The school I am appealing for seems to have been consistently over PAN each year. I have the prospectus' for the past two years so I can see that the number on roll for year 7 last year was quite a lot higher than their PAN for that year. Do panel members know when a school does this year after year?
It depends what is in the case papers. When I was hearing appeals, we were given the number on roll for each year group at the school. If this information is not given, the panel ought to be asking for it (and so can the parents).
Once the figures are available, panel members/parents can see which years are above PAN, and ask for an explanation - "When and why did this happen?".
If the school chooses
to go above PAN, then the Admissions Code states:
Admission authorities must consider the overall effect on the school in continually admitting over the admission number and where they admit more than a total of 26 children above their admission number in any three year period, they must determine a higher admission number at the next opportunity.
More often than not, however, exceeding the PAN is not a matter of choice, it is for reasons outside the school's control - e.g. statemented children, Fair Access Protocol, or the decisions of an appeal panel.
Whatever the reason, it begs the question - Is there any evidence that the school was unable to cope satisfactorily with the extra pupils?
Also, is it upto each appelant to prove their own case for oversubscription or if one appelant proves that a school can take an extra 30 pupils does this clear the way for everyone else?
It is for the admission authority/school
to prove that taking on an extra pupil would cause prejudice. Whether or not they succeed in doing this is determined by a single decision on the part of the appeal panel - "Yes, the authority has got a case," or "No, it hasn't".
The process is explained in C1-C2 of the Q&As.