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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:40 pm 
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Location: Rugby
Our eldest son has been accepted at his 2nd choice school (Ashlawn in Rugby) – in their grammar stream & we are chuffed to bits. :D

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 son’s extenuating circumstances, which should show how just how well he has done so far.

We adopted DS & his 2 younger brothers 2 ½ 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 ½ 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 hadn’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 ½ 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 doesn’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 ‘catch up’ until his ‘new family’ (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 – obviously at ‘big school’ 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 – 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 ‘students do particularly well in English language, drama, fine art, media and astronomy’. 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!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:53 pm
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Location: wolverhampton
I have no useful personal experience to offer as advice. But from the way you have described the situation I would think you had a very strong case.

Sounds like your doing a great job with these boys who have had such a difficult start in life. Best of luck with the appeal.

Resmum


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Location: Rugby
Resmum

Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot!

Regards

mumof3boys :D


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Dear mumof3boys

You are obviously appealing against non-qualification.

Although they have places, these could be allocated during the appeals process, so oversubscription is probably going to be a factor.

You need to address three issues, therefore:
1. Extenuating circumstances that explain underperformance.
2. Evidence of ability.
3. Reasons for wanting a place at this particular school.

I feel sure social services will be very helpful with regard to points 1 and 3.

There will need to be sufficient evidence for point 2.
See the Q&As B11
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... #section-B

I have great sympathy for your case, and hope you succeed.

Good luck

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:59 pm
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Location: Rugby
Thank you Etienne.

I have read the Q&As you noted.

I am making an appointment to speak to the HT of his current school to discuss. This is a new HT which means I shall have to explain everything again - the old HT took a particular interest in the boys - but fingers crossed!

Thanks for your help.

mumof3boys


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:09 pm 
I do hope it all works out for your DS. What a fantastic job you are doing. Are you still in touch with the boys' old HT? - if so, he might well write something to support your appeal.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:00 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Sending you very best wishes for a positive outcome. Your boys are very fortunate to have you... clarendon


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:20 pm 
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I'm not in touch with the old HT, but I could probably get the school to pass on a note from me asking her to get in touch.

Thanks ever so much to everyone for all the support & kind wishes! :D

Of course, I shall be going through all this again (twice!) DS (yr 4) & DS (yr 3) show signs of out-performing their elder brother! (Am I showing off? Of course I am!! I am very proud of all three of my new sons!) :D


mumof3boys


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:01 pm 
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mumof3boys wrote:

Of course, I shall be going through all this again (twice!) DS (yr 4) & DS (yr 3) show signs of out-performing their elder brother! (Am I showing off? Of course I am!! I am very proud of all three of my new sons!) :D


And so you should be! :)

I know of a similar case in which a little girl's life has been completely transformed thanks to people like yourself - she now has the happy and secure family life which she always thought would never happen to her.

Good luck with the appeal!

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Marylou


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:30 pm 
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Well.... the appeal has now gone in & we are waiting for our date, which should be middle of May....

My appeal consisted of 1 page of typed notes stating:
Extenuating Circumstances
Evidence of Ability
Reasons for wanting particular school

For extenuating circumstances I wrote more or less what I have already written in this forum (see earlier posts). I also had a letter from D's social worker (see below)

This Adoption Agency has been asked by Mrs. xx to write in support of D’s application to attend LS School, as we were the placing Agency involved in D’s adoption.

D’s early years were of chaos and neglect which impacted on his health (failure to attend appointments) education (poor school attendance) and social and emotional development (Social isolation and poor stimulation).

D lived in this environment until he was aged 4 years 5 months when he was placed in foster care and where he stayed for 3 ½ years until his adoptive placement when he was aged 7 years 9 months.

Research clearly shows that children having such a neglectful background and having the experience of becoming a Child within the Care system are serious underachievers in the academic setting as they struggle to concentrate or apply themselves to the tasks given.

D has now been in this Adoptive placement for 3 years and this has provided him with a good and settled period in his life. He has clearly benefited from being in a close and loving family and attending a small village school where it is clear his educational needs have been met.

His educational achievements to date are remarkable given the start he had in life as children in this situation are often emotionally immature; to have passed his 11 plus exams is an excellent outcome for him. D needs and deserves to be given every opportunity to maximise his full potential.

A small but excellent school such as LS with approximately 800 pupils would afford D the level of stimulation and attention that he would enjoy and benefit from. The teaching staff would know each child and be able to offer a nurturing environment as well as a level of encouragement to assist him to reach high academic achievements. D is interested in and enthusiastic about his education and to offer his first choice would inevitably improve his self esteem.

We would support his family in their appeal for D to attend LS for Boys.


Evidence of Ability was a letter of support from his teacher (see below)

I am writing to support D’s appeal for LS School.

I have taught D for the past 2 years at *** primary school and I have always found him to be a credit to the school, and a pleasure to teach. No matter what the subject, he is enthusiastic and works hard and always applies himself with 100% effort to every task. D is a self motivated and conscientious pupil who is able to apply himself independently and this helps him to achieve a continuous high standard of work across the curriculum. His particular strengths are within Maths and science and he also has a passion for history.

D is a child with many friends across the school. He always works hard to have positive relationships with his peers and teachers alike. D is very polite and respectful to others. Whenever asked to complete a job, he does it willingly. D is a very caring child and will often help others in distress.

D has a very supportive family who work with him and our school to ensure he has all the opportunities to help him make the most of his time here. He always has the correct equipment and is encouraged to reach his full potential.

I hope this information helps to give a clear understanding of D’s ability, hard working nature and suitability for LS school. I have also included a breakdown of the teacher assessment levels based on tracking and recent end of term assessments.

Reading 5C
Writing 4B
Combined English 4A
Mathematics 5B
Science 5B


Reasons for wanting particular school:
D has been accepted in the grammar stream at A School and we are happy with the academic side of the school, although the latest Ofsted report states ‘students do particularly well in English language, drama, fine art, media and astronomy’. These are not the subjects that excite or particularly interest D.

D loves and excels at maths & science & wants to be a scientist. LS School is a specialist maths & computing school that teaches separate sciences and has excellent results in these areas. We have visited both schools with D and he was bowled over by the science labs at LS and was very excited at the thought of going there.

We would also prefer D attend a smaller school. LS is half the size of his allocated school. D’s current school is a small village school & he has settled in well there. We feel a smaller family feel will help him to feel secure & thereby focus & concentrate on his studies.

D has always responded well to male role models – he had a particular strong bond with his male foster carer and is now very well bonded to his new dad. He thrives under a watchful eye and we feel that an all boys school will give him a supportive, nurturing, positive male role model environment, particularly with the vertical tutor groups, which will help him mix with older boys and thus help with his education and his maturity.


All we can do now is wait for the appeal date. I am now trying to plan what to say at the appeal - I think it is all above so I think I will bullet point them. I don't know whether to keep it brief or try & pad it out!

I would welcome any advice regards how to handle the appeal day itself.

I will let you know how we get on......

Thanks


mumof3boys


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