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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:55 pm
Posts: 2
Hello,

I am appealing to two schools and the first appeal is next week. On behalf of the appeal clerk, I have just been sent the documents for the appeal, which have also been sent to all panel members. The problem is that they’ve damn well included the statement for the other school in the pack, instead of the correct one. I called the county appeals team as soon as I noticed - they were mortified and have promised to investigate. They will also contact the panel and ask them to disregard the statement and await the correct one. The appeals team did their best to downplay the possible negative impact of their error.

However… I am pretty angry and extremely concerned this will have greatly prejudiced our case. Although I would probably be happy with either of the two schools under appeal, the arguments used for each are very different. The whole point seems to be arguing that ONLY the school under appeal is suited to your child’s needs – if the panel have seen a detailed conflicting argument for another school, surely the appeal is hugely undermined.

Is this something that the ombudsman might consider maladministration or is it just a blow we’ll have to live with?

Good luck to everyone else - hope you're doing better than me!


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 12:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
andromeda wrote:
The whole point seems to be arguing that ONLY the school under appeal is suited to your child’s needs
I agree this is a good way to try and approach it, although, technically, no, you are just arguing why you want a place at this school.

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if the panel have seen a detailed conflicting argument for another school, surely the appeal is hugely undermined.
I share your concern, but try not to despair. If the panel act very 'professionally', they will not allow themselves to be influenced adversely by what they have read. Indeed, most panel members are experienced enough to realise that parents will often be putting forward very different cases for different schools, and they may well sympathise with the position you have been put in to the point that they go out of their way to treat your case with all the care and consideration they can muster!

For a previous instance of a panel member clearly acting with great professionalism, follow the link contained within this post:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=19289&p=230842&hilit=dejavu#p230842

Another possibility is that they will not even have started preparing for the appeals yet, and that the appeals team will get to them before they do begin. Many panel members I have known preferred to read the papers 1-3 days before the appeal, so that everything was fresh in their mind. Believe me, with so much paperwork to get through, they would be mightily relieved to get a message that something is to be discarded, and will not want to spend unnecessary time reading it!

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Is this something that the ombudsman might consider maladministration or is it just a blow we’ll have to live with?
If your appeal were to be unsuccessful, I think you would have grounds for asking the ombudsman what he thinks.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:55 pm
Posts: 2
Thank you for taking the time to reply, Etienne. I haven't entirely lost hope, it's just very frustrating that such a careless administrative error has been allowed to happen after taking so much time putting together a detailed case, along with carefully arranged supporting information. Will proceed as before, but will be inwardly squirming imagining their scepticism and raised eyebrows.


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