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 Post subject: Question for Etienne
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
Hi Etienne,
I'm sorry I PM'd you when I should have put this on the forums and hope you don't mind me asking for (more) advice. We are in North Yorkshire which has two grammar school systems, one in Skipton and one in Ripon. both take the same NFER tests on the same days. historically ripon always has a lower cut off mark, and this year was no different. Skipton cut off was 221 and Ripon 209. My DD scored 216, but we live in Skipton, so she failed. The school's adjudicator in 2006 and 2007 said that this was totally unacceptable, someone with an age standardised score in one town who is deemed suitable, should also be deemed suitable in the other. He recommended that there should be one cut off point in the county, and pointed out that Skipton could accommodate a lower cut off point as usually only around 50 places out of 112 are filled from within catchment. It might seem therefore that we would have a good chance at appeal with this argument.
However, in 2008 a different schools adjudicator found that there was nothing that could be done because the county refused to change, and that the scores could be different because they were standardised against different cohorts (which I understand.)
Sorry for wittering, I'm now coming to my point. Do you think I can still use the argument even if two adjudicators disagree on the issue, or does the most recent case overrule the previous ? Both adjudicators are still employed by the office, and therefore if the first heard an adjuducation this year, the decision may well change again.
I hope you understand what I'm trying to say, I'd really appreciate any advice, you were really helpful last year. To close, I would say that I will focus on my daughter's case rather than railing against the system, but I'd like to use this point if possible.
What do you think?
Bouga


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 Post subject: Re: Question for Etienne
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:04 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Just a though. The county could lower the pass mark to 209. However, that would not guarantee a place. It is normal for more to pass the test than there are places, and that schools take the top 120 of the passes.

Then appeals are for non-admission (no space) rather than for non-qualification.

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Capers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:01 am 
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interestingly in Skipton it would not be totally unpopular and would probably not lead to too many oversub appeals as the policy would be clear at the start.
The view in the local rag is that they should be "local schools for local kids" - only 40% of the intake are in catchment at present - the rest being admitted from outside the area on the basis of distance - the lowering of the pass mark would mean that many more local kids got in. Only problem would be increased pressure on one or two comprehensives (not in the area - thinking of Ilkley Grammar for example) who would be oversubscribed if the kids who normally have come to Skipton then could not come and hence wanted to take up their places at the local school.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Dear Bouga

For what it's worth, my feeling is that it's probably not worth pursuing this argument.

I don't see how you can win on "legal" grounds. If you raise the previous Adjudicator's opinion, the presenting officer will almost certainly trump it with the latest opinion, and point out that everyone has to abide by the rules as they are. My understanding is that an appeal panel cannot get involved in what the admission arrangements are, unless something has happened that is clearly unlawful.

If you had been disadvantaged as a result of a sudden and unexpected change in the rules for this year, you might possibly get a bit of sympathy from the panel (assuming they're human :D), but from what you say, nothing has changed.

I would also be inclined to steer clear of this argument because of a separate point that I know you are thinking of putting forward, i.e. that from your own experience the 11+ does not always "get it right".

Normally, when appellants start questioning the system, or talking about a sibling ("Our other child passed the 11+, and we think this one is much brighter"), the alarm bells start ringing, and I would advise "Don't go there!".

However, speaking for myself, if I were on your appeals panel I think I might be receptive to your experience of the system, based as it now is on three children. On its own it wouldn't win you the argument, but at worst it shouldn't do any harm, and at best it might elicit a bit of sympathy, especially if the presentation has a "light touch" - is brief, reasonable and non-dogmatic. (Not suggesting you would do otherwise. :D)

Quite rightly, you've indicated that you intend to focus on your daughter. What I'm saying is that, if you wish to question the system in passing, then I wouldn't risk making more than one such point!

Just my view. Hope it helps.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
As always, perceptive, insightful and very helpful
Thank you
Bougalou


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
I've looked at the templates for letters of appeal ( feel I put in far too much detail last time) and have a question about extenuating circumstances which I feel would be more appropriate if I discussed in a PM. Would it be OK to run them by you?
Bouga


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