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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:33 am
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We have some highly personal extenuating circumstances relating to terminal illness of someone close to DS (e-mail sent).

I am really stuck on how to present these in the letter and to the panel. Any advice on what to include and what not to include would be very welcome.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Dear PJ

Panels are usually very familiar with the problem of seriously ill relatives and with deaths in the family. They tend to want hard facts, precise dates that can be substantiated, and evidence of the impact on the child.

I think your situation is certainly worth a mention, but my feeling at the moment is that you should handle it low key - just a sentence or two. Let the panel then elicit more information from you.

You have two problems:
1) Establishing the facts. Evidence from a family friend could be open to question. I would have thought you need a letter from the doctor or hospital abroad, with an official translation if necessary.
2) Even if you establish the facts relating to your relative abroad, I'm not sure how you can prove that your son found out the night before the test and was seriously affected. It would obviously help if the school can confirm that from their perspective he appeared distressed for several days afterwards.

In this sort of situation, it's best not to 'overegg the pudding', and to hope that the panel itself will conclude that there's something significant here. If you yourself try to build it up as a major point, and don't have enough hard evidence, you risk finishing up looking to be on weak ground.

A lot could depend on how many more marks your son needed.

I would suggest that 'sibling pressure' (in the sense of wishing to emulate his sibling) is well worth a mention too.

Ultimately the alternative academic evidence is going to be just as important - if not more so.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:33 am
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Thank you so much for your advice. We feel so alone in this and really don't know how to approach the appeal. This forum is a lifeline.

I will follow your advice - we have the letter from an oncologist and I will just add a line or two into the appeal document and hope for the best.

You mentioned that 'sibling pressure' (in the sense of wishing to emulate his sibling) is well worth a mention too.

I am unsure about how to present this - could you expand upon this?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Again, just a sentence or two - "He wanted so much to emulate his brother." You could refer to the incident with the uniform, and the fact that his expectations seem to have been raised when he was selected for an event at the school. "All these things added to the pressure on him."

Hope this helps.

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Etienne


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