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 Post subject: Out of county appeal
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:18 pm
Posts: 9
Location: bedfordshire
Help!

my dd scored 117 (and 113) and is out of county. I suspect she is a victim of my principles, as I firmly believe in not coaching - how guilty do I feel now!!

Academically she has consistently performed well and has a reading age of three years above her age, predicted KS2 5s (I think two were 5As but can't be certain til I lay my hands on the papers) and is in the top sets for English and Maths.

My questions are; Are out of county children's appeals dealt with equally? And as she is currently in a middle school (Beds has a three tier system) would you suggest letters from her Y5 &Y6 form teachers a good replacement for the Headteacher's recommendation? Being out of Bucks means she was not assessed for moving up - any advice?

Guilty Mum


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:51 pm 
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All appeals are dealt with equally -


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 Post subject: Re: Out of county appeal
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
outofcountymum wrote:
Help!

my dd scored 117 (and 113) and is out of county. I suspect she is a victim of my principles, as I firmly believe in not coaching - how guilty do I feel now!!

Academically she has consistently performed well and has a reading age of three years above her age, predicted KS2 5s (I think two were 5As but can't be certain til I lay my hands on the papers) and is in the top sets for English and Maths.

My questions are; Are out of county children's appeals dealt with equally? And as she is currently in a middle school (Beds has a three tier system) would you suggest letters from her Y5 &Y6 form teachers a good replacement for the Headteacher's recommendation? Being out of Bucks means she was not assessed for moving up - any advice?

Guilty Mum


Hi OoC Mum

I do prefer OoC Mum to Guilty Mum. :D

There are plenty of children who are not coached, so you should not feel guilty.

Guest55 is - of course - entirely correct. All appeals are dealt with equally, whether from inside or out of county.

I wouldn't worry about the Head's recommendation - it is just one tool that helps an Appeal panel sort out the "wheat from the chaff". It would only help the panel if there were fairly large numbers of children from your DD's school taking the test anyway, because it is designed to measure how realistic the Head's predictions are.

Your DD's predicted SATs sound very encouraging, as do the sets. Letters from either of the Y5/Y6 teachers will help, but a letter from the Head would also be very effective.

The question will be "why she didn't perform on the day?".

The lack of tutoring will not be particularly strong evidence, as Bucks Admissions take the view that their standard familiarisation process represents "saturation preparation", although there has been some softening of that line this year. GL Assessment (previously NFER) admitted that a piece of research had been conducted that suggested that additional tutoring did improve children's scores.

Despite that, there will have been quite a number of untutored children who did qualify, so you need to consider what evidence you have for the panel on that front.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Location: bedfordshire
Hi both

Thanks for your speedy replies - very helpful.

I wasn't suggesting the lack of coaching could be used as a mitigating factor - just bitterly regret now not giving her every chance of doing herself justice.

Shall ask the HT for letter of support - difficulty is of course that a) it isn't in his interest to support and b) he is unlikely to have personal knowledge of her.

Not sure what I can say about her not producing the results - they don't seem to reflect her academic ability, but that seems terribly lame. Guess I can only produce evidence of that ability and hope......


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:24 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi OoC Mum

It is entirely possible to win an appeal without any mitigating circumstances, provided you have very good academic evidence indeed.

It becomes more difficult on lower scores, but 117 is still quite reasonable for an "all-out academic evidence appeal".

The standard comment in that situation tends to be "I can only put it down to nerves, as this was the first important test she has ever taken", or similar.

Were the scores in that order - 117 then 113?

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:29 pm 
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Location: bedfordshire
Hi Sally

Unfortunately, yes - so not even in the right direction!! No idea why she doesn't on paper show what has been consistently her record at school.

My only benchmark has been that big sis scraped thro at 121 (again with no help but familiarisation) and is now predicted 11 A*s at GS. Probably thought this would be a similar result, but wasn't fussed about a 'super-duper' pass.

Shall speak to middle school and see what they'll do for us. Did ask if they would sit the 11+ for her to lessen nerves, but they refused - still, nothing ventured....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:36 am 
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Location: bedfordshire
Update - asked for a meeting with current HT yesterday (middle school in Beds) and when I gave the reason for my request got a call back from his PA stating "we do not give letters of recommendation for this - you have the reports"

Shall nonetheless ask for a face-to-face, but obviously need to tread carefully as have no wish to upset the apple cart in the school where whe will remain if appeal unsuccessful. Seems unlikley I'll get his approval to approach her Y5 & Y6 teachers for help, either. Understandable there's no motivation to assist an able pupil to move out of hs school, but seems v inequitable.

Now don't quite know how to put together any sort of credible appeal - anyone had similar who migt have advice?

Thanks all


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:04 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi OoC Mum

It makes me so cross when Heads put the good of the school ahead of the child's welfare.

If the Head is not going to cooperate by writing a letter of recommendation, keep trying for the face-to-face meeting, or at least a phone conversation.

If he stalls on that, I suggest that you try writing a letter, including the following (just rough thoughts - re-word it as you need):

- Somewhat disappointed that the Head has a policy of not supporting children who take the Buckinghamshire 11+.

- Despite that, we wish to pursue an Appeal for our daughter, because we believe it is in her best interests.

- In order to do so, under the terms of the Data Protection Act we wish to request written confirmation of our daughter's predicted SATs results and the results of any tests that the school use, such as CATs or NFERs.

Politely worded, that does not represent "causing trouble" - you are just holding out for your rights. If you are feeling brave, you could copy it to the Chairman of the Governors. He or she may not be aware of how uncooperative the Head is being, and might just force a U-turn.

He pretty well has to reply in writing to that, so one way or another, you have evidence of his attitude to take to the panel.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:28 am 
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Location: bedfordshire
Thanks so much for that - think he will feel that predicted SATs results in her interim report (provided) are all that he must do.

Have just had a meeting confirmed for next Thu, so shall see what I can wangle from that. I plan to ask his permission to approach her Y5 & 6 tutors instead if he doesn't feel able to help. Just a thought based on your 'evidence of his attitude to take to the forum' - if at the meeting he is adamant not to put anything in writing in support, any advice as to how to get this documented?

Thanks so much for replying - feels as if i'm hitting a brick wall everywhere else!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:13 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi OoC Mum

I decided that it was long since time that I read the official guidance on the DPA! So, I paid a little visit to the Information Commissioners' Office website.

You can read the full document (a PDF) I found here - you will need to search the page, and it is called:

"Technical Guidance Note - Access to personal information held by schools in England."

http://www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_resources/document_library/data_protection.aspx

The following extract is relevant:

Quote:
under the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005, referred to here as the Regulations, a parent has the right to access their child’s educational record. Under the subject access right parents will only be able to see all the information about their child when the child is unable to act on their own behalf or gives their consent.

Who has responsibility for requests for information?
Under the Regulations, requests from parents to view their child’s educational record should be dealt with by the Board of Governors. All other requests for personal information from the pupil, or someone acting on their behalf, should be dealt with by the school. In practical terms this will make little difference in dealing with requests. However, it is
important that requests for personal information are passed to the appropriate person as soon as possible after the request is received.

...

Requests for information from pupils, or parents, for information that contains, wholly or partly, an educational record must receive a response within 15 school days.

Unless a parent simply asks to see the official educational record under the Regulations, schools and authorities are entitled to receive any fee first.


The scale of charges for a copy of the record is shown further down. Note that the correct approach is actually to make your request to the Governors, not the Head. I suggest that you copy the Head though, because the clock will need to start ticking as quickly as possible.

The school cannot hold out on you - it is as simple as that.

At the hearing all you need to do is explain that this is a Beds middle school and the Head has a policy of not supporting appeals for Bucks grammars. You were therefore forced to make a DPA request, and here is the reply from the school (copy of covering letter).

The panel will understand exactly what is going on from that - they have seen this all before.

Sally-Anne


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