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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:18 pm 
My son has scored 115 and 116 in the Bucks 11+ test. I saw the headteacher today and she explained that she is unable to support an appeal, because there are no scores in his previous tests that put him in the grammar school category. He was not on her list of suitable candidates.
She was however sympathetic to our argument when I explained why we believe he is suitable.
We intend to appeal on the grounds that he is young for his age (June 20th) and has been immature but he has made big step changes in his academic performance year by year and by the end of year 6 he will be highly suitable.

Our evidence is:
His year 2 SATS were 2bs - ie national average
By year 5 he had 4as and 4bs - yr 6 levels.
He is predicted level 5 SATS in year 6.
His CAT tests in year 4 were 105,105 and 106 (verbal, non-verbal and maths)
In year 5 they were 118, 115 and 112.
His year 6 work is of a high standard and his teacher acknowledges this.
He is in the top 25% in the class this year.

The primary school is an exceptionally high achieving school and ranks over 35 children suitable for grammar places - our son may well have been overlooked because he has not been at the top of the class and when I pointed out the improvements to the head teacher today she expressed surprise and agreed. She suggested that we appeal but it is too late to change her lists of suitability.

Do you think the panel will be sympathetic?

He has now become hard working and conscientious - and this should be reflected in the class teacher's report.

He has a very bright older brother who has an exceptional academic record at a grammar school. He is a hard act to follow and this has affected our younger son's confidence. Is this helpful evidence at appeal?

All advice gratefully received!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:47 pm 
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The primary school is an exceptionally high achieving school and ..... our son may well have been overlooked because he has not been at the top of the class .... when I pointed out the improvements to the head teacher today she expressed surprise and agreed.
- Worth telling the panel this.

She suggested that we appeal but it is too late to change her lists of suitability.
- Correct, but there is nothing to stop her writing a letter and providing an update nearer the appeal hearing. (She may be reluctant for fear that everyone will want a letter! - but she need only do it in cases where there has been a really significant improvement.)

He has a very bright older brother who has an exceptional academic record at a grammar school. He is a hard act to follow and this has affected our younger son's confidence. Is this helpful evidence at appeal?
- Sibling rivalry is a valid argument (but not always easy to prove.)

Do you think the panel will be sympathetic?
- If you dwell too much on future possibilities, there's a risk the panel might conclude your son would be well-suited to the 12+! I also think a panel would be uneasy about speculating how your son will be performing by the end of year 6. It really has to focus on the evidence available at the time. Letters from the head and from the classteacher a week or two before the appeal would, I suggest, be your best bet.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:55 pm 
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Hi Determined Mum

Ok, so the Head wouldn't support at first, but then decided you should appeal once she found out who your son was? :roll: (Sorry, a bit cynical - it's been a long hard day here!!)

It is NOT too late for her to change her ranking for your son. The OoS may be engraved in stone, but not his ranking.

Go back to her and say you have it on good advice that she can state that she was not aware of the tremendous progress he has made in the last few months. On reviewing his case she is now aware that her ranking for this particular child was too negative and based on discussions with his form teacher, she would now rank him as X:X, which would place him approximately Xth on the OoS.

If the school has a lot of GS passes and her previous track record on rankings has been good (ask her how accurate it was - how many of he top 10 actually passed? and the top 20? and how many surprises at the bottom?) then the panel will accept her new ranking for him. You could even ask for a copy of the OoS for the school, with the pupils' names blanked out - you will receive that anyway in the Appeals information, so she would just be giving it to you early.

The 11+ scores are still on the low side, so your appeal is still rather uncertain. However, if you can give the panel a convincing argument that much of his progress has been achieved within recent months and back that up with evidence from the Head, form teacher and any other relevant teachers, who knows?

I think you need to go back and politely test out just whether the Head is really willing to support you with this new information.

If all else fails, look at the Bucks section for information on the 12+, as I would suggest all near-miss 11+ candidates consider it.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:59 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Dear Etienne

So much duplication of effort, so little time! And we were doing so well up until now, but I'll leave you to the night shift, shall I? :lol: :lol:


Determined - as Etienne says:

Quote:
Letters from the head and from the classteacher a week or two before the appeal would, I suggest, be your best bet.


This term's report could be crucial, if the school provide one. You can submit that information ahead of the Appeal, but after the initial application form has gone in.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:15 pm 
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Hi, Sally-Anne

Two for the price of one! :D :D

Not my turn for the night shift again, is it? :D

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:58 am 
Just to add a note of caution concerning the sibling rivalry. Is it the same grammar as his brother that you're hoping to get your son into? Is it possible his confidence has improved precisely because he's out of his brother's shadow for the moment?

I do know several children who have thrived by NOT being at the same secondary as a high-achieving sibling. The constant comparisons are hard to avoid even with the best intentions from all.

If you have a good Upper/Comp alternative your son may love it there and have a chance to be top of the class himself. Don't assume the grammar will be best.

Geoffrey


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