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 Post subject: Unsuccessful Appeal
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:19 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Bucks
I've been a lurker on this site for a few weeks. I have found it very useful, but unfortunately heard today the DDs appeal had been unsuccessful. She got 114 and 118. At appeal, the panel told me that they were only looking at 118 and had to see if they could find 3 extra marks. Unfortunately they didn't! We had a "grilling" from the panel, so weren't entirely surprised by the letter we got, but obviously very disappointed. The appeal was rejected on the grounds that the IAP was not sufficiently satisfied that DD is academically suitable for GS at this time.

Ours was a complicated appeal. 2009 was a difficult year for the family which affected our son (very bright but mildly affected by aspergers syndrome) and also for DDs school who changed head teacher in Oct 09. We have decided that we are going to write a complaint letter to the appeals office and have already requested a copy of the clerks notes and sent of £10.

We roughly know what we want to put in the complaint letter and will try and keep it concise. (I think I went on far too much in the appeal.) Would I be able to PM the letter to somebody in a day or so's time when it is written?

At the time of the appeal, I was going through a very stressful work situation (still not fully resolved) which could result in a case of defamation of character (though I probably won't chose to take that forward.) What with this and the appeal, quite frankly I thought I was going mad and hadn't slept for 2 nights immediately before the appeal. Would it do our case any good to mention this in the complaint letter or is better to leave it?

I will post more about where we think we went wrong in the appeal in due course, but haven't quite got the stomach for it at this moment.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I do know that we are not setting off on an easy path, but feel strongly about it ...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 pm
Posts: 1046
Location: Buckinghamshire
I just wanted to say how truly sorry I was to read of your unsuccessful appeal ... my heart goes out to you and your DD x x x

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Heartmum x x x


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:14 am
Posts: 938
I'm very sorry to hear of all of the stress that you're going through and the appeal outcome.
Others will know far more about these things, but personally I wouldn't mention the lack of sleep etc in your letter of complaint as I would expect the focus to be on what you feel was not done appropriately at the appeal hearing.
Good luck with it all.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi catlover

I am very sorry to hear about the result of your appeal.

The notes will reveal the grounds on which your appeal was turned down, although they can often appear bland. I suspect that it will be "I have not seen sufficent evidence of high ability", or words to that effect.

The only recourse from this point forward is if there was a procedural fault in the way your appeal was handled. If that is the case then you can take your case to the Ombudsman. That is not a quick process, I'm afraid.

I am moving this thread to the Appeals section, and at the top of that section there is a banner heading about how you can email the AppealsBox with further evidence.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:19 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Bucks
Many thanks for replys and I would encourage any lurkers to actually post ...

I expect that you're right Sally-Anne and that the notes, when we receive them, may seem bland.

I was planning to follow the suggestion of the section below that I read in appeals, rather than go to the ombudsman.

"If you have serious concerns about how your case was handled, I suggest you make a complaint in the first instance to the office that organised the appeals. Local Authorities in particular may have an internal procedure whereby they will check whether the correct procedures were followed, and respond relatively speedily. If you remain dissatisfied, you still have the option of taking your case to the ombudsman."

Sally-Anne, do you agree with this approach?

I have made a start with my letter and will send it to the AppealsBox tomorrow.

Many thanks
Catlover


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi catlover

I would refer you to these statements in hte Appeals brochure:

Quote:
At the end of your appeal the Chairman will ask you if you have
had time to say everything you wish to say. Please do make sure,
at this stage that you have mentioned all of the reasons and
provided all the intellectual or academic evidence that you wish to.
There is no further opportunity to do so after you have left the
room and the appeal is over.


Any other evidence you had should have been submitted on the day.

Quote:
What can I do if I am not happy with the decision?

If you feel that your appeal has not been handled properly, you should complain in the first instance to the Appeals Team who will investigate your comments. You will usually receive an acknowledgement within ten working days, which will indicate when you are likely to receive a full response. In line with Buckinghamshire County Council’s Feedback
and Complaints Procedure you should receive a full response within 28
days of your initial letter.

Only where there has been maladministration causing injustice by the IAP, will the clerk consider whether a fresh hearing is justified. If the clerk considers that your appeal was held correctly and in line with the relevant law and guidance, you will be advised of this decision. However, you may choose to refer your case to the Local Government
Ombudsman (LGO).

Even if the clerk (who usually has legal experience) does not agree with you, you will still have to prove "maladministration" to the Ombudsman.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
So sorry to hear your news catlover.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:01 pm
Posts: 194
Location: bucks
Oh Catlover - so sorry to hear of your disappointing news. I know just how you feel - our DD lost her appeal in 2008 with scores of 112 and 118.

How old is you daughter? Ours was born at the end of August. When you get the clerk's notes back it will tell you if the decision was unanimous. In our case, all three said that the schoolwork as seen was not up to the standard expected for gs. We couldn't understand this - school rated outstanding, DS in top 25% for English and maths, very high standard in peer group (lots of passes) etc.

We eventually took our complaint to the ombudsman (after a very unsatistactory "there, there, pat on the head" type response from county). We thought there were grounds for maladministration as two of the panel members were lay people and had no experience of the type of work done in primary schools (neither did the non-lay chair), so how could they judge in 5 minutes DD's standard of work? After a great deal of help and support from Etienne and Sally-Anne, we put a good case forward to the ombudsman and it was discussed at the highest level, but it was still unsuccessful.

However, there was one glimmer of hope - the 12+. And in the notes the chair advised that DD should consider entry at a later date because of her young age. We used this when we were appealing for oversubscription after she passed the 12+ and she is now at the gs of her choice.

At least seeing the clerk's notes might give you closure, but you can't beat yourself up about how you presented your case - you did your best! Feel free to pm me if you want to.

_________________
many thanks
dejavu


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
Posts: 1268
Sorry to hear your appeal didn’t succeed, catlover.

We also got the clerk’s notes following a failed appeal last year, but be aware that it can be quite upsetting. For one, our decision was not unanimous which left us wondering whether there was one little thing we could have done differently, or better, which would have swung the panel.

And secondly, you read some things about your child with which you might profoundly disagree, but which nevertheless show no evidence of maladministration on the panel’s part. As Sally-Anne and Etienne often say, the panel may be wrong (in your opinion, of course) but that doesn’t mean they were not entitled to reach the decision they did.

For example, in our case we felt the panel had no real understanding of DD’s medical condition or the possible impact of it on academic performance in a one-off test (as opposed to ongoing school work). We provided medical evidence for this, but apparently the panel are perfectly entitled to ignore it…

I certainly wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from wanting to see the clerk’s notes, but be prepared for a rather frustrating experience.

Like dejavu, more than happy to try to answer any questions you have about this.


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 Post subject: Unsuccessful Appeal
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:19 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Bucks
Rob, many thanks for your post, appreciate the warning, forewarned etc ...

Sally-Anne and Etienne, I have emailed you my complaint letter to AppealsBox which will also give you some background to our situation.

This letter has been written without sight of the notes, which I requested yesterday. With your input, I would like to send this letter off, but suspect that you will think it is better to wait until the notes come.

I'm not at all sure if it can be classed as maladministration, but putting it together did collect my thoughts together etc ...

Look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks, Catlover


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