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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:23 pm 
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I’ve read the considerable advice on the forum (thank you for all of the information).

I am considering an appeal, based on being within one point of the AQS for our preferred school and reasons for wanting a specific school. Whilst I know the odds of being successful at appeal are slim, I think I need to try.

I’m terms of academic evidence the school have provided evidence for reading age of 2 years & 11 months above chronological age and achieving GDS in maths, reading and GPS - is that enough academic evidence given she was above the waiting list score and very close to the automatic qualifying score so it is not really ‘non-qualification’?

DD was born 10 weeks prematurely and has a disability which impacts fine (and to a lesser extent gross) motor skills. This would have undoubtedly resulted in her being slower than most peers to fill in the boxes of the multiple choice answer sheets in a time pressured test.

I have a letter from the school SENDCo confirming the diagnosis and also multiple Child Disability Service OT reports referring to poor grip, challenges with handwriting, requirement for a writing slope etc. I did not declare this at the outset and did not ask for specials arrangements for testing (hindsight is a wonderful thing), so I am not suggesting discrimination of any type - it’s more the circumstances she she lives with, without which it is highly probable (although impossible to prove) she would have been quicker and scored at least 1 Mark more and have been offered a place on March 1st.

The final point is about the specific school and why it’s the most suitable for her - the intake is one of the smallest in the area (half the size of our catchment non grammar school). DD has some trouble engaging peers and developing friendships and the preferred grammar, as a smaller school, would help her to avoid becoming socially lost in a larger school. This is wording from the SENDCo although I totally echo the views!

She would also be able to travel on the same shared bus with her older siblings which would be highly preferable (catchment school is too far to walk, there is no bus and she is not safe on a bike on the road on her own due to challenges with balance)!!

Have I missed anything? For those of you with lots of experience in appeals does this seem reasonable grounds for appeal?

Thanks for taking the time to read this


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:04 am 
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Mandy21 wrote:

I'd have thought (and I stand to be corrected) that in a case such as that - where the children were due in say October but were born in August - that the children are taking the exams effectively a whole school year ahead of their "due date" peers. I'd have thought that if there is good academic evidence, and they weren't miles off the exam pass mark, that it must be a compelling argument for appeal panels.

That precise scenario came up a few years ago - you weren't in the appeal room were you? :wink:

The score was a near miss and the academic evidence was good, so it was something of a "killer blow" when the parents were able to point out that, but for being 6 weeks premature, the child would have been in the year below and taking the test an entire year later.

However, other than when prematurity spans the start of a school year, the argument can get quite tricky. There was a fairly similar case some years ago where the parents suggested politely that, had their child been born several weeks later at full term, he might have gained the missing mark or two from standardisation. Unfortunately, the LA Rep claimed that it would be the opposite, and the child would have had a lower mark!

A fairly heated argument broke out between the Chair and LA Rep, and the parents looked on helplessly as their case was derailed by the confusion. In the end, the Chair (correctly) overruled the Rep, but the experience was more than a little unnerving at the time.

Both appeals were successful in the end, but from the outset they were near-misses on score and the academic evidence was sound. Prematurity simply helped to explain away a missing mark or two.


Hi, there are quite a few threads about premature children if you have a look through - the quote above was from a thread about an appeal for premature twins some time ago (I think they were 14 weeks) and the quote above was from Sally Anne. I am just a member of the forum, without any expertise at all, but I think from your post that you have good grounds to appeal. Does the above apply (i.e. a different year group)? If not, it sounds like you have very strong academic evidence. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:36 pm 
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Only1nickyt wrote:
is that enough academic evidence given she was above the waiting list score and very close to the automatic qualifying score
As a very broad general rule, the more academic evidence the better, but I'm afraid it depends on what your particular panel are looking for.

Some panel members quite like to see a Y5 report so that they can check the progression from Y5 to current attainment and on to any KS2 predictions - but it may be that the school have covered this in the evidence they've given you.

Only1nickyt wrote:
I am not suggesting discrimination of any type - it’s more the circumstances she she lives with, without which it is highly probable (although impossible to prove) she would have been quicker and scored at least 1 Mark more and have been offered a place on March 1st.
I do like the way you've put that! :)

Only1nickyt wrote:
This is wording from the SENDCo although I totally echo the views!
Another plus point. Very useful to have the SENDCo backing up your views!

Mandy21 wrote:
I think from your post that you have good grounds to appeal
Impossible to predict the outcome, but I agree with Mandy21 that your case is perfectly reasonable and does merit consideration.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:13 pm
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Mandy21 wrote:
[i]

Does the above apply (i.e. a different year group)? If not, it sounds like you have very strong academic evidence. Good luck.


Birthdate date was end of May, due date was mid August!

Thanks Etienne and Mandy21 for your replies x


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