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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:38 am 
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Hi I posted this in bucks and haven't had a response, anyone in appeals have any advice please?

Many Thanks
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Hi

Just wondered if anyone may be able to give me some advice. We are appealing for late entry into Year 8. The schools published PAN is 120. I have all the historic data from the January Census going back to 2005 that shows the minimum the school has actually had on roll in that year group is 124 and the maximum is 135. They currently have 121.

This evidence to me looks strong that they can accomodate more children in the year group without prejudice because their GCSE results have still got better year after year?

Any comments?

Thanks
IT
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:27 am 
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Dear IT

You might be on safer ground with 124 than with 135. I suspect there may have had to be an extra class with 135, in which case I guess the school will argue it does not currently have the resources to run an extra group.

No reason why you shouldn't ask questions, though.
    I see you have 121 in the current year 8. Have you had to cope in year 8 with numbers above 120 before?
    What were they?
    How did you manage?
    Exactly what evidence is there that the school did not cope successfully?

Please do come back if I can be of any further help.

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 Post subject: Questioning the case
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:47 am 
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Thanks so much for responding Etienne,

Yes the year they did go to 135 was very difficult although they did not put an extra class on just had a rotation system of lessons.

Would you advise it is better to ask questions rather than show the figures I have? Is it better to ask them to quote the figures and not quote figures at them?

The evidence looks compelling that they can cope with more as historically they always have done or am I being overly optomistic?

Thanks
IT

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:22 pm 
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My son was part of the cohort of 135, and it was a nightmare. He spent one day in every fortnight in the library, because the head would not increase class sizes. We parents complained continually and very strongly to the head and LEA, but nothing changed. I suggest you steer well clear of the 135 argument!


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 Post subject: Re: Questioning the case
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:29 pm 
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in Turmoil wrote:

Would you advise it is better to ask questions rather than show the figures I have? Is it better to ask them to quote the figures and not quote figures at them?

The evidence looks compelling that they can cope with more as historically they always have done or am I being overly optomistic?



I agree with the last poster - the 135 was clearly a one-off arrangement and you should focus on other years when class sizes were just a few over PAN.

Etienne's approach makes sense as you are actually getting the LA to admit that the school has coped with higher numbers and the results have not suffered. If this does not work then I don't think there is anything wrong with having your own figures on which to base your questions as it shows you have done your research and enables you to be quite specific. We did this at stage 1 of our appeal. Although the LEA is always likely to win this stage since the only possible outcome is that the school has to take all appellants or none, I don't think it does any harm to suggest to the panel that the school could cope with just a few more even if it cannot accommodate everyone appealing. However, this would of course presumably favour anyone appealing who has a strong case and not just the person making the point.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Hi, IT

I would suggest starting with questions. If they can't respond, or if they're inaccurate, then you could quote the information you have (and its source).

From a panel's perspective, the possibility of a rotation system might sound really grim (NB. Guest11's comments), so I still think you're on safer ground with 124 ("How did you cope with 124? Exactly what evidence is there that it resulted in prejudice?").

It's a point well worth putting, but on its own it may not be conclusive. The school can always try arguing "We coped because we had to. Most people accept that 30 per class is a reasonable maximum. The burden on staff was unacceptable. The line has to be drawn somewhere. We would have performed even better without the extra pupils."

There are, in effect, three possible decisions the panel could take at stage 1:
a. The case for prejudice has been made, so we proceed to stage 2.
b. The case for prejudice has not been made and all the appellants can be admitted.
c. The case for prejudice has not been made, but we believe the school could not cope with this number of appellants, so we proceed to stage 2.

I don't know how many appeals we're talking about here, but the higher the number the less likely it is that the panel will decide "The stage 1 case has not been made and all the appellants can be admitted."

Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: LEA Case
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Thank you so much for all your great advice. It is much clearer to me now! There are 9 appeals for the year group so now I can see that we are very unlikely to win at stage one. However at least the panel should see that the school can take more children and as we have ( I think) a very strong case it hopefully will stand us in good stead for stage two!

Roll on 9th July have been preparing this for months and just want to get on with it now!

IT

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 Post subject: Re: LEA Case
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:37 pm 
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in Turmoil wrote:

Roll on 9th July have been preparing this for months and just want to get on with it now!



You have my sympathy! Good luck on the 9th. :)

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 Post subject: The Case!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:13 pm 
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I have been through all the figures now with a fine tooth comb and worked out that the average they have had in that year group since January 05 is 128, even if you take out the anomaly year where they had 135 the average is still 125. The GCSE results have got better with each cohort so I cannot see how they can argue that there is any prejudice in admitting more pupils. We still won't be able to win at stage one with 9 appeals but my goodness this data must soften them up for stage two, or am I being very naive?

thanks

IT

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:44 pm 
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Hi, IT

The test is somewhat wider than whether exam results would be prejudiced. It is whether there would be prejudice to the provision of efficient education or use of resources.

This is not to say that you haven't got a point well worth making! :)

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