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 Post subject: Bucks Selection Review
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Like the majority of people posting I am hugely worried and looking for reassurance as well as any practical advice that can be given.

My daughter got 113 and then 119 just missing the pass by 2. Her predicted SAT's scores are 5A's in all areas of English and maths, in early October she was a 5c in writing and 5b in reading, 4a in Maths.

Her headteacher is giving her a 2 for academic and 1 for attitude and is very supportive, expressing his surprise that she did not achieve a comfortable margin in her score.

The afternoon of her second test she said she was feeling ill, having complained of sore throats and headaches in the from the first test through to the second test, but she was adamant that she was well enough to do the tests. We took her to the Dr the following morning who confirmed that she had been unwell but was clearly coming out of it then and did not need to give her any medication - we have asked if they are happy to confirm that she had been ill over that period.

In addition, I have been working incredibly long hours on a very stressful financial restructuring project, trying to ensure that 6000 people did not loose their jobs, this came to a conclusion within a couple of days of the last test, so our daughter also had to cope with me not being around very much and when I was work came home with me, bringing a stress level to the home not seen before and impacting our family hugely over the past few months, holidays without me, weekends working, work coming home with me. We made the school aware of this at the beginning of the project but did not raise it immediately before the tests - the CEO has offered to write explaining the importance of the work but more importantly the impact it had - should we include this in the review information and will it help give them an understanding that due to two factors she did not achieve the expected result.

We expect to include her school reports showing good movement through years 4 and 5, the school does not do any CAT assessments. We also intend to include her grade 2 music certificate and report.

Firstly under the new system which we are all struggling with, is this likely to be a strong appeal and secondly apart from using the letter template previously suggested is there anything else we should be doing or including?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:36 pm 
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It's a new system for everyone so I don't think you'll get a definitive answer, but my thoughts would be:

- good, strong SATs scores now and projected. These are the mainstay of your review and are very helpful

- good, strong recommendation from the HT, again, very helpful

- the illness might be considered if backed by a doctor's note but (and forgive what appears to be skepticism but is me playing devil's advocate!) it could be construed as a retrospective sicknote - sort of an "insurance policy". The guidance for the tests is clear that if you have any doubts as to your child's health, they should not attend school. Your daughter was ill for the week beforehand yet still sat the second test on the scheduled date? And if the scores are chronological, did better in this test than when she was fit and healthy in the first one.

- I don't think the work commitments are relevant. Hundreds of children sitting the tests will have had trying family circumstances around the time of the tests, with parents on shift work, long hours, parents going through redundancy, etc. I would consider that to be just life but maybe a review panel will view it more charitably than I do? It certainly doesn't seem to have adversely impacted your daughter's excellent school performance and unless there is evidence from the school that it had then it might be disregarded.

In my opinion, you have a good academic case which is the most important thing. I don't think the extenuating circumstances look particularly strong though.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Lucy02 wrote:
Like the majority of people posting I am hugely worried and looking for reassurance as well as any practical advice that can be given.
Not sure we can offer much in the way of reassurance - this is proving to be a difficult process for just about every parent.
I can offer some dispassionate comments about possible strengths and weaknesses in your case if you want them. (If not - read no further!!!)

Most of my comments relate to how I think an appeal panel might view the evidence. No one has much idea of how a review panel will work in practice.

Quote:
My daughter got 113 and then 119 just missing the pass by 2. Her predicted SAT's scores are 5A's in all areas of English and maths, in early October she was a 5c in writing and 5b in reading, 4a in Maths.
Good to see a borderline score of 119. 5a for English looks excellent. If maths was 4a in October, 'normal progression' would suggest to a panel a 5b at KS2 - but it depends what evidence the head introduces to back up a 5a. (5b would still be very good for appeal purposes.)

Quote:
Her headteacher is giving her a 2 for academic and 1 for attitude and is very supportive, expressing his surprise that she did not achieve a comfortable margin in her score.
A 2:1 ought to be fine for an appeal, depending on how the headteacher's overall recommendations are perceived.

Quote:
The afternoon of her second test she said she was feeling ill, having complained of sore throats and headaches in the from the first test through to the second test, but she was adamant that she was well enough to do the tests. We took her to the Dr the following morning who confirmed that she had been unwell but was clearly coming out of it then and did not need to give her any medication - we have asked if they are happy to confirm that she had been ill over that period.

In addition, I have been working incredibly long hours on a very stressful financial restructuring project, trying to ensure that 6000 people did not loose their jobs, this came to a conclusion within a couple of days of the last test, so our daughter also had to cope with me not being around very much and when I was work came home with me, bringing a stress level to the home not seen before and impacting our family hugely over the past few months, holidays without me, weekends working, work coming home with me. We made the school aware of this at the beginning of the project but did not raise it immediately before the tests - the CEO has offered to write explaining the importance of the work but more importantly the impact it had - should we include this in the review information and will it help give them an understanding that due to two factors she did not achieve the expected result.
With a score of 119 I suspect most appeal panels wouldn't be too fussed about extenuating circumstances. For an appeal my normal advice would be "Unless asked by the panel, don't even mention circumstances if they're not exactly compelling". (I note, though, that you're likely to have written evidence.)

Everything, of course, must be in writing for a review, and the review panel is said normally to require 'exceptional circumstances'. Like anotherdad, I have reservations - not least because of:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... aneous#e22

Practical advice, whether for a review or an appeal:
Attach letters from GP and CEO, but do nothing else apart from writing "Please see attached letters, appendix ......)
Understate the extenuating circumstances, don't overplay them.

Quote:
We expect to include her school reports showing good movement through years 4 and 5, the school does not do any CAT assessments.
I would have liked to see some alternative evidence of high level reasoning ability (as that is what the 11+ is based on).

Practical advice:
For an appeal, consider the possibility of an EP report.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... ication#b3

For a review there's not enough time.

Quote:
We also intend to include her grade 2 music certificate and report.
Panels routinely see grade 1 and 2 certificates, so it's the higher grades that are likely to impress (not least because of their theory content).

Practical advice:
It may not be worth including.

For an appeal, take it with you to the hearing in case a panel member actually asks "And what does your daughter do in her spare time?" (Again, an understated approach!)

Quote:
Firstly under the new system which we are all struggling with, is this likely to be a strong appeal
For an appeal, quite possibly - but it would depend on a number of factors:

    • how realistic the headteacher's overall recommendations are perceived to be.
    • how exactly the headteacher expresses the strength of the school's support: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b41
    • whether the school reports show high ability and real academic potential rather than just conscientious effort
    • etc.

For a review, no one can be sure.

Quote:
and secondly apart from using the letter template previously suggested is there anything else we should be doing or including?
Nothing really to add, if you've followed all the advice here:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... aneous#e32

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:03 pm 
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Hi Etienne,

The only other academic evidence I have is from her July school report which showed her reading age as 13.07 and spelling as 13.11 against her own age of 9.11, so almost 4 years ahead in both areas.

On the maths, I queried the jump to a 5A at the end of the year and her maths teacher was confident she would do it, so if the Head Teachers report does show a 5A rather than a 5B I will see if they will support increased jump with a side note to explain it.

Thanks for your advice, this forum is a great support.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7061
Lucy02 wrote:
The only other academic evidence I have is from her July school report which showed her reading age as 13.07 and spelling as 13.11 against her own age of 9.11, so almost 4 years ahead in both areas.
Worth a brief mention.

Quote:
On the maths, I queried the jump to a 5A at the end of the year and her maths teacher was confident she would do it, so if the Head Teachers report does show a 5A rather than a 5B I will see if they will support increased jump with a side note to explain it.
Yes, it would help, for example, if reference could be made to a recent optional SATs test, or if there were a comment such as "Year 6 work is of a very high standard and showing rapid progress. We are confident that X is now on target for a 5a in maths".

Quote:
Thanks for your advice, this forum is a great support.
Thank you. :D

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