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 Post subject: Selection review - Bucks
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:21 pm 
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I've read the referenced letter (including the notes about what ought to be omitted!) - and whilst it applies ok for an appeal, I'm not sure how to apply it for a selection review - especially as we have the 'problem' that there was no 'problem' per se. That is, she wasn't ill, there was no bereavement, etc.

So, what do we hang the selection review justification on? We know (and the school agrees) that the maths score was not representative of her ability - I suspect she panicked, as she does when under pressure with maths, and left them the end. However her maths ability is generally high (not genius level, but above average.)

We do have a glowing school report from year 5, with attainment levels of 4a and 5b, plus a 2,1 recommendation and full support from the headteacher.)

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

(P.S. Mods - if this should be a new topic, or placed elsewhere, please let me know and I'll sort it.)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:57 pm 
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Rags wrote:
I've read the referenced letter (including the notes about what ought to be omitted!) - and whilst it applies ok for an appeal, I'm not sure how to apply it for a selection review - especially as we have the 'problem' that there was no 'problem' per se. That is, she wasn't ill, there was no bereavement, etc.
I don't see the difference between a review and an appeal in terms of what you write. If you haven't any extenuating circumstances, then you're not in a position to write about extenuating circumstances for either process. :)

If there is a difference, it has more to do with 'expectations' - a review panel is said to expect exceptional circumstances, whereas an appeal panel has no such rule.
(In practice it may not be quite that simple. I find it difficult to believe that every successful review really has exceptional circumstances. And there may be individual appeal panel members who do expect extenuating circumstances, especially where the score is a long way short of 121.)

Quote:
So, what do we hang the selection review justification on?
Unfortunately, we can't invent an answer! :?
'Panic' is speculation, and there's no proof.
The reason may well be that the result was a 'blip' - but that's not the sort of argument you probably want to put to a review panel that includes GS heads whose system this is!

Sorry - there are no easy answers!

Quote:
(P.S. Mods - if this should be a new topic, or placed elsewhere, please let me know and I'll sort it.)
We've moved it for you.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:10 pm 
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Etienne wrote:
If there is a difference, it has more to do with 'expectations' - a review panel is said to expect exceptional circumstances, whereas an appeal panel has no such rule.

Right - and therein lies the issue - exceptional circumstances (or lack thereof.) Although 'Exceptional' meaning something out of the ordinary - we, and the headteacher expected a pass, so not doing could be considered 'exceptional' ... :) (sophistry, much?)

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Unfortunately, we can't invent answer! :)

No - and tbh, I wasn't really expecting you to. I was just wondering if anyone might have had a similar situation in the past (pretty much a given) and whether any suggestions might be forthcoming.

Quote:
'Panic' is speculation, and there's no proof.

This is true. Not much I can do about that. However the BCC letter does say 'Think about any reasons why your child might not have performed as well as you and their headteacher expected.' So, I'm going through possibilities and likely scenarios with that in mind. However, as you note, no evidence is available, which is problematic.

Quote:
The reason may well be that the result was a 'blip' - but that's not the sort of argument you probably want to put to a review panel that includes GS heads whose system this is!

Exactly. And yet our argument for wanting a review is that the exam result doesn't represent DC's academic ability - how could it be otherwise? We DO have evidence of that...

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Sorry - there are no easy answers!

Yeah I figured that much :) The easy answer would have been to have passed the wretched thing in the first place! Ahh well.

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We've moved it for you.

So I noted. Cheers for that, and all the rest of the work you put into this excellent resource.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:25 pm 
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Quote:
Right - and therein lies the issue - exceptional circumstances (or lack thereof.) Although 'Exceptional' meaning something out of the ordinary - we, and the headteacher expected a pass, so not doing could be considered 'exceptional' ... :) (sophistry, much?)
Sophistry? ..... definitely! :lol:

Perhaps they would be on safer ground with 'exceptional extenuating circumstances' ...... :?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:58 am 
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Rags I have the same problem , fell short by 6 marks, 1/1 recommendation end of year 5 5A reading, 5B writing and 5C maths, HT fully supported and expected to pass, I'm at a loss of what to right, I feel it probably was just nerves and she put so much pressure on herself as she really wanted to pass. I just want to give her the best chance ( as I'm sure you do to) just concerned this area will let me down. Dolly x


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:59 am 
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Is it exceptional that a ten year old child, knowing that the next six years of its life are about to be determined by a two hour exam, might not perform exactly to the best of its ability? The pressure on these youngsters is awful: adults regularly buckle under pressure or fail to perform as they 'should'. Olympic athletes get nervous - gymnasts fall off beams, hurdlers trip. Accomplished actors fluff their lines, university professors lose the plot half way through a lecture and have to take a break. Why does the parent of a child who misses the pass mark for a high stakes exam when s/he is just into double figures required to demonstrate that some entirely unforeseen and unusual circumstance dealt a blow of fate and prevented that child from answering another question or two correctly? Surely this system encourages people to lie or invent things, and honest parents like Rags are disadvantaged if they can't say anything other than 'we just don't know'.

I wonder how the people who sit in judgement over these things can look themselves in the mirror frankly.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:45 am 
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Indeed, Dolly & Amber - the system doesn't seem to cater for the 'didn't have a good day' cases. One reason I think the previous system (for all its flaws) did have the advantage of giving you two shots, and passing either would do (both of my older children passed only one of the two.)

I am aware of cases from previous years where recently diagnosed issues (which spontaneously cured themselves) but which were supported by doctor's letters, were used as evidence. I can see why people would be tempted to stretch things in that way - which, of course we will not be doing.

We are going to see if we can have the letter I've drafted reviewed by the headteacher - to make sure we're covering what we need to as best we can, and that everything we and they say are at least in vague agreement. Hopefully the selection review panel will accept that sometimes an exam just doesn't go as well as it should, and the other academic evidence we have is sufficient. That, after all, is why there is a selection review and appeals system - to catch those that did fall through the net when they shouldn't.

It does seem as though the new system is worse than the old one, and distinctly less fair.

That said, if there is going to be a selective system, somehow, there has to be a method of selection, and so I'm not going to argue otherwise. Only that in this case, it didn't make the right choice - an exception.

It is difficult, hoping that what you're doing is indeed the best you can do for your child. We (and she) are certain that the grammar school is the right place for her - so we do what we must.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:01 am 
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Well said Amber, I and I'm sure many people reading your post will echo your words.
Funnily I agree Rags, many do go down the doctor route etc and some are of course legitimate . Apart from being a very young 10yr old we don't have any reasons.
I'm a true believer that quite a few slip through the net, and now it's my task (and yours) to do our best for them.

I was going to do the same re HT. I really wish you the best of luck! Once it's posted at least we can put our grammar school dreams in a tightly closed box (until feb/mar) and try and embrace the upper school choice. My daughter was coming round to the idea the last few days, however last night we had a dip, she wasn't interested in talking about uppers and ended up in tears again. Maybe I was naive to think it would be ok so quickly, as the old saying says, time is a healer.
Dolly x


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:26 am 
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Quote:
I am aware of cases from previous years where recently diagnosed issues (which spontaneously cured themselves) but which were supported by doctor's letters, were used as evidence. I can see why people would be tempted to stretch things in that way - which, of course we will not be doing.


Do you know, last year whilst we were appealing and my son had a previously diagnosed issue, that had been incorrectly diagnosed, then (kind of) sorted out after he finally got the correct diagnosis, I worried sick about being thought of as a fraud because of all the dodgy cases I had heard. Thankfully we had a history of paperwork to prove the problem was on going and a huge upward jump in test performance once he had proper glasses to prove categorically his particular case was exceptional, by the time we faced someone in an appeal panel. He is still having eyesight problems bless him, but we know why now and can help him and keep his appointments. :D
It felt a bit like when you are visited by the insurance company to check a claim due to the thousands of people who make fraudulent claims each year.
I am sure it is very rare in reality for parents to scam and ultimately pointless, it's just some things stick in your mind.

Evidence evidence evidence.....all the excuses in the world, true or imagined cannot make a stronger case than evidence.


Last edited by southbucks3 on Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:10 am 
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SB3 :lol: :lol:

Dolly and Rags, I wouldn't get too hung up on illness etc. We had totally the opposite experience in that DD has a serious long-term medical condition which at the time of her appeal (5 years ago now) was genuinely life-threatening. Our appeal panel took no interest in it whatsoever and the one of the three panel members who approved her appeal clearly did so on compassionate grounds which entirely escaped the other two.


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