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 Post subject: KCC -duff advice?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:03 pm
Posts: 7
Having been advised by son #1's headteacher to only put one Grammar school choice on the CAF, I sought KCC's advise because #1 first choice was a notoriously 'selective' Grammar. My question was along the lines of 'if one choice is a seletive Grammar and the 11+ is passed but not in the range for the first choice what should I do? I don't want him to miss out on a Grammar place just because he doesn't meet the first choices criteria'. KCC response 'well you should put two Grammars on your CAF'.

I decided to take KCC's advise and have now found that #1 didn't pass;
VR 130, NVR 112 and Maths 117.

His third choice was non-selective but an Academy which selects completely randomly within streams of ability. He has been 'awarded' a comp with dreadful attendance, bullying and academic results!!!

If I hadn't taken KCC's advice a better comp would've been his second choice. Headteacher didn't appeal as I had not followed her advice!

I understand that I have a slim chance of winning an appeal to the 2nd Grammar.

Should I complain to KCC about this duff advice, I'm I jepordising my appeal by blackening my name????

MumB


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:10 pm 
Well it wasn't really duff advice was it? You asked what you should do to make sure your son got a grammar place if he passed the 11+ but not well enough to get to your 1st choice school. They suggested putting a less selective grammar second. What else could they say?

Why didn't you put the "better comp" as your third choice?

It would be great if we could all have more than 3 choices, especially given the range of secondary school types available. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:45 pm
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Location: Medway & Kent
mumb, what area are you in?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:21 pm 
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Hi Medwaymum

I'm in Dartford, schools I'm referring to are;

Choice 1 - Dartford Grammar for Boys
Choice 2 - Wilmington Grammar for Boys
Choice 3 - Leigh Technology Academy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Hi Kent99

I get your point but taking the KCC's advice closed off the possibility of a Head's appeal for my son. It's just so very frustrating :?

MumB


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:29 pm 
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Location: Medway & Kent
So did the HT advise you only to put 1 grammar so you could put 2 non selectives ie. the Acadamy and a Comp?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:15 pm
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Location: North Kent (surprise!)
MumB

I would appeal 2nd choice grammar as know from past experience last year that Willmington accept appeals far more readily that Dartford and DS scores only just off a pass .

Leigh Academy doesn't have many successful appeals and as an aside, do you want your son taught in classes of 60!!

Good luck with your appeal, whilst I expect it does feel daunting at this point I think you should feel positive and push forward with the appeal based on your sons results.

The leigh is a lottery to get into regardless of ability, actually despite this as takes from all ability bands, however can guess your allocated school (SV) which seems to be the alternative when other choices on the CAF can't be given. With this as the option I would most definitely appeal, I know a parent in exactly same situation last year and successfully got Willmington, so go for it!

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NKM


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:22 am 
MumB
Did your head say that she did not appeal because she was offended that you did not take her advice? That sounds so unprofessional that I am surprised that she would admit to it! Or did she not appeal because she felt that she had no grounds to do so as his marks accurately reflected his ability? If the latter, that would explain her advice to only risk one CAF choice on a grammar. If that is the case then obviously it would not be a great idea to highlight it at appeal.

I gather from the head at my child's school that HT appeals have to be made on specified grounds (e.g. illness, obvious underperformance or recent rapid improvement). The head can't appeal just because the child came quite close to passing. Moreover some HTs are loath to appeal where a child is under the pass mark in more than one paper. I realise that you could say maths was over 115 so you were only under on nvr (albeit by 8 marks) but I'm not sure an appeal board would necessarily see it that way.

It sounds as if you have nothing to lose by appealing but, personally, I would concentrate on your son's academic ability and not on the conflicting advice you received. Don't you think that if you stress that your HT didn't want you to choose two grammars you might make the appeal body wonder whether it was because she didn't expect your son to pass?

Good luck whatever you decide.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:45 pm
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Location: Medway & Kent
Have to say I agree with Kent99. Given the facts, I would concentrate on any academic evidence you have to support your appeal, not your complaint re the advice you were given.
Wilmington does seem to be the one with the most chance. Good luck, I hope you are successful. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:18 pm
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Location: kent
Please also don't forget that you may not be successful at appeal for the grammar school, and that you also need to do your best to get your child into a non-selective school that you are both happy with.

Read the secondary school admissions booklet again thoroughly, and go on the waiting lists for non-selective schools that you would be happy with. At a certain date (check your booklet) you can go on the waiting lists for any school of your choosing. You can also appeal for them once a year. You may gain a place at a secondary school of your choice by this method.

I would say that the advice you received was "partial" rather than completely "duff". It did answer the "what if" question that you had posed. You then needed to move on to the next "what if" in your own mind. In putting down two grammar schools, with the possibility of getting into neither in the event of 11+ failure, you really needed your third choice to be one that you were pretty much guaranteed a place at unless you were happy to end up in your current predicament. Your questions would suggest that you could have worked this out for yourself, so I don't think you would be doing any favours to yourself in letting the panel know that you didn't.

The grammar school appeal will be about proving convincingly that your child is of the right academic level to get in, and there was some good reason why he did not achieve what he should have done on the day. It would be a waste of time at that stage to complain about whether or not you received bad advice from an admissions officer.

Have you checked out Etienne's advice in the Appeals Forum?

I am very puzzled that your headteacher did not go forward to review before the 11+ results were made know to parents. If she did consider that your son should have passed why did she not? Have you asked her if she thinks your son is of pass calibre? It is unreasonable of her to say that it was because you did not follow her advice, as this is about the child, not about a disagreement between parent and head. Why would she have cared so much that you put two grammar schools on the form? Perhaps her understanding of the Kent admission system is very out of date and she does not understand the Equal Preference System. She maybe thinks that even if your son had passed he would not have got into the second choice because you put it second, and therefore it was not worth the trouble of her preparing for the review. Perhaps if you manage to discuss all this with her diplomatically she will be happy to say that she should have gone to review. If she was willing to state this in writing to a grammar school appeal panel perhaps it will strengthen your case.

Anyhow, do remember, there are successful appeals where there has been an unsuccessful headteacher review, or no headteacher review at all.

Good luck


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