Newstead Wood School - help!

(19 Posts)
pinktabulous Sat 02-Mar-13 09:05:40


My DD scored above the historical cut-off but not high enough to be offered a place yesterday. She was three marks off. She was so convinced that because she was above this cut-off she would get a place she was so upset that she cried herself to sleep.

We are reasonably happy about her second choice, it is just a bit of a journey (30 mins by coach) whereas NW is a mile away.

We are trying to decide whether to appeal or not. We have real concerns that as she would have the bottom score whether she would struggle.

Does anybody have some actual experience as a parent of a NW pupil? Any views would be much appreciated.


HollyBerryBush Sat 02-Mar-13 09:09:11

Friends daughters go there. Did very well. Thoroughly enjoyed their experience of the school.

wineoclocktimeyet Sat 02-Mar-13 10:13:24

It maybe worth hanging on and seeing if the school will tell you where your daughter is on the waiting list - there will be a number of people who wont take up their places (if they've been offered places at independant schools) and traditionally the 'pass' mark has gone down between now and mid-April.

yellowbee1 Sat 02-Mar-13 12:35:15

pinktabulous, on what basis would you appeal?

pinktabulous Sat 02-Mar-13 12:44:08

I think we would appeal in mefical grounds - that NW is our local school, on a small setting and has disabled access, including lifts. This means that should she need her wheelchair on a more permanent basis her schooling would not be interrupted.

As it is so close she will not be tired before starting school, nor would the return journey exhaust her before homework.

NW means a 8.15 to 4.00 day, the other school means a 7.30 to 4.40ish day.

I do gave her consultant neurologist will to back us in an appeal. I have no real idea whether this will carry any weight - I think I have to show why the school will be ideal for us, not why other schools are not?

yellowbee1 Sat 02-Mar-13 12:49:39

Effectively, you have to convince a panel that DD 'deserves' a instead of someone who would otherwise have got that place on the normal admissions criteria ie the entrance test results.

pinktabulous Sat 02-Mar-13 12:57:10

Yes, that is what I thought too. I guess all I can do, if we do decide to appeal is to present our evidence in the very best way we can and wait for the panel's decision. It's all so up in the air

yellowbee1 Sat 02-Mar-13 13:08:10

You would also need need a convincing arguement (not based on the academic arguement) why it couldn't be Darrick Wood.

pinktabulous Sat 02-Mar-13 13:36:43

We kind of discounted Darrick Wood because of the size of the school, but we will make sure we point that out if we appeal. Thanks - this is all very helpful smile

Ladymuck Sat 02-Mar-13 14:00:33

In terms of answering your question as to whether she would struggle academically - no, she wouldn't. 3 marks isn't materially significant, and it would mean that she performed least well of this group of girls on this particular test on the day (and if I remember correctly doesn't NW test NVR/VR so not exactly subjects she will be studying daily). She would of course be in a school with a lot of very bright girls, and that may cause her to view herself differently.

pinktabulous Sat 02-Mar-13 16:12:46

Thank you - that's reassuring

PanelChair Sat 02-Mar-13 16:48:47

Two separate things here.

To answer the question about struggling. A family member attends NW. She has classmates who were tutored to pass the exam, are being tutored now just to keep up and are stressed and unhappy. If that might be your daughter's experience, you need to reflect on that.

About an appeal. Did you mention the medical aspects when you applied for the place? I chair appeal panels in boroughs that don't have grammar schools, so am less familiar with how it works, but my understanding is that you would need to satisfy the panel that your daughter is of the same academic calibre as the pupils who have been accepted. With only 3 marks at stake, they might give you the benefit of the doubt on that - particularly if you can bring supporting evidence from school, or other evidence for why she might have under-performed on the day - but they are likely to be hearing appeals from lots of girls who just missed out on a place, in which case they have to prioritise to decide how many can be admitted.

As far as I can see, NW don't give any priority in their admission criteria to medical/social need, so the best you could do is use the arguments about lifts etc as evidence that the 'prejudice' to your daughter in not being given a place is greater than the 'prejudice' to the school in admitting another pupil. You would need statements from your neurologist and other professionals to support your case.

pinktabulous Sat 02-Mar-13 17:31:34

Thank you PanelChair.

We decided against any tutoring for our DD purely because we wanted her to be able to keep up - esp. in light of the difficulties she sometimes has. Having said that we did do some work at home familarising etc.

Her last parents evening put her at L5's across the board with the school likely to enter her for the L6 SATS in May.

I've got letters from her consultant to say that a smaller school with disabled access would be beneficial, plus a local school to help with her tiredness levels.

I think we are going to go for it - I know it's a long shot but I think we'd regret not.

Petrasmumma Thu 14-Mar-13 23:15:12

I'm sorry your daughter just missed a place. I would be nervous about the chance of success in an appeal though - in addition to what has already been said, can I suggest that you reinforce your appeal from another direction?

You would need to very specifically undermine ALL the other local schools, not just Darrick. There are several nearby. If one of them has reasonable disabled access and is prepared to make adjustments for your DD,(and all will say they will, because they have to)or currently have wheelchair users in the student body, it will obviously weaken your position.

I wish you the best of luck.

pinktabulous Fri 15-Mar-13 18:53:15

Hi Petrasmumma

The other two local schools are on large sites and are really not suitable.

We've since found out she is very high on the waiting list and having spoken to admissions are very hopeful that she will be offered a place from the waiting list in the second round of Admissions in April.

Not courting our chickens but our eggs may be cracking a little!

pinktabulous Fri 15-Mar-13 18:54:51

Sorry meant to add pass mark was 222, she gained 221 - so a lot closer than we originally believed !

pinktabulous Thu 28-Mar-13 22:01:53


My DD was offered a place at Newstead Wood today.

She has not stopped smiling since we told her!

Blu Fri 29-Mar-13 07:39:53

Hooray! It sounds like just the school for her in many ways. I was going to reply as I have experience in applications for a 'sometimes' wheelchair user who also benefits from a shorter journey , but no need for all that now. Phew!

MissKing Mon 13-May-13 20:33:31


I have only just come across this comment and am pleased to see she was offered a place.

I spent my seven years of secondary school at Newstead, leaving in the summer of 2008.

I scored 221 and the pass rate was 222 - exactly the same and got in through appeal. I did not struggle at all at got a place at my chosen university, gaining a first class degree. They prepare you for life after school remarkably well and almost everyone I know would agree with me - past and present students.

I absolutely loved my time at Newstead and wish I could go back. The school is amazing and deserves the outstanding reputation it has. I have not come across a school like it (and I am now a teacher myself)!

Hope this reassures (even though late) from a previous pupil who scored exactly the same as your daughter did smile

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