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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:39 pm 
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I have an appeal for testing for the Bucks 13+ (late entry) next week because my DC did not receive a Level 5 in SAT's.

During the appeal, what questions can I ask the admission authority for refusing my DC for the 13+ testing?

I have a letter from the HT and school reports which show that DC is now working at a Level 5 in English and Level 6 in Maths.

When I present my case giving reasons as to why my DC child should be tested, what do I need to focus on?
I plan to focus on the fact that they have moved up from Level 4 to 5 in English and Level 5 to 6 in Maths, and that they are making progress. But I am not sure if that will be sufficient or more evidence or reasons are required to win the appeal?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Hi slough mum

I've noticed the lack of response to your question and I think it is indicative of a general lack of experience in this area. I can only offer my opinion which is not backed by personal experience. Academic evidence is all-important. Whatever you have to show that your child, despite not meeting the level 5 requirement at a particular point in time, has progressed rapidly and beyond what might have been expected from that date, is relevant.

First question though: Did your child apply to sit the 12+? From Bucks CC's web-page:

(3) If your child applied previously for Late Transfer testing for 12+ 2012 entry, and testing was refused because the academic evidence provided showed that the child had not achieved the desired level, then you will not be eligible to apply again for testing for 13+ 2013 entry.

(4) If your child applied for Late Transfer testing for 12+ 2012 entry, and was tested but failed to qualify, then you will not be eligible to apply for testing for 13+ 2013 entry.


If 13+ is the first late transfer application you are making, then it is the academic evidence that is the key. If your child is now (in year 8?) working at a level 5 in English and 6 in Maths, those levels may not be seen as good enough at this stage.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Slough mum - you need to show the 'non level 5' was a blip. Was the teacher assessed level also level 4 too?

Level 5 in Year 8 is a bit low so do you have other evidence e.g. CATs tests?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:08 am 
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The TA for English was a L4. Is it unlikely that they will allow testing?

I will be showing how DC has improved not only in Maths and English but in the other subjects too.

We didn't apply for the 12+ late entry.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:21 am 
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You would need to show not just improvement (over 2 years that would be expected anyway) but well above average improvement, such that he is now at a similar level to those who passed at the time and have made the expected improvement since. Moving from "Level 4 to 5 in English and Level 5 to 6 in Maths" in two years would quite likely not be considered enough progress to be considered on a par now with those who were at level 5 two years ago.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:38 am 
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Slough mum - I thought it might be useful for you to know where kids in the grammar schools are at in Year 8 - for comparison.

My DD is much better at the arts subjects - and is currently at 7b in English after 1 term in Year 8 . This is a high performance for her year apparently. She is in set 5 of 5 in Maths (its really not her thing!! - but is now in a set with similar level DD's and a good teacher) but is still at 6b. She was at level 5's for all subjects in Y6 SATs (not sure whether a,b,c - not sure they said! - and a level 5 in primary is not the same as a level 5 in secondary!) and passed the Bucks 11+ and started at BHS in Y7.

This may help to give you an indication as to whether the levels your DC has are sufficient - as others have said, a level 5 now is probably unlikely to be enough. Has your DC's levels been assessed recently - are you sure 5 is accurate?

Good luck in whatever you decide.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:24 pm 
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slough mum wrote:
During the appeal, what questions can I ask the admission authority for refusing my DC for the 13+ testing?
Don't!
It's not like oversubscription where there is some scope for querying the authority's case. This type of appeal is different. Whatever you think of them, the rules for entry to the late selection test are clear and objective, and there's no point querying them when they've been correctly applied.
You can of course ask the panel to take other factors into consideration (see below), but that should be part of your own case.

Quote:
When I present my case giving reasons as to why my DC child should be tested, what do I need to focus on?
Academic evidence, of course - and the more the better. The list given in B11 of the Q&As still applies, if updated where necessary for year 8.

Extenuating circumstances, if there were factors affecting performance earlier on which no longer apply to the same extent, and if recent progress has been encouraging.

Quote:
I plan to focus on the fact that they have moved up from Level 4 to 5 in English and Level 5 to 6 in Maths, and that they are making progress. But I am not sure if that will be sufficient or more evidence or reasons are required to win the appeal?
In the past decisions for this type of appeal have tended to be more generous than for other appeals - presumably because some panel members have taken the view "If there's some chance the child might qualify, then let the test decide!"
It's entirely up to your particular panel, though. If they wanted to, they could certainly justify turning down the appeal on the basis that level 5 English in year 8 isn't good enough.

When you say you're appealing for the Bucks 13+, it's not clear whether this is for the LA test or for a school test. You could try arguing that your son is much stronger on the maths side, but this will carry more weight for a school test (which in most cases won't be limited to VR). The LA test, as far as I know, is still VR - but even so you could try gently pointing out that it includes some numerical type questions!

We don't know just how supportive the current headteacher's letter is - depending on what it says, it might help influence the panel's thinking that entry to the test would be worthwhile.

In your summing up, I suggest that you:
    • gently remind the panel that selection is not an 'exact science'. The results of tests can be variable - at 11+ for example it is not unknown for the same child to score 112 and 120 on papers that are meant to be of the same standard
    • plead for your son to at least be given a chance, and "let the test decide"!

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:24 pm
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Thanks - I will do my best for the appeal this week.


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