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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:12 pm 
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(Apologies if this should be posted in 'Herts'. I just hoped to see what people in other authorities thought).

[Moved from Appeals to Herts -- WP, Tue 23 Jun]

I'm wondering how it is that Herts County Council can over allocate to two county schools: Westfield 300, PAN 210 and Francis Combe 249, PAN 210 without it causing prejudice to existing pupils, yet the consortium schools seem still to be successfully denying all appeals because accepting over their PANs would cause prejudice.

I know WHY it is of course; HCC is not the admission authority for the consortium schools and so cannot adjust their intake, however I do not see why appellants could not argue that the County Council is setting a precedent.

I think actually that HCC, who I thought do have the overriding responsibility for the education provision, should be doing something to address the problem of too many children for too few places in Herts this year.

Westfield is a rapidly improving school but if I were one of the many parents I know who made it their first choice this year, I would feel very concerned that improvements would be jeopardised by the oversubscription initiated by the County Council.

I have been told, that Westfield were told, when querying the numbers, that around 90 pupils were expected to win appeals to other schools.

Really?? In Herts??


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Interestingly (!) a different test is being applied. According to the Appeals Code, the panel have to consider "prejudice to efficient education or use of resources," and whether that is outweighed by the parental case.

Contrast that with the 2007 Admissions Code which stated:
Quote:
Once an admission number has been set by the admission authority, children should not be admitted above the published number unless exceptional circumstances apply or as part of in-year fair access protocols ..... or a closing school.

The 2009 Admissions Code changed this wording to:
Quote:
Once an admission number has been set by the admission authority, schools should not admit children above the published number unless the school and the local authority agree that admitting above that number will not adversely affect the school in the longer term and will not have a detrimental effect on neighbouring schools. A school can make representations to the local authority ..... to admit above their published admission number. They should submit their request before 31 January in the offer year, at which time the local authority needs to know where places will be allocated as part of their co-ordinated scheme. Additionally, requests can be made after national offer day. Children can also be admitted above the published admission number as part of fair access protocols ..... or as a transitional measure in the case of a closing school. [my bold type]

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Then (sorry, I know I'm now off topic about over subscription appeals!) how can these numbers have been allocated? It says on the Herts website that the PANs were set at 210 because these two schools had: "Insufficient core, specialist and / or general teaching space to accommodate more pupils than on the PAN".

Could an appellant perhaps argue it would have a detrimental effect on neighbouring schools not to admit a few over PAN to consortium schools as otherwise those non-consortium schools would have to admit many over?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:03 pm 
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I'm afraid I don't see an appeal panel considering the effect on neighbouring schools. They are very focused on the school being appealed for.

I think it would be outside the scope of the appeal - whether the LA can justify what it is doing elsewhere.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:10 pm 
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C. J. wrote:
I'm wondering how it is that Herts County Council can over allocate to two county schools: Westfield 300, PAN 210 and Francis Combe 249, PAN 210 without it causing prejudice to existing pupils, yet the consortium schools seem still to be successfully denying all appeals because accepting over their PANs would cause prejudice.
[...]
I have been told, that Westfield were told, when querying the numbers, that around 90 pupils were expected to win appeals to other schools.

According to the Herts Moving On booklet, in the last 3 years Francis Combe has been allocated 39, 14 and 35 over PAN. Westfield has been allocated 30 over PAN in each of the last two years, and Bushey Hall was 50 over PAN last year. I would guess they did this expecting a lot of children to get waiting list places at other schools, based on previous experience. I don't know how the figures ended up, but it seems plausible, so I'm not sure that was real oversubscription. The Westfield figure this year is quite a jump, though.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:48 am 
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This issue was raised at the Herts admission forum on 13 March 2009:
Quote:
Concern was raised regarding the levels of over allocation in South West Hertfordshire. This was answered with an explanation that over allocation must occur so that every child receives a school place and that much movement is expected and planned for in these over allocations.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:38 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
From Notes on secondary admissions at a recent HCC admissions meeting ...

http://www.hertsdirect.org/infobase/doc ... 170619.pdf


"The number of Non Ranked Allocations as at CI 4 was 592. This
showed a decrease of 35.16% as compared to the 913 Non Ranked
allocations at allocation day.

Out of the 592 Non Ranked Allocations, 532 (89.86%) were on-time
applications and 60 (10.14%) were late applications."

This shows that many of those children (35%) that were allocated places at a school that they didn't rank have now actually got a place at one of their ranked schools. I'm assuming that they originally got one of the over allocated schools and have been offered places at a "non over allocated" school (which may not be the case).

These are possibly the figures that HCC will use to back up their over allocation strategies.

Alison


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:31 pm 
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Many thanks, most informative, as always!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:53 am 
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Hmm I wonder if that will be the case this year, with so little movement on any of the waiting lists.

I understand that 3 appeals were won at Parmiters and I am aware of at least two successful appeals to the boys grammar and one at Rickmansworth. I know Queens' were hearing 90 appeals and I am not sure if they have finished yet!

It will be interesting to see if the figures this year are vastly different to previous years.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:41 am 
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The remaining 592 non ranking allocations are across the whole of Hertfordshire. I wonder how many of them are in the SW Herts area and I wonder how much the figure has changed since allocations day.

The successful appeals may help the CI lists move a little for the non-super selectives and may ultimately reduce this NRA figure further.

Does anyone know if there are many more appeals this year compared to previous years or on what grounds the appeals were successful?

Alison


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