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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:52 pm 
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For those of you that don't know, I have appealed for Tommys for my son. He "passed" but didn't get a place. The council have just sent me a bundle of paperwork relating to the appeal and some very interesting information emerged...

Conscious that I'm likely to be setting the cat amongst the pigeons (again!) but here goes:-

1. At reconsideration time (31 March) only one place became available and was offered to one of the children scoring 215. This reinforces the general idea on this forum that there seems to be very little movement this year. Can I make a general plea to anyone holding a grammar school place that doesn't want it (moving house, going independent etc) to let the council know ASAP to help those of us who are still in limbo.

2. There are currently 27 boys who officially "passed" (i.e. 210-215) who are on the waiting list.

3. One child who only scored 210 was admitted in error, due to clerical problems in the standardisation process. As the minimum score was achieved, the school is unable to withdraw the place! This just shows it is even more of a lottery than we already thought.

4. My son scored 86% in the first paper. This is showing as a standardised score of only 104, which is low. I'm a bit surprised by this as I remember the Head saying the pass-mark was roughly equivalent to 75%. Anyone got any views on this?? If it's correct, that would mean anyone preparing their child for the exam in October should perhaps be aiming for the 90%'s for a confident pass for Tommys. If so, Heaven knows what they need for Pate's. :shock:

5. The Crypt's PAN is 112, but at the moment they have 107 accepted places - i.e. there seem to be places available, if anyone is thinking of appealing.

I knew very little about the 11+ before my son sat it last November and the more I find out, the more extraordinary I think it is. The difference between a place or not can be so marginal.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
Hi Cairo.

cairo wrote:
1. At reconsideration time (31 March) only one place became available and was offered to one of the children scoring 215. This reinforces the general idea on this forum that there seems to be very little movement this year. Can I make a general plea to anyone holding a grammar school place that doesn't want it (moving house, going independent etc) to let the council know ASAP to help those of us who are still in limbo.

There may be a little more movement as appeals are won for other schools, but of course, once the appeals have started for _your_ school, there will be no more movement.

Quote:
2. There are currently 27 boys who officially "passed" (i.e. 210-215) who are on the waiting list.

The waiting list will be (more or less) worthless once the appeals have finished. Panels don't know the waiting list order (though they can make a guess at them), and certainly don't allow the top 4 or 8 on the waiting list. It could, theoretically, happen that the appeals allowed were also top of the list, but this would be very unusual - we look at the reasons given in the appeal, not the list position.

Quote:
3. One child who only scored 210 was admitted in error, due to clerical problems in the standardisation process. As the minimum score was achieved, the school is unable to withdraw the place! This just shows it is even more of a lottery than we already thought.

This shows that someone knows what they are doing in the admissions department, and were following proper procedures! Once a place has been offered, it can only be withdrawn within a very, very short time (as in next day or so) if it was offered in error. If it were withdrawn at a later stage, then the parents could appeal, and the panel would have to uphold the appeal.

But, yes, it is irritating, to put it mildly, to those on the list with a higher score.

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5. The Crypt's PAN is 112, but at the moment they have 107 accepted places - i.e. there seem to be places available, if anyone is thinking of appealing.

Yep, I strongly agree with that. Same goes for Ribston, I think.

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I knew very little about the 11+ before my son sat it last November and the more I find out, the more extraordinary I think it is. The difference between a place or not can be so marginal.


Two children with the same score, but one born 1 day before the other - that's all it would take. The 11+ is not a perfect system for selecting bright children; appeals panels are there to correct some injustices.

If anyone fancies being on an appeal panel (either for primary or secondary schools), most schools and the County Council welcome applications. You can't be on a panel for a school you're connected with, and it's unpaid, but quite fascinating to do, and you really do make a difference - one way or another :? It's an awesome responsibility that none of us take lightly.

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Capers


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:24 pm
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DS had a place at Tommys that we declined this week - 1 more available !


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:21 am
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Location: Gloucestershire
allovernow: Sorry to be nosey, but does that mean that your dc got a place at Pates? And if so, can you tell us where you were on the waiting list?


many thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:30 pm 
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Hi Tigger. We were 143 on the Pates waiting list but had an appeal upheld. We're very pleased! :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:46 pm 
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Don't think I'd be any good on an Appeals Panel, Capers. I'd let everyone in, and all the schools would end up with 40 in a a class!

Cairo


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
cairo wrote:
Don't think I'd be any good on an Appeals Panel, Capers. I'd let everyone in, and all the schools would end up with 40 in a a class!

Cairo


Ah - you realise that 40 in a class wouldn't be good. Therefore you wouldn't allow them all! Unless it was a case of a school that had 3 classes of 40, in which case they'd have to get a temporary classroom and an extra teacher - but would also get more money to cope with the number of extra children (as I understand may happen at one Secondary near me this year).

KS1 appeals are a lot tougher, as the panel has to take account of the law regarding 30 max in a class, so it's much harder to win a KS1 appeal. That said, panels do sometimes decide that appeals should be allowed irrespective of that limit!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:16 am 
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allovernow wrote:
Hi Tigger. We were 143 on the Pates waiting list but had an appeal upheld. We're very pleased! :D



Congratulations, I had heard that successful appeals at Pate's were as rare as hens teeth. See you there.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:07 am 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Congratulations allovernow. So good to hear of a positive outcome for a Pates appeal.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Quote:
If anyone fancies being on an appeal panel (either for primary or secondary schools), most schools and the County Council welcome applications. You can't be on a panel for a school you're connected with, and it's unpaid, but quite fascinating to do, and you really do make a difference - one way or another It's an awesome responsibility that none of us take lightly.


I would be a terrible person to have on one of these panels as I know I would have a desire to right what I saw as social injustices, believing as I do that the GS system favours particular types of family. I wonder, how easy is it to ensure that panel members do not bring their own prejudices to appeals? I had never thought about this until I saw your reply, Cairo, and thought, 'what would I do?'. And though my own prejudices and preferences might not be the same as another person's, surely everyone does have personal views if they are honest, and I wonder how easy it really is for panel members to divorce their own opinions about appellants from the actual case. Maybe there is training (?) or maybe all you can do is be aware of the dangers and try not to fall into them. I suppose as it is an unpaid and voluntary system, the safeguards against personal opinion are harder to implement?

I love the idea of having a go, but fear it is best left to those who are able to see facts separately from people - or perhaps it comes with experience, a bit like most things?


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