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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:12 pm 
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Just wondered if you can give me some advice as I am beginning an appeal for my DD who scored 120/118 in Bucks tests. We are strongly supported by school, she has excellent reports and predicted grades ranging from 5c (Maths) to 5a (Reading and Writing). She was expected to pass. She also has a wide range of interests both in and out of school, is very young for the year (August birthday) which I don't believe is fully compensated for by the extra marks given, and was not given external tuition. I think we probably have a strong case, but I'm aware that with a score of 120, around 75% of appeals were upheld last year. I just wondered what kind of things are likely to cause an appeal for a child so close to the pass mark to be unsuccessful? Are there traps we should be avoiding? Also, how much should we be including in our initial appeal letter? Do I put in everything I want to say, and basically reiterate it during the appeal, or should I only outline my main reasons for appealing in the letter and then expand in person? This is all new to me as I was in the fortunate position of not having to appeal when my DS took the exam in 2008. Any advice gratefully received - I only recently discovered this forum and it has been a life (or at least sanity)-saver! Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Welcome!

Quote:
120/118 in Bucks tests.
Good scores! :)

Quote:
We are strongly supported by school, she has excellent reports and predicted grades ranging from 5c (Maths) to 5a (Reading and Writing).
I would suggest what matters is the range of evidence of high ability:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b11

Quote:
I just wondered what kind of things are likely to cause an appeal for a child so close to the pass mark to be unsuccessful?
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... aneous#e24

Quote:
Are there traps we should be avoiding?
Don't tell an appeal panel "She has a wide range of interests both in and out of school, is very young for the year (August birthday) which I don't believe is fully compensated for by the extra marks given, and was not given external tuition." :lol:

Quote:
Also, how much should we be including in our initial appeal letter?
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... aneous#e11

Quote:
Do I put in everything I want to say, and basically reiterate it during the appeal, or should I only outline my main reasons for appealing in the letter and then expand in person?
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15373&p=183804&hilit=long+short+presentation#p183804

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Thanks. I've had very confusing advice. Some people have told me ONLY to focus on her academic abilities, whereas others have said it's important to show that she is "well-rounded" with lots of other interests (and therefore potentially lots to offer the school). I've also been advised to mention that we did not have her formally tutored in order to show that her scores reflect her genuine ability. However, I suppose they have no way of proving that what I say is true in any case. Anyway, I've printed out the "Appeals against Non-Qualification" section to read more thoroughly before making my final draft.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:16 am 
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Quote:
others have said it's important to show that she is "well-rounded" with lots of other interests (and therefore potentially lots to offer the school).
Where do they get their information from, I wonder? - I heard many appeals, but never came across a single panel that allowed a selection appeal on this basis! :)
Have a look at the county's own guidance on selection appeals - I doubt that interests are listed among the criteria! http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/assets/conten ... t_2012.pdf

It's a very different argument from being 'well-rounded', but it would be valid to provide evidence of any interests of an academic kind and of such a standard that they indicate high ability. See the very end of the last paragraph but one in B37: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b37

It's just possible that a panel member will ask about general interests, in which case it's fine to respond. Usually, though, they're just making polite conversation!

Quote:
I've also been advised to mention that we did not have her formally tutored in order to show that her scores reflect her genuine ability. However, I suppose they have no way of proving that what I say is true in any case.
Exactly! :)
It's a mistake to say "My child was tutored" because the unspoken reaction is "but still didn't qualify?"
On the other hand, if you say "My child wasn't tutored," it will carry no weight because you cannot prove a negative.

Quote:
She is very young for the year (August birthday)
This would actually be well worth a mention if there is any evidence of recent rapid progress. It's not a good tactic to query or challenge the system, but a panel might be quite receptive to an argument about maturity, and "It's a pity the 11+ didn't come a little later!"

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Thank you! Yes, I did think that I'd have to word the August birthday argument very carefully, but I do genuinely believe in it as a valid point. I think my headteacher is going to stress the fact that she has noticed a big change recently in both confidence and maturity, so I think it will carry more weight than my saying it would. Thank you for your advice on the rest - greatly appreciated and will help me structure my letter. I do think we have a very strong case and would not dream of appealing if I thought she would not be able to hold her own in grammar school. I think I'm just nervous about the fact that, although roughly 75% of appeals with a score of 120 are upheld, that still leaves 1 in 4 which aren't - and since we're all on the same score, we must all have relatively strong cases. I have meeting with head tomorrow, so hopefully will feel more confident then.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:39 am 
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Quote:
we must all have relatively strong cases
I'm not so sure of that! :)

120 and 118 would beg the question 'Was 120 a fluke result?' ('Confidence intervals' show that this could be a possibility.)

Evidence limited to the curriculum where the most frequent comment is 'always works very hard' might beg the question "But just how bright? - Is 120 representative of the limit of ability here?"

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:10 am 
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Am feeling much more confident now, having spoken to Head. She has already given her a 1:1, has confirmed her predicted SATS as good Level 5s, also very high reading and spelling ages. She intends to write a letter in addition to the form she has to fill in and DD's current teacher and Yr 5 teacher are also writing letters of support. I feel that with so much positive evidence, we should have a very good chance of our appeal being successful (though there are, of course, no guarantees) and I know that, assuming our appeal is upheld, she'll cope absolutely fine at grammar school. I'll keep you informed! Thank you again for all your advice - it's been a huge help. Good luck to everyone else going through the same thing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:24 pm 
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We have just had Slough consortium results and DD has passed with a score of 116. Of course we're very pleased, and I'm hopeful that it will be enough to get into Herschel, which was our first choice. However, as we're not quite in what they suggest their "catchment area" will be, I suspect that she'll be competing for one of the 70 "rank order" places, so I'm not sure that this will be enough. Does anyone know what the cut-off marks were last year? Also, we are still going ahead with our Bucks appeal and don't know whether it's worth mentioning her Slough score then, as I'm not sure it will help our case! Are they likely to ask whether we sat the Slough test, during our appeal?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:41 pm 
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Quote:
we are still going ahead with our Bucks appeal and don't know whether it's worth mentioning her Slough score then, as I'm not sure it will help our case!
I very much doubt it will assist your case.

See also:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... laneous#e2

Quote:
Are they likely to ask whether we sat the Slough test, during our appeal?
Very unlikely - unless you were to say something that prompted the question.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Thanks, that's what I thought. I think we'll just stick to our original plan for the appeal, with the evidence we've already submitted.


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