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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:23 am
Posts: 21
Hi everyone,

I have been looking at this site for ages and just wondered if anyone would like to share thier experiences.

I've noticed that no one has posted anything here for some time and would be interested to know if anyone else has a year 5 child with SEN looking to take the 11+.

My autistic son really wants to try the test and I have now handed the form into the school. He is of the opinion that if he does not pass it was meant to be and he will go to another school, so I am pleased he has that attitude. However I'm a bit concerned with the school side. They do not think he is grammar material and seem to have written him off. With my son his problem is staying focused and he needs prompting to stay on task. I have discussed these issues with the school. As he has a statement they have told me, they will as suggested by me arrange for him to take the test in a separate room and allow extra time for the writing task.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with the school? I am worried that with this attitude he may not be given the same fair access as all the other ''obviously able children''. It is frustrating not to be able to see if the testing is completed under all the correct conditions.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who has any experience or someone in the same boat!. Your comments are really appreciated. Thankyou :idea:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 181
Hello best for son

The 11+ tests should be invigilated by someone who is not connected with the school or your son so your concerns about the school really shouldn't be a problem. Whether your son can stay focused long enough is another matter.

From my own experience, my son (now aged 14 and with Aspergers) relishes tests and exams and usually performs pretty well. Somehow the exam environment just seems to suit him and he manages to stay focused. (Incidentally, he took the 11+ with everyone else).

As your son knows that these tests are important and, being in a room on his own, he won't have too many distractions, he may well be OK.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:23 am 
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Hi best for son
I can only go by our experience. DS1 has a statement and took 11+ - is now in year 7 at GS. We also felt less than supported by the primary school at the time with the inference that since he had a statement his needs would automatically be better met at an upper school with a large learning resource department. However the LEA Ed Psych told us she felt he would be much better at GS so long as we chose one which would be positive about meeting his needs.

He had extra time for 11+ and took it in a separate room. School had to write to County to have this agreed – even though these accommodations are recommendations in his statement it was not automatic for the 11+ and not just something we could agree with the school. We then had to wait for the letter from the LEA confirming he could have these special arrangements for the 11+. As our school had applied rather late we only got the letter saying yes to the extra time and separate room the day before the test! As an aside, he also had extra time for Year 6 SATS and we didn’t need to do anything further for this – I’m assuming the school just put it forward on the basis of the statement.

The invigilator in his separate room for the 11+ was an LSA in the school and not someone independent. There were problems with the timing in one of the tests as the LSA forgot to add the extra time on for one of the tests – told him he had 5 minutes left etc and then said oh no you have an extra 10 minutes don’t you! Not great. With advice from this site I put a letter straight into school the next day just in case he then did not qualify. In the end he got over the magic number in both tests so we did not have to address this problem.

It may be worth you speaking to your LEA directly – just to clarify the procedure.

A further thought is to think about how your son will deal with other children asking why he is taking it in another room etc. And it can elicit negative comments from other parents if your son gets through and others don’t – along the lines of well, they could all pass if they had extra time! The first time this was said to me I was a bit stumped. So just a warning!

Good luck to your son.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:23 am
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Thanks Sam's Mum and Greta for your replies. I will get in touch with my LEA again but from what I can gather the only invigalator in the room will be as like Greta had, a TA and therefore it is with the luck of the gods as to whether son has appropriate prompts to stay on task.

I have already been told by Kent LEA, that extra time can only be given to the writing task. This is only taken into consideration if the maths NVR and VR are borderline. Sorry to sound so negative but I also feel it is so unfair that unlike the other kids, statemented kids have to take a gamble if they want to apply for a selective school. Other kids can name thier choices after the results of the 11+ but statemented ones have to name schools before the results. As our second choice would be a unit within a school, we would not be guaranteed a place.

Thanks again for your replies, I appreciate all the kind advice.

Regars bfs


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:58 am
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Hi Greta

I think you might find that priority is given to statemented kids. When my son took 11+ the entries were made on a different form to everyone else and were handled directly by the special needs department at the LEA. I believe (though you may want to check this) that provided your child meets the entry criteria for a school they will not be subject to the same oversubscription criteria as everyone else. This should make it easier to gain a place at the school of your choice. We are in Kent LEA so I don't know if this is the same in your area.

Best Wishes


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Hi Sam's mum

Re statemented children

Yes your right normally a statemented child will get preference in thier first choice. I've been told by Kent LEA that as 11+ results are not available before September, we have to name a non selective school on our form and then if our son passes he has priority at the grammar, a small school with good ASD knowledge and experience.

The problem is our second choice is a unit attached to a secondary school and places for this are allocated before the 11+ results are known. I will do the best for my son and try and push for this school if he fails the test, but there is no guarantee of a place. This leaves the worse option of the third choice, another basic comprehensive where not only is the education less attractive, but I feel his social skills needs will not be adequately met.

Worried mum bfs


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
Ther should be an Annual review of your sion's statement in year 5 to decide Secondary provision. Details can be worked out. Whatever school he is going to it would be a good idea to start teh ball rolling with teh Senco at his primary school so that transition into Y7 is a painless as possible.
Lots of familiarisation, meeting his head of year and seeing round the buildings etc so that he is not fazed by everything being new.

We had a child with Aspergers who was very anxious and the secondary and primary school made a board with pictures of the new shool and photos of the staff so that by the time he went he was not so apprehensive, The TA who was going to work with him at times came to some lessons with him in year 6 too.

When he gets there colour coding his timetable (to match the exercise books used?) wll help him to organise himself.

Talk over whatthe 111+ entails and practice tests so that he is not thrown by teh unfamiliar. Perhaps teh school could show him where he will be taking teh test?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:31 am 
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Hi Best for Son

This sounds like a bit of a nightmare for you and very unfair. Can only go by our own experience. We also had to name a nonselective (upper school) to go on the statement before the 11+ results as they could not put a school on it for which he hadn't yet qualified - but when he did this was changed to GS.

The chronology went something like this...

September - Upper school named on statement and were told this would be allocated
October - Completed CAF and put 2 GS 's 1st and 2nd choices and upper school 3rd.
October - took 11+
November - got results
December - were told by telephone from LEA SEN dept that statement had now been changed to state GS of our choice and asked to confirm that was still our choice.
January - new statement issued with GS added
February - received written confirmation from LEA 2 weeks before national allocations day.

Can you not apply for the non selective school in Septmember but still complete your CAF with the GS as first preference and the non selective second? - (if that is the order of your preferences). Otherwise it seems that you are being discrimitaed against compared to other children.

I also don't understand why your son can only have extra time for one part of the 11+ test -we are in Bucks and so I guess it seems Kent must be different but it certainly doesn't seem very equitable and I feel sorry for you having to struggle with this.

Is it worth writing to the SEN department at the LEA? - explain your school preferences and ask them how you can complete the forms so that your son has the choices which should be available. Also ask them to confirm / explain why different parts of the test receive different accommodations - i.e. extra time for one part but not others. My only advise would be to start putting things in writing rather than by telephone - maybe slower but at least you then have a paper trail.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 181
Hi Best for Son

(I did mean to address my last post to you - sorry)

I'm probably suggesting things that you've already thought about but I just wondered what the situation would be if you put the school with the unit as first choice (so you know you have a secure place) and the grammar as second. If he then passed 11+ would you be able to change your choice? Is the grammar usually oversubscribed? If not, you could apply there after the first round of allocations. I'm probably clutching at straws here but it was just a thought.

Have just read Greta's post which has popped up while I've been typing this and it reminded me that our experience was similar. A non-selective school was named on our son's statement (we didn't put this on the CAF as we would never have considered sending him there) as the statement had to be amended prior to receiving the 11+ results, and we just put grammars on the CAF. When he passed 11+ he got first choice grammar and his statement was changed to reflect this. So I imagine you could have the unit named on the statement and change it if he passes. If you haven't already done so I think you need to ask the LEA some very specific questions about this.

Good Luck


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:23 am
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Thankyou all for your really helpful replies. After reading all your comments I will now definitely put my questions to the LEA in writing, thanks Greta for your great suggestion.

The grammar my son wants to go to was over subscribed last year, so this could make things more difficult in naming school choices. However I will sit down and write to the SEN LEA. I have now received a Parental Preference form for Secondary transfer of SEN so I will wait for thier response before sending it off.

I just wondered Greta if you had any more info about extra time for SEN children. When I spoke to a more senior person at my SEN LEA, I was told that only specific SEN children would qualify for this. Children with Irlens and dyslexia may be eligable owing to the delay in processing written information but not children on the Autistic spectrum. I mentioned that I'm certain my son also has ADHD, but this has not been formally diagnosed and therefore is not written on his statement.

I really hope that if all goes well, son would not need this anyway. But you never know on the day especially as he finds it so hard to stay focused.

Thanks again for all the advice guys I will let you all know how I get on. You have all been so kind and its really appreciated.

Kind regards bfs


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