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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:13 am 
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Dear Forum members,

I wonder if any of you have advice regarding Bexley appeals. My DC has missed the required pass mark of 218 by more than 10 points. This is a significant shock for all concerned, as straight 3s for KS1, predicted to pass by school, G&T etc. I am told by the school they have never had a successful appeal so it is a 'non-starter'.
What are my options? Can I ask to see papers or request a manual re-mark? DC now tells me the 'rubber wasn't very good' and is concerned changed answers were not properly removed. (Great!)
There are also several mitigating circumstances, not related to exam on the day, but personal issues in the preceding weeks.
Can we appeal without support of HT?
Grateful for any advice out there. Thank you!
Edited to add that background information has been sent to the appeals box.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:46 am 
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Welcome!

Jaded parent wrote:
straight 3s for KS1
Good!

Quote:
I am told by the school they have never had a successful appeal so it is a 'non-starter'.
I'm afraid there are some parts of the country where appeals seem difficult to win.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/200 ... s.schools1
http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR ... ndex.shtml
(scroll down to the 'excel' version)

Quote:
Can I ask to see papers or request a manual re-mark?
There is no legal right to see the papers, as there is a specific exemption in the Data Protection Act. However, some LAs such as Kent are willing to exercise their discretion, and make them available for inspection. You could ask your own LA about this, and the possibility of a remark, to see what they say.

Quote:
There are also several mitigating circumstances, not related to exam on the day, but personal issues in the preceding weeks.
The extenuating circumstances look strong to me, but it would help if there is also evidence that school work deteriorated during this period.

Quote:
Can we appeal without support of HT?
Definitely - but it probably makes it more difficult, so your alternative evidence needs to be persuasive.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... rs.php#b11

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:14 am 
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Dear Etienne,
thank you for the welcome and the very thorough, speedy response - greatly appreciated!
I shall have a good think about the best way to proceed. I understand from DC that school work has not been at usual standard since return in September, so maybe a chat with the class teacher would be a good place to start.
I will keep the forum updated - hopefully my experience, although greatly unwanted, will be able to add to the mine of information on this incredibly useful site!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:00 am 
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Jaded parent wrote:
Can I ask to see papers or request a manual re-mark? DC now tells me the 'rubber wasn't very good' and is concerned changed answers were not properly removed. (Great!)
.


I know that in kent when you go and view the papers they have already been handmarked them for you. Occasionally discrepancies are found - as in the computer optical reader has not picked up all the "marks" made on the answer sheet.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:28 pm 
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We are Essex but . . .

At the school we appealed to we discovered there had not been a succesfull appeal in memory. The Presenting Officer had worked in admissions at the school for over 10 years and was proud to proclaim that he had never heard of a successful appeal.

At the very beginning of our presentation we referred back to the Code and appealed for Justice. Two of the panels were JPs and we could tell we struck a cord. We were careful not to criticise anything at all but we were in the position that the same exam and process is used by 12 schools and they had all had successful appeals. We were therefor able to say that the process was not faultless but that something different was happening at this school.

We asked questions and raised points about the exam on which DS underperformed and disturbance on the day. The PO had copies of the papers there and the panel were free to see them. This included the invigilators report with names of other candidates blanked out.

My final point - although not offered by Essex CC the Admissions Officer at CRGS did have our son's papers remarked prior to us appealing. This came about because we called to say we wanted to appeal and he offered to have this done first. So, even though it may not be part of standard process it is definitely worth asking if you think there was a problem on the day.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Thank you both for taking the time to post. I have already requested a meeting with DC's class teacher. I shall now contact the LEA and ask if the answer sheets are available for my review. It would seem that if they are, they are likely to be hand-marked before being made available to me.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Quote:
It would seem that if they are, they are likely to be hand-marked before being made available to me.
Not necessarily. That's how they do things in Kent. Other authorities may do things differently (for example, papers are not available for inspection, but you can pay a fee for a re-mark).

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Hearsay would suggest 'non-qualification' parental appeals have little chance of success in Bexley. In fact, the non-selective letter makes no mention of appeal, just a review ('in exceptional cases') that can only be made by Head Teachers. I am working on the assumption that there must be provision for parental appeal, although clearly not encouraged by Bexley, as they make no reference to it. Please will someone correct me if I am wrong!!
Also, will it be possible to get data from Bexley on the number of parental appeals for non-qualification in recent years, and number successful. I'm curious to know with respect to 'natural justice'. I am guessing this is a straightforward freedom of information request.
I am loathe to approach the LEA until I have my facts straight and all ducks in a row! If this is going to be a long and protracted process I want all my interactions with Bexley to be informed and professional.
Many thanks all!!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Jaded parent wrote:
I am working on the assumption that there must be provision for parental appeal, although clearly not encouraged by Bexley, as they make no reference to it. Please will someone correct me if I am wrong!!
You do indeed have a statutory right to an independent appeal. It's quite possible you will be notified of this after 1st March, when you hear the results of your school applications.

Quote:
Also, will it be possible to get data from Bexley on the number of parental appeals for non-qualification in recent years, and number successful.
You can indeed request information under FOI. However, you may well find that there are no separate appeals for non-qualification - in other words, qualification and oversubscription issues could be considered at the same time, in which case the only available data would relate to appeals for particular grammar schools. If these schools happen to be foundation or voluntary aided, then any FOI request would have to be made direct to them.

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Etienne, you are so speedy replying! :D

I was hoping that I could do one appeal, for non-qualification, asap. We know that the school we want is (as good as) guaranteed if we have a 'selective' decision. What I am not keen to do is make DC wait months before getting a decision on school. Also, if I have to appeal after March 1st, then effectively I will have to appeal for non-qualification and oversubscription, as I know the school we want will be at PAN.
This then suggests multiple appeals, because school choice 1, guaranteed with a selective assessment, may fail on appeal, so we would have to submit appeals for all grammar schools on CAF. Oooh I'm confused now!! What looked like a mountain to climb now looks like a whole mountain range.....! :(


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