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 Post subject: Extenuating circumstance
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:57 am 
Just a question I what to ask- How much can the panel delves into extenuating circumstance of a personal nature? I have got my appeal in a week or so and I am very concerned with all that I have read on the forum. I am not so much looking forward to talking in great length over the extenuating circumstance, it's so painful and I personally has not got over it yet.

Guest 1

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:16 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:04 am
Posts: 144
I do not have any experience of panel or appeals, although my husband has given supporting evidence at a couple...but I would have thought that the panel would have to be sensitive over personal issues. If you simply apologised and said you regret you cannot go into detail since the event is still very painful for you I would expect that they would be respectful and accept this. I imagine you'd have to tell them briefly though the nature of the problem but I doubt that they would force you to elaborate. Hope it goes well - I gather from everything you read on the appeals section that panel is rarely as bad as you think - although it does seem that the outcomes can go either way.

I wish you well.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:59 am 

My sympathies, I understand precisely how difficult it can be as I was faced with the same dilemma - ongoing extenuating circumstances. After a great deal of soul searching I decided to go into painful details (it took me about 5 minutes to say anything as it was so hard to even begin). The reason I was open was that I thought that I didn't want to miss anyting that might help my child, and I might always regret never having given all the facts if we were unsuccessful.

In fairness, the panel were very patient and asked very few questions about the extenuating circumstances aside from how they had specifically impacted on my child and the academic evidence of ability.

Looking back I'm gald I was so open but I can truly understand why you may find it hard to be so.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:10 pm 
Thank you for your reply. Guest 8 - what was the outcome of your appeal? if you don't mind me asking.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:26 pm 
Our appeal was successful but, if I'm honest, I think it had more to do with the strong academic evidence we put forward rather than mitigating circumstances. I remember particularly that they seemed to focus on the actual days of the tests rather than any other aspect of the extenuating circumstances.

Good luck.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7493
Sally-Anne wrote:
Hi Guest1

You are entirely within your rights to state the facts and ask the panel not pose questions about the situation as you find it painful to talk about it.

To help the panel stay off the subject, make sure that what you say about the mitigating circumstances is clear, completely credible, not exaggerated, and that you state exactly how it affected your child for both tests. If you have any supporting evidence, draw it to the panel's attention at this point. That should be all that they will need to take it in to account.

Good luck

Guest1, the panel will not want you to say more than you wish, but it helps your case if they really understand your extenuating circumstances and how they impacted on your child.

Rest assured that panels are usually very considerate.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:29 pm 
I began a miscarriage on the morning of the first test. I had prepared a written statement so that someone else could read it if necessary but did manage to speak through the tears.

While by no means in anyway callous, the panel did press me at some length to talk about that day and the following week. They also seemed to want to delve deeper into other potential reasons for him failing, as if the miscarriage in its self was not reason enough. This I found very hard but objectively my husband felt the panel were trying to do their best to come to an appropriate decision for our son.

Although painful at the time I believed I had to let the past out for the sake of my son's future.

It was right to present academic evidence strongly first, as without it the extenuating circumstances would not have counted for much. This also meant that I hadn't yet gone to pieces.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:44 am 

You've done all you can. I agree that being pressed upon details feels very painful - how people stand up in a court of law I'll never know.

I felt an enormous sense of relief after the event - talking about such traumatic events seemed by far the worst bit of the whole process.

I hope all goes well with you and your family.

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