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 Post subject: 11+ Appeal on 120
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:39 pm 
Hi

I wonder if you can help. Our son got his 11+ results and scored 120 and 117. He has got CAT scores of 123, 119 and 120 for the last 3 years and is predicted to get level 5 and strong level 5 SATs results this year.

We met with the head and now have the headteachers appeal summary sheet which we need to submit by Friday. There is strong support from the head for our son's entrance to grammar school, however, there are two issues on the appeal sheet that we are very worried about:

Head teachers assessment is a 3:1, the 3 being the 'recommendation with reservations'. We have discussed this with the head and have been advised that the questions surrounding our son's recommendation were not necessarily about lack of capability but a lack of maturity. The letter does say that in the heads opinion he would be suited to grammar school.

Can you please advise us on how we counter this ranking at our appeal and in our letter?

We have ANOTHER issue, and that is our son's position on the order of suitability. He is ranked 29 out of 58. Which also gives us cause for concern. We understand from the head that last years pass rate was around the 50% mark and that a similar pass was expected. Should we just deal with this issue by just stating that he was ranked and was considered suitable and that should be the end of it? We understand from the head that the school is a very high performing school. We did some research on this and founds that last year 63% of pupils achieved level 5 SATs versus the Bucks 57%. And if the pass rate last year was 50% versus a Bucks pass rate of around 30% then this would stack up. But how do we also counter this issue?

Your help would be very greatly appreciated.

We would not consider an appeal if we had not got the support of the head as we value her judgement and know that she would not be supporting us did she not consider that our son was suitable for a grammer school place.

Thanks in advance,
B


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:51 am 
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Location: berkshire
I didnt think that 'maturity' was something that a head took into account...just academic capability... when producing an OoS. Hopefully Sally Anne will be along shortly to give her view.. but in her absence......

If the head is supportive then it may help to have them write a letter to the fact that your child has progressed enormously in maturity over the last '6' months since the Oos was produced and they would now give him a recommendation of '2' or '1'
The fact that he achieved 120 with a second score of 117, is predicted (and already achieved) Level 5 Sats and has good Cat scores seems to show his suitability and is good grounds for an appeal.

If you can prove that the school has a higher pass rate then that would help your case re - his position..... if there are children ranked around him that have also passed then that would also help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:36 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi BAH

I agree with everything that Chad has written.

Quote:
Head teachers assessment is a 3:1, the 3 being the 'recommendation with reservations'. We have discussed this with the head and have been advised that the questions surrounding our son's recommendation were not necessarily about lack of capability but a lack of maturity. The letter does say that in the heads opinion he would be suited to grammar school.


The Head giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other! It makes me a little bit cross to see this, because "maturity" should not really be such a damning factor in preparing the OoS - he is growing up all the time, after all!

The key to this is that although the OoS is engraved in stone, your son's ranking is not. It would be a good idea to approach the Head for a new letter next term stating that she has seen your son mature considerably in recent months, and although the 3 ranking was based on his lack of maturity at the time, she believes that he is making very substantial progress and thriving in Year 6, and therefore her recommendation now would be a 2:1.

If she is then willing to also state approximately where that would have put him on the OoS, were she to be producing it now, so much the better.

If the Head is willing to prepare a further letter along those lines next term you can either send it in 9 days ahead of the Appeal date, or you can even take it with you on the day of the hearing - you will need 6 copies plus the original if you do that.

Ultimately the scores of 120/117 are good, and you need to prove that the 120 (plus his previous VR scores) is the better indicator of his ability. If you can do that, then the panel are more likely to give the benefit of the doubt on a score of 120. Make sure that you assemble as much solid academic evidence as you can.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:52 pm 
Hi there,
thanks for your reply. I talked to the head again today as I was concerned about the 3:1. What has been said is that my son is a bright boy that does not always comply in class, which is where the 3:1 came from. In her view he is suitable for a grammar school because the structure would suit his personality. Does this make sense?

I asked if the ranking would/could be changed and she has said that in order to change his ranking she would need to reduce someone elses and she didn't feel she was able to do that.

I am writing my letter now for delivery to county hall tomorrow and very worried!

Thanks again for your help,
B


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi BAH

Quote:
In her view he is suitable for a grammar school because the structure would suit his personality. Does this make sense?

I asked if the ranking would/could be changed and she has said that in order to change his ranking she would need to reduce someone elses and she didn't feel she was able to do that.


Well, she's starting to come up with the truth - of sorts.

What I think is wrong here is that she has ranked him "3 - recommended with reservations/ 1 - Self starter. Independent worker. Consistent. Highly motivated." That is a long way from "monkeys around a bit, needs structure"!

She is talking tosh when she says that she would need to reduce "someone else's ranking" to change your son's. The schools do not have a quota or limit on rankings - if they have 20 children who are 1:1 standard, they can rank them all at that level, and the same goes for every other possible variation on rankings.

Heads have every right to change a ranking if they feel that the child has improved since the original ranking. In many cases the ranking will have been based on data from the end of Year 5, a whole 6 months before the Appeal, so it is entirely possible that their ranking would be very different by the time of an Appeal.

She is right that she cannot change the Order of Suitability, as I said before. However, she can change your son's ranking and give an indication of where that would have placed him on the original Order of Suitability.

Unfortunately what often happens is that a Head will refuse to admit that she might have not been entirely accurate when doing her rankings. It is a task that can require the Wisdom of Solomon, and it is only when a child suddenly comes so close and an Appeal is looming that Heads realise that they have to justify their decision for a specific child.

I would polish off the letter, mention the ranking briefly, if at all, and I would probably leave out the OoS from your letter completely. Focus on the academic evidence - reports, exam marks, previous test scores - all the positives that you have in hand. Then put your efforts into getting the Head to write a further letter of support next term.

You will also need to work on how you explain the "3" ranking to the panel - some ways will be better than others, and you will need to play around with the wording. I think that if you keep close to the Head you may get some more positive feedback over time.

Good luck - come back to us if you need to.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:45 am 
Am I correct in thinking that Bucks headteachers do the recommendations BEFORE the 11+? In my son's case, the headmaster has given his recommendation AFTER he knew my son's result.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:52 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Guest

The deadline for the Heads to submit the Order of Suitability was around 9th November. Your child's Head will therefore have decided on his ranking at some point before that date.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:10 pm 
Hi Sally-Anne

Does that includes the rankings for 'academic potential' and 'attitude to work'?

In our case (independent non-partner school) the head has made his rankings for my son with the benefit of hindsight as he only did them last week once he knew my son's result!

MelW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Anonymous wrote:
In our case (independent non-partner school) the head has made his rankings for my son with the benefit of hindsight as he only did them last week once he knew my son's result!


Hi MelW

Yes, the OoS is based on the rankings.

Your son's school is out-of-County and not a Partner school, so the Head would therefore not have submitted an OoS. It is not possible to produce an OoS when there are very few children (or even just one child) taking the 11+.

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7065
Quote:
Can you please advise us on how we counter this ranking at our appeal and in our letter?

Dear BAH

It all seems rather odd to me. If the head has concerns about maturity and "not complying in class", I would have thought that had more to do with attitude, and should have been reflected in the "attitude grade". If he really is a bright boy, then I would have thought a "2" for academic potential would have been reasonable.

So there we are: I've changed the 3:1 to a 2:2. :D

See how things develop with the head up to the time of the appeal, but if she won't budge, I recommend that you discuss all of this with the panel and respectfully suggest that the head may have confused the academic side of things with attitude.

The panel are unlikely to pay much attention to the attitude grade, but you can go on to make the point about growing maturity.

_________________
Etienne


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