You may want to consider how you’ll help your child deal with their results – good or bad. Waiting on confirmation of school places can be an anxious time for parents and students. To help you manage the outcome of your child’s 11 Plus allocation, we’ve put together this general advice.
On the day that your child’s 11 Plus results are due, try to keep them busy and distracted from the news arriving. Try to ensure that your child will be in a resourceful state and able to handle the news whatever the outcome.
If they appear relaxed and not too anxious, you may want to let them discover the news for themselves by letting them open the letter, or email (depending on how you informed). If, however, they appear too worked up, it may be better for you to open the letter first and then approach the subject with your child in whatever way you think is most appropriate.
If you live in an area where the 11 Plus score determines which school your child will attend, and they have been offered their first choice, then be sure to celebrate their achievement and acknowledge the effort that they made.
In some cases, after passing the 11 Plus, your child will be invited to their chosen schools to attend an interview. The purpose of these interviews is for the school to learn more about the candidates, their hobbies and interests and their extra-curricular activities. It enables the school to confirm the student’s suitability and to check that they have the facilities to support the student.
If your child is successful in the interview and the school is satisfied with the report from their current school, they will then make a conditional offer and you will have the opportunity to secure your child’s place.
Normally, once the place has been confirmed, you and your child will be invited to attend an induction day at the allocated school.
If your child doesn’t do as well in the exam as they had hoped, reassure them that it’s okay and that there’s a plan B. As a parent, it’s important that you hide any of your own disappointment and focus on the positives of the situation.
Rather than trying to forget about the exam results, take the time to discuss the matter with your child and ask them how they’re feeling. You may also want to talk about how they’ll break the news to their friends and classmates. Remind your child that if they feel upset, you’re there for them to talk to.
Once your child feels more resourceful, it’s time to address plan B. Focus on all the positives of attending their allocated school, including the friends they’ll have, the activities they’ll be a part of and other plus points that their first-choice school didn’t have.
If you think there are grounds to appeal your child’s 11 Plus exam result, there is sometimes an appeals process that you can follow. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that most appeals are unsuccessful, so if you do decide to take this route, don’t make any promises to your child.
Usually, appeals are only granted when there is evidence that your child will be at harm by not attending their first-choice school, or if the exam body hasn’t followed correct procedures.
In any case, you’ll need to gather evidence that supports the reason why your child’s situation should be looked at again. This could include gathering results from mock exams, obtaining evidence of awards and recognitions and obtaining letters from teachers, health professionals etc.
For more information on the 11 Plus appeals procedure, take a look at our post How to Appeal a Grammar School Place, or visit some of the 11 Plus forums to learn about other parents’ experiences of appealing.
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