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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:32 pm
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My Child is on the waiting list and our appeal has failed. I am very disappointed with the whole procedure and wish I never put my Child through this process.

Worse feeling is that some children will be at grammar who have not gained passed marks what more can I say.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 3:41 pm 
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Hi Page,
I am in a very similar situation as you. I agree with you completely. I'll have to wait for months before I know for sure whether she's got a place or not. Luckily my local comp is not so bad (not great but ok). I'll have to take matters in my own hands and help her at home if she doesn't go to LG.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 5:58 pm 
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Yes,I agree as well,
one of the most painful things for me to accept is that there are several children we know,who scored less than my daughter but have a gs place because they got through on ht appel.
Good luck,waiting lists do move,right up to september.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 7:47 pm 
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Location: kent
Page, are you on a waiting list for a grammar school although your child passed? How does this happen? So you must have been appealing against oversubcription. If your appeal failed, why did others who were appealing against non-qualification get a place in preference to your child who passed?

Sorry to hear about your situation.


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
perplexed wrote:
So you must have been appealing against oversubcription. If your appeal failed, why did others who were appealing against non-qualification get a place in preference to your child who passed?


On our recent training, we were told quite clearly that there is no reason it should not happen (and I have seen it happen).

Take an example: One appeal for oversubscription, where child only just scraped a pass, and had a fairly weak case. 2nd appeal is for non-qual, where the child only just failed, but was very able and had very strong reasons that they didn't do well on the day. The panel could decide that the second appeal child would have got a higher mark in the exam than the 1st appeal, and was more suitable for a grammar education. Say only one place was deemed available, then the panel may well allow the 2nd appeal, but not the first.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:51 pm 
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So its better to fail 11+ and present a very strong case than to pass then appeal? Its still very unfair. how do the panel know that the child who is on the waiting list can perform better than the child they have just offered a place to without even passing the exam. my dd had all her predicted grades as 5a and 5b but still failed the appeal with a very strong favouring letter from the headteacher and the teacher. I feel very upset thinking that 1 mark could have made all the difference.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 5:29 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
greatmum wrote:
So its better to fail 11+ and present a very strong case than to pass then appeal? Its still very unfair. how do the panel know that the child who is on the waiting list can perform better than the child they have just offered a place to without even passing the exam. my dd had all her predicted grades as 5a and 5b but still failed the appeal with a very strong favouring letter from the headteacher and the teacher. I feel very upset thinking that 1 mark could have made all the difference.


It's all down to the evidence submitted to the panel. Luckily the area I hear appeals for doesn't have the 'Headteachers review / informal appeal', so all the children we hear appeals for are more or less on a level footing with regards to evidence. Appeals are not, by their nature, the normal state of affairs - they are for the exceptions, and some sppeals will be stronger than others. You may know some of the other parents appealing, and feel hard-done-by if their appeal succeeds & yours fails, especially if you think you know what the basis of their appeal was; but it is confidential - they may have a much stronger case than you but it's too embarrassing to chat about in the playground.

There are many times when we feel awful not being able to allow an appeal - it's one of those things - we can't allow them all as otherwise the rest of the pupils at the school would be affected for the worse.

In my days in Surrey, before the then-government advised counties to close grammars, a similar system operated. Half the places were given by exam result. Then came 'Interviews', when all the children who were deemed suitable for a grammar by their primary school got to see a couple of senior teachers from the local grammars, who got to look at our work. I'm sure they would have loved to turn me down on the strength of my classwork, but I'd passed the 11+ outright. They then got to fill the rest of the spaces from the 'suitable but failed exam', so bright children who were not great at that type of test also got a place. It seemed to work well, and was reasonably open. Not sure if there was a formal appeal procedure. There was some tutoring, but only one child I know was heavily tutored before the test, and was then asked to leave at the end of his 1st year as he couldn't cope with the work.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 5:32 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
I should have asked if the old Surrey system was fairer. To be honest, the only fair way is to finish what Maggie started all those years ago, and abolish grammars & exams (along with free school milk!); whilst that may be fair, it's not necessarily the best thing for the gifted & talented.

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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 11:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:33 pm
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Location: Langley,Berkshire.
Hi,having recently gone through the appeals proceedure myself and following some of the cases,thought I would just add my two pence worth!
I think there is a flaw in the system.(This is how is works in Berkshire)
Yes, there are children that do not pass and have a very good case for a non-quailfication appeal,which may therefore be successful and result in a place being offered?(Over those on the waiting list)
But the children who just pass and find themselves on the waiting list ,may have an equally good case for only just passing but they are then having to appeal for over-subsciption only to the relevent school,where the arguement is... "why will this particular school and no other suit your child?" and as Etienne says too many parents go to this sort of appeal wrongly putting forward an case for why a grammar education would be most suitable.
There may be a strong case for not doing so well on the day but only a weak case for why a child must go the school in question?
Does that make sense?
Langley Mum


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 12:32 pm 
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I think I can understand where you are coming from, LM. The same thing has intrigued me and it is only due to this site that I understand the difference in approach. With non-qualification and oversubscription appeals, you are arguing for two completely different things and the switch in emphasis must be difficult if - say - you were successful at an appeal for non-qualification, only to be unlucky enough to have to go to another appeal, this time for oversubscription.

It's particularly tricky to argue the case when the alternative to a grammar that has been offered is a comprehensive which is supposed to cater for all abilities. If the child has qualified for a grammar school and is clearly likely to do well in such a school yet has been offered a place at an all-ability comprehensive, you could argue that the child is likely to do better in an environment where the critical mass of students are also high-achieving, indeed this has been proved to be the case - particularly for borderline passes. Yet we can't use it as an argument when appealing for a grammar school over a comprehensive. :? Instead we have to come up with all sorts of other reasons - XYZ Grammar specializes in languages, sciences etc., and not the real reasons - that ABC Comprehensive has acknowledged discipline problems hardly conducive to academic success, whilst XYZ Grammar has a calm atmosphere, a high-achieving ethos and ensures that able pupils fulfil their potential.

Sorry to be controversial - I know that there are plenty of excellent comprehensives with an academic ethos, that nurture bright students and celebrate success, with a knock-on effect throughout the school. However, where the choice happens to be between excellence and mediocrity you can't blame parents for wanting the best for their child.


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