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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:36 pm 
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After spending the last year or so reading this forum I have decided to take the plunge and ask for some advice.

I have 3 sons, one who is 12 started at AGS in September a week before his identical twin brothers (11 in April) sat the new 11+ in September.

Confident twin (CT) opted for AGS whereas not-Confident twin (NCT) opted for SHFGS. For me this suited their personalities exactly. Please note I don’t usually refer to them as twin 1 and twin 2.

We were expecting CT not to pass but NCT to pass but on the day CT passed an NCT didn’t.

CT scored 133 (Verbal 72.17, Maths 39.54 and Non-Verbal 21.63)
NCT scored 109 (Verbal 50.90, Maths 39.54 and Non-Verbal 19.18).

We paid £25 for the raw scores which were:

Test 1 Comprehension 14/25, Opposite Words 5/25, Pictures 13/21, Maths 1 14/24
Test 2 Maths 2 11/16, Matching Words 12/28, Sequences 13/32, Left Over Words 9/14, Missing Words 9/18
Which overall gives Verbal 49, Maths 25, Non-Verbal 26 Total 100

We opted for a Selection Review we were so confident in his academic ability but at the time had no extenuating circumstances that we knew of apart from being very anxious.

The Headteacher gave him a 2:2, completed the progress chart (subsequently noticed had 5 mistakes had been made), Reading age 16+, Spelling Age 12+ 49/50.
‘Huge shock’ as ranked CT as 3:3 ‘recommend NCT very strongly’.

During the assessment SATs in November, NCT did particularily well (outperforming even his older brother in scores, sitting L6 in Maths in May and one mark away from sitting L6 Comprehension.

I asked the HT to draft me a letter containing this information and sent it to County with a covering letter to be included in his selection review which was held in the middle of January.

The Selection Review was unsuccessful. Totally inadequate pro-forma of clerks notes enclosed with letter.

Academic:
6a was ticked ‘shows 3 level 5 can be achieved’
6e was ticked ‘the panel are not convinced that the expected outcomes can be achieved.’
They already had the letter from the HT that stated he was already 5A Maths – sitting L6 Maths, 5C Reading and 4A Writing.
6f comment added ‘Reading progress questioned. Limited progress end of year 3 to year 5. Expected progress in year 6.’
HT said that end of year 5 Reading was 4B when it was actually 4A.
She also has subsequently given me a letter stating that she made a mistake on the Reading SAT at the end of year 5.
Exceptional:
7. Evidence of Social/Family issues affecting childs performance Considered ticked but No
Comment added Twins Success after 3:3 recommendation no tick no yes or no
No evidence provided tick (information considered).
Decision:
Comment added Considered Twins success on 3:3 recommendation.
‘The evidence does not demonstrate academic suitability…’ has been scored out so they do think he’s academically suitable but on page 1 they said they thought he couldn’t achieve the expected outcomes.
And so a big no.

In our case, if we were to appeal we have to prove FCO and then may get a chance at Academic again.

I have asked County for the actual clerks notes and they say that what we have are the complete notes.

The Head also said to me that a covering letter came from county with the selection review decisions to school that stated that if a child got <115 then only a 1:1 would get them through. I asked for a copy and she said no as it was confidential. Why did she tell me then?

She also gave said that out of the 12 selection reviews 8 were yes and they were all above 115.

We have been trying to look into reasons why NCT did not perform on the day and someone suggested having an Ed Pysch WISC report commissioned. We decided to have both of the boys take the test. Not really sure how to interpret them or whether we can use them in a further appeal.

Scores were:

NCT Score Percentile Rank Qualitative Range
VCI 102 55 Average
PRI 131 98 Very Superior
WMI 138 99 Very Superior
PS 97 42 Average
FSIQ 122 93 Superior

CT
VCI 104 61 Average
PRI 115 84 High Average
WMI 120 91 Superior
PSI 100 50 Average
FSIQ 113 81 High Average

I also have a spreadsheet which details all boys SATs (current, predicted etc) scores from Y2 to Y6 which shows how 3 children get from year 2 to year 6 making progress at different rates. I was a school governor for 4 years and sat in lots of school improvement meetings so should know that there isn’t one particular path a child should take. The test points are year 2 and year 6 ie it doesn’t matter how a child gets there but that he does.

Any advice would be appreciated as to where to go from here.

Sorry this is so long. Incidentally, whilst both of his brothers are at AGS, he as been given a secondary school which was 5th on his list!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:17 pm 
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Welcome! :)

VeryWearyMum wrote:
In our case, if we were to appeal we have to prove FCO and then may get a chance at Academic again.
Strictly speaking, it's the admission authority that has to prove FCO, not you who have to disprove it - but you could certainly raise your concerns about the clerk's record.

Quote:
I have asked County for the actual clerks notes and they say that what we have are the complete notes.
That sounds correct.

Quote:
The Head also said to me that a covering letter came from county with the selection review decisions to school that stated that if a child got <115 then only a 1:1 would get them through. I asked for a copy and she said no as it was confidential. Why did she tell me then?
I would tell the appeal panel about this. If true, it would be a terrible system because of the lack of consistency between schools when they decide on their recommendations.

Quote:
We have been trying to look into reasons why NCT did not perform on the day and someone suggested having an Ed Pysch WISC report commissioned. We decided to have both of the boys take the test. Not really sure how to interpret them or whether we can use them in a further appeal.
I would hesitate to use this at appeal because the results are mixed. PRI is excellent - but I'm afraid the VCI won't impress.

Quote:
I also have a spreadsheet which details all boys SATs (current, predicted etc) scores from Y2 to Y6 which shows how 3 children get from year 2 to year 6 making progress at different rates. I was a school governor for 4 years and sat in lots of school improvement meetings so should know that there isn’t one particular path a child should take. The test points are year 2 and year 6 ie it doesn’t matter how a child gets there but that he does.
For what it's worth, I agree with you!

Quote:
We opted for a Selection Review we were so confident in his academic ability but at the time had no extenuating circumstances that we knew of apart from being very anxious.
I'm not convinced that review panels are consistent in requiring exceptional circumstances - but I suspect they would be for lower scores.

Quote:
Totally inadequate pro-forma of clerks notes enclosed with letter.
Certainly a point to be made at appeal!

Two questions:

      1. Can you find out from the school how many '1' recommendations the head gave, and how many qualified in the 11+? Similarly, how many '2' recommendations did the head give, and how many qualified in the 11+?
      (The head may or may not be willing to reveal this information - but you're going to find out anyway if you go to appeal! It's just that it might help you to prepare.)

      2. Do you have any evidence of NCT's lack of confidence? Is it commented on by the head?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:13 pm 
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Posts: 3579
Quote:
The Head also said to me that a covering letter came from county with the selection review decisions to school that stated that if a child got <115 then only a 1:1 would get them through. I asked for a copy and she said no as it was confidential. Why did she tell me then?


The letter may have been sent, but it just was not true, I know three children who got less than 115 and a 2:2.

You had me worried for a bit (even more so) as ds achieved 114 with a 2:1 , so I double checked, and there simply is no truth in it, so I do not know whether her interpretation of the letter was incorrect, or whether it was just a guide? All three children did achieve at least 4a levels in sats for reading, writing and maths though.


Last edited by southbucks3 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Hi, I just wanted to pop in and say that I really feel for your situation. I find it very hard to manage my emotions when it is just my dd concerned but to be in the situation of one child going to GS and the other facing appeal must be doubly difficult.

Etienne's advice is, as always, really helpful and I wish you the best of luck in your appeal. We're working from a similar position in overcoming fco hurdle so I know it will be tricky.


]
Southbucks3 wrote:
All children did achieve at least 4a levels in sats for reading, writing and maths though.
Southbucks3 is this just the cases that you know of personally or is this true for all selection reviews - just wanted to know where the data came from? :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:45 pm 
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I was referring to the three that had lower than 115 lower than 1:1 that I know, I will edit the post to clarify that.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:27 pm 
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Etienne I have asked for just that information ie how many of each recommendations and how many passed and at what stage and HT was very reluctant to hand it over. I can always ask again.

Someone has advised me to wait until NCT has completed his SATs to appeal if and only if he reaches expected outcomes of higher ie apart from l6 maths maybe 5a in reading and writing, which I think may not happen. Although I think I read somewhere that a child did just that in year 6. The argument then would be that the panel turned him down on the grounds that he wouldn't achieve expected outcomes. Not sure at that stage whether you would still have to prove fco as well as the academic argument.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:32 pm 
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VeryWearyMum wrote:
Etienne I have asked for just that information ie how many of each recommendations and how many passed and at what stage and HT was very reluctant to hand it over. I can always ask again.
The reluctance may be because the figures don't look too good.

If they are good, though, it would strengthen your case.

You could try telling her you're not asking for a detailed breakdown (1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 2:1 etc.) - just for the overall number of 1's for academic potential, and then the 2's.

Point out that you will get this information anyway a week or so before the appeal hearing, but it would be helpful to have it now.

Quote:
Someone has advised me to wait until NCT has completed his SATs to appeal if and only if he reaches expected outcomes of higher ie apart from l6 maths maybe 5a in reading and writing, which I think may not happen. Although I think I read somewhere that a child did just that in year 6. The argument then would be that the panel turned him down on the grounds that he wouldn't achieve expected outcomes. Not sure at that stage whether you would still have to prove fco as well as the academic argument.
FCO would still be an issue - but as I said earlier on, it should be for the admission authority to prove FCO, not for you to disprove it.

If NCT's levels turn out impressive, it could help the academic argument - but not FCO. FCO can only be judged on the information that was available to the review panel at the time.

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