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 Post subject: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:46 pm
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Dear Etienne
I had my appeal yesterday where I discovered that the appeals clerk had not circulated important medical evidence to the appeals panel. They said that they would read them afterwards. However, although I think i managed to explain the situation quite well and my reasons for appeal, I noticed that on the procedures letter it states that the clerk will remain with the panel to record the decision.I am worried that if this is the case, how can they look at my evidence properly? I am feeling extremely uneasy about this especially as they were conducting appeal after appeal in very quick turn arounds. Do I have anything to worry about?
Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Dear Smartie

Could you please tell me how lengthy the medical evidence was? (How many sides of A4, for example.)

Also, when did you submit your appeal form - was it before 1st February, or afterwards?

Thanks

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:46 pm
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Dear Etienne
I submitted my appeal after the 1st February, however my evidence was submitted afterwards but within the timescale stated. My evidence was 6 pages long, made up of a school report that was 3 pages long, 1 medical report that was 2 pages long and the final letter was from the school's Educational Psychologist. I also took with me on the day 2 letters of support from the school, 1 page from the class teacher and 1 page from the SENco which they skimmed over. I could not submit these earlier as the class teacher had been awy due to long term illness and the SENco did not realise I was appealing until the class teacher discussed my dd's case with her.

Thank you
Smartie


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
I also took with me on the day 2 letters of support from the school, 1 page from the class teacher and 1 page from the SENco which they skimmed over. I could not submit these earlier as the class teacher had been awy due to long term illness and the SENco did not realise I was appealing until the class teacher discussed my dd's case with her.
This is not a problem because the panel clearly accepted the late evidence, which was not lengthy, and they were able to read it quickly at the hearing.

Quote:
I submitted my appeal after the 1st February, however my evidence was submitted afterwards but within the timescale stated. My evidence was 6 pages long, made up of a school report that was 3 pages long, 1 medical report that was 2 pages long and the final letter was from the school's Educational Psychologist.
There may be an issue with regard to these 6 pages that the clerk failed to circulate. I'm not saying that you have anything to worry about yet, but I cannot help wondering what is in the clerk's notes (whether it is recorded that the panel did spend time looking at the evidence later in the day.) I'm also a bit concerned that hearings were being got through at a rapid rate.

Because your appeal was submitted after 1st February, the new Code is being used. It states:
Quote:
2.21 c) written material and evidence must have been seen by all the parties.
"Must have been seen" is clearly in the past tense. If the panel didn't have the evidence before the hearing (because the clerk failed to circulate it), and didn't read it at the hearing (because they didn't want to spend time doing so), then I don't believe it's good enough to say "We'll look at it in the future - but before taking our decision". In my view the correct procedure would have been an adjournment.

The fact that the hearing proceeded without the panel knowing exactly what was in the evidence meant that you were deprived of the opportunity to respond to any questions arising from the evidence that they might have had.

Let's wait and see what the decision is, but if they have turned down your appeal, then I think you could have grounds for asking the ombudsman whether this was a fair hearing.

It would be for the ombudsman to decide whether or not it was a fair hearing, and whether or not to request a fresh hearing in front of a different panel.

(I'm assuming for the moment that this is a foundation school. If it's an academy, the procedure for making a complaint would be different.)

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:46 pm
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Dear Etienne
Thank you for your reply. I am concerned that they weren't able to ask questions regarding my evidence. I hadn't thought of this at the time The appeals lasted just this last week and I was told that I would hear by the 12th April. I am hoping that it means they will spend time looking at all the appeals during that time!? When I realised that the panel did not have my evidence the headteacher showed his disapproval of this by tutting and shaking his head. This is when they said not to worry as they would read it afterwards.

Smartie


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:46 pm
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Dear Etienne,
As expected, we did not win our appeal, however the letter received from the appeals panel seems full of inconsistencies.They have not mentioned that the panel did not receive my evidence before the appeal and they seem to have misinterpreted some of my presentation. They made no reference to one important letter from the school's Ed Psych regarding how the pressure of exams could effect her and seemed to think that the 11 plus exam was a normal routine for her!
I appreciated that she missed by 9 marks, but I can't see how this was a fair appeal. What do you advise?
Smartie


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7063
Sorry to hear that.

Assuming this is not an academy, I suggest you ring the ombudsman advice line to see what they think.
(Read Section D of our Q&As first.)

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 58
Dear Etienne
Spoke to the ombudsman today who said that I do have a cause for complaint and I have sent off all my evidence to them today. Interestingly I was their second call that day reagarding the school! Just a quick bit of advice though, unfortunately I did not have much evidence of academic ability. However, I did have a letter that showed that she was predicted to make a whole level of improvement from the September to March in all three areas, where previously each year she had only made 1 sub level. The letter confirmed that this was due to me and the teachers being aware of her condition and therefore being able to help her to reach her potential. I explained in the appeal that she would soon receive support herself (from Camhs) which would in turn hopefully enable her to progress further. Her levels are predicted to be 4b,4b and 5c. I am not hopeful that a reappeal, if it was granted, would be successful, but it is more for my peace of mind that the appeal has been judged fairly.
Thank you
Smartie


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Quote:
Spoke to the ombudsman today who said that I do have a cause for complaint
Well done - good to have this confirmed!

Quote:
I am not hopeful that a reappeal, if it was granted, would be successful, but it is more for my peace of mind that the appeal has been judged fairly.
If the outcome were to be a re-hearing, we're probably talking about sometime towards the end of this term at the earliest - which gives more time for your daughter to progress.

Even if you're ultimately unsuccessful, the panel will almost certainly be more careful in future. You will have done both the panel and future appellants a favour by helping ensure that hearings are not only fair, but seen to be fair.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: appeal and evidence
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:46 pm
Posts: 58
Dear Etienne,

Thank you for your help, I'm not one to normally make a fuss, but their indifference to my dd and her situation has upset me. If there is another appeal am I allowed to provide more evidence of ability, as I know she is now at least 4as and a 5.

Smartie


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