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 Post subject: grammar appeal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:35 pm
Posts: 40
Hi,

We completed an application for admission to a Grammar school for Girls
for Sep 2007 admissions . However, my daughter was ineligible to sit the test as we were not in the correct postcode area. I wrote to the admissions office stating that we were actively looking for a property in Pinner and to allow my daughter the chance to sit the test in Nov 2006 but the admissions office was adamant that we could not sit the test.

We moved to Pinner in April 2007 and informed the WGS admissions office, who
wrote back saying that my daughter could sit the test in Nov 2007 and that the results of the test would give her ranking and place her on a continued interest list. My daughter sat the test and we found out that my daughter ranked 3rd in the waiting list for a place at the school via telephone communication. Her results were not sent to us in writing.

I have requested an appeal and will get a date around end of Feb & early March.

I intend to bring up the following points to support our appeal:-

1/ Shorter commute to school (half the distance to current school).
2/ Ongoing Medical issues with my father, who does all the transportation
of my daughter due to my work commitments and my wife's commitments to two younger siblings.
3/ Financial burden of paying fees, we felt we had to educate our daughter in order for her to achieve her full potential, but putting strain on family as my wife is a housewife.


Realistically, do we stand a chance of winning the appeal, based on the above?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
I would omit number 3 and point out that she was not allowed to sit the test when you origianlly requested it as you had not been able to buy a house.

If you are now in catchment and your daughter would have qualified if she had sat at the correct time I would emphasise this. If the school has a specialism does it fit your daughter's strengths?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:35 pm
Posts: 40
Thanks for your reposnse guest55.

It's quite frustrating for us because we told the school that we were actively looking for a property and were prepared provide a letter from a solicitor to prove this but they're stance on this was that my daughter's address was "at the time of application" and could not be considered.

The school is a specialism in mathematics & computing, the school offers language subjects that are not offered at other schools. My daughter has a good aptitude for French.

What sort of documents should I produce at the appeal?
I thought about school reports, certificates, SAT scores, which were all L5.
We just found out last week that our daughter is in the category of "young, gifted & talented" following cat results she had in year 5. We don't have anything in writing from the school but would this help our chances?


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 Post subject: Re: grammar appeal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
neelwgs wrote:
3/ Financial burden of paying fees, we felt we had to educate our daughter in order for her to achieve her full potential, but putting strain on family as my wife is a housewife.


I agree with Guest55. State schools do not allocate places because the parents might find it a struggle to pay private fees, and appeals panels would think likewise. It's almost saying that state schools are second best to private, when many are better (especially grammars); there are some ghastly private schools - many years ago I taught music at one (very high fees, lower than average ability pupils, very average results. Think "Tim Nice but Dim").

Any evidence of G&T is useful & won't be ignored by the panel.

Finally, make sure you stay on the waiting list - position 3 round my area would probably get a place anyway once other pupils decide to go to one of the other grammars.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:35 pm
Posts: 40
Thanks Capers123. I only found out about this forum by accident yesterday and yet I've already some great advice given to me already.

The waiting list is apparently kept til year 9 but because it's such a good school we didn't think there could be many leavers that's why we thought we should try to appeal.

With regards the school reports, certificates etc, should I make photocopies for the appeal panel or should I show them the originals and let the clerk make the copies?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:17 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
neelwgs wrote:
The waiting list is apparently kept til year 9 but because it's such a good school we didn't think there could be many leavers that's why we thought we should try to appeal.

With regards the school reports, certificates etc, should I make photocopies for the appeal panel or should I show them the originals and let the clerk make the copies?


I've found that there are often families who move because parents employment forces them to, so don't loose hope.

Check with the clerk, but I would send enough photocopies for one for each panel member, one for the clerk and one for the School side - you could take the originals for your copy, and in case the panel wish to see them. Certificates - don't include every sports / Guides / music exam certificate you have. I like to know if they've passed music grades (as other panel members like to see mention of other extra-curricular interests), but this can be mentioned in the appeal letter, rather than giving the panel piles of extra paper to wade through. Mind you, if she has a Diploma in music (above grade 8), that would be quite impressive!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
I would be absolutely amazed if an appeal was successful on the grounds on an easier shorter commute for the Grandad. I thought appeals (in this area) had to relate to maladministration in some way? Perhaps your daughter should have been allowed to sit the test as soon as you had moved to Pinner in April rather than wait until November?

If the school is full for your daughter's year group, I would imagine that any case would have to be very strong for an appeal to succeed. I'd be more hopeful that, at only 3 on the waiting list, a place might become available.

Good luck though & let us know how you get on!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
Also read the appeals 'stickies' - you have to show that the school matches your daughter's needs - academic and others (e.g. the shorter journey time will mean she can do after school stuff she can't do now). They will argue they don't have room - a panel judges who has the stronger case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:35 pm
Posts: 40
good points tense & guest55.

That's correct my daughter can't do any after school activities at the moment because of the commute and impact on the younger siblings so she is missing out big time.

The point about not being able to tests in April 2007 really hurt us, because it has potentially delayed things by 7 months. I appreciate that the school administration must have been busy dealing with admissions for sep 2007, but surely they could have arranged a day for my daughter to sit the tests especially in our circumstances. I really want to bring this up at the appeal, I have copies of their letters from last year, but I think this may only embarass them and may not help our chances.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
The appeal panel should be independent - so the fact that you weren't allowed to sit it earlier is important - potentially this is one of your strongest arguments. If she had sat the test earlier she may have been allocated a place at the school for September 2007.


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