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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:45 pm
Posts: 17
Hey there

This whole senior school move has really taken its toll on me, as im sure it has many.

I supplied my son's prefferances form by post as it had to be submitted to SENAR due to him being statemented, this was hand deleivered within the allotted time, however, this was outside the time for SENAR cases as the closing date was july and he was wasnt statemented until august, this however was confirmed to be fine.

I called my local LEA to find out in advance what to do if he did not get his first choice ie how to get on the waiting list. Whilst on the phone the lady told me she could inform me of his result rather than waiting for the letter, im so glad i said yes!

I was informed he was down for the local comp. i was shaking and very confused as he has been put on the waiting list for KES after a boarderline interview and has a good chance of being offered a place.

I was advised to call SENAR, this i did and they advised me to call the king edward foundation. I called them and they said they would send out his result and if i needed more information i needed to call the LEA again.

I called the LEA again they said they couldnt help further and to call SENAR!!!

i ended up calling LEA 4 times, SENAR 3 times and KEF 3 times!!! none of which was able to tell me if he had been offered a grammar school place.

Finally on my 4th call to the LEA the lady questioned me asking if he had indeed taken the test as there was no mention of him doing so on their system and that there were no other preferance choices on his file other than the one SENAR had asigned him!

To clarify: no matter what score my son got at the KEF exam or Handsworth grammar my son would not be offered a place due to the LEA not knowing he wanted to go there!

Since then i have spent endless time researching how he scored and if indeed he SHOULD have been offered a place.

KEF were very supportive and i have obtained his score (which opened a new jar of worms!) i have also today received his results for handsworth grammar.

His score at KEF was not sufficiant for him to get into the schools of our choice although i was advised to put his name on the waiting list for one as he scored 2 points shy of the cut off.

Handsworth's result confirmed his rank was sufficiant to be offered a place at the school.

So basically if SENAR had not made an administerative error the LEA letter would have read that he was offered a place at Handsworth Grammar.

I am now faced with the ordeal of having to appeal to get the place he was entitled to!

Further to this on seeing his results i was worried about the score.

My son excels in maths and has always been in the top groups all through KS1 and KS2, he is in the shcools gifted and talented group and is predicted the highest mark (level 6) in his SATs

His english even though still of a good standard is by no means as strong as his maths and is only predicted level 5. English is also a struggle as he has a language disorder.

His VR is somewhere between these and NVR is similar to maths level.

The scores are given as combined VR/English and conbined NVR/Maths.

This being said his english/VR score was higher than his NVR/Maths!

My conclusion is that something went wrong. We had tutored him prior to the exam not so much in VR etc but more so in dealing with the exam itself as due to his disability he can get himself into quite a stressful state when faced with something he feels he cant understand. (due to his language problems) after such a question it has been noted than subsequent questions although very simple have often been incorrect due to his lack of consentration in a stressful state.

I am going to appeal to the two schools we wanted on these grounds. I have spoken to his school and they have been very supportive, offering all the information needed to show his ability.

Can anyone please offer any advice for my appeals (all 3 of them!) as i cannot find any relating to birmingham on this site.

Also my appeal is partly based on his special needs as i feel they could have played a big part in this result.

I was also going to include as much information as i can about the KES result as i feel this may give more indication of his ability.

I am in such a bad way at the moment and i know i have a lot more to come but if i dont do this i know i will regret it later.

ty for reading all of the above (i appologise for the long post...it all came flowing out!)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1285
Location: Birmingham

I think you need to work through this one at a time. I have covered these below:-

Maladministration Issue
Concentrate on this first.

Firstly, I don't know the full process for CAF submissions via SENAR but it appears that they failed to correct forward your preferences through to B/Ham LEA. You say that if they had they had he would have been offered a place at Handsworth Boys Grammar. This appears to be a straightforward case of maladministration.

B/ham are normally very good in clear cut cases like that and it normally doesn't require go through to Appeal to get the place.

What you need to do first of all is to obtain clear evidence that this is the case. Firstly, I would contact SENAR again and exaplin that there appeasr to have been an administrative failure on their part and that you need copies of (a) the CAF from that you originally sent to SENAR and (b) A copy of the form they passed tho B/Ham LEA which should have your transposed choices. You need both forms to prove that it wasn't an error on your part. Most authorities and departments will hold these as scanned images so they should be able to produce them fairly quickly.

You should point out to SENAR that they have a duty of care to mitigate any errors arising as a result of their administrative errors - I would expect them to be able to provide this information within 24 hours by email.

Once you have copies of these documents as evidence, you will be able to go back to B/Ham LEA and demonstrate that there has been a case of maladministration. Once this is proved and accetped by B/ham they would normally reprocess your application and place you at the top of the waiting list which would virtually guarantee a place.

KE Foundation 11+ exam performance

This is more difficult.

Please read some of the previous postings about appeals for KE Grammars. Very few are successful and only in very extreme circumstances.

It's doubtful that the special needs argument will hold up because parents are given the opportunity to apply for more time etc but you missed the application dates for whatever reason.

They don't normally consider evidence of performance in other exams (e.g. KES) or classwork as it is strictly performance in the exam on the day of the test.

However from what you say, option -1 sounds promising at least

best of luck

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:32 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7031
They don't normally consider evidence of performance in other exams (e.g. KES) or classwork as it is strictly performance in the exam on the day of the test.
Just to add to Ken's excellent post that I think an appeal panel would probably be acting unlawfully if it failed to consider alternative academic evidence of high ability.

This is not to say that they couldn't give proper consideration to the evidence - and then come up with a 'tough' decision.


PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:00 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
As your son has a Statement of SEN you should check with your LA or with your local Parent Partnership Service what the appeal route will be if you have to appeal. It is usually to the First Tier Tribunal SEND rather than through the "normal" school appeal as the law governing children with SEN Statements is different.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:45 pm
Posts: 17
thank you so much everyone for your help.

i will keep you posted on how things go.

not looking forward to this....... the things we do for our kids! :) lol

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