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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:04 pm
Posts: 7
We survived.... Well, to be fair, it wasn't nearly as scary as anticipated.

The panel was most sympathetic and seemed really to try to put us at ease. The chairlady introduced herself and then each panel member explained their background. They were all very experienced people who had been doing this for years and years and appeared genuinely interested in why we were appealing.

We had no question for the local authority chap and accepted his statement.

We then went through our prepared statement very carefully. We gave each panel member a copy of what we were saying as well as one for the clerk. They appreciated this and thanked us, and then followed our statement on the hard copies we'd given them. They underlined or highlighted most of it by the end, which we think was a good thing. It also meant they didn't need to be making lots of written notes or lose track of what we were saying while they were writing things down.

At the end of our statement, each panel member had the opportunity to ask questions. These were all very sensible, well thought-out and very similar to what's been discussed on the forum and what is available on other posts. We'll put a list of the questions at the end of this post for those who want them again.

Very interestingly, because we mentioned that our school had split classes in some years and we felt that this had disadvantaged our son to a degree, the local authority member then explained that this was necessary in our school. One of the other panel members then said that, in situations like this, it was impossible for a teacher to give the same level of attention to a pupil as he or she would in a single-stream class.

The whole process lasted just under an hour, but felt much quicker. They were pleased that we brought some school books in with us and spent about 10 minutes after we'd left the interview room looking through his work in great detail.

Oh, the interview setup was much more intimate than we'd imagined it would be. There was a narrow desk, about 60cm deep (as deep as an average kitchen worktop) with the three panel members on one side and us on the other. The clerk and the LEA chap were at either end. We were really close to the panel - that was nice in that it felt as if it was a really private chat, but made making eye contact with each member slightly trickier as you actually had to turn your head from side to side to see everyone!

All in all, it was a positive experience. Just how positive we'll be able to say once we get the results!

Fingers crossed,
Tuttermouse.

QUESTIONS ASKED TODAY:

What does he do at home?

What does he read?

Reaction on hearing result?

How did he react after each paper?

Why does he want to go to grammar school?

Any idea on career path? Some interest on this meaning he'd need to go to university.

Did you do any practice with him / did he have any coaching? Follow-up questions about what form this took, what we did at home with him in preparation, etc.

Does your son want to go to a grammar school?

Questions about our extenuating circumstances, esp how he was affected and how he felt about the changes. Asked what were changes to routine?

Why were some of his verbal reasoning scores at school lower than expected?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 77
Wow! an hour ... Well done, I'm sure you're glad it's over.
Many thanks for posting this in such detail; it is really good to have an idea what to expect - unknowns are often harder to deal with than any real situation, so much appreciated.
Will keep everything firmly crossed for you, and look forward to hearing your news.
Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:50 pm
Posts: 24
Thanks for this and I do wish you all the very best. I have mine next month and there have been all sorts of thoughts going over in my head - what's the seating like, how should I dress (too formal or not? and does it really matter how we appear)? So daunting. I'm still in the process of getting all his schoolwork together and your message was just so reassuring.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Thanks for posting this, tuttermouse. Could you please provide a report in the feedback section?
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=9205
(Appreciate you may wish to wait for the result.)

Just a few comments:
Quote:
We had no question for the local authority chap and accepted his statement.
This is probably the norm.

Quote:
We gave each panel member a copy of what we were saying
I would advise future appellants against doing this. A copy for just the clerk is fine.

Quote:
There was a narrow desk, about 60cm deep (as deep as an average kitchen worktop) with the three panel members on one side and us on the other.
The size of the table / distance from the panel probably varies, depending on which room you're in.

Quote:
All in all, it was a positive experience.
Pleased to hear that.

Quote:
Just how positive we'll be able to say once we get the results!
Glad you're not trying to anticipate, as it is impossible to tell, even if you think it went well or badly. See:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13216

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:24 am
Posts: 33
Just wanted to add a few comments here as we had our own on Monday- I will update in the other section once we have our result.
I was late going in- apparently the previous session ran significantly over- but I was assured that I would have as much time as needed. I think it lasted about 40 minutes. My experience sounds exactly like the one above in terms of set up. I found the panel to be very professional rather than really nice- and I prefer this! I know that in the Q&As it says that some people might be used to presenting and this could make it a bit easier at the appeal, but my job involves a LOT of presenting and I felt that all my skills deserted me because of nerves! Having said that, I didn’t feel like the panel cared about this- they seemed to be concentrating on the information.
There were some very difficult questions. One of them was as follows: “The EP report final comment says under recommendations that X wouldn’t need exam concessions” in other words- if no concessions are needed on exams, why should we consider the dyspraxia?- this was something I had wondered about, but due to the whole timing couldn’t manage to have the issue addressed. My answer was that I thought that this referred to general academic work, rather than the 11+, and I said that the report also indicated that on the 11+ in particular the EP noted that he didn’t feel it was an accurate representation of ability due to certain question types.
I had a quick chat with the LEA person while waiting for work to be looked at (this took about 10 minutes, maybe a bit less). I had wondered how many appeals panels hear each day- turns out six.
After it was over I felt a bit flat and negative regarding how it went. However, a nurse friend of me pointed out this was quite normal after a bit of adrenaline! Maybe this is why people tend to think it didn’t go well? I really don’t know of the outcome.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 77
Good luck global inc.
We too find our EP report a jungle of figures which we don't fully understand. If questioned I will be stumped I'm sure! We've gone ahead and chosen to use it because it seems relevant, but will not be able to repeat much apart from the conclusions that recommend DS for GS! So much wanting to get this over now. Another two weeks of nights spent going round and round in circles I guess, but the end is in sight.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:24 am
Posts: 33
Yes, it was difficult to know whether the EP would help or hinder; I considered leaving it out completely as the information was all new to us, and some of it doesn't look very positive. However, it did make for a clearer picture in many ways. I think it's difficult to create a holistic view of your child without it- especially when work can be quite untidy!
I do feel for you having to wait- I know that lurking around this site has been a great help to me in terms of seeing that I wasn't alone. Hopefully the postal system over here won't let us down too badly and our waiting will be over (either way) soon. And even a negative result with the appeal isn't looking too bad now that the hearing is over- it's just good to be able to start to look forward.
Best of luck for you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:35 pm
Posts: 58
I am with you globalinc and mrsmum- ours is next friday- the ep reports are greek to me and the dyspraxia issues still leave me tongue-tied as there are so few short answers to any questions about it. I could bore for england on the subject, but it is hard to be precise and pithy. We have decided to make the point that it it an essential context for reviewing his academic record (at minimum it explains the constant comments about untidy work), but also, as is common in dyspraxic children, it contributes to his high degree of reliance on routine and familiarity (hence the difficulty for him of big disruption to this in the week before the tests).

As a slight aside, we also did not request extra time (despite this being recommended by the ep) as DS frankly always finished practice tests in plenty of time and is so bad at checking his work in the spare time there seemed no point. I have however realised, having seen how much better he did in a recent entrance exam when extra time was given, that his school record may also have been impacted by not having this for school exams. It seems that if they are bright they largely compensate and it all seems like too much "fuss". In future I will be making more "fuss".

Globalinc good luck with the waiting- did you feel that the panel had a good understanding of the issues around dyspraxia?

cheers

RRR


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:40 pm
Posts: 46
Hi

Just a query about the paperwork. I have read on this forum somewhere before to take five copies for all the panel, but Etienne I see you are not recommending this, can you please just expand on why, as the previous poster seemed to think it had been a good idea and useful,

Kind thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:26 am 
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RRR- in answer to your question re the panel having a good understanding around the dyspraxia issue, I don't know. I do feel that the key points made in our own report (97th percentile for VR and the fact that the 11+ didn't represent this because it "meshed with areas of difficulty”) had not been read by this particular member as her reaction was surprised when I mentioned it- she really seemed to have focussed on the issue of exam concessions. But it is entirely possible that I misread this. Regardless, I would draw attention to the positives on the report, and be prepared to address any perceived negatives. Is it better to have the recommendation of "no concessions" as it shows that the EP thinks that the child copes fine in general, or not? I really don't know. In academic work, what is a few percent after all? But on a defining assessment such as this one, it makes all the difference.
I used exactly the same word as you have- context- and I think this is important. I didn't want to focus on the dyspraxia, I wanted to focus on achievement within this context and within our current schooling situation. Not a lot of time (other than this question) was spent discussing it. But, before we actually started, I was asked if I felt if DC had a disability because of the dyspraxia- I am not sure if this is a standard question. I said "no"- but in hindsight, I wish I'd clarified, even commenting "No, but I am sure that it affects work/this result".

Forgot to say two other things: if weather is bad, bring an umbrella- some of the rooms (such as mine) require a walk outside; also, the library is next door and has free internet access- if you arrive way too early, you can go in and kill some time. My nerves only kicked in as I sat for my (extended) wait- maybe better to keep busy!


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