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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:54 pm 
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I am appealing for a grammar school place for my daughter.

I have submitted the appeal forms with evidence attached. My evidence includes a letter from the Head(teacher) dated March 08 that my daughter has achieved level 5s in all her recent practice SATs papers. She has also stated that she is a high achiever. Is this sufficient evidence with regards to my daughters academic ability? The impression I am getting from the Head is that she is supporting me in my appeal, however, she says that she has done all she can. The Head has told me that she cannot specifically remark on whether she is suitable for Grammar school. Can I insist that she gives me this info?

The Code of Practice seems to state that evidence such as the Head's opinion regarding Grammar school suitability should be considered. I'm confused!!

Your opinions would be much appreciated. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:03 pm 
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I think that if she says that that is all she can do, with reference to the letter, then you will have to accept that. However, there is no reason why she couldn't give you statistical evidence relating to your child's performance over the longer term (i.e. from KS1 SATs scores onwards) which may help to reinforce your argument. Have you received anything other than the letter?
Bougalou


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:09 pm 
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I agree. The Head is not obliged to participate (indeed, some authorities instruct their primary schools not to do so), but any factual information about your child (e.g. standardised scores such as CATs, if available) must be given to you.

See Q&As B11 for examples of academic evidence, some of which you can assemble yourself (e.g. last school report).
www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus-appeal ... nswers.php

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:05 pm 
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Thank you both for your valued input. Sorry for the delay in response which is partly due to me losing the will to live (only joking - kind of!!) and also searching this fantastic and valuable site, especially with it's excellent search facility.
Etienne, would it be possible for me to send a PM to you as some of my issues are personal?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:43 pm 
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Dear lgasks

Yes. Thanks for asking.

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 Post subject: Appeal evidence
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:42 pm 
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The Head has not provided me with a letter of support. When I asked her whether she could comment on whether my D would be suitable for a Grammar school she said she could not comment. However, when I asked her whether she thought I had a good case, she said she thought I had a strong case. Should I take it from this that she is indirectly supporting me? She has made me aware that there will be a form she has to complete with regards to the appeal for the LEA. I don't have the courage to ask her for a copy of it because:
a) I have already contacted her several times by phone and sent her various letters, to which she has responded. Her last conversation was on the lines of "...we have done all we can ...."

b) Even though I had spoken to her several times and also met her to discuss the issue, she told me about the form during our last conversation. It felt as though she was keeping this from me..or perhaps I'm just being paranoid (but she definitely didn't tell me about it at the outset)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:23 am 
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Are you quite sure the head said the form was for the appeal?

I only ask because there was a case in your LA last year where there seemed to be confusion between "review" and "appeal".

Quote:
we waited....after 3 and half months we finally got a letter saying we had failed a Head Teacher's review. WHAT?

What Head Teacher's review???? We didn't even know there was going to be one. Not only that but they used our appeal bullet points, of extenuating circumstances and academic evidence and discussed it. They were bullet points - simply said things like, 'incidents occuring in both tests' How could they possibly decipher what this meant? No wonder we failed that, and how wrong to use our info without us being aware. Had we known we would have written our appeal out in full.

Then after waiting all that time for an appeal date they said...'do you want to appeal?'


If the form is for the appeal (or for both review and appeal), you will get to see a copy a week or two before the appeal hearing - the problem is, if you find it doesn't say as much as you hoped, this may not give you sufficient time to seek alternative evidence (an EP report, for example).

You could try asking the head for an advance copy - on the basis that you're going to see it anyway, and it would give you more time to prepare your case.

If you feel unable to approach the head at the moment, do you know (or can you find out from the LA) when the appeal is likely to be? If it's not until late June, for example, it might be easier to approach the head if you leave her in peace for a month or so ...... :D

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 Post subject: Appeal evidence
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:34 am 
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Etienne, thankyou for this. She did not specify exactly what the form was for, but what she did say was that it was for all sorts of things including a section for special needs. I think she also mentioned a section for aptitudes and a box to add 'other information'. I will need to contact her to get clarification. I'm not sure how long I can wait to do this though.

Additionally, is it possible that this form will be regarded as for the purposes of the LEA only and that I will never get to see it. Also, if there is some sort of head teacher assessment/review it appears as though it's kind of done in secret. Surely, this is something I should be made aware of when sending my initial request for an appeal or at least by the time they send the appeal forms.

The reason I say "secret" is that when I asked the Primary school about the Head Teacher's involvement following the 11+ results, they told me that there was no HT involvement. Weeks later when requesting evidence from the HT I am made aware that she needs to complete a form? There is a serious lack of transparency here. :(


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:41 am 
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Quote:
is it possible that this form will be regarded as for the purposes of the LEA only and that I will never get to see it.
I think you would be entitled to see it anyway under the Data Protection Act.

Quote:
if there is some sort of head teacher assessment/review it appears as though it's kind of done in secret. Surely, this is something I should be made aware of when sending my initial request for an appeal or at least by the time they send the appeal forms.
I couldn't agree more - but see the earlier quote from a parent in your LA last year.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:15 am 
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The quote from the parent is disturbing. The information the parent sent was for the purposes of the appeal. How is it then that the information was used at something unknown to the parent? Is this not a violation of the Data Protection Act? Also, the fact that the parent was not aware of the HT assessment seems unfair to say the least. If the assessment is regarded as outside the actual appeal, then the least the LEA could have done was to state that this process would be happening. Also, if admissions to the school are based purely on selection (which according to the LEA they are) then how is it that the HT is approached following the results as all other children that have been selected do not have this HT assessment!! :x Surely, this would have been a case for the Onbudsman? I wonder if the parent took the matter further.

Furthermore, with in the Appeal Notes sent by the LEA it states "It is important for us to mention that very few appeals indeed are successful and usually only where there are exceptional circumstances, however, each appeal is heard on its own merits." There is no mention of HT assessment.

I have rechecked the letter sent to me from the LEA with the appeal form which states "Before the hearing you will receive a letter advising you the time and date of your appeal together with a statement of the Authority's case." This is not the same as saying I will receive all the documentation that the appeal panel will see. Does this mean they are not following the code of practice? This whole matter is beginning to sound dodgy!! Advice please!!


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