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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:35 am
Posts: 18
We received our appeal decision letter re a west Kent school this morning telling us we had not been successful but the letter was inaccurate on two counts. 1) We were appealing because of oversubscription yet the letter said that our child "did not meet the criteria for transfer to a grammar school". Not relevant or accurate - she passed the 11 plus with a very high score. 2) The letter mentioned her wish to be located near to her brother's school - she is an only child!

I do not know if this counts as maladministration - it seems that the Panel have mixed up information on the various children appealing so I am now not confident about how the decision was made. Does anyone have any advice on what we should do?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 10:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:04 am
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Sorry to hear this - must be very frustrating for you.

Sounds very much like your letter got muddled up with someone elses. I'd certainly query it and if the decision still stands send for the notes from the appeal.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 11:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:17 pm
Posts: 149
Location: nr yorks
How awful for you! :x

I would certainly chase this up! :oops:

The other child who has got mixed up with your daughter may well have won their appeal on your info!! you never know!


Best of luck, let us know how you get on. :?

Footymad xx.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:23 pm
Posts: 452
Location: Hop County
Words fail me!

I would contact the author of the letter today and clarify. Also, as Bo Peep suggests, request a copy of the Clerks notes to satify yourself that they have made a decision based on your appeal and not someone elses. You would hope that prior to sending these types of letters out they would make doubly sure that they are correct.

I am sure that the numbers they are dealing with a not vast and even using mail merge (which I suspect they have done here) they should at least have double checked the original information prior to forming the letters.

Please post how you get on.

Good Luck,

TM


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:04 am
Posts: 144
I agree with Footy. It did cross my mind actually - what if another child got a 'successful' letter which was really meant for you! This apparent mix up has huge potential for heartbreak! Definitely query it, and do let us know how you get on.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7056
Dear Out-of-area

Probably not "maladministration" on its own, but it doesn't inspire confidence!

I would write to point out the mistakes, and I would also seek to obtain a copy of the clerk's notes to check for any further errors.

Quote:
According to the Dfes, "Where a request has been made under the Data Protection Act for access to personal data contained in the records of proceedings, whether that data should be disclosed will depend on a number of factors including: the identity of the person making the request; the nature and individual circumstances of the appeal; the way in which the data is held; and the interests of any third parties identified in the data. Appeal panels or clerks may therefore wish to obtain their own legal advice before responding to such a request."

If the authority refuses to release the notes, I would ask them to put their refusal in writing, together with their reasons.

I would then complain to the ombudsman about those aspects of the appeal that appeared unfair.

The ombudsman will almost certainly ask to see the clerk's notes if he decides to investigate the complaint. He has the powers of a high court judge, and the authority cannot refuse his request for the notes.

My experience was that the ombudsman (London office) routinely sent a copy of the clerk's notes to the complainant in due course. There are, if I recall correctly, three different ombudsman offices for different parts of the country, but I would have thought they would all have the same policy.

Incidentally, when asking for a copy of the clerk's notes, it's important to state that the request is being made "under the Data Protection Act".

It's true that the notes do not have to be a verbatim record. This can be tiresome, although sometimes the gaps can be to the advantage of the appellant! For example, if the notes do not show that a possible disability was considered under the DDA, or that a piece of evidence which the appellant put forward as important was properly considered, or that there were clear reasons justifying the panel's decision, then a complaint is quite likely to succeed, even if the reality is that the panel dealt with these matters correctly.

Regards

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 1:16 pm 
I agree with Etienne but also is it not worth a phone call as well you may then get it resolved before the weekend!


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:35 am
Posts: 18
Thanks Etienne and all others for their comments on this situation. Would you believe the second letter they sent, supposedly correcting the first one, STILL contained some inaccurate information. On speaking to them they blamed the error on staff shortages and not having enough time to proof-read all the letters properly!

I said that I still couldn't be confident that the correct information had been used to come to a decision regarding the appeal. I also requested a copy of the clerk's notes but this seemed to be a problem. I was told they would look into it but this may take some time. Can I insist that I see these notes within a reasonable time frame?

I do want to get this sorted out and hopefully our situation (and that of other parents, I suspect) will make them look at ways of improving this part of the appeal process for appealing parents in the future.


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Dear Out-of-area

They should respond to your request as soon as possible, but I'm sorry to have to tell you the maximum time they have is 40 calendar days from the date you submitted your request in writing. They might be taking legal advice, and come back to you with a refusal - depending on what reasons they give, you could challenge this via the Information Commissioner.

I suggest you try the ombudsman route on the basis that you have had two inaccurate decision letters, and have no confidence that your case has been properly dealt with (especially as you have not - so far - been allowed a copy of the clerk's notes). I'm afraid things will again move slowly - if the ombudsman agrees to investigate, the authority will probably be asked to respond to the complaint within a month.

For information about complaining to the ombudsman, see:
www.lgo.org.uk/pdf/howcompcouncil.pdf

Regards

_________________
Etienne


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 Post subject: appeal decision letter
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 9:34 am 
Hi just came across this thread - we got the same letter!!! Just wondered if you have had any response from KCC???


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