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grammar school appeals

(27 Posts)
mollymason Wed 12-Mar-14 07:33:20

hi i dont know if anyone can offer any advice but i gonna ask anyway. my daughter failed her 11+ by 2 points, she has been in the top sets for all the main subjects for a couple of years she is at level 5 for all of them, her primary school were very surprised that she didnt pass. i have a good letter from our head teacher and also evidence that she was expected to pass, we have been under some pressure the last year and half as my youngest daughter has just had to fight cancer thankfully she is now in remission, i am a single parent and my daughter has not had any extra tuition for the 11+ so i feel she has done very very well. has anybody any idea if it would be worth appealing and if there would be any chance of winning because i really wouldnt want my daughter to feel a failure again. we didnt get accepted for any of our other choises of school either so was offered almost the worst school in the area. i dont think this is fair and just wondered if anybody had been through similar or know of any successful appeals when failed 11+ by 2 points thanks

LordPalmerston Wed 12-Mar-14 07:34:14

there has got to be a unique reason afaik whey she didnt perform well on the day

is there?

LordPalmerston Wed 12-Mar-14 07:36:41

lots of kids get level 5s and dont pass.
Having done the 11 plus three times, I wouldn't send a kid who was borderline, let them be big fish in a smaller pond.

LordPalmerston Wed 12-Mar-14 07:37:08

( plus ask her if she is bothered and dont involve her in the appeal)

TheArticFunky Wed 12-Mar-14 07:40:28

Most of the children who I know who failed by a few points and have a HT letter predicting level 5s have succeeded at appeal and they did not have any mitigating circumstances.

Search for the 11+ forum as you will find lots of helpful info on there.

fideline Wed 12-Mar-14 07:40:49

Do you know where she is on the waiting list? She might have a good chance of securing a place that way.

Grammar appeals are tricky. I think LordP is right that appeals concerning 11+ exam performance usually need to relate to illness etc on the specific day the exam was taken. Bit hard to say more without knowing the area/school.

LordPalmerston Wed 12-Mar-14 07:41:58

and I know many "secondary moderns" have better results for the top end kids who failed than the grammars have for bottom kids who feel liek failures all the time

LordPalmerston Wed 12-Mar-14 07:42:41

Did you put your mitigation wrt illness down on your initial form? ( ie that she had been affected by it all?)

TheArticFunky Wed 12-Mar-14 07:42:42

Whereabouts in the country are you?

Theas18 Wed 12-Mar-14 08:20:15

Depends on the grammar area and the way they work. Round here 2 points would be a long way down the wait list as it's a super selective that fills from the top of the list down- by the time you get to the 121st place for a school of 120 for instance there will be lots of children " just a mark" below ( or even fractions of a mark as the scores are age standardised).

Mind you, even with the schools that have a " pass mark" and then fill on distance taking everyone at or above the mark, 2 points below seems a lot.

I'd not send a child to a grammar who may be struggling to be there at all.

Find out what she wants really. Looks like she may well thrive at a comp as the "big fish" and then maybe rejoin grammar at 6th form?

LIZS Wed 12-Mar-14 08:24:42

When you say she "failed" , do you mean she did not apply for a grammar school because of test results or that you applied but those who were allocated places scored 2 marks higher ? dn went to a secondary modern, having marginally "failed" 11+ and did really well

rollonthesummer Wed 12-Mar-14 08:25:19

Unfortunately she is probably one of a large number that was just below the cut off. My friends daughter missed out by 0.01 of a mark.

tiggytape Wed 12-Mar-14 09:08:58

In order to appeal, you will need to address 2 issues. The first is non qualification. As your DD did not reach the pass mark, the onus will be on you to prove she is at the right academic level and that the exam result was not reflective of her normal level of ability. This can be done via school reports, the results if CATS testing etc. A panel will need to be very convinced so high level 5's in all subjects is pretty much the minimum.
Secondly, you need to address the fact that the school is full. You can show (if this is the case) that they take more children in some year groups than the official figures but mostly you need to explain why your DD's needs and interests are best met by attending this grammar school ( not any grammar school in general) - it needs to be specific to what that school can offer her that meets her needs or is in her best interests.
The difficult circumstances you all faced will play a part in explaining why she did not demonstrate her true ability on exam day but you still need to convince the panel that a very high level of academic ability is there for them to be able to admit her.

tiggytape Wed 12-Mar-14 09:13:26

Also, it is important to note with appeals that waiting list position or rank order does not come into it. If she was 20 marks away from a pass then you'd face a huge battle to show she was able enough. However a panel will not be more inclined to admit someone purely because they were only 0.5 marks from a pass. Even if lots of children are above her score, it is still possible to win if you can convince the panel both if ability and need. A child 3 marks away can win an appeal where a child 0.5 marks away can lose.

coco44 Wed 12-Mar-14 11:40:04

I would appeal, you have nothing to lose.
All the research shows that borderline child performs better in a grammar school environment than elsewhere

LordPalmerston Wed 12-Mar-14 12:19:43

Does it?

coco44 Wed 12-Mar-14 12:49:02

'Borderline students at grammar school expect much better GCSE results and are three times as likely to plan to go to university as their peers in other schools'

According to research by NFER

RaisinBoys Wed 12-Mar-14 13:04:39

My August born Ds is working at 5a for literacy and reading and 5b for maths, in a south London primary. He is in the extension group for children who are going to take L6 reading Sat.

We entered him for the test for the nearby county's grammars. He failed!!! They are not machines - sometimes they cannot produce the goods on the day. We are incredibly proud of him for giving it a shot.

I didn't enquire what his mark was. Upon reading the failure email, it instantly became irrelevant. He has forgotten all about it and is looking forward to going to a (reasonably) local comprehensive. And do you know what? He will do just great.

Please do not fall into the thinking that only children at grammar school achieve highly. It is simply not true.

Appeal if you want to - I would argue that you do have special circumstances. But be careful about how you talk about the process to your daughter. You have nothing to lose EXCEPT her belief that she can get a great education at a comprehensive.

PS. My DH and his brothers went to a grammar that remains to this day the 2nd most highly performing in the country. He hated it and left with 2 O levels. His elder brother tolerated it and his middle brother never speaks of it. My DH left at 16 went to the local 6th form college and got his A levels. Went on to Birmingham uni and got a good degree and a masters.
Grammar schools are not a good fit for all.

RaisinBoys Wed 12-Mar-14 13:05:37

Oh and my DS has never been tutored.

blondefriend Wed 12-Mar-14 13:13:23

Appeal! What have you got to lose?

sleeplessbunny Wed 12-Mar-14 13:20:22

I went to a grammar and I had a few friends who got in on appeal with marginal marks. However, not all of them had a great time once they were there, so do be careful. From what you say, your DDs result was expected to be better, so perhaps she would cope well, but I did really feel for the few girls who had got in on appeal but it was really the wrong school for them iyswim. They really struggled and you could almost see the weight of their parents' expectations sitting on their shoulders. The school didn't give them the support they needed.

If you're confident that's not the case, then go for it. But maybe do it without telling your DD to avoid a second disappointment.

hellsbells99 Wed 12-Mar-14 13:45:56

and put her name on the waiting lists for other state schools nearby as well.
Good luck

mollymason Wed 12-Mar-14 14:25:14

i have dug out all her reports since yr 1 today and she has been on the g&t for maths since then she was level 5 at the end of year 5 her head teacher was her class tutor in year 5 and is urging me to appeal as it was the maths where she lost the 2 points. i will give it a try because she wants to go to the school, i have told her that we will accept the other school offer because i really do believe if a child wants to do well then they will which ever school they attend.and im on the waiting list for all of my other schools that were on our list, i am hoping that after we visit the school offered that it isnt as bad as we have been told and as many of you have mentioned it must be better to be near the top of a class than to struggle at the bottom and get upset and feel no good i know my girl will do well where ever she ends up and maybe show that mainstream comps are just as good, i didnt do to bad as do millions of other people around the country. xx
p.s i didnt ask how many points she missed out by i was called in and told in October and advised by the head to appeal (to be honest it seems like a long fight and we are still fighting our last war) what will be will be thanks for all your advice hopefully i can just update in the future that she is very happy in sept where ever she is being taught xx

mollymason Wed 12-Mar-14 14:35:55

i dont honestly feel that i could sit in front of a panel and tell them my child should have a place over another child. to me she is the best but that is the same with any parent. and when we got her results i told her as long as she had done her best then she had not failed to me. we went out and got her the new tablet that she wanted anyway. we were just upset that we didnt get any of our other schools of choice, but cant have it all eh xx

titchy Wed 12-Mar-14 14:56:16

If a child is admitted on appeal it isn't in place of another child though mollymasin - it's additional to others already admitted. And if a child deserves a grammar place because of their ability but something went wrong in the exam they absolutely should appeal, and hopefully free up their alternative place for someone else.

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