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Does anyone know about appealing a secondary place wrt dyslexia/cognitive profile?

(16 Posts)
Rooners Thu 28-Nov-13 17:09:47

Please? smile

We have a y6 chap who just failed his grammar exam, we suspect dyslexia or processing issues of some sort, and our local specialist just came into school to assess him using the WRIT and he has come out on the 95th/97th percentile. (non verbal reasoning I think - bit unclear so far)
IQ estimate about 122?

His scores in the other test were 125/109/105, aggregate 339 which of course needed to be 360 odd to pass.

Does anyone know what we do now? We don't get the place allocation till March and it will be a no, for the grammar we have put (not super selective) but I have no idea what we need to do in order to appeal and the school seems to have no idea either. (including our lovely senco)

Any experience or advice would be much appreciated. The non selectives here are pretty bad - special measures type of thing, or religious which we won't get into because we're not, well, religious.


TheQuietCricket Thu 28-Nov-13 19:44:59

A few questions spring to mind and it you may find it useful to think about answers in advance of going for an appeal as they may come up at such a meeting.

First and foremost, Y6 seems very late to be suspecting that a child is dyslexic or has other processing issues. Have any of the teachers previously flagged up problems that could indicate such an issue for your child during their time at primary school ? Has the SENCO been involved for some time ?

If your ds's issue has been apparent for some time was it referred to on the application form,. In our area there is a part of the form for providing additional information in support of an application for a particular school for a particular reason.

What if your ds had met the min score level but there were more children who had also passed but lived closer to the school, would you not be offered a place then too ? (although maybe places are not allocated on distance in your area).

What are the additional support provisions like at the grammar school compare to the other schools on you application form ? If you are looking to appeal based on your son's particular circumstances you need to be able to show that the GS will meet his additional educational needs in a way that other schools can't

Rooners Fri 29-Nov-13 06:59:42

Thanks so much. We are very near to the grammar - it is our joint nearest school, well, according to google it is the nearest by a bit.

I put that on the application and also that he is currently being assessed for dyslexia - the school have not addressed it but I had serious concerns and had him assessed previously in y2, by the same person, who said he was either dyslexic or it could be was a bit soon to say. We never had a report - just her verbal account, which was that he had a high IQ (parts of the test said over 140) and he had some processing issues.

I told the school and they basically did nothing at all - I have kept on at them for years. He has a bit of help with handwriting once a week this year. The school is not renowned for its attention to SEN.

So yes this is the first time they have listened and the senco finally got the specialist to come in (specialist volunteered as she is a family friend - she is very £££ usually) so that has been done through school, BUT the senco doesn't know what to do next, or how to use these results in any appeal.

Good point about looking at the grammar in terms of their assistance for dyslexia etc...I have no idea what they offer. There hasn't really been a chance to ask - the open evening was crammed and none of the subject teachers know about the provision - I didn't know who to speak to.

Thanks again for giving me some q's to think about.

Rooners Fri 29-Nov-13 07:02:28

I should add, the specialist reckons he ought to be at the grammar - she teaches hundreds of children locally during and outside school time, and knows the schools really well, so I am happy to take her POV on this.

I said to her if he would struggle then perhaps we shouldn't do it but she said she is willing to write a letter saying he should be there.

TheQuietCricket Fri 29-Nov-13 13:00:36

The problem you may have there is that there are probably lots of children who "should be at the grammar school" based on their intelligence levels but there are a limited number of places available so it is inevitable that some will just have to accept a place at a different school based on the cut off criteria applied by the grammar school which I suspect will be distance from the school (sounds like you qualify on that one though). I believe many grammar schools don't offer places to the top scoring 11+ entrants but instead set a reasonably exacting minimum score to be achieved and then offer places to those who have met that target and live closest to the school.

It's possibly the case that if you really wanted a place at the grammar school for your ds it was a goal that needed some input before he sat the 11+ rather than when he didn't make the cut off score level. Did his year 5 and year 6 teachers give you an assessment of how likely he would be to reach the required level ? I.E. did he just have an off day performance wise possibly caused by his issues ? Do the grammar school make any allowances for dyslexia etc although without a firm diagnosis it might be difficult to peruse this line of action.

Rooners Fri 29-Nov-13 13:50:01

Hi there,

well, according to his teachers it wasn't an off day, it was in line with his CAT scores and I agree - there would be no grounds to appeal in that respect.

But I do think that with the right provision, he would have had no difficulty in achieving the scores needed. This is the angle I'm taking - that he is a very bright child, struggling to perform because of his SpLD.

I spoke to the admissions person at the grammar just now who was great and said that we need to send the supporting letters etc when we put in our statement in March.

She said to focus on why he should be at this school, rather than why he shouldn't be at the others.

So far I have, it's our nearest school (distance)
He is great at music and science (they are hot on these)

He has some kind of SpLD which is inhibiting his performance - she sounded v impressed with his 97th centile result

He could do a lot better with the right encouragement and approach whereas elsewhere he might find no one recognises his potential (Gosh, I sound very PFB here - I'm anything but IRL! He's a pain in the neck!!)

Also he has had to do some caring in the last couple of years when I have been pretty ill, and has had to help look after his younger brothers. I think this hasn't helped his school work.

I think that is all of it...also once I have a reply from their senco I can put that they have good provision for children with his issues there. (if they do)

I've asked the specialist whether she thinks he is actually dyslexic and will wait and see what she says. She seems to think he is underperforming, which I guess means something is going on.

YoucancallmeQueenBee Fri 29-Nov-13 13:52:55

Would you consider paying to have an independent assessment so you know exactly what his issues might be? I'd want to know that, so that I could try and work out what school might offer the best provision.

Rooners Fri 29-Nov-13 13:57:41

Yes totally. I have offered to pay - we're more than happy to - but she refuses to take payment as she is an old family friend.

Which makes it hard to ask for things iyswim. I keep saying, what about a proper full assessment but I think with the one she did in y2, and this most recent test, she has managed to put together a profile for him - I just don't know what it says!

Rooners Fri 29-Nov-13 13:59:07

Also she is really, really, really busy. I don't think she has time to do it even if we paid double the usual rate.

YoucancallmeQueenBee Fri 29-Nov-13 14:55:54

Find someone else then. Get an educational psychologist's assessment that you can discuss properly with a prospective school.

Rooners Fri 29-Nov-13 17:16:37

How do I go about getting that organised - do you have any ideas where to begin?

I don't want to offend the person we already saw...but no one has ever mentioned an EP and I think it has to be through the school - is that right? I have a feeling they will just refuse.

Rooners Fri 29-Nov-13 18:03:37

Just had a mail from the original assessor - she's going to do the full thing after Christmas so we have a complete profile. She doesn't want paying. This is a few hundred quid worth of test - so I have insisted we pay something.

Very happy that we will have the full diagnosis at last. Whatever it says!

aciddrops Fri 29-Nov-13 19:23:15

I have sympathy with your situation as my own children are dyslexic. However, I am not optimistic for you. Had you got the diagnosis earlier, you could have requested additional time in the entrance exam. The problem is that there is a limited number of places so if your child gets in then another child will not. There is no incentive for a school to take a child with additional needs over one who does not.
Would you be able to argue that this particular school makes special provision for dyslexic students and that the other school doesn't? I think it is unlikely.
Sorry for being so negative. I share your frustrations though.

Rooners Sat 30-Nov-13 07:54:59

Thanks...I take your point.

I had a good email from the senco at the grammar though. She has outlined the additional provision for dyslexia at the school and it sounds very good.

So I suppose that is appeal material right there. I don't know if the school is bound by any sort of rule that means they must positively discriminate? Or not? Probably not though a workplace would be.

I don't think he deserves the place any more than another child without SN but if there is a huge gap between is performance and his ability then I think he deserves to be somewhere that will make the most of his intelligence.

The fact he didn't have a diagnosis earlier was not through a want of trying on my part - but the school refused to refer him for anything until after the 11 plus. We did have him assessed properly at 7yo but as I said, it was too young to be conclusive - and we didn't get a report, and couldn't insist as we hadn't paid for the test.

I have bagered the school to look into getting a diagnosis for all this time - each teacher has said no, or ignored my emails, or just said he doesn't have an issue. He plainly has an issue - he can't even tell the time.

Anyway - I would be happy putting him into a normal comprehensive but all there are here are high schools, academies and grammars.

The first two are generally awful. The grammars are excellent. This is why I am trying to get him into the grammar. I really believe that elsewhere, he will just be given up on and start to believe he's thick.

Rooners Sat 30-Nov-13 07:55:54

sorry for typing - badgered, his, etc

aciddrops Sun 01-Dec-13 19:14:59

In my experience, schools do not test for dyslexia. They don't even understand it. I asked the school to test my boys but they flatly refused. So annoying. Good luck, anyway.

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