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 Post subject: social and medical rule
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:29 am
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Location: Elstree,Herts
Has anyone successfully,not hearsay,got a place on social and medical grounds? and what were they.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:18 pm
Posts: 147
Location: NW Kent
We one an appeal last June and the wording on the appeal letter said my DS was awarded a place at the school ......... "due to his Aspergers with no easing of conditions" ......or something very, very similar. The only other reason stated for winning was something about high academic ability. Our appeal was, however, very much based on why this particular school was most suitable for my DS with his Aspergers.

I'm not sure that this entirely answers your question as i'm not sure if we won on "social and medical grounds" and i believe there is debate as to whether Autistic Spectrum Conditions are really medical conditions or not :?

Two years ago one headteacher at a secondary school said to prospective Y7 parents that dyslexia would not be covered by their medical and social ground clause of their admissions criteria but if a parent was in a wheelchair and needed their child to go to the local school so the parent could access the school with ease, as and when, necessary then this situation would come under their social and medical clause.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 9:57 am
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I am very interested to hear about this, as I have had little luck in researching case studies of social/medical admissions in the past.

May I ask... was your appeal after initially being turned down?

We have the option of citing social/medical in the initial application for one of our desired schools. The school in question would be perfect for our child with Aspergers (no statement), but I believe the 'killer' is that we have to prove that no other school would be adequate, or good enough.

I'd be grateful for any more information about your experience and the process.
Thanks,
Julie


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:18 pm
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Location: NW Kent
Right where to start.......... We stated DS had AS on the SCAF and the school sent supporting letters for 3 of the 4 schools all written by the SENCO and each letter geared to each school. My DS then failed the VR and passed the other 2 papers with marks in high 120's. The school appealed for us but crucially didn't mention his AS at all. The appeal was turned down because of his creative writing. Writing has always been my DS problem especially creatively/imaginatively and most definitely part of his AS. At this point the HT disappeared in mysterious circumstances and never returned :?

We then appealed to 2 GS and won both appeals. However only one of them was our real choice and realistically, regardless of the fact it was a grammar, was the only school suitable for our DS and had been our choice since visiting at the beginning of year 5. Tbh there were so many things that were right about it that we didn't have to go searching for a match with our DS they just fell at our feet (something we said in our appeal).
Examples are

*specialisms in maths and ICT (and languages which we also admitted may be a problem for our DS)
* at a support group the school was highly reccommended by the head of the local secondary autism unit
* the SENCO and head of KS3 admitted that they had plenty of boys with AS and didn't find it a problem
* the SENCO i later found out has a special interest in AS hence his confidence and experience
* the fact the boys could go to their form rooms for lunch and didn't have to go the the canteen, playground
etc, so a quiet calm area where he quite often sits alone
*there was a lunchtime social club which he had been used to in primary
* 2 particular clubs (Yu Gi Oh and Warhammer) were run by the SENCO
*the school was up and running with a food tech suite - my son is interested in cooking and it is an important life skill. Life skills being a very important thing for AS children to learn
* my DS loves his Scouts (luckily the beaver leader has an AS son so hes been v well supported there) the school do D of E which again will help his social and life skills
*they have a sixth form so he won't have to change schools later on
I know there were other things but i can't remember them all

We did pay for "help" for our appeal and our help told us the reason the HT appeal failed was (creative writing) was weak and could be fully expalined by the AS, school, SENCO including proof with my DS work. His Y6 teacher explained he wrote factually and reflectively not imaginatively. I also pointed out at school, which i hadn't before, that lots of his "creativity" was actually copied from books he'd read :lol: As the HT had gone the current acting head was quite prepared to come to the appeal and say something went wrong but nobody knew what. This new acting head had also taught my DS Maths from year 1 in the top set which again tied up with the specialism and she did stress her personal experience of his high maths ability :D

Also we had an EP report done. We were totally honest with the EP about why we were doing the assessment and he was v straight with us..... if he felt our DS wasn't grammar material he was going to say so. Luckily he came down firmly on our side all things pointed to high academic ability. Several other things came out of the report like for example our DS was a slow starter when tasks changed and so guess which paper came first in the 11+ - the one he failed VR :D

CATs done in Nov of y6 and predicted SATs all showed high academic ability.

I hope this helps, its very muddled but what i'm trying to express is that everything tied up and some stuff backed up other stuff in a convuluted way. Also as i said in my earlier post i'm can't say we won on social/medical grounds but as others say you have to prove academic ability above all else and you have pointed out yourself the need to match your child to the school.

Excuse the spelling and punctuation - i wasn't a grammar pupil :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
I think it's important to distinguish between the application process on the one hand, and appeals on the other.

If the application process includes a social/medical criterion, it tends to be applied very strictly. (It's almost a case of 'no other school will do', and 'here is the evidence from relevant professionals confirming this'.)

Appeals are different because an appeal panel is not bound by the oversubscription criteria. It can give whatever weight to an argument it sees fit! Generally speaking, if oversubscription is the only issue, I would have thought appeal panels tend to give more weight to social/medical arguments (if well-substantiated, and clearly more than minor) than to educational & logistical arguments. Ultimately, though, it's a decision for the individual panel, and there are other factors to be taken into account (such as the strength of the school's case).

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:18 pm
Posts: 147
Location: NW Kent
Thats probably a very good comment to make Etienne about our case- the application and appeal procedure being separate issues - as parents the whole procedure seemed to mash in to one long horrendous mess :? And it didn't help that i didn't find this site till after the 11+ :D

I deliberately haven't written about our whole situation on ele before simply because its too interwoven and there seemed to be some indivdual circumstances that ended up being important in our case but not relevant to others. As i've stressed in both above posts i don't even know whether our case was won on social/medical grounds and probably never will but it was hard to answer the query easily and simply. Tbh just writing about it has upset me which surprises me a year on.

Just to add that at the end of the appeal the vice chair of governors, representing the school, dismissed the panels concerns about my DS literacy skills and commented in her summary about the high number of literacy TA's they had for children such as my DS. We were a bit gobsmacked as she seemed to be on our side.


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