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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:40 pm 
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As it won't be long before we hear which GS our DD has been allocated, I wanted to try and figure out whether it would be worth appealing if we don't get her 1st choice place which she is v.v.v. keen on. If there is little chance then I will want to be prepared to make encouraging noises about any other she does get on allocation day.

Our closest GS is BGS and we are also in catchment for BHS although on the edge. Whilst these are great schools the one that suits her best is SWB. We are out of catchment for SWB (about 7ish miles away) but the performing arts status is what has captured our DD - she loves music, dance, drama etc - and I know she will be disappointed not to secure a place.

I know last year we would have been lucky enough to be offered SWB but this was an unusual year looking back historically. If this year we didn't get a place at SWB and we appealed, it would have to be on the grounds of educational reasons (I have read the Appeal Q&As) and I am wondering if appeal places have ever been awarded at SWB on the performing arts basis, despite not being in catchment? We would be able to gather a good deal of evidence based on her musical and dancing ability etc. from various sources but would this ever be enough?

I would rather now manage any expectations before results are posted......any advice / previous experience would be gratefully received.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Quote:
I am wondering if appeal places have ever been awarded at SWB on the performing arts basis, despite not being in catchment?
Very difficult to give a straight answer, Jules, because - even if someone has previously had a successful appeal on this basis - there may have been other factors in the case that helped sway the panel.

There are other variables -
    a) It's likely to be a different panel each year, and each panel could come to a different view about the strength of the school's case.
    b) Different panel members will have different views about what weight to give to being in catchment.
    b) The more appellants there are at a particular time, and the stronger their individual cases, the more difficult it could be a win an 'average' appeal. (The most compelling arguments tend to be social/medical.)

I do think it's worth trying an appeal on educational reasons, especially when there's a lot of supporting evidence relating to the school's specialism - but if I've learned one thing, it's that appeals are unpredictable, and no one should ever go down this route anticipating a 'win'. You're right to want to manage expectations!

I'm struck by your reference to "v.v.v. keen" - I always think it's a good idea at an oversubscription appeal to try and relay to the panel the enormous enthusiasm a child has for the desired school. And if this extends beyond the school's specialism to other aspects as well, so much the better!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:04 pm 
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Thanks so much for the advice.

Quote:
The most compelling arguments tend to be social/medical


What would be a social reason?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:21 pm 
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A couple of examples:

(a) The child has endured some trauma or tragedy. Needs the support of friends. All the friends are going to the school being appealed for, none to the allocated school. (Primary school confirms that this is true, and supports the appeal.)

(b) Persistent bullying (lots of supporting evidence with regard to frequency and severity). The bullies all attend the allocated school. The school being appealed for is the nearest or most appropriate alternative.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Oh yes, thanks - I can see they would be very compelling examples in an appeal. Nothing that applies to us fortunately so I think appealing on the educational basis would be a slim chance but still worth a shot as at least we know we would have tried.

Will definitely have to do some expectation management with DD.....


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Hi Jules 7

I saw that the first preferences for SWB were very high this year. We live even further than you so don't hold any hope ! (copied from the Bucks forum).

PAN 2011 2010 2009 2008


Sir William Borlase 120 134 76 110 128

We also wondering about appealing after 1st March but do not think we have any strong grounds.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Hi Joop,

Would you mind posting the link to the preferences - as I can't locate it and would be really interested in looking at it,

Many thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=18871

I will post it again as a new thread.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:14 pm 
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Sally-Anne,

Many thanks

Can I just ask, is there a rough guide to preferences for secondary schools for 2011 - or just the grammar schools?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:31 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
The numbers I have are for Bucks GS only and I assume that you don't have an interest in Upper Schools?


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