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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 12:47 pm 
My daughter will be sitting the 11+ this October.
The school she goes to tends to have a high pass rate (50%) and my concern is that she is going to be put down somewhere in the middle of the oos even though she is suitable for grammar school. She is already nervous about the whole 11+ and I fear that she will be borderline. Hence we may need to go to appeal and the OOS will be very important. This years appeals were only won if the child was above 12 (out of 35 children) in the OOS. From this forum I can see that I need to act before the Head decides the list.

My problem is that I do not know how to approach the Head. What do I say? How do I start? How do I win the Head over? Please help.

The last thing I want is to be a 'pushy parent' but I know from experience (I have had two other children go through the 11+) that sometimes a parent needs to be proactive in order to get justice.

Ps please post a few more pics of CJS - he cheers me up no end...


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:34 pm 
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Hi there CJS!

It is not just the position on the OoS but how accurate it is that matters - if the Head is way out with predictions an appeal panel will have difficulties in deciding which appeals to allow.

Have you read the Headteacher's booklet? It explains how the numbers work - it's reasonable to expect to know the recommendation I think but not the position.

Image

Your wish is my command!


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:31 pm 
Actually, I would very much like to know where my daughter will be on the OOS and the 2 scores that the Head uses. This may sound odd, but I do believe that if there are a number of children at the same level (say 1,2), the ones towards the top have parents that are 'proactive'. I have read the Headteachers Booklet, but it gives no clue as to what information is used to produce the oos. Hence it is ambiguous and can therefore be manipulated. My child is quiet, and can be seen as lacking confidence. I suspect that she may be a 1,2 or 2,1 but be placed towards the bottom of that particular group in the oos. I would like the ask the Head where she is going to be placed and why in a way that is not too 'pushy'.

ps love the photo....


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:54 pm 
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The Headteacher should be using NC levels and academic evidence to decide on the order - you could ask at the evening when the school talks about the 11+ procedure [most schools have them] HOW the ranking will be done.

Glad you liked the photo

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi CJS

I was half way through replying to you earlier when I was kicked off the computer by Son 2, who promptly closed down the Forum!

I recommend that you go to see your daughter's class teacher first. Find out from her what your daughter's current performance is, predicted SATs, suitability for Grammar School, etc.

Then get an appointment with the Head. Find out how he/she arrives at the OoS - it varies considerably, and I doubt any two Heads use the same method. Then ask what s/he feels about your daughter at the present time, his perception of her suitability for a GS and what suitability ranking he would give her.

The Head will probably not be able to give you any indication of where she will be on the OoS, because there are all the other children to consider, so you will have to be happy with knowing her own suitability ranking only. You may be able to get a view on whether she would be "top third, middle third or bottom third" within that ranking.

If you feel that the Head's perception is at variance with the class teacher's you can then raise any points you need to.

I very strongly recommend that you do not mention that you have read the Head's manual, simply mention that you are aware that children are "ranked in some way?". Likewise, try not to appear as if you are lobbying for a higher ranking. The Head will definitely not appreciate it - Heads do not appreciate being "told" what to do by parents! Your aim is simply to make sure that the Head has a full and positive understanding of your daughter's ability and strengths.

One further word of caution - do not tell the Head that you think your daughter will be borderline for the 11+. Just say that you feel she is entirely capable of passing.

Very few parents are aware of the OoS. It was only reintroduced a couple of years ago, and the only people who really find out about it are those who have to go to an Appeal. I doubt that many - if any - others will be going to see the Head on the subject. It may come up in a more general discussion with the Head about a child's future, but even then, few parents will realise its importance at that stage.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 5:45 pm 
Thanks Guest55 and Sally-Anne - this is just what I needed to know. I can now approach the Head with a little more confidence. I doubt one can ever find out really how the OOS is produced, when so many children score at similar levels.
Pics of CJS just make me blissfully happy!


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 Post subject: Order of suitability
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:38 pm 
Just for interest (particularly Sally Anne and Guest 55), at the school attended by my son the headteacher refuses to rank the children, as the cohort is over 100 pupils and it is an almost impossible task.

This has not been an issue (so far), with an above average success rate when children go to Appeal. Presumably the O of S is just one indicator, of many, considered by the Appeal Panel.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:44 pm 
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If the school is in Bucks I thought they had to! They have to give a 'rating' [explained in the booklet] so the Head is giving a broad 'rank'.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Indeed Guest55 - they are required to do it. Waddle's Head is probably the bane of Admissions if the Head is in Bucks!

I have seen several methods of ranking that Heads use.

The first is the "I do not wish to co-operate" method (or I'm too lazy to do so): Rank the children in batches, so the first batch of 5 -7 kids is 1:1, next batch is 1:2, and so on. No child gets an individual ranking.

The second is "Rank according to last report for English and Maths". All double "A" marks come first, followed by single "A"s at English, followed by single "A"s at Maths. The rest are the herd. The same system has been used for sets where schools have them.

The third is based on previous VR/NVR test results. Top VR first, Top VR/NVR second, and so on.

The fourth method is apocryphal, but the Head knows the top 5-10, and the bottom 5-10, and draws the rest out of a hat! I have genuinely heard that from a parent!

I have a lot of sympathy with the Heads, because the problem is really illustrated by the fourth method - they know who will pass and who will fail without a doubt, but in the middle it is a very tough call.

All I can say is that parents should do as I have already suggested. Make sure that the Head has a real understanding of your child's abilities (no Head can know every child in depth).

Do not say anything that might cause the Head to rank your child lower on the OoS. I told our Head that I was unsure if he would pass, and as a result his ranking was outside of the "Appeal Zone". That was before I got wise via the forum!

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: OOS
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:21 pm 
It's not a Bucks school, but as it's on the border all the children are given the option of sitting the exam, and most do, alongside their own LA exam.

Maybe this is why they are 'let off' the OOS? Incidentally, it's usually a 50/50 split between children opting for the Bucks grammar vs one in the LA.


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