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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:32 pm 
Could Etienne advise whether a panel would consider the fact that a child lost her father suddenly to illness in 2006 as mitigating circumstances for this years exam ?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Dear bobbyv

Very sorry to hear this. I'm sure the panel would consider it, but exactly how much weight they would attach depends on the circumstances.
For example, how long before the test did the tragedy occur, and what evidence is there that routine school work suffered?

The further away from the qualifying mark the result was, the stronger the case needs to be, not least the academic evidence.

Regards

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:18 pm 
Thank you for your response Etienne.

The marks were 114/115 and I am off to see the head tomorrow regarding the appeal. My child got 5c's for Maths, English and Science on the last report at the end of year 5.
She wasn't professionally tutored, but we did practise some of the papers together.

The school said that my child had coped well with the bereavement, I have coped less well though and am very stressed. I didn't want to put undo pressure on my child as she has been through rather a lot already. Although the bereavement was quite a while ago, it doesn't ever go away. Personally I think it is quite hard to judge what effect it would have on school work, because you have nothing to compare it against.

I just wondered if a panel pay must consideration to something like this or just go on the academic performance.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
I concur with Etienne - we'd certainly take it into account. However, if you gave us lots of evidence that your child had coped well, that would carry less weight than if they had coped badly and was still strongly affected at the actual time of the exam. Maybe even a precis of a study into the patterns / period of grieving could be used (a former GP of mine had attended seminars on this, and spoke to me at length). As an adult, I found that loosing a child / baby had me in tears for about 7 years, although even 12 years on it can have an effect.

Was the anniversary of time of death around the time of the exam? Was there anything that was particularly unusual / traumatic that may have had an extra effect? Obviously I have no way of knowing, but if the parent who died was of a forceful / bullying character, was your child under stress from that? These things have come up in appeals, and we have taken them into account.

Sorry to hear about both the death and the 'near miss' in the exams. Good luck with the head - it may well be worth taking it to appeal.

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Capers


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:19 pm 
Thanks Capers for your response.

It would have been my husband's birthday around the exam time. As you are probably aware,children handle bereavement differently to adults. Thank you for the suggestion about mentioning this. We were having to go to the hospital (where he died) for a scan on my daughter in between the two papers, which she was worrying about, which didn't help either.
I hoping the head will be supportive, but realistically might be better trying for the 12+.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Dear bobbyv

Extenuating circumstances will be taken into account, but are likely to carry more weight if there is supporting evidence.
It's usually quite possible to make comparisons where the child has not coped well over the long term. For example:
1. level 3s at KS1, followed by predicted level 4s at KS2.
2. a very good school report the year before the tragedy, followed by a less good report the year after.
Both the above would suggest something has affected school work.

The dilemma, as Capers implies, is that the more the school says how well your daughter has coped, and the better your alternative academic evidence, the harder it is to maintain that the 11+ results were affected.

However, the points about the date of your husband's birthday, and the visit to hospital in between the tests, could be valid. Worth asking if the school noticed any effect on your daughter and her work in early October, although it may not be easy to disentangle this from the pressures of the 11+.

Regards

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:12 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
Etienne wrote:
However, the points about the date of your husband's birthday, and the visit to hospital in between the tests, could be valid.


Keep any appointment letters if you can find them, or ask for a copy or a note from the hospital confirming the date. It is, of course, possible that your daughter was coping well up until that time, at which point the hospital trip threw her.

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Capers


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:04 am 
I went to see the Head and the school is happy to support the appeal. I was told to give a full explanation of what happened with my husband's illness and how that affected my child at home and how bereavement continues to affect her. The Head was very sympathetic, lets hope the panel will be also.


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