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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:29 pm 
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hello,

I went to appeal for sutton grammer school for girls as my daughter did not get a place after not doing well on the 11+. When the LEA person spoke introducing th e case she tried to make a point that they have previously let pupils in who did not attain the pass mark but struggled with the work. Later on, i mentioned that my daughter passed another 11+ exam, but did not get a place there and was allocated at a comp, the appeal board asked which exam was first, the sutton or the 11+ exam she passed. I said the sutton exam. then the appeal board asked "is it true that people take the sutton exam to prepare their children for other 11+ exams" as the sutton exam is very earliy in comparison to most school. the lady from the LEA replied, yes that is true.

just to point out, that sutton was our first preference.

will this have a postive or negative impact on the appeal?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:48 pm 
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Hi Sunny Jim

I really couldn't say whether it will have a positive or negative impact on your Appeal.

However, I personally think that the LEA reps agreement with the comment about people using the Sutton exam to prepare for other tests was very dubious indeed. On what did she base that? Does she have facts and figures that can back it up?

I also don't like the tone of her initial comment about children being let in on Appeal and then not coping. Very negative, and possibly prejudicial.

My view is that if the Appeal fails, then you should get the clerk's notes and see whether these comments had a significant influence on the outcome.

I will be interested in Etienne's views on this ....

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:58 pm 
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thanks for the reply.

she never quoted any fact or figures, just basically reworded what was said to give an answer it.

the main reason i mentioned that she passed the 11+ at another school was to prove that she is academiacally capable and that the poor marks attained for sutton may have been due her being nervous, and when i mentioned it the lady for the LEA gave me a bit of a dodgy stare and started flickng through her paper to see which school it was.

they also asked "what was my daughter reactions after the test???" why would they ask this??

also, The appeal board stated to me after i started speaking, we want to know why you think she diidnt attain the marks and nothing about previous achevemnts in school!? is this normal??


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:17 pm 
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Hi Sunny Jim

The first question about her reaction to the test is very much a standard appeal question.

On the second question, can you clarify for me that the panel member said "we don't want to hear about her achievements in school" or words to that effect?

Were you giving them academic evidence or talking about other achievements (sport, art, whatever) at the time?

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:42 pm 
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well, i mentioned i have books, and previous reports, etc. i also mentioned extra-curric activities she took part in as part of the school. leading on from this they then said we know that she is a hard worker, etc from what you have previously sent in and want to know why she didint attain the pass mark.

thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:57 pm 
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It sounds to me as though it was the extra-curricular stuff that the panel were anxious to move on from? That is generally irrelevant at an Appeal, I'm afraid!

If they completely ignored your academic evidence on the day, that is a different matter. You have a right to re-state the information that you have submitted to the panel in writing, no matter how boring that may be for them!

The insistence on knowing if there was a reason that she didn't attain the pass mark is also fairly common at Appeals. This is the minefield called "mitigating circumstances", and I am guessing that the panel were just probing for anything more that you might have had to offer on the subject. Parents commonly mention nerves, but as this applies to all the children, pass or not, it tends to be discounted by panels.

I'm sure Etienne will drop in before long to give us the benefit of her experience on the LEA reps comments. They are the part of your hearing that concerns me most.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:49 pm 
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I agree with all of Sally-Anne's comments.

Quote:
then the appeal board asked "is it true that people take the sutton exam to prepare their children for other 11+ exams" as the sutton exam is very early in comparison to most schools. the lady from the LEA replied, yes that is true.

It might be true that some people do so, but if these were the exact words used, then I'm not happy about such a generalisation. What is more serious, perhaps, is that it's not good practice for the panel to ask a "closed question" of this type, more or less deliberately eliciting an answer that is prejudicial to the appellant.

Whether the ombudsman would consider this serious enough to amount to an injustice is difficult to say. As Sally-Anne suggests, it might be worth trying to get hold of the clerk's notes to see whether any weight was given to this particular interchange.

"Reactions to the test" is a common line of questioning, and nothing to worry about.

I would be very concerned if you were prevented from saying as much about your child's academic achievements as you wanted to.

Regards

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:18 pm 
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ok, thanks for the advice sally-anne and Etienne.

would it be best to attain the clerks notes asap....or to wait after we recive a decsion.

what would i be looking for in the appeals notes?? :roll: it all new to me so i dont know what to expect if i take this step!?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:39 pm 
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Dear s_j

I'd wait until you get the result.

You would be looking particularly at the panel's deliberation which took place after the hearing. Did they fail to consider any piece of evidence which you regard as important? Did they do anything which might be considered unfair (e.g. attach undue weight to the LEA rep's generalisation about the other 11+)?

Have a look at this thread:
www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/ ... otes#30199

Come back to us if you need any further advice.

Regards

_________________
Etienne


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