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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Hello

I have lurked on this forum while preparing my son for the 11+. It has been most helpful.

DS was not offered a grammar school place, and we won't be appealing on that. However, we are appealing for a different school (a Catholic school).

Is it permitted to ask for help on a non-grammar appeal on this forum? If not, apologies - but if anyone can point me in the direction of any help on appeals to a faith school, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:21 pm 
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Read the sticky - look for the section in transfer appeals.

I think a letter form your vicar/minister saying why a faith school is important would be useful.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:44 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Read the sticky - look for the section in transfer appeals.

I think a letter form your vicar/minister saying why a faith school is important would be useful.


Thank you for your reply. I have read the sticky, but couldn't find anything particularly relevant to a faith school.

We are intending to ask our vicar for a letter - he had to sign a form for the application (we are not Catholics but are committed Christians, which puts us below various Catholic criteria but above "any other applicants") - the original form only asked him to confirm that we are regular churchgoers defined as at least once a month. So we thought a letter that explains that we are committed Christians and active church members would be helpful.

There are some other issues in our case - but I'd like it confirmed that it is OK to discuss this on an 11+ forum, before giving details.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:03 pm 
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Yes its fine - all are welcome - I have helped friends with appeals to faith schools -

You need to show that your child needs the school you are applying for e.g. ethos of school, SEN provision, escaping bullies etc.

Basically a panel decides if the prejudice to the school is outweighed by an extra pupil - it's worth looking at what their pupil numbers have been and whether they have 'grown' the sixth form. One popular school was criticised for saying it was full and then taking 30 extra pupils in Year 12!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:09 pm 
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Dear bc

We've dealt with queries about a junior school transfer here before, so I'm sure you're welcome. Nice of you to ask.

There's nothing specific to a faith school in our advice because the criterion for any oversubscription appeal is the same:
Is the parental case so strong as to outweigh the prejudice to the school?

Section C of the Q&As applies to you.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:16 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Yes its fine - all are welcome - I have helped friends with appeals to faith schools -

You need to show that your child needs the school you are applying for e.g. ethos of school, SEN provision, escaping bullies etc.

Basically a panel decides if the prejudice to the school is outweighed by an extra pupil - it's worth looking at what their pupil numbers have been and whether they have 'grown' the sixth form. One popular school was criticised for saying it was full and then taking 30 extra pupils in Year 12!


Ok, thank you.

DS is actually high on the waiting list, and it is quite possible that he will eventually be offered a place - however we have been advised that we should appeal, since otherwise people lower down the waiting list may win appeals and so reduce our chances.

The main base of our appeal will be our wish for DS to have a faith-based education, and I think I'm OK on that part. However, I am wondering whether any other points could be used:

1. My husband teaches at the school, so transport etc, would be easy, and it would give him opportunities to stay for after-school activities. Should we mention this, or would it be considered irrelevant?

2. The school is a Business and enterprise school - is it worth mentioning that DS has a strong interest in ICT?

3. The school (which has a very good academic record) offers additional classes after school for extra GCSE's. Is it worth saying that our bright DS might benefit from these when he reaches this stage? I'm a bit dubious about this, as I suspect that panels might be reluctant to apply academic evidence to a non-selective school.

On your point about pupil numbers - there is no 6th form. The PAN is based on 28 pupils per class (6 form entry) - current total numbers suggest that they are at around this level in all year groups.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:52 pm 
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1) seems a good reason - shows commitment to the school

2) do you have evidence from reports etc of this interest? Maybe a report or somesuch

3) as you say this is not so strong unless one of these extra subjects links to an interest e.g. archaeology, Italian (and e.g. you have family links to Italy)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:16 pm 
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bc, i also teach at a faith school, and my ds will be starting in September so I have "some" idea for what its worth.

I argued the following: that son had to leave school with me in morning as upsetting for son to be on own with dad who has bad back, as my school started earlier. Are there any reasons you can think of apart from transport which makes it essential that your son goes with him in morning?

Does he have friends going there ? Would it reassure him having a parent at the school? you must show that your childs need for THAT school outweighs the problem of school accepting over their pan.

good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:06 am 
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Thank you for your replies Guest55 and pooodle.

We don't really have pressing reasons at present for DS to travel with his dad. If DS gets into the school, then his sisters (twins, currently yr 4) will have an increased chance of getting in, and it would certainly be good if they were all going in with him in 2 years' time, as this would give me a lot more options with work (I currently work from home). However, I don't think I can use arguments based on the hypothetical future!

It would definitely reassure him to have a parent at the school - he is very close to his Dad and has always been keen to go to "Daddy's school" (I've told him that in a year or two he will be disowning parents!) - he insisted on placing the Catholic school as first choice, over the grammar school. I think he identifies with the school, as he has visited for school fetes, productions etc. He doesn't have friends going there but he does know a couple of older students and has met some teachers.

I'm not sure how strong these arguments are though - I don't want to include any reasons that the panel will see as weak as that could weaken the overall case.

Do the panel have information on the school the child has been allocated, and can they take this into account? DS's current offer is the catchment school - if I state advantages for DS in travelling with his dad, can they just reply that he would have no difficulties in travelling to the catchment school as a bus is provided?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:05 pm 
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Quote:
Do the panel have information on the school the child has been allocated, and can they take this into account?

If it were an LA school, it's quite likely the panel would have a copy of your common application form. In this situation (an own-admission authority school), one can't be sure. In any case, they shouldn't be influenced by the school allocated. If (and only if) it enters into the discussion, you should explain why it is not suitable.

My advice would be to focus on:
1. Christian ethos of the school
2. The fact that this is the school you really want (and it was your first choice).
3. The curriculum - additional GCSEs on offer. (No need to refer to academic ability unless asked, but you could say something along the lines "Looking ahead, the flexibility of the GCSE curriculum really appeals to us because we believe he would benefit from being stretched". - Be prepared to explain why!)

I would not mention the other points, unless they arise naturally in the question and answer session - but try and slip in somewhere that he knows the school because his father works there (nothing more unless asked).

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