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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Hi there,
Our LEA publishes criteria to be used in oversubscription cases, but does not elaborate on how panels make their decisions at selection reviews. Very,very, few appeals succeed in our area, even though for boys only 37/112 places have been awarded in catchment and for girls 59/112 meaning that there is room for some appellants before admitting out of catchment area children.
Could someone who sits on review panels give me any idea what criteria are used to deem a child suitable, and whether these criteria are consistently used for all appellants?
I ask this because up until last year I would have thought the main criteria would have been consistent high academic achievement over the six years of primary, as I was convinced that was why our son was admitted upon appeal. However, this can't be the case, as our daughter, who consistently scored far higher, every year was unsuccessful.
I would be grateful for any replies.
bougalou


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Hi, Bouga.

Sorry - I'm a bit zonked after a long rehearsal & concert yesterday, so hopefully Etienne will also jump in.

We're not given criteria by an LEA, as we must be independent of any LEA. On my panel, we would want to know what reasons there were why the child had not passed the test. The school does have out-of-catchment as an admission criteria, but like siblings, this only comes into play if there are pupils who have the same score.

An appeal would be because the school is 'full' - not "sort of full but we're keeping some places open for out-of-catchment". If it's purely on oversubscription, then we do tend to look at ability - school reports, and any other evidence the parents may bring, and also if there was a reason that they didn't do as well in the test as they might have.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:20 pm 
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Hi, Bouga

I was a bit confused by your post because of references to "appeals" and "appellants", but I think you're asking specifically about reviews?

If so, the answer is that each LA can do what it likes. The Medway review, to give but one example, is very limited in its scope:

Quote:
Your child’s primary school will be asked to provide work in maths, science and English and this will be reviewed by a panel. Supplementary material supplied by parents or other agencies will not be admissible. The panel will decide if the work demonstrates that your child is of grammar
school ability


I'm sure that panels try to be consistent, but I'm equally sure they won't always succeed!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:50 pm 
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Thanks both, sorry if I wasn't very clear.
Yes, in N Yorks we have a Selection review process which runs from Jan - Feb where anyone whose children did not achieve the cut off score can "appeal" on behalf of their child.
I asked the question because as you know we have already gone through this process with two children and are about to do it again with the third. We were successful with the first child, but not with the second. Although the second child missed the cut off score by more marks, her end of year scores were consistently miles above those of the first ( i.e. she was consistently a higher achiever) and had extenuating medical circumstances which were documented. In other words she had more compelling evidence than her brother, and yet he got through this process, and she didn't. This led me to speculate about how the panel chooses (just for the record, it was the same panel of people.)
It seems that it can't just be demonstration of consistent high achievement. I wondered whether panels considered how far the child was from the cut off score and disregarded those who missed by more than x number of marks for example.
it just seems to me that if the way in which panels make their decisions were more transparent it might make it clearer to parents what they need to emphasise, and may also demonstrate to parents when there is no point in bothering (how I'm feeling at the moment.)
Bouga


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:52 pm 
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Quote: "Your child’s primary school will be asked to provide work in maths, science and English and this will be reviewed by a panel. Supplementary material supplied by parents or other agencies will not be admissible. The panel will decide if the work demonstrates that your child is of grammar school ability"

My question is, on what basis do they decide?
Do they use the same criteria for each child or treat each case differently?
bouga


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
Posts: 2001
Hi Bouga,

North Yorkshire hold a non-statutory review.

North Yorkshire Secondary Admissions http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/CHttpHandl ... d=2505&p=0
Quote:
The outcome of the selection review does not
affect your right to a separate statutory
admission appeal for a place at any school
listed on your common application form.


It also states they will consider all evidence including that provided by the parent.

Quote:
Head teacher’s report
If you ask us to review the test results which
show that your child is not suitable for grammar
school in the selective area as described above,
we will ask the head teacher of your child’s
school to provide a report and additional
information on your child. The independent
selection review panel will consider this
information, together with all the other evidence
you provide.


The above quote relates to North Yorkshire (Non-statutory review). The one you quoted in your last post is for Medway (Statutory Review).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:47 am 
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Posts: 7064
Thanks for that information Mitasol - I was pottering around the NYCC website late last night and couldn't immediately find it!

I think Medway was just being used as an example.

Medway is interesting because one would have thought - with its limited scope - it would be easier to establish "the rules". However, I'm guessing that their answer to Bouga's question would simply be "It's up to the professional judgement of review panel members to decide whether the work is of grammar school standard". I believe Medway is one of those authorities where the review is an issue at any appeal, so it raises a key question: does their review panel consist of subject specialists in English, Maths and Science with recent experience of year 7 at grammar school?

By contrast, the NYCC review is so wide-ranging ("a report and additional information on your child ..... together with all the other evidence you provide") that it appears to have the scope of a statutory appeal. I'm guessing that the review panel's brief might be along the lines "Do any extenuating circumstances fully explain the shortfall in marks, and is the academic evidence so compelling as to suggest that under normal circumstances the child could reasonably have been expected to qualify?"

If so, no set of criteria could encompass all the possibilities, and there's plenty of scope for subjective judgement. How many marks allowance for a "much loved grandparent" who died a week before the tests (bearing in mind that children react differently)? How about three weeks before the test? Six weeks?

Bouga started by referring to oversubscription criteria. These criteria are used by Admissions for what is meant to be a relatively straightforward and clinical exercise. Making judgements about whether a child ought to have qualified in reasoning tests that are unrelated to the curriculum is far from straightforward!

(See the Q&As E14 and E24 for a discussion of some of the difficult judgements appeal panels have to make.)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:25 pm 
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Sorry if I jumped in precipitously :oops:
Bouga you sound despondent. - keep your chin up!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7064
Your posts have been very helpful, Mitasol, and I have updated the guidance on reviews:
www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/ ... php?t=8002
A "work in progress" if ever there was one! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
Thanks Etienne and Mita, yep was using the medway as an example as that was the one that Etienne referred to.
You have helped me to think this through however, and I can now see that a panel is probably more likely to think extenuating circumstances might account for a small difference in marks, which gives me a little more hope than I had yesterday.
To be honest, I think we will have a huge task explaining a discrepancy of 5 marks. - Only 3 reviews out of 19 for the girls' school were successful last year and no allocation appeals at all. We have a large mountain to climb.
Any way will keep trying. At least this is the last time I will have to do it.
All the best and thanks for the replies
Bouga
Have edited this post to remove reference to another family. Profound apologies to those who identified themselves from my post. I have learned my lesson, will not do it again and will only refer to my children in future. I will also change my username to prevent anyone else being able to identify me. Once again apologies.
Bougalou

Sorry don't seem to be able tochange user name - only have one email address, will still try to keep myself to myself


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