I have just returned from my Appeal today, still shaking actually!! It was at 10.20am in Aylesbury. I am writing this out now while it is still clear in my head.
We went into the appeal on time, but I presume we were the 2nd of the day. I was told by the Clerk that they are dealing with 6 and there are 6 going on at the same time (so 36 in a day). The Panel put us at ease, the Clerk was very nice and the LEA Rep also seemed quite nice (believe me I was expecting someone with 3 heads reading some of the threads). The panel introduced themselves, and asked us for clarification of ourselves. My daughters Father and I are divorced and I think they were a little confused.
The LEA Rep did her argument against. A Panel member asked a question at the end regarding the OoS, and asked was it relevant to the test scores, (I got confused at this point as I thought she doesn't know what an OoS is) but I think she was trying to draw out if it was an accurate measure of those who were expected and those that did pass. I must admit to being a bit worried here, but it came across that it was fairly accurate and my DD was well placed.
I then handed in my extra evidence to the Panel (a GP's letter and our statement we were going to read out) I was unable to get it there before the papers were sent out. We and the LEA Rep were asked to leave the room so that they could read it, the Rep read it outside. We were then called back into the room. My ex and I decided to split the statement before hand so that we both were able to talk. My ex read out the academic evidence. DD scored 116/115, Head ranked her as a 2:1, she was 13th on the OoS, 25 were ranked, 22 were expected to pass, 16 passed, 11 ahead of my DD, 5 after, 2 with a score of 120, we did not over elborate here just said the Heads OoS seemed to be pretty accurate which they agreed. Predicted SATs scores of 5B IN English and Science and 5C in Maths. He then went on to previous results, NFER VR Year 4 score 133, Year 5 Score 131, plus a Optional QCA SATs reading of 130. He then said it was strongly supported by the HT and the Year 6 teacher, a good year 5 report in English, Maths and Science, as well as a letter of support from the Dr regarding the circumstances. (a Comment here was it makes a change for a Dr to support a case, he was very good and he did not charge me, although I shall not tell the practice manager!!)
I then did the circumstances as it was relevant to me. I was going to read it off the sheet but did not want to sound staccato so basically said it as it was. I was very nervous. They all agreed that it was a difficult time. The pregnancy impacted on the lead up and on the exams. I had a letter of confirmation that I was in hospital 8 times in the 3 weeks before the papers and gave birth in between the 2 dates (7th Oct). They all seemed to agree and the type of questions that came up were, was the summer holiday affected (which it was), was she nervous on the day (yes she was), I explained the school had called us in twice before hand because she was quiet and subdued and her work was affected. They asked were the practice papers affected, I tried to cover over this slightly as I was not sure how they would read it, bascially they were the first two were lowish scores which is how the school were alerted to her underperformance, basically she was not completing 20% of the paper but was doing well in the answers that she managed. All I said here were the practice papers were affected, and left it at that. One member asked did she finish the paper, I said she did but only just as her mind just was not on the job in hand at the time as I was in hospital and she was more worried about me at the time. I then said that her work standard had now returned to normal and she loved her baby brother, (she had mixed emotions prior to his birth, being the eldest she was a little overwhelmed).
One member asked does she read books for pleasure, I figured this was a filler, so just said she is an avid reader and has just read the Golden Compass trilogy, as well as Treasure Island. They said what else and just basically said she played the violin, they asked had she done any grades, yes she has, they said was she good at art, again yes she is.
I really could not read it and neither could my ex, hopefully we have done our best for her. To be honest as much as I would love her to be at a Grammar, it is not the end of the world, I have tried not to let it affect me, especially not my xmas, I have 3 other children to worry about.
We took in with us her, English, Maths and Science books, one member pointed out as we were leaving, she is very good at art, she was looking at a picture in one of her books. We also took in a test paper for English she did after the 11+, she scored a 5C in a short letter and 5 overall.
We thanked the panel for listening to us and left. The LEA chatted to us outside and wished us luck. She was very nice.
So now we have to wait. I am now going to try and put it to the back of my mind, as there is absolutely nothing I can do about it now, and what will be, will be. But the whole experience was nerve wracking but the panel were doing there job and we were given a fair go.
I wish everyone else good luck.