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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:12 pm
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Hi
First apologies if I am not doing this correctly as I have never been on any 'forums' before.
I am in Bucks. , my child was due to sit VRT tests on 06/10/11 and 12/10/11. She was ill and not at school from Monday 3rd-Friday 7th October. I have GP letter. During this absence I liaised with Headteacher as my daughter missed 1st VRT. It was arranged that my daughter would sit her 1st VRT on Monday 10th and 2nd VRT on 12/10, I confirmed these arrangements at 2.30pm on Friday 7th October with the school, the test was agreed to start at 9.10am on the Monday.
My daughter went to school on the Monday expecting to do test, the school telephoned and spoke to me that day on unrelated matters. On her return home my daughter informed me that she had not had her test, she had sat worrying all morning and nobody spoke to her about it until 1pm when HT told her that she would sit it the next day 11th and then the 2nd test on the 12th. My daughter was extremely upset and demotivated, I spoke to HT who later discovered she had given the wrong information as tests could not take place on consecutive days. Tests eventually took place on 12th and 14th. HT gave reason that test not happened that she had to attend a meeting, had not informed anyone else at school about the test having been arranged, had not contacted anyone else to sit adjudicate the test and had not asked any member of staff to notify my daughter.
My daughter had been granted special conditions for the VRT tests due to a physical disabillity.
My daughter continued to extremely upset and demotivated during the week of the tests, she scored 111 and 115. In her mock tests she scored 64, 72 and 72 however the school failed to administer her special conditions correctly in any of the practice tests.
I have appealed my hearing is on Monday 30th Jan. very soon I know!!
I have letter of support from HT, she assessed her 2:2.
She is predicted 5b English, 5b Maths for upcomming SATS.
I have submitted supporting letters from Great Ormond Street Hospital regarding her medical condition, however she had a severe throat infection which stopped her taking 1st VRT.
My appeal is based on evidence to show current high level she is working (despite disabillity and time out of school for hospital appts etc.), that her HT feels that she is suitable for GS, and that she was unfairly discriminated against as the school failed to administer her test at the agreed time and date, failed to inform either my daughter or myself and then gave my daughter incorrect information leading to further distress.
The HT also states in her supporting statement that the school was placed in Special Measures in 2008 due to( among other reasons) 'falling standards and an unsatisfactory level of inadequate teaching'. The school has continued to be unstable since this time, she states that one of the key issues identified by Ofsted was' the lack of challenge in lessons for all pupils particularly the more able', she continues that this has particularly affected my daughters year group and disadvantaged them academically, and that despite this my daughter has made exellent academic progress that further demonstrates her suitability to GS.
Please can you advise me if this is my best course of action/ direction, I have had no advise regarding this and am obviously VERY SHORT OF TIME!!!
THANK YOU!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Welcome!

I am not sure if you have read the Appeal Q&As, but if not, please take the time to do so, particularly Sections B & E http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals

purplepanther wrote:
I spoke to HT who later discovered she had given the wrong information as tests could not take place on consecutive days.
At least she got something right! You need to break this saga down into a very brief statement, such as: "After missing the original test dates I am afriad my daughter was messed around quite badly by the school over dates and time for the new tests. She found this very unsettling."
If the panel need or want more information they will ask you for it. Has the Head recorded any of this information in writing?

Quote:
In her mock tests she scored 64, 72 and 72 however the school failed to administer her special conditions correctly in any of the practice tests.
The same papers are used every year, so the scores in themselves are not important. What is much more relevant is the fact that she was not given the opportunity to acclimatise to the adjustments as they related to this particular type of paper. If you look at the top of the Appeals section you will see a thread entitled "Appeals Box for confidential information". Please read the instructions carefully and then email us with further details of her disability and the adjustments that were allowed we can give you a better view on how the lack of proper arrangements for the familiarisation process might have disadvantaged her.

As her scores are going in the right direction "111 ... 115 ... ???" a panel might take the view that a further paper could have made all the difference. Provided you have strong academic evidence, that is!

Quote:
I have letter of support from HT, she assessed her 2:2.
She is predicted 5b English, 5b Maths for upcomming SATS.
Good.

Quote:
I have submitted supporting letters from Great Ormond Street Hospital regarding her medical condition, however she had a severe throat infection which stopped her taking 1st VRT.
Again, a single sentence about each, and no more. An appeal is not won on mitigating circumstances, it is won on evidence of high ability.

Quote:
My appeal is based on evidence to show current high level she is working (despite disabillity and time out of school for hospital appts etc.)
Do her school books demonstrate high levels of achievement? If so, take them with you to hand over at the end of the hearing.

Quote:
The HT also states in her supporting statement that the school was placed in Special Measures in 2008 due to( among other reasons) 'falling standards and an unsatisfactory level of inadequate teaching'. The school has continued to be unstable since this time, she states that one of the key issues identified by Ofsted was' the lack of challenge in lessons for all pupils particularly the more able', she continues that this has particularly affected my daughters year group and disadvantaged them academically, and that despite this my daughter has made exellent academic progress that further demonstrates her suitability to GS.
Again, it is a point worth making, but if the Head has already written about this, a single sentence to "remind" the panel will be ample.

My worry would be that you have a lot of mitigating circumstances and your case might drown in them. Please keep them to a minimum, and prioritise them very severely.

To my mind, the failure to administer the practice papers properly according to her needs and adjustments might be the strongest point of all, but I will wait to hear from you with more information about that, if you wish to send it over via the AppealsBox.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:12 pm
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Hi Sally-Anne
Thank you so much for your reply, I have sent the further details you requested to the Appeals Box.
Thank you for the relevant Q&A link, I have read those again with interest. I'll wait to hear back from you about the additional facts. Do you think the situation regarding the practice is more relevant than the situation of failure to administer the 1st test at the appointed time?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: Buckinghamshire
Thanks for your message.

purplepanther wrote:
Do you think the situation regarding the practice is more relevant than the situation of failure to administer the 1st test at the appointed time?
Yes, I do. The distress to your daughter cannot be proven (and could sound rather weak: "Oh, she was so upset ..."), and my concern is still the volume of mitigating circumstances you are trying to present. I would be inclined to stick to a firm, verifiable line of administrative failures, rather than throw emotion into the mix. If you are asked how she coped with all the problems, just say that it was all rather confusing and unnerving for her.

The Head has put in writing that the practice tests were not administered properly in several regards. Have you copied her written "confession" on the matter to the appeal panel in your evidence?

One point I am not clear on is that you say no adjustments were applied for any of the practice papers, but that seems to conflict with the problems during the rest break you mentioned in your message to the AppealsBox? If you could clarify that - either here or via the AppealsBox I would be grateful.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:53 pm 
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Thank you for your reply Sally-Anne!!

In response I do have written confirmation from the HT about problems in practice, how test did not happen and how further incorrect info. given to D. I have sent copy of this to Appeal Panel as evidence.

I am taking school books with me.

I have submitted YR 4 & 5 school reports.

HT summary states:.. would highly recommend D for place at GS. That D VRT score does not reflect academic ability and feels strongly that her academic needs can only be met at GS.

Am I right in understanding that you feel Parent presentation should really consist of 'bullet points' referring panel to evidence supplied and really inviting them (unspokenly) to question you on those points.

I have sent clarification of practice administration to Appeal Box, given that do you feel practices were maladministered?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Thank you for the clarification.

Quote:
In response I do have written confirmation from the HT about problems in practice, how test did not happen and how further incorrect info. given to D. I have sent copy of this to Appeal Panel as evidence.
Excellent. All you need to do at the hearing is "remind" them of it and lead them gently to the right conclusion.

Quote:
I have sent clarification of practice administration to Appeal Box, given that do you feel practices were maladministered?
Without a doubt, and what it all leads up to is that your daughter "had no idea what to expect in the real tests in terms of how the adjustments would be applied. Simply put, she didn't get the opportunity to familiarise herself with the test process that other, non-disabled children received."

That is pretty well all you need to say on the matter - they will follow up with questions if they need to.

Of course, it all amounts to discrimination (albeit inadvertent), but don't say that to the panel - allow them to reach the conclusion for themselves! If they ask whether you believe she was discriminated against you can say "Yes, I think she probably was".

Quote:
I am taking school books with me.

I have submitted YR 4 & 5 school reports.

HT summary states:.. would highly recommend D for place at GS. That D VRT score does not reflect academic ability and feels strongly that her academic needs can only be met at GS.
Good - I particularly like the last bit!

Quote:
Am I right in understanding that you feel Parent presentation should really consist of 'bullet points' referring panel to evidence supplied and really inviting them (unspokenly) to question you on those points.
Yes. They will have read the evidence very carefully. Your job is simply to remind them of it. They will be very grateful if you keep it brief! The most important parts of the appeal case are the pack of evidence and the questions. The presentation is usually a formality unless there is a key point that needs to be explained in more depth on the day.

I assume you have seen the overall Head's Recommendations in the appeal pack? How accurate were they? If you wish to post the numbers to the AppealsBox we can take a look at them. If they were very accurate then it is another string to your bow.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Generally the Head's Recommendations are pretty reasonable. The 3s are always difficult to get right. A lot of Heads will rate a child as a 3 if they think they might come close on a good day, so they don't want to leave them out in the cold in the event of an appeal. It was only the 2:2s that were something of an issue.

If possible, could you call to ask the Head whether all the children on 2:2 went on to appeal? If she is willing to disclose whether they have been successful, so much the better. If the others all appealed and they have won, you can make a very subtle reference to that because it would support the fact that the Head was virtually 100% correct as far as the 3s in her recommendations.

The only catch might be that on such small numbers, she might worry about you identifying the other children, but I do think she owes you a favour after all she has put you and your daughter through!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:12 pm
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Hi Sally-Anne
I shall speak to HT about your last points, once again thank you as I would never have thought of their relevance.
I have prepared the points to use for the appeal presentation, taking your advise. Would it be possible for me to send them to you via the AppealsBox as I would value your feedback. I have kept it brief and to the point but wonder if I have 'taken it back to the bones' a little too much!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:20 am 
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I will try to glance at it for you - I am a little rushed today, so I can't promise when it will be.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:44 am 
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Thanks Sally-Anne, I have sent it over. Any comments will be gratefully received as the appeal is on Monday.


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