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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:13 pm 
Two questions I would appreciate some advice on;

Firstly the Headmaster of my daughter's current school has volunteered to attend the appeal with me. Do you think this is sensible or counter productive?

Secondly my daughter required 105 in each of two tests, she obtained 115 and 104. I asked for her papers to be re-marked, which they did and e-mailed me with scores of 115 and 105, only to be told four days later that they had a mistake and the original scores of 115 and 104 were correct. This has been very upsetting (again) for her. Is it reasonable to include this in any appeal?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:09 pm 
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Bronco wrote:
the Headmaster of my daughter's current school has volunteered to attend the appeal with me. Do you think this is sensible or counter productive?

Some local authorities would discourage heads from doing this. However, it sounds as if there is no such policy where you are, and even if there were, it's not your problem. If the head has volunteered to support you in person, I would seize the opportunity!

Bronco wrote:
my daughter required 105 in each of two tests, she obtained 115 and 104. I asked for her papers to be re-marked, which they did and e-mailed me with scores of 115 and 105, only to be told four days later that they had a mistake and the original scores of 115 and 104 were correct. This has been very upsetting (again) for her. Is it reasonable to include this in any appeal?

I think you could mention it briefly. Keep it very low key, and very reasonable, and it might elicit some sympathy!
With a gap of just one mark, and such obvious headteacher support, you should have a strong case anyway.

Good luck

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:22 pm 
Thank you for your prompt reply.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:42 pm 
You really are lucky to have a LEA willing to allow this.

We have just been informed that due to protocol that our head teacher is unable to assist in anything other than grades and books (He was going to write a letter of support but feels his hands are now tied). Apparently this was sent out to all head teachers in this area reminding them of this protocol, although out of area schools can have letters of support by there head teachers because they are not in effect employed by the LEA setting these guidelines.
I feel this system is so unfair to children in this area whose parent's pay for this school via there council tax unlike the out of area children. I have no objections to them coming here to study just that it is fair across the board.

Etienne, Do you think that it’s even work appealing now without a letter of support?
In your opinion how do you think the panel will see it if some children have letters of support and others don’t? Are panel’s aware that this is the case? or will it look like we have no support what so ever therefore a unsuccessful appeal.

I feel blocked at every turn.

Thanks

Justin


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:22 pm 
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Dear Justin

A local appeal panel will probably have come across this situation before (if not, explain it to them). I think they would be sympathetic, and I don't believe they would turn you down just because the head has declined to sign a statement of support. Of course, they still need evidence to consider, and that presents you with the task of putting together an academic case. See the Q&As B20 (different situation - political reasons rather than protocol - but same effect, although I note that your head can provide grades).

My advice would be to go to appeal, even if you do feel as if you have one hand tied behind your back .............

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Appeal forms
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:49 pm 
I have just received the appeal forms today for my daughter.

Paragraph 3.8 Attendance states;

"However it is not appropriate for you to be accompanied by a
teacher from your child's current school."

I am now a little confused by the fact that on this forum it
is thought to be a good idea.

I have gone back to the LEA for them to clarifiy the situation.

Should I still go ahead and take the Head Master no matter what
they say or will it have a negative impact on our appeal?

Appropriate is a very weak word, if they said "illegal",
it would be very clear!


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal forms
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Dear Bronco

The code of practice says that it is "not normally necessary for witnesses to attend". However, I can tell you from many years of experience that witnesses do attend, and that if headteachers are willing to turn up and give strong support, it can strengthen your case. I can think of good reasons why a headteacher might be present - for example, to show how strongly he feels about a particular case, and to answer detailed questions about the academic evidence (questions which a parent might not be in a position to answer).

The LEA may wish to discourage headteachers from attending, but the LEA is not the independent appeal panel.

Technically the appeal panel could refuse to admit a witness to the hearing, but I would be surprised if they did so.

You should not be dealing with the LEA regarding this matter, but with the people organising the appeal. It is certainly advisable to notify them in advance of your intention to bring a witness. If they raise objections, point out that the code of practice says that it is for the panel to decide whether a witness can give evidence. The code of practice does not say that it is inappropriate for headteachers to attend. As far as "inappropriateness" is concerned, the only thing the code of practice says is "it is unlikely to be appropriate for local politicians to attend as witnesses because of potential conflicts of interest." Remind them of that too!

Remember that the LEA, the people organising the appeal, and the appeal panel are three separate entities, independent of each other.

If the headteacher is willing to come and support you, I would stand your ground.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Gosh - you are honoured. I've only known 1 head attend an appeal in my 3 years on a panel - and that was in very special circumstances (she didn't attend another appeal for a child from her school on the same day (with the parents knowledge)).

Certainly the head of my daughters primary school wouldn't be seen dead near a grammar school, let alone an appeal. We're lucky if we see an academic report from the school - and that normally comes from the teacher rather than the head who is against selective education!

As for mentioning the 'mistake', I wouldn't take any notice of it - it would get my sympathy but would not affect my decision one way nor another - after all, it isn't a reason your daughter didn't do as well as she could have on the day, nor is it a reason that she is bright enough enter the school.

I've just finished ploughing through 30 sets of appeal docs for tomorrow and other things that I usually ignore include:

The parents being an active member of the PTA or governors of the primary school;
The child being a good sportsman, artist or musician (this is academic selection, not artistic) - letters from sports coaches are not of interest to me - if it was for a sports specialist school, then that would be different;
The child being nervous (unless physically ill) - most of the other children who pass were nervous as well.

There's probably a few other things that I ignore - but even the above might get considered if we felt we could fill 10 places but there were 11 equally qualified pupils - and the other panel members tend to work in their own ways (which means you get a balanced decision).

I'd like to assure you all that we are independent - genuinely. I have no connection with the school. I've turned down appeals for children when I know & am friendly with the parents (declared, of course, to all present), and allowed them for parents I dislike. I've also been on the other side of the fence - I once started to appeal for primary school, but withdrew before the panel sat for various reasons.

Capers123


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 8:51 pm 
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Capers

In Buckinghamshire you cannot sit on an Appeal panel if you know the people involved - our appeal had to be rescheduled because I knew the LA rep.

Are you saying this is OK in your LA?


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8203
Location: Buckinghamshire
Welcome to the Forum Capers!

It is wonderful to have a new member who clearly has such a lot of experience.

Please do come back whenever you have time and help all of us who are condemned to penal servitude here on Appeals and elsewhere!

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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