slough mum wrote:
During the appeal, what questions can I ask the admission authority for refusing my DC for the 13+ testing?
It's not like oversubscription where there is some scope for querying the authority's case. This type of appeal is different. Whatever you think of them, the rules for entry to the late selection test are clear and objective, and there's no point querying them when they've been correctly applied.
You can of course ask the panel to take other factors into consideration (see below), but that should be part of your own case.
When I present my case giving reasons as to why my DC child should be tested, what do I need to focus on?
• Academic evidence
, of course - and the more the better. The list given in B11 of the Q&As still applies, if updated where necessary for year 8.
• Extenuating circumstances
, if there were factors affecting performance earlier on which no longer apply to the same extent, and if recent progress has been encouraging.
I plan to focus on the fact that they have moved up from Level 4 to 5 in English and Level 5 to 6 in Maths, and that they are making progress. But I am not sure if that will be sufficient or more evidence or reasons are required to win the appeal?
In the past decisions for this type of appeal have tended to be more generous than for other appeals - presumably because some panel members have taken the view "If there's some chance the child might qualify, then let the test decide!
It's entirely up to your particular panel, though. If they wanted to, they could certainly justify turning down the appeal on the basis that level 5 English in year 8 isn't good enough.
When you say you're appealing for the Bucks 13+, it's not clear whether this is for the LA test or for a school test. You could try arguing that your son is much stronger on the maths side, but this will carry more weight for a school test (which in most cases won't be limited to VR). The LA test, as far as I know, is still VR - but even so you could try gently pointing out that it includes some
numerical type questions!
We don't know just how supportive the current headteacher's letter is - depending on what it says, it might help influence the panel's thinking that entry to the test would be worthwhile.
In your summing up, I suggest that you:
• gently remind the panel that selection is not an 'exact science'. The results of tests can be variable - at 11+ for example it is not unknown for the same child to score 112 and 120 on papers that are meant to be of the same standard
• plead for your son to at least be given a chance, and "let the test decide"!