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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Hi all, Bucks results have just come out. Can I ask for advice around the lack of extra time.

In terms of headlines, our son is aged 10 and has had a statement from our LA since he was aged 3. The statement was initially because he had a development delay and maybe on the autistic spectrum. The main support was 1:1 teaching assistant throughout his school years as he struggles to focus / concentrate except for short periods. The statement has not been updated by the LA since 2014 as he has been on a backlog to change over to an EHC plan. Our son has got 100 (yes 100!) for his score and required 121 per above. Although this score should be considered too low for an appeal, I believe there are unique circumstances where he may be able to successfully appeal.

Our son has usually had an annual statement review meeting involving teaching staff and overseen by the headteacher. Our son has also had an SEN plan every term.

As our son is in year 6, it is an 11+ year. All SEN plans through out year 5 and 6 state that he struggles with concentration / focus for long periods of time and the support plan states that the teaching assistant should assist him with prompts, whether it be working in groups or alone. There is no mention of support that maybe needed for exam conditions.

Our son was scheduled to have a statement review meeting in June 2017, which is normally a face to face meeting. On this occasion, there was some kind of communication / admin error by the school and although they set a date, they did not invite us to any meeting. Instead the SENCO lead telephoned us to discuss the classroom support he got from his statement and asked us to supply secondary school and grammar school choices. We offered to attend school in person but SENCO lead told us it was not required and a telephone conversation would suffice. We did not have any discussion on the telephone about the 11+ exam. The school has since apologised for not inviting us to this statement review meeting, for which I will expand on later in this post. Perhaps more importantly, the headteacher wrote a review for our son's statement in June 2017, which we only got to see for the first time in September 2017, when our son returned to school from the summer and was a week away from taking his 11+ exam. In this review document written by the headteacher, it says the following:

He finds test situations difficult and finds it hard to focus for this length of time, even when in a small group with an LSA prompting him to remain focussed. This will be an area for him to develop next year so that he is able to show his true capabilities.


The above was written in June 2017. Throughout the six week summer break, we decided to tutor / coach our son for his 11+ exam using a local tutor. The tutor during her assessment identified that he maybe eligible for extra time as he clearly has concentration / focus issues and his statement supports this. This was the first time we were aware that extra time could have been applied for but the deadline had passed in June 2017. We therefore tried to contact the LA but nobody was at work in the relevant office in the summer break and it also stated from the LA guidelines that if you apply for extra time after the cut off date in June 2017, then if successful, the exam will be done at a later date, which was not ideal as our son was already feeling natural pressure / stress of the exam.

When the school term began in September 2017, we contacted the headteacher, as it may have been possible that they applied for extra time but they did not notify us? The headteacher passed this to the SENCO lead who confirmed that the school had not applied for extra time and apologised for not inviting us to the June 2017 statement review meeting where this should have been discussed. This was also the first occasion that we had seen the headteacher review document, with the extract quoted above in bold italic. The SENCO lead said that the school's position is that they feel he does not need extra time yet this contracted the headteacher's report. The school also said that for the 11+, our son will be in his own private room and not in the main school room and this will help with his focus / concentration issues. The school then confirmed that for the SAT exams, our son will have extra time! The SENCO then went on to say that although they apologise for not inviting us to the statement review meeting, the onus is on the parents to apply for extra time and not the school. I thanked the school for the meeting but said I did not agree with their position. I made notes of the meeting and summarised it in an email to the school. We were also reluctant to make a late application and prolong the exam date as our son we felt was feeling the pressure and his anxiety was quite high.

In September 2017, I booked a private assessment for our son to see an educational psychologist for half a day and did various tests with him. In short the outcome is that there is no issues with our son's processing speed, and he extremely good at non verbal reasoning and has overall a good IQ. Although processing speed is good, it was noted that throughout the assessment, our son had a significant tendency to get distracted for meaningful periods of time and inability to sustain attention to complete independent tasks. The report pleasingly states that our son is beyond his years in educational ability and the ed psych, I am pleased to say has given a very detailed report and seems to be very distinguished in his field, which I sure must add credibility.

Through the six week break, I mentioned earlier that he had coaching from his tutor. He performed well in mock exam scenarios in terms of answers but struggled with time due to his concentration issues.

When our son did do the exam in September 2017, he made comment that he was not able to finish the exam due to having a lack of time. We have since found out that he has scored a low score of 100. I believe although I cannot be certain that the questions he did complete are likely to be a good percentage of being correct and by having extra time, then he would have boosted his score from 100 to 121 or higher. Our son also said that as he was aware of our battle of trying to get extra time that his anxiety was through the roof in the actual exam and he panicked midway through.

In light of the above information, do you guys believe I have a reasonable chance of success? My appeal is likely to be based upon that the fact that he was not supported by the school who I feel have let him down and contradicted themselves by not giving extra time. School believes the onus is on me to apply and not them yet they have given him extra time for his SATS. I do not know whether my son qualifies under the equality act for having a disability but he has had a statement since 2010 but it has not been formally updated by the LA since 2014. He has also not seen any educational psychologist since 2012 until the private assessment he had in September 2017.

I have been to a grammar school myself so I am fully aware of its pressures and demands. Although I am biased, I do believe my son will do well in this environment with the correct adjustments / support.

Many thanks for reading the saga above and thanks in advance for any replies!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:51 pm 
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Welcome to the forum! :)

If your son has a statement, you may not be able to appeal in the normal way.

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=28329&p=333547&hilit=tribunal+statement#p333547

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:16 pm 
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Location: london
Etienne's advice here is precious. I feel for you. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Just some quick thoughts as kids causing chaos here!

All secondary transfer statements/EHCP's must be completed by 15th Feb of the year of transfer. Consequently, your school should have organised an annual review meeting for Sept/Oct time. It is at this meeting that you would name the school you have chosen for year 7. Visit schools with your son and speak to the SENCo's; find out which schools will be supportive to your son's needs. If you have not had a secondary transfer annual review, I would suggest this is the first thing you need to start chasing.

If you choose a grammar school, they may refuse your request as your son didn't qualify. However, if you have evidence of high academic attainment, they might, especially if there is doubt about whether the testing conditions met his needs. In my experience, if the kids need additional help for SATs, then they get the same for the 11+. From what you say, it also sounds like the current school aren't quite sure what they are doing!

If your chosen school still won't budge, then you can appeal via the SEND tribunal.

The SEND Code of Practice Jan 2015 document is worth a read.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Thank you everybody - this is all very helpful. I’ve read all the links.

At the end of year 5, we were asked to select two schools for his statement. Our first choice was a Grammar school and the second was a secondary school. We have received no confirmation or documentation since then.

From your links, I have contact details for IPSEA and our LA parent partnership.

Since we are not applicable for the mainstream appeals process where do you suggest should be our first port of call? Should we wait to contact the LA or speak to them first as I understand that we have to be named on a statement by February 2018? Is it too early to speak to IPSEA or parent partnership as LA have not yet been in touch?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:42 pm 
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Just to clarify - the school should have applied for additional time for the Transfer Test, not you. Bucks rarely give the 25% that EP reports often recommend but people have been given 10% in the past.

Link here:

https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/edu ... onditions/


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:23 pm 
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The way it should work is that you would have a secondary transfer meeting with all relevant parties present, your son's needs would be discussed and you would state your preferred school. The current school would send all the documentation to the LA, who would then draft out the proposed statement/EHCP. They send you a copy and you then have 15 days to reply with comments. If you don't reply then they assume it is all agreed, but it can bounce back and forth between parents and LA several times until everyone is happy.

The DofE is getting a bit grumpy with LA's who are still messing about with statements. All statements must be transferred to EHCP's by March 2018 although there will obviously be some that won't be agreed by then, due to tribunals etc. As a secondary transfer, your son should be moved over to an EHCP as part of the process.

You should have received a draft EHCP from the LA subsequent to your meeting in the summer. You could ask the school to confirm they sent it or contact the LA directly. Not having this concerns me as you should have agreed the contents!

IPSEA are very good but it can be difficult to get to speak to anyone. The Bucks SEND Information Advice and Support (formerly Parent Partnership) will be familiar with what is happening locally and would be my first choice for advice; FACT Bucks may also have some useful info.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:25 am 
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Thank you again as this is very helpful.

There is definitely no draft echp sent out to us so I will chase Bucks LA and the school. I will also speak to the parents SEND at Bucks.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:46 pm 
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I've read through your initial post again, this morning. Something I feel the need to stress is that you need to build a good working relationship with the SENCo at your chosen school during transfer. If they are on side then I think you are more likely to be offered a place. Also, be nice to the current SENCo / Headteacher and resist the urge to tell them they have messed up! It would work better for you if they admitted their errors to the LA and future school, or Tribunal, if it went that far.

I hate to say it but in my experience, you have to play the game. Pig headed belligerence just doesn't work. The system is pants (less pants than it used to be) but the people in the system are mainly human, sometimes make mistakes and are often very willing to try to make amends if you give them the opportunity. Try and get as much communication in written form.

If you strongly believe that your son would do well in a grammar school environment then fight for it. You have the right to name whichever school you want and the LA/school can only refuse for 3 reasons, one of which is not meeting the entry criteria. Oops! But if you can show strong academic evidence and that your son was at a disadvantage during the exam then you have a chance.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:58 pm 
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Oblique wrote:
I've read through your initial post again, this morning. Something I feel the need to stress is that you need to build a good working relationship with the SENCo at your chosen school during transfer. If they are on side then I think you are more likely to be offered a place. Also, be nice to the current SENCo / Headteacher and resist the urge to tell them they have messed up! It would work better for you if they admitted their errors to the LA and future school, or Tribunal, if it went that far.

I hate to say it but in my experience, you have to play the game. Pig headed belligerence just doesn't work. The system is pants (less pants than it used to be) but the people in the system are mainly human, sometimes make mistakes and are often very willing to try to make amends if you give them the opportunity. Try and get as much communication in written form.

If you strongly believe that your son would do well in a grammar school environment then fight for it. You have the right to name whichever school you want and the LA/school can only refuse for 3 reasons, one of which is not meeting the entry criteria. Oops! But if you can show strong academic evidence and that your son was at a disadvantage during the exam then you have a chance.


Thank you for your very supportive message, it is appreciated.

The current position is that the junior school SENCO has confirmed that our two sxhooo choices were given to the LA. She has also forwarded me a reply from Bucks LA, which is quite generic but states that the deadline is 31st March 2018 but we should receive a letter in the coming weeks to start the process.

I also received a voicemail from our Bucks SEND IAS service who said they can help with any queries once I get the statement / EHCP.

I have tried IPSEA but they have no slots available. They did briefly for Friday but the phone rang and when I logged back in, it was taken!

You mention building a relationship with potential new school SENCO. Is it too early to do now if we haven’t got a formal statement / EHCP confirmation yet?


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