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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:15 am 
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hi like most concerned parents i have been surfing these pages looking for some reassurance since receiving my son's 11+ results on Friday.

He achieved a score of 118 on his first test and 119 on his second paper.

I had expected him to achieve a score around 125-130 as he has had weekly group tuition for a year and i am really puzzled as to what happened. I realise the panel doesnt like you to refer to additional tuition scoring.

So heres the scoop. I have an appt with his head tomorrow (teacher training day today school closed - brilliant timing!) and i am in nervous trepidation as to what advance score she will have given him with regards to the 1:1. 1:2 and so on. That will be either reassuring or depress me even more.

At his recent parents evenings he was a 4a for English (i think it might have been a 5) and 5a for Maths and performing at a level 6 for Maths according to his teacher.

I've seen for the 2011 appeals that if you scored 120 - 90% were successful
119 - 70% appeals were successful
118 - 50% were successful

I am hopeful pending his advance score from his head that its looking hopeful.

But, would the below be regarded as exceptional circumstances to support why he received the score he did?
His father and I split up 6 years ago. He spends his time 50/50 between both houses.
My 14 year old daughter i.e his sister voluntarily left her fathers care in January of this year and now lives with me 100% as she doesnt like his new wife and because he's not the most supportive of parents emotionally or academically. At best he could be described as incompetent and at worst negligent. My son still spends 50% of his time with his sister when he resides with me.
His father and his new wife also had a new baby this year at the beginning of April this year.
My son has unfortunately, been witness to his father screaming at me over a sustained period this year on the doorstep as he refused to make voluntary payments for his daughters maintenance and i had to report him to the CSA
His father refused to take him to his 11+ tuition even when my son was in his fathers care, so i would have to pick him up from his fathers house and take him/collect him even when he wasnt with me
His father didnt do any 11+ practice tests with my son, he only did any tests practice when he was in my care

The result of the above has been is:
my son asked me to take him to a therapist in April this year as he was distressed about his sister leaving his fathers home and the birth of the new baby
the week of the 11+ tests my son spent only the night before the second test with me and had been kept awake the previous nights by the new baby crying (his father refused to allow him to stay at mine as he is paranoid that i will make a CSA claim against him)
my son had due to the reasons above very mixed and confusing messages from his parents on his 11+ (diligence from myself and no care from his father)

Evidence of above:
I have asked his doctor to write a letter saying my son came to speak to her in April about his distress
I have asked my daughters school to write a letter confirming that she wasnt performing last year (i was called in Nov last year) and since Jan this year until now she is excelling in her subjects (i will in my appeal ascert that my son only stands a 50% chance when in his father's care and the correlation with my daughter is because since Jan she has been 100% in my care)
His father didnt even bother to send back his form as to how he wished to receive my son's 11+ results (the school obviously can support this)

Do you think that his father's neglience with his 11+ and general attitude plus new baby and sister leaving home plus supporting evidence is likely to be viewed as supportive to my appeal?
Is his Maths working at a level 6 and level 5's likely to help?

Sorry for long detailed question but i will be managing this appeal alone (obviously!) and i have no-one else to ask

Thx for your advice in advance and fingers crossed for his head's recommendation tomorrow


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:29 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Quote:
At his recent parents evenings he was a 4a for English (i think it might have been a 5) and 5a for Maths and performing at a level 6 for Maths according to his teacher.

That is encouraging, but you will need confirmation of all of that, plus of course the strongest possible support from the Head.

Quote:
I've seen for the 2011 appeals that if you scored 120 - 90% were successful
119 - 70% appeals were successful
118 - 50% were successful

We have no idea whether that pattern will be repeated under the new review system, but we can only assume that it is likely.

dcgshopeful wrote:
I realise the panel doesnt like you to refer to additional tuition

You have answered your own question in many ways. The official line is that the familiarisation process represents "saturation" preparation, and additional tuition is not required. As your extenuating circumstances hinge almost entirely upon his father's failure to follow through on additional tuition, they will unfortunately therefore not carry any weight.

Quote:
the week of the 11+ tests my son spent only the night before the second test with me and had been kept awake the previous nights by the new baby crying

This is possibly worth mentioning, but with no proof it is unlikely to carry a great deal of weight.

You need to focus very strongly on the academic case, and not the extenuating circumstances.

By the way, I have edited out a number of personal details from your post. Please remember that this is a public forum and anyone could be reading it!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:57 am 
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I appealed two years ago so went through the "old fashioned" panel process. There were some extenuating circumstances but honestly, they weren't particularly serious and nowhere near as distracting as those you have outlined. The panel were very considerate and questioned us sympathetically but it was very clear that it was the academic evidence that would decide the result. My child (at that time) didn't have the academic record required to merit a place at a GS and no amount of extenuating circumstances would have made up for that.

Your son's SATs scores look healthy, so you need to put them to the fore. As upsetting and distracting as life in a separated family might be, there are plenty of kids who won't have received extra tuition or support and encouragement at all, let alone from only one parent. The potential distraction prior to the second test is also a tricky one to argue; where is the proof and how come he performed better on the second test?

Good luck. From the snippet of academic evidence you have provided, it appears you have the basis of a solid appeal. Remember that the process is about proving your son's suitability for a GS. Don't fill your case with reasons why he didn't achieve the qualifying score.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:45 am
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Thank you so much for your feedback so far - i feel like i am going mad trying to process the best path through this.

To be clear the night before the first test and the 5 days after due to the child care schedule my son was at his fathers house he came back to me the night before the second test which maybe why he performed slightly better. However, he was exhausted from the preceding nights at his fathers house. Hard to prove I know!

Sorry for any confusion.

I'm only thinking of including any of the additional circumstances in case it proves to be the additional 5% that may push him over the edge if the decision is borderline. I've never ever played the single parent card before but i really feel he only had a 50% chance here with such a lack of support from his father. Appreciate some kids get none at all and thats also terrible.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:50 pm 
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Don't apologise, I'm sorry if my question seemed a bit blunt - when I appealed I went through all my points to see where they could be challenged or dismissed and it helped. It's the sort of question a panel might ask when they review your appeal.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Quote:
At his recent parents evenings he was a 4a for English (i think it might have been a 5) and 5a for Maths and performing at a level 6 for Maths according to his teacher.
When pupils have been performing well in school, the problem with extenuating circumstances that go back a long way is establishing any direct link with the 11+.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Hi Etienne and Sally-Anne

I just came back from my interview with dd'shead and I have good news and bad and some confusion - seems to be a trend :)

DD was given a 1:1 from the head and strong support so thats good. Head said out of 11 other pupils in his school only one other pupil was recommended a 1:1. So hopefully the head appears as credible. i.e not everyone gets given a 1:1.

The bad news is that DD on previous VRQ's from yr 3 to yr 5 received a score of 113, 118 and 109 respectively. His head wants to leave these out but isnt sure if it will look suspicious to omit them?

The so so news is apparently the review panel looks for a consistent academic track record from yr 3 to 5. You are expected to have acheived level 3s by the end of yr 3 and level 5's by the end of yr 5. DD acheived 3's for Maths and English but a 2 for writing at the end of yr 3 and level 5's again for Maths and English and level 4a for Writing. He is expected to acheive level 5a's for Maths and English by the end of yr 6 and a level 5c for writing. As i said previously he is working at a level 6 for Maths and is on the schools gifted list for Maths.

But, again his head isnt sure if a Grammar school would expect him to have better results for writing as a lot of their work is writing based. But, then maybe his overacheivement in Maths would counterbalance this. Thoughts?

I am also confused as why would a panel be looking at level 5 scores by the end of year 5 arent they looking for a level 4 and then level 5 at the end of year 6? As a level 5 is the maximum they can achieve when leaving primary school? Confused

Just as a footnote to my first comment the head said in 2011 those who appealed with a 119 score only 48% were successful. Now more concerned as i would have been more optimistic with a 70% chance and a 1:1 score.

Head also thinks he has good NVR scores but she needs to look them up.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:53 pm 
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dcgshopeful wrote:
I had expected him to achieve a score around 125-130 as he has had weekly group tuition for a year and i am really puzzled as to what happened. I realise the panel doesnt like you to refer to additional tuition scoring.


I am curious as to what/who made you expect a score of 125-130?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Quote:
The bad news is that DD on previous VRQ's from yr 3 to yr 5 received a score of 113, 118 and 109 respectively. His head wants to leave these out but isnt sure if it will look suspicious to omit them?
The guidance to headteachers states:
Quote:
When quoting any test batteries such as CATS all results should be included, please do not quote partial or selected elements only.
This appears to me to mean that if a child were to sit CATs - the three elements of which are VR, Q, and NVR - the head shouldn't just report the one or two 'elements' most favourable to the child!

Where there are completely separate tests (as in years 3, 4, and 5), arguably this might not prevent a head from selecting which ones to report. Of course, if the highest score had been in year 5, the head could very legitimately point out that he was providing the most up to date information.

Sometimes, in the past, appeal panels have spotted that different children from the same school appeared to have taken a different number of tests! They might perhaps have asked parents about absence from school - but a review panel will have no opportunity to question parents.

Quote:
The so so news is apparently the review panel looks for a consistent academic track record from yr 3 to 5. You are expected to have acheived level 3s by the end of yr 3 and level 5's by the end of yr 5. DD acheived 3's for Maths and English but a 2 for writing at the end of yr 3 and level 5's again for Maths and English and level 4a for Writing. He is expected to acheive level 5a's for Maths and English by the end of yr 6 and a level 5c for writing. As i said previously he is working at a level 6 for Maths and is on the schools gifted list for Maths.
Do you mean 'year 2' above?

Broadly I would agree that level 3s at KS1 (year 2) are an encouraging sign, but I would have thought there ought to be provision for children who make rapid progress later on in primary school. I've no idea how rigid review panels are going to be.

Quote:
But, again his head isnt sure if a Grammar school would expect him to have better results for writing as a lot of their work is writing based. But, then maybe his overacheivement in Maths would counterbalance this. Thoughts?
For an appeal, I would see this as an argument that a panel might consider. For a review .......... :?:

Quote:
I am also confused as why would a panel be looking at level 5 scores by the end of year 5 arent they looking for a level 4 and then level 5 at the end of year 6? As a level 5 is the maximum they can achieve when leaving primary school? Confused
Level 5s by the end of year 5 would be setting the bar very high, and on that basis the success rate for reviews would be much lower than for appeals! (And yet we are told the expectation is that a similar number of children will qualify through the review process. As with 'exceptional extenuating circumstances, it doesn't quite add up.)

Quote:
Just as a footnote to my first comment the head said in 2011 those who appealed with a 119 score only 48% were successful.
I've not seen that figure, but am aware that the overall success rate for selection appeals was unusual last year.

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