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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
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Some of you may know that I have been a very opinionated contributer to this forum over the years. I live in Kent, and am very opposed to the Kent Test system- I wish that we could have proper comprehensive schools. However, pragmatically, my children both took the test, although they were not tutored and we did minimal preparation at home. Their primary school does familiarization papers only.My daughter is now in year 11 of high performing grammar school, predicted 6 A*s and 4 As.

My son, however, despite ok CATS, 3 level 5s in year 5 and general, all round grammar schoolyness failed the test catastrophically for no reason that anyone seems to be able to fathom. Despite incredibly low marks, his head teacher appealed vociferously, but unsuccessfully. I am now in the position of putting my money where my mouth is and sending him to the local high school, which is fine, but where he will be one of very few high achieving boys, where there is no choir, and where there isn't the opportunity, for example, to do 3 sciences at GCSE.

The decision we have to make now is whether to appeal. We have very little chance as his marks were low and the are no extenuating circumstances. The Head is very keen for us to appeal. Our son isn't keen. He wants to have certainty, and is quIte happy to go to the High School.

So, votes, please. What should we do?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
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Location: Essex
I know nothing about appeals and so can't weigh in with any technical advice but from what you say, I think an appeal is a reasonable option for you as a family. You can always do it without your DS's knowledge. You know what he is missing out on as you already have a child at GS. You know that he is bright. Is it at all possible that he threw the exam? It may be that he wants to go to the same school as his friends. DC tend to think their friends will be there forever. Maybe some of them will be. They won't pay your DC's mortgage or buy him a new car every couple of years, though. It's so hard for ten year olds to think ahead.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Is there no chance at all Katel, if he has level 5s under his belt ? If he did go to the local school , why are you worried about there being low achievers ? Your son won't be one of them and I do remember you saying once not to get hung up on going to grammar as a gcse is a gcse wherever you get it ?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Absolutely, Scarlett. I am sure he will do well academically- although it's obviously easier to do well if you're surrounded by other people aiming for As. As I said, this is "money where my mouth is" time for me! It's not actually the academic side that is causing me to dither- it's the other stuff that so unfairly is the preserve of the grammar school that I feel he will miss out on at the High school.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Regarding the extra curricular side of things...I don't know what he is interested in or what you have in mind, but is it possible to pursue these outside of school ?

you have nothing to lose re the appeal, Katel and stranger things have happened, so who knows , he might get in.It's encouraging that your head is firmly on your side. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your son and that all works out for him.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Thank you! I thinking this was my first child I would feel differently, but it is harder than I thought to think that one of my children is goingnto get opportunities the other isn't.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:25 pm
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As Scarlett has said-You don't have anything to lose if you do appeal but can gain alot.So there is no harm in going for an appeal(other than a few extra grey hairs. ) Did he sit any mock exams? He could be bright but may have been stressed out in the real exam.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Nope. Not stressed out. No explanation at all. Didn't throw it on purpose- he's the only one in his friendship group not to pass. Seriously bizarre! Or evidence that you can't, unless you are absolutely mega bright, pass without coaching?

All very odd. Head teacher says bad day at the office. Not sure an appeals panel would buy that one!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:49 pm
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An appeal is for just such an occasion.

A high achiever with good CATs and good SATs and a head teacher prepared to back you is about as good as it gets.

There is a wealth of advice here and I'm sure we would all support and encourage you.

Go for it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Katel, I am another opinionated poster who is vehemently opposed to selective education but who has sold her soul to the devil and has a child in GS and another about to go. I will pm you with some things I would prefer not to air in public but as a gut reaction I would say go for it, if you have the stomach to face what I understand might be an intrusive, unfair and difficult procedure. Maybe don't tell your son? Or maybe tell him, but with lots of caveats about the chances of success. I look at it this way - surely it is better to know that you did all you could, than always to wonder what would have happened if...?


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