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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:04 pm 
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I thought I would set out some lessons learned from my own experience last year to help those going to an Independent Appeal Panel in Bucks, following receipt of a negative Selection Review. I am no expert, and will look to others to correct any mistakes:

AA= Admissions Authority
SR = Selection Review
IAP = Independent Appeal Panel

The following relates to trying to address the need to show that the SR was not FCO:

1. It is for the Admissions Authority to prove that the SR was FCO, and not for the parent to prove that it was not. This may appear as semantics, but is a key point. You should ask for every piece of information, notes of meetings etc from the AA to support their view that the SR was FCO. If they are unable to provide, then this will help your case.

2. Do not worry about anyone elses case (ie general answers from the AA) and do worry about asking the AA to be specific about your child. You want the AA to prove that YOUR CHILD'S SR was FCO. Therefore, they should be specific in answering questions about the time spent reviewing your child's case, the discussions which took place and provide the minutes from the meeting relating to your child. Averages and general answers are not good enough

3. Do not be afraid about asking the AA as many questions as is reasonable. This is important. I would add that the AA did not answer many of our questions. This did not stop me using these points in my IAP showing how my case could not possibly have been FCO

4. If you have provided medical evidence, ask the AA how the panel considered this. Did they overrule the findings of a GP, or optometrist etc? If so, what were the medical qualifications of the panel members who considered (and very possibly rejected) the advice of medically qualified professionals

5. If your child is young in the academic year, consider asking the AA how the panel compared the academic support of children of different ages in their SR meetings - or did they ignore this point. By this, I mean if Child 1 scored 115 and was born on 1 Sept, and had a great HT report. Child 2 is born 1 August and scored 115 and had a good HT report. is this difference in HT recommendation merely down to the fact that Child 1 is more mature and has more learning. Can the process ever be FCO if the SR is comparing aged standardised 11+ scores, with non-aged standardised school reports. Please note that the SR form does not ask the HT to age standardise any of their recommendations (1:1, 2:1 etc) or comments included in school reports or otherwise [I should say that I struggled to get this point over last year in my IAP hearing, but to me it is fundamental - the HT recommendation is not aged standardised, and hence there must be a natural bias towards older children, all other things being equal]

6. Decipher every word in the notes from the SR meeting. If emotive words are used (such as "poor", "lack of support" etc) challenge whether this is a reasonable conclusion to draw from the evidence submitted. The SR panel is only allowed to consider the evidence submitted.

7. Ask whether your child's submission was considered for moderation and if so, make sure you get the minutes from that meeting too. This is particularly appropriate for high scoring children who got rejected at SR.

I got great help from this forum last year and would like to think that the above would be useful to parents preparing for an IAP. A couple of caveats. I have no legal or practical experience in the education field other than my own experience last year, and therefore I will bow to the expertise of others on this site if any of my points are incorrect. Secondly, please be aware that the process may have changed from last year, so please make sure you familiarise yourself with any changes


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:22 pm 
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Thank you very much for this, jpk - I think it's most helpful, and have copied your advice to the sticky:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=36418

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:08 pm 
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Great advice here- I particularly like point 5 - I hadn't thought of that line of arguing but it seems very valid.

Anyone have any ideas as to availability of average SATs level at end of year 6 by birth month?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:19 pm 
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purplerabbit wrote:
Great advice here- I particularly like point 5 - I hadn't thought of that line of arguing but it seems very valid.

Anyone have any ideas as to availability of average SATs level at end of year 6 by birth month?


Found this - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... -RR017.pdf

Seems to say 8 percentage points difference between summer and autumn born. Will read it carefully and try to shape into a useful argument.

Thanks again Jpk, dd birthday is end of May so so the impact is not huge but definitely quantifiable.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:37 pm 
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Be careful arguing that because the score is standardised so takes age into account.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:18 am 
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I'm sort of wondering the opposite -

my Sept born DC scored 110 - I feel that would have been looked at unfavourably by a SR Panel - yet had they had a slightly later birthday the same raw score (taking into account the long tail this year) may have standardised nearer 114/116 and therefore been looked upon more favourably - can't work out whether this is a valid point or not though!!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:45 am 
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I'd be a bit wary of this argument, precisely because of what jpk says:
Quote:
I should say that I struggled to get this point over last year in my IAP hearing ........

I think appeal panels would be more receptive - in the summer term - to some evidence of increasing maturity as shown by rapid progress since the 11+.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:28 am 
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Just to say our teachers do consider age when placing recommendation levels, they also use the cat scores which are age standardised, not just the sats levels which are not.
Also only the first number is achievement, the second is attitude, which could be a 1 all the way through school theoretically.

Deffo go with the increasing maturity and understanding slant though.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:00 pm 
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southbucks3 wrote:
Just to say our teachers do consider age when placing recommendation levels, they also use the cat scores which are age standardised, not just the sats levels which are not.
Also only the first number is achievement, the second is attitude, which could be a 1 all the way through school theoretically.

Deffo go with the increasing maturity and understanding slant though.


Thanks Southbucks3. I am pleased to hear that some head teachers do this, although for others considering this it may be worth noting the following

1. The guide to headteachers issued last year made no mention of taking into account the age of the child when making their recommendation
2. Our HT specifically confirmed in writing to the IAP that they had not taken this into account

I guess it is the inconsistency here which means that the process cannot be "consistent"

To anyone reading this, I wouldnt make this the main thrust of any submission. I struggled to get this point across last year, and as we can see there are a number of different views out there as to whether it is a valid point or otherwise. However, a question to the Schools Representative as to whether the SR panel took DCs age into account when looking at the HT recommendations, and if not, does this seem fair, may make the IAP panel think twice about the fairness of the process

The difficulty with this point, is that the IAP may think that if they agree this point, the SR process cannot possibly have been fair for anyone!

Any questions, please let me know


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:27 pm 
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Superb thread jpk - and exactly what my husband and I were talking about earlier today.

Not only are the HT reports not age standardised, but neither are the SATs - so if a 1 September child has the academic ability but not the score - potentially, their 'proof' can be up to 12 months of learning more than a child born in August! How is that fair? Perhaps 12 months later, the August child will have achieved a higher level in their SATs? Can anyone tell me if anything in the review is considered on this point?


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