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 Post subject: Appeals hearing query
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:44 pm 
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Hi all, I'm really hoping someone can help me with an appeals query? We're in the process of appealing a refusal of a Birmingham Grammar school place currently as our DD missed out by 6 points, which was totally unexpected by both ourselves and her school :(
She had a complete nervous meltdown at home on the morning of the test and was a quivering wreck by the time she arrived at the school. Naively I let her carry on (at her insistence) thinking she'd be o.k once the test started, but unfortunately it clearly affected her performance in the test.

Anyway, my question relates to what to respond to a panel if they discuss the issue of how "the admission of additional children would cause prejudice," (taken from the Appeals Code Doc 2012). Excuse my ignorance, but does this relate in basic terms to whether admitting further children above and beyond the admission numbers would have a detrimental effect on the school and the other pupils?
I've managed to gather evidence of expected SAT's results, previous school reports and a very supportive letter from the headteacher, but I'm really concerned about the process once we have to face a panel! :?

Any advice is greatly received! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:32 pm
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Yes - you are correct in your understanding. You have (firstly) to prove academic evidence of your daughter's suitability for the grammar school and then that in admitting your daughter to the school and thereby essentially making them go one over their Admission Number, this would not have a detrimental effect (or 'cause prejudice') to those children already at the school. Perhaps a starting place would be to look at the stats for past appeals for the school and if they have managed to cope with having to take additional children due to successful appeals.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:48 pm 
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Tinytoes wrote:
Hi all, I'm really hoping someone can help me with an appeals query? We're in the process of appealing a refusal of a Birmingham Grammar school place currently as our DD missed out by 6 points, which was totally unexpected by both ourselves and her school :(
She had a complete nervous meltdown at home on the morning of the test and was a quivering wreck by the time she arrived at the school. Naively I let her carry on (at her insistence) thinking she'd be o.k once the test started, but unfortunately it clearly affected her performance in the test.

Anyway, my question relates to what to respond to a panel if they discuss the issue of how "the admission of additional children would cause prejudice," (taken from the Appeals Code Doc 2012). Excuse my ignorance, but does this relate in basic terms to whether admitting further children above and beyond the admission numbers would have a detrimental effect on the school and the other pupils?
I've managed to gather evidence of expected SAT's results, previous school reports and a very supportive letter from the headteacher, but I'm really concerned about the process once we have to face a panel! :?

Any advice is greatly received! :)


Hi Tinytoes,

I think you will have a very difficult journey with your Appeal.The appeal will be heard at Birmingham Town Hall which is where last years took place with a number of other appeals for SCGSG. Your first issue is convincing the Appeal panel your dd is of grammar school ability. This is not as easy as it looks.I am aware of a girl who scored 210 last year was refused on this ground last year who had as supporting evidence a letter from her headmaster who had previously never ever supported any Appeal and strongly supported this Appeal.She had supporting letters from her form teacher and director of studies.In the latter letter were her results in PIPS and ISEB exams from years 5 and 6 in comparison to other pupils in her class who had gained grammar school places.Copies of her school reports.Evidence of extensive medical difficulties in the months prior to the exam and at the exam which required an application for special measures prior to the exam supported by the school.These were not enough to convince the panel she was of grammar school ability.

In the Appeal were also the extensive medical difficulties of her siblings which had impacted upon her in the months prior to the exams.These include evidence from consultants,GP's and physiotherapists.

Her appeal was refused on the 2 grounds namely she was not of grammar school ability and upon the issue of prejudice.I think over the 2 days there were approximately 30 appeals I don't know if any were successful but this was in my opinion a strong case and went well at the Appeal hearing.

I know generally some of the lowest appeal success rates are for the Grammars in Birmingham.This was an appeal by someone I know who I was happy to help.This wasn't pursued purely because the family had enough on their plate resolving their children's medical difficulties and for one of the children was life threatening.

It is better to go in forearmed and forewarned than to go in blind.I hope your case is different and you are successful and maybe you get a better panel.

_________________
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:03 pm
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Thanks both for your responses. Admittedly I knew it would be an almost impossible mission but I feel I still need to try all avenues so I can sleep knowing I've done all I can for my DD.

I'll definitely take MaggieMay's suggestion on board to find out how many past appeals have been successful. I have a feeling it may be virtually non-existent, but it all helps I suppose?

Quasimodo, thanks for the heads up, I had a feeling it wasn't going to be easy by any means. From what I've read on the forums it appears that a lot comes down to the panel on the day and whether they've "heard it all before." Really beginning to think it may all be a waste of time and effort for little outcome :cry:

Does anyone have any idea where I can find out about the success rates for past appeals in Birmingham? been googling all afternoon without much luck?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:00 pm 
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Tinytoes wrote:
Really beginning to think it may all be a waste of time and effort for little outcome :cry:


Not from your area so can't advise on anything, but I just wanted to say that to start we felt the same as you. After spending months preparing and attending appeals, when a few rejections came through, even though it was painful and upsetting, not for one second did we regret going through the process; we knew we had tried and our DS knew we had tried and that was a good lesson in itself, teaching him that if you don't try you can't win.

Good luck :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:30 pm 
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TT, quasi is right that appeals to b'ham Grammars are notoriously tricky to win. The reality is, although 6 points doesn't sound far, the lower the score, the more children sit on each point, so 6 points represents an awful lot of kids. Focus on proving academic level and why that particular school is the right one to try and overcome the prejudice argument. Also, start bigging up your offered school, just in case!


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