Thank you so much for your reply. It is such a relief to have somewhere to become well informed about the options and think through our approach.
How severe is the dyspraxia? Does the educational psychologist say?
She wrote "mild specific learning difficulty of dyspraxia nature". Extra time was not recommended, as I don't think her processing speed scores were low enough. I'm not sure though what scores what have triggered extra time for the 11+. Her PSI was 91, 27th centile (sorry, I made a mistake writing 25th centile before). Her coding subtest was Scaled Score 7, 16th centile. I don't know what that corresponds to as a standardised score.
Are the PS measures needed to trigger extra time in the 11+ the same as for A levels? Would they take account of the difference between the 96th centile VC and 16th centile coding subtest score?
The ed psych report was done in December 2012. We have a very strong family history of high ability and disability, and the signs were there that DD was also affected long before she was tested, but we were advised to wait until she was well past her 8th birthday. We commissioned it to get more understanding into the nature of her difficulties, and it has proved very helpful. The report could not be used to ask for adjustments for the 11+ though as it was too old by June 2014, so the school conducted another assessment then. I do not think that they measured her processing speed in these tests, but seem to have been looking for signs of dyslexia, which the ed psych had already told us was not her diagnosis. Am I right in thinking that a low processing speed score is needed to apply for extra time?
Our experience with DD1 is that from a similar start her PS scores got worse as she became older, for reasons I don't understand and maybe the ed psychs don't either. I wouldn't be surprised if, like DD1, this one ends up qualifying for extra time for A levels. It seems to me that the rules could take into account the discrepancy between high and low WISC scores. If your VC is 50th centile and your PS is 27th centile, that's quite different to a VC of 96th centile and PS of 27th centile. Might that be the sort of common sense best talked through with an appeal panel?
An appeal panel of 3 people will include 1 or 2 people with a background in education. (There must be at least 1 lay member.)
I can't remember the exact composition of our panel last time but it included very experienced heads, and we were so grateful for how wise and considerate they seemed. It was sickeningly stressful, but I don't like the idea of the secrecy, perhaps unaccountability, of the review.
I don't know any of the practicalities of going to appeal without a review. How would we apply? When is the deadline? What are the chances of having a review, failing, and then going to appeal? Won't the schools be full by then? We have two grammars which we'd consider, although DD favours one over the other. Are there any figures about how likely she is to get a place after a successful appeal?
Have you put any of these points to the headteacher? (I appreciate the need to tread carefully.)
Yes, have discussed with head, but feel a bit stonewalled. We have the completed headteacher form. Nothing has been filled in for section 5. May I PM what is written in section 6?
depending on the range of academic evidence
a. Respectable 11+ test scores (i.e. as close as possible to the score required).
b. Very strong support from the head teacher.
3,2 and lukewarm words
c. Encouraging SATs predictions
5B, 5C, 5C
d. Optional SATs test results, or ‘working at’ levels
Year 6 Autumn Term first half 5c 4a 4a
e. High standardised reasoning test scores from school
NFER VR test Feb 2011 - 122
NFER VR test Feb 2012 - 106
Up and down, see reading age ...
f. A reading age 2 years above average (but see Note 4 below).
Current reading age is +2 years and 9 months. It goes up and down. In KS2 it has always been at least 1 year 3 months ahead, since Spring of Year 4 at least 2 years ahead, at one stage it was 6 years 5 months ahead.
g. Recent school report
Year 5 end was 4a 4b 4b
An educational psychologist’s report
Yes - obviously more to it than the scores I have quoted from the WISC already, but those are the ones that show the potential. Do you think that the PRI on the 75th centile measures the same things as the NVR in the 11+? It obviously isn't as strong as her VC.
i. Good routine academic work, in the child’s own handwriting
Her Year 6 teachers seem pleased with her creative writing, but would this be sent for a review?
j. SATs tests, taken in year 6, and clearly marked “level 5” standard.
I don't think they've done anything like this yet.
k. High achievement in intellectual activities
She didn't take to trumpet so we gave it a break. School nevertheless has her as gifted and talented for music.
How helpful do you think it would be to quote her WIAT and WRAT scores? In particular, this point: In Dec 2012 the ed psych assessed her numeracy on WIAT and gave her a score of 101, 55th centile. That was a real shock, and seems to indicate how we, and the school, had failed to meet her needs. As I mentioned, after the report was given to them school did not put any particular differentiation in place for her, so we started the IXL programme at home and did a little every day for over a year. She put lots of basic numeracy skills in place through this (I would really strongly recommend this to anyone in a similar situation, much more interesting and responsive than Kumon and far cheaper and more effective than a weekly session with a tutor). By June 2014 when school did the WRAT she scored 120. I'm fairly sure this shows that with the right intervention she can really improve. What do you think?
And please do let me know what you think about whether the school's 3,2 may be influenced by her age, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
Putting all this complexity down will take a good few pages. I'm mindful that things need to be kept brief, but I feel I need to anticipate every thought the review panel may have.
As for 12+: she may mature, but the disability is lifelong. Should I point that out too?
This whole process feels like one of the most challenging things I've had to do: it draws on every ounce of my intellectual, organisational and emotional energy.
Heartfelt thanks again for being so generous with your help and expertise.