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Appeal for grammar school

(23 Posts)
triumph955 Wed 19-Oct-11 22:03:45

My daughter took the 11+, the overall passmark needed was 360, she got 387 overall, but needed 119 in all 3 subjects but only got 117 in one. The school wouldn't appeal for her even though she was only 2 marks off. I don't know how to base the grounds for appeal. Has anyone else had a similar scenario? any ideas how to go about this? please!

CustardCake Wed 19-Oct-11 22:24:11

Your best bet is to look on the 11+ forum as they offer a lot of advice on appeals. Its not up to the school to appeal for her - parents have to do that but it does help if the school can provide you with some evidence about her abilities. You can appeal against her failure to qualify and use evidence to show that the subject she got 117 in is normally a subject she is strong in, already working at level 5 SATS, top of the top group etc. If you can convince a panel that she is actually very strong in this subject and ran out of time or had a blip on the day, you stand a chance of getting them to accept she is of selective ability and win an appeal. I don't know how big that chance is, I just know its technically possible which is where the 11+ site will be able to help.

If you don't have good evidence regarding the part of the test that she didn't meet the pass mark for though, it will be harder to win. The reason schools set the exam marks like that is to ensure they get good all rounders as opposed to children who are only strong in maths but less strong on English for example. It is acceptable for the school to insist a child is equally gifted (and very gifted) at both. Some schools set an overall mark but some insist that each of the 2 or 3 parts of the test is passed at a high enoough level. Hopefully you have good evidence about ability and can get further advice. Good luck.

prh47bridge Wed 19-Oct-11 22:55:22

As CustardCake says, it is up to you to appeal, not the school.

You can put forward any factors which may have affected your daughter's performance. The panel may then look at whether you told the school about these factors and whether or not the school made reasonable adjustments. You need to convince them that your daughter is of grammar school ability, so evidence that your daughter would normally be expected to achieve the required mark in this subject would be very helpful.

seeker Wed 19-Oct-11 23:05:08

Then other two posters aren't quite right. There are two levels of appeal. The first is by the head, and happens before you even know the results. This is to cover children who perform uncharacteristically badly on the day.the second is a parental appeal to a prticular school. Has the school said why they would't appeal?

PanelMember Wed 19-Oct-11 23:25:35

I wonder whether we are talking about two different things here.

Although I've never heard if it before, I suppose that schools might be able to appeal to the examiners about the child's mark in the exam.

However, when it comes to the decision whether or not to admit the child to the school based on the mark in the exam then - as CustardCake and Prh47bridge say - the appeal code gives the right of appeal to the parents, not the school.

So, if I'm right, there might be two options here - to 'appeal' for the papers to be re-marked in the hope it will take the child over the pass line and to appeal against the decision not to award a place at the grammar school. Then, as prh47bridge says, you would have to convince the panel that even though your child did not meet the standard to be awarded a place, she nevertheless deserves one (based on the balance of prejudice to her and to the school).

AmazingDisgrace Wed 19-Oct-11 23:25:38

As Seeker says in some areas, I think those with full Grammar systems such as Kent and Bucks, you have what is called a Head Teachers appeal. If you are not in those areas then most Primary Schools will not get involved unless there were clear mitigating circumstances such as the GS failing to meet specific SN etc In which case the Primary School might offer help.

goingmadinthecountry Wed 19-Oct-11 23:48:42

Do you mind saying where you are? It's different throughout the country, but basically you need to be able to show lots of evidence of good level 5 work if you are going to appeal.

I did it successfully in Kent a few years ago for ds now Y10. He was dyslexic and had no support/extra time. Is now holding his own in grammar and I'm very glad I gave it a go.

Find out if HT put in an appeal and why/why not. Gather evidence of higher level woek and give it a go.

prh47bridge Thu 20-Oct-11 00:50:06

I admit I assumed we are talking about a statutory appeal.

To go into the full complexity of the system for grammar schools, some areas have a "local review" system - it goes under different names depending on where you are. It is normally the parents who appeal but in some areas the school can appeal. The local review looks at children who have not achieved the required standard to see whether they should be deemed as being of grammar school standard. So factors which may have affected the child's performance on the day can be important. The local review takes place before places are allocated.

If the child is not admitted due to failing the tests the parents can appeal regardless of whether or not they have already been through the local review (the statutory appeal). If there is no local review process or this particular case hasn't been through the local review the appeal panel should consider anything that may have affected the child's performance in the tests and decide whether or not the child is of grammar school standard.

If the case has been through the local review the appeal panel must decide whether the review was fair, objective and consistent. If they decide the review was ok that is the end of the matter - the child is assumed not to be of grammar school standard. However, if the review was not fair the appeal panel can consider whether or not the child is of grammar school standard.

If you want to read all the ins and outs of this, you will find it in paragraphs 3.34 to 3.38 of the School Admissions Appeal Code which you can find here.

singinggirl Thu 20-Oct-11 10:09:10

I assume from the scores and the timing that you are in Kent? The headteachers' appeal time has now gone (happens in the three weeks when they have results but we don't). Do you know why your HT didn't appeal for your DD? You will need evidence for your appeal, CAT scores and SATs levels etc., plus evidence of any mitigating factors at the time of the exam. If these ( and her books from last year) were not strong enough to get her through on the HT appeal, then I am afraid you are less likely to win a parental appeal. If however the HT is a stroppy one who dislikes the 11+ on principal and would not consider appealing for any child, then you have a stronger case.

ShellingPeas Thu 20-Oct-11 12:14:47

As your HT didn't appeal on your behalf prior to the results being released you won't be able to appeal until after allocation day in March. You will need to put your preferred grammar school(s) on your CAF - you can still apply even though your DD didn't meet the cut off for the one paper but you won't be allocated a place. However you will then have the right to appeal. You must put a safe option on your CAF (ie a non-selective school that you are happy with and have a high likelihood of gaining a place) to avoid being allocated a school you definitely don't want.

Do check out the appeals board on the 11+ forum - they are very helpful and there's lots of useful advice.

seeker Thu 20-Oct-11 12:37:38

And ask the HT why he didn't appeal- I would have thought he would on those scores.

jeee Thu 20-Oct-11 12:43:51

We live in Kent, and were told that 117 constituted a pass, as long as the student had achieved 360 overall, and the other two papers were both over 120.

But aside from that, with those marks it sounds strange that the head didn't appeal. Are you absolutely sure he didn't? A teacher in a local school, with approximately 50 students taking the test, told me that their school had made 23 appeals.

singinggirl Thu 20-Oct-11 12:58:44

jeee - that was the case last year; this year it has moved to no single score below 119 - the pass mark changes slightly every year.

Redrobyn Thu 20-Oct-11 16:33:18

Anyone got any thoughts on my son getting top marks in both VR and NVR but only got 125 in maths (405 total) Would it be worth pursuing any avenue as I would have wanted him to get 415 -ish to get into a reputational 'better' school?

admission Thu 20-Oct-11 17:09:06

the fact that your child easily passed the other two tests makes me wonder why the head teacher did not procede to appeal when you were only 2 marks low on the third subject.
The first immediate thing to do is have a conversation with the school and ask them why they did not. Is it possibly that your child exceded their expectation in getting 117 and they therefore thought that it unlikely that they could expect a positive result from an appeal.
What would normally happen at the headteacher appeal is that a panel of heads look at the work and results from other test scores in previous years to give them an indication of the level your child is working at and whether there was a reasonable expectation of achieving a pass mark from previous exams. So for instance if the year 5 tests indicated a level of 3b, then there would be an expectation of level 4c in year 6 KS2 tests. That would not be considered grammar school level. If however the indication was for 5c or more then that may sway a panel towards accepting the child is of grammar school standard.
If the time for head teacher appeal has now passed, then you will need to urgently review your admission preferences in line with test results. Without reaching the test mark, there is no possibility of an offer of a place at a grammar school. You can obviously still appeal for a grammar school place after school allocations on March 1st but you need to have a convincing story to tell about why 117 and importantly why the head teacher did not appeal.

Redrobyn Thu 20-Oct-11 17:54:27

Mmmm Thank you 'admission' that was more or less my fears confirmed.
I was happy 18 months two years ago as the NFER test scores he had were pretty good but next time around (Spring this year) he apparently seemed to have gone backwards in the NFER results, although he seemed much more capable in my opinion.
It made me worry about this very moment when I had little to point too without HT involvement. I have to say the HT is excellent and works his bits off and with or without his intervention he is very much appreciated.
I have to get the wine out now and ponder this one.

seeker Thu 20-Oct-11 18:27:13

Redrobyn, I think admissions reply was to the OP- your situation is different. Your son has passed and passed well, but maybe not well enough for a super selective. I don't think there is much you can do in these circumstances. You can appeal direct to the school in question after march 1st.

seeker Thu 20-Oct-11 18:28:06

Triumph, your first step is to ask the Head whether he appealed for your daughter, and if not, why not.

Inghouls2 Thu 20-Oct-11 18:37:37

triumph955.. I assume you must be in Kent... as I am. I appealed successfully last year for NKS, but that was on oversubscription not non qualification.
I afraid that if your head didn't appeal for your dd, your chances are very slim.
In an appeal you really have to show very strong mitigating as to why she didn't pass... it really has to be exceptional circumstances. Then you have to bear in mind that other families will also be appealing on oversubscription,...so in a way you have 2 fences to jump.
As your dd performed well in 2 areas, it might be worth ago, but you must be realistic.. start bigging up your comp/high school now, and be warned it will totally take over your life. The strain of an unsuccessful appeal can be hard on children (I saw this with friends last year) so think carefully before undertaking it.
Feel free to pm me if you have any quetions

grumpypants Thu 20-Oct-11 18:54:42

Triumph - what school are you thinking of? Some of the non grammars are v good

ohineedhelp Wed 12-Dec-12 11:18:10

Hello, I'm new to Mumsnet and my nickname says it all! I need help / advice on the parental appeal. My ds failed the 11+ having just moved from Cheshire to Kent and we are going to do the parental appeal. Does anyone have advice on how to put together the documentation, what we should include etc? My friend in Bucks had a paid session with a retired person who sat on the appeals. Does anyone know of anyone who does this in the Faversham area? Many thanks

prh47bridge Wed 12-Dec-12 14:14:21

If your son failed the 11+ you will need to convince the appeal panel that there are factors that affected his performance and that he would normally have passed. Unless there were special circumstances affecting his performance you will not be able to persuade the appeal panel that your son is of grammar school standard. You therefore need evidence to show why he failed to perform at his normal level and evidence to show that he would normally be expected to pass.

admission Wed 12-Dec-12 21:38:32

Agree with PRH, you can only really appeal on the basis that there were extenuating circumstances that meant that you son did not perform up to expectations in the test. On what are you basing your assumption that your son is of grammar school standard? Do you have other information that is pertinent?
If they have just taken it, are they a late applications for year 7 or an in-year application for another year group, because that will make a difference to the timing of any appeal?
If you want to PM me then please do, if you do not want to divulge details on the open forum.

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