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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I have just received the following via PM. The bold type is mine.

Quote:
11+ Testing for 2013 Admissions Published: 19 March 2012

As you are aware, the 13 grammar schools in Buckinghamshire have entered into a contract with Buckinghamshire County Council to administer the 11+ selection process for the 2013 admissions round. In October 2011, the LA ceased to be the admissions authority for any of the 13 schools, since all are now either academies or, in one case, a foundation school. The agreement has been the result of complex negotiations between the schools and the Council which have been conducted under considerable time pressure. The main aim has been to secure the stability and continuity of the selection arrangements for 2013 so that parents can have confidence in the arrangements. As a result, the process will remain largely unchanged and primary schools will be asked to continue to act as test centres.

A group of primary headteachers have already been involved in discussions and these will continue through the Headteachers' Admissions Working Group which will be expanded and will meet more regularly in order to act as a consultative body as the process evolves. Grammar School headteachers fully understand the considerable burden which the 11+ process places on primary colleagues and are extremely grateful for their continued collaboration in the interests of pupils and parents.

The single change to the process for 2013 will be the replacement of Selection Appeals with a Selection Review process which will be undertaken by a panel of headteachers. This change to process will be developed and managed in collaboration with the primary colleagues represented on the Headteachers' Admissions Working Group.

It is recognised that communication with primary schools is vital and the primary headteacher colleagues who attend the Headteachers' Admissions Working Group will ensure that Liaison Groups and other groups, for example, the Primary Consultative Board, are involved and updated.

:shock: :shock: I am off to lie down in a darkened room ...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Doesn't sound quite as independent as it should...?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Who knows? BCC has always prided itself on the transparency and fairness of their appeals system, and has been complimented by the Ombudsman on it.

Let's hope the architects of the new system aspire to the same high standards.

More questions than answers right now ... <mops brow and goes in search of Nurofen>


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:18 pm 
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This would bring Bucks into line with most other authorities, but there are implications.

Summer term appeals could be more lengthy than ever, as parents whose child has not qualified - or been successful at review - will presumably have to present their case for selection at every single grammar school appeal?

This, of course, presupposes that they are allowed to do so. Will any individual grammar schools seek to argue (as they can do under the Code of Practice) that the grounds for an appeal are going to be restricted to whether the review was fair, consistent, and objective???
Quote:
3.13 An appeal panel may be asked to consider an appeal where the appellant believes that the child did not perform at their best on the day of the entrance test. In such cases:

a) where a local review process has not been applied, the panel must only uphold the appeal if it is satisfied:

i) that there is evidence to demonstrate that the child is of the required academic standards, for example, school reports giving Year 5/Year 6 SAT results or a letter of support from their current or previous school clearly indicating why the child is considered to be of grammar school
ability; and
ii) where applicable, that the appellant’s arguments outweigh the admission authority’s case that admission of additional children would cause prejudice.

b) where a local review process has been followed, the panel must only consider whether each child’s review was carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way and if there is no evidence that this has been done, the panel must follow the process in paragraph 3.13(a) above.


Meanwhile I too shall now go and lie down in a darkened room ........

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:21 pm 
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Quote:
the replacement of Selection Appeals with a Selection Review process


this bit sounds like they are trying to totally replace the appeals panel... can they do that????


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:30 pm 
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An internal review is entirely possible.

It doesn't remove the right to a statutory appeal - but it could limit the grounds of the appeal!

The other problem is that appeals will take place post-1st March, so most parents will also have to appeal against oversubscription.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:59 pm 
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Didn't they used to do something like this in the old days when they had 3 tests? I seem to remember people having an academic review and if they weren't successful with that an appeal. Or did I just mis-understand back in the dark ages when I had toddlers and had little concept of what people were going through while I happily played with Lego and Playdoh?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:11 pm 
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You're right, SM. It used to be a review and then a selection appeal (followed where necessary by a transfer appeal).

The problem is that things had to be brought forward to meet government deadlines, and so the review was dropped because there wasn't enough time to fit everything in before 1st March allocations.

The alternative is to drop the selection appeal and reinstate a review!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:34 pm 
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If we hang around long enough it will all go round in a big circle :lol:
I thought the old style review sounded like a good idea, presumably in theory it prevented all the really obvious ones having to go to appeal.

Not my problem any more! Mind you I have written to my MP about Bucks CC transport policy today :D


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
scary mum wrote:
If we hang around long enough it will all go round in a big circle :lol:
I'm going round in circles already, believe me!

Quote:
I thought the old style review sounded like a good idea, presumably in theory it prevented all the really obvious ones having to go to appeal.
I don't think there are really enormous numbers of "obvious" cases each year, although it might take out a chunk of the 100 or so cases on scores of 120.

What it might prevent is the huge expense and effort that goes into hundreds of appeal cases where there is very little hope of success at all. When I was posting the appeal stats yesterday I was struck very forcibly once again by the number of cases on scores below 116. Last year there were 351 cases on <110-115, and a mere 42 were successful. On <110 there were 87 cases heard, and only 3 were successful.

On the other hand, it might encourage more parents to ask for a review because there is not as much personal commitment involved!

<goes round in circles, mainly ever-decreasing ones>


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