You've got your allocation letter and it's not what you wanted. Is it worth appealing to try and get a place in grammar school?
Your child may not have secured a place in the first round of allocation of school places, usually around 1st March due to their low ranking for the school you've chosen. It may be that it's a realistic result, since the grammar school entrance test only examines a particular range of skills. It's an unfortunate fact that there are too few places for those that would like to go to grammar school and in this case there may not be very much you can do apart from finding a school that suits your child.
Alternatively your child's result may not have been typical perhaps due to illness, recent family circumstance or something else that affected their performance. If this is the case it is worth appealing against your refusal of a place, but there is a particular process you'll need to go through to try and change the decision. Ultimately the decision will be made by an independent panel which considers your case in relation to a particular grammar school, so you'll need to appeal for every school you want to be considered for.
An appeal has to be made on the basis that your child has the academic ability to succeed at grammar school but that there are some kind of mitigating circumstances which affected their ability to do well in the test. To have a reasonable chance of success you will need to ensure that you have appropriate evidence to give to the independent panel such as previous school test results or a letter from the headteacher supporting your appeal. If there were some particular circumstances, such as a family bereavement, which may have affected the result you should provide evidence for that too, where possible.
Finally you should always aim to attend the appeal and give a statement since it will allow questions and answers on both sides and is more likely to result in success. The main thing to remember is to prepare well, gather your evidence and write a clear and coherent letter to support your case.
If you're based in Gloucestershire and want some initial helpful and free advice contact us here at Cotswold Education as we have experience of the appeal system and can give you some useful tips. Alternatively come to one of our Grammar School events and have a chat over a cup of coffee.
Whatever happens when you get your allocation letter, please don't panic! Stay calm and plan your strategy. Good luck!