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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:14 pm
Posts: 7
Dear Forum

Our identical twin daughters took the entrance exam for the King Edward VI grammar schools consortium of Birmingham in November. One has been offered a place at KEFW, the other has not. Both girls are very evenly matched academically. My daughter who was unsuccessful made a mistake on the verbal reasoning paper where she missed some questions, not realising until almost at the end of the paper when it was too late to make amends. She mentioned it as soon as she came out of the test. She was a massive 12 points off the mark to gain a place. Our daughters are devastated at the prospect of going to different senior schools and we are worried about the negative effect that this will have on them at such a milestone in their lives. We don't think we stand a chance at appeal but feel we ought to as the girls desperately want to go to the same school. My daughter who was not offered a place is achieving level 5's in her core subjects and the headmaster at her school fully supports an appeal and has offered to do what he can to do so. There aren't any mitigating circumstances other than nerves getting the better of her leading to a costly oversight. We know that she would do well and thrive at grammar school.

Any thoughts and advice would be welcome.


Last edited by Loulabelle on Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
welcome to the forum

There is an excellent Q&A section , just click on the banner at the top of the appeals page. It would be worth taking a look
there as a first port of call.

My sister has identical twins and they were in a similar situation ( although not for a selective school place). It was a very stressful time for them so I do sympathise. They successfully appealed , but it was very late in the day before they knew where they were going. I


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
Posts: 1161
have a read of this
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17870&hilit=twin+appeal


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:23 pm 
Do you mean 12 points off the Five Ways score or 12 points off the bottom score for Handsworth Girls'? It is is the former, then she must either have been given a place at Handsworth or is on the waiting list in which case you could possibly keep them together by sending both to KE Handsworth which is an equally good school.

If it is 12 point off the Handsworth Girls' and therefore about 24 off Five Ways, then she must really have missed a serious amount of questions out in the English paper to end up with 200. Have you asked to view the paper at all? This may give you some idea, at least, where the shortfall was, as in all over the paper or failure to do the whole of a section.

I am not sure the KE consortium are particularly impressed by Sats scores although a letter of recommendation from a Headmaster would carry some weight, particularly if it is from a state school because most heads don't tend to get involved in the process, being well aware lots of clever level 5 children don't pass the KE test. Indeed I am not sure heads are really meant to support you.

In theory, an argument would be that, being genetically identical to her twin sister and having had the same educational experience, you would expect them to be in the same ballpark. Therefore if the first twin is a suitable candidate for grammar school, as proved by her peformance in the exam, so is the second twin, even though she totally messed up a section.

I wouldn't normally encourage someone to appeal for the KE schools as the success rate last year was 3 out of 86 appeals pursued to the end point but I think you have as good an academic argument as most, although without the extenuating circumstances that is possibly the clincher for KE.

I would advise consulting KENR or indeed rebranding your subject as Five Ways plus score so it catches his attention because I think you need more specific advice on the KE appeal process.

I hope you do find a good resolution to your problem but I would not pin all your hopes on this very long shot.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Thank you for your replies so far.

She was 12 marks off the Five Ways score. We didn't apply to Handsworth. Coming under Worcestershire, we get to make three preferences of school rather than six under Birmingham. She met the entrance criteria for Handsworth and Sutton Girls. We didn't apply for them though unfortunately!!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:48 pm 
In that case, I would definitely discuss this with Kenr. I know he helped someone two years who was also in Worcestershire and couldn't put Handsworth Girls down. She ended up getting into Handsworth Girls' through some communication with Miss Insch, and, later this girl actually resat for and won a vacant place in year 7 at Five Ways.

Possibly, however, you have discounted the journey, but if not you could always send one to Handsworth and one to Five Ways, then hope a vacancy does arrive at Five Ways for which the other can sit.

Definitely contact Kenr, however, because he knows about this stuff more than I do.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Thanks again. What's the best way to bring this to Kenr's attention?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Hi Loulabelle

Sorry only just picked this up.

This occured a couple of years ago with Lottie's daughter. She lived in Worcestershire and hence only had 3 choices - she put down KEFW, Camp Hill Girls and the local Comp. Scored sufficiently high to get into KE Handsworth Girls but not Camp Hill or KEFW.

The route we decided to follow was to go via a late entry which eventually worked in about May and the child got into KE Handsworth. However I believe the parents lived near the Catshill and the journey was difficult. In the end the child wanted something closer and managed to get into KEFW via an open exam at the end of year 7. (But this may make it difficult for other parents to follow this route as the KE Handsworth head may be reluctant to support another late entry if they think the motive is to find a stepping stone for KEFW!)

To get in via this route you need to do 4 things:-

1. Firstly, convince yourself that your really do want KE Handsworth for your twin even if the journey is long and difficult. Please think through the logistics very carefully.
2. Secondly, if you have convinced yourself you want to try for KE Handsworth then you should contact the KE Foundation Office (and maybe the KEH Handsworth Girls Head) and see if they are prepared to accept a late entry. You should explain and make clear that you would have included KE Handsworth on you PAF list but were unable to do so because you only had an effective 2 choices for schools (you have to put the Worcs local catchment Comp 3rd or miss out). The KE Foundation are well aware of the issue as they have formally written to Worcs requesting that they increase the number of options to 6 - Worcs refused as they claim there was no demand!
3. Thirdly, having got the KE Foundation and School to support a late entry, you should contact Worcs Admissions and request a change to your PAF options to include KEFW 1st, and KE Handsworth Girls 2nd. If they refuse (which they will) you should explain (calmly) they you have been severly disadvantaged as a result of only having 2 effective choices on the PAF form. You can also explain that a precedent was set a couple of years ago in the same situation. If you campaign hard they may agree to a change an resubmit the PAF form as a late entry.
4. Having got them to agree to resubmit the PAF form with a change, you need to speak to the KE Foundation Office again and find out where you are on the Waiting list. You child should be very close to the top. (there may be other late entries as well). It's then just a case of waiting.

I have to warn you that if you choose to go through this process if will require a lot of effoprt and patience.

Don't do this lightly unless you really want to consider KE Handsworth!

Hope this helps

Sorry should add the the appeal route is probably not viable for KEFW as there are very few successful appeasl for KE grammars most years - only 3 last year. Also you can't appeal for a school that wasn't on your PAF list


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:31 pm 
I would also do it quickly while the main movement is going on in March and April, should you want Handsworth Girls.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
I do hope you get things sorted - what a pity having only 3 choices, and unfair when Birmingham has 6 and Warks 7.

I don't have twins (one at a time was bad enough thank you :D ) but my ds knows a twin at KECH, whose twin brother attends a different KE Grammar. It seems they have got on OK being separated (one lives down the road to CH , the other has more of a journey) and remain very close, and without meaning to sound harsh, I am sure yours will come through it, particularly if you can someohow get the second twin into KE Handsworth and she will also benefit from a Grammar education.

I also know a family where one twin got BV and the other, Handsworth Grammar (boys). They sent both to Handsworth in the end to be together, although to be honest I wouldn't have done that myself...but then I haven't got twins so can't really judge.

My eldest are pretty close, being exactly 2 years apart. I would love ds2 to get into CH with ds1 not just because of the shared experience, but the obvious practicalities too. But I have to accept that ds2 will get what he gets...I can do my best to support him but if he gets another KE Grammar or Bishop Veseys, I will be very happy for that.

I wish you the best for the appeal. It must have been devastating for the child to miss out questions like that by accident, and could happen to anybody but as you have heard, most appeals are unsuccessful and the best way forward may also be to speak with KenR about getting on the KE Handsworth waiting list asap.


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