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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:57 pm 
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My daughter failed the Bucks 11+ (112/116). She was predicted "high 130s" and I have 1/1 support from the Head, also predictions of Level 5 SATS this year (she was level 4A or 5 in all SATS at the end of Year 5).

My daughter has ME - incidentally, letters confirming the ME, and all the tests she has had to undergo in the last 18 months have been provided ready for appeal - and she became unwell the weekend following the first test and was absent for the second test. On her first day back she was frog marched into the library with no warning together with two other children and had to sit the paper she had missed. From looking at the Headteachers Manual this was a blatant breach of the guidelines as we should have been advised of the test date in advance. Because of her ME, I don't consider that she was back at 100% fitness, and if I'd known the school would make her take the paper I'd have kept her off longer.

My question is, will the appeal panel take any notice at all of this breach? Is it even worth bringing up - or will they just see that my daughter only got 112/116? She has suffered significant ill health - all well documented - and done well in spite of it - the Head even mentions it in her summary sheet.

Any advice/opinions on this point gratefully received.

Many thanks

Catherine

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Catherine


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:46 pm 
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Dear Catherine

It is worth bringing up this breach, and I'm sure the panel will take it into account.

However, they will still need to be convinced that there is sufficient academic evidence that a score of 121 was likely.

Is there a high reading age?

Do you have any non-curriculum evidence of innate ability such as high CAT scores?

If she was predicted "high 130s", then the panel might well look hard at the head's other recommendation to see how realistic they were.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Thanks Etienne. Her reading age is 13.7 (she isn't 11 til Feb 28th) but sadly the school don't do any CAT tests, only the SATs - the Head told me they don't believe in pushing the children, merely let them work to their abilities (!!).

The Head tells me that all but 3 of the children she predicted have passed this year, and more this year than in previous years.

Incidentally, would it be worth me asking the Head why the school didn't notify us of the test date in advance?

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Catherine


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:33 pm 
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The reading age looks very good (I would be happy with two years ahead of chronological).

"All but 3" sounds promising - but we need to wait for the detailed breakdown.

Pity about the CATs, but not all schools do them.

Quote:
Incidentally, would it be worth me asking the Head why the school didn't notify us of the test date in advance?
Why not tell her it might help your appeal (and I believe it would) if you could provide evidence that there was no advance notice of the test? Would she mind writing a short letter to confirm the facts of what happened?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:24 pm 
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Hi Catherine,
Your DD’s case sounds very similar to ours in terms of scores, reading age, SATs and a medical mitigating circumstance (in our case Type I diabetes).

Our HT told us not to send DD in if she wasn’t feeling well and while I understand that principle as applied to a cold or a virus, it’s slightly different with a chronic, long-term condition, isn’t it?

if we never sent DD in unless she was 100% she’d only be at school 1/2 times a week!

I would definitely say you, or rather your daughter, has been harshly treated – surely at the very least the school should have made it clear that this is what would happen. If you want to avoid blaming the school, why not phrase it something like “We hadn’t appreciated that our daughter would be obliged to sit the paper at the earliest possible opportunity; if we had, we probably would have waited a little bit longer until she had recovered a bit more strengthâ€


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Catherine

Hopefully the Head will feel able to go along with Etienne's suggestion.

At the hearing I feel that it might be worth asking the LA rep very politely: "Could I ask for clarification as to why you recommend in quite strong terms to Heads that parents (and thus the child) should be given advance warning for the scheduling of a late test?"

The answer is bound to be along the lines of "to ensure that a sick child does not take the test, and that the test is not sprung upon the child without warning".

The panel should already know the answer, of course, but there is no harm in getting the LA rep to re-state it!

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:09 pm 
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Don't emphasise reading age too much - our dd last year had a reading age of 15.6 at the age of 11, and it was totally discounted.
Sorry, - don't want to put a dampener on things
B


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:30 pm 
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Do you know why, Bouga?

I would accept that no test is entirely reliable (that's part of your own case after all!).

I would also accept that some reading tests are better than others.

A good reading age is certainly worth mentioning as part of the overall evidence, although - ideally - it would be preferable to have more than a single result to consider.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Sally-Anne wrote:
Hi Catherine

Hopefully the Head will feel able to go along with Etienne's suggestion.

At the hearing I feel that it might be worth asking the LA rep very politely: "Could I ask for clarification as to why you recommend in quite strong terms to Heads that parents (and thus the child) should be given advance warning for the scheduling of a late test?"

The answer is bound to be along the lines of "to ensure that a sick child does not take the test, and that the test is not sprung upon the child without warning".

The panel should already know the answer, of course, but there is no harm in getting the LA rep to re-state it!

Sally-Anne


Sally-Anne, that’s brilliant! You’re so good at phrasing questions in a way which forces the panel or LA rep to supply the answer that you want (ie. that proves your own point for you).

Bougalou, do you mind my asking how you know that your DD’s advanced reading age was totally discounted? Did they actually tell you they attached no importance to it, or was it just a sense that you got?


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 Post subject: Depends on the panel!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:12 pm
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Location: Bucks
Hi everyone,

A friend of mine stated a reading age of 15 for her son in his appeal some time ago and she said the panel picked this out and were very impressed with it. They said it was the highest they had ever seen and my friend felt that this was one of the facts which swayed them and made the appeal successful.

Yet again I think it depends on the day as to who you get but definitely in my opinion it is worth stating as every little helps!

Good luck,

PM


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