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 Post subject: Kent appeal query
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:55 am
Posts: 2
In thinking about application strategies to grammar schools in Kent the following issue occured to me and I wondered if anyone has any answers or suggestions. I wonder if I am simply mistaken, here goes...

We have a couple of local grammars and our daughter who has passed the kent test would probably gain admission to one of them. Both schools are fine and consequently heavily subscribed. Our first choice is slightly further away than our second - the reason for our preference is solely a coed vs single sex issue.

So, to my first question, if we were to appeal against not getting our first choice how do other people rate our chances of success? Candidly, if I were looking at my own situation I don't think I'd have a lot of sympathy.. you've got a grammar, it's closer than the other, what are you worrrying about, don't you understand what other children/parents are facing, etc? I fear I would sound a trifle spoilt, neverthless, I would stress the coed/single sex issue is extremely important to my wife and I. However, it's an ideological issue for us, we have no medical or religious grounds with which to make a formal case.

Second question, this relates to a curiosity about the system. Consider the set up I describe above but in relation to a child that has not passed the kent test but is borderline. The same ideas apply, there are two local grammars and the preferred one is slightly further than the other. As the parent of the child with the borderline fail I still put down the same two grammars as choices 1 and 2. I know I will initially get rejected and allocated to a non-grammar school but intend to appeal when this occurs. The grounds for appeal now seem much stronger. I am appealing to grammar school 1 on the grounds that the borderline fail does not really reflect the ability of my child (presenting schoolwork and teacher's letter etc). Consequently, to be allocated to a non-grammar school would do a disservice to the child and instead they should be accepted to the first choice grammar.
Again, looking from the outside (or at least attempting to) this seems a much stronger case.

However, this represents a slight weird artefact in the system where a child who initially fails the kent test is potentially better served by the system than one who passes.

Is my interpretation incorrect or naive? I would be very interested to hear from better informed members.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:12 pm
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In an ideal world when you go to appeal the panel wouldn't be there to consider why you aren't happy with the allocated school, but why you insist the one you prefer suits your DD better.

If you are allocated choice 2 but appeal to choice 1 you will have to show why this school is the best and most school suitable for DD. School specialism's for example. A keen interest in a particular career, with attendance at clubs currently, which this school results show they out perform others in a key subject. There can be lots of reasons why a school is better, the single or co-ed thing is quite difficult because as you say tends to be an ideal scenario rather than something which will sway a panel. This would be exactly the same for a child who failed the Kent Test, the panel are interested in why this is the best school for DC rather than the one allocated.

There are lots of appeals for all the schools, it isn't only about gaining a GS.

Also think this would be better placed in the Appeals thread where Etienne and Sally-Anne could comment, perhaps it could be moved?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:15 am 
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Not much to add as Tracy has given sound advice as usual!

Quote:
I would stress the coed/single gender issue is extremely important to my wife and I. However, it's an ideological issue for us, we have no medical or religious grounds with which to make a formal case.
I agree this is unlikely to be a strong argument unless you can establish why it is so important for your child.

Quote:
However, this represents a slight weird artefact in the system where a child who initially fails the kent test is potentially better served by the system than one who passes.
The parents of the child with the borderline fail have two hurdles to overcome: first, non-qualification, second: oversubscription. I agree that, if they get over the first hurdle, they might be better placed than you with regard to oversubscription, but I don't see that as an anomaly. In my view a child who is deemed qualified at appeal deserves to be treated the same as someone who qualified via the 11+. The anomaly is arguably that the 'wrong' decision was made in the 11+, but because of the lateness of the decision, the child may well be at a disadvantage as most grammar schools might now be oversubscribed.

The focus at oversubscription should be on the school being appealed for, not on the school allocated or other possibilities. However, if the panel is minded to allow more appeals than it feels the school can cope with, it must then compare all those cases and decide which ones to allow up to the point where the prejudice to the school would become too great. I accept that, in this situation, the panel's sympathies might be with the parent who doesn't have an alternative grammar school or an an excellent comprehensive already on offer, or who hasn't got a good independent school lined up - but the decision still depends on the strength of the case as a whole, taking into account all the reasons put forward by the parent for wanting a place.

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 Post subject: Re: Kent appeal query
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:01 pm
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Hi Rob93

Both previous replies give you sound advice. We were in the position of having to do a 12+ oversubscription appeal - one gs (AHS) was girls only and the other (SHF) coed. We won the appeal for our first preference girls only. We were in the fortunate postion of saying that we really believed in the single gender ethos as we already had a sibling at a boys only school.

The main part of our case/cases you can read on the feedback sticky - but it hinged on the fact that our DS really wanted to be a vet, and that to achieve her ambition she would need to go to a school with excellent science teaching and consequent science results (despite the co-ed gs school having science status - the results for the single gender school were even better). We examined the GCSE and A Level results, and were able to point out this fact. Also, I used the paragraph from AHS's brochure, to state that is a well-known fact that girls achieve higher in a girls' only school (AHS's words - not mine).

But you have to prove why that particular school is so right for your daughter - if not science, is she good at languages, ICT, sports, drama - whatever the particular school you want her to go to excels in??? You must really back up your statements with facts. Feel free to pm me and good luck - although I know you are in very safe hands with Etienne and Sally-A.

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 Post subject: Re: Kent appeal query
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:01 pm 
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i too won an over subscription appeal using single gender as a point(at that time dd was allocated a mixed school) but also the schools specialisms fitting my child, and the point that their school was my dd's first choice preference.

my appeal is in he sticky too but i did use dejavu's appeals to help me with the content of mine. It is certainly all about proving why that school is the "one" for you dc.


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 Post subject: Re: Kent appeal query
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:01 pm
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Location: bucks
Thanks so much Tiredmum (not so tired now?) - as you know, so glad my experience helped you - and so glad that we both can help others following your fantastic outcome, even though it was all new to us, every little helps...... and we both want to put something back into the forum. x

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