Appeal for grammar, dyslexia, written work issues - help please?

(71 Posts)
HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 05:52:45

Hello, I really hope someone with experience of this system might be able to give me advice - I don't know if we have a fighting chance or not.

Ds didn't pass the Kent test in Y6 and he's currently home schooled (he's 12 in May). We did appeal to a local grammar on the grounds of his dyslexia, which is becoming milder in terms of how he manages school work, and we failed the appeal.

Last week he took an entrance test to the same school, which was CAT tests (verbal, non verbal, quantitative) on the computer, plus a maths and Eng paper which were written.

We found out on Sat that he didn't get through, and he was absolutely gutted but I assumed it was pointless to appeal again.

Yesterday I emailed asking for his scores, just for our information, and they really surprised me.

Basically they want top 25% scores to offer a place.

His CAT results were on the 99th and 95th centile for VR and NVR, and 78th for QR. I nearly fell over.

The English and Maths were not adequate (though I don't know what the pass marks were, and it gives a % and a grade - maths 24%, Eng grade 4 - I don't understand what these mean).

Now I can see he found the computer based exams easy (and told me they were) and the written work very hard, partly I think because we hadn't covered a lot of the maths in our work at home (my fault - we were going over the basic stuff again) and partly as his written work is generally pretty untidy and he has poor processing and handwriting.

Could we stand a chance to fight the decision on the grounds of these issues he has (we have a report about them from last year from a specialist) or would we just be getting his hopes up all over again for nothing?

Any thoughts really appreciated.

Kuppenbender Wed 06-May-15 07:18:15

Why not simply appeal without his knowledge? That way you'd only be getting your own hopes up.

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 07:20:26

Yes I suppose so but it would be hard to keep it from him as he is at home all the time and would know.

Thank you for the suggestion though.

rotaryairer Wed 06-May-15 08:07:14

Just wondering if your son might qualify for access arrangements (scribe, laptop, extra time) and whether or not this could help your case?

If we lived in a GS area my dyslexic DS would be in the same boat.

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 08:16:29

Thanks - without a statement, he's not entitled to any of that. We are still considering trying but tbh I think it will take years.

rotaryairer Wed 06-May-15 08:27:02

At secondary school you can qualify for access arrangements without needing a statement. My DS gets use of a laptop and extra time but he doesn't have a statement. You don't even need to qualify to use a laptop - it needs to be normal mode of working. Maybe it's different for the 11+ and GS?

TeenAndTween Wed 06-May-15 08:29:46

I know nothing about the Kent school system.

What's your alternative school to the grammar like?
They may have good learning support.
Do the 'just missed the grammar' kids really do so terribly that you would rather HE (even though even in basics like maths you don't seem to be teaching sufficiently fast?)

LIZS Wed 06-May-15 08:37:15

Hetzel that's not true. Access arrangements are independent of any formal statement. Has he been assessed at any point? Does he use a laptop to record notes and write? Unfortunately such a low Maths score is going to be tricky to argue against.

HetzelNatur Wed 06-May-15 09:11:51

Thanks. No, he doesn't have a laptop at the moment. He can write but its untidy and takes him ages.

I didn't know he could access these things without a statement. He was assessed in Y6 and we have a report.

Lizs, I think it probably is very low (not sure what the pass mark was though) but in contrast to his QR doesn't that sort of indicate it was a technical/physical issue (as well as our not having covered all the questions) rather than an intelligence one?

His IQ in the report was around 122.

Teen, it isn't about that. He was doing fine at his secondary (where he was for a term). He was in the accelerated group and really enjoying the work. It was the social side he was unable to cope with, which is why I took him out. (bullying)
Nowhere else has any spaces at all.

OneDecisionMade Fri 08-May-15 21:47:37

Access Arrangenents, as LIZS has explained, are independent of a statement/ DX of dyslexia. It is a child's scores related to processing, handwriting and / or reading speeds that are of more relevance. Other relevant factors are: the need for rest breaks because of difficulties with concentration, hypermobility, etc. It's such an individualised accommodation and since rest breaks/ a reader/ scribe, etc may be useful for one pupil but not another, Access Arrangements are usually only granted if proven to be useful (maybe a marked difference and be used appropriately) in normal working conditions (i.e. in the classroom).
Have a google for JCQ's 2015 'stuff' on Access Arrangements.

OneDecisionMade Fri 08-May-15 21:48:44

www.jcq.org.uk/Download/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration/regulations-and-guidance/access-arrangements-and-reasonable-adjustments-2014-2015

SanityClause Fri 08-May-15 22:04:06

Why is that school the best one for him?

Do they have good provision for his particular SEN?

Hakluyt Fri 08-May-15 22:11:42

Are you planning to carry on HE him? Because-forgive me- it does sound rather as if he wants to go to school. Did the school do anything about the bullying- was one term long enough? If he was happy there academically, could he go and give it another try?

Millymollymama Fri 08-May-15 23:11:06

If you didn't cover the syllabus why would you expect yet another appeal to be successful. All this stress cannot be good. I cannot see the grammar school being overly keen if they gave already rejected him, effectively, 3 times before!

Charis1 Sat 09-May-15 01:50:11

122 isn't going to compare very well with other children. He failed in maths and English. I can't see any reason to think he is entitled to a place in this school. I can see why you want him there though, so go ahead and appeal. You don't have to get his hopes up at all. But you will be satisfying your self that you have left no stone unturned.

prh47bridge Sat 09-May-15 06:39:28

122 isn't going to compare very well with other children

122 places him in the top 10% of the population.

He failed in maths and English

This is going to be the harder thing to deal with at appeal. You will have to show that there are reasons why the tests did not truly reflect his ability. You would need evidence of his ability from his previous secondary school and his primary school (if they are willing to assist) and the report you mention in your first post. I suspect your chances of success are low but you may be able to convince an appeal panel that your son is of grammar school standard and you have nothing to lose by trying.

Charis1 Sat 09-May-15 08:10:23

122 places him in the top 10% of the population.

depends on the test prh47bridge, you need to know the standard deviation, this is well within one sd of many tests currently in use.

It depends on who tested him, and how the test was carried out, and which test was used.

camptownraces Sat 09-May-15 09:15:39

Are there going to be any vacancies for Year 8? no guarantee of that.

His IQ in the report was around 122 IQ assessments are reported as standard scores, with a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15. A standard score of 122 places the subject on the 93rd percentile.

However, the GS is also looking for evidence of attainment - IQ tests and CAT tests could be said to be measuring potential.

Onedecisionmade points to regulations for access arrangements for GCSE/GCE. The GS will have its own policy on access arrangements put in place for their entrance tests. (OP might be able to find the policy somewhere)

Charis1 Sat 09-May-15 09:29:51

* IQ assessments are reported as standard scores, with a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15*

It should be, but there are a lot of very substandard tests and practitioners out there, there are also parents who have the same test readministered until their Dc improve at it.

SpecificSpecific Sun 10-May-15 03:41:02

JCQ Access Arrangements are used more widely than just for GCSE/GCEs.

YorkieButtonsizeMen Sun 10-May-15 06:53:43

Hi, I'm sorry not to have come back to this, it slipped off my TIO.

Thanks for all the new replies. I'm grateful for the link about access arrangements. I think I need to sort that out somehow, whether we appeal or not. I have a number for someone at the LEA who deals with/helps with HE children so I will give them a call on Monday.

I've decided it's probably not worth an appeal. I think he would struggle to keep up with the other children - though I am assured by the school that they have excellent help available for children with dyslexia, I don't think we had enough help at primary level and now it is too late for him.

I did try but the school refused to see he was dyslexic, and didn't do anything at all. They just gave up on him. We had him assessed at 7yo (his IQ was measured around 140 at that point - it's come down!) but had no report as the assessor was a family friend, highly qualified, she works with many, many referrals from local schools. We sort of did it out of interest and didn't want to push for a report as she hadn't charged us for it.

I have every faith in her qualifications and experience. She's been doing this for many years and has helped an awful lot of children with severe problems. Ds' problems are mild in comparison to some.

Also I can't see that the IQ measurement can be too far off, given his CAT scores the other week? Not sure how it works.

It's the difference between his written ability perhaps and his 'potential' that made me wonder what to do. I'd be happier to accept he's just not very bright if his CAT scores had been lower but somehow, he has achieved this really good scores, and yet failed on the written papers.

I can't understand it.

Hakluyt I would love him to be in school. We can't find a place. I am going to try all of them again tomorrow. I thought we may stand more of a chance with this school seeing as they accepted him for testing. Other schools have just said no, full stop. Plus he has friends there.

He will not consider going back where he was, he was really disturbed by it. There were Y10 kids threatening to (sorry) 'come to your house and fuck your mum', plus plenty of other stuff, almost every day there was something. School tried to deal with it but it was a fairly intolerable environment.

LIZS Sun 10-May-15 07:29:27

Could you afford to get another assessment done? An informal one at 7 would carry no weight, it has to be y8/9 for gcse to qualify for extra time etc with specific processing issues identified.

YorkieButtonsizeMen Sun 10-May-15 07:59:41

Sorry, think I mentioned we had another one done in Y6 (we insisted on paying this time and got the report). That was where the 122 IQ came from, also it does specify that his processing is very slow, I will have to dig it out, but it highlights the discrepancy between his potential ability and his achievement.

She said some work on his handwriting and how he holds the pen would help enormously but she is so busy all the time, I haven't managed to get him to see her again (well, I didn't like to ask tbh as she never has time).

YorkieButtonsizeMen Sun 10-May-15 08:05:48

Ah, first box I looked in! (moved house lately!)

It says this:

'[name] is a highly intelligent boy, who in spite of a deeply buried, well-masked dyslexic profile, with the possibility of borderline, overlapping dyspraxia, has achieved excellent standards of reading, comprehension and spelling. His weak areas of speed of phonological processing, speed of information processing, fine motor difficulties and intermittent auditory memory deficit may well compound to impact on the development of intellectually appropriate written language output.
This cluster may also affect concentration, which appeared to fluctuate, and may well have a knock on effect to internalising maths procedures, self-organisation and time keeping.'

Is this what you mean?

LIZS Sun 10-May-15 08:07:53

Does it give the individual scores for processing skills?

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