Son sat the entrance test and missed the cut off by a half percent. It is a cut off and the letter was very clear that we won't be offered the place we really want in March so I'm starting to prepare for the appeal now. (Thanks to everyone posting here for such a wealth of good information).
He attends a small state primary with only 30 in the cohort and has been consistently outperforming the others. Arguably there is not much competition and the school put their emphasis into "narrowing the gap". He's done well despite
the school and not because of it. I asked the head if she'd back our appeal and got the reply:
"I am happy to provide any information or reference for [him] that <the school he wants to attend> may request. As with any secondary school, it is not the primary school's responsibility directly to back any appeal that the parents make, other than providing any requested supporting information which I am more than happy to do.
He has to be the least demanding child in the entire school and when we finally ask for help with something important we get a real jobsworth response. I can appreciate that it's not the school's responsibility
to provide a reference for a child but I don't think it's asking much for impartial feedback on our child. NOT getting her support gives a strong message to any appeal board that she thinks he is unsuitable. I'm a biased parent and may have overrated him but if so I would benefit from a straight answer so I can balance whether it is really worth an appeal.
Doesn't it reflect well on schools if their children go on to attend selective secondary schools? (… maybe not if their emphasis is on uniform mediocrity!)
Is this a typical initial response when parents approach heads and ask for support with appeals?
Do parents get the same response when they ask for help to get children statemented?
I thought it was best to have a rant here where it won't do any damage
and cool off before I go and speak to her but any ideas on how best to play this one would be appreciated.
... update to my own post ...
I drafted that yesterday but didn't manage to post it. I'd also tried to contact his Y5 teacher but she's on recent maternity leave and understandably a bit distracted!! She came back today to say she'd support us and to be honest I think she's much better placed than the head.
I would still be interested in knowing if others have similar experience when asking for support from their primary school.