You must be able to provide documentary evidence of the claims you make. Request letters from professionals immediately, because they may take two weeks to produce them. If there is a health issue, you need a doctor’s letter. If you want school A over school B owing to its dyslexia provision, you need evidence of your child’s difficulties and the difference in help provided at each school.
For any argument concerning academic levels, get a letter from your headteacher stating your child’s levels, reading age, any gifted and talented recognition, and so on. If Miss Jones says she is the best mathematician at this age that she has ever taught, you need that on paper.
For a bullying claim, get a letter from school confirming that this problem is on record and has been prolonged.
Supply bus and train timetables to demonstrate journey difficulties. But even seemingly impossible journeys don’t always sway panels: we have known of families who have been allocated different far-apart primary schools for each of their three children lose their appeal.
Do not underestimate the degree of evidence needed – panels will not take your claims at face value. One family made an appeal to a selective school on the basis that their child had not done as well as expected in the selection exams owing to the serious illness of a sibling at the time. They had letters from a hospital consultant confirming the illness, and from the headteacher confirming that the family had made him aware at the time that the child was unlikely to perform well, and that the child’s academic record suggested a higher score would have been expected. But the family lost the appeal because the panel said they had not supplied a doctor’s letter confirming the effects of the elder child’s illness on the child sitting the exam.
Do I need a solicitor?
There are law firms which will help you to write an appeal or represent you on the day, but it’s really not necessary. One panel member told us that an impassioned appeal from a parent can have more impact.
When will I be notified of my appeal hearing date?
You should receive a letter from the admissions authority at least 10 school days before the hearing date. For applications made in the normal admissions round, appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals.
Some special needs are easy to spot, others are only determined once a child has experienced considerable difficulties, frustrations or social and emotional problems.
Over the years, diagnosis of and provision for SEN have improved, but both can still be a minefield.
Identifying different kinds of special educational needs
Few children fit a condition perfectly – if they do, we tend to say they are a ‘classic’ case. Most will not be straightforward: perhaps a dyslexic with dyspraxia and a touch of ADD, or a child with ASD who also has Down’s syndrome.
Just as special needs are hard to…
Find the best school for your child.
One month subscription - £0.49 per day
Three month subscription - £0.41 per day
Six month subscription - £0.33 per day
One year subscription - £0.29 per day
Register for instant access to:
☑ Search for more than 30000 schools in our parent friendly interactive directory.
☑ Create and save lists of schools via My Schools.
☑ Use our comparison grid to get an exam results overview of schools you are interested in.
☑ Find comprehensive advice on state and independent schools, tutors and special needs.
☑ Receive our monthly newsletter.
Counties such as Kent or Buckinghamshire are ‘selective authorities’ and most families will have at least one grammar school close to where they live. Elsewhere, for example in Reading or Kingston-on-Thames, there are just one or two grammar schools and competition for places at these is ferocious.
How to find a state grammar school
Grammar schools are located in 36 English local authorities. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston,…
As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe, Jamie Bell and Charlotte Church standing. And for some extraordinary - though totally understandable - reason, everyone but us seems blind to our offspring's God-given artistic gifts.
If you think your child would benefit from a boarding school education, but are put off by the high fees and consequent limited social mix of a typical independent boarding school, you may find that a state boarding school is the answer
☑ 30000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent friendly interactive directory. ☑ School exam results by subject and performance GCSE, Alevel or equivalent. ☑ Which schools pupils come from and go onto. ☑ Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of more than 1200+ schools. ☑ Comprehensive catchment maps for English state schools inc. year of entry. ☑ School data comparison by A/B weighted, relative success and popularity. ☑ Compare schools by qualities and results. ☑ Independent tutor company reviews.