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 Post subject: Advice on Appeals
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Good luck to everyone concerned today. I hope you won't be needing any help from me ........but the county's appeals officers will already be planning for up to 1000 appeals in Jan./Feb.!

Last year, newcomers found it difficult to follow the multiplicity of scattered threads on appeals, so we have concentrated advice in two areas. First there is the Appeal Questions and Answers section, available via the home page. Secondly Forumadmin set up a separate section in the forum specifically for "Appeals".

If I answer any questions posted here in the Bucks section, it is likely that I will post my reply in the forum's "Appeals" section. The reason is that the appeal system is a national one, and 95% of questions relating to Bucks appeals will be of wider interest. There is already a main thread for Bucks on the appeals page:
viewforum.php?f=35
It is (at the time of writing) no. 15 down. It is easy to find because it has over 22000 views.

For anyone who may have missed them, I repeat some suggestions previously posted in Appeals:

Etienne wrote:
Looking ahead to the 11+ appeals season, the latest version of the Q&As (Appeal Questions and Answers) is available at:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... nswers.php
The main change is in Section B where there is now some simple advice on writing a letter for an 11+ appeal. Just my suggestions - feel free to ignore! :lol:

I firmly believe that the quality of the written submission makes no real difference to the outcome of an appeal. Why should those who are unfamiliar with the system, have poor literacy skills or limited English, be disadvantaged and denied a fair hearing? Panels are meant to have an “enabling role" when it comes to the actual hearing, and my experience was that they are rather good at teasing out all the information they need!

Together with other regular contributors I am happy to try and help with general questions in this Appeals section wherever possible. Without meaning to be too prescriptive, please help us by:

* Giving yourself a nickname (you don’t have to register unless you want to). The reason is that in a long thread it can get confusing when trying to respond to numerous “Guests”!

* Reading the Q&As to see whether your question has already been answered:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... nswers.php

* Reading previous threads in “Appeals” to see what has already been discussed. (Meaningful subject titles can help here - see below.)

* Giving as many relevant details as possible (including an informative title for the thread, e.g. “Timing of appeals in X local authority”, “Deadline for submitting appeals in X County”)

While I cannot speak for other contributors, please be aware that, if I respond to private messages, there is no entitlement to a private service and I may use any points discussed, suitably anonymised of course, to assist as many other parents as possible in the Q&As.

Finally! Although this forum provides a valuable opportunity for parents to share experiences, beware of generalising from the particular. Few parents who are successful at appeal really know why. It may be that the panel decided to give particular weight to something that hadn’t even occurred to the appellants. On the other hand, if everyone says “We wore a copper bracelet to our appeal and it worked,” it’s probably worth a try! :lol:

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 119
Thanks Etienne, it sounds like you have been very supportive and are well prepared for this years' effort.

I do sincerely hope (in the nicest possible way) that I won't need your advice, but we'll see!

Go Bucks!!

JuliaB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:35 pm 
Dear Etienne, please can you advise me on what to do. My son got 114 and 120 - Final Score 120. He has missed by 1 mark. From experience do you think we may get through on appeal. The only strong point that we may have at the appeal is that he couldn't hear very well till the age of 7 after having two ear operations as the first was unsuccessful and hence missing some crucial work at school such as phonetics etc.
Please reply.
Rochelle.


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 Post subject: appeals
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:41 pm 
Hi All, I have been reading this forum forever and it has been really interesting and helpful. My son received his results today, not what we were hoping, he got 120 in both tests (how cruel is that), we want to go ahead and appeal however other than he is a hard working student, plays football for a team and is well behaved at school, there is nothing else we can think of to support our appeal. Ofcourse there is the fact that he missed it by 1 mark on both tests. Is there any advise anyone can offer.

thanks


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 Post subject: Appeals and more
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
Hi Etienne

My son got 120 (and 118) such a shame. We would like to appeal and are meeting with the head on Monday morning. At the recent parents evening they indicated he should easily achieve level 5 SATS next year, he seems to be popular and a good all rounder but what else do we want to hear from the head which will enable our appeal to stand out? As a school they are keen to point out that they offer no teachings towards the 11+, in fact no encouragement at all but we quite obviously need a good/great report from her for our son to stand a chance at appeal??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Dear Ambridge

I'm a bit busy at the moment but I promise to reply late tonight or tomorrow morning. You'll need to go to
forum index > appeals
not to
forum index > buckinghamshire > this thread

Regards

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:10 pm 
Hi Suki, Im so sorry that you did not get the result you so wanted. Last year my son scored 116 and we felt the same about appeal - did we really have enough grounds? - the answer YES. We mentioned exactly what you have written and with very STRONG support form the head and good academic proof (4 school books) we got through. We also stated that he was very very nervous on both days as he so wanted to pass and knew this was his only chance to get the school he desperately wanted. The presure on these children is enormous. You are as close as could be so that will definately be a plus.

Good Luck

Sam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Everyone - Suki, Ambridge and "Guest".

(N.B. Guest, could you please take the time to register on the forum - any name will do, but if we're going to help you over several weeks it is really useful to know who we're talking to!)

I can't pre-empt the enormous experience that Etienne will offer you later, but I will certainly tell you that any child who scored 120 on either paper is worth appealing for. The nuances are complex, because of standardisation, but the difference between 120 and 121 could only be a few weeks in age. How fair is that?

For an appeal you will need to demonstrate that your child has shown good academic results (not necessarily top of the class at everything, but generally good), you will need a strong statement of support from the Head teacher, you will be helped by nice letters from teachers in the core subjects (Eng/Math/Sci, possibly Geog & Hist) and you will need to present examples of good schoolwork.

You will also need to tell the appeal panel just why your child didn't perform on the day - "mitigating circumstances".

"Mitigating circumstances" is the real wormery of an appeal. I have heard of appeals that succeeded because the child had a very serious illness 12 months before the 11+, whilst others have been turned down at appeal despite a parent being rushed into hospital seriously ill the night before the first test! "Nerves" are often cited as the main reason for missing the pass mark by a very few points, and unless you genuinely have other reasons, are probably the main reason that most children miss 121 by only one or two marks.

The process from here is firstly, listen to Etienne! (Please refute anything I have said Etienne - you know I will defer to your far greater experience!)

Secondly, make an appointment to see the Head this week. Ask them how strongly they will support your appeal - they need to use words such as "very strongly support" in their report to the LEA, not just "recommend". (If s/he won't support you strongly, come back to the forum - there have been appeals that succeeded despite the lack of support from the Head.)

Thirdly, ask the Head for permission to approach the core subject Heads for their recommendations. Ask them to draft a half page statement - if it isn't strong enough, ask them if they are prepared to go up a notch - change the wording if it seems detrimental.

Then get all your child's books home for the weekend - work out what you can present that shows them in the best light. Extra-curricular/sporting interests are not especially helpful unless they are outstanding or relate closely to the central reason for an appeal.

From all of this, highlight the three main reasons why your child deserves a place at GS. Less than three is possibly even better!

There's a lot to be done before the deadline for appeals, so it is wise to start preparing early next week, once you have had time to acclimatise.

I failed to get my son through an appeal last year, and the main reason was that I "muddied the waters" with too many different ideas. Work with the Head and the school to find your child's strengths, focus on those and work from there.

We are all here when you need us. I had so much support from this forum last year that I was determined to be here again this year to do what little I can for others. (And I still have one to go, albeit in a couple of years!)

On a high score of 120 , you have your foot in the door. I don't want to raise anyone's hopes, but it is certainly worth going for.

Best wishes - sleep well.
Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Thank you
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
Sally-Anne that was a great note thanks....end of the evening, kids in bed, husband engrossed in tv and my mind is still thinking about the difference one mark would have made - or may be he isn't up to grammar school and the one mark is telling us that. But you are right, we are going to give an appeal our all, fingers crossed and any other advice will be gratefully received x


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:40 pm 
Ambridge, Dont ever think that 1 mark is telling you that Grammar school isnt meant to be - if he'd been a few weeks younger with standardisation that probably would have made the score on or over the magic 121. My son scored 116 last year - we appealed and thankfully were successful and he is currently thriving at Grammar School (early days i know) but he has a right to be there and his 116 was just 1 test on 1 day so.......

Good Luck in your Appeal

Sam


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