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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:35 pm 
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Hello,

I have been browsing the appeal section for a while now, and slowly putting our case together. Lots of useful information (thank you!) but also a bit overwhelming.
While I am still awaiting academic evidence from the school, I would like to ask experts here for help with exam records.

DD2 hasn't reached the qualifying standard for her first choice school in Gloucestershire (about 20 places below cut off). She really wanted to follow her sister (currently in y7 in that school). Being a late summer born, she doesn't have a lot of resilience compared to her classmates and found the whole exam experience really stressful. She did become overwhelmed and upset during the exam, with the invigilator having to comfort and calm her down so she could continue with the test.

I have got the invigilator's report now - thanks to the FOI request template found here. The incident hasn't been recorded properly; and while the school confirms the invigilator remembers the situation, they can't explain why the records aren't complete. Could I please ask for someone to review the log with the email trail and advise how to proceed?
We don't really have any other extenuating circumstances so hoping this could explain falling a bit short of the qualifying standard - if we can use it.

Thank you in advance for any help.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:50 am 
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Hello, Sorry I am in the similar situation and just out of the interest, do you ask the school where you DD sit the test for the report? How quick did they come back to you?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:00 am 
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Nichrys wrote:
Hello, Sorry I am in the similar situation and just out of the interest, do you ask the school where you DD sit the test for the report? How quick did they come back to you?


Hello Nichrys,

Yes, I've requested the report from the school where she sat the exam. I have been asking since December but only got it after submitting FOI request earlier this month (template found on this forum). Or maybe it's a standard procedure to release this kind of information after allocation day, not sure. It wasn't long after this - just over a week.
Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:07 am 
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'm sure you will get some more advice soon, but remember that, as always, the main thing is the proof of her academic abilities.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:26 pm
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Quote:
Could I please ask for someone to review the log with the email trail and advise how to proceed?

Hi Bells

I don't mind taking a look at the evidence if you want to send it to us.
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a62

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:54 pm
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Thank you very much Etienne.
I have forwarded the evidence to the appeal box.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:33 pm 
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Bells wrote:
Nichrys wrote:
Hello, Sorry I am in the similar situation and just out of the interest, do you ask the school where you DD sit the test for the report? How quick did they come back to you?


Hello Nichrys,

Yes, I've requested the report from the school where she sat the exam. I have been asking since December but only got it after submitting FOI request earlier this month (template found on this forum). Or maybe it's a standard procedure to release this kind of information after allocation day, not sure. It wasn't long after this - just over a week.
Good luck!


Thank you!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:26 pm
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Bells wrote:
Thank you very much Etienne.
I have forwarded the evidence to the appeal box.
Strictly speaking this was an SAR (subject access request) rather than FOI, because you were seeking information they had recorded about your daughter. FOI is for non-personal information, such as the number of successful appeals.

However, the school would have understood perfectly what you meant.

Organisations are normally required to respond "without delay" and "within one month".
The Information Commissioner wrote:
You should respond without delay and within one month of receipt of the request

It would not be acceptable for the school to wait until allocation day, or to argue that you can only see the log at an appeal.

Well done for persevering.


I would attach the evidence to your appeal, and write something along the lines:
      X was under a lot of pressure at the time of the test because she was desperately keen to emulate her sister's achievement in gaining a place at the school.

      Although the scores are age standardised, as a late summer born child X doesn't have a lot of resilience compared to her classmates and found the whole exam experience really stressful. She did become overwhelmed and upset during the exam, with the invigilator having to comfort and calm her down so she could continue with the test.
      Although the school has not kept a proper record, it acknowledges that the invigilator remembers the incident.
      Please see evidence attached.


There are three parts to your appeal:
1. Academic evidence
2. The extenuating circumstances. (Would the primary school be willing to write that X is the sort of child who would have found the test experience extremely daunting?)
3. Reasons for wanting a place. Perhaps you could argue that X is a sensitive child who is likely to find the transition to secondary education challenging, and would benefit from the reassurance and support of her sister who is currently in Y7. (Would the primary school back this up? Anything from them will carry more weight!)

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:26 am 
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Thank you so much Etienne.

It's a great relief to know we can use this in the appeal - which would be the main evidence supporting extenuating circumstances.

For academic evidence, we have Y5 interim and annual reports - greater depth in all subjects.
We have also just received a very supportive letter from Y6 teacher, including a slightly generic but supportive note from the headteacher, YORC comprehension assessment (I am not sure if there is a cap on reading age), and some predicted levels. There were no other formal assessments. Would you be willing to scan over them for any gaps, please?

Reason for wanting the place - mainly sibling link, girls are very close, with no family nearby it's important to keep that bond and support going.
Logistics also play a part, no bus routes around, school is close to DH's job so it works at the moment but having girls at different schools would add significant time for everyone. Can we mention any of this?
DD2 also liked some specific things about the school when we visited, and parts of the curriculum that she has discussed with her sister.

I will see if the school can provide an additional statement in support of extenuating circumstances and the reason for wanting the school. We did talk about it with Y6 teacher but it hasn't been mentioned in the letter. Should this be added to the letter of support or as a separate character statement?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:54 pm
Posts: 57
Etienne wrote:

There are three parts to your appeal:

3. Reasons for wanting a place.


I am struggling a bit to find the correct approach. The currently allocated school (2nd choice) is also a very good school. Will I have to compare the two in the appeal, or will the panel ask about it? I am worried the panel will take the view that DD2 already has a good place, but all the reasons why the school we are appealing for was our 1st choice still stand.
Should we only list reasons specific to this particular school, or all the reasons this was our first choice even though the allocated school offers them as well?
On a similar subject, is it worth mentioning school specialism? (I think I've read somewhere here that it doesn't matter so much anymore).

Coming back to issues with the invigilator's report - is it in our best interest to not highlight the school's failings in this respect? We will include the evidence and the commentary as advised but I am wondering in which direction I should take this when questioned by the panel.

Thank you, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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