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Oversubscription appeals and siblings

(7 Posts)
misstiggywinkle21 Mon 13-Mar-17 12:02:58

Anyone got any advice or experience on how to/if to use siblings at preferred school in an appeal? I know that the academic evidence is the key thing (this is a super selective school and DC has qualified) but how helpful is it to have 2 DC already at school to which we would be appealing. Especially keen to hear from MNetters who have been on appeal panels or have used same argument in their submission. Thank you.

PatriciaHolm Mon 13-Mar-17 12:09:47

Largely irrelevant, assuming you don't think something went awry in the allocation or have documented medical/social reasons why a child needs sibling support. It's assumed at secondary that children can get themselves there and back on their own, so logistics for you just aren't relevant.

Are you appealing on non-qualification or non-allocation due to lottery/distance.

PatriciaHolm Mon 13-Mar-17 12:10:26

Sorry saw that your child qualified - so did you miss out on distance?

misstiggywinkle21 Mon 13-Mar-17 12:16:35

Thanks - not on distance, on score. Scored lower than expected. It's not about logistics or traveling at all. More about self-esteem/comparison to siblings etc. Other comparable test scores (NFER's etc) show comparable if not better than siblings that did get in in previous years. Thank you.

tiggytape Mon 13-Mar-17 12:31:14

I think the comparable one can be tricky to argue.
The 11+ test is applied equally to all children in the same year group not equally to all children who ever apply.
If far more children apply one year than another then the required score to get a place may be higher. There are probably other children on the waiting list who passed the test with a score or ability level that might have been enough 2 years ago or 6 years ago if fewer people applied.

And of course, the 11+ does not claim to be an exact indicator of true ability so does not guarantee that people of equal academic ability all will or won't get a place. It is a snapshot of achievement in set tests on set days and nothing broader than that and that's the case for other children also wait-listed whose actual ability isn't necessarily reflected in their 11+ score. No additional evidence or factors are considered alongside test score for those just above or just below cut off.

Given that DC passed the test though, you don't have to overcome nonqualification at appeal since high academic ability is demonstrated by passing the test. It would however help to identify things that the school offer that would benefit your DC and this might be down to academic ability (for example if they offer further maths or extension opportunities in lots of subjects your DC excels at). I think this would carry more weight than saying DC feels self conscious compared to her siblings who achieved a place in past year groups.

You can however mention the sibling link since many people do raise this as an extra element in appeals but it might be more in terms of the social consideration of having a sibling to help a child settle if they are the only one going to that school from primary or sometimes practical things like differing term times and transport issues (especially where the child might need extra support). Purely self esteem issues though are unlikely to persuade a panel that a child who didn't immediately meet the criteria should nonetheless be offered a place.

PanelChair Mon 13-Mar-17 14:08:04

As other people have said, a sibling at the school is largely irrelevant in a superselective school which doesn't have siblings as one of its oversubscription criteria.

By all means appeal on the basis that their test performance isn't a true representation of their ability, but that will be what most other appellants will be arguing too, and you'll need good evidence to back it up. I don't want to sound harsh, but arguing that the child needs to be at the superselective in order to bolster their self esteem is highly unlikely to win anyone over; the panel may well take the view that, if the child doesn't have the same aptitude as their siblings, it would be in nobody's interest - including theirs - to put them in an inappropriate environment.

misstiggywinkle21 Mon 13-Mar-17 15:02:51

Thanks and you're not being harsh! I agree totally if they don't have the aptitude, it's not in their best interests at all.

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