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What do I say at appeal?

(19 Posts)
Whereisegg Wed 05-Feb-14 14:26:13

I posted earlier this year regarding my surprise that dd failed the 11+ (I know, I know).

Anyway, her class teacher and head teacher agree and have agreed to support our appeal, and the head teacher also said she knows the grammar has spaces.

This is all great news but has given me The Fear that the only person that can now muck this up is me sad

Does anyone have any advice for me please? smile

eddiemairswife Wed 05-Feb-14 14:33:13

How can there be places when they haven't been allocated yet?

Whereisegg Wed 05-Feb-14 16:01:29

Primary head said that she knew there were places, I didn't think to question her on how she knew.

So, um, I don't really know.

prh47bridge Wed 05-Feb-14 17:14:43

The only way the head can know at this stage is if not enough applicants passed the test to fill all the available places.

Given that offers have not yet been made I presume this is an appeal against your daughter's 11+ result rather than an ordinary admissions appeal. If that is the case you need to convince your panel that your daughter is of the required academic standard to go to grammar school. It will help if you can explain her underperformance in the test.

Make sure you have notes listing all the points you want to make so that you don't miss anything. Highlight the evidence from her teachers and anything else you can produce to show she is of the required standard. For example, do the NC levels in her school reports show that she is ahead of the expected level. Be prepared to answer questions. You may be asked to briefly sum up your case so be prepared for that.

tiggytape Wed 05-Feb-14 18:09:00

As prh says there are 2 types of grammar school appeal - oversubscription (where a child has passed the 11+ but there isn't room to take every child who passed and other criteria are used as a tie breaker eg highest score or sibling link) and non qualification appeals (where the child did not pass the test so cannot be offered a place even if the school has vacancies).

If you are facing a non qualification appeal with no oversubscription at all then the appeal will be about presenting evidence that, despite a blip on exam day, your child is easily of grammar school ability. If they failed the test because of a weak maths or English paper, it is especially important to provide evidence in that area.

Depending on how selective the grammar school is, the panel will want to see evidence that the child is at level 5 in all subjects. For some schools, the level may be even higher with the expectation that pupils will have reached level 5 in Year 5.

Then you can move on to explaining why that school will best meet your child's needs. Assuming there aren't any medical needs, this will be things like the subjects they offer, the clubs they have and anything else about the school that matches your child's interests or needs. You should try to avoid criticising the school you've been offered - you are appealing for the grammar school and not against the other school
And you should try to avoid generalisations about needing a grammar school education. You are not appealing for a grammar school education in general, you are appealing for this school in particular.

But the most important part is proving academic suitability and the further away a child is from the pass mark, the greater the need for strong evidence of high academic ability.

Reincarnatedpig Wed 05-Feb-14 20:01:31

OP have you looked at the elevenplusexams website - they have appeals threads on there and a lot of advice.

Whereisegg Wed 05-Feb-14 20:04:37

That's excellent, thankyou!

She scored brilliantly in all practice papers, and top of her year in the practice sats they have done already.
Her teachers said she was at level 5 in first parents evening, so early October?

I know people say it all the time, but we were all really shocked at her results.

Whereisegg Wed 05-Feb-14 20:06:29

x-post rein, I'll do that, thanks.

If they don't think she's 'suitable' then fine, but I just don't want it to be because I made a hash of it!

hercules1 Wed 05-Feb-14 20:16:09

Is it super or normal grammar?

Whereisegg Wed 05-Feb-14 20:38:41

Erm, normal I think.
I've never heard anyone describe it as a Super Grammar!

hercules1 Wed 05-Feb-14 20:39:57

Meant superselective.

Whereisegg Wed 05-Feb-14 20:44:26

Just normal I believe...

I thought there was only one kind tbh, where I'm from there isn't grammar schools.
As if you couldn't tell grin

PotteringAlong Wed 05-Feb-14 20:46:57

If she's failed the test, regardless of previous scores, are you sure a grammar school is the best place for her? If the underperformance is because she couldn't cope with the pressure this might not be a great plan.

Whereisegg Wed 05-Feb-14 20:50:42

I totally get what you're saying, but I really do.

I would not dream of appealing if her teacher didn't think it was the best place for her either, it was our first question.

tiggytape Thu 06-Feb-14 10:23:10

They are very young when they take these tests. Many of them have barely turned 10 let alone 11 because the exams are taken in the first few weeks of Year 6. It is the first real exam situation many children ever experience so appeal panels are open to the fact that a blip on exam day doesn't equal inability to cope with pressure or low academic ability. The key thing though is proving high ability.

The SATS results you have are very good. Does your school also do any other testing? CATS or similar? Anything official you can find that points to high academic ability is worth including.

jeee Thu 06-Feb-14 12:56:30

I know of at least one local grammar (and I'd lay money on another one being in the same situation) which will not be filled on the day that school places are given out.

In my DD's class, the child she considers to be the brightest failed her 11+, and only got a grammar school place on appeal. The thing about an appeal is, it has to show the child's ability as a whole, and it's not based on a couple of highly stressful days. If they're really not up to grammar standards, it's unlikely an appeal will be successful - irrespective of the places available.

In short, I'd appeal.... it won't commit you to anything anyway. But please make sure you've already accepted the non-grammar place before the appeal.

Whereisegg Thu 06-Feb-14 15:06:24

More wise words and advice taken on board, thank you smile

admission Thu 06-Feb-14 21:51:35

I think reading the OP that this is not about a referral on the basis of the 11+ tests were not a true reflection of child's ability, it is actually about a school admission appeal. The reason i say this is that the 11+ and appeals should have been completed before the cut off date for preferences, so that you knew before the cutoff date whether child is of a standard appropriate for a grammar school.
If it is a school admission appeal then from experience of many grammar school appeals the panel will truly have to be convinced by the data to allow the appeal. There are usually lots of appeals and every one thinks their child is of a grammar school standard and frankly many are not in my opinion. You need to get as much information of the school as possible about the progress your child has made and I am talking about their KS1 results onwards as a starting point for the appeal.
Can you mess up the appeal? No is the simple answer the panel will be well used to parents who are on edge, crying and generally not coping well in the appeal. It comes with the job. What is important is the data. I would also say that it would be good to get the alternative preference school organised and your child in a frame of mind to be going to that school. That is do no tell them about the appeal. If, which is quite likely,it does not succeed then the worst possible scenario is that you child is hurt twice by not getting into the grammar school, if they are aware of the appeal.
Please also understand that when the head teacher says they know the grammar have spare places that this does not matter at appeal. The school admission criteria is initially about passing the test and the school does not have to take up to the PAN as other schools do if they do not meet the required academic standard. The appeal panel will not admit up to the PAN they will only admit those that they think really do meet the academic standard.

Whereisegg Fri 07-Feb-14 12:23:21

Excellent post admission, I appreciate it smile

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