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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:34 pm
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Good morning

I have found your appeals information very insightful and have read all the background information regarding the process of appealing.

A little bit of background information ....
- My DD passed the Kent test.
- We are out of county and she has been allocated a girls comprehensive school.
- The grammar schools that she liked are both 2.4 miles and 2.7 miles in distance.
- My DD has no medical conditions, no older siblings and is not on pupil premium.

QUESTIONS:
- In the appeal, do the panel members know what school my DD has currently been offered?

- Is there any need to point out last year's distance.... in the first round of allocations last year the distance criteria was further than this year...this year the distance has halved...is there any need to point this out on the appeal form? .... would I immediately be put on the back foot by mentioning the distance last year compared to this year?

- We have no extenuating circumstances or medical reasons, will this work against us? We are applying on the basis of over subscription, academic reasons and reasons for wanting a place.

- Would it be beneficial to make my points in the Appeal form as bullet points rather than paragraphs of writing?

- Sorry if I sound vague, this is the first time I have ever been through the appeal system. I have sent an email to the AppealsBox, please can you take a look at my notes and advise whether the appeal is balanced and whether the evidence and reasons are strong enough for an appeal to be upheld?


If you can offer your assistance, I would greatly appreciate you help.

Many thanks

happymum77


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:59 pm 
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Welcome to Appeals! :)

happymum77 wrote:
In the appeal, do the panel members know what school my DD has currently been offered?
      Quote:
      It is difficult to say whether the panel will be given information by the admission authority about preferences or the allocated school. In the case of an LA panel hearing appeals for a community school, or hearing appeals on behalf of an academy, it is quite likely. I would have thought that panels for own-admission authority schools running their own appeals may be less likely to know (although the LA might make the information available for the purposes of an appeal).
      You are entitled to get exactly the same papers as the appeal panel and the presenting officer a week or so before the hearing, so you will be able to see what information, if any, is included.

      Even if the panel has been given no information about your preferences or allocated school in the appeal papers, be prepared for the possibility that they might ask you about them (and about other appeals).

      https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a21

Quote:
- Is there any need to point out last year's distance.... in the first round of allocations last year the distance criteria was further than this year...this year the distance has halved...is there any need to point this out on the appeal form? .... would I immediately be put on the back foot by mentioning the distance last year compared to this year?
To be honest, what would have happened to your application a year ago is unlikely to be of interest to an appeal panel.

On the other hand, if - on the basis of last year's stats - you had moved house specifically to be closer to the school, or within the school's catchment area, they might be sympathetic.

Quote:
- We have no extenuating circumstances or medical reasons, will this work against us?
You say daughter has qualified, so there is no need for extenuating circumstances, unless places have been allocated in rank order, and you want to argue that she would have performed even better but for particular circumstances.

Sometimes medical conditions might be relevant to the choice of school, but if that were the case they would come under "Reasons for wanting a place".

Quote:
- Would it be beneficial to make my points in the Appeal form as bullet points rather than paragraphs of writing?
Lots of advice in the Q&As about how to write a letter of appeal:
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... cation#b40

It helps the panel if points are made clearly and concisely, so bullet points can be useful.

Quote:
- Sorry if I sound vague, this is the first time I have ever been through the appeal system.
No problem! :)

Quote:
I have sent an email to the AppealsBox, please can you take a look at my notes and advise whether the appeal is balanced and whether the evidence and reasons are strong enough for an appeal to be upheld?
Sorry that I can't normally do this - it's very time consuming.
I did once comment on a letter of appeal, but it was posted openly on the forum (not something most people would be happy to do!):
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=54618&start=10

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:34 pm
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Hi Etienne,

Thank you for responding back so quickly!! :o)

I will take all your points on board and thank you for the link, it has been most helpful.

I totally understand your point of view....with the way I'm feeling at the moment.... I would have pasted the information on this forum as I'm so desperate for a little bit of direction as I really have no one else to ask. However at the moment I can't reveal any detailed info at this present time as it would upset my daughter as she really loved the school which was her first preference and she hopes for a second chance through the appeal. With the time pressure looming on us ...I feel like I'm second guessing my better judgement... I know this is very cheeky to ask but..... in your opinion ... are our reasons strong enough???....my daughter is very serious about her future career choices therefore would it be possible for you to give an answer of just a YES or a NO....if the answer is NO ....I then know to rework the reasons.

Look forward to hearing from you soon :0)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7964
Quote:
would it be possible for you to give an answer of just a YES or a NO
I'm afraid only your particular appeal panel can say if your reasons are strong enough.

My advice would be to go through the Q&As, and take on board everything there (e.g. keeping to one side of A4, not writing a character reference, etc.)

I suspect you have too many points, and that they are rather general - perhaps a bit reminiscent of arguments such as "My son/daughter liked X, Y and Z about the school, as well as A, B, C, D, E, and would like to do A, B, C, D, E, and X, Y and Z which we think will be important in future."

Similarly, if asserting a strong preference for co-education or single-sex education, it begs the question - is there any real substance to this argument?
Why is it so important for this particular child?
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... school#c36


See the Q&As C2 (a) (viii). There are examples of cases which tried to present a single substantial argument.
      Quote:
      (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 quote the source of your information about the school, but there isn’t much point in copying an Ofsted report or school prospectus for the panel. You are hardly likely to be inventing facts about the school when there is a presenting officer in attendance who will intervene if false information is being given!

      Nevertheless, you should do your research. It’s not enough to say – for example – “I hear the school has a good music department”, or “My daughter is good at music”, or to quote a few lines from an out of date Ofsted report. An appeal panel might be impressed if a parent had made the effort to investigate with the Head of Music what the school could offer their child, and could talk knowledgeably about what was available at the different grammar schools. This is best done at the time of the CAF application. Schools might be more wary of entering into discussions with you nearer the time of an appeal (although strictly speaking they are meant to provide any information you might need to help prepare for an appeal).

      There have been several cases on the forum where parents wanted a particular grammar school because of its well-regarded SEN department. I have no doubt that their case was helped by the fact that – rather than settle for a few snatched words at a busy open evening – parents had taken the trouble to have a specially arranged meeting with the SenCo at a number of grammar schools to find out what they could do to meet their child’s particular needs.
      Which of the following cases comes across as strongest?
      1. “I’ve heard it has a good SEN department.”
      2. “The Ofsted report some years ago said it has a good SEN department.”
      3. “It was very busy at the Open Evening, but I did manage to have a few words with someone from special needs.”
      4. “I made an appointment to see the SenCo at both schools, showed them what my son’s needs are (see attached evidence), and found out exactly what they could offer him.”


      Dejavu’s case:

      “The school has specialist science status. Daughter excels in maths and has a passion for science. She has always wanted to be a vet, and to realise these ambitions she would need to attain the very highest grades in sciences and maths. Appendices included letter from her Science Club teacher, marked SATS papers showing high levels for science and maths which daughter had brought home from school (as current school would not provide up-to-date info about daughter’s grades to support the appeal) – all the more remarkable as SATS are not age standardised and daughter was late August born, Gifted and Talented for maths, article from local press when interviewed about her high achievements in dog showing (long time interest in animals) in which it said in print ‘she has ambitions to be a vet’.

      Dejavu won her appeal!

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:34 pm
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Thank you so much Etienne, I will try and be more specific with my reasons. Your advice has been invaluable!!


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