Having been through this process last year believe me it is not an exact science!! The head is basically given a form asking for information with regard to SATs levels reading age and spelling age and NFER scores!! There is a box on the reverse of the sheet which enables head to comment on why they think the child had missed by such a small margin!! There is also a box to comment if there were extenuating circumstances!! Although I believe if at the time of the exam if the child was disturbed in any way or had personal family issues then a letter should be submitted by a certain date.
If there are no extenuating circumstances then there is very little they can write other than to say that it was a big shock to the school certainly if they were expecting the child to pass..
Unfortunately you do not get any chance to put your case forward to the IAB and they do not give you any reason for declining a place!! you just get the big fat NO!!!!
We were very lucky in the fact we had a very supportive head and excellent deputy who I consulted with very closely. I have seen the IAB say no to children who missed by one mark!! My head described it as putting a stake in the ground to start the appeal process!! I also have to mention that do not expect any help or information from the authority!! They are worse than useless and will not give you any information other than the booklet with the "notes to read".
You cannot appeal until the results at beginning of March! It is a long haul and I feel your pain! But read everything you can this website is invaluable. I am extremely surprised that not many Wirral people post on here as the rest of the country is very active on this site!!
Good luck and if you need a sounding block please just message me!!