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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:32 pm
Posts: 67
We have our second appeal in Kent next week, having lost our first. My DS missed maths by 1 point and NVR by 2 points - very unexpected. We did have a couple of mitigating circumstances, but I didn't make too big a deal of those - we felt his other academic evidence was very strong, and would have been enough.

Maths seemed to the sticking point in our 1st appeal. He was Level 5 in optional SATS for reading and maths in Year 5 (4B for writing), so well above average (he had obtained high optional SATS in years 3 & 4 too)

On the back of this, and also to satisfy ourselves, we have since had CAT's done by an Ed. Psych. To summarise: Maths = 96 percentile, Verbal ability - 95th percentile, and NVR - 88th percentile. He also did a reading test, covering accuracy (94th percentile), comprehension (92nd percentile) and reading rate (95th percentile)

Our main basis of appeal is his consistent high academic ability between yrs 3- 6 (of which we have plenty of objective evidence)

My understanding is that these scores are good, with maths and english levels being classed as 'high'.

I have looked at the who the tests are devised by, and they are by NFER Nelson (also the 11+ testing authority in Kent), so I'm happy that they are respected tests.

But, I'm not sure how I present these at the hearing - or even if I should do? I intend to use them to back up his academic success, not as 'primary' evidence - is this the right thing to do? Should I try and get this report to the panel before our hearing? I'm terrified of 'hacking' them off, and therefore this evidence becoming counter-productive!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7031
I'm afraid it's difficult to give you a straight answer. I've been dealing with one case recently where the LA panel discounted all curriculum-based evidence on the basis that it was irrelevant because their 11+ was a test of innate ability and nothing else! - One would have thought they would welcome something like CATs but they claimed not to understand an NVR score from an Ed. Psych! I doubt whether your panel will be as blinkered.

In so far as one can generalise, my usual advice is to provide as many different measurements of high ability as possible, and I would give CAT scores at least as much weight as a set of optional SATs results.

Wherever possible, evidence should be submitted in advance of the hearing as it helps the panel to have time to consider it.

Your DS's optional SATs results and CAT scores show that he is very bright. Percentiles in the mid-90s are exceptional. I assume that CAT maths = quantitative reasoning?

If I have just a slight reservation, it's that the NVR score is a little borderline, and appears to confirm the 11+ result. There is also said to be a link between NVR and Maths.

On balance, I think if I were in your shoes I would submit the evidence, and hope the panel focus more on the quantitative reasoning ......... but it has to be your decision. :(


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:32 pm
Posts: 67
Thanks for your response, Etienne.

Sorry, I probably wasn't very clear. He did cognitive ability tests which were split into VR, NVR and Spatial ability (not tested at 11+), for which he got 95th, 88th & 92nd percentiles respectively.

He also did a maths test, which was a 'number skills' assessment, which included word problems, functions, decimals, fractions & percentages etc, this is where he achieved the 96th percentile.

Quantitative Reasoning was part of the NVR test, and it was this element that let his score down a little (he also did 'matrices' as part of the NVR, where he scored highly). It was noted that he rushed the QR bit of the test, and made unecessary errors on the easy ones, but actually got the harder ones right! Also it was noted that QR was the last test at the end of a 3 hour assessment, with just one short break, so he may have been tired by this time. But, yes, I am too a little worried by the NVR result.

From my own experience, with my eldest son at 11+ (2 years ago), he also got 118 at NVR (but did enough at maths for this not to be a problem!) - and I have letters from his school saying that he is in the top level of students - and he has just come 2nd in the end of year 8 maths exam! I suppose it just goes to show that the statistical evidence does not 'fit' everyone (which is, indeed, part and parcel of statistics, I guess!)

We've already had a letter from the school saying that they do not take at all kindly to tutored children at 11+ (we did not tutor), so I'm hoping that they do not share the view that the 11+ only tests innate ability - as presumably tutoring should make no difference - and clearly the school must think that tutoring does make a difference, otherwise they would not refer to it???????

I don't think that I can do anymore now - just hope the panel sees what his current teachers and what we, as his parents, see!

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