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 Post subject: Out of Area School
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:04 pm
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Location: RBWM
We have just received the results of our appeal (Bucks) which was unsuccessful. We feel that we were disadvantaged as my son attends and 'out of area' school in Berks and the LA representative commented that his academic achievements ie SAT results etc could not be directly compared to that of Bucks schools. Although towards the end of the hearing he did concede that they can be 'indicators'.

His academic evidence was in our view outstanding, a 1:1 from Head, NFER results Maths 141, English 140, optional SAT results English 5, Maths 5b Science 5. Predicted 5's for all final SAT's. He also managed to get through to final 22 for a scholarship at Eton College. In gifted and talented group for Maths, finalist in Maidenhead Rotary Writing Competition, Chairman of School Council... What more could we have provided?

If the panel are not prepared to consider out of area schools results as comparable to schools in the Bucks area, what is the point of hearing our case in the first place?



His final VRT score was 118 (110 ).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Very sorry to hear your news, daysnow.

Are you sure the LA Rep. said that SATs aren't comparable? I can see that a 1:1 from an out of area head (if it was someone unfamiliar with the exact standard required) could possibly be open to question. I can see too that a different test result (the Slough 11+, for example) cannot be directly compared with the Bucks 11+. I cannot understand why SATs should be an issue.

A panel must weigh up properly all the evidence presented.

At the moment it's not entirely clear to me why your appeal was unsuccessful. Did the decision letter say anything about extenuating circumstances?

You might wish to get a copy of the clerk's notes. They should show what the LA Rep. said, and should also state the reasons for each panel member's decision.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... rs.php#e14
Scroll down to E14 (b).

If the LA Rep. really did mislead the panel, or if the panel failed to weigh up all the evidence fairly, you might have grounds for a complaint to the ombudsman.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Very sorry to hear your disappointing news x x x

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Heartmum x x x


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Etienne,

I have just read your thread to Daysnow. An am very interested about what the LA rep is allowed to say/imlpy.

At my hearing I was asked how my DD was feeling on the days of the test. I replied on the day of the first test she was really confident, when she came out of school she was really disheartened as she thought is was a hard paper and had to guess quite a few, this lead to her having a wobble the night before the second test and she fell asleep later than usual. The LA rep then proceeded to so she was tired then. I wasn't impressed at the time and now even more so. Are they allowed to comment? As he could have been implying that my DD would not cope with GS.

thanks

6468j


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Dear 6468j

The LA rep. is entitled to question your case, just as you are entitled to question theirs.

They shouldn't mislead the panel, of course.

You could get the clerk's notes to check for any evidence that the panel put an unfavourable interpretation on the comment, but I think it's highly unlikely. Many children don't sleep well the night before the test, and are tired. It doesn't mean none of them could cope at grammar school.

As I read it, the LA rep. was actually trying to be helpful to you - your daughter was tired and this may have disadvantaged her.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:04 pm
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Location: RBWM
Hi Etienne

Thank you for your prompt response.

I have posted to the appeal box details of our extenuating circumstances.

The letter stated that the panel had carefully considered the supportive evidence, which included the extenuating cirumstances and the predicted SAT scores, other test results, school reports and the recommendation of the head teacher. However, the IAP was not sufficiently satisfied that my son is academically suitable for grammar school education at this time.

Do you think the outcome had anything to do with the fact that he scored 118 on first test and 110 on second?

daysnow PS thank you to heartmum for your kind words


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:30 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi days now

I am afraid that the extenuating circumstances will not have been particularly strong.

The first issue was an ongoing problem, and the panel are generally looking for something that is more specific to the days of the actual tests.

On preparation, the official line is that the Bucks Familiarisation process is all that is required - lack of further tutoring or coaching is not going to be considered relevant.

Finally, on acute illness immediately prior to the test, the general rule a panel applies is that if the child was not fit to take the test, it should have been delayed. Head teachers are given very specific guidance on this issue.

Quote:
Do you think the outcome had anything to do with the fact that he scored 118 on first test and 110 on second?

I am afraid that the answer is almost certainly yes. The panel will have considered both scores to try and decide which one was most representative. It will also not have helped that the scores went in the wrong direction over the two tests.

I hope that helps you to understand what may have been going through the panel's minds?

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:04 pm
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Location: RBWM
Hi Sally-Anne

Thanks for your reply.

Do the panel ever consider an individual suitable for grammar school on just academic evidence only, or does there always have to be strong extenuating circumstances?

I'm sorry to mention the 'tutor' word (it was difficult but we managed to not mention this during the actual appeal hearing) but it will make me feel better to get this point across:

We have since found out that the other people that we know who did pass the 11+, and who normally perfom no better than my son at school (some not as good) were tutored. I acknowledge that the familiarisation pack is deemed adequate, however the whole system cannot be deemed 'fair' if everyone is not starting from the same point. Tutoring must have an influence on an individuals performance. When my son sat his scholarship test for Eton there were no past papers, and no-one was able to 'prepare' for the test. This seems a fairer system to me?

Daysnow


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi days now

daysnow wrote:
Do the panel ever consider an individual suitable for grammar school on just academic evidence only, or does there always have to be strong extenuating circumstances?

It is a balancing act of both. Even in a case of very strong academic ability the panel will still be asking whether there is evidence to show why the child did not achieve 121. The lower the mark, the more convincing the extenuating circumstances need to be.

There is a lot of discussion about the tutoring issue and the fairness of the Bucks tests on the Bucks section at present. Suffice it to say on here that no testing process is perfect.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:40 pm 
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No two children start from exactly the same place. There are a huge numbers of variables that might give one child an advantage over another.

Recent research has shown that over 80% of successful 11+ candidates have had some form of tutoring.

So yes, tutoring helps. And if parents choose (and are able) to have their child tutored, then why should anyone criticise them.

And it's not just about the 11+. My daughter would have failed AS physics without a tutor and would not have done as well in AS maths as she did without a tutor.


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