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 Post subject: unsuccessful appeal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:45 pm 
Just heard that we were unsuccessful following our appeal in Aylesbury last Wednesday. Feel like I have been punched. When we came out of the appeal and were talking it through, we had been unaware of how important the ranking would be. We have moved into Bucks from Oxon and didn't know the system! The panel though were really keen on the ranking and asked about it alot, seemingly virtually ignoring the academic evidence and the ed. psych. report. Our son wasn't on the ranking as it had been completed in Yr 5 before he had made his presence felt in his new school and when I had questioned his head prior to the appeal she said that she could not amend the list once she had submitted it, neither could she send a letter in. However the LA person in the appeal said that she could have amended the list? Does anyone know who is correct as this seems quite vital given the apparent weight the panel placed on this? and if there has been an error could this make the appeal decision invalid?
If only we had found this site earlier!
Also we felt that some of the panel were not fully au fait with the evidence and we did not push this as we didn't want to appear pushy or rude! though wish we had now!
There is a factual error in the letter we have recieved today about the mitigating circumstances which seems to back up our impression that they were not very well versed on the evidence. Is this our fault for not going through it all with them carefully enough during the appeal or do they have a responsibility to be better prepared and to give accurate reasons for their decision?
We will follow your advice and send for the papers but...
Are we clutching at straws? We would appreciate any advice or help you can give.
Mum1


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:02 pm 
SO sorry to hear your news - do send for the papers.

If they have not considered all the evidence you could take it further - also any new evidence i.e. the Head's new 'recommendation' could be grounds for a re-appeal and yes they do happen!


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 Post subject: uncuccessful appeal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:10 pm 
Thank you so much. Although I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone it feels good to know that we are not alone.
Our daughter is at a grammar school and it makes it even harder as given that we know what is expected of her we know that our son would cope fine and indeed flourish!


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 Post subject: Re: unsuccessful appeal
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Dear mum1

Although I personally wouldn't attach huge importance to the exact order in which children are ranked in Bucks, I can see that a panel would be concerned if a child is not ranked at all.

Your headteacher is right that she cannot alter her original rankings. However, the LA representative is also right that she could have provided an update. There is absolutely no reason why she cannot write a letter just before an appeal, saying "We would now recommend this child as a "2" and rank him as ...." (preferably explaining why).

This wouldn't necessarily invalidate the panel's decision, because they might have had other significant reasons for refusing the appeal. This may become clearer if you obtain the clerk's notes.

If it was the only significant reason, however, you could challenge the headteacher with what the official representative of the LA told you, ask her to write a letter acknowledging that she had misunderstood, and to provide an updated recommendation for your son.

Admissions have the power to offer a re-hearing if there is significant new evidence that was not available at the time of the appeal. I suspect that they will not lightly grant a re-hearing, so the new evidence needs to be as strong and clear as possible.

I wouldn't necessarily read too much at this stage into the factual error - it could have been a simple mistake made by the clerk who typed the letter. You need to try and see from the clerk's notes whether the panel made any significant mistakes.

Regards

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8201
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Mum1

I am very sorry that your appeal wasn't successful - my son's appeal last year was the same, and I understand how you are feeling. Please believe me when I say that there is life after the 11+. My son is thriving and happy (albeit we had the luxury of keeping him at Prep school) and you will find a good solution to your son's future. There is the 12+, and every child who was close to the 11+ has a slightly better chance at 12+ because of the nature of their greater maturity and the method of standardisation.

I can't add very much to what Etienne has written above, but I would recommend that you get the case papers. Thye may provide grounds for an appeal to the Ombudsman, or they may simply give you "closure" (I hate that expression!).

Do post back if we can be of more help.

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:01 am 
Dear Mum1,

So sorry to hear the news! We are still awaiting our appeal and it seems like everyone else is done and dusted. Reading through the many posts of people with really good cases who have not succeeded really worries me and I feel that I am definately prepared for the worst. It is a really subjective process but thinking long and hard I am not sure if there really is a better way of doing it. The only possible solution I could come up with was for children to be allowed to sit a re-test in Jan but I am sure that this would be considered both too expensive and unworkable because of the timing issues. It is a grotty process but at least it gives everyone another chance rather than just saying "you've failed and thats that". We have already decided to accept the decision whatever it is and if as I fear we do not succeed, dig ourselves a deep hole and sit in it and wallow until we can face the world again!!

My sympathies are with you.

Guest1


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 Post subject: unsuccessful appeal
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:46 pm
Posts: 14
Many thanks Etienne, I will go in and see my son's head, wish me luck! I don't know how keen she will be to put her mistake down on paper! but I will try.
Also can you help me...is it better to request notes in writing or is telephone ok?


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 Post subject: unsuccessful appeal
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:46 pm
Posts: 14
Many thanks Etienne, I will go in and see my son's head, wish me luck! I don't know how keen she will be to put her mistake down on paper! but I will try.
Also can you help me...is it better to request notes in writing or is telephone ok?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8201
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Mum1

You will need to phone in the first instance to establish who to write to, and what the cost it. Then write, enclsing your cheque. I believe the cost is £10.00.

Once you have the information you could usefully post it on the Forum for all to see. Thank you.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: unsuccessful appeal
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:46 pm
Posts: 14
I have rung this morning you are right, I have to write requesting the notes 'subject to an access request under the data protection act'. Enclosing a cheque for ten pounds made payable to Bucks County Council.
Hope this helps others.

I'm just on my way to post it. I heard on Radio 2 that today is meant to be the most depressing day of the year... feels about right. Though I keep reminding myself to count my blessings.
I am trying to gird my loins and summon up some energy as I'm feeling pretty squashed still.

I have also made an appointment with the head...so keeping busy.
Might buy a lottery ticket as i feel like we are due some good luck!


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