Help Please...Altrincham Grammar Appeal

(22 Posts)
sonia275 Tue 08-Apr-14 11:31:09

hi all

i dearly hope someone can help. DS has passed all trafford grammar schools exams but refused admission to Altrincham Grammar due to over subscription. I am going to appeal but i am struggling to put a case together over how Altrincham will be better for him over Stretford. I have searched the net to try to see how Alti is better but strucggling to find obvious positives of alti over stretford (apart from the results)

He is an ICT enthusiast and does excels in that field but both schools after school ICT clubs. My main incentive for him to go Alti is that its a boys only as well as the higher standard.

Can anyone help please...?

Thanks so much in advance

Sonis

Agggghast Tue 08-Apr-14 12:12:02

Well I think you should be happy with Stretford. An able child tends to do well wherever, why make them feel inadequate for not achieving your ambitions? Sometimes parents who focus on a school forget to focus on the child, just support him and be proud of his achievements not his inability to get into an oversubscribed school.

sonia275 Tue 08-Apr-14 12:28:04

HI Agg

Thanks for the reply. Just because i stated why it'd would be nice for him to be at a boys only (from my point of view) does not mean he wants to go to Stretford.

Let me clarify, the main reason why I am undergoing the painstaking process of appealing is purely because HE wants to go to Alti and no where else. He has knowledge of Alti through my nephews who go there and as well as that, after the open days at all the schools, he has a strong desire (and he feels that he belongs there and nowhere else. He has a a multitude of reasons why this is the case but i don't want to overpopulate this post with those. But let's just say that despite me trying to "sell" him the idea of going to Stretford, he is still insistent on Alti.

Just one last point, Stretford is located much more conveniently bt he is willing to spend an extra hour or so of travel to be at Alti, so i guess taht says a lot.

Thanks

titchy Tue 08-Apr-14 12:31:30

The percentage of kids getting certain grades is largely irrelevant tbh. Your child's chances of getting 10 As (or 9s!) are not dependent on how many other kids get the same grade - your kid's got the same ability wherever he goes! Plus I think there's some evidence boys do better in co-ed.

sonia275 Tue 08-Apr-14 12:42:01

hi all again

thanks for the replies again, i do appreciate the input. But it would be nice to get advice on my original question (how do i prove alti to be better over Stretford). I don't want to waste anyone's time for advice relating to where he should or should not go. .

The bottom line is that i am trying to make sure he goes to a school of his choice so that he is comfortable there. From where i'm standing, he could have gone to any of the grammar's (or even a comprehensive) because i know he is an academic type and should do well wherever.

prh47bridge Tue 08-Apr-14 12:46:31

I think you will struggle to put together a strong appeal based on what you have said. The better results don't help. You may be able to build a case that your son needs to attend a boys school but I doubt that will be enough to win on its own, although you never know. It would help if you can identify some differences between the schools that are relevant to your son.

PanelChair Tue 08-Apr-14 12:46:50

As I think you have already recognised, you don't really have the basis of a winnable appeal here. The fact that your son wants to attend a particular school, or that that school achieves better academic results, will carry no weight at appeal. You need to identify reasons why your son's needs can only be met at the school you are appealing for and, as you say, it would seem that in fact his needs could be met equally well at the school where he has a place.

Give it your best shot, but I think you need to accept that, barring any good luck via movement on the waiting list, he will be going to the school at which he has a place.

PanelChair Tue 08-Apr-14 12:50:05

To answer your most recent question, you prove that the school you are appealing for is the best one for your son by identifying things that he needs that the appeal school offers and that the allocated school does not. But in your own example - ICT provision - you mention that in fact the two schools are equally matched. That is why I think you will struggle to win any appeal.

moldingsunbeams Tue 08-Apr-14 12:55:38

You have to prove that either they made a mistake in allocation or the child has a social, emotional, medical or academic need which can only be met at that school. Simply your child being set on that school is not a case sorry.

I have been in a similar situation where dd hated the feeder school and felt at home with the none feeder. I had valid reasons why I felt dds needs could be better met and thats what you need.

sonia275 Tue 08-Apr-14 12:56:26

@ panelchair and @prh47

Thanks so much for getting back.

@prh47

one of the reasons why i posted in this forum was because i notice you give such great advice. You mentioned:

"It would help if you can identify some differences between the schools that are relevant to your son."

What you said is EXACTLY what i am trying to achieve but falling short of gathering any obvious differences from searching the net. Hence me starting the thread. I am after pointers on how else i can research to determine the differences.

thanks again

moldingsunbeams Tue 08-Apr-14 13:01:47

So in my case it was things like

The school offered sen support and groups to children on sa plus even if not statemented which feeder didnt.
The school offered places dd could go to get out of the thick of it if she was not coping.
The school had specialist equipment and programs the other didnt.
I also added that the school specialised in music, drama and dance which dd loves which would give her the chance to achieve in an area despite her academic failings although this was just an add on.

sonia275 Tue 08-Apr-14 13:09:27

thanks molding,

titchy Tue 08-Apr-14 13:27:17

So really you're looking to come up with a fake killer argument at appeal hmm The fact that you don't know what Altrincham offers over Stretford speaks volumes.

sonia275 Tue 08-Apr-14 13:30:40

@titchy

sigh....

TheAmyrlin Tue 08-Apr-14 13:42:09

Don't want to depress you OP, but I think your DS will have to have scored very high on the entrance exam to get in. AFAIK it's pass in the catchment area first, then on ability, i.e. on test scores. And I think distance to school comes in too.

But I'm sure there will be someone one here who knows for sure.

tiggytape Tue 08-Apr-14 14:12:49

The trouble is that if you as a parent are finding it hard to differentiate between the two schools enough to form your appeal, it is unlikely the two schools do differ enough for the appeal panel to be convinced that only one meets his needs.
Appeals aren't about preference - there has to be some element of meeting a child's needs or of preventing him suffering disadvantage.

Better grades won't be considered at all.
Being all boys' could possibly be used if you have very specific reasons for saying you need this eg if you could demonstrate a strong religious requirement that you already follow in other aspects of your life. Even then, it may not carry much weight. If it is just preference it won't really be a factor.

Unless your DS has a learning need that Altrincham specialises in dealing with or unless Altrincham's curriculum differs greatly to Stretfords and in ways that better suit your DS or something else of that nature applies, the case won't be very strong.
It is always worth an appeal if you feel strongly that DS needs you to exhaust all options but it is also a good idea to prepare for the allocated school and maybe counter DS's preferences as best you can if you worry that he might be very disappointed otherwise. Unfortunately more appeals fail than succeed so no matter what your case, it is better to see it as a longshot and to talk up the advantages of Stretfords as much as you can.

prh47bridge Tue 08-Apr-14 14:15:02

TheAmyrlin - Provided achieved a pass mark his actual score in the entrance exam is irrelevant for an appeal. The admission criteria are also irrelevant unless the OP wants to argue that a mistake has been made. The appeal will be about the OP trying to show that the disadvantage to her son from not attending this school outweighs the problems the school will face from having to cope with an additional pupil.

prh47bridge Tue 08-Apr-14 14:22:23

sonia275 - I would recommend taking a good look at the websites for both schools and asking lots of questions of both schools. You may be able to find things relevant to your son that will help you build your appeal. Make sure you can justify the points you make. I disagree with Titchy that you are trying to build a fake case - lots of parents know they want school X for their child but are unclear how to justify that to an appeal panel. But do make sure that you can back up any points you make in the hearing about your son's needs.

sonia275 Tue 08-Apr-14 15:56:59

Thanks again prh47 - I am going to have to dig deeper outside just the internet. The only thing what i have managed to pin down so far is that Alti offer multimedia courses and highlight them on their site. I have just had a chat with DS's head teacher for DS to design and build the school website and teacher was taken aback a bit and said Alti should snap him up with DS's techie knowledge in mind. And now DS is in charge of the development. So hopefully that will help too.

Diane31 Wed 09-Apr-14 21:46:47

It's Alty not Alti. Not much help but that's how the locals spell it. Good luck!

EnianShelZman Thu 10-Apr-14 10:07:45

Does Stretford offer Latin and Classical studies? DS is at Alty and wants to study Classics at Oxbridge.

RedRoom Mon 14-Apr-14 12:23:25

I don't wish to be awkward, but the reason you are finding it hard to justify why ABGS is the better school for your son is because you admit that the real reasons you want him to go there are that it is a) single sex and b) higher up the league table. His reasons are that he knows people there and has set his heart on it. It has nothing to do with any of the extra curricular provisions, etc! You just don't think Stretford is quite good enough!

If a school is already full, you need a really good reason to jump the waiting list for places. I appreciate you want what is best for your son, but I think you are going to be disappointed if you set your heart on ABGS because you have no more claim to a place there than any other parent who also feels it is a better school for their child simply because it gets slightly better results. Sadly, the same applies for your son: other people going there is not a reason for them to give him a place.

I think you are being unrealistic about the appeals process.

If there are, as you say 'no obvious positives' for him going to ABGS over Stretford, then you may have to accept that he has a place at a perfectly good grammar school, which many children would love to have. I think it's a shame that Stretford has been all but ruled out when it's a fantastic school.

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