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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:25 am
Posts: 15
wajj2004 wrote:
I also have my daughters appeal next Friday for the same school. I don't know if it is a standard letter that the school sends out but is it very strong on capacity and health and safety. The numbers are all broken down and strongly point to the fact that the school can not accommodate any more children as the classrooms, canteens, laboratories, walkways do not have the capacity.

However under a freedom of information request the school did accomodate an extra child 4 years ago and the current year 10 have 161 children. Hope that helps.

Good luck.


Hi Wajj,

Thanks for your message. So we are in the same boat in terms of appeal. Yes they probably do send a standard worded letter in relation to the capacity and health and safety but part 3 would be more specific towards the appellant. Thanks for the information, which I did extract from them via the same route - Will pose the question as to whether they had any issues with admitting 1 extra child.

Good luck with yours too


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:55 pm
Posts: 550
SMpharm wrote:
Ricky74 wrote:
SMpharm wrote:
Hi,

Etienne I have responded as requested - just to let you know its not this friday but the following, so if you do get a chance to have a look and provide guidance then as you already know I will be eternally grateful.

Anotherdad - Thank you for your post - I totally agree the forum is an invaluable resource of information and guidance in itself. My last post was not
disingenous at all as Kenyancowgirl seems to suggest but it was a request by a moderator for my consent for another moderator to have a look at my case.

Kenyancowgirl thanks for your input - I have read and taken ALL the advice members and Moderators give in the knowledge that it will all help me with my appeal. I am not disregarding information/advice or sidestepping here, but merely acting on a request by a moderator- So try not to jump to any conclusions guys? Besides it isnt the waving of a magic wand that is needed to win an appeal in this particular area - it is a MIRACLE :)

Ricky74 thanks for your post. Im sorry to learn your appeal did not get upheld. Did your child still obtain a Grammar place elsewhere?


Well.....

We lost our grammar appeal, so were preparing to start comp. His twin was starting that grammar though so it was tricky.

However, the comp place was suddenly withdrawn in the June and we had to appeal. We won!

Then he was offered a different grammar a week into term (he didn't go). He then wanted to go, but then there was no place available. Five months later and he was offered the place again. He's been there since Feb and is doing well.

Bet you're glad you asked now.

Sorry to bore those of you who've heard it a million times before. We could never have predicted how it would unfold.

I had unbelievable support on here throughout and Etienne, Sally-Anne and others helped so much. It's heartening to see them doing it again and again.

If I can be of any help let me know. Good luck.


Hi Ricky74,

Sounds like you had a right roller coaster ride. Cant begin to imagine the stress you went under trying to get this all sorted. I am glad your son has settled in well at Walsall and is doing well it is a testament to your hard work and dedication


Thanks - well, I have one at Walsall and one at HGS (where he started February). Have sent you a PM.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:55 pm
Posts: 550
I think the locality of your preferred school and being part of that community for after school clubs and groups, maybe specific to that area - swimming club? are worth mentioning.

In terms of extenuating circumstances, if you have any previous 'evidence' then do include that in the supporting material. One panel member was especially sympathetic to certain parts of our appeal relating to anxiety, and I had possibly not stated this aspect of the appeal as strongly as other areas. I have sent you more detail in my PM.

I do agree that the allocated school on the CAF may come into play, even though the focus is on why your preferred school is more suitable (rather than why the allocated school is not). But agree that the transport and issues around anxiety should be highlighted.

We had some high mock SATs scores and in the end my son did score very highly in his SATS. The HT at appeal did look at the mock results and at the end of the appeal he said we had a "highly persuasive" argument and said there was "no doubt my son was gs ability' but I would also expect many children in that situation to have SATs of a high score.

Do include any scores for other tests, as these show your daughters grammar capabilities. My own sons scored very differently in the Birmingham to the Walsall tests.

That's academic ability and extenuating circumstances covered. The reasons for wanting that particular school must never be underestimated though. I do see how attending that school on your doorstep would benefit your daughter, the school and its community.

I've just looked at an old email to Etienne following our gs appeal and thought some bullet points may help you on the day.

- Our appeal was meticulously ordered so that each panel had a 'pack' however, on the day there seemed much material (appendices) that finding my place amid the nerves could be hard. We had 'stripped back' the appeal material, but I was all fingers and thumbs on the day.

- Some of the key supporting material had not reached the panel members (despite being scanned and sent hard copy and via email in advance), therefore there were unexpected interruptions and delays while a) I found the relevant section and b) time for the panel to read this 'new' material (it was allowed because it had been submitted in advance, it's just they hadn't seen it!) this added to the nerves. Be prepared to go off track, to be asked additional questions. I'm not very good at thinking on my feet, especially when nervous, and I wasn't expecting any delays, so be prepared that not everything will go as planned. The panel may ask you questions you haven't prepared for. It's not a trick, remember that they are genuinely there to hear both sides.

- It can feel like an alien and environment. Stage one, so many parents, more than I anticipated. Many with briefcases and pens and possibly even lawyers/extra family members? Some asking multiple questions at the group hearing. Remember that you do not know the strength of their case and they, yours and it can be easy to feel a bit psyched out by volumes and the seeming confidence of others.

- I read out my 'script' introduction rather than ad-libbing. It was around a page and a half of A4 (would have been a page if we didn't have an additional twin section), I kept it succinct and in 'themes' of academic ability etc.

- The second part, the individual hearing, took around 25 minutes

- The first part - possibly around the same with some parents challenging the school. I did not ask any questions but listened to answers from others. I think I was trying to fly under the radar for fear of making a nuisance of myself. It seems silly now.

- Take your time. The panel were mindful that we had had enough time.

- The panel were sympathetic in both cases and did their best to put us at ease.

- In the gs appeal, we were fairly business like and organised in terms of the presentation. In our second 'emergency' appeal when we had no place at all, it was emotional (but no less organised).

- Be prepared for all outcomes and think of your plan 'B'. I know you have an excellent alternative and need to consider transport options.

- Good luck. You will get through this and your experiences can help others if you stick around the forum. Even if any one part of this helps you, then I will feel like I can give something back to a forum that has given me so much.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:55 pm
Posts: 550
Ricky74 wrote:
I think the locality of your preferred school and being part of that community for after school clubs and groups, maybe specific to that area - swimming club? are worth mentioning.

In terms of extenuating circumstances, if you have any previous 'evidence' then do include that in the supporting material. One panel member was especially sympathetic to certain parts of our appeal relating to anxiety, and I had possibly not stated this aspect of the appeal as strongly as other areas. I have sent you more detail in my PM.

I do agree that the allocated school on the CAF may come into play, even though the focus is on why your preferred school is more suitable (rather than why the allocated school is not). But agree that the transport and issues around anxiety should be highlighted.

We had some high mock SATs scores and in the end my son did score very highly in his SATS. The HT at appeal did look at the mock results and at the end of the appeal he said we had a "highly persuasive" argument and said there was "no doubt my son was gs ability' but I would also expect many children in that situation to have SATs of a high score.

Do include any scores for other tests, as these show your daughters grammar capabilities. My own sons scored very differently in the Birmingham to the Walsall tests.

That's academic ability and extenuating circumstances covered. The reasons for wanting that particular school must never be underestimated though. I do see how attending that school on your doorstep would benefit your daughter, the school and its community.

I've just looked at an old email to Etienne following our gs appeal and thought some bullet points may help you on the day.

- Our appeal was meticulously ordered so that each panel had a 'pack' however, on the day there seemed much material (appendices) that finding my place amid the nerves could be hard. We had 'stripped back' the appeal material, but I was all fingers and thumbs on the day.

- Some of the key supporting material had not reached the panel members (despite being scanned and sent hard copy and via email in advance), therefore there were unexpected interruptions and delays while a) I found the relevant section and b) time for the panel to read this 'new' material (it was allowed because it had been submitted in advance, it's just they hadn't seen it!) this added to the nerves. Be prepared to go off track, to be asked additional questions. I'm not very good at thinking on my feet, especially when nervous, and I wasn't expecting any delays, so be prepared that not everything will go as planned. The panel may ask you questions you haven't prepared for. It's not a trick, remember that they are genuinely there to hear both sides.

- It can feel like an alien and environment. Stage one, so many parents, more than I anticipated. Many with briefcases and pens and possibly even lawyers/extra family members? Some asking multiple questions at the group hearing. Remember that you do not know the strength of their case and they, yours and it can be easy to feel a bit psyched out by volumes and the seeming confidence of others.

- I read out my 'script' introduction rather than ad-libbing. It was around a page and a half of A4 (would have been a page if we didn't have an additional twin section), I kept it succinct and in 'themes' of academic ability etc.

- The second part, the individual hearing, took around 25 minutes

- The first part - possibly around the same with some parents challenging the school. I did not ask any questions but listened to answers from others. I think I was trying to fly under the radar for fear of making a nuisance of myself. It seems silly now.

- Take your time. The panel were mindful that we had had enough time.

- The panel were sympathetic in both cases and did their best to put us at ease.

- In the gs appeal, we were fairly business like and organised in terms of the presentation. In our second 'emergency' appeal when we had no place at all, it was emotional (but no less organised).

- Be prepared for all outcomes and think of your plan 'B'. I know you have an excellent alternative and need to consider transport options.

- Good luck. You will get through this and your experiences can help others if you stick around the forum. Even if any one part of this helps you, then I will feel like I can give something back to a forum that has given me so much.


I didn't mean to make a big deal out of people having pens. I would hope that at the very least appellants have pens! :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:25 am
Posts: 15
Hi Ricky74,

Many thanks for your very informative and detailed post. I dont think ours is a group appeal for stage 1? I am assuming they would have informed me in the paperwork if it was?

I will come back and have a look at the points raised. Yes indeed you have been a great help and I cannot thank you or the other posters and Moderators enough

andI will try an remember to take a pen :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7874
Hi SMPharm

I'm sorry I have only just seen that you sent some emails to the Appeals Box.
Did you not get an autoresponse warning that you need to alert us on the forum "as we do not routinely monitor the Appeals Box for new mail"?

I think your appeal was today. I hope it did not prove too daunting.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:55 pm
Posts: 550
How did the appeal go?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7874
Did anyone hear anything further from SMpharm, I wonder?

He had a huge amount of help both on and off the forum from a number of members.

It's so nice when people report back and say 'thank you'.

Feedback on an appeal can be very helpful for other parents - we have a thread specifically for this purpose:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=9205

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Etienne


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