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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:26 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Rochester
Deep breath.

We live 7.9 miles from our closest girls grammar school. DD has passed test, but they allocate on distance FROM the school and have gone out to about 4.9 miles, so we haven't got a place.
We are 'in-county' but further away than many 'out of county' applicants. It is a historical problem for people living in a rural area like us that you just can't get in that school and have to travel further to the next girls grammar.

However, it's our favourite school so regardless, we put it #1, hoping that because of a freakish demographic dip in numbers, especially girls, we might just scrape in, but we didn't.

Apparently there are 12 girls who put it as 1st choice who have not got placed. PAN is 120, but not likely to be much movement on the waiting list.

So, we want to appeal. But people are saying to me, we knew the admission criteria, so how can we appeal? We know we live too far away so any arguments re transport will be disregarded?

Our appeal so far is as follows:
1. 1st choice (I repeat, just 12 over on 1st choice, I know one is NOT appealing, dunno bout the rest - they went 8 over PAN last year)

2. Public transport - we have neighbours who ferry their DD to this school every day and we plan to car share with them Alternatively it is a single bus ride, whereas the offered school is half an hour earlier (7 am bus) and a change of bus as well, although realistically we'd drive her of course (surely they know that!)

3. It's OUR closest grammar school!

4. Sibling link - they have a sibling policy and we'd like to have that security as our DD is 1st of 3 girls close together

5. Fabulous textiles offering compared to offered school - but how do I evidence this? DD loves fashion designing but atm it is limited to endless drawing of designs, should I attach any of these, dunno if they are particularly good, she just like it iykwim?

6. I know our Head is sympathetic to the 'cause' of this problem, and is trying to change the admissions policy for future years but this doen't help us this year - is it worth trying to get a letter of support from her? If DD doesn't get in then there will be no girls from the primary there this year whereas they do normally have a presence.

Is any of this ENOUGH? I think they are a maths specialist school, and DD is top girl in her class at maths, but results wise, both schools get pretty much same results..

I think about 4 out of 20 appeals got through last year but that would have included non quals....I just think we haven't got a prayer!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
people are saying to me, we knew the admission criteria, so how can we appeal? We know we live too far away so any arguments re transport will be disregarded?
They misunderstand an appeal. An appeal is not limited to the admission criteria - a panel is free to consider any arguments!

Quote:
1. 1st choice (I repeat, just 12 over on 1st choice, I know one is NOT appealing, dunno bout the rest -
Worth mentioning 1st pref., and how keen you are to get a place.

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they went 8 over PAN last year
At Stage 1 you can ask if there's any evidence the school couldn't cope with these extra numbers last year.

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2. Public transport - we have neighbours who ferry their DD to this school every day and we plan to car share with them Alternatively it is a single bus ride, whereas the offered school is half an hour earlier (7 am bus) and a change of bus as well, although realistically we'd drive her of course (surely they know that!)
You can try .....

Quote:
3. It's OUR closest grammar school!
Good.

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4. Sibling link - they have a sibling policy and we'd like to have that security as our DD is 1st of 3 girls close together
Probably not a strong argument from an appeal panel's perspective .......

Quote:
5. Fabulous textiles offering compared to offered school - but how do I evidence this? DD loves fashion designing but atm it is limited to endless drawing of designs, should I attach any of these, dunno if they are particularly good, she just like it iykwim?
I wouldn't attach them, but you could take them to the hearing and show them. Best to find out first if they're any good!

Quote:
6. I know our Head is sympathetic to the 'cause' of this problem, and is trying to change the admissions policy for future years but this doen't help us this year - is it worth trying to get a letter of support from her? If DD doesn't get in then there will be no girls from the primary there this year whereas they do normally have a presence.
A letter of support from the primary head could be very useful.
Quote:
I think they are a maths specialist school, and DD is top girl in her class at maths, but results wise, both schools get pretty much same results..
Worth a mention - ability in maths is the sort of thing the primary head could comment on.

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Is any of this ENOUGH?
Only your particular appeal panel can answer that! :)

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:26 pm
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Location: Rochester
Quote:
Only your particular appeal panel can answer that!



I am thinking it's not a terrifically strong case though? Should I omit the sibling thing?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:29 pm
Posts: 778
Location: East Kent
I think regardless of how strong you feel your appeal is, I personally would try. You will never know if you don`t.

We appealed last year ( different scenario ).......I have some stuff about the schools ability to cope with going over PAN and how in the years it went significantly over PAN they still got fantastic results.Therefore it did not affect the girls at the school.

I feel our letter of support from our HT helped us significantly at appeal, it also gave me the confidence to go in there and do it...as I KNEW she was meant to be there.

We also had lots of small reasons to appeal, like you have, rather than hanging it all on one reason. It is my personal opinion, in our case, this was a plus.

People will tell you the odds are stacked against you.....and they are, but they are at any appeal, not just yours.

These are just my personal feelings, I`m not an expert, and an appeal is a horrible experience, BUT there isn`t a day that I`m not glad I went through it.

Best of luck


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:26 pm
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Location: Rochester
Thank you so much, you must know exactly how I feel! (sick!)

What did you wear on the day (!!!)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:29 pm
Posts: 778
Location: East Kent
Mine was in July, I wore a t.shirt and an pair of linen trousers...... :D It was something I was comfortable in, didn`t need to be stressed about my attire as well. Take a bottle of water too......the water they had was warm :roll:

Its not fun, and there are no guarantees, but you will kick yourself if you don`t appeal. We were successful at the appeal we didn`t expect to be successful at ( IYSWIM)....

I also think, any child who has a parent who will go to these lengths for them, will be successful wherever they end up......because you believe in them...and they know that


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
I am thinking it's not a terrifically strong case though?
'Middle of the road', I would say. :)

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Should I omit the sibling thing?
I think so - I can't really see how they could give it any weight.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:13 pm 
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It has to be worth a shot! We had lots of grounds for appealing, including one main reason that we really thought would swing it - but, interestingly, it wasn't this reason that was given for allowing our appeal but one that we thought would not be considered as important! :? The main thing is to make sure that you can support everything you claim, e.g. a bus timetable showing the early start for the school offered, letter of support from primary school mentioning strengths that match the schools specialisms, etc. The sibling aspect would only be relevant if one child were already at the school.

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Marylou


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:30 pm 
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As far as the transport point is concerned i would concentrate on the ease of getting to FP - supply timetable, is it a free service? if it is your nearest grammar it should be - thats a financial issue fot the panel to consider. Of cource mention that the allocated school is more difficult to get to but that has to back up how easy it is to get to appeal school - not be a stand alone point. if you see what i mean.

And you have other children and a job! - you cant always be ferrying your dd1 to school - its important that she has an easy journey via public transport.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:57 pm
Posts: 1167
,


Last edited by Belinda on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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