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 Post subject: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 67
Hi,

I am submitting an appeal for a Trafford Grammar School. I've written the submission and got a very strong letter of support from our primary school head teacher but I just wanted to ask for a bit of advice regarding the Head-teacher's review.

In this particular instance all children within 12 marks of the pass mark are reviewed prior to the exam results being posted out which involves writing to the primary school head teacher and reviewing a piece of written work completed in the exam. In previous years the primary school has provided year 5 Sats results plus a written submission saying whether they recommend the child or not. This year they were asked only for the yr 5 Sats and the written work is reviewed.

So our situation is the we are appealing on Non-qualification (7 marks below pass mark). We have evidence of working towards high level 5's in Sats, possibly 6 in Maths, previous very high nfer scores and strong back-up that result did not reflect dc's high ability and potential. Our only extenuating circumstances are Dc's stress levels which were significant.We've also included some specific reasons why this particularly school will suit ( matching specialisms and strengths plus some social issues)

I am worried that the view will be taken that the head-teachers review was done, Dc was not considered worthy of a reviewed pass and therefore everything else is irrelevant.

I would be grateful if anyone has any views on this

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Quote:
I am worried that the view will be taken that the head-teachers review was done, Dc was not considered worthy of a reviewed pass and therefore everything else is irrelevant.
Not sure who's hearing your appeal. Just how independent a panel can be if it's appointed by the school is open to question:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15484&p=368526#p368526
The success rate of previous appeals might give a clue.

At least it sounds as if you won't be subject to the iniquitous 'fair, consistent & objective' test!
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b18

As part of its case, the school is, of course, perfectly entitled to point out that the testing procedure was carried out properly, including the review.

However, if the previous decision is just going to be 'rubber stamped' it would be very unfair, and there wouldn't be much point to an appeal.

You're going before an independent panel, and they really ought to take a completely fresh (and independent) look at your case. There is often evidence that wasn't available to the review panel, which can now be taken into account.

Good luck!

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 67
Many thanks for that Etienne, that makes complete sense.

The school in question is now an academy so are their own admission authority I assume. All the information for the appeal is sent to the Clerk to the appeal panel whose address is at the actual school which feels a bit strange in some ways.

I had a few more questions if that's ok.

1. On the appeal form there is a section that says
Quote:
I agree to waive a 10 day notification of my appeal date if necessary.
The only comment on this in the explanatory notes is
Quote:
In most cases at least 10 days notice in writing is given to parents before an appeal is heard. This is not always possible and parents completing the appropriate section of the appeal form can wave this notice.


I'm not sure what the implication of this is? It doesn't seem like something you'd actually want to do unless i'm missing the point.

2. I've read a lot of the great tips on the appeal section but I would still appreciate a bit of feedback on some points.

Academic evidence.
We have a very strong letter from the head teacher that mentions:
Quote:
I strongly support the appeal, immense potential, should have gained the qualifying score, year 5 sats as level 5 in reading, high level 5 in Maths, high level 4 in writing, therefore at least level 5 in all core subjects in year 6 including potential level 6 in Maths, GL assessment at the end of year 5 as 128 in Verbal Reasoning and 130 in Non Verbal Reasoning, plus successful passes in other GS entrance exams


Reason for underperformance.
Our DC simply underperformed due to putting huge pressure on themself because of a massive fear of failing. DC's ability to work to the time is what suffered as information we have shows clearly that a lot of questions just didn't get answered, very high % of those attempted correct though.

Reasons for wanting school
Match of specialism, especially languages and maths, peer group all going plus older sibling at school. Local school.

We were advised that we had to make sure we tried to get across the stress levels
as clearly this is not as clear cut as a mitigating circumstance as things such as illness or family problems but was a massive issue. As a result I think our letter is quite lengthy. How important is brevity in the written submission do you think?

I am reluctant to change everything now but wondered if it was worth adding a summary sheet at the front that puts the case very briefly and indicating in the supporting documentation the more lengthy explanations.

Any other comments you have on what I've put would be really appreciated, I need to send this off as soon as I can but I'm very nervous!!


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Quote:
All the information for the appeal is sent to the Clerk to the appeal panel whose address is at the actual school which feels a bit strange in some ways.
I agree that it looks odd, but see:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a33

Quote:
In most cases at least 10 days notice in writing is given to parents before an appeal is heard. This is not always possible and parents completing the appropriate section of the appeal form can wave this notice.
In your situation, I don't think you should - or need - waive your rights.

However, for in-year appeals where the child is out of school, and parents are desperate to try and get a school place at the earliest opportunity, they might be willing to waive their rights if it will help speed things up.


Quote:
Reason for underperformance.
Our DC simply underperformed due to putting huge pressure on themself because of a massive fear of failing. DC's ability to work to the time is what suffered as information we have shows clearly that a lot of questions just didn't get answered, very high % of those attempted correct though.
Quote:
We were advised that we had to make sure we tried to get across the stress levels as clearly this is not as clear cut as a mitigating circumstance as things such as illness or family problems but was a massive issue. As a result I think our letter is quite lengthy. How important is brevity in the written submission do you think?
Normally it's not necessary to write a lot because evidence is what matters - and the evidence should speak for itself.

If you write too much (unnecessarily), it takes the focus away from what really matters (academic evidence, for example).

What you've written above looks all right to me. If the panel want to know more, they'll ask at the hearing, and it's usually more effective if details like this emerge naturally as part of a conversation.

Quote:
Any other comments you have on what I've put would be really appreciated, I need to send this off as soon as I can but I'm very nervous!!
I do like the head's words "immense potential"! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 67
Thanks for all the help and great information on this forum, i've sent off my appeals submission but had a couple more questions

1. Representation

I've seen a couple of mentions on here about not using representation. I wondered whether it was a case of it as being seen as just a waste of money or whether it could be considered something that could seriously damage your chances. my DH is keen to use someone a friend of his used, successfully but i'm nervous of doing anything that could cause a problem.

2,. School reports
I didn't send the year 5 report as I felt the Head teacher's letter covered things like past levels, expected Sats levels and potential extremely well. The report show very high attainment but, in a helpful way, had constructive criticism in but I worry about putting forward something that might read negatively, especially when my DC has matured and come on dramatically since then

3. Single sex
We want our child to go to a single sex school, not for religious reasons but social ones. My older DC has told me of some worrying things regarding inappropriate txt and behaviour at parties etc that they're aware of and told me they're glad to be at a single sex school as it put some distance between girls and boys. There's been a lot in the press of late about all this. I haven't mentioned any of this in the appeal but wondered if this is something to raise to the panel as another reason for wanting a particular school or does it sound a bit bizarre!Please say so if it is I won't be offended!

Any thoughts would be really appreciated


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Quote:
I've seen a couple of mentions on here about not using representation. I wondered whether it was a case of it as being seen as just a waste of money or whether it could be considered something that could seriously damage your chances. my DH is keen to use someone a friend of his used, successfully but i'm nervous of doing anything that could cause a problem.
I do think it's a waste of money. If you have a good enough case, you'll win anyway!

I wouldn't say it could seriously damage your chances, but I believe there is some disadvantage. The 'atmosphere' will be different - more formal, less conducive to your 'winning over' the panel.
Of course, you might not win over the panel anyway - but your chances will be better without a third party intervening.


Quote:
I didn't send the year 5 report as I felt the Head teacher's letter covered things like past levels, expected Sats levels and potential extremely well. The report show very high attainment but, in a helpful way, had constructive criticism in but I worry about putting forward something that might read negatively, especially when my DC has matured and come on dramatically since then
The only thing that really matters is high attainment, so I wouldn't really worry about the negatives ('warts and all'). If there's an argument to be made about greater maturity and recent rapid progress, it's very much to your DC's credit, and the report might help make that point!

Difficult to comment further without knowing exactly what the report says.

One reason panels probably like to see a year 5 report is that they know perfectly well some headteachers' letters of support have been 'sanitised'!

Having said that, not everyone submits a year 5 report. Whether or not that matters depends on what the rest of the evidence is like, and whether the panel feel it's sufficient.


Quote:
We want our child to go to a single gender school, not for religious reasons but social ones. My older DC has told me of some worrying things regarding inappropriate txt and behaviour at parties etc that they're aware of and told me they're glad to be at a single gender school as it put some distance between girls and boys. There's been a lot in the press of late about all this. I haven't mentioned any of this in the appeal but wondered if this is something to raise to the panel as another reason for wanting a particular school or does it sound a bit bizarre!Please say so if it is I won't be offended!
At best the impact on the panel's decision is likely to be marginal. It's not an easy argument to make anyway, because you're unlikely to have evidence in terms of the benefit to your child, and might even come across as an overprotective parent!

I suppose if the panel were to press you, you could mention 'social reasons', and then reluctantly allow them to drag your concerns out of you. I'd advise you to keep your answers short and very low key!

Hope this helps.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 67
That is extremely helpful.

As regards the report I can send it via the appeals box for you to see if that's ok, I'd certainly welcome your opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:53 pm 
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I have emailed a copy of the Year 5 Report to the appeals box and would appreciate any views you have on whether this should be included in the appeal.

Thanks :?


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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The only cause for concern might be the achievement grade for the one particular subject you highlight.

It depends on the latest evidence. Does the head's letter make up for it? And is there any other supporting evidence (recent SATs papers, optional tests, school work) clearly showing DC is on target for level 5?

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Trafford appeal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:37 am
Posts: 31
I hope you don't mind but I have also sent attachments of my daughters reports. I was a bit unsure how many/which to send. I shall post the question on my appeals thread.
Thank you.


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