Sorry to hear about this.
Academies & net capacity were discussed on the forum recently:viewtopic.php?f=35&t=20547
Although academies are not obliged to give a net capacity, one would have thought the old one could nevertheless have been mentioned (assuming it's not out of date because of new building work).
Irrespective of the net capacity figure, they ought to have provided sufficient factual evidence to support the argument that an extra pupil would cause prejudice.
It's certainly not a good sign when the panel have no questions to ask, although this doesn't in itself show maladministration.
It sounds as if you had a good case, but best not to argue this because:
(a) there is no way in which you can challenge the panel's judgement
(b) it's possible for even a good case not to succeed if there are other, even more compelling, cases under consideration. An appeal panel can only allow appeals up to the point where it feels the prejudice has become too great and the school could not cope with any more pupils.
Section C of the Q&As deals with complaintshttp://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman
- but there are two important differences where academies are concerned:
(1) You would have to complain to the Secretary of State, not to the ombudsman, and
(2) You must complain first to the clerk or administrator dealing with the academy's appeals.
You yourself don't have to prove maladministration - maladministration is something that may or may not be established if your concerns are properly investigated.
All you need do at the moment is to raise your concerns:
(a) Why was the 'factual stage' (stage 1) so lacking in facts?
(b) Why did the panel ask no questions? Did they not notice the lack of factual information in the academy's case?
(c) What evidence is there in the clerk's notes (including the notes of the decision-making) to show that each important point in your own case was properly considered?
If you are not happy with their response, you can then take the matter to the DfE.
I suggest you request a copy of the clerk's noteshttp://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman#d4
- using the letter in D4b as a template.
Hope this helps.