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 Post subject: Appeal failure at 120
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:23 am 
Can anyone help? I don't know what to try next. My son got 120 in Bucks. He is predicted 5s at Sats and already at 5 in Maths. Gifted Able and Talented (GAT) at Swimming, Cricket and Rugby. He has two brothers already at the grammar. We live 0.8 miles from the school. There were no extenuating circumstances, he just didn't do well on the day.

My appeal went drastically wrong. The LEA man gave misleading (I am being generous there) information. The head teacher's report was ignored, because of the LEA comments. I didn't have teacher support as the head teacher told me I didn't need it. The panel mainly asked me questions about the school organisation 'how much homework do they set?', 'how do they set across the classes?', 'what does GAT mean to the school?', most of which I couldn't answer. They asked very few about my son and none of them about his academic ability. They asked to see his school work in the middle as they said they had 'nothing to go on so far'. But then when I showed them his practise Sats they didn't know what they were and I am sure didn't appreciate that they were high 4s and a 5.

I have complained to the ombudsman, but he says that it is unlikely that he will get anywhere as the panel probably acted on what they had available to them (therefore not maladministration) and that it is the school and LEA mans fault. But who can I complain to about them?

The council still haven't come up with a copy of the clerks comments, so I am just stuck waiting.

Any advice would be gratefully received.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:42 am 
Very sad mum, I am so sorry. Are you able to elaborate on the misleading info the LEA man gave. Maybe Etienne can point you in the right direction. I'm sorry I can't give any actual advice myself wouldn't want to say anything wrong. You could go for the 12+. Do you get on the waiting list being so close??

Kaz


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:53 am 
i'd be interested to know what the misleading information was. before I could comment.

I thought the LEA Rep was not to help you anyway and was for the LEA, so he possibly could give information against your appeal... which you think was misleading.

Does seem very cruel though. His brothers already there 0.8 miles away etc etc and 120 mark, level 5 Sats and still failed appeal.

I don't understand this. It has success written all over it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7064
Dear Very Sad Mum

I understand how distressing this must have been for you. Unfortunately, distance from the school, and the fact that there are already brothers there, would not be relevant at a selection appeal. Nor would the GAT at Swimming, Cricket and Rugby.

Etienne wrote:
B22. Is it a good idea to submit ....... practice SATs papers, as evidence? ......... I don’t think most panels would be happy to interpret SATs marks, and to accept that a “practice” was done under test conditions, without confirmation from the school. The view is likely to be “If the school wishes to comment on current performance or to provide/update KS2 predictions, it should notify us officially”.


There's quite a lot that we don't know about your case, which makes it impossible to say whether it should have succeeded. (What was the other score? Were any other standardised scores, such as a CAT VR, available? Was the headteacher's recommendation a "1" or a "2"? What percentage of the head's "1" and "2" recommendations actually qualified? Was the year 5 report very good, with references to high achievement? What exactly was the "misleading information"?)

If you still feel very strongly that an injustice has been done, the only remaining option is to seek a judicial review. That could be expensive and time-consuming, and I'm sorry to say it is not at the moment clear to me why a judge should reach a conclusion any different from that of the ombudsman.

If you wish to answer the questions I've posed above, either on the forum or by PM, I'd be happy to try and give my view of your case. However, the fact that the ombudsman has found no fault in the appeal suggests that it may be wise to move on and focus on the 12+.

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
I wonder if you could ask for a re-appeal and submit a Headteacher's report as new evidence?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7064
Very sad Mum wrote:
The head teacher's report was ignored, because of the LEA comments.

As I read it, the headteacher's support was ignored because of the LA rep's comments, but it's not entirely clear.

There are exceptional cases where a re-hearing is granted because of "significant new evidence that was not available at the time of the original hearing", but it's far from clear to me whether this case would stand any chance of qualifying on the basis of another headteacher report.

Very sad Mum wrote:
I have complained to the ombudsman, but he says that it is unlikely that he will get anywhere as the panel probably acted on what they had available to them (therefore not maladministration) and that it is the school and LEA mans fault. But who can I complain to about them?

Did the ombudsman actually use the word "fault" with reference to the head or the LA rep? If either or both of them, acting as officers of the council, behaved improperly, then the ombudsman could have insisted on a re-hearing, provided that he viewed the matter sufficiently serious as to prejudice your case and cause an injustice.

I assume that the letter you have received from the ombudsman is the provisional finding, and that you have a period of time to reply with any further evidence. Depending on the facts, you could write back to him, asking whether the actions of the head or the LA rep. come into this category.

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:06 pm 
Have you got the miuntes of the appeals panel.

Can you demonstrate that the LEA rep was giving misleading information?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:05 pm 
Just a comment that seems to come up a few times regarding the 12+.

No matter how well you think your child is doing, there is no automatic right to take the 12+ in Bucks. A student of mine's parents were told that unless she was in the top third of the top set for all subjects, the head would not recommend her.

As she wasn't in the top third of the top set, despite getting 3 level 5's in her KS2 SAT's, that was the end of the matter.

We, however, managed to get a second (successful) appeals hearing, but it was extremely difficult and went to an exchange of letters from solicitors before the LEA (relunctantly) came arounf to our way of seeing the issue!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7064
Anonymous wrote:
No matter how well you think your child is doing, there is no automatic right to take the 12+ in Bucks. A student of mine's parents were told that unless she was in the top third of the top set for all subjects, the head would not recommend her.

It's right to point out that there's no automatic entitlement to sit the 12+ in Bucks.

However, if parents appealed against the above decision, it is quite probable that a panel would have upheld the appeal. The vast majority of appeals against "refusal to test" are successful.

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject: timedoesn't heal
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:19 pm 
A couple of years ago we appealed for a place for our third daughter at a grammar school in Essex. We were in a similar situation to the original poster. Our daughter already had two siblings at the school and had passed the exam, but not with a high enough mark to be offered a place.

Suffice it to say that daughter number 3 is now in a good comp where she is doing very well but this does not take away from the fact that she so much wanted to attend (and has the ability to have attended) the same school as her siblings.

I could go on all day about how I felt about it and what the circumstances were, etc, but I wont.

What did make me sad afterwards was that my two daughters at the grammar school know of numerous students who have successfully appealed in the past. One of the panel members said that our appeal was one of the best he had ever seen (while I was in the room) and I am absolutely certain that any other year we would have been successful. The trouble that year was that the school intake number was raised so there was less room for movement.

I will always feel that our daughter failed to get a place at our first choice school and therefore the school her sisters attend purely because she was born a year too late.

Yes, even now I feel bitter about it and I know understand how those who don't make it feel. The circumstances of our appeal and the fact that I would bet my life that daufhter three would have got a place any other year have put me off the system and I hope to see the closure of all grammars in my lifetime.


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