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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:43 pm 
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Hi all,

We’re considering appealing for a place at one of the Gloucestershire girls’ grammars for DD2 (non qualification and over subscription). I’ve read through the information in the Appeals section and it’s all really helpful. It seems like we need a lot of concrete evidence, especially academic. I’m not sure if what we have is strong enough and would really welcome any thoughts.

For academics: Per her school, DD2 is currently working beyond the expected year 6 level and should achieve high level 5s for English and science and level 6 in maths. (She will be sitting level 6 SATs in maths this May). Her teacher and head teacher are very supportive and are happy to write a letter. But I think that’s all we will be able to put forward. Her class didn’t do CATs in year 5. She joined the school from America at the beginning of year 5, so have no earlier test scores/levels.

For extenuating circumstances, we really don’t have much. Her grandma died about three weeks before the 11 plus and it was a sad, unsettled time for us all. DD2 definitely lost some test momentum. On the day of the test, she was very nervous and missed a lot of questions. She didn’t have a lot of tutoring—5 sessions in the run up to the test, which might not have been enough to actually prepare her for test taking.

We do have some specific reasons for wanting DD2 to attend the school: she has an autoimmune disease so it’s important to us that she attends a school that offers great pastoral care if/when it flares. DD1, who is in Year 9 at the school, has a (different) autoimmune disease and the school has been incredibly supportive and proactive. Also, the school has a strong focus on dance (offered to GCSE and A level) and drama, both of which are very much DD2’s thing.

One other thing—the school PAN is set to increase in 2016 from 114 to 120 (which makes me think that they could accommodate more students this September).

So...wondering if we have a case and what other evidence we might need.

Sorry, this got quite long so thanks for wading through.

Kitty


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:13 pm 
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Hi - I will send you a pm


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:35 am 
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Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Welcome to the forum! :)

Quote:
I’ve read through the information in the Appeals section and it’s all really helpful.
Thank you. If you've been through the Q&As, and read some of the relevant threads, you have all the information you need. Never pay anyone for help with an appeal - unless you need a lawyer for some tricky legal aspect (which is incredibly rare, and doesn't seem to apply in your case!).

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I’m not sure if what we have is strong enough .......
I don't think anyone can tell you that - apart from your particular appeal panel.

Quote:
She joined the school from America at the beginning of year 5, so have no earlier test scores/levels.
A possible extenuating circumstance? Difficult to argue forcefully because the high KS2 predictions suggest she's settled really well. Perhaps you could raise it gently, in a low key way: "We don't mean to come up with a long list of excuses, but can't help wondering whether American vocabulary might have lost her a few marks in VR?"

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For extenuating circumstances, we really don’t have much. Her grandma died about three weeks before the 11 plus and it was a sad, unsettled time for us all. DD2 definitely lost some test momentum. On the day of the test, she was very nervous and missed a lot of questions.
Worth a brief mention.

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We do have some specific reasons for wanting DD2 to attend the school: she has an autoimmune disease so it’s important to us that she attends a school that offers great pastoral care if/when it flares. DD1, who is in Year 9 at the school, has a (different) autoimmune disease and the school has been incredibly supportive and proactive. Also, the school has a strong focus on dance (offered to GCSE and A level) and drama, both of which are very much DD2’s thing.
Good - especially if there's supporting evidence.

Quote:
One other thing—the school PAN is set to increase in 2016 from 114 to 120 (which makes me think that they could accommodate more students this September).
Don't include it in your case, but ask during "Questions to the Admission Authority".

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So...wondering if we have a case
I'm sure you do, but:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a36

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:17 am 
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Hi Etienne,

Thanks so much for your reply. Very much appreciated.

I'm in the midst of gathering evidence and trying to compile it all in a tidy, organised way.

May I ask your opinion on type of evidence required, please? We have letters for doctors and official hospital stuff about her health condition, but things like her love of dance and drama seem a bit more subjective. She has taken one drama exam and none in dance so we don't have much that's "official". Would a letter from a current dance teacher be appropriate/admissable as "evidence"? Also wondering if we have to substantiate every point we make with some kind of paperwork (thinking particularly of the loss of DD's grandmother).

And am I right in thinking that the written appeal form has to contain everything we might mention at the actual appeal (we can't come up with new data that isn't mentioned in the paperwork we submit)?

Thank you for any further thoughts.

Kitty


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:25 pm 
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kittylarkin wrote:
Would a letter from a current dance teacher be appropriate/admissable as "evidence"?
Yes, it might help. (The ideal, as you realise, would be an impressive list of exams and performances!)

Quote:
Also wondering if we have to substantiate every point we make with some kind of paperwork (thinking particularly of the loss of DD's grandmother).
Appeal panels sometimes get a copy of a relative's death certificate, which rather misses the point that what really matters is the impact on the child. The ideal evidence would be a letter from the school saying that the child appeared distressed, or that school work was affected at the time. This is rarely available, in which case I would suggest just a brief mention.

Quote:
And am I right in thinking that the written appeal form has to contain everything we might mention at the actual appeal (we can't come up with new data that isn't mentioned in the paperwork we submit)?
No - you can submit additional information up until approx. 7-10 days before the hearing (you should be told what the exact deadline is).
You could even introduce additional evidence at the hearing (but, if it's lengthy or complicated, this might necessitate an adjournment so that the panel have time to consider it properly).
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a7

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:29 pm 
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Hi Etienne,

Thanks so much for the additional info (and apologies for my late reply--on hols with limited wifi).

Good news about being able to submit information after the appeal form has been sent although I'm hoping to have gathered everything sooner rather than later.

Thanks again!

Kitty


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:10 pm 
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Hi Etienne,

Very sorry, one last question.

I was just re-reading your responses, and have to admit that I'm a bit confused about the issue of over subscription. Should I not be tackling that as part of my appeal case along with the non-qualification aspect? You suggested that I shouldn't mention the increase in PAN as part of my case, so it sounds like I should be focusing entirely on non-qual?

Thank you!
Kitty


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:27 pm 
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Quote:
I'm a bit confused about the issue of over subscription. Should I not be tackling that as part of my appeal case along with the non-qualification aspect?
Yes! - but you counter oversubscription by giving reasons for wanting a place. :)
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

Oversubscription is actually the school's side of the argument (the case for prejudice). See C1(a):
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c1
At the hearing, you and the panel have the right to question the school (about the increased PAN, for example). See C1(b).

Look at the 'balancing stage' - C2(b).
Look at the order of business - http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a40

See also:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c29
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c30

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:37 pm 
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Ah, brilliant. That makes sense. Thank you—I'll study the links.

Much appreciated!

Kitty


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