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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:00 pm 
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I have highlighted my experience at the appeal hearing inthe feedback session,

Having discussed my concerns with the Clerk during a phone call later that afternoon I was surprisingly advised that the Chair probably didnt look at me while talking because they have been trained not to look directly at Asian women!!!! As you can imagine, :shock:

Who would they have looked at if I had not taken my non-asian friend along? The wall behind me I presume. :evil:

Would this be considered maladministration? Dont want others to experience what I did. Also the LA rep did not leave the room at the end of the hearing along with us. She also only briefly mentioned the issue of prejudice caused to the school and spent more time pointing out the school I had been offered in relation to my home address on a large map, then went on to offer advice on which schools still had places available.

Whole thing seemed a little odd as I was perhaps expecting greater defence for not allowing another pupil admission rather that focusing on other schools.

Please advise on what I should do? Should I put in a complaint?


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Very sorry to hear your news.
houseful wrote:
I was surprisingly advised that the Chair probably didnt look at me while talking because they have been trained not to look directly at Asian women!!!!
..... Who would they have looked at if I had not taken my non-asian friend along? The wall behind me I presume.
:roll:

Quote:
Would this be considered maladministration? Dont want others to experience what I did.
Possibly - it depends how affected by it you were.
In any event, you're quite right to raise it, because someone needs to tell him to stop!

Quote:
Also the LA rep did not leave the room at the end of the hearing along with us.
On the face of it, that would appear to be maladministration!

Quote:
She also only briefly mentioned the issue of prejudice caused to the school and spent more time pointing out the school I had been offered in relation to my home address on a large map, then went on to offer advice on which schools still had places available.
Whole thing seemed a little odd as I was perhaps expecting greater defence for not allowing another pupil admission rather that focusing on other schools.
They're certainly entitled to discuss other options, but I agree one would expect the focus to be on the admission authority's own case. Difficult to say whether there was any failing here - it needs investigation.

Quote:
Please advise on what I should do? Should I put in a complaint?
Yes. See:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman#d3

Your main points should be:
    1. LA rep. was alone with the panel
    2. The chair's behaviour was disconcerting. (If you think it made it difficult for you to present your case, you should say so.)
    3. The LA rep. only briefly mentioned the case for the admission authority, preferring to focus on alternative schools - is there any evidence in the clerk's notes to show that the issue of prejudice received proper consideration?

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:37 pm 
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Thanks Etienne.

Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, I'm not happy with how the whole thing was conducted.

I'll write to the Head of Appeals for the LA and see what she has to say along with asking for a copy of the clerks notes.

Bit confused about complaining to the ombudsman. If my appeal is successful should I still take the complaint forward? Never heard of a successful appealant complaining. Its not the decision that I would be disputing but the conduct of panel members during the appeal. :?


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:54 am 
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Quote:
Bit confused about complaining to the ombudsman. If my appeal is successful should I still take the complaint forward?
No! Sorry I wasn't clearer - I was writing from the point of view of what to do if the appeal is unsuccessful.

Complaints are not normally made before receiving the decision, but you could go straight to the LA's head of appeals if you begin with something like "Irrespective of the outcome of the appeal, I would like to bring to your attention some of my concerns about the hearing that took place at ...... on ............"

The head of appeals won't want to comment on the authority's case as such, or how it was presented, so it would be best to approach this from the point of view of how the panel dealt with it, e.g. (if you think this is appropriate) "Why were the panel so easily satisfied with the presentation of the case for prejudice when so little was said about it at the hearing? The focus was very much on alternative schools!", "Why didn't the panel probe and ask more questions about the issue of prejudice?" The 'defence' will probably be along the lines "The written case was very clear to them, so they didn't need to question it ...."!

You're on much stronger ground if it can be confirmed that the LA rep. was alone with the panel.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Hi Etienne

Just got my letter stating that the appeal was not successful.
It states, (refering to my reasons for wanting a place that)my reasons

"on balance outweighed the degree of incompatibility which would arise should your preference be complied with. The Panel decided that the proper procedures had been followed in accordance with the published criteria and found no grounds in the case put by you to override those procedures. Therefore the Panel determined that, on balance, the case for the AUthority should prevail and as such your appeal was unsuccessful"

If my case "outweighs the degree of incompatibity that would arise" how come it was not successful. ? :?

I have forwarded a copy of the letter to the Appeals Box.

Your feedback as always will be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Location: East Kent
How confusing for you after taking advice you may be able to go to the ombudsman with it.

Good luck, keep us posted :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Quote:
If my case "outweighs the degree of incompatibity that would arise" how come it was not successful. ? :?
Good question ...... :roll:
I'm afraid they mean the opposite!

Incidentally, I see no mention of your academic evidence in the decision letter. This could just be another slip (a 'technical' error), or perhaps they didn't consider your case properly (much more serious).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:03 pm 
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hm, I think I get it.

Have spoken to the clerk who has cleared things up for me.

He told me that non of the 40+ appeals for that particular school were upheld this year. Well at least I gave it my best shot.

Is it possible to update my reponse on the "feedback from all areas thread" There were a few questions I could not answer at the time of posting a response.

I've another hearing on the 16th with the dreaded KE foundation. Im feeling somewhat deflated at the moment, but will give it my all.


Last edited by houseful on Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:33 pm 
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Yes, I'm afraid it says the opposite to what you thought.
You wrote:
Quote:
It states, (refering to my reasons for wanting a place that)my reasons "on balance outweighed the degree of incompatibility which would arise should your preference be complied with".
- but you left out the word "consider". What it actually says is
Quote:
The Panel then went on to consider whether or not the reasons ...... on balance outweighed the degree of incompatibility which would arise should your preference be complied with. The Panel decided that the proper procedures had been followed in accordance with the published criteria and found no grounds in the case put by you to override those procedures. Therefore, the Panel determined that, on balance, the case for the Authority should prevail and as such your appeal was unsuccessful.

The problem is - it's such a long and tortuous paragraph, it wouldn't win any prizes from the plain English Campaign!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
houseful wrote:
Having discussed my concerns with the Clerk during a phone call later that afternoon I was surprisingly advised that the Chair probably didnt look at me while talking because they have been trained not to look directly at Asian women!!!! As you can imagine, :shock:


The only time I don't look at a parent is if there's a translator. OK. I'll put that another way... I tend to look at the person who is speaking to me, so I'll look at the parent when they're speaking, then at the translator when they're speaking. I also never assume that the parent(s) can't understand me, as a translator may be there just in case they didn't fully understand.

We get all sorts of people coming to appeals:, the plummy voiced upper-middle class Huntin' Shootin' Fishin' types, people from other parts of the world, parents with pretty bad learning difficulties supported by a social worker... I like to think that we treat everyone in the appeals room as well as each other, with respect & friendliness (more pleasent-ness), and make sure that everyone has an equal chance of success at the appeal irrespective of background. I was going to say 'or faith' but obviously if faith is a criteria for admission to a school, there would be an element of prejudice towards that criteria, but you get the gist - I don't often get to do church school appeals.

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