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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:42 am 
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We have been living in the Middle East for a few years and are moving back early next year. DS sat the Birmingham grammar test and achieved a score of 197. I’m in two minds about appealing as I feel perhaps he was disadvantaged by being in an International school (for the last 3 years) which is heavily based upon the American Curriculum, which explains why his verbal reasoning is weaker than other subjects. In terms of academic ability he is a year ahead based upon his entrance exam (his high scores meant the school were able to promote him to the next academic group). He is constantly scoring in the 95+ percentiles in school administered tests (again for grade 5- which is equivalent to Year 6). Is it worth getting a letter of recommendation along with academic evidence (previous reports, test scores, Principal’s support etc) to try and go through the appeals route? How can I build a stronger case to demonstrate that he is bright but was unable to meet the scores due to this disadvantage compared to his peers. I know trying to appeal for KECHB night well be a wasted exercise but would it be worth pursuing this route for the other boys grammar schools?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:21 am 
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Birmingham appeals are notoriously difficult to win, there have been very, very few successes over the years. :(

You can appeal - to be successful you would have to show high academic ability and some reason why it was not reflected in the score - these are usually things like very serious sudden illness in the family rather than educational issues (one problem that comes up sometimes is lack of permanent teachers in primary school but that doesn't get far either).

Where are you moving to ? There are some areas around Birmingham with v good comprehensives and it may better to look at these


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:39 am 
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Funnymummy wrote:
I’m in two minds about appealing as I feel perhaps he was disadvantaged by being in an International school (for the last 3 years) which is heavily based upon the American Curriculum, which explains why his verbal reasoning is weaker than other subjects.
I would be really careful about making this causal link. VR is not taught in UK schools either.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:41 am 
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https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... cation#b19

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:00 pm 
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Thanks for the replies. So for Birmingham I’m assuming I just put the grammar school down on the secondary preference form, wait to get rejected and then appeal from there on? In the meantime I can collate evidence and letters from the International School. The Vice Principal (primary section) happens to be British and familiar with grammar schools, would it serve better to have his letter of support, along with another from his class teacher? Since DS is a year ahead academically, should I collate examples of work along with examples from English work which support the claim that the American curriculum of study may have been disadvantageous compared to his UK based 11+ peers?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:07 pm 
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Yes you would put the school first on the CAF form and wait until you are rejected in March - you can then appeal.

When you say your son is a year ahead - is he in the correct age group (ie UK year 6) to be taking the exam?

Worth collecting evidence and having a look at advice re getting an Ed Psych assessment as Etienne suggested.

Also worth considering what other schools you put on the CAF


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:17 am 
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He completed grade 5 (equivalent to UK year 6) last year, he’s turning 11 in a months time , so he sat the exam at the right time.

Thanks for getting back to me, will look into making a case, so at least we gave it a go!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:47 am 
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I would urge you to consider HM's recommendation that you consider which other schools you would list on your CAF, very carefully. Appeals to the Birmingham schools are notoriously difficult to win and, whilst you may have a point about the verbal reasoning/English being affected by an American curriculum, the fact that he is actually a year ahead (you say their Y5 is equivalent to a UK Year 6 and he completed that last year) might mean that a panel scrutinises his Maths mark and expects it to be advanced too. The closer you are to the normal cut offs the better - 197 is quite a gap, so you have to be very realistic about your chances of success. I wish you luck, though.

Have you consideed/applied to any independent schools (I'm sorry, I am not sure exactly what area you intend to live in, and that does make a difference). You may be too late to apply to many of them for September entry, of course, but they could possibly be another option.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:59 am 
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Thanks Kenyancowgirl for the input. Totally agree, the appeals board could have higher expectations on the Maths, hence, we would only put down the grammar school he was 3 marks away from the cut off for. Luckily the catchment area we have a property in has a couple of outstanding schools, one on our road, most likely we’d get the offer there. Anyway, we still have time to think it through. No doubt if I do pursue the appeal route I’ll be seeking further advice on the forum.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:08 am 
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Good Luck with the appeals - I know you only came on here to discuss the appeal but we do get involved in all allocations.

Just worth checking that the local school / LEA where you have a property will accept that that you won't actually be living there until early next year. Some require evidence of being resident at assorted dates round about now to December / January - depending where it is.


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