Go to navigation
It is currently Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:27 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:33 pm
Posts: 3
Hi all,

Have been referring back to these forums all the way through our 11plus journey, and find myself finally posting after my DD got her unfortunate results last week. We've been reading the appeals FAQs and threads carefully but the truth is, we don't know whether it's worth us even starting the process.

We live in Wiltshire and my daughter sat the exam for South Wilts (SWGS). The week of the test, she came down with a stinking cold and she was off school for 3 days. By the fourth day, she was feeling better but had become so stressed about the exam (just sitting around thinking about it) that I sent her back to school mainly for some distraction and a bit of normality. On the morning of the test, she said she felt fine and she just wanted to get it done. Her school had a residential trip booked the following week - over the date of the second-chance test - and she was desperate not to miss it and to be honest, we didn't feel that delaying it any longer would be good for her, given how anxious she already was. When she came out of the exam, she said that she was full of cold again and that the invigilator had remarked on it at the end. I asked DD whether she felt ill but she said not really, just stuffed up. Based on what she'd said, we thought that her mark would be lower than she had been getting but we didn't think it would be a complete disaster.

When the results came, she'd scored 7 marks below the passmark, which was a bit of a shock. She'd scored 50-65 marks higher in the three mock exams that her tutor organised and the English score in particular was worryingly low, as she'd been consistently getting around 90% in both the practice papers and the mocks. The VR score was also much lower than expected, although she had said after the exam that it had more maths-based questions than usual, so she had run out of time and had to guess a chunk at the end. It seems as though the Maths and VR papers didn't play to her strengths but even so, the scores are still massively lower than expected, and with the standardised scores and no raw scores to go on, it's hard to work out what happened.

On the advice of her tutor, we emailed the school admissions office to ask whether there was any chance they could check the English paper, to make sure none of DD's answers had been missed and they replied, politely but firmly, that they didn't re-mark and that there was no chance that an error had been made. They also added that although she was only 7 marks below, there were 20 other girls between her and the passmark. We got the impression that they were trying to head us off from making an appeal.

Her primary school doesn't do CAT tests and doesn't do anything to support 11+ entry generally. DD's English has always been exceptional but her Maths has always been weaker. Her school reports show her performing above expectation in English every year but only at the expected level in Maths and of course, there's no VR to look at, which she actively enjoyed and had previously done very well in. Her headteacher has said that she would support us but as the mock exam results aren't admissable evidence, we made no doctor visit about her cold and I didn't call anyone after the test to advise them that she'd had one, do you think there is any hope of us making a successful appeal?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 8472
Welcome! :)

Quote:
We got the impression that they were trying to head us off from making an appeal.
Perhaps they were just trying to be realistic - or perhaps they were mindful that each appeal costs them a lot of money!

Quote:
we don't know whether it's worth us even starting the process.
If in doubt, there's no reason why you shouldn't appeal at the beginning of March just to keep your options open, and see what progress is made between now and the summer term - especially in maths.
You need only write "full details of case to follow." You can withdraw the appeal at any time.

Quote:
do you think there is any hope of us making a successful appeal?
The odds are certainly against you - but the majority of appeals won't be successful.

Quote:
Her primary school doesn't do CAT tests
If money is no problem, you could consider getting an EP report. The results - if excellent - could be useful for appeal purposes. They might also help you decide whether a grammar school would be appropriate.
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... ication#b3

Have you found out the success rate for appeals at local grammar schools?

_________________
Etienne


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:33 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for your response Etienne, it's really helpful. I hadn't actually considered that the appeal would be expensive for the school, it had felt much more like they'd looked at her result and were saying 'no chance'.

What made us particularly nervous was something I saw on a thread from earlier this year, that after receiving the appeal details, the school went through the exam paper and prepared a rebuttal based on how their daughter had progressed through the paper. Given how many people on here are only 1 mark under the passmark, I wasn't sure if 7 marks under was very much 'Don't bother' territory.

Thanks also for your suggestion about the EP. We saw the cost estimates (again on this forum) and while it would be difficult, we could possibly manage it, but we weren't sure how much weight would be given to that sort of report, or whether it would have to be truly exceptional to carry any weight.

We've requested the information about the number of appeals - someone we know said that they thought it was 1 or 2 at the most. It's the only grammar school for girls in the county and is very oversubscribed, with people applying from neighbouring counties in all directions. This year's test appears to have been slightly skewed towards mathematical ability so there have been a fair number of shocked parents talking about appeals and English ability.

I don't know much about invigilator logs - if the invigilator actually commented on my daughter's cold after the exam, do you think this is something they would have mentioned in the logs on the day? I don't know if it would help, but it might at least support the fact that she genuinely wasn't 100% on the day.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 8472
Goffster wrote:
Given how many people on here are only 1 mark under the passmark, I wasn't sure if 7 marks under was very much 'Don't bother' territory.
I would take the view that even a low score could be outweighed if the academic evidence and extenuating circumstances are compelling enough. It does happen, and it seems perfectly reasonable and logical to me.
What I can't tell you is whether it happens with the panel for this particular school. (They won't tell you either!)
If they only allow one or two appeals a year, they could be quite ruthless - although I think the decision on qualification should be taken entirely on its own merits. If the school would be prejudiced by the admission of extra pupils, that should be a separate issue, and a separate decision (see below - my last point in this post).

Quote:
we weren't sure how much weight would be given to that sort of report
Again, it's up to the panel to decide. They are certainly obliged to consider the evidence carefully. How much weight they give it, only they know.

Quote:
or whether it would have to be truly exceptional to carry any weight.
It might be necessary to have results above the 90th percentile (i.e. top 10% nationally), but it depends on the standard of entry for the school. The 95th percentile might be a better indicator for a very prestigious, heavily oversubscribed grammar school. Elsewhere, the 75th percentile might possibly do.

I would think long and hard before going to the expense of an EP report solely for appeal purposes (although it could be a useful alternative to CAT scores). I think I would have to want it personally for a better understanding of my child's intellectual strengths and weaknesses.

Quote:
I don't know much about invigilator logs - if the invigilator actually commented on my daughter's cold after the exam, do you think this is something they would have mentioned in the logs on the day?
Probably not, although we have occasionally heard of logs reporting "Child X blowing nose numerous times"!

Quote:
I don't know if it would help, but it might at least support the fact that she genuinely wasn't 100% on the day.
Was there any instruction that the child should not sit the test if not fit to do so?

Quote:
We've requested the information about the number of appeals - someone we know said that they thought it was 1 or 2 at the most.
Which serves as a reminder that qualification isn't the only issue you're up against. You will also need to address oversubscription/prejudice.
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a43

_________________
Etienne


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:33 pm
Posts: 3
Yes, there were instructions that if your child wasn't well, they shouldn't sit the test but because she was already overwrought and the fact that her school had booked a trip over the second test date, we took the decision that she if she felt well enough, we would let her sit it. With hindsight, this was obviously the wrong decision.

We know that her cold isn't a big extenuating circumstance and just one of a collection of things that went wrong on the day, with each thing costing her a few marks. If just one of them hadn't happened, she would probably have scraped through...

The oversubscription factor is worrying. I'd assumed that if the non-qualifying appeal was successful, we would go on the waiting list and only get a spot if another child didn't take up their offered place, but I guess that's not how the system works.

Thank you so much for your advice Etienne, it's much appreciated. DD is heartbroken and everything is still a bit raw, so it's good to have guidance from someone who knows the system.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2021