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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:16 pm
Posts: 87
I am preparing an appeal. My case is in this forum involving twins where one has been accepted but the other hasn't. I don't want to put anything here about the case as it can all be seen there.

What I am wondering is what did you tell your children and how did you manage their expectations? My daughter knows we are appealing and has asked questions. She knows it won't be until June and that we have to live with the uncertainty until then. I don't know what to tell her when she asks if we have a good case or do I think we can win?

At the moment she swings from talking about all the things she wants to do at the grammar school as if she has a place to being angry and I guess, jealous, because her twin sister does have a place. A teacher at school told me today that she had told her that her sister wasn't allowed to go if we didn't win the appeal as she cannot travel alone. We have not said this, although it is a worry. Her sister upset her today by talking about the new school bag she wanted to get. The tension between them in the house is not good.

Everytime my husband and I are talking about something and we stop when she comes into the room she asks if we are talking about the appeal. Sometimes we might be but not always. It's the same when I am online.

I think maybe we should just go with these difficult emotions at the moment as its still early days and then when the paperwork is submitted not mention it again. I don't know how realistic that is but we can try.

What did others do?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:07 am 
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I had some very difficult emotions to deal with from my DD when she didn't get into GS. When the letter came through I found her in her room banging her head on the floor. It was she first real failure in life. She asked me to appeal and like you are describing kept on asking me about the appeal.
I decided to give my DD a black picture of her chances because I knew from reading on here how unpredictable the panels are and therefore the outcome can be. This allowed her to plan in her mind how she was going to handle her future without GS. I talked to her about the other options and she was involved in picking the best "other" option and had pretty much resigned herself to this when the favourable result came through. I don't think there is any right or wrong. I think it depends upon the child and their ability to cope. I wish you all the very best for your appeal and I feel for you in what must be a very difficult time for you and your family.
To give you hope for the future my daughter now says that not getting into GS initially was the best thing that has ever happened to her. It gave her added motivation and has given her a wider perspective on life and an ability to keep going wheat first she does not succeed.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Although it is hard to imagine your "little" girls travelling to big school on their own, you also have to be realistic and realise that they grow up very fast and, for most children, the journey to and from school is one of the highlights of the day. And, as Eccentric says, up to now, most brighter end children have always succeeded - the later you come to your first "failure" the harder it is to cope with it, but sometimes you just have to.

This is going to sound harsh but, your daughter is coming across a little bit as if she has a sense of entitlement to a place - you have to explain to her that she doesn't - yes she passed but, unfortunately, lots of other children passed with a higher score and the school only has a certain number of seats. Twin 1 was one of the ones who has been allocated a seat by right and twin 2 should be pleased for her, even if she is disappointed for herself. It is not Twin 1's fault that she scored higher. I think you need to explain to Twin 1 too that she will not have to give her place up (very late in the year) if Twin 2 does not win her appeal in June - if Twin 2 is saying this openly to teachers at school, you can bet your bottom dollar that Twin 1 has heard it and the fact that she is now talking about school bag choices etc, she is trying to force the issue - start buying things for my GS school, mum, and make it real so that you don't then snatch the place away from me in June if it doesn't happen. You need to reassure Twin 1 so she is less likely to then feel angry at Twin 2 for "losing" her her place as well and more likely to be a bit more sympathetic to the nerves Twin 2 is feeling.

Any appeal has a chance of success and a chance of failure - you need to focus on Twin 2s ability and why this particular school will be the best fit for her - part of that argument will be that she has a twin there - although, I have to be honest, from what you are saying about her reaction, I wonder if they both might benefit from being able to blossom in different schools and be successful in their own rights, without the constant comparisons that they obviously make of themselves, let alone staff and other children make!

However you have a relatively strong case but - and this is a big but - you and your husband need to make concerted effort not to let your angst rub off on her - stopping talking when she comes in the room is tough at any age, as you immediately believe people are talking about you! I'm sorry if this all sounds harsh but I do believe if you focus on the academic ability and best fit and then the added confusion of the m/b policy you may have a strong case.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:21 pm
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If I were you, I think I would try to get the appeal form submitted as soon as you can and then try to park it until you hear about the appeal date.
If you are not focussing on it then probably your girls won't be either.

Uncertainty is really hard to deal with especially when it could make such a big difference to your daughters.
No doubt they will still want to talk about it but you will be better able to field questions and manage any issues, if you feel you have done what you can for now.

I know it is a really difficult situation for all of you and I do really feel for you.
I really hope you will get the answer you want eventually, but even if you don't, the girls will adapt and no doubt they will both do just fine!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:27 am
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As you know on your other post, I have twins but I'm also a twin too. Not quite the same situation but I think you really need to "big up" the school she might go to. My sister got better A level grades than I did, and I still have a bit of a chip on my shoulder (25 years later!) that my parents didn't quite think my university degree was as meaningful as hers because it wasn't a red brick university like hers. I know you want the grammar school for her, and I really hope you are successful in getting a place, but I think in the interim, you have to convince her that the alternative is still great and probably as importantly that you think its great too - that its not the end of the world if she doesn't get a place. I'd perhaps have an initial conversation with both girls - saying how uncertain it is but raving about the merits of both schools - then say its going to be a while before you hear anything in a kind of upbeat "we'll just have to wait and see what happens, now what shall we have for dinner?". Just so that she doesn't think its so monumentally important (to you).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:24 pm
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I have a friend who has year 7 twins. One passed the grammar exam and one didn't even though their SATs and other tests had previously been identical. Their mother said they're both thriving in their separate school. A teacher at the grammar did say she could try for a year 8 transfer to get them in the same school, but they're doing so well she's not going to.

I have my DD2 who didn't get a place this year and we will appeal, DD1 current year 8 at the grammar. I've been quite blunt with her - in a sensitive way though - and explained the process, all the timings and that it's likely she won't know where she's going until nearly the summer holidays while all her friends are buying uniform and doing induction days.

It's pity school places can't be offered in Decrmber then all this would be over (for better or worse) by Easter and they could enjoy the run up to secondary school properly.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:16 pm
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Today has been a better day in our house. They have both been to a netball tournament and won the trophy for the small schools. I have a nice photo of them together and it feels like normal, before the allocation day ever came upon us.
I am going for surgery tomorrow so our focus is that for the weekend and next week we submit the paperwork when I am feeling stronger. I have told my daughter I will present the best case I can and that I will try my hardest but that I have no control over what the panel decides. I have explained that we have to live with the uncertainty for a long while but that is what she has to accept if she wants us to appeal.
Nobody here applies to grammar schools so it doesn't help that people don't understand how you can pass and not get in and they make comments in front of her about her sister being far more clever when in fact the gap is not that big in the real world. People say thoughless things without thinking of the impact sometimes.
When I am feeling stronger it might all be easier to deal with.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:44 am
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When you submit your appeal paperwork, you will be able to provide additional evidence or revisions to your case later on. So if you don't have everything finalised, don't worry


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:19 pm 
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One more thing, I think my daughter's reaction comes from fear and anxiety. Since she was four and nine months, every school day has been spent with her sister. Go back further and since was in nursery every school day has been spent with her sister. They have always been in the same class as their school has a one class intake so to suddenly ask her to cope with being in different schools is a little bit frightening. I think most people would understand that. She needs time to get her head round the whole thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:16 pm
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[quote="Eccentric"]I had some very difficult emotions to deal with from my DD


Thank you. This statement alone made me feel better.


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