My DS is at SHFGS in current year 7. His class has apparently filled up to 30 with 12+ entrants (more boys than girls added to his class).
Also apparently for next year's year 7 there are only to be 4 classes of about 30 each, rather than the usual 5 classes of about 23-25. This will leave a whole class empty for entry into the following year 8. Not sure if this would affect any appeals to SHFGS this year since their standard number will not be up, but class sizes will be at the maximum 30, making "lack of workstations" in class a valid argument against appellants.
That is very interesting information, and thank you for posting it.
This may be an increasing feature of some of the grammars while the cohort is low. It actually takes some schools back to the days when spaces were specifically held open for successful 12+ and 13+ entrants!
There should be no impact on appeals in this situation because, while a school is below PAN, there is no need for transfer appeals. They are only relevant in the case of an oversubscribed school. Any child who has passed the 11+ and expresses a preference for SHF should be given a place up to the full 150.
The school may choose to organise itself differently for economic and logistical reasons whilst their numbers are below PAN by 1 class or more, but it doesn't give them an argument for not admitting up to the full 150. The PAN is fixed, unless they seek to have it reviewed.
What will be interesting is whether the additional 30 entrants are all placed in 1 class together, or whether there is a re-shuffle of all 5 classes next year. There are arguments for and against that from the perspective of both the current and new children, and it is one to watch for.