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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:13 pm
Posts: 26
I have just received the letter informing us that the panel did not support out appeal as our son did not pass the 11+ exam (NVR 117 VR 101) and was not consisdered to have the aptitude or ability to attend this particular school. Our evidence to the contrary was that he has secure level 5 predictions in the SAT's for English, Maths and Science, was a member of Gifted and talented throughout Year 6, had strong support from the Head Teacher and class teacher at his primary school, has evidence of independant learning gaining certificates in IT and excellent school reports and testemonies showing that he exceeds in all areas of his school work.

My question is what exactly would have been evidence of aptitude and ability if these are not considered to be enough? I would also like to know if actually this decision was made before we had even attended the appeal hearing and whether or not it was a complete and utter waste of time? The representative from the school had no questions for us in the appeal hearing and actually told us our presentation was excellent.

We are totally shocked by this decision and cannot understand why our evidence did not prove his academic ability. I feel totally frustrated that this seems to be the end of the road for us and we can do no more. Any advice on where we go from here would be gratefully accepted.

Catherine


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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I'm so sorry to hear this, and understand how devastated you feel.

I'm afraid it's not possible to challenge the panel's judgement, so there's little you can do unless there was a serious procedural error. It might be worth trying to get hold of the clerk's notes to see if they shed any further light on what happened.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... ers.php#d4

The curriculum evidence you cite looks very good. I'm guessing that they might have been concerned about the VR result. If I had been a panel member, I would have been looking for some alternative evidence of reasoning ability (e.g. high CAT scores).

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 514
Hi callyj20.

Sorry to hear your news.

I have sent you a pm.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:12 pm
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Location: Kent
I too am sorry this has been the outcome for you. We too had what we felt was suitable evidence, pretty much the things you have described but were told a single test was stronger evidence than 2 years of test results, assessments and school support. Our rejection went so far as to say that DS had good general ability and character but this didn't outweigh the single test, which kind of sticks the knife in!

Can't be of much help am afraid but do feel for you. Do you have any other options?

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Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 1:06 pm
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I thought it might help you to know that we feel exactly the same.Our hearing was last friday & we had a phonecall to tell us we'd failed that evening.DD was in borderzone & had 5b's for sats,nvr score of 129 & outstanding references from teacher,HT & other professionals.We also had strong mitigating circumstances,all fully evidenced.However, a girl in her class who was a borderzone pass & was on the waiting list had her appeal upheld even tho she is academically far weaker & had much less backing from school.Our DD was also rated 1st in borderzone ranking by HT & she was rated last.We feel strongly that the whole process was a waste of time as they had already decided that they would simply take girls from the waiting list.The Panel was also clearly not 'impartial' but showed strong bias in favour of the school.Bearing in mind that the appeal hearings proboably finished around 6.30pm & we had our decision phonecall only an hour later we find it hard to believe that they hadn't already made their minds up.
We are still upset & angry & still waiting for a written explanation


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Hello Catherine,

I am sorry to hear of your disappointment and my apologies for the late reply.

Non-qualification appeals can be very hard to win sometimes. As you will know Kings admits on score order and the last person to get a place allocated in March had a score of 229. Whilst each case is considered individually by the panel and the numbers of qualified appellants should not make a difference, experience tends to suggest that these appeals may be harder to win when a school has had to turn away large numbers of qualified applicants. There is also variation from year to year and from school to school - you may simply have had the ill fortune to get a tough panel in a tough year for that particular school.

Quote:
he has secure level 5 predictions in the SAT's for English, Maths and Science, was a member of Gifted and talented throughout Year 6, had strong support from the Head Teacher and class teacher at his primary school, has evidence of independant learning gaining certificates in IT and excellent school reports and testemonies showing that he exceeds in all areas of his school work.


This all sounds good but it is not unusual at all for Grammar school appellants to have 3 predicted 5s and the weight given to being Gifted and Talented may depend on the size and context of the school and which subjects were named. My guess (and it is just that - a guess) would be that the panel may not have felt that there was sufficient explanation for the low VR score or sufficiently strong evidence to address that specific area.

Quote:
I would also like to know if actually this decision was made before we had even attended the appeal hearing and whether or not it was a complete and utter waste of time? The representative from the school had no questions for us in the appeal hearing and actually told us our presentation was excellent.


Kings' appeals were criticised by the Ombudsman a few years ago and they changed from appointing their own Independent Appeals Panels to using the County's legal services. My overall impression is that these panel members take their duties very seriously and would not have prejudged your case without hearing from you. It is not unusual for the school's representative not to ask questions. They presumably had no reason to question the validity of your evidence and it is the panel's task to evaluate that evidence.

Quote:
Any advice on where we go from here would be gratefully accepted


There is nothing more you can do for this particular school for this particular year (unless as Etienne has said you are concerned about the actual conduct of the appeal as opposed to the decision). If you are within reach of any other Grammar schools it would be possible to apply and appeal again as each school manages its admissions separately so you can have as many "bites of the cherry" as you wish without the outcome of one non-qualification appeal affecting another.

It would be possible to apply again to Kings for Year 8 entry next year. This would mean a new test and most probably a new appeal even if he passes. You would need to evaluate your chances, but sometimes a year or more on as well as a pass there is solid evidence of progress at secondary level which may help. It has even been known for a non-selective school to write and support appeals for Grammar when they feel they cannot offer what the child needs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:13 pm
Posts: 26
First of all, thank you for all your messages and advice. Since receiving the news of the appeal result we have finally accepted that our son will not be going to a grammar school for now. We have carefully weighed the pros and cons of appealing in another area but have come to the conclusion that because he did not pass the 11+ we would not want to take the place of a child that did. I still firmly believe that he deserved and will in future gain a place at a grammar school where he will achieve his full potential. We will be entering him for the entrance exam and if he passes will appeal again for a place in year 8. For now we have to trust in the school he will be attending to keep him at the level of progression he is currently achieving. Something tells me this probably won't be true as his first induction day consisted of drama and 'street dance'. The grammar school children had an hour in the library and a tour of the science labs! Say no more.

Catherine


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 514
Hi Catherine

I know what you mean re induction days. My son had a weeks induction at the comp he has to go to and this consisted mostly of building a rocket out of a plastic bottle and designing a picture to put onto a t.shirt!!!! He was bored by the end of the week.


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