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 Post subject: appeal
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:06 pm 
Hi

Question for Etienne. My son didn't pass his 11 plus - I'm in Lincs and we got the result in October. We are going to appeal but can't do so until march - I'm following the bucks appeal with interest. We may in the meantime apply to a local independent school - my son will have to sit an entrance exam. If he passes this exam, great but our first choice will still be the grammar school. At appeal, does it hold any sway to mention that our son has passed this exam, would it help or go against his appeal. Would it go against his appeal anyway for them to know we are considering an independent school? Thanks Etienne I know you're a bit busy just now!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Louise

I know that Etienne is out all day today, but she hopes to be back online late tonight. I think she and I may have different views on this, but here's mine!

We appealed in Bucks last year, and my children are currently at a Prep school. There is an often-voiced suspicion among the parents that we have less chance of a successful appeal because the panel will think "oh, they can afford to keep on paying". I have to say that it was not borne out by the rate of success at appeal - nearly all the school's appeals succeeded last year.

However, you are up against politics here. If your panel just happens to be prejudiced against private education, then you risk them thinking "why should we give these people a valuable state school place when they can clearly afford to pay - and what is more they already have the place guaranteed because the child has passed the entrance exam".

In a perfect world panels don't think that way, but personally, I wouldn't risk it.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Dear Louise

Good to hear from you again.

Yes, I differ slightly from Sally-Anne (who is generous enough to say that she has no evidence for her suspicion!).

If a panel were known to be acting in the prejudicial way described, it would be breaking the rules, and I have no doubt that the ombudsman would insist on a re-hearing in front of a different panel or would publish a finding of maladministration.

Of course, one cannot police people's thoughts, but I never once came across a single panel member whose attitude led me to suspect any sort of prejudice.

Assuming the entrance test does not follow exactly the same format as the entrance test for the grammar school, then officially the view would be "there is no direct comparison between the two".

Even so, your son might get some credit for his achievement at the appeal against non-qualification, and the panel might well be impressed (at the "transfer" part of the process) that the grammar school is still his first preference.

On balance I think you might have more to gain than to lose!

Best wishes

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 119
Louise my heart goes out to you having to wait from Oct to March for an appeal.. That seems like bureaucracy gone mad!! Still I guess it shows these councils/LEAs work to their own rules/hours/procedures.....

Good luck with it!

JuliaB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:05 am 
Thanks everyone for their comments. I'll mull things over. Any thoughts on this matter. Over three weeks ago we wrote to the chair of governors to ask for some information on their appeals procedure as they are a foundation school the appeal process is all organised inhouse. Although I've been told some details verbally ( by secretary and head) anxiety wanted me to make sure I had heard everything correctly. We haven't had a reply and my natural inclination is just to leave it as we don't want to be a nuisance but I would have thought writing to the chair would be a natural thing for parents to do and would have expected some reply, however brief.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
Louise

I think Etienne's reply puts the opposing point of view very neatly (as expected!) - a tricky decision for you, if it arises.

In Bucks the Appeal panel proceedings are carefully minuted by a clerk, and it would be possible, one hopes, to check whether any prejudicial discussion took place. As Etienne says, if it did, then it would clearly be maladministration. However, as she also says, you cannot police people's thoughts, and I am not sure how rigorous the recording of the appeal proceedings would be at the level of an individual school.

Please be a nuisance - you have every right to the information, so just politely keep asking for it!

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
It's interesting that, nationally, a lot of foundation schools seem to avoid publishing their appeals procedure on their website. Often all they say is "details available on request"!

Even when they do publish the arrangements, it's not always clear how they handle the two different aspects to the appeal, i.e. the appeal against non-qualification, and the appeal against the school being full.

There are horror stories around, such as the headteacher's secretary acting as the "independent clerk", and the appeal taking place in the head's study. I'm told the draft of the new code of practice (which doesn't come into force for a year or two) tightens up on a number of things. For example, it stipulates for the first time that a neutral venue must be used for the appeal.

Foundation schools do need watching, and I hear there is some unease within both the ombudsman's office and the council on tribunals.

There was an interesting post by Hazel in September ("Decision-making process in appeals for selective schools"), in which she said she was taking a foundation school to judicial review.

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Etienne


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