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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:44 pm 
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Hi

We have just submitted our appeal forms for non-qualification to Medway boys grammars. The basis of the appeal is disrupted teaching and pupil behaviour during the two years leading up to the exam. There has been significant progress made during year 6 to back this up. This is a very brief synopsis of the case as my question is regarding something else.

We have had suspicions for a while that our son could be dyslexic but a screening showed that he wasn't. However, it didn't quite sit with why he was steaming ahead in maths but still dragging behind in comprehension. After his teacher said he was still struggling to do comprehension independently but was fine when they read as a group, I approached a dyslexia tutor and assessor and after a one hour initial session with her she has said he is highly intelligent and she believes he is dyslexic but his intelligence has been hiding it.
It is now a bit late in the day to get a full assessment done in time to submit ahead of the appeal meeting but is it worth mentioning at appeal? and if so I presume they will need some actual evidence of this opinion - what will they accept?

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:06 pm 
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[moved from another thread]

Hi - sorry to hi-jack your thread but I've got a similar question too, but I have already submitted my paperwork! The extenuating circs are around pupil disruptions, change in teaching staff and unfinished lesson plans. I have no back up to this as the school is quietly embarrassed by the whole situation. The current teacher is brill and she has given a statement based on this year and said she will come to the meeting to fight his corner. Do I need to seek confirmation from the school of what I have written in the form?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Welcome! :)

I do sympathise - if they are bright enough "to cope", then dyslexic children risk being overlooked in school.

First of all, if you've not seen the Q&As, it would be worth having a careful look:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=35032

Secondly, I think that for the appeal you need a complete shift in emphasis, and my advice would be to focus (in priority order) on:


I would play down the "disrupted teaching and pupil behaviour" as in my view this is rarely going to be a decisive argument at appeal. Just say that it was something you wanted the panel to be aware of, and that you do feel your son has been disadvantaged by this - but that your original submission was incomplete because you needed more time to prepare your case (not least to investigate the possibility of dyslexia).

I would suggest sending in a revised submission in advance of the hearing.
See late evidence:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a7

An educational psychologist (although expensive) might provide useful evidence of high reasoning ability and of any dyslexic tendencies.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... ication#b3

Hope this helps get you on track - but it should be noted that appeals are unpredictable!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Having gone through an appeal for my DS last year (for a different area) I can only say that Etienne's advice is well worth considering - you need to focus on the academic evidence for suitability for grammar school, any diagnostic evidence you have or can get and reasons why that particular school is the right school for your child. Have you checked with the SENCO about how dyslexia is supported for example?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Thanks everyone.

I have already submitted the info on the school problems but I will downplay these at the meeting. Having said that, any child that is dyslexia is going to have been even more disadvantaged if they went through what he had to go through in the classroom. Dyslexics have low SE at the best of times, the challenges he faced in the classroom would have magnified that - which explains a lot. The more I read about dyslexia the more it all makes sense. I feel relieved to know, proud that he is doing so well despite it and sad that he has had to battle against this for so long :-(

I know that one of the schools has a good established senco dept, they other I am digging around to get info on.

I have little confidence in obtaining much significant evidence of a full dyslexic diagnosis in time (i.e. an assessment report) but I will ask the tutor for a letter of some sort, stating her suspicions and the tests these are based on. That will have to do for now.

His other academic evidence is based on the teacher's statement which shows he has currently moved up a whole level in maths in 4 terms, a whole level in writing, and 1 sub level in reading. His teachers has predicted end of year 6 assessments to be 5a/6 for maths and 5Cs for reading and writing. we will also be submitting examples of work to show the progression from year 5 to year 6.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:36 pm 
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Quote:
I know that one of the schools has a good established senco dept, they other I am digging around to get info on.
If you had an assessment for your son, it might help your appeal (under "reasons for wanting a place") if you could get an appointment with the SENCO to discuss the report and ask how well the school could meet his needs.

One of our forum members had in-depth discussions with the SENCOs of at least three schools some years ago, and was well-placed to argue convincingly that her son's needs could best be met by the school being appealed for.

Quote:
I have little confidence in obtaining much significant evidence of a full dyslexic diagnosis in time (i.e. an assessment report)
I wonder why? It shouldn't take too long to get an appointment with an EP, and most appeals are unlikely to be held before May at the earliest.

Quote:
but I will ask the tutor for a letter of some sort, stating her suspicions and the tests these are based on. That will have to do for now.
I'm afraid that "suspicions" may not count for much at appeal. Moreover, a letter from someone who's being paid for tuition won't be viewed as independent evidence.

Quote:
His other academic evidence is based on the teacher's statement which shows he has currently moved up a whole level in maths in 4 terms, a whole level in writing, and 1 sub level in reading. His teachers has predicted end of year 6 assessments to be 5a/6 for maths and 5Cs for reading and writing. we will also be submitting examples of work to show the progression from year 5 to year 6.
That sounds very encouraging - but the more evidence of ability, the better!
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b11

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:04 pm 
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Thanks - have arranged for a full assessment. Assessor doesn't normally work over holidays but she will get it done in time. Just need to get school to complete some questionnaire forms this week and should be good to go.... :?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:42 am
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I would encourage anyone with suspicions of Dyslexia to do something earlier rather than later.

My eldest daughter worked so hard through school (an upper school) got 13 GCSEs (I know - ridiculous) and went to a Grammar for 6th form. In both GCSEs and A levels there was a huge disparity between coursework (As) and written exams (always very very low grades).

After A2's and me approaching the British Dyslexic Association we were told it was likely she was dyslexic and she has now been diagnosed at Uni (yes she did scrape in - but not quite on the course she wanted) with Dyslexia and told that for exams she will need extra time plus she gets loads of support and equipment.

So my advice is do something now because the guilt is phenomenal. My daughter has said she wishes that she had been diagnosed earlier as she feels the extra time in exams would have made a huge difference to her.

Hope this helps a bit in deciding what to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:42 am 
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Thanks for that insight. I can imagine how you feel about the guilt. I feel it too and he has the whole of secondary school to go through yet! But sometimes these things are missed when they are not glaringly obvious.

Interestingly. my husband suspects he is dyslexic. He left school with little in the way of qualifications but has learnt to cope with it. He has since done really well academically obtaining a degree and masters while working. And typically of dyslexics, his work involves creativity and problem solving. It is possible to succeed without assistance but it takes continued high motivation and hard work, which must be exhausting. I hope your daughter goes from strength to strength now. :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:54 pm 
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I have got a reply to the preferred school from the SENCO - they do informal 1-1 support sessions once a week for those with dyslexia and all teachers are aware of how to deal with in the classroom discreetly. Also said to contact again if appeal is successful as would need to discuss his needs etc. All sounds good.
The other school which is second choice has a full policy available on the website and the assessor has experience of this school so I will ask her too.


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