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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:52 pm 
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First post! I’d like to start by thanking everyone on this forum for their contributions and sharing their enormous wealth of experience. I am in the process of putting my appeal together for both Southend boys grammars. We are in the priority area however my son did not get the qualifying score. We were bitterly disappointed (maths in particular was much lower than expected).

However just before Christmas he was assessed by an educational psychologist and this has confirmed dyslexia. I’m not sure about “severe” v “mild” as the report makes no reference to that but does say he would meet the disability definition under the equality act. It also states he should have 25% extra time in exams. His school have now put a series of interventions in place (too early to say if working) and they applied for extra time for SATs, which he will be getting in May.

I’ve been reading up on this forum since Christmas as I feel with the new diagnosis, it is worth appealing albeit I recognise how difficult a non qualification appeal in Southend will be! I have used the extensive posts and Q&A section but still had some specific questions, I would like help with:

1. My son is greater depth in maths but at expected in reading and writing. Will this be seen as not good enough?
2. His maths was a long way off expectations eg school work, mocks. The EP report put him at 99th percentile for maths. His English has always been weaker of the two and the dyslexia now helps explain some of that. Should I be arguing for both the under performance in maths and then the dyslexia impacting English?
3. does anyone have experience of a late diagnosis dyslexia appeal - how do I show how this impacted him on the day? Do I need to show the interventions that have now been put in place?
4. He had a tutor for 3 months (10 hours) and did an exam conditions mock with them. She has provided a letter to support as other children who performed less well in the mock passed on the day. Should I use the letter or only the mock results?
5. For reasons for wanting the school. One of the schools has a maths and science specialism. I can pull out things the school does that are very specific. What evidence can I show for my son’s need/ interest? We have no mention of science in school reports or a science club at school etc? He reads magazines, watches relevant tv etc but nothing really that I can evidence.

please help in any way that you can. Thank you :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:53 pm 
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Welcome to the forum! :)

Quote:
However just before Christmas he was assessed by an educational psychologist and this has confirmed dyslexia. I’m not sure about “severe” v “mild” as the report makes no reference to that but does say he would meet the disability definition under the equality act.
That should mean it is substantial (i.e. more than "mild" or "trivial").

Quote:
It also states he should have 25% extra time in exams.
Most EP reports seem to come up with the 25% figure!

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His school have now put a series of interventions in place (too early to say if working) and they applied for extra time for SATs, which he will be getting in May.
Good!


Quote:
1. My son is greater depth in maths but at expected in reading and writing. Will this be seen as not good enough?
Possibly - but it's a decision for your particular panel.
It's a pity he underperformed in maths.


Quote:
2. His maths was a long way off expectations eg school work, mocks. The EP report put him at 99th percentile for maths. His English has always been weaker of the two and the dyslexia now helps explain some of that. Should I be arguing for both the under performance in maths and then the dyslexia impacting English?
I think so, but having to face two battles (maths as well as English) is clearly more problematic than fighting just one.

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3. ..... how do I show how this impacted him on the day?
I don't see why you need do this as the dyslexia was ongoing.

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Do I need to show the interventions that have now been put in place?
It would help to have a letter from the school about the interventions.

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4. He had a tutor for 3 months (10 hours) and did an exam conditions mock with them. She has provided a letter to support as other children who performed less well in the mock passed on the day. Should I use the letter or only the mock results?
I wouldn't use either.


I'm afraid private tutors are unlikely to be viewed as independent - and I doubt that an unofficial mock would have any validity from the perspective of an appeal panel.

Quote:
5. For reasons for wanting the school. One of the schools has a maths and science specialism. I can pull out things the school does that are very specific. What evidence can I show for my son’s need/ interest? We have no mention of science in school reports or a science club at school etc? He reads magazines, watches relevant tv etc but nothing really that I can evidence.
Unfortunately, no evidence probably = no case.
Is the class teacher completely unaware of his interest in science?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Etienne, thank you so much for your responses. I wanted to clarify point 3 re the dyslexia and having to explain performance on the day. Do I not need to demonstrate how his dyslexia impacted his performance on the day or at least how the lack of additional time impacted performance? I am presuming without this, the panel will ask how I think he will cope at a grammar school?

Also on point 4 re mocks. In our area the school will not do mocks, the only option is to do them privately and most mocks are run by tutoring exams. They are in exam conditions and we do get a summary on how your child did relative to the cohort. Are you saying private mocks are not a good source of evidence? What do you mean by official mocks?

I am meeting my headteacher to discuss the support letter on Wednesday. She is aware of my appeal and has verbally stated she is willing to support but has not written an appeal support letter before. I couldn't find a Q&A question on what to include/ exclude in the headteacher support letter. Can anyone point me in the right direction or offer any tips?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Sunshine1976 wrote:
Etienne, thank you so much for your responses. I wanted to clarify point 3 re the dyslexia and having to explain performance on the day. Do I not need to demonstrate how his dyslexia impacted his performance on the day or at least how the lack of additional time impacted performance?
No, I don't think so.

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I am presuming without this, the panel will ask how I think he will cope at a grammar school?
You - or preferably the headteacher - should point out that it has now been established what measures need to be in place to enable him to flourish and achieve his full potential.

If I were you I would arrange a meeting with the grammar school Senco to discuss how they could help if he were to get a place.
See C2 (viii) - the paragraph on SEN:
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... -school#c2
Then - by quoting the school's own Senco - I hope you'd be in a good position to explain that he could cope at grammar school.

Another point you could make is that you now realise that bright children with dyslexia risk being overlooked, and have been at a disadvantage as a result of late diagnosis.

Quote:
Also on point 4 re mocks. In our area the school will not do mocks, the only option is to do them privately and most mocks are run by tutoring exams. They are in exam conditions and we do get a summary on how your child did relative to the cohort.
But surely the cohort wasn't exactly the same as the cohort that sat the real test.


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Are you saying private mocks are not a good source of evidence?
That would be my opinion - and I think it is likely to be the view of the appeal panel. I certainly never sat on a panel that was interested in - or gave any weight to - the result of a private 'mock'.
It ought to give you some idea of your son's ability, but I cannot see why an appeal panel would accept the result as a valid alternative score when it has no official status.

In my view a 'mock' could be useful in replicating 11+ test conditions, so that the real experience is then less daunting.
However, I would keep very quiet about tutoring and mocks at an appeal. You don't want the panel thinking "He had all that extra help and preparation, and still didn't qualify?"

Quote:
What do you mean by official mocks?
I assume this mock was in no way recognised or endorsed by the grammar school or Local Authority.

Even official 11+ scores from other grammar schools might carry no weight with an appeal panel because the non-identical cohorts would result in different standardisation.

Quote:
I am meeting my headteacher to discuss the support letter on Wednesday. She is aware of my appeal and has verbally stated she is willing to support but has not written an appeal support letter before. I couldn't find a Q&A question on what to include/ exclude in the headteacher support letter. Can anyone point me in the right direction or offer any tips?
The Q&As: https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... cation#b48

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:56 pm 
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Thank you for all your advice Etienne. I had a good discussion with headteacher!

Just one more question to forum members: I read here somewhere (I think?) that your case for appeal should not include anything about why you think the school can go above PAN? I am assuming this is because I will be sent appeal paperwork from the school later which will have further information in it. Can someone confirm please?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Sunshine1976 wrote:
I read here somewhere (I think?) that your case for appeal should not include anything about why you think the school can go above PAN? I am assuming this is because I will be sent appeal paperwork from the school later which will have further information in it. Can someone confirm please?
Yes - neither side would normally question the other side's case until the hearing.
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... school#c29

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:15 pm 
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Hi
We appealed four years ago for my DS for a place at WHSB. He scored just under the necessary mark as an out of catchment applicant but significantly over the in catchment score. We appealed because he was disrupted by an upset boy sitting next to him during his VR exam, which we believe cost him the couple of marks he needed to automatically get a place. We prepared for the appeal on the same basis that you are - proof of academic ability (including letter of support from the head teacher), extenuating circumstances (including detailed letter from the invigilator regarding the disturbance caused) and why we believed our DS should receive a place at the school (maths/science etc).
As soon as our appeal hearing started we were informed by the Chairwoman of the panel that there was no question of DS's academic ability but it was about why he should have a place at the school and force them over their PAN. Given the school has no real specialisms our answers were not sufficient for them to be able to justify him a place and this was confirmed in the unsuccessful appeal letter (albeit they also confirmed he was of grammar school ability). So my point is - whilst academic evidence and extenuating circumstances are important, please do not underestimate how important it is to demonstrate why your DS should be at the school at the expense of the possible impact on other students if they have to go over PAN and I would suggest that an interest in maths and science is not sufficient. I am not sure if the same stands for SHSB.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:17 pm 
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Ann221a thank you very much for sharing your experience. I will look more deeply at my reasons for wanting the school. I thought I was dealing more with the non qualification issue but fully accept the school will have offered all places now so need to think more about that part.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:22 pm 
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I agree - reasons for wanting a place need to be as strong as possible.
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

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 Post subject: Supporting evidence
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Hi there, can someone please help on the amount of evidence to include as part of the appeal. For example under reasons for wanting a place, I want to point out some very specific things the school does and why they are relevant to my son but I wasn’t sure on the amount of evidence to include. Eg do I include copies of the school prospectus, newsletters, curriculum, website etc to draw attention to certain reasons or can I just quote the source? I need to copy all documents 7 times, and can see the pack being too long, especially as I only need to point out extracts.

Thanks


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