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6th form appeal - help!

(12 Posts)
porolli Fri 28-Sep-12 22:40:19

my dsister is going to an appeal for dn's 6th form place next week and we've been going through what she's going to say.
Dn has been at a grammar school since Y7 but didn't get the required grades at GCSE this summer (6 Bs or above) and they've refused her a place in the 6th form. She's desperate to go to the 6th form there.
Has anyone been through an appeal for a 6th form place? I know people who've appealed, but only for Y7 and I don't know if there's any way round not having got the grades you need at 6th form level. I've read through the Appeals Code, but it just refers to whether the assessment of ability is 'reasonable' and it's left me rather confused.
Any pointers gratefully received.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 28-Sep-12 23:29:50

Was she predicted to get 6Bs? Was there any particular reason - recent illness etc - why she didn't get them?

As you say, the crucial sentence in the appeal code is

3.17 In the case of an appeal where the child did not reach the specified entry requirements, the panel must not make its own assessment of a child’s ability, but must decide whether the admission authority’s decision that the child was not of the required standard was reasonable in light of the information available to it.

Arguing that your niece is desperate for a place won't get anywhere. The only prospect of a successful appeal - it seems to me - is if your sister can point to some extenuating circumstances which meant that your niece did less well in GCSEs than she was expected to and which the school knew about. The appeal panel cannot (as the code points out) decide for itself that your niece is strong enough academically for the sixth form, but needs to look at whether the refusal of a place was reasonable if (for argument's sake) the school knew that she had recently had a serious illness.

porolli Sat 29-Sep-12 09:41:36

thanks for replying.
there are extenuating circumstances to do with family breakdown and upset which the school was definitely aware of.
Am I right in thinking that this is the only thing they will look at ie whether she is academically up to it? It starts and ends with that, right?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 29-Sep-12 10:00:46

That's how I interpret the code, yes. It's all to do with whether the refusal was reasonable, if the school was aware of the family difficulties. It might help if, say, she was predicted 10 As, but it still comes back to reasonableness.

EvilTwins Sat 29-Sep-12 14:36:59

Do the appeals code criteria apply post-16? It's non-compulsory education, so it may be that the school is able to do this. It's getting pretty late- A Level courses will be 4 weeks in. Is your sister exploring alternatives?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 29-Sep-12 15:09:31

The paragraph I quoted is the one about 6th form admissions do the code does apply, but only in the way defined in that paragraph, ie the reasonableness of the decision in the light of the information available at the time.

EvilTwins Sat 29-Sep-12 15:34:46

Has your sister looked into alternative 6ty forms? What is your niece doing at the moment?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 29-Sep-12 17:21:00

Yes, she needs a contingency plan. It's far from certain that the appeal will be won, so what will happen if it isn't?

EvilTwins Sat 29-Sep-12 18:31:22

I guess if it isn't won, your niece will need to try to find another 6th form ASAP. Courses will have already started so this really is urgent! I'm head of 6th form at a comp. We have one boy this year who was previously at one of the grammars in our area but didn't get enough Bs. We have different entry criteria as we do a mixture of A levels and BTECs. He's started 4 AS courses and is doing very well. We tend to take on extra students for the first few weeks of term- sometimes our yr11s go to college then decide they don't like it and come back to school instead. Once it gets to October half term though, students have missed a lot of material and we don't take them- too much to catch up. Your sister needs to find a plan B quickly!

porolli Sat 29-Sep-12 20:48:05

Thanks for your messages. Yes, I totally agree a speedy plan B is required and I've been trying to help with that. I'm afraid dsis and dn are dead set on this appeal and don't want to admit it might feel (which I'm worried about)

porolli Sat 29-Sep-12 20:48:30

might fail I meant

EvilTwins Sat 29-Sep-12 20:51:09

So what's your niece doing now? Is she just biding her time? Perhaps it would be sensible to try to get some work for the A Level courses she wants to take. Wherever she ends up, she's going to have missed a lot. A Levels move along very quickly once they've started. Is your sister not worried about how much her DD is missing?

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