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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Hi all - just joined the forum. Read as many FAQs and posting guides as I can manage. Very helpful so far, thanks.

Bit of an odd one - for various educational and personal circumstance reasons, we're planning on moving from Nottingham to Lincs (not decided exactly where yet). Only really made the decision to go for this during Easter holidays.

We have two sons - DS1 is in Y7, DS2 in Y6. Both are in an independent boys school, and have been for the past 6 years. We spoke to the admissions lady at King's Grantham, who was extremely helpful, and had them both do the tests. Despite having only time for a couple of practice tests, they both qualified - DS1 didn't get a mark for the Y8 entry, but DS2 did standard 11+ VR and NVR and got a total of 231, which we are very happy with given lack of practice. As expected, Kings say they are full for both years, and we'd have to go for appeal. We've not actually done the local authority application yet, but that will happen in the next couple of days. At the moment, we're only going to apply for Kings - none of the other Lincolnshire grammers make any logistical sense. Our alternative if we don't succeed (with both), is keeping them where they are for at least another year.

We understand that DS2 will be a fairly standard late-entry 11+ oversubscription appeal. DS1 will be a mid-year application appeal, that we have to time applications so that it is heard <6 weeks from end of term, as we are supposed to take up a place within 6 weeks, and obviously want him to start in September.

The admissions lady has given strong indications of the arguments we should use - although the school's PAN is 29 per class, they have several classes over multiple years with 30, and they have desks/seats for that number. We believe the September Y7 entry (which has increased from 5 classes to 6) has outstanding appeals going through, but we'll ask for the data on numbers when they have it. If they have some, but not all, classes of 30, we hope that's a strong argument from us that they could take another one. I believe that is our "Stage 1" argument, supported by as much data as we can get off them.

I'm worried about our stage 2 arguments - it feels like we have a fairly weak case for wanting this school in particular:
Selective school as both boys are already used to a high-achieving peer group, and they both are thriving in this environment - DS2 should achieve L6 SATs in both maths and English, DS1 got L6 maths and L5 English.
During the tests, we had a tour round the school, and were very impressed with the facilities and the general attitude and bahaviour of the boys we saw.
We want a boys school for similar reasons (they're used to it), plus I've done a lot of research-reading on this topic, and its my sincere belief that boys do better in a single-sex environment, particularly Y7-Y11. I'm aware that's a contentious one
Logistical - my wife's job is changing to work almost full-time in Lincoln; I'll continue to work on the East side of Nottingham. Kings is in an ideal mid-point for both. Current school is in the middle of Nottingham.

What I'm not sure to mention in the appeal is why we want to leave the current school - I'm aware from the FAQs that we should be arguing FOR a school, not against an alternative, but really, this is the main reason we want to move - the school has just announced it is going co-ed, and the fees have been rising at such a pace since we started (30% in 5 years) that we are genuinely starting to struggle with them, and going co-ed will mean the next 6 years of fees are likely to rise even faster. If we're going to need to move them, I'd much rather do it sooner rather than later. I just don't know how much sympathy we'll get for these arguments, if we choose to raise it.

Obviously if we'd known about these changes towards the end of last year, we'd have applied for 11+ in normal way, and DS2 would almost certainly have got a place in the normal process, but that's our problem really.

Any suggestions on what to focus on in the appeal application and the hearing would be MOST appreciated. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 3:02 pm 
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rex008 wrote:
Hi all - just joined the forum. Read as many FAQs and posting guides as I can manage. Very helpful so far, thanks.
Welcome to Appeals! :)

Quote:
I'm worried about our stage 2 arguments - it feels like we have a fairly weak case for wanting this school in particular:
Selective school as both boys are already used to a high-achieving peer group, and they both are thriving in this environment - DS2 should achieve L6 SATs in both maths and English, DS1 got L6 maths and L5 English.
During the tests, we had a tour round the school, and were very impressed with the facilities and the general attitude and bahaviour of the boys we saw.
We want a boys school for similar reasons (they're used to it), plus I've done a lot of research-reading on this topic, and its my sincere belief that boys do better in a single-sex environment, particularly Y7-Y11. I'm aware that's a contentious one
Logistical - my wife's job is changing to work almost full-time in Lincoln; I'll continue to work on the East side of Nottingham. Kings is in an ideal mid-point for both. Current school is in the middle of Nottingham.
I wouldn't say it's weak - probably 'middle ranking'! :)
You'd be surprised how many in-year applicants haven't even looked round the school they're appealing for .....

Quote:
What I'm not sure to mention in the appeal is why we want to leave the current school - I'm aware from the FAQs that we should be arguing FOR a school, not against an alternative, but really, this is the main reason we want to move - the school has just announced it is going co-ed, and the fees have been rising at such a pace since we started (30% in 5 years) that we are genuinely starting to struggle with them, and going co-ed will mean the next 6 years of fees are likely to rise even faster. If we're going to need to move them, I'd much rather do it sooner rather than later. I just don't know how much sympathy we'll get for these arguments, if we choose to raise it.
The issue has more to do with your personal circumstances, and I think it's perfectly reasonable to explain the financial position.
As a secondary point, the fact that the current school is going co-ed fits rather well with your argument for single-sex education.

Hope this provides some reassurance that you're on the right lines.
The outcome probably hinges on how vigorously the school resists any further admissions at the hearing, and on the relative strength of any other appeals.

Do let us know if we can be of any further help.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:27 pm 
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Etienne, that's very helpful, thank you so much. We have been a bit up and down with our hopes and expectations, so it's reassuring to be steadied a bit.

As thing start moving over the next days and weeks, I'm sure I'll be back to ask more.

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Good Luck with the move etc

All I can say on the news about the current school taking girls in is *crumbs* :shock: I didn't expect that, suspect you won;t be the only parents looking elsewhere.

Understand why you want to try for Kings, good luck with the applications / appeals


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Local authority applications are now in. DS2 was a phone application to Nottinghamshire, DS1 was a form, emailed from Lincs, scanned and resent back to Lincs. Joined up Government at its finest :lol:. Kings have also said they will put them both on waiting lists once the application is in. Never know, someone to Y7 may drop out (unlikely!).

Quick query - when we're preparing for the appeal, should we be including academic evidence? I know technically it's just an oversubscription appeal, but as a reason for wanting a selective grammar, will demonstrating that they are both "high achievers" make any difference, or is the test qualification all that matters? We've got DS1s SAT results, and DS2s last report with mock SAT level. Worth including, or not?

Edit: Sorry, realised I'd hit submit without finishing a sentence...


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:55 pm 
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It won't do any harm, and could be useful in that it supports the argument that they're thriving in a high achieving environment. Just write that you've provided some academic evidence as an appendix to support this point.

If the evidence is tucked away at the back as an appendix, it's available for the panel to see, but there's no risk of it being a distraction.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:07 pm 
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LA Applications all gone through and rejected as expected. Appeal forms arrived today, so we're looking to fill those out asap.

We've been told the appeals will be held at the school, and will both be done together (which makes sense to us, so useful).

I've started writing a shortish (<1 page so far) statement of why we want to move (educational, logistical, financial), and why we want Kings in particular. Not sure whether I should just attach that to the forms, or save it to read out at the hearing itself. Would make more sense to me to attach it, but then we'd probably have very little more to say at the hearing itself. And if we don't attach it, what do we put on the form? Any advice?

The last bit of my statement mentions the current numbers which we've had informally from the admissions office there - apparently 4 appeals upheld for Y7 entry, so 4 out of 6 classes now have 30, 2 have 29. Strong hints that those 2 are effectively empty spaces. Y8 (5 classes) will be 2 of 30 and 3 of 29, no new entries there so far, so again, good precedent for "empty" spaces (hopefully!). I know this is covered at the hearing first off, but should we be mentioning that in the statement as well?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:09 am 
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rex008 wrote:
I've started writing a shortish (<1 page so far) statement of why we want to move (educational, logistical, financial), and why we want Kings in particular. Not sure whether I should just attach that to the forms, or save it to read out at the hearing itself. Would make more sense to me to attach it, but then we'd probably have very little more to say at the hearing itself. And if we don't attach it, what do we put on the form? Any advice?
Attach it, otherwise you're failing to give the panel time to consider your case in advance.
At the hearing just remind everyone very briefly of your main points.

Quote:
The last bit of my statement mentions the current numbers which we've had informally from the admissions office there - apparently 4 appeals upheld for Y7 entry, so 4 out of 6 classes now have 30, 2 have 29. Strong hints that those 2 are effectively empty spaces. Y8 (5 classes) will be 2 of 30 and 3 of 29, no new entries there so far, so again, good precedent for "empty" spaces (hopefully!). I know this is covered at the hearing first off, but should we be mentioning that in the statement as well?

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c29
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c30

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:48 am 
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Etienne - thanks very much. I'll take out the bits about the school numbers.

Also going to attach DS1s SAT results (L5 English, L6 Maths) and DS2s last report (5a's, he's been predicted L6 in both).

Anything else I should be including?

Can I send you my draft statement to the appeals box for comment? Feel free to say no - you've already been a great help.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:34 am 
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Sorry, rex - much as we'd like to, we don't usually have time to check individual statements, but there is advice on submissions in the Q&As.

Quote:
Also going to attach DS1s SAT results (L5 English, L6 Maths) and DS2s last report (5a's, he's been predicted L6 in both).
Anything else I should be including?
Don't forget to explain that you're enclosing some brief academic evidence simply to support your argument that the boys have been thriving in a highly academic environment, which is why you are desperate to find an appropriate alternative for them.

With regard to other evidence, I would suggest anything that backs up the points you're making, for example:
    • evidence of your wife's new employment/location
    • evidence of the current school's intention to go co-educational.

Is there anything on offer at the grammar school that particularly matches your son's interests/strengths (e.g. something in the curriculum such as choice of foreign language, or extra-curricular activities that the school is noted for)?

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