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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:14 am 
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I have already had some very kind general advice from the Gloucestershire forum but I am hoping that some kind members can give a hand with our appeal.

We are moving to Cheltenham over the summer and missed all school place allocations, as well as the 11+ tests, for our son who will be joining Year 7 in September. Grammar schools have suggested that we can appeal but I am struggling to know what to put as evidence.

- He has not sat the 11+ test yet so I cannot say whether he would be academically suited for the school or not, nor can I say that I am appealing on the basis that he missed a ranking (because we just don't know)
- Scottish schools sit fewer formalised assessments so I have no scores to give - they are due to do a standardised test next term but that will be too late to be helpful
- Our school also does not write end of term reports - we have an 'online learning journal' which is more of a blog (he gave a great presentation on conflict today...)

What I do have is:
- He is already working at the learning level of high school
- He is in the top groups despite being a year younger than most of his cohort (thanks to the flexible approach to age in cohorts in Scotland; he would be in the correct cohort for Year 7 in England next year)
- He has an advanced reading age
- He also follows part of the French curriculum through a correspondance course and is a keen linguist generally

Has anyone else been in a similar position? What should I put as the grounds for appeal?

Many thanks in advance for any help; it is really appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:20 am 
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Welcome to the forum! :)

If you need academic evidence in your situation:

First of all, will the current school co-operate with you?
• Will they put in writing that he is "in the top groups despite being a year younger than most of his cohort", and that he has "an advanced reading age"? (And will they define exactly what is meant by an advanced reading age?)
• Will they be prepared to say that his academic ability is "above average", "significantly above average", or "outstanding"?
• If maths might appear to be a weakness, perhaps because of a different curriculum, can they counter this by saying how good his maths is?
• Is there any evidence to show that the current school has a really good reputation and very high academic standards?

Secondly, for appeal purposes, I wouldn't attach much weight to any assessment from a private tutor or from 'mocks' - but, time and money permitting, a report from a qualified educational psychologist (using WISC or BAS tests) could provide useful additional evidence, especially if the outcome is very favourable (i.e. results indicating very high percentiles).
See:
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... ication#b3

If the grammar school is oversubscribed:

You will need good reasons for wanting a place - reasons that are strong enough to outweigh the prejudice that will occur if the school has to go over its admission number.
See:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

• In your son's case, this could include his interest in languages - but can you come up with some hard evidence to show that his interest in languages such as Mandarin, Latin, Swedish and German is more than superficial?

• Can you match your son's interest in languages with what a particular grammar school offers?
Is the grammar school noted for its foreign languages?
See:
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... school#c34

Does the particular grammar school provide many more opportunities for the study of foreign languages than the non-selective schools?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:09 pm 
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Dear Etienne,

Many thanks for your reply. I have read the very helpful notes that you have compiled about appeals.

I have contacted his current school to see whether they will help us and I hope to hear back after the holidays. It is a good, very popular primary school but there are no league tables in Scotland so it is impossible to say whether it is an "academic" or "high-performing" school as there is no formal comparison made. Anecdotally, quite a lot of university professors send their children there who tend to be very advanced in Maths or Physics, but that is not hard evidence.

The grammar schools we are applying to are oversubscribed, as are all the schools in Cheltenham, except for the Crypt who misjudged their cohort this year and have some places left to fill.

I don't know how we provide evidence of his interest in other languages beyond superficial. Is is enough to say that he has worked through a Cambridge Latin course book? Again, we have no evidence of this. He has been learning Mandarin through school, and has also done Latin and Spanish at school too, so perhaps the school can reference this. We can provide evidence of the formal course he is doing in French.

To be honest, I don't know that he is academically brilliant enough to offset any prejudice of a school going over its PAN - that is a pretty big claim to make. It just seems unfair on him that he would miss out on a place just because we are moving at the wrong time of year. Is this not a factor in the appeals panel's consideration? Can't the LA allow some space in schools for new children moving to the area?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:44 pm 
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Silentdraperunners wrote:
Is is enough to say that he has worked through a Cambridge Latin course book?
I think it would be acceptable - so long as the school will confirm everything else (i.e. that he has been studying Mandarin, Latin and Spanish).

Quote:
To be honest, I don't know that he is academically brilliant enough to offset any prejudice of a school going over its PAN - that is a pretty big claim to make.
Academic evidence would be needed only if he hasn't qualified in the 11+.
It would be reasons for wanting a place that offset the prejudice to the school.

Quote:
Can't the LA allow some space in schools for new children moving to the area?
I'm afraid not. It would be unlawful for admission authorities to reserve places in this way.
Once you've moved into the area, there is an obligation on the LA to find a school place for you - but not necessarily the school of your choice. If none of your preferences can be met, you are likely to be allocated the nearest school with a vacancy.

Quote:
..... a good, very popular primary school
It would help to have this in writing from the school, because it would provide a context.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Ok, thanks very much, Etienne; that is all very useful. I will see what the school is willing to help with and then we'll hope that the appeals panels are sympathetic to our case.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 12:09 pm 
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I wanted to update the thread with some developments and check how the scores are passed on.

His current primary school has not exactly been excessively helpful. They have provided a pupil transfer form which give his Scottish standardised (GL) scores from last year (I had no idea that these tests had even taken place, let alone been given the scores): 100 in Maths, 130 in spelling and 131 in reading. The Dep Head's comment on the form is that he is in the top third of the class for literacy, that he would thrive in a fast-paced academic environment and that he is the youngest in his class of high-achieving peers. I ended up looking up his scores online for more information about the tests as I had no idea whether they were good or not. The Maths is bang-on average but the spelling and reading put him in about the top 3% nationally and show a reading age above that of a 16-year-old when he was 10.

Anyway, I've put the transfer form in with the information I found about the tests with the stanines, percentiles etc and other information on his additional language studies which are the main reasons we want to attend the grammar schools in question but I didn't know his test score at the time of compiling the evidence which was due in before his test.

We have just heard from one of the schools that he achieved an equivalent rank of 60 in his test, which would have easily qualified him. I wanted to check whether this is passed on to the panel? Or should I submit the email as late evidence? I feel that this should be good evidence to gain him a place but I don't know how confident I should feel? We are very proud of his result but it still is not a school place!


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Silentdraperunners wrote:
I wanted to update the thread with some developments and check how the scores are passed on.

His current primary school has not exactly been excessively helpful. They have provided a pupil transfer form which give his Scottish standardised (GL) scores from last year (I had no idea that these tests had even taken place, let alone been given the scores): 100 in Maths, 130 in spelling and 131 in reading. The Dep Head's comment on the form is that he is in the top third of the class for literacy, that he would thrive in a fast-paced academic environment and that he is the youngest in his class of high-achieving peers. I ended up looking up his scores online for more information about the tests as I had no idea whether they were good or not. The Maths is bang-on average but the spelling and reading put him in about the top 3% nationally and show a reading age above that of a 16-year-old when he was 10.

Anyway, I've put the transfer form in with the information I found about the tests with the stanines, percentiles etc and other information on his additional language studies which are the main reasons we want to attend the grammar schools in question but I didn't know his test score at the time of compiling the evidence which was due in before his test.

We have just heard from one of the schools that he achieved an equivalent rank of 60 in his test, which would have easily qualified him. I wanted to check whether this is passed on to the panel? Or should I submit the email as late evidence? I feel that this should be good evidence to gain him a place but I don't know how confident I should feel? We are very proud of his result but it still is not a school place!

Have you been in touch with the Crypt school? Given he has a good qualifying test score...would he not get a waiting list place?


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Quote:
I wanted to check whether this is passed on to the panel?
I can't see that evidence from a third party would be passed on to the appeal panel without your knowledge and consent - it would breach the Code of Practice.
Best to submit evidence yourself if you want to ensure it is taken into account.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:41 pm 
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DC17C wrote:
Silentdraperunners wrote:
I wanted to update the thread with some developments and check how the scores are passed on.

His current primary school has not exactly been excessively helpful. They have provided a pupil transfer form which give his Scottish standardised (GL) scores from last year (I had no idea that these tests had even taken place, let alone been given the scores): 100 in Maths, 130 in spelling and 131 in reading. The Dep Head's comment on the form is that he is in the top third of the class for literacy, that he would thrive in a fast-paced academic environment and that he is the youngest in his class of high-achieving peers. I ended up looking up his scores online for more information about the tests as I had no idea whether they were good or not. The Maths is bang-on average but the spelling and reading put him in about the top 3% nationally and show a reading age above that of a 16-year-old when he was 10.

Anyway, I've put the transfer form in with the information I found about the tests with the stanines, percentiles etc and other information on his additional language studies which are the main reasons we want to attend the grammar schools in question but I didn't know his test score at the time of compiling the evidence which was due in before his test.

We have just heard from one of the schools that he achieved an equivalent rank of 60 in his test, which would have easily qualified him. I wanted to check whether this is passed on to the panel? Or should I submit the email as late evidence? I feel that this should be good evidence to gain him a place but I don't know how confident I should feel? We are very proud of his result but it still is not a school place!

Have you been in touch with the Crypt school? Given he has a good qualifying test score...would he not get a waiting list place?


Thanks, DC. Although he sat the test at Crypt, we have not heard results from them. They must have shared with Sir Thomas Rich's and STR's got in touch with us first on Friday afternoon to say he had a 60 rank position (equivalent). As soon as I heard this, I emailed Crypt to see what the results meant for them but I have not heard back - I guess I missed the end of the working week. We received an appeals notice letter from Crypt this morning which was obviously written before he had done his test which says that there are 29 unfilled places. We are hoping that if he has qualified for Crypt then he will just be offered a place rather than having to go through an appeal...


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:42 pm 
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Etienne wrote:
Quote:
I wanted to check whether this is passed on to the panel?
I can't see that evidence from a third party would be passed on to the appeal panel without your knowledge and consent - it would breach the Code of Practice.
Best to submit evidence yourself if you want to ensure it is taken into account.


Etienne - many thanks for clarifying this. I will get in touch with the appeals panel clerk and make sure that they have his ranking. I am so glad I asked! This forum has been invaluable.


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