Has anybody on the forum been in an appeal where this type of question has been asked?
Up until a few years ago it was asked by one of the other panalists at appeals I was on. I agree with Etiennes comments, although 'home tutoring' can also be either a parent trying to help out a bit, a parent who happens to be a teacher intensively tutoring for 2 or 3 months, or even a private tutor coming to the house for several years. We also tended to equate the three years of preparation that a certain prep school gave with intensive private tutoring.
Round here, most children get some tutoring. Some start at Easter for a November 11+. There are some children who do not have tutoring, and get flying passes with just a couple of practice papers (and yes, I know some at DD's school). There are others who could not possibly pass the exam without 2 or more years tutoring, and they are the ones who maybe would be better at a non-selective school. But who is to know that what the parents are telling us at an appeal is the truth? That's why we have to be very careful.
I've allowed appeals, only to be told by friends afterwards that they knew a child appealing for my school who'd had masses of tutoring, yet the parents lied to us in the appeal. Actually, I've heard from a friend that, not surprisingly, one of these children is struggling to keep up with the rest of the class! But what can we do? If parents lie, then it is denying a place to another child, but some selfish people will do anything to get their child into a Grammar School. Shame, really.