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 Post subject: Appeal unsuccessful
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:46 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Kent
We received confimation today our appeal was unsuccessful. :cry:

We really thought we had a very strong case based on several different areas. Our appeal session was largely overshadowed by protracted Q & A with the school.

Someone had suggested that it may help to raise questions to the school to help support our case. This proved extremly difficult, very time consuming and totally lost focus on the core reasons why our DS needed a place at the school. The rest of the appeal felt very rushed and only really discussed travel, we were reminded of the time, they reassured us they would consider all the points afterwards.

On the positive side, the panel said our written appeal was very good and we had teased out all the relevant points. One of the panel commented that no child should be expected to travel the time it would take to go to our allocated school.

I appreciate the panel have a difficult job in narrowing numbers down.

We are now considering whether we have any case to go to LGO. We don't relish this idea, but the impact of not winning is very significant.

I have posted additional info in the confidential area if someon wishes to advise if we have any case.

My sympathies go to all those who have tried and failed.

Well done to those who made it through.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Dear theycandoit

Very sorry to hear your news. I've had a look at all the confidential papers you sent in.

It was basically a good suggestion that you should ask a couple of questions at stage 1 with a view to 'denting' the school's case, but my advice is always to focus on stage 2 which is where most cases are won or lost.

I note that you felt rushed, but your presentation does look on the long side, so I think the issue for the ombudsman is whether you were in fact able to make all your points, and whether there is any reason to believe the panel failed to consider them all.

I wonder how long stage 2 lasted? The longer it took, the harder it might be to argue that you were rushed. The chair must allow you sufficient time to state your case, but also has a duty to try and move things on where necessary.

I see the panel asked one or two relevant questions. They could argue that your case was so detailed that they understood it and did not need to ask any further questions.

The clerk's notes ought to show the key points that were made. It might be worth trying to get hold of a copy to see if they shed any light on the proceedings (but do stress that you are seeking only those notes relating to your son's case):
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11plus ... ers.php#d4

At the moment my own view would be that there's insufficient evidence on which to base a complaint.
Nothing to stop you making one, though. :)

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:46 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Kent
Etienne,

Thanks for your feedback so far.

I have asked the admissions team for an extract of the minutes and have been told that I should go to the LGO, if I wish to raise a case and they would be sent to there.

I have also forwarded you an additional confidential document for your comment.

Have to break the bad news to our DS tonight.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:39 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Heston
Very sorry to hear your appeal failed. Good luck with the LGO.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Dear theycandoit

I am aware the school is refusing you access to the clerk's notes, and is referring you to the ombudsman.

Some authorities do refuse to co-operate with regard to the clerk's notes, whereas others are willing to release them.

Your next step should be to write to whoever organised the appeal by recorded delivery, formally requesting a copy of the clerk's notes "under the Data Protection Act." They have the right to charge no more than £10.

Whether it is legal to refuse a DPA request is a somewhat technical matter, and depends on the precise circumstances. The school may not have thought this through properly, and just saying "No" may be their instinctive response.

I suggest you also write that, if they refuse your request under the DPA, you intend to
query the matter with the Information Commissioner - and wish to know precisely which
section of the Data Protection Act is being used as grounds for refusal.

I suspect you're being given the "brush off," but if they can come up with a sensible reply, it should tell us whether they have any justification for refusing.

With regard to a possible breach of the Admissions Code, I doubt that the ombudsman would consider this if it was never part of your appeal.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:46 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Kent
partygirl - thanks for your support.

We are still deliberating on whether to go to LGO - at this point we believe there may be a case. I guess this is our own 'balancing stage' where we have to weigh up the LGO granting a fresh appeal and then being able to win this over the now increased class sizes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:46 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Kent
I have been looking further into our case for going to the LGO and with some help believe we might have found fresh grounds for appeal.

It can be challenging for some of us to separate apart from what may feel the injustice of some appeals and focus on whether there was a case of maladminstration.

I can only suggest anyone considering going to the LGO to take a fresh look at the current School Admission Appeal Code which can be found here...

www.dcsf.gov.uk/sacode/downloads/School ... 060309.pdf

I have include a brief point specific to our case in the confidential inbox, if someone is able to comment.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:22 pm 
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Dear theycandoit

I've had a look at your message in the Appeals Box.

I believe the authority is technically at fault - but I'm less certain that the ombudsman would consider this to be so serious as to amount to an injustice (and that is the crucial test).

To my mind it makes access to the clerk's notes even more important - to try and see whether there is any evidence that your case was properly considered.

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 Post subject: LGO Appeal Successful
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:46 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Kent
Next chapter - we received notice that our appeal to the LGO was successful late during the summer hols and we would get a fresh appeal in late September.

One feels this is is still a bit of a lottery.

Looking at this afresh I think we may be better experienced, but the fact the classes our now all 30 pupils makes our case tougher still.

If we win then this time around this will be with mixed feelings

on the plus
massively reduced travel time
subjects of special interest better served (some are not available at the other school)
this was the school he really enthused about

on the negative
the significant upheaval of changing school after a few weeks
the cost of a second set of school uniform - this in itself isn't a decider when talking about someones future

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
Hi Theycandoit

re your negative points - a few weeks at a different school will be quickly forgotten after a time at a new school and the cost of the uniform will eventually seem small if you do have success in your appeal.

Good luck with all this - I suspect it can seem a bit lonely feeling as though you are the only one still appeailing at this time of the year.. also you must feel in a limbo - trying to get DC to settle at their new school but also conscious that they may move. Keep posting!


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