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 Post subject: Skinners School Appeals
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Kent & Medway
Comments reaching me about the Skinner's School Appeals, suggest they are as appallingly run as last year (but in different ways). Possibly the greatest example of maladministration in my extensive experience (makes Maidstone Grammar Appeals look like a picnic). It is likely that the Judd appeals are similar. This is no criticism of these excellent schools.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:29 pm 
Peter,

Please give more details?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Kent & Medway
Just a few:
1) Code of Practice (COP) recommends appeals to be held within 30 school days of closing date - not five and a half months after decisions on 1st March! Consequences of this on parental stress levels and ability to focus on other schools, problems for other schools not knowing intake.
2) COP refers to more than one Panel being used for a school only in exceptional circumstances. Skinners used a number of different panels as a matter of routine.
3) Because or as a result of this, adverts for Panel members did not appear until May/June, so training and appointment of members must have been left very late.
4)COP states Panels must make decisions absolutely independently. Decisions were made each night and sent to parents next day, so many parents received results before other hearings took place.
5) It is reported that new Appeal panels asked how many previous appeals had been successful, so that they knew how many places had been offered previously, and how many were left.
6) With all these Panels acting independently was it coincidence that around 12 appeals were successful making a convenient total of 120 places in all?

Other serious issues are a matter for the ombudsman. Last year's appeals also produced a range of faults.

hope this indicates the level of my concerns


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:20 am 
I saw an advert for the Skinners appeal panel advertised as far back as Jan/Feb and remember thinking how organised they were. However, I have since heard that there were problems encountered in recruiting the right people for the panel although this should be no excuse for the eventual delay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:48 am 
I would be intrigued to find out what the 'other serious issues that are a matter for the ombudsman' are....

I assume that the complaints have emanated from unsuccessful parents?


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 Post subject: Appeals
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:31 am 
Hello, headmaster.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:56 pm 
not sure what grimmerskidad is getting at here - I am no headmaster but an appeal panel member. I am intrigued as to the detail and feel that panel members, who are volunteers, should be given more credit for coming to the best decision 'on the day' without allegations of foul play. You would be amazed at the tales that some parents come up in an effort to gain places for their children, quite contrary to any Code of Practice or natural justice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Kent & Medway
I am clear that the overwhelming majority of Panel members, all volunteers, where they are properly trained and given appropriate legal advice by clerks where necessary, do an excellent job and are to be applauded for this, as any other system is unlikely to consider the special circumstances of families so fairly.

However, I monitor appeals across Kent and Medway, and a small minority of Panels fall way below the norm standard, when the ombudsman stands as a guardian (if frustratingly slow!) over these standards. Of course, the typical Panel member conducting his or her affairs according to the rules would be completely unaware of any of this.

Yes, I did raise the issue of Skinners and responded with some examples of fault when asked, to confirm my concerns were not merely sour grapes. However, ombudsman rules have a level of privilege that allows criticism to be made that should not be made in a public forum.

Panel member, please don't take offence, and keep up the good work, from your views you will never be criticised in this way.

I am aware that you do this public service for no reward and I have no wish to decry it.


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