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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:06 pm 
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My daughter recently took an in year test for Year 8 at local grammar school. as we are currently abroad..but she did not get required marks and so has been judged as non-selective. HOWEVER, last year she was given a place at the same grammar school on appeal (through personal/work circumstances we could not take the place) .
I want to appeal the decision not to take her on based on the in year testing because firstly we were not aware that the school would include science in the testing so my daughter only had 3 months (whilst doing other school work) to learn the science curriculum.
Secondly the tests administered were Level 5-7 (level 7 is what is expected of Year 8/9 not Year 7, so my daughter was at an unfair advantage when undertaking the tests
The fact that the school were willing to take her last year, despite her being a border line student means that they saw some potential in her then. Had she attended a UK school for Year 7 and taken the tests she would have faired better. Her scores abroad are all high and considering she is working in a second language should indicate her ability to adapt and do well with the right environement. I need advice on what I should write and whether my reasons are valid...Thank you in advance.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:10 pm 
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Welcome! :)

sunni wrote:
I want to appeal the decision not to take her on based on the in year testing because firstly we were not aware that the school would include science in the testing so my daughter only had 3 months (whilst doing other school work) to learn the science curriculum.
Worth mentioning, if this wasn't made clear.

Quote:
Secondly the tests administered were Level 5-7 (level 7 is what is expected of Year 8/9 not Year 7, so my daughter was at an unfair advantage when undertaking the tests
Not sure this is a strong point. Level 5 would be on the low side.
If the average was level 6, that would seem about right.
Some higher level questions would leave open the possibility for more advanced candidates to shine.

Rather than raising this in your written submission, the best approach would be simply to ask a few questions of the school representative at the hearing: "Is it fair to include level 7 questions? What proportion of the test was level 7 standard?"

Quote:
The fact that the school were willing to take her last year, despite her being a border line student means that they saw some potential in her then.
Probably worth a brief mention, but it was the appeal panel - not the school - that recognised the potential.
This will be a fresh hearing, and no independent appeal panel is bound by the decision of a previous panel.

However, it will be interesting to see if it turns out to be exactly the same panel, as that might help in terms of sympathy. Would you recognise the names?

Quote:
Had she attended a UK school for Year 7 and taken the tests she would have faired better. Her scores abroad are all high and considering she is working in a second language should indicate her ability to adapt and do well with the right environement.
This seems a point worth making.

Quote:
I need advice on what I should write and whether my reasons are valid...Thank you in advance.
Keep it brief and very factual.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b40

Normally we would advise plenty of alternative academic evidence, but this may not be so easy in your case.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b11
Do you have any alternative evidence such as a glowing academic report from the foreign school?

Do read the Q&As:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=35032

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:11 am 
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Most standardised tests produced by commercial companies are banded in levels and level 5-7 tests are the usual ones to give to pupils in years 7-8. My sons have these things lying round the house for various subjects - I think they were used in the end of Y7 exams and maybe even Y8 in some subjects, and I used to end up marking some at that level when I was working 1-1 with students in schools too. In other words I don't think you should make a big deal out of that.

Some schools allow students to indicate during curriculum-based in-year tests if they haven't covered a topic, and I know for sure that one grammar school here allows in-year candidates to leave out questions on the science paper if the topics were ones they didn't know, by annotating the paper 'not covered'. That seems fairer and maybe you could use that information somehow?

Good luck with your other points. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:33 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Etienne wrote:
Quote:
The fact that the school were willing to take her last year, despite her being a border line student means that they saw some potential in her then.
Probably worth a brief mention, but it was the appeal panel - not the school - that recognised the potential.
This will be a fresh hearing, and no independent appeal panel is bound by the decision of a previous panel.

However, it will be interesting to see if it turns out to be exactly the same panel, as that might help in terms of sympathy. Would you recognise the names?

I agree strongly that it's not the school who saw the potential but the appeals panel - totally independent from the school.

Although it could be the same panel members, I would be uneasy hearing an appeal for the same child twice. The Clerk may well try and make sure that it's a new panel, and I should add that they will not have access to any documents submitted to the previous appeal or the previous panels notes - there's no reason they would know there had even been a previous appeal unless you tell them.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:50 pm 
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Thank you for the replies...I take your point about the appeal panel making the decision and not the school, however the headteacher was present at the appeals hearing and she even requested that my daughter come to visit the school if she succeeded in the appeal, which obviously she did. Unfortunately that headteacher has now left!!! I will draft a letter..would you be willing to read it if I PM it?
Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:00 pm 
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Quote:
the headteacher was present at the appeals hearing and she even requested that my daughter come to visit the school if she succeeded in the appeal
The school needed to be represented at the hearing, and the invitation (if successful) was a courtesy - not an indication of support for the appeal!

Quote:
I will draft a letter..would you be willing to read it if I PM it?
Sorry, but we can normally help only on the forum.

Amber wrote:
Most standardised tests produced by commercial companies are banded in levels and level 5-7 tests are the usual ones to give to pupils in years 7-8. My sons have these things lying round the house for various subjects - I think they were used in the end of Y7 exams and maybe even Y8 in some subjects, and I used to end up marking some at that level when I was working 1-1 with students in schools too. In other words I don't think you should make a big deal out of that.
Amber's comments confirm my feeling that you should not go beyond asking one or two questions about level 7 questions.

capers wrote:
there's no reason they would know there had even been a previous appeal unless you tell them.
I think a downside to mentioning a previous successful appeal is that you also draw attention to the fact that there's been a previous unsuccessful entrance test.

Please do ask on here if you have any further questions.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:11 pm 
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Thank you for the advice, I will write the letter and see what happens.
Thanks again :D


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 Post subject: borderline pupils
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:58 pm 
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Sorry one more question, any research or evidence on borderline pupils doing well /better at grammar schools?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:46 pm 
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Sorry, I don't have any links to hand - but I think general arguments are probably best avoided for appeal purposes, because the focus is very much on the child in question.

One 'borderline' child might rise to the challenge of grammar school, but would have coasted at a non-selective school.
Another child might flourish at the top end of a non-selective school, but would have floundered at the bottom of a grammar school.

There's also the matter of definition. (A borderline score may not be the same thing as borderline suitability.)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:20 am 
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The Admissions Code (para 1.32) says schools must test for aptitude not ability. So, you may be able to argue that a curriculum based test (especially as she was taught abroad) meant she was not able to demonstrate her aptitude (as opposed to say a VR test)? I'm sure there are others better qualified than me on this forum who could confirm whether or not this would be a valid argument. However, Amber's point about a curriculum test allowing children to put not covered would seem to get around this point.


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