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 Post subject: Watford Schools
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:13 am
Posts: 170
Now my emotional side has calmed down I need some advice.

We did not get a school of our choice! We have rejected the space offered and need some good advice on how to appeal.

I am even happy to pay or an expert if anybody can recommend somebody?

Need experience / knowledge of appealing for Watord Boys, Parmiters and or Rickmansworth? These were our choices.

Please help :?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Dear watdad

The process of appealing for an oversubscribed school is basically the same everywhere. See the Q&As section C for an explanation of the two-stage process.

I'm sorry to say that the average success rate for foundation schools is below the national average, and even worse for VA schools.

There are some comments about "appeals experts" in the Q&As A11. If you do engage one, be sure to ask how many appeal panels they've sat on and how many cases they've heard!

Regards

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:44 pm 
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Posts: 170
Thank you. I would rather not (pay an expert) and from what I have read this site is full of good stuff. I will read the link and perhaps post my thoughts here. I would only do so if somebody had had good previous experience and would recommend one.

I would accept any of my schools, when I appeal am I appealing to a school or the LEA. Should I concentrate my efforts on one school or if I keep my mind and options open does it help?

In truth I am open to all three, each has strengths all are better than my allocated school. Unfortunately current school will not support appeal, apparently it is not their policy to do so! All they care about is their sat score other schools have prepared the kids or these test, some even offering after school clubs in coaching.

My son is in the top few pupils in his class and has always obtained sat scores above the average or his year. Ever since he started school.

I am 15th on Ricky, 24th on Parmiters and Wat Boys will not say until after 17th. Everybody has bad days at work presumably I need to prove this score is not a reflection of his ability.

Do any of the moderators have any experience of the Watford school appeals. I have checked back but can’t find any previous posts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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I'm afraid moderators have no particular knowledge of Watford appeals. I looked at the website for Watford Boys but could find no details about how their appeals are organised. I'm aware that the school is partially selective - you need to be clear what it is you are appealing for. The appeal papers will, I hope, clarify whether this is just an appeal against oversubscription, or whether there is a selective element.

It's entirely up to VA and foundation schools whether they arrange their own appeals, or opt to delegate responsibility to the local authority.

Sadly there are primary schools around that will not co-operate with any form of selection for political reasons.

My advice would be to keep as many options open as is practicable.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:04 am 
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Posts: 170
My son had to go to the doctors this morning. He had not been himself for the last few days didn’t want to go to Scouts / Cub (been going for 7 years) didn’t want to go to school yesterday, we dragged him!

I though he was just a bit disappointed but the doc has signed him off school till Monday. Apparently he is suffering from a stress related virus probably cause by all anxiety of the school allocation process.

Is this type of thing any use in an appeal?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Sorry but, very sad though it is, I'm not sure how your son being stressed & disappointed is grounds for appeal.

As far as I can gather, the only real chance you have at the consortium schools is if they haven't applied their entrance criteria correctly - maladministation of some sort. In that sense (IMO) we in Herts are disadvantaged compared to our neighbours in Bucks, who, if unsuccessful in the 11+, can argue that a child "deserves" a grammar school place. As the consortium schools aren't grammar schools - in the true sense - this argument doesn't help here.

There is a thread further down about an appeal at Watford girls that might interest you - it's called grammar appeal by neelwgs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:20 am
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Watdad,

I know it's no consolation, and it certainly doesn't help your prospects, but I think your son did really well, and he should be commended for that.

The reasons are the following:

1. Most children (admittedly not all) that sit the exams, do so, because somehow they're considered to have the ability to do well in an academically challenging environment. Without having any other reference than rough "guesstimation" I'd say that this group is already amongst the top 40% of children their age. Why? because I assume that average children (and below) don't take part, and I give 10 above average as the gap in which the child's ability gets noticed.

2. Parmiter's CI list goes beyond 500 children.

3. Your son being 94th (assuming around 4 per number, and your child in the middle of his own segment) place on the CI, plus 46 children allocated according to the 25% criterion, puts him in the top 140. Again, in my extremely roughly "guesstimation" that is within the top 28% of this already select group.

Finally, combining 1.2. and 3, puts your son in the top 12%. Though more realistically maybe 20-25% as we should allow a few percentage points for other events such as siblings of same ability that don't sit exams, etc.

I think that in a proper "grammar county", such as Bucks, your son would've been guaranteed a place at a GS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Watdad wrote:
Apparently he is suffering from a stress related virus probably cause by all anxiety of the school allocation process.
Is this type of thing any use in an appeal?


No - it's happened after the exam, so isn't a reason for doing not as well as he could have on the day. It is, however, worth mentioning during an appeal as a passing comment.

Dar wrote:
Why? because I assume that average children (and below) don't take part, and I give 10 above average as the gap in which the child's ability gets noticed.


Not so sure about this. I think you do get a few average children taking the exam, primarily with parents who are either deluded with regards to their childs ability, or have had them coached like mad to get them in because 'grammar schools are good, therefore will be good for my child', or because the child actually wanted to have a bash at the exam.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:13 am
Posts: 170
That is not quite what I meant.

I was thinking more as a reason or rejecting our allocated school…..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Watdad

A transfer appeal is about establishing the positive reasons that the new school is the one that will best provide for your son's needs. It is unwise to stray into negative territory about the alternative school.

I have just replied on this topic on another Appeals thread - "appeals query", if that is helpful.

If there is a specific social reason why the new school would be preferable, that would be good evidence. That might include substantiated evidence (preferably with evidence from the current school or from your GP) of prolonged bullying from children who will be attending the alternative school.

However, your son's negative reaction to the allocation news, although very distressing for you and him, is not evidence in itself I'm afraid.

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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