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What to say at appeal panel hearing?

(22 Posts)
Schar Tue 14-May-13 15:51:53

Hi we are going to the appeal hearing next week and nervous about what to say etc.Its for our son to go to grammar school,he didn't pass the 11+,scores were NV 117,VR 120 and Maths 118,but since then has come on leaps and bounds and in mock SATS got Reading 5C,Writing 5C and Maths 4A, his teachers expect all 5's when proper mocks are taken.This is what we will tell panel but apart from that have no idea what to say or what will be asked.A few other children from his year are appealing the same school,we have letters from headmaster and teacher.
Would really appreciate any help and advice about what we should say to give our son the best chance?

RedHelenB Tue 14-May-13 16:17:19

Surely for Grammar school you are looking at all level 5's? Is he a summer born?

seeker Tue 14-May-13 16:18:23

What LEA are you in?

Schar Tue 14-May-13 16:29:30

Hi Seeker,Kent is our area and July is his birth month

seeker Tue 14-May-13 16:32:41

Then all you can do is offer academic evidence. Have you got good supporting letters from his Head and his Teacher? And other purely academic evidence?

Schar Tue 14-May-13 16:38:23

Hi yes have letter from head teacher and class teacher.Class teacher told us not to take any school work as that wouldnt help our case

seeker Tue 14-May-13 16:40:08

Sorry, that sounded a bit brusque. What I mean is that the appeal won't be interested, except in passing, about anything about him except whether he is of a sufficiently hilt level academically to go to grammar school, so items no use talking about clubs and out of school activities and things.

Be positive "this school suits him because...." Rather than "we don't want this school because....." . If the school you want has any specialisms that match your son's abilities, that's worth mentioning. Oh, and they'll probably ask what sort of books he likes reading.

HousewifeFromHeaven Tue 14-May-13 16:44:31

How can you appeal if he didn't pass?? My son didn't pass either by just a few marks.

A fail is a fail. You can't just change the rules willy nilly!! Or can you?

Schar Tue 14-May-13 16:47:54

Housewifefromheaven I didn't make the rules! And yes we are allowed to appeal,how does your comment help my question?

seeker Tue 14-May-13 17:22:30

Of course you can appeal! If he had passed, the OP wouldn't need to appeal, would she!

Schar Tue 14-May-13 17:35:13

I'm in the process of writing our speech,the teachers was expecting a pass on the 11+ but during one of the exams he had a nosebleed (a backward one where blood flies down throat) and he finds them very traumatic so we do feel that is why he didn't get the points we thought he would

HousewifeFromHeaven Tue 14-May-13 17:45:02

Well I never. Next you'll be telling me i can appeal the theory test I just failed. Only by two marks you understand wink grin

prh47bridge Tue 14-May-13 18:22:17

Schar - You need to concentrate on showing the panel that your son is of grammar school standard. The appeal panel cannot admit him unless they are convinced he is of the standard. Explain why you think he underperformed in the test and give evidence to support that if you have it. You also need to make the case that this is the right school for him and he will be disadvantaged if he isn't admitted.

admission Tue 14-May-13 22:03:57

I will be brutally honest here and say that I do some appeals for an LA that still has some grammar schools and the kind of SATs figures you are talking about would not be considered good enough to be considered of grammar school standard, especially the maths.
Every admission appeal is different and you may find a more sympathetic panel but I think you need to consider whether it is in the best interest of your son to go to a grammar school where they might be struggling to keep up.

seeker Tue 14-May-13 22:10:40

I disagree, admissions. About the SATs bit, anyway. My dd finished year 6 with a 4a in maths, thrived at grammar school and ended up with an A at GCSE.

tiggytape Tue 14-May-13 22:13:45

A fail is a fail. You can't just change the rules willy nilly!! Or can you?

There are 2 types of grammar school appeal non qualification and oversubscription
Non qualification is an appeal like the OP’s, for a child who was expected to pass the 11+ but didn’t. The panel will want to see evidence that the child is definitely of selective ability (the 11+ after all is only 1 exam). Sometimes there will be extenuating circumstances too eg a bereavement shortly before the exam that affected the outcome. Generally though it is just down to proving the 11+ result was a blip and then, showing the child needs or would benefit from a place there.

Oversubscription appeals are for children who passed the 11+ but didn’t get offered a place (at most grammar schools not all who pass can be offered a place). In these appeals academic evidence can still be submitted (but the panel already know the child meets the selection criteria) so most of the evidence is, as prh says, about why the child should be offered a place eg the suitability of the school meeting their needs and interests.

I think admissions may be right though in this case. Where the child has not met the pass mark, generally they are expected to have very high SATS results or predictions to overcome this - high level 5's and level 6's across the board would be convincing evidence. Anything less and the panel may struggle to agree the child is definitely at the required level.

tiggytape Tue 14-May-13 22:16:16

x post seeker - I suspect it might be another 'Kent thing'. Kent seems to be very different to many other 11+ areas and you can probably best advise the OP on the SATS requirements.

I know for the selectives around London, a level 5 in Year 5 is more of the standard they want to see at the convincing appeals, so by Year 6 they want evidence of 5a's and level 6's in both maths and English.

seeker Tue 14-May-13 22:22:09

I think that the vast majority of grammar school kids do start with high level 5s. However, I just wanted to say that my dd passed the 11+, so went to gs with two high level 5s and a 4a. She never struggled- she was in set 6 of 7 for maths- there were 8 in the set, and practically everyone ended up with an A at GCSE.
So one lower mark shouldn't rule someone out. However, I do think it might make it very difficult to make a convincing case on appeal.

tiggytape Tue 14-May-13 22:33:27

seeker - yes I think you are totally right.
If a child passes the 11+ and gets an offer, there is no reason (or process) to question that at all. Their SATS are irrelevant in terms of them getting to grammar school.

However, an appeal panel is unlikely to risk 'passing' a child with a level 4 in maths when the child has also failed to reach the required mark in the 11+ exam.
The panel should only uphold the appeal if they are completely certain a child is of the correct ability and would not struggle. The type of academic evidence they require therefore has to be pretty compelling in proving the child was considered certain to pass and just has a momentary blip on the day.

That's not to say you shouldn't go to appeal OP and present your case. You may well have other circumstances that you will mention at the hearing and overall, you have nothing to lose by appealing at all.

seeker Tue 14-May-13 22:42:44

Which actually says a lot about how crap the system is- but how is not the

OP- I know the teacher said don't take books, but if there ARE any books that show loads of really high quality work, then take them with you to the appeal, and refer to them in your remarks "I have some examples of his work if you would like to see them"

longingforsomesleep Wed 15-May-13 22:06:18

Schar - if you look on the eleven plus forum there is a section on Appeals and a section on Kent. You might get some good advice there. But I do think that with not particularly high sats scores you will need to provide good evidence of academic ability. Was there any reason for underperformance on the day? A traumatic nosebleed might explain one low score but all three scores are pretty similar. Don't you need to get 120 in each test for Kent? Did he effectively fail all 3? Might be easier if there was one mark significantly lower than the other two.

I do think the eleven plus isn't particularly good at selecting the right children and there is one school of thought that children who just scrape into grammar school get more benefit from a selective education that those who score highly. One of my kids scored very highly in the eleven plus (different area) and is about to leave school with fairly indifferent qualifications. The other only scraped through the eleven plus (despite being 5A in all 3 SATs tests) and is doing exceptionally well at school. The difference between them is, I think, attitude to work - something the eleven plus can't test for.

anniesw Wed 15-May-13 23:51:00

Although you say his marks have increased considerably since the 11+, don't forget that others will have too. Those who passed may now be reaching high 5's or 6's. Don't get so convinced that he has to go to the grammar that you don't feel able to be positive about his schooling if your appeal is successful. What I am saying is don't risk making your son feel he has failed if the appeal is unsuccessful.

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