wallington girls appeal

(15 Posts)
Blossom2000 Sat 15-Mar-14 09:14:12

Hi, My daughter didn't get a place at Wallington girls so I want to appeal. Can somebody can recommend me a good lawyer or solicitor who won a appeal against Wallington? Is there a chance to win an appeal against Wallington girls at all? I will be very thankful if someone can provide me the information.

PanelChair Sat 15-Mar-14 09:19:00

Why do you think you need a solicitor? What are your reasons for appealing?

tiggytape Sat 15-Mar-14 19:39:00

Wallington Girls is a grammar school.
To get a place a girl needs not only to reach the pass mark but also exceed. More girls pass the test than there are places.

If your daughter reached the pass mark then it will be an oversubscription appeal. She has demonstrated that she is of selective ability but the school is full so your appeal then would focus on explaining why she would benefit from a place eg curriculum offered, any medical or social reasons, clubs and interests etc.
You should explain why this school (not a grammar in general) is best for her needs and interests and why her need to attend outweighs the disadvantage to the school of having to accept an extra pupil.

If your DD did not reach the pass mark then it is a non qualification and and oversubscription appeal and is realistically very hard to win since many girls who pass the test don't get in let alone ones who have not passed.
If there is a good reason why she did not perform at her best on the day, this can be explained at appeal. Apart from that, you need to really convince the panel that she is of very high academic ability and that the 11+ result is not representative of her normal work. Ideally you would want proof that she is already at a high level 5 or possibly even predicted level 6's in her SATS this year.
You would also need to add the other things about why only Wallington can best meet her needs and interests but, if she has not reached the pass mark, the most important thing by far will be any academic evidence you supply.

Appeals are for parents. Rarely, parents will use a solicitor or expert but there really is no need to. In fact they are more of a hindrance than a help unless they are very expert in this area. You can easily do this yourself. All the evidence you need will be things you already have access to and you can probably explain better about your DD’s needs and academic ability than a person who does not know her. Some people do enlist expert help for this type of appeal especially if their child did not pass the test as they fear they will lack proof of exceptionally high ability otherwise. In those cases they may pay for a professional evaluation - an Ed Psych report or similar to present to the panel but then still present the evidence in person.

Blossom2000 Sun 16-Mar-14 08:26:44

Thank you so much for the response. Specially tiggytape for your information.My daughter has passed the entrance exam. Her score is slightly over than the cut off mark as she was distracted during the exam and was really upset. She is doing level 6 at SATs without having any tuition and the class teacher gave her the goal to reach 100% as she is doing 96% at the moment. As lots of parents going to make an appeal with the proof of academic ability as the ground for an appeal I personally think it is very important how you present the reasons for an over subscription appeal. That is why I am looking for an excellent lawyer,solicitor or an education adviser. Our problem is my daughters low score!

prh47bridge Sun 16-Mar-14 09:29:11

You should keep well away from lawyers, solicitors and most of those who offer to help with appeals in return for a fee. I have come across many cases where lawyers have antagonised the appeal panel by treating it as a court of law, making lots of technical points which have no bearing on the appeal and in once case asking the panel to award costs. Similarly those who offer to help in return for a fee are frequently of little or no help to the parents. I spent quite a lot of time last year helping a parent who was fortunate to get a second appeal after losing the first attempt due to some quite appalling advice. She had paid several hundred pounds for the privilege of having a winnable appeal turned into a hopeless case.

There are a number of experts who post here regularly. If you give details of your case you will get a lot of good advice.

titchy Sun 16-Mar-14 11:23:29

If she passed then her low score isn't a problem! It's simply failed on over subscription criteria so as tiggytape says you just need to demonstrate why her need for this particular school outweighs the school's argument that they are full.

tiggytape Sun 16-Mar-14 11:45:56

Blossom2000 - was any note made at the time of the exam about the distraction? Did you email the school after the exam (but before the results) to tell them?
If not it is possible the invigilator noted any incidents and you can ask to see the notes taken on the day. This is especially useful if the distraction coincides with whichever paper she scored less well on. However some notes are better than others and it depends how severe the distraction was (fire alarm that cleared the hall likely to be noted. Girl at next desk muttering and kicking the chair legs less likely to be noted)

You can still include evidence of academic ability even though she has passed the test. If she is on track to score 100% in all Level 6 SATS that indicates a child of exceptionally high ability. As such, this will form part of your case that Wallington best meets her academic needs (but you do have to explain why Wallington in particular and not just any old grammar school).

hercules1 Sun 16-Mar-14 11:50:18

Out of interest, could it be argued that wallington is the school to meet her dd's needs because it is the only one she passed for and therefore her best shot at appeal or because it's the only one within reasonable travelling distance?

hercules1 Sun 16-Mar-14 11:51:36

What reasons could be given that it must be a grammar over a comp? Is it that it would meet a child's academic needs better proven by the child's previous ability?

tiggytape Sun 16-Mar-14 12:08:45

What reasons could be given that it must be a grammar over a comp

OP isn't appealing for a grammar over a comp. An appeal is always for 1 school in particular and never against another school.

So she may be able to say (and I am making up details here just as an example) that only Wallington offers her DD the chance to do a more challenging and faster paced curriculum for maths GCSE and to take Further Maths at A Level. She may say this is especially important to her DD as she is already a high level 6 in Maths and likely to require a very advanced curriculum and pace of learning to keep track with her needs if she starts year 7 on the cusp of a Level 7.
OP could say that only Wallington allows her DD to take 14 GCSEs and given that she is expected to reach GCSE standard in some subjects very soon, she will benefit from a school where she can take more exams or take some of them earlier.
She may also add that Wallington has an orchestra / chess club / other activities that her DD likes and will be involved in that other local schools perhaps do not offer.

Nobody would win an appeal by simply saying "My child is very clever. They passed the test. They should go to a grammar because they qualified and we don't want a comp instead"

hercules1 Sun 16-Mar-14 12:11:51

Thanks, Tiggytape.

tiggytape Sun 16-Mar-14 12:15:10

As for other reasons - distance and travel are rarely considered unless a child has a disability or other reason for not being able to travel. If it is the only grammar she can easily travel to then that will probably be the case for many others appealing too since grammar schools are few and far between.

Telling the panel that you are appealing because you think this is the easier appeal to win won't help. Parents should appeal because their child needs the school not because they think other appeals are too much of a long shot. If anything this undermines the parents' case by admitting that they are being tactical about it all. And besides, it is possible for a child who totally failed the test to still win an appeal over and above a child who passed the test but missed out on a place by a few marks. It all depends on the case they both make.

tiggytape Sun 16-Mar-14 12:15:38

Sorry X post hercules1 - I missed your other questions out

Blossom2000 Mon 17-Mar-14 17:18:50

Many thanks for everyone for the excellent tips. As tiggytape says it depends on how you make your case. As English is not my first language it is important to me to get some help to summarize all these valuable points. That is why I'm looking for a lawyer or a barrister.

prh47bridge Mon 17-Mar-14 17:32:23

Please stop looking for a lawyer (barristers are lawyers, by the way). Even though English is not your first language (doesn't show in your posts) a lawyer is unlikely to make the case better than you and may sabotage your case completely. Not intentionally, of course, but school admissions is not their expertise. There are no obscure legal points to be made. It is simply about the facts.

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