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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:58 pm 
Last year my daughter, a late developer due to cross-lateralism, took her 11+ test . On the morning of one of the tests she discovered by accident that her great grandmother had died, and was distressed at the news. She came home from school with a fever and was kept from school the following day. BTW I'm not suggesting that the bad news caused the fever, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was stress induced.

The results came back with a fail. The school said that the VR paper had almost reached the required pass mark (110) but the NVR paper was just average. The school said never mind, wait until you get the SATS results, and if her improvements continue at the present exponential rate, consider an appeal. Had she passed, she would have been able to apply to a Grammar School within catchment, and another sibling attended Grammar school that was out of catchment.

At the end of the summer term we were given her SAT results. It seems that her teachers had considered her expected grades to be level 4s, but infact she scored level 5s in english and science, with a level 4 in maths.

Considering the advice from the primary school, we contacted our local Grammar School and said we would like to lodge an appeal due to the extenuating circumstances. As this was by now mid-July, we were told to return an appeal form by return of post, which we did, but the appeal would now not be able to be dealt with until the schools return in September due to the Summer Holidays.

September came and we heard no more. Concerned, we rang the Grammar School to be told that they knew nothing about the returned appeal paperwork. Now there were no places left, only a waiting list! We were given the option of taking a 12+ and to be placed on a waiting list that already had 8 people.

As an appeal at this stage seemed very difficult to stage considering the impossibilities of calculating for the upset during the 11+ and the fact that her primary teachers had originally only given a prediction of level 4 SATs, we opted for the 12+.

Even now disaster was close at hand. Three days before the first test she contracted a non-specific fever requiring antibiotics. Whilst still under medication she still took the exam, only two days later to have to return to the doctors with a worsening illness that turned out to be Scarlet Fever. After another course of the now correct medication and a period of convalascence she took the NVR paper.

We were very pleased to receive the results letter which confirmed that she had passed the exam with an aggregate score of 231 (pass 220), but due to oversubscription she was now placed on a waiting list.

It seems very hard to accept, but I'm told that my chances of appealing against the oversubscription are zero. Then it struck me that the 12+ test has served as proof that the original 11+ test circumstances are now worth appealing about.

Can I appeal about the original 11+result? If so, to which Grammar School, as there are 2 possible Grammar Schools that she could attend? In Lincolnshire you get the 11+ results before you can make your secondary schools application, so would I have to appeal to both schools as I originally was unable to apply for either?

No doubt both headmasters will hate me, but can an appeals panel force them to find my daughter a place? Are there rules about maximum pupils per square foot of classroom that would prevent form sizes rising to 31?

BTW the NVR score increased by 21 points!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:17 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire

If your daughter has taken the 12 plus test this school year, then I am assuming that you must have made a new formal application to at least one of the Grammar schools. They, having no available places, must refuse a place even though your daughter has passed the exams. Along with this refusal comes a right of appeal. This right remains whether or not your daughter is on a waiting list. It is not true to say that your chances of succeeeding at appeal are zero. Appeals are heard by panels who are independent of the schools and local authority and will consider any case before them on its own merits. The panel will have to weigh up the "prejudice" caused to your daughter by not getting a place against the "prejudice" caused to the school by having an extra pupil in the class.

If you did not apply for any of the Grammar schools on your original Common Application Form last year then you would not have had an automatic right of appeal. You can only appeal for a place at a school for which you have applied, so you would have had to make a new application after places had been allocated. It is too late to appeal retrospectively and anyway would have no advantages whatsoever - yoou are in a far stronger position with a pass at 12 plus than with a fail at 11 plus!

You should make sure that you have put in a formal application for a place to the Grammar Schools you wish to consider - a separate application for each school and made directly to the schools in question. You will need to inform the school where she did not take the test that she has passed the 12 plus at the other school and what her mark was. They should then formally refuse a place and inform you of your right to appeal. You make a separate appeal for each school.

When you appeal information will be sent to you about the school's case including how many pupils are in each class and year group and you can then go to work on trying to see whether it would make a lot of difference to squeeze in an extra body. You will also then be able to present all the factors in your case - is your daughter happy and settled at her new school? Is she being stretched? Why are you not happy with the allocated school? and so on...

If you wish to register and send me a pm I may be able to give you some more specific advice if that would be helpful.

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