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Appeal Procedures for the 11 Plus

Explore the process and considerations for appealing your child's 11 Plus results. Discover if it's the right choice for your family

Should I Launch an Appeal Against My Child's 11 Plus Results?

When 11 Plus results are very different to what was expected it is worth considering launching an appeal but it's important to keep in mind that less than 50% of appeals are successful. Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • The appeals process can take an emotional toll on both parents and children. Dealing with stress, uncertainty, and potential disappointment can be challenging.
  • Appeals can be a lengthy process, spanning several months. This can disrupt your child's education and create anxiety for your family.
  • Appeals often require attending a hearing where you present your case. Some parents may find this process intimidating or struggle to effectively argue their case.

Is Legal Representation Necessary for the Appeal?

Numerous law firms provide assistance for the appeals process. A quick online search typically reveals local firms with expertise in this field, but most parents elect to present their own case to avoid legal costs.

Are There National Guidelines for School Appeals?

The Department for Education has a School Admissions Appeal Code outlining mandatory requirements for admission authorities. Please note that this document is extensive, consisting of 32 pages. Specific information regarding grammar school admissions can be found on page 20.

How Do I Begin the Appeals Process?

Appealing against your child's 11 Plus result is a process that varies depending on your region and the specific policies of your school or educational authority.

Begin by reaching out to the organization responsible for conducting the 11+ exam. Request comprehensive information regarding their appeals process, including deadlines, necessary forms, and required documents. They should furnish you with clear instructions on how to proceed. To enhance your chances of a successful appeal, it is essential to meticulously adhere to the guidance provided.

You will be given a form to fill in that outlines the specific information you need to provide, such as your reasons for appealing and requirements for supporting evidence. Ensure that the form is completed and returned as quickly as possible.

What Are Acceptable Grounds for an Appeal?

Acceptable grounds for an appeal may encompass situations where you believe the 11+ test was administered unfairly, your child's performance did not accurately reflect their abilities, or exceptional circumstances affected the test.

It's generally not deemed acceptable to claim your child was feeling unwell on the day of the exam, as they should not have sat the test if ill – refer to The Day of the 11 Plus. However, if your child experienced a sudden illness immediately before or during the exam and couldn't complete it, this would be noteworthy.

Other factors that might be considered valid grounds for an appeal include a recent family bereavement, a motor accident en route to the test, or other highly unusual extenuating circumstances that significantly impacted your child's ability to perform at their best.

Is It Possible to Include Supporting Evidence with the Appeal?

It is advisable to provide any available supporting evidence:

  • If you are appealing based on your child's physical condition on the day of the test, consider including a doctor's certificate.
  • If your appeal centres on unexpected poor results, a supportive letter from your primary school can be valuable.
  • Any additional evidence that explains why you believe the decision is unjust should also be submitted.

Will There Be a Hearing for Your Appeal?

Once you've submitted your appeals form, it's highly likely that you will be invited to attend an appeals hearing.

To get ready for the hearing, it's a good idea to rehearse your statements. Clearly and succinctly explain the grounds for your appeal and be ready to respond to any relevant questions.

When Can I Expect to Receive the Appeal Outcome?

Typically, you won't have to wait long for the results, as the local authorities are keen to finalize school placements promptly. You will be informed whether the original decision stands or if it has been reversed in your favour.

Can My Child Pass the 11 Plus But Still Not Get Into Grammar School?

Yes, performing admirably in the 11 Plus doesn't always guarantee admission to your desired grammar school. Some schools face intense competition, and each school has a finite number of available spots.

Additional factors may also influence the outcome, such as your proximity to the school or whether your child has siblings already attending the school.

Can I Appeal If I Don’t Get My First-Choice Grammar School?

Yes, there is an appeals process available if you wish for your child to attend a specific school but haven't been allocated a place. Refer to the previous information for insights into the appeals procedures.

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