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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Bishop Vesey's Grammar School

School admissions

Maladministration causing injustice


viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15484&p=271251#p271251

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:33 pm 
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I am very glad that this has come to light and that one parent pursued it.

I have heard some horror stories from other parents about the way in which their appeals were handled.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:27 pm 
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offer fresh appeals to all the parents who appealed in 2010 and whose sons achieved a mark above 318 – those appeals should be heard by a Panel composed of people who have been trained in the requirements of the Code and should be clerked by someone with knowledge and experience of school admission appeals, and
• pay £200 to Mrs K for her additional time and trouble in preparing her appeal and pursuing her complaint.
(Quotation form the Obudsman report)



Frankly, I don’t really understand this case. Does KenR or Mike what was the pass mark in 2010 for BV? Was it 318?
I don’t understand how people can appeal when their child didn’t get the pass mark. Or did this particular child get the pass mark but didn’t get a place? That would be based on the distance between his home and BV... I fail to see some unfair treatment there...
Does anyone know a bit more about this case?
I am bewildered. :?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Quote:
The Ombudsman listed the points where the School failed to comply with the statutory Admission Appeals Code; it:

provided notes written by the Clerk to the Governors that were likely to deter appellants
involved the Clerk to the Governors in the administrative arrangements for the appeal hearings
failed to meet reasonable requests for the provision of information relevant to an appeal
failed to provide the prejudice argument to the Panel and appellants in the required timescale in advance of the hearing
failed to ensure that the prejudice statement contained the required information
failed to provide adequate training for Panel members and the Clerk to the Panel
failed to provide the Panel with the correct advice about the requirements of the Code during the hearing
failed to provide the Panel with the correct guidance about the proper approach it should take to its decision making
issued a decision letter that did not explain in enough detail the Panel’s decisions and why an appeal was unsuccessful, and
issued a decision letter and that was not signed by either the Clerk to the Appeal Panel or the Chair.
In addition, the Appeal Panel failed to comply with the Appeals Code on two points; it:

failed to either consider the prejudice argument at each appeal or hold a grouped multiple appeal, and
failed to consider all the appellant’s grounds of appeal in the appeal hearing.
The Ombudsman found maladministration causing injustice


A lot of Fs for failed there.

Quote:
I don’t understand how people can appeal when their child didn’t get the pass mark.
:roll:

I think appeals are kind of there to help people who might want to appeal against the outcome. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:27 pm 
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There is of course no requirement that a child must achieve a particular mark in order to appeal for a place - there may be genuine extenuating circumstances that lead to an underperformance.

The Code of Practice (which has legal force) states:
Quote:
the panel should consider any factors which appellants contend may have affected the child’s performance (e.g. illness, bereavement) ........... The panel may then need to consider any clear evidence presented by the appellants to support their claim that the child is of the required academic standard e.g. school reports giving Year 5/Year 6 SAT results or a letter of support from their current or previous school clearly indicating why the child is considered to be of grammar school ability
.
The issue, however, is not to do with the merits or otherwise of the parental case, or what she was appealing against - the issue here is the parent's right to a fair hearing.

As if the litany of failings in this appeal process wasn't enough, the school then appears to have reneged on its agreement to offer a re-hearing, claiming that the parent's "personal case was weak" (no need for an independent appeal panel then! :roll:) and that "the proper decision was made" (no need for an ombudsman to investigate whether the decision was properly arrived at! :roll:).

What a disgrace! The governors should hang their heads with shame (IMHO).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:49 pm 
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stevew61 wrote:
A lot of Fs for failed there.

I think appeals are kind of there to help people who might want to appeal against the outcome. :)


Yes, sure, a lot of failings, but I can understand that some staffs at the grammar schools are a bit 'enerved' by parents who try to do all they can so that their offspring gets a place despite not having reach the proper pass mark.

quotation from this article:
http://www.suttoncoldfield-people.co.uk ... story.html
The facts are Mrs K's son was 48th on the waiting list and no substantive grounds were put forward which could support an appeal.
Successful appeals are based on reasons why a candidate did not achieve a better score in the tests.



I know it is extremeley hard for some parents to accept that their children failed at their 11+. I really wish I won't be in this situation in a few months ! :? One of my friend was in tears for many days after that happened to her own daughter... and she did appeal at a comprenhensive school where her DD didn't get a place as they were not in the catchment area. But she didn't 'fight 'against' KE foundation! And by the way, her appeal failed, which shows how difficult it is to win an appeal... Her DD is now at KEHS and thriving there :D :D

The case here at BV has been on front pages on the local newspapers at Sutton... By coincidence, I had a chat with the editor of one of them (who has a DC at my DS' primary)... I was surprised to have to explain to him the rule of admissions in Birmingham schools where there is no pass marks as they exist in some other counties, where people fill in their LEA form after the grammar scores have partly been issued (for example Gloucesterchire. I am not an expert; sorry for my difficulty to expres the process there adequately). :shock: :shock: He was thinking that several children had missed their place at BV despite having reached the pass mark :shock: :shock: :shock:
So I really felt there has been a LOT of misleading information in the press (generated by this desperate mother?) against the school and I really do feel it is unfair...

Etienne wrote:
there may be genuine extenuating circumstances that lead to an underperformance.

The issue, however, is not to do with the merits or otherwise of the parental case, or what she was appealing against - the issue here is the parent's right to a fair hearing.

Thank you for your explanations, Etienne! :D I understand more clearly the ombudsman report and the reproaches made to the school.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:52 pm 
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JaneEyre wrote:
Frankly, I don’t really understand this case. Does KenR or Mike what was the pass mark in 2010 for BV? Was it 318?
I don’t understand how people can appeal when their child didn’t get the pass mark...I am bewildered. :?


318 was the score to get on the waiting list in pre-Consortium days. You're not the only one who's bewildered though, I fail to see why only people who qualified for the waiting list should be offered a fresh appeal.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:40 pm 
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JaneEyre wrote:
parents who try to do all they can so that their offspring gets a place despite not having reach the proper pass mark.
Sounds familiar, Jane - I think I met a fair number of them when I was hearing appeals! :)

The answer, of course, is simply to give them a fair hearing - which is no more than they're legally entitled to - and for the appeal to be dismissed (if that is the appropriate outcome based on all the available evidence).

However, if the school's appeal clerk & panel fail to follow the rules for a fair hearing, they're asking for trouble!

If the school cannot itself call on the necessary expertise/knowledge/experience to ensure its appeals are 'fit for purpose', it can 'buy in' the service (e.g. from the LA).

I think this must be one of the worst cases of maladministration I've come across. If the parent happened to have sufficient resources to seek a judicial review, I've little doubt that the judge would order the governors to arrange for a re-hearing. IMHO!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:54 pm 
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mike1880 wrote:
318 was the score to get on the waiting list in pre-Consortium days. You're not the only one who's bewildered though, I fail to see why only people who qualified for the waiting list should be offered a fresh appeal. Mike

Thanks, Mike!

Etienne wrote:
I think I met a fair number of them when I was hearing appeals! :)

How boring that must be!! :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:15 am 
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Quote:
I fail to see why only people who qualified for the waiting list should be offered a fresh appeal. Mike
Strictly speaking, I would have thought the ombudsman could even limit the recommendation of a 'remedy' to just those appellants who actually made a complaint, if that is judged appropriate.

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