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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:27 am 
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I would really appreciate any advice you can give me. I received my son’s results on Friday. He scored 118 (+115). We have very strong extenuating circumstances but our head teacher has already told us that although she will see us she has nothing to support a case for GS for our son. She is aware of our extenuating circumstances and will look at our GP and hospital letters but we have basically come up against a brick wall.

We disagree with our head teachers recommendation.

Our son has performed consistently well at school and although we cannot provide any evidence of outstanding achievement we do have good CAT scores for Feb and good reports.

Do we have a case?

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:24 pm 
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Welcome, worriedmother.

118 is quite a good score, but we don't know enough about your academic evidence. Have a look at the Q&As B11 for possible indicators. (Don't worry - nobody is going to have all of them!)

Could you tell us exactly what the CAT verbal score was?

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:27 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi worriedmother

I am sorry that you are not finding the Head particularly supportive.

A successful appeal will usually be 90% academic evidence and 10% extenutating circumstances.

If you would like to post more details of your son's CATs scores, current and predicted SATs levels and the Head's ranking for your son, we will be able to give you a better view on whether the Head is being reasonable or not.

Some Heads are fundamentally anti-grammar school - do you believe that is the case here?

It is entirely possible to appeal without the support of the Head or without submitting the Head's summary sheet, but you will need written evidence from elsewhere of his CATs, SATs, etc.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:16 pm 
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Thank you for your helpful replies. The head teacher says his course work suggests an upper school. She says his CAT score of 110 for verbal reasoning is way off the mark. He currently has 4a for maths and 4b for reading. We don’t have predictions for next year as yet.

In your experience, has anyone appealed successfully with their GP’s support but not that of the head.

Many thanks for all your help.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:46 pm 
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Quote:
has anyone appealed successfully with their GP’s support but not that of the head.
My guess, in most cases, would be - only if they had other evidence of very high ability.

The head is right that the CAT score is low (for an appeal). The two 11+ scores suggest that the CAT underestimated his ability, but unfortunately you were looking for a very high CAT score to show that he should have scored 121 in the 11+.

4a and 4b at the moment seems reasonable. He could be on target for 5s in English and Maths. What about Science, I wonder?

How did he get on with KS1 tests in year 2?

You mentioned good reports in an earlier post. What words were used that would be evidence of academic ability? - "Very able"? "Making excellent progress"? "Very quick to grasp new points"?

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:43 pm 
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Dear Etienne and Sally-Anne

Thanks again for your support.

We have been to see the HT. She says she didn’t provide an original assessment as our son’s name was not on the list of predicted GS candidates. Therefore she has left the recommendation box blank.

She does think we have a case regarding extenuating circumstances (we have a good letter from our GP).

His predicted SATs levels are Maths 5, Science 5, English 4.

His reading age is 12 (he is 10 yrs 9 months).

She has written some very complementary comments on his attitude, ability, and performance, but all of this we feel it is hopeless without filling in the box.

Should we even include this sheet in our appeal?

Thanks and best wishes


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi worriedmother

There is something very odd going on here.

You have:
- good reports
- a good reading age
- two predicted Level 5 SATs
- complimentary remarks from the Head about his ability
- a wobbly CATs score for VR

... and yet the Head didn't recommend him at all? You said earlier that his "coursework suggests an Upper School" - did she explain that further at all?

I am becoming suspicious, because this is not the first case in the last few days where a Head appears to have based the recommendation solely on CATs, or at least used CATs as the most substantial factor in the recommendation. And that is despite explicit warnings by Bucks CC about doing so.

I know of an extremely intelligent and high-achieving child whose CATs scores are not particularly great (also around the low 100s), simply because tests of that sort are just not suited to the way the child's mind works.

You might like to take a look at this thread:

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?t=8359&start=0

IMHO you should continue with your appeal, and let the panel be the judge of everything you have to put in front of them.

Sally-Anne


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