Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

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BellasMum
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Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:54 pm

Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by BellasMum »

We received our results for my daughers 11+ today, she passed for the school of her choice (AGGS in Trafford) 10 marks above the pass mark.
We are and always have been in catchment. Sadly, we suffered at the hands of the electronic application process where we thought we had appropriately registered her for the exam but this hadnt gone through successfully.

I actually contacted the schools prior to the deadline to let them know we were having difficulty. We had entered our email address and yet wasn't getting the second email to continue with our application. Regrettably this was on the morning of the midday application deadline and the schools did not return our calls until after the deadline. There was no instructions give on who to contact, and no technical support available from the online application portal provider.

We continued to raise our issues in the hours and days that followed the deadline but were just met with the fact that no appeal process is available at this time. I really do feel this was a failure on the part of not providing appropriate access to support, but also no published instructions on the application process (detailing that its a two stage process and once you submit your email you should then await a second email prior to the deadline). Whilst we had some vague understanding of this, with the deadline being so far ahead of the test date I wasnt sure if the second part comes after the initial deadline.

I guess, I wondered if this gave us reason for appeal? My daughter has obviously passed, obtained the necessary mark and children who scored less than her further from our address have been awarded places, it is only because of this late application that we she is disadvantaged. I've tried to read the govt schools admissions code (not just the schools admissions policy) that seems to state this in itself should not be a reason for denying her a place?

Other things that could form the basis our appeal are that this school is single sex and no other school in the area is? I also have shared care with her dad and the distance to the next school she could attend would mean that she'd be unable to see her dad during the week would also significantly affect her.

Would really welcome any support and advice. Thanks
mad?
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Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by mad? »

Hello and welcome to the forum. I am sorry your DC has not been offered a place.
I'm sorry if I am being dim, but can you clarify - did you apply on time via your CAF or because of the issues you describe are you deemed a late applicant for all your listed schools? Have you been offered a school? Are you aware of your wait list position? I guess I am struggling to understand what the original issue/cause is?
mad?
BellasMum
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Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:54 pm

Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by BellasMum »

Hi,

We're waitlisted at position 4. Apparently they made 215 offers, so far 211 have been accepted and apparently they are over subscribed their published limit of 205. I'm not sure if numbers would have to drop below 205 again for them to make offers on the wait list, as they obviously have accepted over that already, so we'd need 10 people to drop out before we got a place, or just 4.

She's been offered a place at the next local grammar school but this some distance away, is mixed sex and also not our preference.

We made our application for schools on time, but she did not have her results at this time so they didnt offer her a place. We were unable to register her for the original exam on time (due to issues explained) and this was in May despite us contacting them for help before the deadline and them not sitting the exam in September they wouldnt let her sit the exam due to being past the May deadline. I don't believe this was our fault. If she had been able to sit the exam in September she would have got a place as everyone within catchment who passed was awarded a place to 6 miles (we're 1.1) Not sure if the exam registration process is different in other parts of the country.
hermanmunster
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Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by hermanmunster »

OK so it was the registration to do the exam that was the problem - but you managed to get the CAF in on time, when was the test taken?

all the systems do vary around the country but they all tend to have deadlines that they strictly adhere to.


You can definitely appeal for a place and need to read the oversubscription FAQ https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/advic ... on/appeals - you need to give your reasons for wanting that school, don't argue about the system- they may well say you had 2 months to apply, but just be positive about why she needs to go there - get evidence if necessary to back up what you say

Hopefully you will get a place of the WL
ToadMum
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Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by ToadMum »

It would (robably) help if you could get evidence from the relevant authority (wherever it is that handles the online registration to sit the exam) to state what their system recorded at the time - about the handling of requests in general and your application for your DD in particular. Their IT department should be able to look at this.

If you can't get any joy just now, at least detail in your appeal submission exactly how the situation appeared to you, and hopefully, the school will investigate this as part of its own preparation for the appeal hearing.

If you can prove that you did try to follow the correct process, but something on their side hindered this, you will have a much better case than if you either have no.proof, full stop or, turn up at your appeal throwing in that you are asserting that something went wrong, at which point, they will not be able to look at anything unless your appeal is adjourned.

In the meantime, yes, if PAN is 205 and the school is currently over this, no offers should be made from the waiting list until PAN minus 1 is reached, so unfortunately you are waiting for 10 to withdraw at the moment.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx
hermanmunster
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Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by hermanmunster »

good points @toadmum evidence is everything !
Jennieuk
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Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by Jennieuk »

If it might help, questions I would prepare to be asked are:

1. There is an Applicaa website with a phone number on it can be found by googling Applicaa and phone number. I found it within about 1 minute. Did you do that?

2. Why didn’t you use another email address - looking at the Applicaa help online, they say that the reason for not receiving the second email is most likely due to mistyping the email address at the first stage. Given you were applying late in the day and possibly a bit stressed, this is a reasonable explanation. Why would you say that’s not the case?

3. You were registering very close to the time limit so it gave really no time for resolving IT problems. There was a period of months to register so prejudice and risk to your daughter could have been mitigated by registering earlier. I would have some explanation as to why that was not possible. It will be the elephant in the room so it is better you address it because, if you don’t, it will give credence to you being stressed and making a mistake rather than a system error that is not your fault.

4. I would make an FOI request to the council to see what data they hold since they started using the provider which sets out what contacts they have had from parents who were (a) struggling to use the system and (b) have failed to be able to register. If you can show a pattern, that would be very helpful. If not, I think the panel will work on the basis it was an unfortunate user error and you had given yourself little to no time to rectify it.

I would suspect the panel will be quite firm on this because they will realise if they allow an admission on this point alone at Stage 1 (not even sure they could legally) or even at Stage 2, this could create a wheeze were numerous parents say they couldn’t register their child for the October exam and give them an extra 6 months to mug up for the second sitting of the exam. If enough people started doing that, it could cause chaos because there might be a significant cohort who decide it’s worth the risk to do that re late places as child would have failed in any event in October but there’s a fighting chance for the later sitting.

5. Moving on from that, you would need to show why your daughter would be prejudiced more by not attending the school than the school would be by letting her in. If you have a place at another grammar, I think this could be hard to do but not impossible so long as you have very clear grounds on why that school is more suited rather than you don’t like the other school as much and don’t feel she should be prejudiced by your error (if that was the root of the issue)

I am not an admissions expert in any way so this maybe all wrong but I think these are definitely possible issues that logically could arise.
BellasMum
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Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by BellasMum »

Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated.

I do have evidence of the experience we had - including logged calls and times and length on my mobile bill and we followed it up with emails that are time stamped. Our intention was never to sit the exam later. We wrote to the head at that time and received a response back that there was not much they could do at that stage.

We fought hard to sit the exam in September equally we can present a lot of results and backing from the school to show that my daughter has consistently over achieved since reception right up until recent SATS mocks etc that show she is not just over achieving but at the top end of this too.

We did ring an applicaa number we found but they wont speak to parents and direct you to online help folders that contained nothing to help us.

Our daughter would like to follow in the footsteps of a family member and is particularly keen at keeping her options open to be able to study international humanitarian law. To do this, french is pretty much required and an additional language as well as Geography / History at GCSE. Her uncle and aunt are both french speaking as are 2 of her cousins and so this would also both help her greatly but be strong reason for her being able to study the language. The other grammar only allows students to study one language at GCSE and they can only study french if they do so from y7. They don't let them choose. AGGS students learn 2 language from GCSE. Are these the kind of things that would help support our appeal?
hermanmunster
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Re: Appeal In Catchment 10 Marks above Pass Rate

Post by hermanmunster »

BellasMum wrote: Thu Mar 28, 2024 8:38 pm

Our daughter would like to follow in the footsteps of a family member and is particularly keen at keeping her options open to be able to study international humanitarian law. To do this, french is pretty much required and an additional language as well as Geography / History at GCSE. Her uncle and aunt are both french speaking as are 2 of her cousins and so this would also both help her greatly but be strong reason for her being able to study the language. The other grammar only allows students to study one language at GCSE and they can only study french if they do so from y7. They don't let them choose. AGGS students learn 2 language from GCSE. Are these the kind of things that would help support our appeal?

Looking at section C2 of the oversub faq https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/advic ... -school#c2 it has some info about the sort of reasons you can put forward - it mentions
(viii) There are strong educational reasons. I don’t mean a preference for a type of school such as a grammar school – I mean something specific on offer at this particular school which is not available at any suitable alternative. You would need to show why this is so important – evidence of your child’s need or aptitude for something noteworthy at this school is what matters, rather than evidence of what is on offer at the school. You could mention the source of your information about the school, but don’t burden the panel with a copy of the Ofsted report or school prospectus.
So I think it is may be OK to demonstrate that your daughter has a specific interest in a subject but you have to be careful to ensure that the subjects you say you need to do this is are actually required. Usually to do Law you would do some humanities subject, most probably do history (though not essential) - you don't seem to need Geography. Similarly with languages - there is no requirement for a specific language or languages - other than to get to get to many universities you need one MFL.

Difficult to know how a panel would view it as the days of schools being labelled as having specialisms in various areas have gone and they may note that the other schools do provide humanities and MFL and by using options may well be able to do more than one GCSE in each area wherever she goes.

MFL generally is a tricky area - some eg Mandarin / Spanish often used as reason why people want a specific school - not sure how successful these appeals are. GCSE language doesn't get you far really - need at least A level or native fluency to help with work, many people do learn MFL ab initio at Uni or later so that would be an option if still keen.


Hopefully you will be able to get some more formal evidence of how the application process failed as @toadmum suggested above, as I suspect much of the appeal will hinge on this
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