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Non Qualification appeal advice
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=61897
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Author:  snoflake [ Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Non Qualification appeal advice

Hello

I have read what I think must be all the info in the Q&A but have a question regarding an appeal I will be making to a Gloucestershire GS, our first choice on the CAF. My daughter ranked 80 places below the qualifying standard.

In terms of academic evidence, I have a letter signed by her headteacher and class teacher which confirms she is working at a very high level, can confidently meet the academic standard required at a GS and that they fully support the appeal. It includes her most recent mock SATs assessments (Maths – 106, English reading 115, English GSP – 113), confirms her reading age at 16 years and 6 months and provides a confident prediction of GDS standard in both English & Maths for the end of Key Stage assessments (should they have been taking place). I will also submit her Year 5 school report which shows her working at GDS standard in almost all areas.

In addition, I have a letter from our GP confirming that she has been brought in on and off since May 2019 for emotional wellbeing and anxiety related symptoms. In short, every now and then my daughter would become very emotional/anxious/distracted in certain situations which were outside of her normal routine. This has not affected her school work or her school life apart from having the odd day off. The letter states that the fact the exam was outside of her normal routine could have led to anxiety and therefore not performing as well as she could have.

She was anxious and in tears in the car on the way to the exam but composed herself on arrival and seemed happy enough to go in with her classmates. The only comments from her afterwards were that she felt ‘scatter-brained’ throughout and - contrary to all advice from her tutor - missed out the questions she was not sure of rather than giving them a guess. She is not sure why she did this, nor how many questions she may have missed out – I can only surmise that she was experiencing anxiety at the time.

I am not sure whether or not to submit this letter from the GP as I am concerned that the panel may:
a) wonder why I didn’t predict that she would be affected by anxiety (and I don’t know that she was, although it is would seem logical that she was distracted, which could have been brought on by anxiety) and therefore mention this prior to the exam – though she has not taken an exam like this before and has always thrived academically
b) question whether a grammar school is the best place for her if she has mental health issues
c) think I am trying to come up with excuses (because to be honest, I have no idea what happened or why she performed so poorly)

Am I better off just submitting the letter from school and relying on academic evidence without extenuating circumstances (which I feel is risky with such a low ranking) or should I include the GP’s letter as well even though it does not give definitive proof? If I do include it, should I ‘underplay’ it at the hearing?

Obviously everyone had a difficult year last year but I wonder whether it would also be worth mentioning that she only saw her father who lives in Scotland twice during 2020 due to COVID (whereas she would normally see him once or twice a month). I feel these circumstances could well have contributed to her emotional state.

And lastly, it does feel like 80 below the qualifying standard is very low indeed – to what extent do you think this may impact our chance of success?

Thanks so much for any help/advice.

Author:  CommonPeople [ Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Non Qualification appeal advice

Which school is it? Ribston have admitted 1 below PAN, so they have space and may look more favourably at an appeal?

Author:  snoflake [ Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Non Qualification appeal advice

CommonPeople wrote:
Which school is it? Ribston have admitted 1 below PAN, so they have space and may look more favourably at an appeal?


It's SHS. The qualifying standard was 447 and they offered (I believe) down to 441.

Author:  Etienne [ Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Non Qualification appeal advice

Welcome to Appeals! :)

Quote:
It includes her most recent mock SATs assessments
Maths in the range 111-120 would have impressed, but I note the confident predictions.

Quote:
I am concerned that the panel may:
a) wonder why I didn’t predict that she would be affected by anxiety (and I don’t know that she was, although it is would seem logical that she was distracted, which could have been brought on by anxiety) and therefore mention this prior to the exam – though she has not taken an exam like this before and has always thrived academically
No one can be sure what a particular panel will think.
My own view would be that you acted reasonably. There was no way of being certain how she would react to the test. Many children are likely to be in tears beforehand. She was composed on arrival and seemed happy enough to go in with her classmates.

Quote:
b) ..... question whether a grammar school is the best place for her if she has mental health issues
I think it would be very wrong of them to do that. I hope they would know that it is not their role to consider which school would be in your child's best interests. Their role is to decide whether there is academic evidence to show that on grounds of ability she should have achieved a place at the grammar school.

Quote:
c) ..... I am trying to come up with excuses (because to be honest, I have no idea what happened or why she performed so poorly)
They would probably appreciate your honesty if you acknowledge that you can't be 100% certain why she underperformed on the day.
Besides, there is the supportive letter from the GP. Parents who come up with excuses rarely have credible, relevant evidence.

Quote:
Am I better off just submitting the letter from school and relying on academic evidence without extenuating circumstances (which I feel is risky with such a low ranking) or should I include the GP’s letter as well even though it does not give definitive proof?
I would submit the letter, but not say too much about it. Perhaps a sentence or two: "I couldn't be sure how she would react to the test. She was composed when we arrived, and seemed happy enough to go in with her friends." Let the evidence speak for itself.

Quote:
If I do include it, should I ‘underplay’ it at the hearing?
Yes. Because of covid-19 I don't know whether the format for appeals in your area will allow for questions, but if it does, give the honest answer that you can't be absolutely sure about the extenuating circumstances.

Quote:
Obviously everyone had a difficult year last year but I wonder whether it would also be worth mentioning that she only saw her father who lives in Scotland twice during 2020 due to COVID (whereas she would normally see him once or twice a month). I feel these circumstances could well have contributed to her emotional state.
Probably worth a brief mention, but the panel might wonder why it hasn't affected her school work.

Quote:
And lastly, it does feel like 80 below the qualifying standard is very low indeed – to what extent do you think this may impact our chance of success?
It's really a matter for your panel, but I'm afraid it might, and you will need a really strong case to overcome this.
• Check whether the school has covered all the points it is able to:
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... cation#b48
• If the school is already oversusubscribed, or likely to become oversubscribed, make sure that you put forward good reasons for wanting a place:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

Author:  snoflake [ Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Non Qualification appeal advice

Thanks very much Etienne.

Author:  snoflake [ Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Non Qualification appeal advice

Another question please! Would it be ok to add as evidence an extract from the teacher/parent messaging portal alongside the letter of support from the school?
I would like to make the panel aware of difficulties my daughter has had with her male classmates; which is one of the factors in her wanting to join a girls school. I had messaged the teacher about it so there is a written conversation to show as evidence, but these issues are not mentioned in the letter from school.
Thank you!

Author:  Etienne [ Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Non Qualification appeal advice

snoflake wrote:
Another question please! Would it be ok to add as evidence an extract from the teacher/parent messaging portal alongside the letter of support from the school?
And alongside the message to the teacher? If so, I think it would be OK, provided it's not too lengthy. (Sometimes a whole Ofsted report gets introduced as evidence, which is a bit much! :? )
What matters is not so much the issues at the school, but evidence of the impact on the child.

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