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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38 pm
Posts: 9
Morning everyone. This forum has been so useful - thank you to everyone who posts. It does help to know we are not alone. Here is an outline of where we are - any thoughts/comments very welcome.

Our situation - very bright child (aren't they all?) - completely crashed and burned at 11+ (111) despite having achieved level 5 Sats at end of Y5. Huge shock to everyone - expected to sail through SRP to get qualified with academic evidence. However, got refusal with letter stating "*** does not meet required academic standard".

Again, complete shock - decided to go with Upper School allocated (we are in Bucks) and took child to school tour whilst singing its praises, building up her motivation. Tour was good, very impressed with school - lots of talk from Y7 Head who took us round about G&T, top 10% etc as she was aware of child's achievements to date.

In car after tour, child told me "I won't be in G&T or any top groups in future - I am tired of being known as 'the clever one', tired of answering all the questions and tired of helping others with their work when I am finished. I am going to stay in the bottom groups in this school". I tried not to overreact but obviously was hugely upset.

Got home and spoke to husband about going for IAP despite our experience to date with SRP process.

Went for appeal, got case papers one week before the appeal hearing and found a small (very small, tiny font used) sentence in the clerk's notes from the SRP stating "inconsistent evidence". Couldn't understand this so went through every line or every piece of paper submitted at SRP and found the school had made a typing error on the Headteacher's Summary sheet (transposing child's results) which contradicted the evidence written - hence it was thrown out at SRP

Short IAP hearing - not rushed but didn't need lots of discussion. Academic evidence was clear of child's ability and we got letter shortly thereafter saying child had qualified and outlining the incorrect evidence which the primary school had sent in at SRP

Next day got letter giving us a date for appeal for place at GS as school now full - we have missed three allocation rounds so far

Next day got letter giving us information on where we were on waiting list for GS.

Telephoned Admissions team (who have always been so helpful, empathic and clear - I am hugely impressed with all the staff at Bucks despite this horrible process) and they emailed me after talking to them to state that "Child XX would have been allocated a place at the chosen GS at first round of allocation had she qualified earlier".

Looking forward to IAP hearing next week now - surely as school made the mistake it is reasonable to assume child should have qualified at SRP, therefore before first round of allocations and so we should have a place for her?

I understand completely that everyone has to go through the process fully to ensure a level playing field for all and that everyone has the same chance. However, has anyone thought through the sheer amount of time and work involved for parents who take this on? It becomes elitist in itself because it relies on parents having the nerve to go in front of an appeal panel, having the wherewithal to wade through all the websites, letters, information out there to know what is needed and, as said earlier, relies on parents having the time to do this?

Haven't thought up an alternative process yet but will work on it.

Anyone got any thoughts on our situation? Thanks for all and anything written.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Oh gosh. Yes I would feel like you. Hope you strike lucky on the day. It's a shame that the mistake was not spotted at SRP stage. Aaagh. What was the wrong way round? I'd be feeling very bad if I were your head.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38 pm
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Thank you for the support. The child's English is outstanding and her Maths is good (but not at same level as English). The headteacher put in the Nfer scores but transposed the English and Maths results so the written evidence waxed lyrical about the excellent English but the results quoted contradicted this. To be fair, even if the SRP guys had spotted it was an error they possibly would not be allowed to assume it was a mistake - they have to work with what they are given. From an equitable point of view we have to get the place - if the mistake hadn't been made we would have qualified before any allocations had been made.
Update - just got the case papers and it is the same panel we saw previously. This gives me hope ...... I will let you know how we get on.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:01 am 
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Fingers crossed!! But that is silly that they can't seek clarification at the review thingy. It shouts out as being two numbers put in the wrong columns.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38 pm
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Absolutely agree with you ..... even more interesting was the fact that the IAP guys had worked it out before we stepped into the room!

Trying to be fair for the SRP team in that they cannot make assumptions but it does seem silly.

Thanks for the good wishes - you will read about us in the papers if we don't get through!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
found a small (very small, tiny font used) sentence in the clerk's notes from the SRP stating "inconsistent evidence". Couldn't understand this so went through every line or every piece of paper submitted at SRP and found the school had made a typing error on the Headteacher's Summary sheet (transposing child's results) which contradicted the evidence written - hence it was thrown out at SRP
This is the problem with a desk exercise - no opportunity for clarification, no opportunity for questions to be asked.

Quote:
Looking forward to IAP hearing next week now - surely as school made the mistake it is reasonable to assume child should have qualified at SRP, therefore before first round of allocations and so we should have a place for her?
Do make that point to the panel. You should have a strong case for admission.

Quote:
I understand completely that everyone has to go through the process fully to ensure a level playing field for all and that everyone has the same chance. However, has anyone thought through the sheer amount of time and work involved for parents who take this on? It becomes elitist in itself because it relies on parents having the nerve to go in front of an appeal panel, having the wherewithal to wade through all the websites, letters, information out there to know what is needed and, as said earlier, relies on parents having the time to do this?
Appeals have never been easy, but this system is especially hard on those who do not survive the 'desk exercise'.

Sally-Anne and I have long thought that some parents (especially those in more deprived parts of the county) will be hugely disadvantaged by the complexity of the new process. Another blow against social mobility?

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38 pm
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Thanks Etienne. I am hopeful that we will get through this with a place for our daughter.

Having learned so much through this experience, I am considering becoming an IAP member as it is from inside a process that things can be changed (sometimes).

Our second daughter takes the 'all new' 11+ in September - let's hope I don't have to put my newfound knowledge and experience to the test again thereafter .............

I will repost when we have a result.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38 pm
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Hello everyone. An update after attending our (third step) appeal to get our daughter into our first choice GS after a typing error on the SRP meant we were unsuccessful initially.

We have now been through SRP, appeal for non qualification (successful) and appeal for over subscription as GS places all given away.....

This last part was very much more about legal and binding issues and will have an outcome whereas previously there was not really a tangible outcome "your child is qualified" doesn't necessitate any further action/change of direction from Admissions/appeals/School admissions other than putting them on a waiting list.

We felt much more intimidated by this last stage. The language used was quite formal, referred to 'best practice' guidelines and % capacity figures about classrooms/size of school areas etc. This is essential as the case for the school has to be clear but it is difficult to follow as a parent albeit a professional working person.

How many children have been blocked from this whole process as their parents do not have the necessary knowledge/skills/nerve to take this system on?

We have a strong case as the SRP was completed erroneously by the current primary school which meant it was unsuccessful. This is confirmed by the clerk's notes from the SRP and the IAP decision qualifying our child. We have written confirmation that, had our child been qualified before 1st March (ie at SRP) she would have been offered a place at this GS in the first allocation round.

However, despite my general demeanour being positive and upbeat, we (my husband and I) both felt that decisions had been taken before we even stepped into the room. The school's case for prejudice did not appear strong to us - more about inconvenience. Yes, we are not objective in this process but issues such as 2 sharing a desk is better than 3; lockers being in banks of 30 and the physical capacity of a classroom moving by 3% did not strike us as very prejudicial. The school's case was upheld - they were ruled to have proven that prejudice would occur should they accept any pupils above their PAN.

Our part was next to argue the prejudice for our child. We set this out in 3 areas; reasons why this particular GS was good for our child (using academic, music and other extra curricular programmes run by the school) as being best suited to our child's learning style, achievements to date, etc. Stage 2 was prejudice to the child - we quoted her comments after viewing the Upper School allocated ("I am not going to be in any top groups any more"). We also quoted the OFSTED report published yesterday which found that bright children in Upper Schools are not served well and are not achieving as they should be (65% of children who achieved Level 5 in Primary did not achieve A or A* in English/Maths at GCSE was a major key finding which is heart breaking to read!). Our child has just sat Level 6 SATS in the May exams. Third stage of our submissions was a summary - the mistake made by the school on SRP paperwork; the fact that it is confirmed our child would have been offered a place in first round allocation; the possible impact on the path our child's life will take if she is not educated in a grammar school; the fact that she articulated herself that she "is tired of being the clever one, of sticking out, of being asked to help others who do not 'get it'". Extremely tough, emotional and draining.

BUT, very glad we did it. Would do it all again tomorrow for any of our children who need us to fight on their behalf. It is part of our job description as parents....... all of you out there - go for it, do your best and, maybe due to the sheer cost and manpower involved in running these appeals, we will see an improved system in the future for our grandchildren.

Thanks again for all the posts, support, comments, info and everything else on this site. A huge help. We will let you know when we get a decision. BTW, we are in Bucks if you didn't guess already.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:52 am 
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 6:57 pm
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Hi Caropiano. Well done for going through all that. It is a nightmare for us parents. We may need to go through the same process for 3 schools - can't wait! I understand why the school wins its own case in the first section but think that it is still wrong. Even with what I now strongly believe is maladministration in the process, they will argue that the prejudice to the school of admitting all of the children at the oversubscription outweighs even any maladministration. I don't really understand why anyone bothers with the first part.

Hopefully your very strong case will have won them over in the second part.

I'll send you a PM as well, as our paths are very similar.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:38 pm
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A short post as I am still in shock...... we won! School case was upheld as being prejudicial to accept more pupils but our case outweighed it and our daughter has a place.

Will post more later but need to go away and breathe ........


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