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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:13 pm
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Hi Moderators, I have sent background info to the appeals box for this.

Hello everyone else,
Have decided to have a go at an Oversubscription appeal in Berks as the grammar school would suit DS so well. He passed 11+, but not highly enough to be allocated a place. Very few appeals are successful as far as I can see, so I am not overly hopeful.

We have specific reasons why this school, and medical/circumstantial evidence which may have affected his performance on the day. HT has kindly agreed to support our appeal too.

I would like some advice on what to include in our appeal, especially around previous school reports.

My DS has very good Y4 and Y5 reports, with sections I would like to include in our appeal (e.g. excelled in tests, loves the challenge etc) to prove academic abililty. However, both reports refer to his immaturity and tendency to become distracted. I don't deny this, although sometimes he becomes distracted at school because he is bored and has frequently already finished the work and found something more interesting to do. (This was confirmed to me verbally by one of his teachers, but no mention is made in his written report.)

Keeping him challenged is obviously part of the reason why we'd like him to attend a grammar school - we have specific reasons why this one in particular - so I wondered if anyone had advice on the following:

1. As it's an oversubscription appeal not non-qualification, is it worth including Y4 or Y5 reports or should we just stick to predicted end of Y6 results? (5B/5A as was)

2. If I pulled out sections of the reports as evidence of academic potential and strengths, would an appeals panel find it odd that we had not included the whole report? Or would they prefer not to see the whole report, as more to read?

3. If we included the whole reports and drew attention to the fact that we believe our DS is still very 'young' in personality, that this could have been part of the reason he found the actual 11+ exam so overwhelming and a potential factor in why he didn't achieve as highly as his academic ability suggests he should have, could this actually be read as damaging to his appeal? e.g. evidence of short attention span/inability to concentrate. (So as not to drip-feed and as I mentioned previously, there are more compelling circumstantial and medical factors which we think may have played a part in his low score.)

Additionally, my DS is very unhappy about the school he has been allocated as he had a nasty run in with a few pupils from it several years ago. I have proof of the incident in the form of a strongly worded (but reasonably polite!) email I sent to the headmaster at the time. From all the advice on this forum, I know that I am appealing for a school, not against the one my DS has been allocated. However I wondered if anyone had thoughts on whether or not to make mention of this issue in the appeal?

Thanks in advance for your help
BL


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:32 pm
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Personally, I would keep the reasons why your son is unhappy about the allocated school as an almost last 'by-the-way' mention and I think you have nothing to lose by including the email. You must, however, concentrate on why you want that specific school.
Your son is qualified so there is no need to dwell on academic evidence and I share your concern that reports that contain a few areas of concern could distract the panel somewhat. The reasons why you believe he did not achieve a higher mark are of course very valid and should form part of your evidence. It is good that his HT has agreed to support the appeal - in what manner has he offered to do this - hopefully by writing a letter? However, I know you realise that the weight of your evidence must be why you believe that your case outweighs that of the school. You say that not many appeals have been successful in the past but over the past five years have there been any times that the school have gone over their PAN and coped with that?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:13 pm
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Thanks for your reply MaggieMay. Yes, HT will write a letter.
The school has gone over PAN before, but they've actually increased the numbers they are taking this year anyway so I imagine that will strengthen the school's case.

I'm struggling with whether to go into lots of details about everything, or keep our reasons brief and to the point. Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:32 pm
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It is always a good idea to keep your evidence as concise and 'to the point' as possible. Perhaps just include the latest school report (Year 5?) and then briefly go into the reasons why you feel he did not score higher on the day. You mention medical factors so you should include these, with evidence if possible and then in a separate paragraph you should cite your reasons for wanting that specific school or your 'case for prejudice'.
You can always elaborate on the day any part of your evidence that you feel the panel are interested in and ask questions about. As they receive the paperwork around a week in advance though, you should provide them with as much factual evidence as possible with a note to say something along the lines of .." I am happy to expand on this part of my evidence on the day if necessary'..
If the school have increased the numbers they are taking, it will not necessary strengthen the school's case - you could drop in that it is 'good to hear that the school obviously have the capacity to take additional pupils'….. I am sure they will respond but well worth a mention!


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