol etc then you need to post on the Appeals section.

Please read the stickys before your post and make sure you put the region/school in the title.

Regards

Ken


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