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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:26 pm
Posts: 8574
Welcome to Appeals! :)

1. Have you read the Q&As?
You will find answers to questions you haven't even thought of yet!

2. Have you read the posting guidelines?
For example:
(a) Please do not send unsolicited PMs asking for help - we do not have enough time to reply to them. Our aim is to help as many people as possible via the forum.
(b) Please don't start multiple threads about your own case - it helps us to have all your appeal questions in one place.
(c) Please don't hijack someone else's topic to discuss your own case.
(d) Having started your own thread on Appeals, kindly keep to it!
(e) Use a generic title such as "Joe Smith's appeal (Kent)" or "Freda Brown's review (Bucks)", then you can add new questions to it whenever the need arises.

See section 6 below for a complete list of guidelines.

3. Common questions on the Appeals forum:

4. Some cautionary words:

      You might win an appeal with strong academic evidence but no extenuating circumstances.
      You cannot win an appeal with extenuating circumstances but insufficient academic evidence.

      Don't enter a review or appeal or complaints procedure expecting to win!
      In most cases the odds are likely to be against you.

      You cannot make a complaint about the conduct of your appeal just because you don't like the decision.
      There needs to have been a procedural error so serious as to cause an injustice (i.e. the outcome of the appeal would probably have been different if the error had not occurred). See Ombudsman/ESFA.

5. Posting guidelines for the Appeals Section

(a) Please do not send unsolicited PMs asking for help - we do not have enough time to reply to them. Our aim is to help as many people as possible via the forum.
When this Forum was younger and smaller, we were able to provide an almost personal service via Private Messages (PMs) on Appeals. Sadly, those days are gone. We are all volunteers, and the number of Appeal cases is now too large.
(b) Please don't start multiple threads about your own case - it helps us to have all your appeal questions in one place.
(c) Please don't hijack someone else's topic to discuss your own case.
(d) Start your own thread on Appeals, and keep to it!
(e) Use a generic title such as "Joe Smith's appeal (Kent)" or "Freda Brown's review (Bucks)", then you can add new questions to it whenever the need arises.

(f) A regional forum is fine for general discussion about local schools and local issues, but if you want specific advice about your own case, you should post on the Appeals forum where it is more likely to be seen by our members who help with appeals and reviews.
(g) The Appeals Forum is not really the place for a flood of celebratory pictures (pictures are welcome in Rehab).
Nor is there any need to show sympathy for someone by launching into generalised attacks on appeal panels. Panel members are unpaid volunteers.
(h) It is good to have feedback from appeal hearings, but unpleasant remarks about identifiable panel members or LA representatives/presenting officers are not allowed, nor is it acceptable for their names to be made public on the forum.
(i) Comments about third-party cases are also a matter for concern. This is where a poster writes something along the lines:
      My appeal has just failed and I am outraged. I know this family down the road who won their appeal, and their case is much less deserving than mine because of X, Y and Z.
Rarely are all the X, Y and Z facts correct, and there is sometimes a risk the other family might be recognised (something that happened on this forum before).

(j) While we love to hear how people have got on with their appeals, and welcome messages of congratulation, could we please all show sensitivity and balance in our responses? Those who have not succeeded on this occasion deserve as much attention and consideration as those who have been successful.

(k) General netiquette
      • Be courteous.
      • Avoid unnecessary use of capital letters (this is considered to be "shouting").
      • Please avoid using abbreviations which are easily understood in your own local area but may not make much sense to those of us who live elsewhere!

6. Some Brief General Advice on Appeals

(a) The first and most common question on the Appeals Section is "Is it worth appealing against the 11+ result"? The second is "What do I do next"?

Before you do anything else, please read this entire post right through and also look at the Appeal Questions and Answers, which you can find [url=http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus-appeals-questions-answers.php]here

The Q&A document is lengthy, but it covers all types of Appeal, many different scenarios for appeal evidence, and it is based on years of advising on many hundreds of real cases on this Forum.

(b) Non-Qualification

Whether or not it's worth appealing depends on the strength of the case you can put forward. It's also worth bearing in mind that, the further away you are from a qualifying score, the stronger your case usually needs to be.

In most case the best thing to do is probably to talk it through with the Head of your child’s current school. If you do go to appeal, ideally you'll want the school's support.

If the Head seems willing to support you, you should ask some specific questions of him/her:
      • Is the school willing to give strong support to the appeal?
      • Did the school fully expect your child to qualify?
      • Will the school predict 'exceeding expectations'? Even better, significantly 'exceeding expectations'?
      • Does the school have good results for any standardised tests done by your child, such as CATs, that could be used as evidence? (Scores around the 90th percentile or preferably higher would be ideal.)
      • Might it be in order to ask the class teacher for an additional letter of support?

You should also have a look yourself at your child's recent school reports and see if there are references to very high achievement that would support your case.

(c) Oversubscription

You will need to put forward your specific reasons for wanting a place at the school in question. These must be supported by evidence wherever possible.

Examples of the sort of reasons commonly given can be found in the Q&As C2: Appealing for an oversubscribed school.

(d) All appeals

As soon as you've not been allocated your preferred school, apply to the Admission Authority for an appeals form. Don't delay - there will be a deadline if you want your appeal to be heard at the same time as most of the others.

Nationally around one-third of appeals succeed, but there can be considerable variations from area to area. The success rate for some academies, foundation and VA schools is suspiciously low.
There are no national statistics for grammar school appeals, but one would expect the success rate for grammar schools to be lower than the national average for all secondary schools because there is often the issue of non-qualification as well as oversubscription.

Going through the Appeals process can be very stressful, and realistically the odds are against you. However, if you don’t try, you'll never know what might have been. If in doubt, go ahead and appeal!

(e) I’ve read all the advice on here and I still have questions

You are welcome to post your questions on the Appeals section once you have finished reading this! We will reply as quickly as we can, but please remember that we are all volunteers and that there are only a small number of us who have technical expertise in Appeals.

Any advice that we give you will be general advice based on nationally established procedures for Appeals, plus personal experience. We may well lack specific knowledge of your local area, so please ensure that you check for any local variations that may be relevant.

To post on the Forum you will need to register if you haven't already done so. We strongly recommend that you do not use your real name on the Forum, especially when posting about Appeals.

7. Appeals Box for confidential background information
The Appeals Box is for confidential information that will be seen only by a few moderators/senior forum members - if you wish them to understand more fully the background to your question.

If you choose to use this facility, please note the following points very carefully:

    (a) The Appeals Box is for background information only.

        • It is not to be used for asking questions.
        • Any questions sent there will not be answered either privately or on the forum.
        • Questions must be posted on the forum, and will only be answered on the forum.

    (b) Please do not send us documents unless we ask to see them. Any attachments should be in doc, pdf or jpg format. Please do not use links to Skydrive or other cloud storage facilities.

    (c) The Appeals Box is unmonitored. No email will be sent in reply, other than an auto-response. You will need to post a specific question on the Appeals forum, mentioning that background information has been sent to the Appeals Box.

    (d) Please note that we cannot normally deal with wide-ranging or open-ended questions such as:
        "We've emailed our case - what do you think of it?"
        "We've sent you a copy of our draft appeal letter/speech - please comment."
        "What do you think of all our evidence? Will it be sufficient?"

    (e) Please check the Q&As before posting a question, or using the Appeals Box. Most questions have been answered in the Q&As:

    (f) You must post any question on the forum. If your question is accepted, we shall try to respond on the forum in general terms so as to safeguard your privacy. We will not reveal your name, locality, the school concerned, or any specific extenuating circumstances (unless you have already volunteered this information on the forum). The way in which you frame your question usually gives us a good idea of how to respond appropriately - but if we unintentionally reveal more about your case than you would wish, please let us know as soon as possible.

    (g) We aim to respond on the forum within 48 hours, but this cannot be guaranteed. It is not a good idea to send urgent queries to the Appeals Box just before your appeal hearing!

    (h) Use your own email address to send your message. You cannot use the forum's Private Message facility to reach the Appeals Box.

    (i) The subject line of your email must be your forum username. If a senior forum member is expecting your background information, the subject line of your email should be your forum name + "for the attention of ......."

    (j) The email address of the Appeals Box is AppealsBox[at]elevenplusexams.co.uk
    - replace [at] with @

    (k) We have always invited questions about individual cases on the forum, and it has been our hope that any advice given is of interest to other readers too. However, we realise that on occasions there may be personal circumstances in an Appeal case that would cause upset or embarrassment if your family were to be identified.
    By making an "Appeals Box" available, our aim is to facilitate the discussion of individual cases on the forum for everyone's benefit, while simultaneously offering greater confidentiality.


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