Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this.
This is a very narrow interpretation of the wording in the Code and is different from other counties such as Kent where much more discretion is left to the Panel.
In Kent, the Admission Authorities don't even seek to argue 'fair, consistent & objective' at appeal, so parents are not disadvantaged in the slightest when it comes to an appeal.
We know that in the first year of reviews in Bucks (2012/13), 75% of review cases were found at appeal not
to have been 'fair, consistent & objective'.
Such a huge proportion suggests a very reasonable interpretation of the wording in the Code on the part of appeal panel members.
Or it might be that a very poor case was put forward on behalf of the admission authority?
However, in 2013/14, the number of review cases judged not
to have been 'fair, consistent & objective' fell dramatically to around 45%.
This suggests that either appeal panels have indeed moved towards a much narrower interpretation of the wording in the Code, or that there's been a staggering improvement in the presentation of the case for the admission authority!
Or perhaps both?
From the cases we've been involved in on the forum in the past year, we sense that different appeal panels have approached the FCO issue differently. Some expect the Admission Authority to prove that the review process was 'fair, consistent & objective' (which is what the Code appears to require), whereas others seem to want the appellants to disprove the Admission Authority's case!
When we see the figure for 2014/15, we shall know whether the downward trend from 75% is continuing, and whether it is becoming significantly harder for parents to get through the FCO stage of an appeal.