General FAQs (frequently asked questions) - latest version

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General FAQs (frequently asked questions) - latest version

Post by Etienne »

This is the very latest version of the General FAQs.


faq 1. How do I quote from other people's posts?
There's a little icon Image at the bottom of each post. Click on that and it will create a reply box for you with the quoted text already there. You can than remove some of it if you only want to quote part of their message.

faq 2. How do I report or complain about a post or PM?
Rather than provoking any unpleasantness on the forum, or sending a PM to the member concerned, you should send an 'alert' to moderators by clicking on the red exclamation mark that appears with every post and PM. Image
Note that the default complaint is "Offensive remarks"! This can be changed via the drop down list.

You may not receive any acknowledgement, but moderators will read the report, and consider carefully whether any action is required. They may decide, for example, to edit a post, to remove the entire post if appropriate, or simply to keep a watchful eye on the thread.

This FAQ forms part of the 'Rules & Guidance'.

faq 3. How do I check for PMs (private messages)?

Look for "new messages" in the top left-hand corner (next to "logout").

If it says "0 new messages", that will be self-explanatory!
Otherwise, click on "new messages".

If you wish, you can also go to 'Profile' > 'Board Preferences' > 'Edit global settings',
and then select 'Notify me on new private messages'.

faq 4. How can I post pictures?

A gentle reminder first:
Rule 11. Images and pictures are generally only permitted on Rehab and must not be likely to cause offence. Images carrying the copyright symbol are not permitted .....

Firstly the picture you want must be online somewhere, so if it's only on your computer you will need to upload it to flickr/photobucket etc.
Right click on the picture and (depending on your browser) select: Copy image url.
When preparing your post, look at the boxes underneath the subject, and click the Img button (9th from the left).
What you then see should look like this (but without the spaces): Image
Press "Ctrl" and "V" together, and the url you previously copied should appear (but without any spaces):
[img ]http://...............jpg[ /img]

Make absolutely sure there are no spaces, and it should work!

faq 5. How can I contact moderators?

Please send a PM to "Moderators" (without the quotation marks).
No acknowledgement will necessarily be sent, but the content of any PM will be noted.
Requests for advice or information should normally be posted on the forum, not sent privately to "Moderators".

faq 6. How can I change my username, deactivate my account, or raise other account queries?

Please contact the office for all account queries (e.g. if you need to change your username, have forgotten your password, or wish to deactivate your account):

However, the office does not approve or moderate posts.

See also faq 7 below.

faq 7. How can I delete my previous posts (or thread)?

If there are very exceptional reasons why any previous posts should be deleted, please seek the permission of Moderators, but note that we do not normally permit the removal of historic posts as this might distort a thread or spoil it for other members who have taken the trouble to contribute.

Please note that we are always reluctant to remove threads at the request of the OP (original poster) as it seems very unfair on other posters who have taken the trouble to contribute, and whose advice may be of general interest.
However, if there are exceptional reasons for requesting the removal of a thread, and if the original poster would PM other contributors to get their consent (and copy us in on their replies), we will deal with the request.


faq 8. Why is the Rehab section missing?

It is for forum members only. You have to be logged on to view it!

faq 9. My post has had 100 views, but no reply! Why???

Please bear in mind that a proportion of those views will be from Search Engine "Bots". You will see them listed at the bottom of the Forum home page with names such as "Google [Bot]" and "Bing [Bot]".

These Bots are constantly trawling the internet for changes to web pages to check for changes to content. That is then used to update the Search Engine index to ensure that when you do a Google search it produces the most up to date results possible.

We don't know exactly how many Bots search this forum, or how frequently, but it does artificially inflate the number of posts on threads.

faq 10. Why is it that a message I've sent someone doesn't appear in my sentbox?

After sending a private message please note that your message stays in your outbox until it is read by the recipient.

faq 11. Why haven't they changed the time from GMT to BST (or from BST back to GMT)?

You have to do this yourself!

On the top right hand side you will usually see:
FAQ ... Search ... Members ... User Control Panel

Click on 'User Control Panel'.

On the left-hand side click on 'Board Preferences'.

Underneath 'Edit Global Settings' find 'My timezone'.

Check that it is set correctly, e.g. '[UTC] Western European Time, Greenwich Mean Time'.

Underneath you need to select whether or not Summer Time is in force.

faq 12. Why has a thread or post disappeared?

It may have been removed because of unacceptable content, or some other breach of forum rules. Or it may have been removed pending a review by moderators because of a potential problem.

The poster will often be notified of what is happening, but there is no guarantee of this, especially when moderators may be busy dealing with numerous other issues behind the scenes.

Please re-read the FAQs and forum rules, where the reason can usually be found. For example, one member wrote to us, querying why her post for the sale of 11+ material had disappeared. The reason was she did not have permission to advertise. If she had read either the FAQs or forum rules, she would have known this.

faq 13. Why can't I post in blue?

We ask you not to post in blue to avoid any confusion - blue tends to be used by moderators when they are editing a member's post, or wish to emphasise that they are posting as moderators and not in a personal capacity.


faq 14. Where can I find further guidance about using bulletin boards such as this?

There is also a helpful list of FAQs that relate to this type of bulletin board here: faq.php. (It is also accessible via the FAQ button at the top RH side of the forum.)

It answers a lot of general questions, such as how to adjust your time settings, what to do if you have lost your password, etc.

There are certain functions described in the list that are not enabled for our forum, such as attachments, polls and usergroups.

faq 15. Where can I find the Appeal Q&As?

Please follow this link to the 'Start here' Appeals thread.

What can't I post?

faq 16. Forum rule 6 says: 'Links or references to external websites will be permitted solely at the discretion of moderators.' How can I find out whether a link or reference to an external site is acceptable?

If in doubt, please send a PM (private message) to "Moderators" (without the quotation marks).

faq 17. Can I post information about 11+ test content (e.g. questions my child can recall, or which parts of the test my child thought were difficult), or request such information?

Remember that there may well be sessions for late sitters [and special arrangements for children moving into the area after all the scheduled sittings].
As a responsible forum we will not allow anything to be posted that might prejudice the integrity of the test.

No one should be revealing any aspect of test content unless a moderator has agreed.

Some of the largest education authorities tell us that the same test can be used in individual cases for at least 12 months, even though there may be no published dates for additional sittings.

It is impossible for moderators to know when it is safe to discuss test content for every single selective school in the country. We will make an exception if someone gives us reliable information that it is safe to do so.
Evidence that it is safe to post should be clear and beyond doubt (e.g. in writing from an authoritative source).

Copyright must be respected.

This FAQ forms part of the 'Rules & Guidance'.

faq 18. I've been warned for rudeness on the forum. What about free speech?

With freedom comes responsibility.
This is a moderated forum, and we expect certain standards.
When you signed up as a member, you agreed to abide by the forum rules.
At the top of most forum pages there is a big banner that clearly states
FORUM RULES: Please see the revised forum rules here.
Participation in the forum implies full and unconditional acceptance of all the rules and guidance.
Do not post unless you are in agreement with the rules and guidance.
As far as courtesy is concerned, if you want to disagree with something, focus on the issue, not the person. You probably won't go far wrong if you avoid writing "You (or your) ......." followed by a negative comment! Treat other members with respect, even if you disagree with them.
See also "Freedom of speech".

This FAQ forms part of the 'Rules & Guidance'.

faq 19. User names and signatures - what restrictions are there?

User names and signatures must not be offensive or inappropriate, directly or indirectly advertise a product or service, or contain a link or reference to an external website without the approval of moderators.

This FAQ forms part of the 'Rules & Guidance'.

faq 20. Can I sell second-hand 11+ material on the forum?

Posts about the sale of second-hand items are not normally allowed.
(We commend the suggestion made by a member: "We gave all ours away; there were loads of books. They went to a family who were putting their child through 11+. We didn't want any money for them. I think they are on their fourth round now. There is nothing better than the act of charity especially when it comes to books.")

faq 21. Can my child join the forum?

It is not usually recommended because the forum is designed for parents and those in a position to advise them about schools and school admissions.

Where there are good reasons for membership, moderators must be notified by the parent of any child member aged 16 or under so that we can monitor their involvement in the forum in the interests of safeguarding.
Additionally, the parents of any under 13s applying for membership must complete a form (available from the ElevenPlusExams office) giving their written permission.

This FAQ forms part of the 'Rules & Guidance'.


faq 22. It can be difficult to search on the forum because you often get shown a message such as 'The following words in your search query were ignored because they are too common ............

I have a search tip ..... there is a way around this. You can instead use Google Advanced Search:" onclick=";return false;

..... and in the box that says "Site or domain" enter the top level forums url:" onclick=";return false;

Or if you want to search inside a particular forum first open the main page in that forum and use the URL shown in the address bar. E.g General 11 Plus Topics has the url " ... um.php?f=5"


faq 23. Abbreviations used on the forum

AA = Admission Authority
AN = Admission Number (same as PAN)
BAS = British Ability Scales (a series of tests used by educational psychologists)
BTW = By the way
CAF = Common Application Form
CATs = Cognitive Abilities Tests (Reasoning Tests used in some schools)
CoP = Code of Practice
DC = Dear/Darling Child
DCSF = Department for Children, Schools and Families - now DfE (see below)
DD = Dear Daughter
DDA = Disability Discrimination Act (now the Equality Act)
DfE = Department for Education, formerly DCSF
DH = Dear Husband
DP = Dear Parent
DPA = Data Protection Act
DS = Dear Son
EFA = Education Funding Agency (carries out certain functions in relation to Academies on behalf of the Secretary of State, e.g. dealing with complaints about Academy appeals)
EP = Educational Psychologist
EPE = ElevenPlusExams
FAQs = Frequently asked questions
FOI = Freedom of Information (Act)
FSMs = free school meals
FWIW = for what it's worth
GS = Grammar School
HTH? = Hope that helps?
HTR = Head Teacher Recommendation (used in Bucks)
IAN = Indicated Admission Number (indicated, that is, by the Net Capacity formula - measurement of a school's capacity)
IAP = Independent Appeal Panel
IIRC = if I remember correctly
IMHO = In my humble opinion
IMO = In my opinion
Indie = Independent School/Independent section of this Forum
IYSWIM? = If you see what I mean
KS1 = Key Stage 1 (reception, year 1, year 2)
KS2 = Key Stage 2 (years 3-6)
LA = Local Authority
LGO = Local Government Ombudsman
LOL = Laughing out Loud
Mod = Moderator
NC = National Curriculum (e.g. NC tests: the proper name for SATs. Optional NC tests: tests taken in years 3-5 that give a NC level)
NFER = National Foundation for Educational Research (now GL Assessment)
NVR = Non Verbal Reasoning
OH = Other Half
OoC = Out of County / Out of Catchment
OP - Original Poster
PAN = Published Admission Number
PM = Private Message
PO = Presenting Officer (representative of the admission authority, who presents the school’s case at an appeal)
Q&As = Questions and Answers
ROFL = Rolling On the Floor Laughing
SATs = Standard Assessment Tests
SENCO = Special Educational Needs Coordinator
SpLD = Specific Learning Difficulty
TBH = To Be Honest
VA = Voluntary Aided
VR = Verbal Reasoning
WISC = Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (a series of tests used by educational psychologists)
YPLA = Young Peoples Learning Agency (replaced by EFA – see above)

What is forum etiquette?

faq 24. Be polite

Even though you are looking at a computer screen and cannot see other members, they are real people who have feelings.

We want the forum to be a welcoming place, as well as a source of sound information.

Some posters need to adopt a friendlier tone (even though the advice they give may be excellent).

The following PM was sent by one member to another, and is reproduced with their kind permission.
    • In all the time that I spent reading information and the responses to questions, I could not help notice how different your responses were to some other regular responders. I wanted to say thank you for being so very helpful and always having such a nice tone to your messages, even when you might not have agreed with things. You always said things so nicely and never had any negativity in your responses. Unfortunately some of the others do not share your style and at times it comes across like school playground bullying and intimidation. Your style was always so professional whilst unfortunately theirs on many occasions was far from it. Sometimes the difference was glaringly obvious...because you all would have responded with the same point of view but your response would be so much more nicer and respectful. Thank you for that. I am sure you have helped a lot of people over the years. I might not be on here much now, but before I left, I wanted to let you know that the professional way in which you operated was noticed and well received by me...and I am sure it must have been by others too.

      Thank you for all the help you have provided and the way you did it. I am sure that there have been many like me who have benefited. Please continue to stay as nice as you are and not get sucked into the negativity.
faq 25. Think first, post second

A post may not always read the same to others as it does to you. Review your post before submitting it and consider how it will be received by others. If your post is misinterpreted and causes offence, explain and apologise.

faq 26. Stay on topic

Staying on topic is a courtesy to the Original Poster. Threads that go off topic may be split, edited, or locked, and action may be taken against posters who persistently go off topic.

faq 27. Please use emoticons sparingly

Emoticons (smileys) are useful to add the correct tone to a post, but too many of them become irritating. Don’t over-use them.
And please don't use them to provide cover for an unpleasant remark.

faq 28. Acceptable signatures

Over-large signatures make the forum difficult to read, so please keep your signature reasonably brief. Signatures that contain unapproved links, that advertise, or that are in any way offensive, will be removed.

faq 29. Unnecessary use of capital letters

The use of capital letters on internet forums is considered to be shouting. Please use sentence case in both thread titles and posts (unless moderators have agreed to an exception).

faq 30. Unnecessary use of text-speak

Please post in proper words, not text-speak.

faq 31. Abbreviations - think before using

Please be considerate and avoid the use of abbreviations that may be unfamiliar to other posters.
Abbreviations which are easily understood in your own local area (such as a school's initials) may not make much sense to those who live elsewhere.
And abbreviations used by educationalists and other 'insiders' may not be widely understood.

faq 32. Private messages

Private messages are useful for personal chat and confidential information, but before sending a PM, consider whether your question would be best placed on the open forum so that the replies can benefit others.

Please note that we do not normally give appeals advice by PM.
See the posting guidelines for appeals. (Scroll down to no. 5.)

faq 33. The edit button

The edit button is a useful facility for making corrections and minor amendments for a short period after posting, but should not be used in such a way as to distort a thread, or spoil it for other members. It can be helpful if reasons for the edit are given.
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