S-A has beaten me to it, but this is what I've been writing -
We can't form our own view about your chances without a lot of academic information. I thought you might not have seen the Q&As because your opening post was mostly about extenuating circumstances.
Am I right in thinking that the only real route open to us is the academic one?
Absolutely! From the Q&As:
Is the overall academic evidence sufficiently compelling to indicate the child ought to have achieved a pass mark under normal circumstances? (The more indicators of very high ability, the better, as one bit of evidence is unlikely to be sufficient.)
"Billy’s appeal": http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... aneous#e25
"If you had read our initial speech you would see why, we were over emphasising his mitigating circumstances and not concentrating on putting enough by academic evidence. Once we had read your Q & A’s we soon changed that, a fact we are truly grateful for."
She has always been above average
The issue is going to be how far above average!
I am also confused about the heads ranking as I have seen reference to 2;2 or 1:1 rankings. Does the head have to rank her 1;1 for us to be in with any reasonable chance?
No! From the Q&As:
"My son has a ‘3’ recommendation for academic potential. In your experience do you think it is going to be a major issue?" - Well, it’s an issue. Certainly panels like to see a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ – or a good explanation why not.
I mentioned this to the head and he commented that if she was well enough for school then she was well enough for the test
This was the correct advice.
After the first test she complained that the boy opposite her muttered all the way through and the second one she said she needed the toilet halfway through but didn't want to go and waste time!
I sympathise, but difficult to prove these things, and how much she was affected by them.
I am hoping to get the heads support for an appeal but wonder if I am wasting my time as her scores are quite low
Based on last year's statistics (which are in the Q&As) the chances of success with 116 are on average around 22%. It all depends on what sort of academic case you can put togther, however!
and we have no other extenuating circumstances- except illness which seems quite weak as we sent her to school.
Our clear advice in the Q&As is to keep the focus as far as possible on the academic side of things.
If your extenuating circumstances are not too strong (in the sense that there isn’t any evidence at all to show that your child was affected), the best you can do is to appear reluctant to ‘offer excuses’, to let the panel drag the information out of you bit by bit, if the opportunity arises, rather than to build it up as a major issue. Understate the point, don’t overstate it, or you risk diluting your case as a whole.