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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:46 am
Posts: 3
Great to read all these possitive appeal outcomes. Only wish we had the same luck.
My son scored 120 in Bucks test (120 and 111)
Prepared well for the appeal, gathered as much evidence as I could.
Great backing from head, Academic potential 1, Attitude to work 1/2. Expected Sats 5/6 Maths and 5 english. Reading age 2 yrs above. Was able to take lots of school work as well. Also had two glowing school reports.
The panel at the appeal were nice and at the time I had no concerns. I decided the best policy was honesty, I had no idea why he failed to reach the mark, just nerves on the day.
When I left though I realised that one of the panel members asked me 3 times if anything was the matter with my son for the second test. 3 times I replied not to my knowledge, just nerves and that he found the second test slightly harder.
Was she trying to get me to say something was the matter????
Would that have made the difference????
Anyway, we were unsuccessful.
My question is now do I ask for a remark? Am I able to ask for one?
Have nothing to loose at all so feel may as well try


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Very sorry to hear this, Julie.
Quote:
When I left though I realised that one of the panel members asked me 3 times if anything was the matter with my son for the second test. 3 times I replied not to my knowledge, just nerves and that he found the second test slightly harder.
Was she trying to get me to say something was the matter????
She was obviously trying to understand the discrepancy in scores, but often there is no obvious answer. No test is 100% reliable for every candidate, which is why Bucks allow for two papers. Or it may be that your son preferred the type of questions that cropped up on paper 1.

Quote:
Would that have made the difference????
I can't be sure, but the reality is that you had only a shortfall of 1 mark to explain, so I'm guessing that the academic evidence may not have been quite strong enough.

The academic evidence you've quoted further above looks good, but an appeal panel will probe! I notice there's no mention of CATs or alternative VR scores. (Perhaps the school doesn't do them.) The 1:1/2 may not have carried so much weight if the head was over-generous with the school's recommendations. The school reports may have been glowing, but did they point to achievement not just above the expected level. but well-above the expected level?

All this is just speculation on my part, but more often than not the problem is with the academic evidence. You might be able to find out a bit more if you pay for a copy of the clerk's notes. See D4b:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman#d4
Bucks are very obliging if you write to the Appeals Team. See E14b:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... aneous#e14

Technically I think you may be too late for a remark, but you can contact Admissions (not Appeals) and see what they say.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12629

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Julie, and welcome!

Etienne has beaten me to it, but I will post my reply anyway, because it makes some aditional points that you might find helpful.

I'm sorry you have arrived here under such trying circumstances. I will try to explain to you where the problems might lie - I apologise if it seems negative, but it may help you to at least understand the decision.

Julie1970 wrote:
My son scored 120 in Bucks test (120 and 111)
The panel will have been trying to weigh up which score was most respresentative of his ability - or whether it was the average of the two, at around 115.

Quote:
Great backing from head, Academic potential 1, Attitude to work 1/2.
If the Head's recommendations overall were not great, this will unfortunately have counted against you. A panel expects to see a pretty high level of accuracy among the 1s and 2s.

Quote:
Expected Sats 5/6 Maths and 5 english. Reading age 2 yrs above.
Most children's cases will feature Level 5. A reading age of 2 years above is good, but not unusually so.

Quote:
Was able to take lots of school work as well. Also had two glowing school reports.
Was the schoolwork marked with National Curriculum levels, or similar? Do the school reports talk about high ability, or demonstrate that he consistently exceeds expectations? Unfortunately too many school reports (especially state school reports) talk about how hard working a child is, not how bright they are.

Quote:
The panel at the appeal were nice and at the time I had no concerns. I decided the best policy was honesty,
Good, and good again.

Quote:
I had no idea why he failed to reach the mark, just nerves on the day.
Unfortunately a lot of parents will cite this. Panels understand it, but they still need to assurre themselves of high ability as well.

Quote:
When I left though I realised that one of the panel members asked me 3 times if anything was the matter with my son for the second test. 3 times I replied not to my knowledge, just nerves and that he found the second test slightly harder.
Was she trying to get me to say something was the matter????
Would that have made the difference????
She was ensuring that you had every possible opportunity to state your case fully. It would not have made any difference if the evidence of high ability wasn't there. I have come across some very harrowing cases where the extenuating circumstances were huge, but they were unsuccessful because the evidence of high ability wasn't present.

Quote:
My question is now do I ask for a remark? Am I able to ask for one?
The deadline for applying for a remark passed in December. Also, it is very, very rare for a remark to change the final result.

What you can do is request a copy of the Clerk's notes. They might reveal the reason for the decision, although they often tend to state that a panel member felt "I do not feel that I have sufficient evidence of high ability to uphold the appeal". They will record some of the panel's deliberations though, and show you whether it was a unanimous decision or a majority one. You can find out how to apply for them here - Section D4: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman#d4

Otherwise, the next step is to consider the 12+ - information here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/school ... -procedure

I hope all of that helps you to understand more clearly the reasons that might have led to the decision, and what you can now do.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:46 am
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply!

So here is my second problem.

My son also failed to achieve the pass mark for Berks ( 105 )
The day before he sat this test he received the letter from Bucks stating he hadn't passed. He was under so much pressure now and I think it got the better of him. He was in such a state.
This appeal experience has put me off trying again though. Is it really worth trying to appeal this score?
I feel that I am letting him down if I don't but then also feel that maybe he just isn't suited to a Grammar school. I would prefer him to go to a school and acheive than to go to a school and struggle


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 9:39 pm
Posts: 508
I am feeling your anguish!

From what I understand the Berks appeals are even harder to win - and you are quite a way off the pass mark unfortunately. Even if you are deemed qualified you then have to get past the level needed to get the school you want - I am not sure how that works though - I know not everyone who passes in Berks gets a place though as some is done on score and some on score and distance. My DD passed Bucks but not Berks last year.

I guess you need to think about what the school is like that your son will likely go to if he has not qualified for grammar - you don't get a second chance for the Berks exams - but there is the 12+ for Bucks which he could do next year. As others have said in the past though - clever kids will generally do well wherever they go - cream rises to the top!

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:46 am
Posts: 3
Thank's for the advise

We have spoken about it and feel that maybe having a go at the 12+ would be better, then what's to be will be. It's very true though and I totally agree with you, if he is going to do well, he will do well whatever school he attends.
Who is it that really wants the Grammar Schools? The kids or the parents.........

Good luck everybody!


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