Before going into any details, I'd like to say a big thankyou to all who have posted their experiences, questions & answers on here. They have definitely helped a great deal and I don't think we would have been anywhere near as well prepared without all your help.
We just got home from our appeal hearing... We arrived a little early and the other hearings were running a little late, so we were waiting for around an hour before being collected by the Clerk.
The Lay Chair was a retired lawyer (I think), and the non-lay member was a retired teacher from a secondary school. The third (lay) member worked in industry somewhere we can't remember, who has been sitting appeals for 4 years....
We hadn't prepared any particular opening speech, but had talked about what we would say. Unfortunately my wife thinks I put my foot in it somewhat by mentioning our son knew and appreciated the difference between a GS and US, and that he would much prefer to go to a GS. She thinks the panel may think if our son was so keen on going to GS he should have worked harder for the 11+ and also his attitude to work should be better than a 3. Nerves did get the better of me quite a bit, so I did ramble more than I thought I would.
The panel asked us several questions we had been expecting, due to the excellent advice from others on this forum.
They asked what he does when he arrives home from school, what extra-curricular activities he does, how he gets on with his peers at school as he is very young for his year group. As we mentioned our son reads a lot when at home, the panel asked if he does anything else socially as "readers" tend to be less social. We mentioned then that he plays for the local football team and goes to a regular disco with school friends on a Friday.
The panel did bring up the fact that our son was the only child marked with an attitude rating of 3 in the first 23 of the OoS, which we were hoping wouldn't come up. We explained that the school had not given us reason to think that was the case before we received the appeal paperwork, and they did seem to agree that it was something of a contradiction given that on the rest of the HT's summary everything mentioned was "highly recommended".
I did post all the academic details etc in this post
, for a little more background.
Although the panel were very pleasant and tried to make us feel at ease with the situation, we were both very nervous and think this did show through, with us being tongue-tied at times. In particular I had to correct myself a couple of times when I just plain got my facts wrong. My wife got no sleep at all last night through nerves, which didn't help with the nerves in the hearing.
Now we need to play the waiting game I guess.....