Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this subject, and in truth I am trying to understand the area of appeals before my family endure the whole 11+ experience again next year. I simply can't for the life of me understand it when people post that they have been through the appeals process before sometimes more than once and intend to do it again for the latest child. Surely appeals are for when an "Error" has been made by the school, a wrongly administered test, the wrong use of an address....basically when their process has not been followed. That I get, to my mind it's what the appeal process should be about. However, how can this be the case with serial appealers, on their second/third appeal.. surely the identical errors or even a new error wouldn't be made for each child. Therefore on what grounds are these appeals being made.. passing other exams but failing the one you want is unfortunate, even more so when you aren't offered a place at the schools you did pass because you are out of area. However this is not grounds for appeal surely?
Fortunately errors (or at least those that we hear about ) are rarer and hopefully get sorted out - we had a few related to some of the Warwickshire schools this year and also to Slough schools last year, mainly related to information being transmitted between LEAs
Appeals are rather different and are either for non qualification or oversubscription. Non Qual is where a child would normally be expected to pass based on previous work and the result is a shock to the parents and teachers alike. The purpose of the appeal is for other academic evidence to be assessed to determine whether they should be considered to have achieved the level on academic grounds.
Sometimes there are are extenuating circumstances eg major
household stress in the few weeks leading to the exam (and I don't mean parents frazzled over last minute revision!! - the things that come to mind are bereavement, serious family illness, a child waving her Dad off to Afghanistan just before the test etc) but these will not hold any weight in the absence of academic evidence.
Oversubscription is for when places are already filled by distance / score / sibling priority etc etc and evidence is provided as to why the school is the right school for the child and that the school should make space for one more child. In Skipton over 2 years one school could admit ALL those who passed when the next year came round it was heavily oversubscribed and many who lived fairly near (it is a very odd shaped catchment to take in the upper dales) and would at least 9 times out of 10 have got a place did not - maybe there were more siblings, maybe there were some big families moved into area - who knows!- understandably people appealed.