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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:57 am
Posts: 446
We have just been notified that Bucks CC have rejected our daughter's school request for special adjustments to sit the upcoming Bucks 11plus. This included rest breaks and 25% extra time which has been established practice in school since Year 3, following Educational assessment recommendation. There is an element of her medical condition that frequently impacts on her 'day to day activities', and her health issues have had a significant impact on her school attendance throughout her primary school years.
It was the opinion of the Bucks 'expert' panel, that our daughter is not deemed to have a disability per the Act description, (which we strongly refute) and her issues have no impact on her learning, which to say has made us feel apoplectic, is an understatement. She has twice been independently assessed as being exceptionally able; high 140s for visual/maths/nvr, 130s for Verbal ability scores, and while overall maths attainment is in line with her ability, visual processing issues have affected her abilty to read and interpret text quickly. She scores very highly on comprehension, but takes longer to read it and complete the task.
Although her first assessment had assessed her as having slow processing with scores circa 85, the 2nd report assessed her slightly higher, at 90-95. Because of this, I think the request has been rejected outright, and we are now wondering whether there is any point in her even taking the test, as she is already anxious about the English part of the test, and there is no way she can complete the questions in the time allowed.
I just cannot understand how such an arbitrary decision can be made, without any appropriate context. As well as this, the hypocrisy is just staggering. We pulled our daughter out of our local state primary, as they did zero to support us in terms of missed education due to illness. In spite of clear legislation that imposes obligation to provide additional support/tuition, for children who miss more than 15 days per year at school, (regardless of ability level), this was not once offered, even when absences in one year, stood at over 40%. They considered her to be coping quite well, and as long as she was fitting in with the class progress overall, they cared not one jot how much school she missed.
Yet when we requested the last day and a half of term to fly long haul to see her dying grandparent, this was refused, because as we are all often told, absence impacts on a child's education!! We flew a day later so as to comply with this jarring hypocrisy, and did not get to see her grandparent before they passed away. We are still angry 4 years on, and now this has added more insult to injury.
Apologies for the digression, but we feel so aggrieved by all this injustice. Is there any way we can appeal or complain against this?

I must also add that Berkshire granted the request in full, and we received their decision within 2 weeks. It has taken Bucks nearly 3 months..... :x

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:26 pm
Posts: 8719
I'm afraid there's no way of changing the decision of the SAP (Special Access Panel).

The only thing you can do - if daughter is unsuccessful in the transfer test - is to go to review or appeal, and make the refusal to provide reasonable adjustments part of your case.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:10 pm
Posts: 130
It's a difficult one to balance. By your own admittance, your DD is "exceptionally able" with high scores in the majority of areas the 11 plus tests. So 25% extra time would advantage her unfairly wouldn't it?

You may find when it comes to secondary school exams, the established practice of extra time she gets now may stop too.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:02 pm
Posts: 522
Location: S E London
Being highly able but having a slow processing speed can go hand in hand. DD has a processing speed of 55 - so very low indeed. Plus visual procession problems which affect her reading speed, only helped a little by wearing green glasses. But she got all 9s at GCSE, with extra time.

Having invigilated at an exam centre for children with a variety of needs requiring extra time, I could see that many of them didn't use the extra time because they simply didn't have enough to write or couldn't answer some of the questions. The extra time levels the playing field for those who do know their stuff but simply can't read fast enough/process fast enough/ write fast enough to demonstrate everything they know in the 'usual' amount of time.

We didn't enter DD for the 11+ because she wasn't awarded extra time, even with such a slow processing speed. I don't think very many children in our area do get extra time, whereas some areas seem happier to award it - as you can see from the difference in the Berkshire/Bucks decision you received.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 654
I think the access panel will have had to look at the three elements relating to your request separately.
Missing school due to illness unfortunately doesn’t trigger an entitlement to extra time.
A child we know who essentially missed a year having chemo wasn’t entitled to extra time.
The fluctuating nature of day to day difficulties should trigger the allocation of rest breaks.
I think you are right the second processing speed was the issue because it’s within the normal range.
My understanding is that below 85 does merit extra time but that must be wrong if 2childs dad didn’t get it.
I think you would have strong grounds for an appeal if your daughter didn’t get
the passing score.
An appeal panel would have to take all the evidence into account.

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