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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Do you think the school ( wgsg) is obliged to tell us under the freedom of information act how many academic places were given to children who sat the test in november rather than september?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
Mgnmum wrote:
Do you think the school ( wgsg) is obliged to tell us under the freedom of information act how many academic places were given to children who sat the test in november rather than september?

Maybe, but I'm sure it would take them a lot of time to compile that information. Are you sure it's worth it?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:58 am 
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Does anybody know how many children sat tests late. Did anybody on here do so and can you give an indication how many children were there. If you have just missed out I would definitely want to know especially as it appears they made no adjustment to late sitters age standardization. I think this could make good grounds for appeal.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:07 am 
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Location: Watford, Herts
decaff wrote:
If you have just missed out I would definitely want to know especially as it appears they made no adjustment to late sitters age standardization.

Where did you get that? Standardization is normally based on the child's age in months at the time of taking the test.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:44 pm 
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The standardisation would have taken into account the fact that the late sitters were older, but not the fact that several of the trickier questions and their solutions were common knowledge by the time they sat the test. Assuming they used the same papers, that is.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:02 pm 
I agree with decaff, I think the effect of the late Consortium exam sittings could be used for appeals if the same papers were used.

If children sat the same paper at different times, I don't see how the Admissions authorities can possibly claim, let alone prove, a level playing field. Herts Admissions could argue their case all day but I would argue longer and more fiercely because, as 3b1g points out, the harder questions (especially on the Maths paper) were common knowledge by the time of the November tests. In a Maths paper that was so easy that one question seemed to translate to several points in the standardised system, prior knowledge of just one tricky question could certainly have had an effect on whether a child gained the marks needed for entry to a particular school.

If my child had missed out by a narrow margin, as mgnmum's child has, I would certainly be preparing my case for appeal with this in mind and I would be requesting any information that might help from the schools/relevant authorities as early as possible.

mgnmum - You need to seek confirmation that the same papers were used in November as in September, as well as asking for information from WGGS on how many children who sat the tests in November were offered places and what the lowest mark scored in the November sitting which secured a place at WGGS actually was. If I were in your shoes, I would put this request in writing to the school, Herts Admissions, the Consortium and anyone else you can think of as soon as you can. Keep a record of when you asked for it, and a copy of your letter, along with records of any follow-up phone calls/letters/emails you make, send or receive.

I have my fingers firmly crossed for you that your DD will get a place soon so that you do not need to pursue this line of appeal, but I think you are doing the right thing by exploring all the avenues of appeal open to you at this point.

One final piece of advice - it is an emotional time for you and your daughter. The best thing you can do for her state of mind, for your state of mind and for her chances is to keep as calm as you can and be nothing but unfailingly polite in any dealings with the school and other authorities. It's a very busy and stressful time for them too, and however you feel you have been/are being treated, your own behaviour must remain exemplary (while firm and persistent!).

Disclaimer: please note that I am not a lawyer and that I have no personal experience of the school admissions appeals process. This advice is well-intentioned but please make your own decision about whether to follow it!

Best of luck to you. RR


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:19 pm 
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I agree with everything said above. At the time of the second sitting the Watford Observer run an article on this, as many parents were outraged. I know someone who contacted the consortium who confirmed that the same papers were used. Also they indicated that there would be no adjustment for fact that these children would be 2 months older. This does not effect me but I believe allowing a second sitting was wrong and should be challenged.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Mgnmum ,
are you coming under inner or out of area ?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:07 am
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I would be surprised if many from the November sitting secured a place. My rationale is:

- apart from the odd exceptions, places go to children who have prepared for the exam

- even children who have been prepared often don't perform to their capability on the day

- people who were preparing their children knew when they had to register by and did so

- the late sitting was for people who weren't aware of the process and were caught out.

I therefore think it highly unlikely that the children sitting in November were anywhere near as prepared as those sitting in September and therefore unlikely to have done as well let alone better.

Even if I'm wrong how could the information be used in an appeal? The consortium will say that age standardisation takes care of the fact that the child was older when they took the tests and it would be impossible to prove that another child's success was due to them knowing some of the questions in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:16 pm 
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I gather that some parents from out of county were caught out and this includes some from private sector who are generally very well prepared. My friend who has a child at a private school in St. Albans was only aware because I told her. She has by the way secured a place at Parmiters! There was also much discussion in playground regarding questions on papers. 2 children from my DS primary sat test late as they had recently moved in to area. Were they given an unfair advantage? Who knows. Most parents felt that it was not fair to use same papers but consortium would have none of this saying that children would not remember questions. 2 months between tests is a long time, children were just back from summer hols in September and I feel some of the maths topics would have been covered again in school by the time November came round. As said before this does not effect me I just feel the whole process was maladministered and people who apply the rules need to be challenged, they are afterall funded by public money. The person I know who queried the differnce in age standardisation from September to November was given no guarentee that later scores would reflect this. Therfore I feel that if rules are not fair this could be good grounds for appeal if your child has just missed securing a academic place at a school of their choice.


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