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 Post subject: Appeal Help Required
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:46 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Bucks
It was no surprise that DS didn't pass as he was only able to get through 70 -75% of the questions. He did got 104 & 106 and to be honest I was expecting a lot worse so in a way am slightly relieved.

We are going to appeal as our request for extra time was refused. DS has Aspereger and is dyslexic.

We currently have an EP assessment (states he needs extra time in exams) and Yr 5 CATs which show his academic ability. He has also recently had an OT assessment (still waiting for report) but shows his perceptual reasoning at the age of 18 years, will state he needs extra time in exams and finds handwriting extremely difficult.

He has just taken Yr 6 CATS (no results yet).

I know that I can also get supporting letters from the OT, Play Therapist, maybe his Paediatrician and child psychologist and SALT to support his case to go to a GS.

I will be going to see the Head next week, so fingers crossed that she will support us.

I have posted his EP, CATS and other documents.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Morning Glory

I am sorry to hear the news, although he has done very creditably considering his learning difficulties.

I don't have time today to take more than a brief look at the various reports, but they are encouraging at a first glance. Etienne may have more time to help you this weekend than me, but we will both be around over the next week to help you sift the evidence.

I do hope that the Head supports you.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Dear Morning Glory

I've had a look at the evidence you kindly sent in.

The year 5 CATs are very good, aren't they? Was any extra time allowed?

And was there any extra time for the year 6 CATs? It will be interesting to see what the results are this time.

The EP report seems very supportive, and again comes up with very high cognitive scores. It's significant that there's a gap of around 5 years between your son's superior cognitive ability and his (relatively) weak visual/auditory memory.

Unfortunately the circumstances do seem to have to be exceptional for extra time to be granted. I believe the figures for last year were as low as:
15 pupils - 5 minutes
2 pupils - 10 minutes
3 pupils - 12.5 minutes

In my view - on the evidence so far available - you have quite a good case, but I think it will be a difficult one for the panel to decide because the 11+ scores are so low. They might, just as an example, agree with you to the extent that some extra time should have been allowed, but not be convinced that it would have been enough to bridge a gap of 15 points.

Usually the chances of a successful appeal with scores below 110 are less than 8%, but in this instance I suspect the decision could go either way. We might know more when further evidence such as the headteacher's summary sheet is available.

Anyway, you are absolutely right to ask an appeal panel to look at the matter.

Good luck - and keep in touch with us.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:34 am 
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Location: Bucks
Etienne thank you for taking a look at the reports.

No I don't believe he did get extra time for either of his CATS. I asked my DS this morning were the CATS like doing the 11+ he said they were slightly different in the questioning (I've never seen a CATS question so can't comment) but when I asked about the way the test was administered he said that there was a difference because the 11+ was something that shapes the rest of your life, where as the CATS are just to see which area's you need help in (his words not mine).

I think there are probably a lot of factors that caused him to find the 11+difficult.

He has anxiety issues - he has been referred to CAMHS to address these

He had a really difficult time settling into year 6, they bombarded them with homework as soon as they started. So much homework that I had to have a chart with it listed down and the dates it was required. We had a few other minor issues which I had to address and then they told him he had to be the door monitor for a week. One of his major anxieties is about getting told off so to have to dob people in and potentially get them in trouble when they are in the school snd should be outside playing doesn't sit well with my son. He doesn't kick off like a lot of boys with AS but get emotionally overwhelmed and is so so sensitive. His teacher spoke to him and he did agree to do it for the week but when he had to put someones name in the book he burst into tears. It was a girl in my DD's class and after school he was apologising to his sister and asking how much trouble she had got into . He came home for about the first 6 week saying he didn't think he could cope with year 6 and he wanted to go back to his old class. This was all just before the 11+ so not a good start. He is now settled and has done another week of door monitoring since then and was fine. Homework is now back to normal levels.

He is also not at all good with time restraints. I would never tell him that it was time to go to school and expect him to come straight away, cause he would panic, do a lot of flapping, get very anxious and take twice as long. I would always say in 10 minutes you need to get your shoes on, the you have 5 more minutes etc. So he also find time restraints in the class room/ exam setting really difficult and will just flap and panic wasting valuable time.

In the 11+ I know the coding questions would have take my DS a lot longer he has great difficulty scanning information and transferring it. Can't copy correctly from the board in fact he has a list of 15 spellings copied from the board Friday and at least 7 of them are spelt incorrectly.

Everyone that has assessed or spent time with my DS says he should go to GS is it worth getting them to write supporting letters?

I don't suppose we can estimate the amount of additional question he would have had to have answered correctly to have made up the 15 missing points??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:18 pm 
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Dear MG
Quote:
I don't suppose we can estimate the amount of additional question he would have had to have answered correctly to have made up the 15 missing points??
That's a tough one! I don't know if Admissions will have an answer. You could consider asking them, and perhaps request an analysis of his papers, showing which questions were unanswered and how they were distributed. (A lot of unanswered questions at the end would suggest he ran out of time.) It costs £25 or so. Be warned, though, that any such report, whether it supports your case or not, will automatically be included in the appeal papers.

It's interesting that you think he didn't have extra time for CATs, and it's something the appeal panel may well raise. It could weaken the argument about dyslexia and a (relatively) weak visual/auditory memory. If he could achieve such high scores in CATs without extra time, why would he have needed extra time in the 11+? You have an answer, but it's a different one (anxiety issues). It's a complicated case, and we'll need to think carefully about how to present it.

I wonder whether our resident experts on the format of the 11+ paper can tell us whether there's any difference between the 11+ and CATs when it comes to the coding questions? If they don't spot this, try asking Patricia or Sally-Anne.
Quote:
Everyone that has assessed or spent time with my DS says he should go to GS is it worth getting them to write supporting letters?
I don't believe general letters of support for GS will help much at a selection appeal. What the appeal panel will be interested in are reasons for underperformance (e.g. serious anxiety issues) and evidence of high ability. What would be really useful is if the school could write something in their report about 'high academic potential' and 'exceptional ability' - these are the sort of phrases an appeal panel likes to see.

We'll do all we can to support you.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Location: Bucks
Hi Etienne

As I said I don't think he had extra time and he certainly didn't get extra time this year.

The other reason we think a GS would be better for DS is his verbal and communication skills are 5/6 years ahead of his peers. Having AS means that friendships are always more difficult and because he was having some major social skills problems saw a play therapist for a year. She explained that a lot of his social problems were down to the fact that his friends probably don't understand a lot of what he talks about (he is a bit of an old man, always talking about politics, what's happening on the news, starting his own business etc.). Gets quite obsessive about certain subjects so if that's not your thing then he doesn't really know what else to talk to you about (he's not into football or anything like that). Socially we think it will be much better for him to be at a GS where intellectually they will be able to communicate on a par.

Not sure if that argument will have any influence at an appeal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:00 pm 
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If we start with Aspergers, and then go on to say a GS will help with peer relationships, it's not a good argument for a selection appeal.

On the other hand I like the word 'intellectual'. If the argument is (1) he has considerable intellectual ability, and (2) he needs to be with his intellectual peers at a GS, I would settle for that! :lol:

Could you ask the school about the timing of the CATs tests - just to make sure?

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
Reading through this I do wonder whether the format of the test in Bucks was difficult for your son in that you have to answer on a separate sheet and so "keep your place" on two different sheets. CATS tests are done online so would not present this problem. Neither do Standard format exams. I may be entirely off track here but my DD finds separate answer sheets difficult but had no problems at all with the standard format exams we have here nor with the MidYis tests which are similar to CATS (she has Aspergers but good memory and no dyslexia).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:09 pm 
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That's very helpful, Alex.

I know Sally-Anne was wondering whether CATs are done online. (I wasn't sure.) If so, we have an explanation for the discrepancy in scores.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:09 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Alex

I also wondered if the CATs tests were done online in Bucks. It seems to vary by school, with some doing them on paper as well. It might account for a difference in this case, especially given a few comments from the educational specialists?

MG, can you check with your son whether the tests were done on paper or online?

S-A


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