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 Post subject: Posting guidelines
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:10 pm
Posts: 9235
Location: Buckinghamshire
Guidelines for the Appeals Section
Please read before you start posting

1. Netiquette

Please do not send unsolicited PMs asking for help - we do not have enough time to reply to them. Our aim is to help as many people as possible via the forum.

Please observe all the generally accepted good standards for posting on the internet.
For example:
      Do not start a new thread every time you post unless you really are starting a completely new topic unrelated to your own case. It helps us to have all the information about your appeal case in a single place.
      Do not hijack someone else's thread to discuss your own case.

      • Be courteous.
      • Avoid unnecessary use of capital letters (this is considered to be "shouting").
      • Please avoid using abbreviations which are easily understood in your own local area but may not make much sense to those who live elsewhere!

• The Appeals Forum is not really the place for a flood of celebratory pictures (pictures are welcome in Rehab). Nor is there any need to show sympathy for someone by launching into generalised attacks on appeal panels.

• It is good to have feedback from appeal hearings, but unpleasant remarks about identifiable panel members or LA representatives/presenting officers are not allowed, nor is it acceptable for their names to be made public on the forum.

• Comments about third-party cases are also a matter for concern. This is where a poster writes something along the lines:
      My appeal has just failed and I am outraged. I know this family down the road who won their appeal, and their case is much less deserving than mine because of X, Y and Z.
Rarely are all the X, Y and Z facts correct, and there is sometimes a risk the other family might be recognised (something that happened on this forum before).

Feedback from appeals: We love to hear how people have got on with their appeals, and welcome messages of congratulation or commiseration - but could we please all show sensitivity and balance in our responses? Those who have not succeeded on this occasion deserve as much attention and consideration as those who have been successful.

2. Some Brief General Advice on Appeals

The first and most common question on the Appeals Section is "Is it worth appealing against the 11+ result"? The second is "What do I do next"?

Before you do anything else, please read this post right through and also look at the Appeal Questions and Answers, which you can find here.

The Q&A document is lengthy, but it covers all types of Appeal, many different scenarios for appeal evidence, and it is based on years of advising on many hundreds of real cases on this Forum.


Whether or not it's worth appealing depends on the strength of the case you can put forward. It's also worth bearing in mind that, the further away you are from a qualifying score, the stronger your case usually needs to be.

In most case the best thing to do is probably to talk it through with the Head of your child’s current school. If you do go to appeal, ideally you'll want the school's support.

If the Head seems willing to support you, you should ask some specific questions of him/her:
      • Is the school willing to give strong support to the appeal?
      • Did the school fully expect your child to qualify?
      • Will the school predict 'exceeding expectations'? Even better, significantly 'exceeding expectations'?
      • Does the school have good results for any standardised tests done by your child, such as CATs, that could be used as evidence? (Scores around the 90th percentile or preferably higher would be ideal.)
      • Might it be in order to ask the class teacher for an additional letter of support?

You should also have a look yourself at recent school reports and see if there are references to high achievement that would support your case.


Assuming that there has been no maladministration in the way in which the admission rules have been applied, then you will need to put forward your specific reasons for wanting a place at the school in question. These must be supported by evidence wherever possible.

Examples of the sort of reasons commonly given can be found in the Q&As C2: Appealing for an oversubscribed school.

All appeals

Apply to the Admission Authority for an appeals form. Don't delay - there will almost certainly be a deadline if you want your appeal to be heard at the same time as most of the others.

Nationally around one-third of appeals succeed, but there can be considerable variations from area to area. The success rate for some academies, foundation and VA schools is suspiciously low.

Going through the Appeals process can be very stressful, and realistically the odds are against you. However, if you don’t try, you'll never know what might have been. If in doubt, go ahead and appeal!

3. I’ve read all of that and I still have questions

You are welcome to post your questions on the Appeals section once you have finished reading this! We will reply as quickly as we can, but please remember that we are all volunteers and that there are only a small number of us who have technical expertise in Appeals.

Any advice that we give you will be general advice based on nationally established procedures for Appeals, plus personal experience. We may well lack specific knowledge of your local area, so please ensure that you check for any local variations that may be relevant.

To post on the Forum you will need to register. We strongly recommend that you do not use your real name on the Forum, especially when posting about Appeals.

4. What information should I include in my post?

(a) Start your own thread rather than hijacking someone else's
- use a meaningful title such as "Missed by 2 marks, Slough consortium" for your own case
- stick to using this one thread for everything to do with your case: it is your personal “Q&A section” from now on. Please do not start a new thread each time you post about your own case, even if you are moving away from your original question - it helps us to have all the information in one place. We can change the original topic title for you if it no longer seems appropriate.

(b) Which area you are from?
- If you know the website address of your Local Authority's (or foundation school's) admissions/appeals, please tell us what it is. It saves us time if we need to check anything.

(c) What sort of appeal is it?
– Are you appealing against non-qualification?
- or oversubscription?
- or both?

(d) If it is an Appeal against non-qualification, what was the qualifying score, and what was your child’s score?
- Please give us all the individual scores, if applicable, not just the total, and tell us what they were for (e.g. VR, NVR).
- Has the result already been considered by a local Review Panel?
For an explanation of reviews, see here.

(e) If it is an appeal against oversubscription only, why were you refused a place? (e.g. was it because you live too far away from the school?).
- Please say whether any places were allocated according to how high a score was achieved.
- If so, how close were you to the cut-off mark?

(f) Who is handling the appeal?
- a Local Authority panel?
- or a school panel?

(g) Have you read the Q&As?
See here.

5. I don’t want to post some of the information in public. Can I send you a Private Message?

When this Forum was younger and smaller, we were able to provide an almost personal service via Private Messages (PMs) on Appeals. Sadly, those days are gone. We are all volunteers, and the number of Appeal cases is now too large. Please do not send unsolicited PMs - we cannot reply to them.

We encourage everyone to share their appeal case on the forum as far as is possible. Individual cases are very rarely identifiable and the information from them benefits future parents who may need to appeal. However, we realise that on occasions there may be personal circumstances in an Appeal case that would cause upset or embarrassment if your family were to be identified.

We have made an "Appeals Box" available, with the aim of keeping as much discussion as possible on the forum, but also offering confidentiality where it is essential. Information sent to the Appeals Box will only be seen by Forum Moderators.

Before using the Appeals Box :
      • please register as a member of the forum
      • please read the Appeals Box guidelines: Start here (scroll down to no. 6.)

We look forward to helping you and your child.

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