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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:16 pm
Posts: 127
The appeal season is now in full swing. This time last year I was sitting staring at my computer not understanding what was expected of me or where to start. With the help of this forum I put together an appeal that was praised for its clarity by the appeal panel.

Although our appeal was not successful in the spirit of giving something back to the forum I thought I would share with you how we approached the appeal and presented our case.

We returned our appeal form to County Hall as a standalone document – we did not include any additional evidence.

Having returned the appeal form we were quite quickly told that our Stage 1 was in early June and our personal case (Stage 2) in late June. Thus I spent April & May gathering as much evidence as I could with a view to submitting all additional evidence 10 days before our Stage 1 hearing.

I divided our case into 4 sections & a summary
• Fair, Consistent, Objective
• Extenuating Circumstances
• Academic Ability
• Prejudice to the school (of admitting a child above PAN)
• Summary


For each section I gathered as much evidence as I could
• Fair, consistent, objective – saw me submit an additional 1 piece of evidence – labelled as Appendix A – most of the additional points I raised in this section are those that Etienne lists in her sticky.
• Extenuating Circumstances – another 3 pieces of evidence – labelled Appendix B,C,D
• Academic – another 3 pieces of evidence – labelled E,F,G
• Prejudice to the school – the school was under PAN so happy to admit all appellants if deemed qualified thus we did not have to address this in the end.
• Summary – a short summation of key points.


Once the extra evidence was submitted I then pulled my case together. So for each of the five sections above – I had a sheet (or 2) of bullet points I wanted to talk about. I took 4 copies of everything with me to the appeal – one each for the Appeal Panel members and one for the clerk.

I read my bullet points out and held up the relevant evidence as we came to it or asked them to look at specific information that had previously been submitted for Review.

By giving them the bullet points for each section it ensured that this information was with them when they began their private debate.

I also took with me the results of the mock KS2 SATS that had just been marked at school. Some creative English work that had recently been assessed at 5A and some nationally standardised tests taken in Y5 that I felt showed my DS’s issues quite clearly.

The fact that I presented my case in this manner made it easy for the Panel to see the different areas of my argument. Part of me wonders had I been less organised and more emotional perhaps it would have been successful. However the only way I could get through this very stressful process was by being in control.

We won F,C,O as the appeal panel felt that the review panel should have explained their reasons for turning down the review and not just returned a piece of paper with 2 ticks on it.

I don’t think I could have done anything particularly differently to win the case overall – it was very complex.

Once we heard that we were unsuccessful we requested the clerk’s notes. They showed that the case was debated for a long time but that apart from predicted KS2 results of 5A,5A and 5B they felt that there was no evidence to indicate a child of GS ability. My DS did score nearly 100% in the Highcrest Banding Test. This was presented as a tiny part of my evidence – perhaps I could have played this more strongly?

I think I learnt that they are looking for evidence of academic ability other than KS2 tests. I was relying on extenuating circumstances to make up for the shortfall in 11+ marks but that wasn’t considered sufficient.

All in all it comes down to the panel on the day; another panel may have looked at the situation in a different light.

I hope this might help somebody out there who is struggling with how to proceed. Please don’t let it put anyone off. If nothing else it was quite a cathartic experience.

Wishing you all the very best for your appeals.

BB22


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:17 pm
Posts: 553
Thank you BB22 this is so helpful, well done to your D's and thanks for thinking of us going through what you went through this time last year.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 pm
Posts: 1046
Location: Buckinghamshire
Thank for BlueBerry22 really helpful, gives us a bit of understanding what to expect X x x

Q: what sort of questions did the panel ask you during the appeal?

_________________
Heartmum x x x


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:20 am
Posts: 20
Thank you so much for sharing....
I feel I'm in a similar situation to yourself although I did have the comment 'extenuating circumstnaces not corroborated by headteacher'

Just a quick query....in the actual appeal form....odd you detail your queries wrt FCO or merely allude to it and THEN discuss it at the hearing?

Thank you

Stressed out :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:16 pm
Posts: 127
Hi Wildflowa,

I merely entered as Etienne suggest below -

A8. If you feel you need more time to prepare your case, fill in an appeal form, but under "Grounds for appeal" just write:
"I wish to appeal against the decision to refuse a place at ***** School. Full details of case to follow."

I didn't send any of my points before hand - I just submitted the additional evidence 10 days before Stage 1 (as the appeal paperwork suggested you could do)

I then pulled the evidence into bullet points under each category.

FOR F,C,O most people are making the same general points but then there are some specific to your own child.

We had about 15 points - we ended each point with "how can this be consistent?" or "how can this be fair?" or "how can this be objective ?" - depending on what issue we were addressing (or even all 3!)

Good luck


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:19 pm
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BB22 I do find it sad when a child has predicted 5A,5A, 5B that the panel deemed this not suitable for GS. I haven't read your original appeal thread, I'm interested if you don't mind sharing your 11+ score and HT recommendation . I am bewildered by the system. Dollyxxxx


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:16 pm
Posts: 127
In answer to what questions did panel ask - the truth is very few questions. They asked me to address ds's weakest element (maths) & why did I think it was so poor, which I found bizarre as I had spoken at length about it during the meeting. Did he play a musical instrument ( no idea why that was relevant), did he get extra time in ks2 says (answer- no. It is very difficult to fulfil new criteria for extra time in SATs unless extra time is already established in classroom)

Re: Ds scores, a very poor 110 with maths coming out at 7% below the average child even though studying at l6. We felt he made a catastrophic error but of course there was no way to prove it. Ht recommendation - 2:2, given he was studying l6 maths & English we argued we felt it should have been a 1:2. Unfortunately ht had a whole bucket of 2:2,s very few who passed.

Panel said strong ks2 results don't indicate Gs ability merely a child that works hard to please teachers & parents.

Hope this helps

Bb22

You can read whole sorry thread, it has my name in.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:19 pm
Posts: 245
BB22 I've just read your thread, It must have been a very stressful time. The system is incredibly frustrating when our children have just one day to "prove" themselves. When they miss the mark ,it's especially difficult in your case when you knew he would thrive at a GS. I'm really pleased to read that you have been successful at the 12+. I wish you the very best. Dollyxxxx


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