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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:31 pm 
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I have lodged an appeal on the basis of over-subsciption for my DS1. The appeal is scheduled to take place in a couple of weeks' time.

Today, I have received the County Council's statement as to why they can't go over their PAN. I phoned up the LA to ask whether I needed to respond to it and was told I didn't: it is just advance notice of what the school/LA plan to say at the appeal.

However, I feel that I need to respond to the various issues mentioned in the statement and would appreciate any advice on whether I should do that by:-
a) sending in a letter before the appeal
b) typing up a letter but only taking it to the appeal; or
c) just talking through the issues on the day.

I don't want to appear too officious by firing off a letter if it will not help. But I'm also concerned I might forget something important on the day - I'm likely to be very emotional & could easily get flustered.

Grateful for your views.
Cairo


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:10 pm 
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No, don't write a letter.

What happens is that at stage 1 the presenting officer will run through the school case. The panel and parents will then have an opportunity to put questions. This is the point at which you can challenge the case, though it's usually best done by means of probing questions. For example, assuming the school has taken extra pupils in the past, you could ask what evidence there is that the school hasn't coped successfully with the additional numbers.

However, don't get too hung up on stage 1. Most schools are going to prove that they have at least some sort of a case, and the most you're likely to do is dent it a bit!

The vast majority of appeals are won or lost at stage 2, and your best hope of winning is to focus on your own child at that point and explain why it is so important for him or her to have a place at this particular school.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Unless your appeal is the first this year the panel has heard, don't be surprised if they look slightly blank when the school side read out their case. They're not ignoring it, or taking it lightly, but it's likely to be the same case for all the children with minor differences - and will also be written down in front of them (the paperwork you have received).

Your main question to the school will be along the lines of stating (briefly) the actual admissions numbers for the previous years, then asking if the education or safety of the previous years has been impaired by coping with higher-than-PAN numbers (assuming there have been successful appeals in previous years).

Don't lay into the school side - they're often quite nice people, and if it's a Glos CC controlled school, likely to be a clerical person who isn't personally responsible for any policies or numbers. They may even be (privately) sympathetic with you! You just need to prove that it would not be the end of the world if another child was admitted, then when you get to make your case, you need to show why it should be your child!

Good luck.

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Capers


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:09 pm
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Thanks for both your responses, which I will take on board.

I must say I'm a bit surprised that the school's case is that they have physical constraints which would impede them going over PAN, yet from next year their PAN is being increased by 8 anyway. I can only hope they are just going through the motions & wouldn't actually mind a few extra.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
cairo wrote:
I must say I'm a bit surprised that the school's case is that they have physical constraints which would impede them going over PAN, yet from next year their PAN is being increased by 8 anyway. I can only hope they are just going through the motions & wouldn't actually mind a few extra.


The PAN isn't just worked out on that school, but by looking at all the schools in the area and the number of pupils who need places. A school can not admit over PAN, unless forced to do so by an appeals panel...

If I were you, I'd ask the school side about next year, as well as asking if current numbers cause a problem. You may get a knowing grin from either the panel, the LEA, or both. However, you asking the question will not guarantee that you win the appeal. There may well be other parents asking the same question, and even if they don't, I'm sure the panel will (well, I would if I was on that panel). It will still be down to how good your case is that your DS should have a place & is bright enough to cope.

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