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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:05 pm
Posts: 13
My daughter has just got 116 /116 in her 11+.
We are intending to appeal on the basis of extenuating circumstances going on over several years including death of a very close family friend last October, diagnosis of breast cancer in her grandmother this August, hospital visits and scans before an eventual diagnosis of migraine which has caused her to miss multiple days of school. There are additional family circumstances which I cannot discuss publically but will email the appeals box regarding these.
In addition, in year 5 my daughter was the victim of bullying which was eventually sorted out by the head.
We have yet to speak to the head regarding whether or not he will support our appeal on the basis of academic ability, though her year 6 teacher told me at a recent parents evening that her performance at school was very good and that she had the potential to be exceptional.
Given that the extenuating circumstances have been going on for several years, it is going to be difficult to demonstrate a recent fall off in her academic performance, more a failure to reach her potential over time due to a multitude of events affecting both my daughter directly and the family dynamic.
I would appreciate any advice on the likely success of such an appeal and the best way to approach this.
apologies for the length of my post!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi daisymay

I read your post with considerable sympathy, and your email to the AppealsBox left me feeling even more sympathetic to your case. I have no doubt that an Appeal Panel will feel the same way.

Despite that, you have to demonstrate above all else that your daughter has the academic ability required for a grammar school. Mitigating circumstances can only go so far.

Please read the Appeals Q&As if you have not already done so, and post back to us the elements of the academic case that you might be able to assemble.

We will be here for you when you need our support.

Best wishes

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:24 pm 
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I too am so sorry to hear of all the difficulties your family have faced over the years.

I agree that an appeal panel will be very sympathetic, but will still need to be convinced about high ability.

As S-A has said, we need to establish what sort of academic case you might put together. For example, what were the KS1 results (assuming year 2 pre-dated most of the extenuating circumstances)? Do you have the results of any reasoning tests from school (as these tend to be less affected than curriculum work by external factors)?

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:34 am 
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I have searched through her old reports but can't find the KS2 results anywhere. KS1 was mainly 2s with the odd 3 and from memory KS2 was similar. I think we will be relying heavily on the head's assessment which concerns me slightly because we did not put the school fully in the picture regarding the extenuating circumstances previously mentioned so he will not have taken this into account.
There are some things which are difficult to discuss though in the interests of my daughter I now wish I had.
I wil be contacting the school today to arrange a meeting and will post again with the outcome.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:33 pm 
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2b is the average at KS1, so anything well-above average - such as mostly level 3s - would have been quite a good indicator.

The official KS2 tests are in the summer term of year 6. You might have been given the results of some optional KS2 tests, or 'working at' levels, but I was trying to avoid the period when there were a lot of family problems.

Good luck with your meeting at the school.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:23 pm 
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I met the head this morning who is supportive of our appeal. Our daughter has been predicted level 5 SATs and given a 2:1 score. He will give me the full report later in the week. He will be mentioning the difficulties we have had as a family and I hope this will help us to persuade the panel.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:29 pm 
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I have noticed that you often advise underplaying extenuating circs in the appeal letter. Given our history, would you still advise me to go down this route or should I push this aspect of the appeal a bit more?
thanks
Daisymay


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:02 pm 
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The key to almost every selection appeal is academic evidence, so extenuating circumstances are going to be secondary.

Decisions are going to be based mainly on the evidence that is available. It's my view that all the evidence (both academic + extenuating circumstances) can speak for itself.

I don't attach much importance to the appeal submission. Essentially all it need say is, for example:
    Please see:
    Appendix 1: Letter from GP
    Appendix 2: Letter from school confirming how my child was affected during the week/month of the tests
    etc.

By all means 'top and tail' it: "Dear members of the panel ...................... Thank you very much for taking the time to consider our appeal."

I would keep the presentation quite brief, and suggest its purpose is just to remind the panel what your case is all about and to highlight the main points in the evidence.

If the panel want or need to know more, let them draw the information out of you during the Q&A session.

That would be my ideal appeal. :)

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:54 pm 
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I got the headteacher's report today, as previously mentioned he has given her 2:1 and predicted 5Bs in KS2 SATs (she got 5C and 4A in the practice tests in May).
There are also results for NFER group reading test and H & S RPT5, I'm not totally sure how to interpret them but I think that one gives a reading age of 14:03 and the other 11:09 (vs a chronological age of 10:05) Is this good?
He has also given a strong recommendation for grammar school as well as acknowledging that our circumstances are likely to have had a negative impact on both our daughters (thinking ahead - I have another taking 11+ next year).
On this basis, we have decided to go for it.
Thanks for all the great advice so far.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:05 pm
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Another question has just occurred to me; the head made no mention of the bullying in his report. While I appreciate that it is difficult for teachers to act sometimes (one child's word against another's) the fact that I had 2 meetings with him about this shows that it was a major concern for us. It finally stopped at the end of the summer term, had it not then we would have been looking for another school for year 6 (though the panel will only have my word for this.)
Do you think it would be helpful to our case if I asked the head to mention the fact that I went to see him with concerns about bullying?
FYI this involved 2 ringleaders ( one of whom is very popular and charismatic and a former "BFF" of my daughter) and started with name calling, whispering in the playground and progressed to bullying by exclusion after they successfully managed to persuade many of her friends to ignore her. After my first complaint to the head, we even had an incident when one of the mothers spent the entire school production "staring her down" which left my daughter quite shaken and upset.


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