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 Post subject: Do we have a case?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:13 pm
Posts: 3
Hello

Newbie here really need some advice.

Abit of background - my dd is 12 in may and already in secondary school year 7. Dh is in Raf and in december we were told we were moving from Oxfordshire to Lincolnshire. In January when we had finally been allocated a home address I started school applications and having trawled through ofsted reports applied to QE grammar school in Horncastle.

I had not realised until starting the application process and speaking to the school that 11+ tests would need to be taken. We agreed dates with the school to take the tests required. The first test which was VR on 25th Feb and second which was NVR on 4th march (last monday).

Got the results today and they were that she had not qualified. They were not keen to give me the actual score at first but I asked nicely and they told me that she had got 205 (pass mark needed was 220 - though im sure you all know this!)

The grammar school themselves seem keen for us to appeal when I spoke to them this morning they said she was a nice girl and would fit in well there.

I am getting to the point now!! Is the fact that she only had a few weeks to prepare and that we had to drive from Oxfordshire to Lincolnshire and stay the night before in a hotel to take the tests be considered enough of extenuating circumstances?? . The grammar school asked today for me to get in touch with her current school and ask for her levels as thats information that they dont have and said they are looking for all subjects to be working to level 5 which im sure she is..

The problem for us is that we move up there just before easter and need her to start somewhere on 15th April - the school have already said that the appeals board will not be until May so it looks like she will already have to start one school with the possibility of moving to the grammar IF appeal is sucessful and Im not sure I want to put her through that.. :(

Well done if you got to the end of this - any help or advice will be much appreciated :D


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a case?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Welcome! :)

owly wrote:
Dh is in Raf and in december we were told we were moving from Oxfordshire to Lincolnshire.
Appeal panels tend to understand the disruption faced by service families, and could be sympathetic!

Quote:
I am getting to the point now!! Is the fact that she only had a few weeks to prepare and that we had to drive from Oxfordshire to Lincolnshire and stay the night before in a hotel to take the tests be considered enough of extenuating circumstances??
It will certainly be taken into account. Only your particular appeal panel can say whether it's enough.

I think academic evidence is more important.
See:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b11

Do you happen to know whether they have any vacancies? (That could affect the sort of case you need to present.)

Quote:
The problem for us is that we move up there just before easter and need her to start somewhere on 15th April - the school have already said that the appeals board will not be until May so it looks like she will already have to start one school with the possibility of moving to the grammar IF appeal is sucessful and Im not sure I want to put her through that.. :(
If I were you, I'd get the appeal form in straight away. You can write on it "evidence and details of case to follow" if you need more time.

The point is - for an in-year application they have a maximum of 30 school days from the date they receive your appeal to arrange a hearing. Depending on when their holidays are, this takes us from today up to approx. 3rd May. Admittedly, they then have up to a week to give you the decision, but if you were to explain that your daughter is out of school, it's quite possible they will do all they can to get the decision to you quickly.

Good luck!

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a case?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Etienne wrote:
Do you happen to know whether they have any vacancies? (That could affect the sort of case you need to present.)


QEGS is not full in that year group so this will be a non-qualification appeal only :)

Quote:
If I were you, I'd get the appeal form in straight away. You can write on it "evidence and details of case to follow" if you need more time.

The point is - for an in-year application they have a maximum of 30 school days from the date they receive your appeal to arrange a hearing. Depending on when their holidays are, this takes us from today up to approx. 3rd May. Admittedly, they then have up to a week to give you the decision, but if you were to explain that your daughter is out of school, it's quite possible they will do all they can to get the decision to you quickly.


I think you probably need to take out the period between 27th March and 15th April for Easter holidays (only school days count for the 30 days) so you are probably looking at mid May. Decisions are sometimes given very quickly (next day or even sometimes same day) in Lincs though I am not sure about this particular school which I think still arranges its own appeals.

I would advise writing something very brief on the "Reasons for Appeal" part of the form, such as "We believe that x has the required ability for this Grammar school despite the fact that she did not reach the qualifying standard in the tests. Full details and evidence to follow." This is simply because I have heard of a form being returned to an appellant who had written "details to follow" as the School Admission Appeals Code says reasons for appeal must be given in writing (it was not an appeal for this school).

It would be be dishonest to say that this will be an easy appeal as 205 is a long way outside the range where non-qualification appeals generally have a reasonable chance of success. However, you have the advantage in Y7 that you should be able to access some evidence of ability which is directly comparable to the ability of the children already in the Grammar school. You should be able to get up-to-date curriculum levels from the current school and should ask the admission authority at QEGS to supply you with the average levels of their current Y7. Secondary schools almost invariably administer some form of ability test (often CATS or MidYIS) to their new entrants but these are purely to help the school set progress targets etc so the results are not reported to parents. You should be able to ask your current school for the results of the tests and ask QEGS which tests they administer and what the average attainment of the current Y7 was in the tests (there is a battery of them).

There are some Grammar Schools in Lincs which would automatically supply information about the attainment of their own school's cohort to an appeal, but this is by no means universal so you would be advised to request it well in advance of the appeal.

Good Luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a case?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:13 pm
Posts: 3
Thank you both for the replies

Yes I realise that 205 is out of the range - QEGS said that 215 or above has a better chance I was just hoping that considering she had a very short time to prepare some allowance would be made for that :(

I still dont know what to do will speak to DH about it tonight and decide whether we think its worth doing a appeal.


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