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Grammar School Appeal

(16 Posts)
vicboo50 Sun 02-Jun-19 13:46:51

I have an appeal on 7th June for my son to obtain a place at Ripon Grammar School.

I have previously tried to apply under Social and Medical reasons but was unsuccessful due to the case not being 'harrowing' enough. We had supporting documents from various organisations/ people who have helped,/know him.

So we are appealing through the normal process now.

I have resubmitted the papers from the SM case along with some bits and pieces of his standard of work.

My son's sister was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer when he was 5. He probably only ever remembers her as poorly. She passed away 2017. Times have been extremely hard for us both since then. He suffers front panic attacks and extreme anxiety, he worries a lot. He has counselling sessions and we are about to start family counseling together. He is also awaiting testing for autism (low level high functioning). He suffers from digestive issues due to ibs caused by the stress of the past few years.
3 of his best friends are going to RGS which would be a huge comfort for him. He's also very gifted in Science and Drama which RGS are known to excel in.

What are his chances and is there anything I should be saying/focusing on to aid his appeal?

He did pass the test but we are out of catchment.

Many thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
malmontar Sun 02-Jun-19 15:22:15

How far are you from the school? With all those issues I’d be worried that the long distance would affect him more.

LimeTreeGrove Sun 02-Jun-19 20:44:46

Sorry for your loss.
There are a couple of MNers who sit on appeal panels. Hopefully they will be on to give their expert advice.
Did they say that your son's loss wasn't harrowing enough? It might be that going up with friends isn't able to be taken into account or something. Hopefully soneone can advise.
Dd lost her dad just before she started secondary school. Is the pastoral support in place better at the grammar than the local comps as that might be relevant to the appeal.
The drama and science provision at the grammar sounds relevant if you can provide evidence of your son's ability at these.
Good luck and i hope your son gets into a school which will support him.

TheBrockmans Sun 02-Jun-19 20:48:45

I recommend looking on there are forums dedicated to both area and appeals and it is likely that there will be someone there with specific experience of that school.

meditrina Mon 03-Jun-19 08:02:34

Did he pass the entrance exam?

As you say you are submitting specimens of work, I was wondering if he had not. (Is it a qualifying score or a super selective system for this school?)

The points in your appeal need to be backed by evidence wherever possible - so for drama, can you show what he has done that makes it clear it is a major interest (letters from teachers/clubs etc)

The medical needs also need HCP evidence. And it needs to be very specific, making it clear why, in the HCP's professional opinion, this is the only (or far and away the the best) school for reasons XYZ. Letters which just say 'the family tell me that...' or which solely give diagnosis (or explain where along the diagnostic path the applicant is) will not carry much weight. It needs to be extremely clearly linked to why only this school can provide what is needed.

Punxsutawney Mon 03-Jun-19 15:54:52

Do make sure that the grammar have a good pastoral team and support. I have a child at a grammar in a different area and their pastoral support is non existant. It sounds like your family have been through such a traumatic time and sometimes the pastoral side of school can be as important as the academic for teenagers that have experienced difficult times or who are struggling with life. Good luck, hope you do get the school you want.

urbanmist Mon 03-Jun-19 16:01:45

I work in a grammar school. Students often struggle with the pressure and the fact that they are no longer the brightest in the class. I wonder if this might be amplified if your son already suffers from anxiety?

I hope you get the right place for him, RGS or otherwise.

vicboo50 Mon 03-Jun-19 19:24:07

we are about 11miles from the school, not much further than the school he's been allocated.
I must add that my son's anxieties are health related (as to be expected) not social. He's a very outgoing and polite young man.

OP’s posts: |
NoBaggyPants Mon 03-Jun-19 19:30:44

How does this one school meet his needs that another school cannot? As a panel member that's what I'd be looking for, and you've not addressed it in your reasons.

vicboo50 Mon 03-Jun-19 19:31:03

Thank you all for your advice.
Yes we have letters from health care professionals stating that this school would suit him more than the allocated. He is a very confident young man but obviously has issues through no fault of his own. I'm hoping that his natural ability and enthusiasm for those subjects he is interested in will help in some way.
Today was the schools case hearing, 25 children for 3 places. It seems an impossible task but, like his sister, we always have hope and can but try.

OP’s posts: |
vicboo50 Mon 03-Jun-19 19:34:09

Oh and the pastoral care far surpasses the allocated school. RGS also has hall passes, for when he needs to see the house master, and they have good history of dealing with family bereavements alongside working with outreach organisations.

OP’s posts: |
eddiemairswife Mon 03-Jun-19 19:47:43

Why has the school got 3 places?

vicboo50 Mon 03-Jun-19 20:19:22

Going from the past 5 years they have never accepted more than 3/4 extra places on appeal.

OP’s posts: |
PatriciaHolm Mon 03-Jun-19 20:48:59

You need to focus on why the prejudice to him of not attending is greater than the prejudice to the school of taking another pupil. So the specifics of why this school meets his needs, in terms of subjects, extracurricular, pastoral etc that this school offers. You are appealing for a school not against one remember.

And the fact the panel allowed appeals in previous years has no impact on this year. It's quite possible they won't allow any, they don't have to.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 04-Jun-19 19:31:32

Have you looked at the appeals guidance on the elevenplusforum? It is a mine of information.

vicboo50 Tue 04-Jun-19 19:45:17

Thank you. I have looked on the elevenplusforum and there is some great advice that I will use.

OP’s posts: |

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