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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:47 am 
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We will be appealing for JHG and SWB as we were offered our local comprehensive (we are OOC). My ds scored 140 in eleven plus and is on the gifted and talented register for several subjects. I am just trying to get my head around gathering evidence for the appeal which will mainly be around his academic needs matching the specific schools strengths and specialities. Could anyone who has appealed on similar grounds give me an idea of the type of evidence I can gather and what I should be asking his current school for.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:33 am 
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We appealed against oversubscription two years ago. The grounds on the basis of which you are appealing did not form the main basis of our appeal, but were useful in support of our argument.

It could be tricky arguing on grounds of specialism if the two schools have very different specialist areas and you get the same panel! Hopefully someone who has been in the same situation will be along with suggestions.

As far as evidence is concerned, you could gather together any outstanding work or achievements your son has provided in a particular area that matches the school's strengths, or evidence of any clubs or events attended, leisure interests, etc. (e.g. science, music, sport, favourite museums, or wherever the particular interest lies.). The primary school could help by mentioning these aptitudes in their letter of support, especially if your son is on the G&T register for any of them. We also included extracts from the school website and OFSTED reports to indicate the reasons why we thought the school would match our child's needs. Schools can vary in their provision for subjects such as science or languages, and it is possible to show this by indicating - for example - the number of students taking individual sciences as opposed to double-award GCSE, or the take-up level for foreign languages at GCSE. A high VRT score would also suggest that a child would thrive well in a high-attaining school with a strong academic ethos.

It is very important, though, not to be negative about the school offered if you do mention it or are asked about it. We were careful always to be positive about the school offered, pointing out that while it was good in many ways its strengths and specialist subjects did not cater to our daughter's requirements as well as the school we were appealing for.

Good luck!

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Marylou


Last edited by Marylou on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:38 pm 
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Thanks Marylou,

Yes the schools do have specialisms so one appeal will be a lot stronger than another I think. However the key is the extension capacity of both schools especially as they both have sixth forms. Our ds is currently doing year 8 maths work and the comprehensive offered (without being negative) does not have a sixth form and has limited capacity to offer extension in some subjects. Hopefully we can evidence all of this.

Is it a common occurrence or rare do you know to get the same panel ?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:13 pm 
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joop wrote:
Yes the schools do have specialisms so one appeal will be a lot stronger than another I think. However the key is the extension capacity of both schools especially as they both have sixth forms. Our ds is currently doing year 8 maths work and the comprehensive offered (without being negative) does not have a sixth form and has limited capacity to offer extension in some subjects. Hopefully we can evidence all of this.

The Y8 maths work and the fact that he is working at such a high level could be mentioned in the letter from the primary school, if you are arguing that the school appealed for will meet your son's educational needs. You should be able to find out what kind of extension facilities are available in the school offered vs the school appealed for. Anything you present needs to be fact-based and objective. If the "limited capacity to offer extension" is backed up by comments in an OFSTED report, for example, then that's fine but you also need to prove that the school you want can offer this kind of extension (e.g. maths clubs, subject-based visits and events, etc.).

joop wrote:
Is it a common occurrence or rare do you know to get the same panel ?

I know that the same panel has to hear all oversubscription cases for the same school, and I believe it is possible for at least one member also to appear on the panel for different schools. I expect they are supposed to treat each appeal as separate in its own right, but I imagine it might be awkward since you know that they know...if you know what I mean!

A similar situation cropped up last year but I can't remember who it was - have looked on the sticky but still can't find it. They won both appeals and were then faced with the problem of which school to choose! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Quote:
Is it a common occurrence or rare do you know to get the same panel ?
It's not impossible, but generally speaking it's unlikely you'd have exactly the same panel.

As Marylou points out, it's possible that at least one panel member could be serving on both panels, but she is spot on in saying "they are supposed to treat each appeal as separate in its own right, but I imagine it might be awkward since you know that they know... "

This happened to dejavu, and it did concern her
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=9205&start=20
(scroll down to "Two successful 12+ appeals for SHF and AHS")
- but the panel member in question clearly acted very correctly and treated each appeal strictly on its own merits.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:54 pm 
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I am not sure how I would evidence conversations I have had at the school with teachers. For instance one maths teacher informed me at the open evening that they do not encourage early entry for exams as there is nothing for children to do in lessons following exams if they do this. Compared to another school entering all the top set for an early exam so they would the start on as level. I have not seen this in writing anywhere so how could I evidence this.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:58 pm 
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How about stating - as the school does not offer examination past GCSE level and considering my son is already working 2 years ahead of age - there appears to be no way they can accomodate his needs to age 16 (maybe try emailing the school now to ask as they are your offered school how will they cope with his maths and using the answer as evidence if it makes sense).

I know what you are going through as we thought it would happen to us - son has just come top in the local maths specialist secondaries yr9 1/2 year maths test and been graded at Lv8a despite being in yr6 at a state primary and just doing 1 hr per week extension at the secondary 9which we are literally 6 inches out of catchment for) - luckily he has an offer from reading school


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:12 am 
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Hi, I won 2 Appeals last year and yes choosing was difficult, I let my DS chose and after being also offered a Selective place he chose the Comp over Selective and Grammar and is having a fantastic time, it IS however a great and very popular Comp.

With regards to your question about proving conversations with Teachers , I enclosed letters from my sons Head Teacher, Deputy Head and Class Teacher. Also his Scout Leader who is ALSO a Teacher. I pointed out that with his Academic achievements he would only be an asset to the School not a drain, and even offered to buy a chair if necessary.

I also quoted relevent 'Every Child Matters' points that were pertinent to my case.

I wish you all the very best of luck - its a horrible journey - but so worth it if you finally arrive at a positive outcome.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Also want to include in our appeal information the impact on our ds when we were overseas and he was not being extended. However we have little evidence of this as both my dh and are are from specific professional backgrounds so dealt with the issues ourselves rather that seeking outside help.

Will give more information in the appeals box. But the question is whether you should include anything that you can't evidence ?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:58 pm 
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I've seen the background information, and I think the answer is 'Yes'.

There ought indeed to be evidence where there is likely to be an expectation that evidence should be available. However, there will always be some situations which cannot be substantiated, and the panel will simply have to make a judgement about credibility.

If they accept what you say, they will of course then have to weigh up whether the case is strong enough to outweigh the prejudice to the school.

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