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Over subscribed faith Grammar appeal

(5 Posts)
user1488722687 Sat 11-Mar-17 10:36:08

Hey, long time user/lurker for some reason can't change my rubbish user name.
Ok my DD sat entrance exam for all girls catholic school. Passed test however wasn't offered a place as we aren't at a feeder school. Because more applicants than places in this category they ranked applicants on score. Unfortunate that she misses out. DD has asked we appeal, grounds are we applied for a number of feeder schools three years ago and all over subscribed. So if we had of had a place at a feeder school there wouldn't be need for appeal. School offers a language that isn't offered at any other local schools and DD wants to be linguist. This school is known for supporting my DD sport, which unfortunately school does need to support due to training and occasional time off for test etc. Which this school fully supports, even has about pupils that are involved in this sport on their website congratulating them. Also due to family circumstances at the time of exam I feel DD didn't perform to her fullest potential so if she had if she would be higher in ranking. Full HT support letter and letter from Fr at church to detail our attendance. After checking with LA they do take between 8/13 each year over their PAN. What do you guys think? I know you can never predict. Is there anything I can do to help.

tiggytape Sat 11-Mar-17 10:56:36

Grammar appeals are often non qualification (not passing the test) and oversubscription (school is full) based. However, your DD has passed the 11+ and therefore your appeal is going to be overcoming only the fact that the school is full.

Taking each of your points in turn:
* grounds are we applied for a number of feeder schools three years ago and all over subscribed. So if we had of had a place at a feeder school there wouldn't be need for appeal.*
This rather falls into the category of "if ifs and ands were pots and pans." If any child denied a place who'd passed the test lived in a closer house or had a massively higher score or had been able to get into the feeder school then they would have got a place at grammar school too.... but they didn't and they weren't. You can only work with actual and not theoretical situations.

School offers a language that isn't offered at any other local schools and DD wants to be linguist. This school is known for supporting my DD sport, which unfortunately school does need to support due to training and occasional time off for test etc. Which this school fully supports, even has about pupils that are involved in this sport on their website congratulating them.
This is potentially your strongest argument. The disadvantages to your DD from being denied a place potentially outweigh the disadvantages the school faces from taking another pupil. If her future options, talents and interests are best served or only served by attending this school you can make a case that a place is in her best interests.
That relies on making the case - proving her interest or ability in these areas and proving the special support and provision this school offers over and above the norm.
And it relies partially on chipping away, even a little, at the school's case that they are too full. To do that you can ask for the current number of pupils in each year group (to see if they ever go over PAN without it causing difficulties), ask for turnover (to see if lots leave and join the school other than in Year 11 and 13 to help mitigate extra Year 7's joining) and ask how they arrange classes (just because tutor groups are 30 doesn't mean they have a full 30 in every teaching class). You say they take extra every year so that helps strengthen your case that it can't disadvantage the school that much.

Also due to family circumstances at the time of exam I feel DD didn't perform to her fullest potential so if she had if she would be higher in ranking.
This depends somewhat on whether you raised it at the time. For example if DD had a terrible migraine on the day or a one-off event happened at home but you sent her anyway, you cannot then rely on this to explain a poorer than expected score. There are days set aside for ill children to take the test later and if a child sits the exam, it is assumed they are well enough to do so. If however it was something with a long term impact eg a family bereavement and switching days would not have made any difference to her ability to perform at her best, and if you made the school aware of this, then you could say that DD was unable to perform at her best. However, given that she did pass the 11+ it won't be a main factor and, having passed, asserting an exact score is possibly going to be harder than saying a child who failed should have passed (with proof of bereavement and past performance etc)

user1488722687 Sat 11-Mar-17 11:16:23

Thank you, I am also giving a social/emotion reason. DD has been recent victim of bullying. The area she is going her next school she will always be going on her own from her school. This fits in with location for sport training, however she knows other girls at this school and I feel this will help her settle better and the school are know for excellent pastoral support. This is detailed in their prospectus and on website.

user1488722687 Sun 12-Mar-17 22:19:44

I've also found a few other pints to add. Opportunities that she wouldn't get at another school such as daily worship and international education programmes. Does this sound about right to add, I have evidence of this in the schools prospectus and can highlight this. The husband is worried about making too many points. What's your opinion?

prh47bridge Sun 12-Mar-17 23:45:38

You may be challenged on the bullying point. It would be useful if you have some evidence to show that your daughter has been bullied such as copies of emails or letters you have sent to/received from her current school about it.

All schools are required by law to have a daily act of worship. I know that some schools don't meet this requirement but I would be careful about using that at appeal - or, indeed, anything about faith. Talking about the ethos of the school is much safer.

The international education programmes may be something you can use if you can show they are particularly relevant to your daughter. If it is just an additional opportunity she might not get elsewhere I would leave that out. Clearly some children aren't going to get this opportunity so for the panel to see this as reason for admitting her there has to be some reason why she needs this opportunity more than other children of her age.

There is a risk that making too many points can obscure your best points and leave the panel confused as to your case. Concentrate on your strongest arguments.

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