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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:18 pm
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I have read some of the appeal threads in this forum but yet to come across any for twins. So thought of staring this thread.

My twins scored close to each other in all the exams they appeared for but not in the same order. I knew while teaching them that they are of equal overall level with one better in one subject than the other and vice versa.

Now that we have filled up the CAFs, don't know whether both of them will make through in the same school or not as our first preference school has changed the scoring format from this year so no historical data available that can be relied upon.

Therefore, am interested in getting feedback from experienced parents who have gone through this in the past or know what is the best way to handle this in case they both don't get into the same school.

Thanks a lot for your help

regards

IM


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Why do they HAVE to go to the same school? Instead of looking at them as twins, look at them as individuals and make decisions as if they were just siblings. Most people with twins that I know, the over arching thing they always say is about how different they are as personalities and usually have different interests too, even if they are academically about the same overall level. It might do them the world of good to be at different schools where they are allowed to flourish as individuals rather than as two halves of one whole.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Well, twins don't have to go to the same school and in some circumstances it may be preferable that siblings go to different schools.

In purely logistical terms, I would consider it easier for a family if all the children went to the same school (assuming that one school can cater for all the kids' needs) - regardless of whether the children are multiples or not.

With our twins, we talked an awful lot about statistics - numbers of kids sitting the test, scores etc. The school they are both at now is the only selective we (they) considered, they both did well to have got in but we were all quite realistic from the start that the chances of one, never mind both, getting a place were slim.

We talked about them potentially being at different schools and the possible benefits that would confer (academically and more importantly, socially); how disappointed they may be if their sibling got into the selective school and they didn't - would they encourage their sibiling to go to that selective school given they both wanted it and knew how much effort it took etc.

It's a difficult process for any child, and I believe the multiples element creates a different kind of stress for everyone in the family.

Yamin will hopefully come along soon - her twin boys have started at different schools this Sep following the 11+, I'm sure she'll be more insightful!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:59 pm 
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There is only one grammar school in our local area and we are it seems on the borderline of the catchment of the comprehensive schools and others are further away and oversubscribed. Our council told us clearly that the only comprehensive school that we can be sure of getting is a failing school which is undersubsribed for obvious reason.
Now passing quite a few grammar school exams the DC may feel demotivated if we finally send them to this failing school. And it might be quite tough financially to send them to private schools for next 7 years.
The other grammar schools they cleared are not in near vicinity, therefore it is going to be tough for them to travel to two different locations even if we relocate to a middle position.

I fully agree with the concept that there is no need for them to go to same school but we are not in a position to send them to two different schools as both of us work full time. Not possible to do the school runs, the DC will have to do that themselves unfortunately.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:30 pm 
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Hi
Yes, my twins have just started two different schools. Each school is a half hour away......in the opposite direction!! I am able to fetch and carry but not both at once, so first consideration would be if they went to different schools could they both get buses? You both work and can't do school run, but it may be that buses save you.
One of our twins got the GS he wanted, then other got an alternative GS. We weren't so keen on it, even though only 400metres away! Then he got offered a scholarship at a small indie and we just felt this was best for him. Is indie possible for the one disappointed twin if the other gets in? It could just be for 5 years, not 7 as sixth form it can all change again........there are bursaries and scholarships, it may be worth a look. As for the disappointment, as others will say, its the same as siblings of any type, but maybe a little more acute as at the same time, but you wouldn't pull one out of the GS because the other hadn't go in would you? Is the failing comp an option? If you can't bear the idea, then disappointments have to be coped with (if necessary) and minimised by finding the best possible solution.
Do I gather moving is an option? In that case you could check out buses. For us, we could move to a place where each boy could get a bus and arrive back within walking distance at 4.45. We are not moving, but just saying you may find that is a possibilty.
Again, if the failing school is a non starter then you either face the appeals process (and twins has NO effect on their decision, so talk to someone else about that here, but being a twin will not help) or you let the one go and the other you move nearer to a good comp or consider private. If they both don't get in then again, you ,ove or appeal.
As for separating twins, logistically it is harder, no doubt, but don't discount it if there is any way, through buses etc, that you could manage it. It really has proved to be the very best thing we could have done for our twins. They got on before, but now they get on better and don't compete so much, and I must admit its great for them that they are seen as "x" or "y" before "twin".
Good luck


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:48 pm 
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There have been threads before about twins, but usually qualification has been an issue, e.g.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=25094&hilit=twins

For oversubscription, a panel will probably want to probe your reasons, e.g.
      • Is the main consideration the emotional bond between the twins? (What evidence do you have? - a letter from the current class teacher to confirm that they're inseparable?)
      • If so, would you ideally want them in the same class? (That could make an appeal harder to win!)
      • (To take up Yamin's point) To what extent are your reasons logistical? http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c19
      • Are there any particular reasons that make the school suitable for one twin, and different reasons for the other?
      • (To take up KCG's point) Might it be good for them to develop as individuals at separate schools?
      • What would be your reaction if the panel could admit only one child, because the prejudice to the school of admitting two would be too great?

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:37 pm 
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Thanks Yamin and Etienne for useful advice.

Yamin, the schools my DSs qualified are located in Reading, Barnet, Sutton and Buckinghamshire. All the schools are geographically so far that even living midway is not a solution :(

Yes we are also looking into independent school but the only local independent school is outside the town without any bus connection which means that we will have to have a taxi service on top of the school fees.

As I mentioned before both the boys got over pass marks in 6 grammar school test so as such both of them are technically eligible for a place. For Barnet exam they are 2 marks apart, same in Bucks and 2.8 marks apart in local GS. What I am unsure of is that how many students are there in between them in the local GS and where the final cutoff will be this year due to new numbering system.

I do not want to say that they are inseparable as from day one in their primary school I requested them to be in different class as I wanted them to be able to grow as individual. I personally do not think that if they go to different school they will be devastated or feel like they are worthless, may be the twin who will not get the first choice school will be a little sad that he could not get into the school of his choice whereas his brother did. :(


If I at all have to go through the appeal route, how long does it take to get an answer to any appeal ?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:48 pm 
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Quote:
If I at all have to go through the appeal route, how long does it take to get an answer to any appeal ?
Difficult to say because it depends how many people appeal!
That's why appeal forms usually have to be in by late March, so that administrators can sort out the arrangements.

Appeals are likely to start in April/May. You normally get your decision within 5 working days of the last hearing. (No decisions can be taken until all the appeals have been heard.)

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:54 am 
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Thanks a lot for your response Etienne

Actually I was wondering what can we put forward to prove that the one who didn't get a place in the GS on 2nd March is of the same academic level or even better than the one who got admission (assuming that one has got admission and the other didn't due to the difference in points of 2.8). We have quite a few mocks at various independent mock exams providers, school reports as well as other high rated grammar schools results. Will they make a case for appeal ?

Actually what happened with DS2 who got lesser than DS1 in the local GS - he got worried and could not sleep the night before his first actual GS test (the local GS test was the 2nd one they appeared for), I tried to calm him down the whole night finally had to give him calpol. With that state he went for the first exam, he said that he was shivering in the big hall during the exam and by that evening he had high fever of 39°C. Next day we sent him to school as he was not having fever in the morning but school sent him back as it seems he started having 38°C temperature. The local GS exam was next day so I called up the GS and asked for suggestion, they said that they need a medical certificate from doctor dated the next day (the day of the exam) regarding DS2's health condition, based on that they will allow him to appear for alternate exam on a later date. I went to our GP surgery that evening, they said they can not issue any certificate for next day as the surgery is closed (the test date for local GS was Saturday) but were more than happy to write in those lines when the surgery reopens on Monday if DS2 is unable to attend the test on Saturday.

The test was at 8.30 am in the morning and we had to drop them off no later than 8 am. That means I had to take DS2 to out of hours surgery in local hospital very early in the morning to get a certificate to make sure that even if he didn't appear on Saturday he can still appear for the alternate date. As I teach both the boys, I thought it might stress out DS1 if I leave him in the morning before exam to take DS2 to hospital. So I decided to take both DS1 and DS2 for the exams. But while entering the gate we were to give a form signed off that the child which we did. May be I should not have done, don't know :( Do you think this can be put in the appeal as well as I have medical evidence from both school and surgery that DS2 was unwell (though I appreciate that I signed off the form that he is fine before the exam which can be used against us).


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:56 am 
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Would like to add here, only the first two exams DS2 got lesser (2 points in the first one and 2.8 in the second one ) than DS1 rest all test he got better than DS1 as he was not unwell on those days. Can that be used as evidence in the appeal form for the local GS ?


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