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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:30 am 
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Hi
I am in Kent, DD scored the following: Reasoning 109, Maths 106, English 98 - 313 in total vs the pass of 320. Not sure but does that mean she's actually 9 marks off as only one paper can be 106, other two have to be 107 or above?

Anyway, I honestly believe the result does not match up to her ability and potential. I have been urged by the Head and Deputy Head to appeal as they feel GS is right for her. The school did do an HTA for her but it was turned down due to there not being enough evidence in the work submitted. This is exactly what I feared would happen in the event she did not pass the English paper outright. What I would like to know is how I approach this within the appeal. This isn't just a case of mentioning the OFSTED report as there is other information I would like to include. I'm just not sure if it counts as mitigating circumstance or not.

The school had been in special measures for eighteen months, only coming out in late July 2014. Whilst the new Head has done a very good job of improving the school in general there have been a lot of issues throughout this time - one of which was hanging on to and/or recruiting good teachers. My DD had five (yes, five) different teachers for Literacy throughout Y5 (though she did attain Level 4A at the end of Y5 and has always been in the top set). I feel this has left her with fundamental gaps in knowledge. The Literacy work books were taken away and new ones begun (when a different strategy was decided upon/new teacher started) no less than four times. The last Literacy book contains an example where my daughter had spelt a word correctly 'repeatedly' but the teacher had highlighted it as incorrect - giving her attempt at spelling it 'repeatidly' - and made my daughter write the incorrect spelling three times - presumably just to make absolutely she will never know how to spell it! What chance did she have!? Both myself and my DH have been in to the school, on many occasions during Y5, to check the class work books and each time we raised a concern we were assured that steps were being taken to improve things and that it would all be alright in the end, work would be there in the books and of sufficient quality etc etc. Each time we were let down. I jonestly don't know more we could have done (got a tutor probably!) The Head Teacher did state in the HTA that my DD had been let down by the school being in special measures but of course did not specifically mention the details. Only five children passed the Kent Test from our school this year (it's normally between 12-15) I have since found out that there are five other children in almost exactly the same situation - failed English, same reason for HTA being turned down, all from DD's Literacy group (the top set!). However, there were two children who also failed English but did get the HTA - guess what? They weren't in DD's Literacy group, they were in the other Literacy group that only had the one consistent teacher all year and there were no problems with the classwork (one of them is a DD of a close friend so she gave me all her info), this child was a Level 4B at the end of Y5, so assessed as lower Level than my DD but because the classwork was all present and correct she got through (quite right too, she deserved to). I feel there must be a case here? And although all appeals should be about the individual child, I am wondering if we should all get together and make this part of it at least, the same? Won't an appeals board start to think there's something gone a bit wrong if they are hearing the same story from five or six people? I have only pieced this all together after the results came out and have gradually got more and more angry. And if anyone is wondering why I didn't do something like get a tutor, it's because I genuinely believed them each time they said it would all be sorted out in time and the work would be fine.....what an idiot.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:41 am 
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Welcome! :)

A few quick points.

Have you read the Q&As?
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=35032
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b37

You will need as much academic evidence as possible, and this will matter more than extenuating circumstances.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b11

Referring to other children at an appeal could be fraught with difficulty because of the Data Protection Act. The children couldn't be named, and the panel has no investigative role, so there's no easy way of verifying your argument, unless perhaps the current headteacher would confirm the facts, without identifying the children.

Quote:
And although all appeals should be about the individual child, I am wondering if we should all get together and make this part of it at least, the same? Won't an appeals board start to think there's something gone a bit wrong if they are hearing the same story from five or six people?
There could be 5 or 6 individual appeals, but there's no 'group action' (where ombudsman/EFA appeals are concerned).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:35 am
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Hi
I think that the fact that the HT has stated that your dc was let down by the school in special measures is already very helpful and given that the HT is so keen for you to appeal I am sure they will write a fully supportive letter to explain why they think that your dc should be at a gs when it comes your appeal next Spring .

I can only echo Etienne's point that academic evidence matters more than extenuating circumstances. I appreciate how disappointed you are in the school but it sounds like you have a Ht and teacher onside and you need to build on that. What about having a brief chat with the Ht and class teacher soon and re-confirm that you intend to appeal and are aware that for the appeal to stand a chance of succeeding you need to ask not only for their written support and excellent academic evidence. I would suggest that between now and the appeal you ask for a few minutes once every few weeks with the class teacher to see how things are going.

I don't advise getting together with other parents in an effort to try and get the point across and I wouldn't advise spending too much of your appeal statement on this as I believe this would be a huge mistake. You can make brief reference to it and include the Ofsted as additional evidence and the panel will ask you questions if they need to do so at the hearing. Do you know what level the school expects your dd to end yr 6 on? Finally, what school are you going to appeal for ? If you are happy to name the school someone might be able to give you specific advice. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Thank you that's all good advice. Yes, she is expected to sit and achieve Level 5 SATS and then the Level 6 SATS in maths - no specific sub-level given yet for e.o.y as regards teacher assessment but I haven't asked that question yet tbh (I intended to compare her excellent achievement in maths - one consistent, excellent teacher all through Y5 to her achievement in Literacy throughout the same period to show what she is capable of). Not sure again of specific sub-level for Literacy expected for Y6 end but I have a meeting with the Class/Head/Deputy H teacher on Monday 3rd.

Her first preferrence is Chatham and Clarendon, Ramsgate however we shall also appeal to Simon Langton Girls because as we have another daughter already there it would help in the event of oversubscription. I have two friends who were part of the HTA process and they have both confirmed there were circa 800 HTA's in this area this year vs around 300-400 in previous years so I am assuming there are going to be a lot of parent appeals and oversubscription may therefore become an issue at schools in Thanet as well as Canterbury.

Do you think there is any mileage in the HT/DHT letter repeating the issues regarding the school or should they concentrate on academic evidence/support only?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
Do you think there is any mileage in the HT/DHT letter repeating the issues regarding the school or should they concentrate on academic evidence/support only?
I think it depends how much evidence there is that progress in English has been affected.
4a could be quite respectable for the end of Y5, but - if Y5 was the main problem with five different teachers for Literacy - one would want to compare 4a with the levels being achieved before Y5 to draw conclusions.
Ideally one would expect two sub-levels' progress per year.

If it can be shown that English has been held back, then the extenuating circumstances ought to be brought to the panel's attention - and this is best done by the school.

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