Having kept an eye on this excellent forum over the last six months I'm sure that someone out there will have some something that is sadly missing where we live.
The question is: should we appeal and with the results that he has would he have a chance?
He is currently at a private school that follows the National Curriculum. His teacher, who is new to the school from an 11+ area in the UK last year, was surprised that he did not make the grade. She is sure that he will get good level 5s this year - he had level 5 in Maths at the end of year 5. He has also come top in all science tests this year - commendable considering that he is nearly a year younger than most children in his class - (they have a different age entry to schools). Our Head was also surprised and has been very supportive of our application as she feels that he is the 'right sort of child' for an academic, sports orientated school.
As his parents we are convinced that he really is grammar school material. Are the fact that he is out of the country and had to sit the exams alone in the Head's office worth mentioning. His father was also away on business whilst he was doing the exams.
I feel very 'out of the loop' over here so any advice would be great.
I have no idea what the appeals process is from overseas - I'm not sure that it has ever come up on this forum. My guess is that you simply submit the same paperwork as locals, but don't attend the panel hearing.
I think Etienne will agree with me that on 112 and 115 you are probably going to struggle to win an appeal, but if you have the advantage of not having to face the panel, why not have a go anyway? Put together your best case and post it off. I don't think the disadvantages you describe are necessarily mitigating circumstances, so put together the best case you have on academic grounds.
I agree with Sally-Anne.
I'm afraid there are some particular difficulties when appealing from abroad. The system is the same, but would you fly in for the appeal? Appeals heard in absentia, when the panel have no opportunity to question you, are much less likely to succeed.
You have some good points: the fact that the school follows the NC, and the level 5 standard in Maths last year. Your son also seems to be doing well at Science.
However, the 11+ scores are not high, and you appear to have no compelling extenuating circumstances.
A good school report will help, but it is difficult for an appeal panel to know objectively how the standard of work compares with that of a local school. How would you prove that your son’s current school has very high standards? The more evidence you have of the school’s academic reputation, preferably in writing, the better.
I note that you have the headteacher’s support, and that there is a teacher with 11+ experience, but there is bound to be a question mark over how well a foreign-based school understands the standard required for Buckinghamshire.
Time and money permitting, a report from a qualified educational psychologist (using WISC or BAS tests) might provide useful additional evidence, especially if the outcome is very favourable (e.g. results at the 90th+ percentile).