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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:24 am 
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Hi, We are after some advice please.

We are trying to transfer our son from our catchment state school into the local Lincolnshire Grammar school. He is currently in Y8.

He has sat and passed the exams, but we have had the standard rejection letter on the basis that they are already over their PAN for the year. We were expecting this and knew we would need to appeal. We are now preparing our appeal case.

Our case centres on our strong belief that our son is struggling to reach anywhere near his potential in the laid-back environment of his current school where he is not pushed and the culture and peer-pressure does not support a pupil to be self-motivated and push themselves. We also believe our son is particularly distracted by the social pressures to conform of a mixed gender school.

Despite constructive discussions with his current school pre-Christmas, when I have asked for a letter or similar in support of our son's case, they have declined and even when I appealed for their support it was not forthcoming.

This leaves us with a problem. We can articulate our case very clearly ourselves but I am conscious that it is the opinion of his parents. We appreciate the emphasis placed on independent evidence to support a case. In the absence of support from his current school, we are at a loss where to obtain an independent statement.

In summary:-
- what are peoples thoughts on the extent to which our case is weaken by strong reliance on statements from us as parents?
- any thoughts on credible alternative sources of an independent statement in support?

Thanks for any thoughts and ideas...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:53 am 
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Hi i have been through the appeal process in another region but for a Yr7 place.

My guess might be that you would need to show DS was making good progress up to Yr6 - from primary school reports if you have them and has not progressed in the secondary school. It migth be worth asking the primary or senior school if they have any records of CAT/ NFER tests. ( Sounds like it might be tricky with the senior school )

An educational psychologist assessment might be of help depending on the results - or it might help you determine whether continuing with the appeal is the right thing to do.
Have you determined whether any previous appeals for the school have succeeded and whether the year is at PAN or already oversubscribed?
Not sure what else to suggest but it is a long haul to go through.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Welcome!

My concern at the moment would be that you appear to be appealing against a school, rather than for a school.

While the reasons given above could form the background to your case, I do think you need to change focus. The appeal panel will want to understand why you're appealing for this particular grammar school.

The number of positive arguments about the school you want should far outweigh any negative points about the current school.

See:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

I suggest it would be worth reading through the whole of Section C (Appeals for an oversubscribed school).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:44 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
If the current school is not cooperative in providing data to support your appeal, you have the right to request a copy of his record - see Appeals Q&A B.20 (c):
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b20


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:27 pm 
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Thanks for all the advice so far. I will take it into account while pulling our case together over the weekend.

Any thoughts on whether an appeal lacking independent evidence would be seriously weakened would be appreciated...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:59 pm 
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Did your son take the 11+ for this grammar school?
If he did, and he didn't pass, he has shown some good improvement by passing what was presumably a 12+. Some children develop later. If he didn't take the 11+ was there a reason such as moving into the area more recently?
How does the 12+ work? Where I am it compares the child to the level of the children currently in that cohort in school. I have wondered whether the children taking the 12+ are compared to 'the average child' rather than the least able within the school which would of course mean that by passing they would be better than average which is more than they have to do to get in on the 11+.
Lots of secondary schools do CATs in y7 and you should be able to get hold of these if you ask. They may also have set targets for your son which might tell you something. You will also probably have a series of SAT results from primary school which show progression and might indicate a late improvement.
Does the grammar school offer any choices, for instance triple science, that are not offered in the current school and does your son have a special interest in anything like this?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:11 pm 
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normsky wrote:
Any thoughts on whether an appeal lacking independent evidence would be seriously weakened would be appreciated...

Well, it depends which argument the evidence would relate to.

If you were to say that the current school refused to support your appeal, I think it likely a panel would take your word for it.

Proof that your son is underachieving could be a bonus, but I'm not convinced you need an 'independent statement'. Do school reports reveal anything about progress?
As Spider suggests, don't you have SATs levels to show his progression? It would be interesting to see what they were for English, maths and science in year 2, year 6, year 7 (and any other years!).

I would have thought the panel would be most interested in any evidence that supports your positive reasons for wanting a place at the school in question.

In the link I provided above, look how Dejavu proved her daughter's interest in science and her aspiration to become a vet. This was crucial to her successful appeal for a grammar school with a science specialism.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:47 pm 
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I have recent experience of helping a friend get a child an in-year place at an oversubscribed school. In fact the school offered a place before it came to appeal as I think they didn't fancy the costs of fighting it. We used evidence of the child's particular strengths - both curricular and extra-curricular - and how these would be catered for at the target school. We did not suggest that the target school would be lucky to benefit from the child's presence, but did say that the DC had shown strengths which matched rather well what the school could offer and therefore that the child would benefit from the school. We told them of the child's ambitions, which would require subjects which were especially well taught at the target school. Although there were huge and serious issues with the school the child was at, we did not mention them at all, nor reasons for wanting to leave. We focussed entirely on the reasons for wanting the new school. The rest was only hinted at. I think that is the best way forward - look at the website and prospectus of the target school and tie it in with your child. You have qualified already so only need to argue on oversubscription grounds. Tell them why he really needs to be there! Good luck.



(For Etienne and Sally-Anne, who helped so much - as an aside the child is doing really, really well and everyone is delighted with the outcome of that one. :D )


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Amber wrote:
(For Etienne and Sally-Anne, who helped so much - as an aside the child is doing really, really well and everyone is delighted with the outcome of that one. :D )

Great to hear that, Amber!
Thanks.

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