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 Post subject: premature children
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:20 pm
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Hi, this sounds like a strange question, but can a childs prematurity be taken into account at an appeal?

A premature childs true birthdate could add two of three points to their final mark thus taking them higher up the ranking order and even mean the difference between qualifying and not qualifying.

In my case, child has qualified for a grammar place, but don't know if they will get in due to overcrowding. Ranking position is not known.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Yes, I was certainly on the receiving end of this argument at appeals.

I think it would carry more weight if medical evidence of the premature birth were introduced, and also some independent research showing that such children are disadvantaged in standardised reasoning tests.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:39 pm 
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Thanks Etienne,

My child was very premature.

I wondered if anyone out there has, or knows of an appeal in this way to raise a childs ranking order if that child has qualified but over crowding is an issue? What evidence did they use and were they successful?


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 Post subject: Re: premature children
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
guest87 wrote:
Hi, this sounds like a strange question, but can a childs prematurity be taken into account at an appeal?


We had an appeal on grounds of prematurity. It was a case where the child was born in late July, but was due in September. They'd been allowed to join school a year 'late' to be with what should have been their cohort, but the parents were warned at that time that the secondary school may object - but who thinks of that in Reception. The school said that the child should have taken the 11+ exam the previous year, and was refusing to allow her to take it with the rest of her year.

Medical evidence was produced, as well as lots of other useful information. The child came to the appeal as well, which we found a little difficult when discussing maturity, etc.

We decided that as the child was so premmy (one picture showed her at 'drowned rat' stage - I've spent time in SCUBU's and always think that the very little ones look like half-drowned rats, unlike our normal size, if not larger full term +3 weeks one), it would be unfair to allow them not to take the exam with the rest of what should have been her year had she been full term, so allowed the appeal.

Our decision didn't take long on that occasion; I remember dashing out the door to have a word with the parents who hadn't quite made it down the stairs - our clerk didn't like us doing that, saying it had to be done by letter, but this was a one off appeal, out of the normal appeal season, and unlikely to be repeated.

If it were an 'ordinary' appeal then I would take it into account, but would want to see plenty of evidence, notes from the school, and even if you could find it (and I'm sure there must be research out there), something showing that premmies ability is x weeks behind a full term child, even at age 11.

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Capers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:20 pm
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Thats really interesting Capers,

Of course everything may be fine, as already met qualifying standard, but depends on ranking. So a wait until 4th March, but as age does alter final marks, just seems fair to use REAL chronological age even if it is pre partum..

In this case, still would have been in same year, but 2.5 months premature is quite a lot.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
guest87 wrote:
In this case, still would have been in same year, but 2.5 months premature is quite a lot.


10 weeks plus. Definitely would have affected the standardisation for age, so would be a valid reason for not having a higher score - although I don't know how many marks it would give. Hope you don't need to use it (and just think, he'll be doing better than others of his age with the same score).

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Capers


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 Post subject: premature
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:01 pm
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Location: bucks
Interesting indeed

In our unsuccessful appeal, we were asked if our daughter was "premature", as she was a late August birth. We answered that she was on time but if we had answered that, no, she was premature, they would have have to have taken our word for it, so perhaps that might have swung it - makes me feel even more sick.

I think the fact that if your child is born very late in the school year is a BIG disadvantage anyway - whether a couple of months either side. Although the standardisation process may take it into account and give a couple of extra marks, the fact that the child is not as mentally mature as those that are nearly a year older does not seem to be factored into the equation -eg in terms of how they cope with pressure etc. But a year later, after they have grown up mentally a bit more, then they can come on in leaps and bounds in how they cope with a pressure such as the 11+.

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dejavu


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Thanks for all your responses, hopefully I won't have to worry and a place will be given, but even if a single mark moves them up the list it would be worth a shot.

Children this premature have a tough start in life so not too much to ask to be put in proper cohort. There is literature out there that suggests development issues.

Perhaps this could be made an official ruling for 11+ tests, to take into account very premature childrens true birthdate as long as appropriate evidence is given.

A premature child is one born <37 weeks gestation. There are different categories of premature. Premature, very premature and extreme premature. It makes you think!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
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Hi

I was pleased to read about your decision regarding premature babies. It certainly does make a difference when a child is in the wrong school year because of birth dates. This very situation has definitely had a marked effect 10 years down the line for a 5lb premature baby with whom we are familiar!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:28 pm 
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Just to keep you posted, that my DD got allocated the Grammar school she wanted so no need to appeal. I'm very happy and proud of her result, she is over the moon :D

Adding to this thread, I agree that there should be continued assessment of very premature children as they progress through school. Schools should be officially told of prematurity and base any tests on real chronological age.

Parents should not be satisfied with the 'they will catch up in two years time' speech we all get when they are born. Catch up physically but mentally?

The more I read of the scientific literature, the more I can pinpoint some of the more common effects that prematurity has had on my own child.

It's an interesting topic that needs more discussion. I was fully prepared to appeal on the grounds of prematurity vs standardised age score.

Thanks for you replies.


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