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 Post subject: Bucks Appeal
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:22 am
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My son failed the 11plus quite badly and I am appealing on the grounds of extreme and extenuating circumstances. I won't go into the details here, but there is no question about the impact of our home circumstance had on my son during the lead up to the 11 plus tests - in fact the second test had to be deferred until November as a result. I have professional evidence including that of the family doctor to support this and there is no doubt the panel will take our situation into account.

My question relates to acedemic evidence. Some suggest presenting past practice papers, some suggest providing school books, some suggest providing an additional letter from the class teacher. What is the view of the forum. I want to provide a clear and powerful case and I don't want to swamp the panel with uneccesary examples of how bright I think my child is. What evidence is likely to support my case best. Your thoughts and ideas would be most welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
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Location: berkshire
Hi Debi,

I am not a expert on appeals but the following is a guide to academic evidence

[i]a. Good 11+ test scores (i.e. as close to the pass mark as possible)
b. A headteacher who is very supportive and credible (i.e. whose support is not exaggerated and clearly over-optimistic). Also a headteacher who does not write exactly the same thing for every single appeal. His/her words will probably be scrutinised to see whether there is some sort of reference to “very high academic abilityâ€


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Debi

Welcome to the Forum. I am sorry to hear that your situation was so difficult at the time of the 11+. It sounds as though you have gathered together the right type of evidence to explain that to the panel.

Please remember that, no matter how dreadful the situation was at the time of the 11+ (and I have come across some truly heartbreaking cases), your primary task is to demonstrate to the the panel that your son is bright enough to cope at a GS.

The panel would rather be swamped by evidence of how bright your child is than swamped by mitigating circumstances, no matter how severe they were. As you state that he failed the 11+ "quite badly" it is all the more important that you present very strong academic evidence.

Debi wrote:
in fact the second test had to be deferred until November as a result.


You will particularly need to explain this result - if the home situation had been partially or fully resolved by November, the panel will be asking themselves whether this second result is actually representative of his ability. You need to prove that it is not.

All the evidence that Chad has suggested would be entirely appropriate.

Practice papers are not relevant evidence - the same official practice papers are used every year, so it it quite possible that some children will have seen them before. Likewise, shop-bought practice papers may not have been conducted under test conditions, they could have been completed by an older sibling or parent ...

You should take school books in, but do be selective: English, Maths and Science, and possibly Geography & History, would be most relevant. You should hand them to the Chair of the panel at the end of the hearing. The panel will examine them while you wait outside the room and the clerk will return the books to you after a few minutes.

If you feel that the class teacher would write a very positive letter, then by all means get him/her to do so. It should stick to academic evidence and not stray into "what a helpful boy little Johnny is". If you have time to submit it ahead of the appeal, then do so. (It needs to be sent to the Appeals office 9 days ahead). Otherwise, take 6 copies of it with you, plus the original. You should hand the original and one copy to the Clerk, and the remaining copies are for the 3 panel members, the LEA rep and yourself.

Good luck - please ask any more questions if you need to. :D

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Also I seem to remember Sally-Anne suggesting 'post-its' marking good comments e.g. levelled work - this went done well with Appeal panels last year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:14 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Debi

Guest55 is correct, and I personally still favour the idea, although there was some healthy debate about it!

For the record, I felt that small post-it notes marking very good pieces of work would help the panel find the work that you most want them to see in the few minutes they have to glance through the books. I know that some panels have said that they found the idea helpful.

The "opposiing camp" :lol: felt that it would immediately draw the panel's attention to all the less good pieces of work!

I feel that is a risk worth taking, as at least the best pieces of work are unlikely to be overlooked, but it is up to you to decide.

When you hand over the books I would comment "I have added some sticky notes on pieces of work which I feel really represent my son's ability best", or words to that effect.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:43 pm 
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The panel members are not meant to 'judge' the child's work - so levels and good teacher comments [not just 'well done!'] are worth highlighting. In my opinion they then just back up your academic evidence in an effective way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:17 am 
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Thank you for your very helpful comments which I have fully taken on board. I have some good pieces of project work/homework which I can also include if you think that would help.

I also wondered if I could refer to some more abstract, less measurable academic traits. i.e very wide general knowledge, love of reference books, lateral and three dimensional thinking all of which teachers have particularly commeted on in parent/teacher consultations.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:01 pm 
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Speaking for the "opposing camp" :D :D :D, I am not too keen on post-it notes (but you will know this if you've read section E of the Q&As). Panel members that I spoke to last year thought that they got in the way, and didn't like the concept of being "advised" what to look at. But I do accept that different panel members might react in different ways.

Again, if you've read the Q&As, you will know that I do not favour specially selected project work. Routine work in exercise books is likely to be of greater interest to panel members .......

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:22 pm 
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Debi wrote:
I also wondered if I could refer to some more abstract, less measurable academic traits. i.e very wide general knowledge, love of reference books, lateral and three dimensional thinking all of which teachers have particularly commeted on in parent/teacher consultations.

I'm afraid hearsay remarks would carry no weight. On the other hand, if teachers were to put these comments in a letter, it would be very useful .....

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:15 pm 
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I accept what you say Etienne - but surely if a parent says I have highlighted levelled work that is helpful to a panel - they can choose to ignore it of course! However they are instructed NOT to judge work so what are they looking for?


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