Our eldest son has been accepted at his 2nd choice school (Ashlawn in Rugby) â€“ in their grammar stream & we are chuffed to bits.
VR = 90
Numeric = 108
NVR = 116
Total = 314
Automatic qualifying score for his 1st choice school was 320, with waiting list 310+, so he automatically goes on the waiting list for his 1st choice (Lawrence Sheriff). I have been told he is 33rd on the list, although this changes as places are accepted/declined. The school does have additional places to be allocated.
Although he is 6 away from qualifying for 1st choice and 33rd on the list, we are going to appeal. Our reasons are below & I would appreciate some advice as to whether we are going about this process the right way.
The main basis of our appeal will be our sonâ€™s extenuating circumstances, which should show how just how well he has done so far.
We adopted DS & his 2 younger brothers 2 Â½ years ago, having met them just 6 months earlier. He was on the at risk register from birth, with Social Services keeping a very watchful eye on him & his older 2 siblings. By the time his 2 younger brothers came along, things had deteriorated enough for Social Services to thankfully remove them from the family home, and the whole family of 5 were split up & removed into foster care when DS was 4 Â½ years old.
2 changes of foster carers & 3 years later, we were introduced as his new mum & dad. Within 1 week he had left his 2 older siblings behind, changed schools, moved to a different area of the country & began a new family life, with brand new parents and now living with his 2 younger brothers with whom he hadnâ€™t lived for over 3 years. At the age of almost 8, DS began to settle into family life.
Due to the complete lack of input for the first 4 Â½ years of his life, he is quite immature for his age. And due to the nature of his early years, and having to move around in foster care he struggles a little with his emotions. But all things considered, he is well-adjusted and happy.
Quite amazingly, his school work has always been good. He achieves good grades, but doesnâ€™t always try hard enough. The fact that he did so well in his 11+ shows how well he has settled into his new family life in a very short space of time, and makes us wonder how well he would have done with a proper family life from Day 1. The very fact of his background means that he will mature much later than his pier group. He is not likely to â€˜catch upâ€™ until his â€˜new familyâ€™ (i.e. us) has been the over-riding influence in his life, so we are talking at least another 2 years. He tends to play with children younger than him at the moment â€“ obviously at â€˜big schoolâ€™ he will not be able to do this, so this move (yet another move for him!) will be a challenge to him anyway.
We freely admit that we have not concentrated on his schooling over the last 3 years â€“ we have had more important things to concentrate on!
The school he has been allocated is a good school and we have no problems with the academic side of the school, especially as he has earned his place in their grammar stream, although the latest Ofsted for his allocated school states â€˜students do particularly well in English language, drama, fine art, media and astronomyâ€™. These are not the subjects that excite or even interest DS.
DS excels at maths & science & wants to be a scientist. His 1st choice school is a specialist maths & computing school & have excellent results in these areas. When we visited both schools he was bowled over by the science labs in the smaller school and was very excited at the thought of going there.
We are also concerned with the size of the schools, his allocated school is twice the size of our preferred school & we are worried that he could easily get lost in the crowd. His current school is a small village school & he has settled in well there.
We just know that a smaller school will benefit DS more than a larger one. He thrives under a watchful eye & we feel a smaller family feel will help him to feel secure & thereby focus & concentrate on his studies.
This will be the thrust of our appeal. We are speaking with his current school to obtain SATs expectation, as well as support for the appeal. We also have 2 teams of social workers providing evidence and opinion in support of our preferred school.
I would welcome advice from the forum.
Thanks for reading!