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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 2:44 pm 
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My understanding is that one of the things the school has to prove at the appeal, is that accepting extra children would prejudice those already in the school. So, the school has to prove that this is the case.

One of the bits of information that I would like, to understand their comment that this is the case, is a record of the (a) actual published maximum in-takes vs. (b) the actual numbers (i.e. if they had to take more children due to successful appeals) vs. (c) whether there was any attrition (i.e. whether statistically it is clear that number will go down from the max. in-take.

So that for example, if the max. number is 150 but there is a clear trend observed over a long period of time, whereby the school should expect 1 or 2 children to leave from year 7 and or later and so on... etc.

Can I request this information from the school ahead of the appeal hearing and are they obligated to provide it?


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:02 pm 
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1.31 ..... Appellants are appealing over a matter that is very important to them. Admission authorities must give appellants appropriate guidance and information before the hearing to enable them to prepare their case for appeal ...... and, having regard to the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000, must respond to any reasonable requests for information about the school or the admissions process that the appellant may think they need to help them with this preparation. [Appeals Code]

You are certainly entitled to ask for information that will help you prepare for the appeal.

Many authorities - but unfortunately not all - will automatically provide for the appeal hearing the latest information they have for expected numbers on roll for September in each year group (years 7-13). You can then see at a glance whether in each of years 7-11 the school is below, at, or above its PAN (published admission number).

You can also compare the total number expected to be on roll with the school's net capacity. (Net capacity, a figure which the admission authority ought to include in the appeal papers, is a measurement of the total number of pupils the school can accommodate.)

However, even if the figures were to show that the school is consistently below PAN in years 8-11, if the school is at its admission number for year 7 in September (and this is presumably the reason why appeals are taking place), that is the point at which an appeal panel will consider whether there would be prejudice to the existing pupils.

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 6:16 pm 
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What if the schools figures show that the school have been consistently well over their PAN? would this be helpful or hinder an argument that taking an extra child would not cause problems for other children?


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:08 pm 
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It probably helps. You can ask "Is there any real evidence that academic results have suffered when the school has been oversubscribed in the past?" - and the best an admission authority can come up with is usually something along the lines "It's difficult to prove one way or another. We just have to be very professional about it, and cope with the situation as best we can .............."

However, I often make the point that schools rarely lose their case at stage 1.

Appeals are usually won or lost at stage 2 (the parental case), so that is where appellants need to direct most of their time and energy.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:20 pm 
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Is it unreasonable to ask for current numbers on roll? I have just asked the school to provide them but was told that it's not normally allowed.


Last edited by sillyjolly on Mon May 09, 2011 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Quote:
Is it unreasonable to ask for current numbers on roll?


It is usually in the admissions booklet.

Quote:
1.31 ..... Appellants are appealing over a matter that is very important to them. Admission authorities must give appellants appropriate guidance and information before the hearing to enable them to prepare their case for appeal ...... and, having regard to the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000, must respond to any reasonable requests for information about the school or the admissions process that the appellant may think they need to help them with this preparation. [Appeals Code]


You are entitled to ask for the information.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:45 pm 
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If silly jolly is asking re st A's then the current roll is included with the appeals letter and information they send you. Not sure about any others


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:44 pm 
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Put your request to them in writing, and say that you are making it "under the Freedom of Information Act, and with regard to paragraph 1.31 of the Appeals Code."

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 6:51 am 
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Etienne, I sent a nice email to the school, quoting just the clause and asking them for the numbers on roll and some other data. I explained that I need the information ahead of an appeal, which will soon take place. So far they have not even acknowledged my email... I plan to call them today to follow up.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:40 am 
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Good.

If they fail to co-operate, you would probably have grounds to complain to the ombudsman (in the event of an unsuccessful appeal).

Failure to respond to a Freedom of Information request would, I believe, have been a breach of the Act, and would have opened them to a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

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