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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
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Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Dear all

Wanted your advice about an appeal to a Kent superselective (Skinners) whereby our DS passed the 11+ but missed their cut off score by 2 marks. We have been offered another Kent grammar which is suitable but our DS has set is mind on the superselective. We live close by both schools.

I think therefore we are appealing against oversubscription..? The school in question offers places based on score with this year's pass mark being 364, and our DS scored 362. We are on the waiting list but have been advised to lodge an appeal too.

The following are the areas we thought of using for the appeal, and wanted to get your thoughts as to their strength. In Kent the 2014 11+ consisted of English, Maths and Reasoning testpapers.

Essentially our DS went to the toilet halfway through the English part of the exam, costing 10 minutes of his time. This was documented by the invigilator and as some of you may be aware in Kent, each question in the English part of the new 2014 11+ exam was worth between 2 and 8 points (for a child 10 years 6 months) per question depending on how many correct answers (the range increased the more correct questions are achieved apparently).

We would also supply SATs and CATs evidence that he was a high achiever i.e. level 5's across the board. In addition we would look at his interests and match them to the school, because I know the panel will wish to know why our DS’s needs would only be met by attending this school rather than the school offered..

We're not sure if the toilet excuse is strong enough but if he had scored 1 more English question correct that would have put him in the pass zone of 364.

Let me know what you think
Cheers :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:40 pm 
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10 minutes is a very long time to spend in the toilet. I think the average in an exam is about 2 minutes. Were the toilets very far away? I wonder if 10 minutes is recorded as the time he took? If so maybe you're onto something there.


Hint: I wouldn't use the word 'excuse' in an appeal. Try 'extenuating circumstances' instead :D .


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:14 pm 
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Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Amber wrote:
10 minutes is a very long time to spend in the toilet. I think the average in an exam is about 2 minutes. Were the toilets very far away? I wonder if 10 minutes is recorded as the time he took? If so maybe you're onto something there.


Hint: I wouldn't use the word 'excuse' in an appeal. Try 'extenuating circumstances' instead :D .

Yes I need to check the exact time so it may be less than 10 mins. Does anyone know where I could get a copy of the invigilators notes (or an extract with the relevant section).., i.e. Kent County Council or our school?

Yes in the appeal submission we would use 'extenuating circumstances' ;)

Any more feedback and thoughts from Etienne would be great

Thanks all


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:35 pm 
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Hi Villagedad

You should ring or email KCC to check that an note was made by the invigilator. I don't think that they ever release copies of the notes but ,if the invigilator noted it, KCC will confirm it to you and it will also be disclosed during the appeal hearing.

I agree that it seems like a very long break and it should be worth a mention. I am sure Etienne will be along soon to advise ............


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:46 pm 
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Quote:
We're not sure if the toilet excuse is strong enough
Never highlight weak extenuating circumstances!
If there is any additional information that would strengthen the argument, then you could consider whether to raise the matter in your written submission.

As it is, though, I wouldn't include it in your written case.
What you could do is mention it very briefly at the hearing (almost apologetically): "I know this sounds as if we're making excuses, but if he had scored 1 more English question correct we think that would have put him in the pass zone of 364."

Any explanation for the length of time he says he was absent?
Had he taken the sensible precaution of going to the toilet before the test started?
Was he unwise enough to drink copious amounts of fluid beforehand?
Was he unwell?
Were the toilets a long way away?

You could do with confirmation of the 10 minutes. See if KCC will tell you exactly what the invigilator log says. Remind them of the Appeals Code:
“2.8 Admission authorities must comply with reasonable requests from parents for information which they need to help them prepare their case for appeal.

As a last resort, using the Data Protection Act, you could almost certainly insist on a copy of the invigilator report, provided other names are redacted - but this could take a long time.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b58

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:50 pm 
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Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Etienne wrote:
Quote:
We're not sure if the toilet excuse is strong enough
As it is, though, I wouldn't include it in your written case.
What you could do is mention it very briefly at the hearing (almost apologetically): "I know this sounds as if we're making excuses, but if he had scored 1 more English question correct we think that would have put him in the pass zone of 364."

Any explanation for the length of time he says he was absent?
Had he taken the sensible precaution of going to the toilet before the test started?
Was he unwise enough to drink copious amounts of fluid beforehand?
Was he unwell?
Were the toilets a long way away?

You could do with confirmation of the 10 minutes.

Many thanks for your feedback Etienne

We have found out the toilet break was 4 minutes rather than the 10 originally thought. We will therefore use it like you suggest and mention briefly at the hearing. How though should we include it (the invigilator log) in the submitted evidence so we can then refer to it at the hearing.., we would need to refer to it in the written submission surely?

Thanks all :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:32 pm 
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Quote:
we would need to refer to it in the written submission surely?
No. :)
- although if you had a copy of the entry in the invigilators log, you could attach it as an appendix, and write "Please see appendix 1" (nothing more than that).

At the moment we don't know what the invigilators log says.
If there's no evidence, I would advise taking the sort of approach set out in the Q&As, B10:
      Quote:
      If your extenuating circumstances are not too strong .......... the best approach is to appear reluctant to ‘offer excuses’, to let the panel drag the information out of you bit by bit, if the opportunity arises, rather than to build it up as a major issue. Understate the point, or you risk diluting your case as a whole.

      For example, if there was a minor disturbance during the test, but no evidence in the invigilator’s report, I suggest it’s best to say little or nothing about this in your written submission or in your presentation. Someone is almost certain to ask during the Question & Answer session whether anything might have affected the 11+ result, at which point you can provide a brief explanation, adding: “I wasn’t sure how much this could be taken into account as there doesn’t seem to be any hard evidence ….. I do understand that some distractions in an exam room full of 10 year olds is inevitable …..”

      There might be a lot of sympathy on the panel for this sort of reasonable approach. The mistake most people make with extenuating circumstances is to overplay them – much better to underplay them!

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:33 pm 
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Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Hi Etienne

Whilst I wait for the invigilators report, a quick question to clarify something.

Is it routine and/or common practice for invigilators to give extra time in the 11+ Kent test for children who have to take a toilet break during the exam - or is it even allowed?

Many thanks :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:58 pm 
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I think the English test was a complete mess in kent this year because it was way too easy and one question was worth more than two standardised score points wasn't it?

I think probably that etienne's point about underplaying the toilet visit but emphasising ability is probably a better way forward. There will be lot of strange effects this year from that English blunder I think - for example people who are superselective because of a high raw score in an easy English paper but pretty mediocre results in reasoning and maths - and others who miss the superselective cutoff because of careless slips in the English but a good performance in the reasoning and maths.

I am really not sure why this year convinced judd to stay in the kent test.

Villagedad - good luck and you must be quite likely to get a waiting list place? When you look at that big spreadsheet on the kcc website do those two points make a huge difference in terms of numbers of potential people on the waiting list above you?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Villagedad wrote:
Hi Etienne

Whilst I wait for the invigilators report, a quick question to clarify something.

Is it routine and/or common practice for invigilators to give extra time in the 11+ Kent test for children who have to take a toilet break during the exam - or is it even allowed?

Many thanks :)

Hi Etienne
I have the invigilators report now. is it ok if I send to you as a PM?
Many thanks :)


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