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 Post subject: Mal-Administration???
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:35 pm 
Our appeal was unsuccessful.

My son had scores of VR 132 NVR 119 M 114 (Pass marks were 120, 120, 115 respectively).

Part of the appeal process was to send in to the appeal panal any evidence that we wished to be considered. For us, strong historical academic evidence formed the main part of our appeal, this was built into a letter from the Head teacher of his Primary School, which is a very high achieving school. There was also another letter from his form teacher giving a glowing reference.

When we reached appeal, the panel had not recieved these letters, therefore had not fully digested what being being said in the letters, and crutially had not seen the scores provided.

Luckily we had brought a copy of this letter with us, which we produced from our folder and the 1 and only copy was passed round the panel (who very briefly read it) - 1 Panel member then said "we cannot take these scores as we have nothing to compare them too" - Theser scores are NFER Scores and are highly recognised by teachers and heads alike. Again, luckily, the head teacher of the school we was appealing for was present and she quickly pointed out that an NFER score of 130 is considered 'talented and high achieving' and 98 being an average score - My sons scores over the last 3 years were all between 124 120 - WELL within Grammar standards. I'm not sure that what the head actually said sunk in to the panel, or that it was considered FULLY when the decision was made?

Now my point is, if the panel did not recieve this letter prior to the hearing (it was sent TWICE), and had to rely on 1 copy being passed around, with scores having to be explained to them by a head teacher, if that is not mal-administration, then what on earth is???

After having spoken to our local ombudsman, although very nice, he was not too hopeful on us having a case, although he has asked us to send all our papers in to him.

Our son missed 2 papers by 1 mark, and had a very high score on another, beating the pass mark by 12 - He has strong academic evidence supporting the fact he attains Grammar standards year on year, not if that does not go through on appeal, then i'd love to know what does. Out of 80 appeals for this School, 28 apparently got through. So do all 28 have better marks historically?

Without sounding a bitter hard done by parent, something is wrong with all of this.

I've also spoken to the clerk on the phone, and he sounded quite embaressed when he read out the notes, which was positive, positive, positive, but then after all the positive comments simply said at the end 'Despite this it is the opinion of the panel that XXXXXX will not cope with the rigours of Grammar School.

Totally puzzled.

We're now faced with a low achieving local Comprehensive, who's latest OFSTED report making grim reading. What a waste.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Quote:
Now my point is, if the panel did not recieve this letter prior to the hearing (it was sent TWICE), and had to rely on 1 copy being passed around, with scores having to be explained to them by a head teacher, if that is not mal-administration, then what on earth is???

I know it seems very unsatisfactory, and there is no excuse for such inefficiency. However, in terms of whether or not there was an injustice, I think it depends on how much information had to be absorbed at the last minute. A lengthy ed. psych. report, for example, would certainly have necessitated an adjournment. A couple of letters (if not too long) might not.

It's incredible that the panel did not appear to understand NFER scores, but the intervention of the headteacher prevented an injustice at this point.

Quote:
Out of 80 appeals for this School, 28 apparently got through. So do all 28 have better marks historically?

One would need to know all of the facts about the other cases.

Quote:
but then after all the positive comments simply said at the end 'Despite this it is the opinion of the panel that XXXXXX will not cope with the rigours of Grammar School.

This worries me most. A panel is entitled to its conclusions, but there should be clearly stated reasons to justify them.

I'm glad to hear that the ombudsman will be reviewing the papers in this case. It sounds to me well worth getting his opinion.

Regards

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:34 pm 
Hi North Kent Dad

I am so so sorry to hear the news that you were also unsuccesful. If there is any consolation, we are just about getting used to our unsuccesful appeal and having thought about the school our child will now be going (which is a local failing school with below average results, undersubscribed and nothing to sing and dance about this school) we are now thinking positive about the school. As Sally-Anne comforted us "cream will rise to the top" we are going to make the most of this school. We are having a parents and pupils evening at the school in July after which the pupils will be spending a day there. We have decided that we will get incolved with the school and guess what, my next door's son who turned 18 yesterday said that his friend (a year older) is going to Oxford this Sept having attended this school. This child is perhaps the only one going to Oxbridge after a number of years! So the school is not that bad after all! The Universities look favourably towards underachieving schools.

North Kent Dad, how did you manage to speak to the clerk? We are going to phone the appeal Unit office tomorrow, but please could you give us some clues?

I hope once you are over the initial shock, please do think positive for your child's sake.

:o


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:09 pm 
New Appeal Parent wrote:
Hi North Kent Dad

I am so so sorry to hear the news that you were also unsuccesful. If there is any consolation, we are just about getting used to our unsuccesful appeal and having thought about the school our child will now be going (which is a local failing school with below average results, undersubscribed and nothing to sing and dance about this school) we are now thinking positive about the school. As Sally-Anne comforted us "cream will rise to the top" we are going to make the most of this school. We are having a parents and pupils evening at the school in July after which the pupils will be spending a day there. We have decided that we will get incolved with the school and guess what, my next door's son who turned 18 yesterday said that his friend (a year older) is going to Oxford this Sept having attended this school. This child is perhaps the only one going to Oxbridge after a number of years! So the school is not that bad after all! The Universities look favourably towards underachieving schools.

North Kent Dad, how did you manage to speak to the clerk? We are going to phone the appeal Unit office tomorrow, but please could you give us some clues?

I hope once you are over the initial shock, please do think positive for your child's sake.

:o



Having read the latest OFSTED report today of the School he is now attending, I'm afraid I'm finding it hard to think positivley - In fact i've just seen that a school not far away who I presumed was not in our juristiction (sp), is, and has a glowing OFSTED report. The open day at the School he is going to worried me to be honest. Considering it's rural location there really is no excuse for such negligence in the running and especially teaching in our schools. There is also a specific comment in the report regarding behaviour and bullying. My son has come from an Independant school and class sizes of 12, so I'm really worried he is going to find the change in atmosphere and behaviour very difficult to handle - He's going to have to grow up and toughen up quickly unfortunately. If only he contracted a cold in January eh, he'd be in Grammar School now if so!

Regading the Clerk, I got his number from Grammar Schools PA to the Head. I wanted to speak to the head about the appeal, as we had a good chat with her outside the appeal room afterwards, and she was as positive as she possibly could - she even expressed surprise that we didnt go through on head teachers appeal, and that she was very positive that we would get a good result in this appeal. Obviously those kind words have made the bad result even more hard to bare....so if you email the School you appealed to they should have the number of the Clerk, he was very willing to discuss the case, although as I said what he said with the final decision didn't make any sense. I don't know your school but it could possibly be the same of you are North Kent as well?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:23 pm 
Etienne wrote:
Quote:
Now my point is, if the panel did not recieve this letter prior to the hearing (it was sent TWICE), and had to rely on 1 copy being passed around, with scores having to be explained to them by a head teacher, if that is not mal-administration, then what on earth is???

I know it seems very unsatisfactory, and there is no excuse for such inefficiency. However, in terms of whether or not there was an injustice, I think it depends on how much information had to be absorbed at the last minute. A lengthy ed. psych. report, for example, would certainly have necessitated an adjournment. A couple of letters (if not too long) might not.

It's incredible that the panel did not appear to understand NFER scores, but the intervention of the headteacher prevented an injustice at this point.

Quote:
Out of 80 appeals for this School, 28 apparently got through. So do all 28 have better marks historically?

One would need to know all of the facts about the other cases.

Quote:
but then after all the positive comments simply said at the end 'Despite this it is the opinion of the panel that XXXXXX will not cope with the rigours of Grammar School.

This worries me most. A panel is entitled to its conclusions, but there should be clearly stated reasons to justify them.

I'm glad to hear that the ombudsman will be reviewing the papers in this case. It sounds to me well worth getting his opinion.

Regards


Thanks Etienne.

The panals exaxt words were "We do not have anything to compare these too"

Obviously we were at a loss as to what she meant and were astounded she didn't instantly recognise the significance of these scores. Yes the head made her aware that SHE recognises the scores, but then it's not her who is considering these scores it's the panel, and the fact remains that they didn't.

Please give me your honest opinion on these NFER scores....

Maths - Yr 3 - 126 Yr 4 124 (80%) Yr 5 121 (82%) Actual 113
English - Yr 3 - 111 Yr 4 121 (84%) Yr 5 120 (79%) Actual (VR) 134 (NVR) 119

"Raw Score" (I do not understand or know what this means)

Maths - Yr 4 - 36 Yr 5 - 37
English - Yr 4 - 36 Yr 5 - 42


In your opinion, based on these scores alone, would you form the opinion that this child could withstand the rigours of Grammar School?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:51 pm 
my daughter had similar previous scores but did not win her appeal, in fact the 2 most unlikely children fro her school won. I think we need to know the full details of each appeal to be able to make judgement and also they can't obviously give a place to everyone who appeals. It is very frustrating and I do feel that in our case our appeal panel went on mitagating circumstances rather than actual ability. Even the headteacher apparantly is confused as to why the appeal panel picked the children they did!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
North Kent Dad,

Did you have good KS1`levels and predicted high level 5s? These might have been better understood by a panel.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:17 pm 
Guest55 wrote:
North Kent Dad,

Did you have good KS1`levels and predicted high level 5s? These might have been better understood by a panel.



Predicted SATS all Level 5 - This was all detailed in the Heads letter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:25 pm 
karen wrote:
my daughter had similar previous scores but did not win her appeal, in fact the 2 most unlikely children fro her school won. I think we need to know the full details of each appeal to be able to make judgement and also they can't obviously give a place to everyone who appeals. It is very frustrating and I do feel that in our case our appeal panel went on mitagating circumstances rather than actual ability. Even the headteacher apparantly is confused as to why the appeal panel picked the children they did!


It sounds like this is also the case - If my son had a Doctors certificate then I think he'd of been admitted. When a child misses the grade by 1 or 2 marks, but has previous high scores, sometimes its impossible to put a finger as to why, we had 2 mitigating circumstances of myself and his Mum splitting up (but 2 years ago therefore this was not considered) and also he was bullied (but not over the exam period therefore this was not considered) - So therefore with regarding ti mitigating circumstances, there was none to consider and we was denied a place. Seems like the Scores didn't come into the equation. If so, what a terrible way to do things?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Quote:
My sons scores over the last 3 years were all between 124 120 - WELL within Grammar standards. I'm not sure that what the head actually said sunk in to the panel, or that it was considered FULLY when the decision was made?

Dear North Kent Dad

If I had been hearing your appeal, I wouldn't want to judge it on the above basis alone. However, in response to your question, with nationally standardised scores in the 120s, an excellent 11+ VR score, and scores for NVR and Maths that are right on the borderline, I see no reason at all why your son couldn't cope with "the rigours of grammar school".

If your local 11+ has been specially standardised for Kent (as I would expect), then a direct comparison between the 11+ scores and nationally standardised tests is not possible. But that's a separate issue.

The panel had a duty fully to consider any evidence that you regarded as particularly important. If the clerk's notes show that they failed to do this, then I believe there are grounds for a complaint to the ombudsman, especially when this is linked to the cursory examination of the letters, and the panel's apparent lack of understanding.

The apparent absence of clear reasons for each individual panel member's decision suggests to me that the process may have been flawed.

Regards

_________________
Etienne


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