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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 9:38 pm
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I wish I'd come across this excellent site about a year ago...

We have recently attended our first appeal (for a Surrey GS) and are now counting down the days to our second, which is for a Catholic school.

I cannot get over the contrast between the two appeals; for the former, academic ability was the key point in question (it was a non-qualification appeal, with oversubscription as a matter of course). For the latter, it boils down to the matter of our Parish Priest's reference, with academic ability being of no consequence whatever.

Does anyone else have experience of sitting an appeal for a Catholic School? Does the appeal panel have a wider remit than would appear at face value?

We've also realised that the clerk to the appeal panel is the same for both panels (the members are different) - is this likely to be of any consequence??

Any comments or assistance welcome!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Welcome!
Quote:
For the latter, it boils down to the matter of our Parish Priest's reference, with academic ability being of no consequence whatever.
Academic ability wouldn't usually count if it's a non-selective school. However, ability or aptitude in a particular subject area that the school is noted for could be a relevant argument. See (vi) in:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c2

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Does the appeal panel have a wider remit than would appear at face value?
All appeal panels should be 'unfettered', i.e. they can consider any case the appellant wishes to put forward, and are free to give weight to whatever arguments they see fit.

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We've also realised that the clerk to the appeal panel is the same for both panels (the members are different) - is this likely to be of any consequence??
No. Exceptionally, some appellants on here have even had the same panel member!
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c23

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:01 am 
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Thank you for the comments.

I have a few more questions. As our second appeal is for a Catholic school, can we assume anything about the panel members? I.e. can the school governors pick a Catholic panel?

I was surprised at our first appeal that the members only introduced themselves by name, and no mention was made of their qualifications. How do people get to be chosen, generally?

When presenting the parents' case, is it necessary to cover everything in our written submission, or can we safely assume that the panel will have studied our documents in great detail (and remember every nuance) beforehand?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:18 pm 
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As our second appeal is for a Catholic school, can we assume anything about the panel members? I.e. can the school governors pick a Catholic panel?
No, I don't think you can necessarily make any assumptions.

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I was surprised at our first appeal that the members only introduced themselves by name, and no mention was made of their qualifications.
I do think it would be good practice for panel members to tell you a little bit about their background, but it's not a requirement.

There are no qualifications as such, but there must be at least one 'lay' member and one 'non-lay'. You can read a bit more about this here:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a30

Quote:
How do people get to be chosen, generally?
Often by advertising. The previous Code of Practice stated: "The clerk, acting on behalf of the admission authority must appoint either three or five members to each panel. In any area, it is important to try to ensure a diverse mix of panel members (race, gender, faith if appropriate, etc), but particularly in areas with mixed communities where, as far as is practicable, membership of the panel should be representative of the ethnic profile of the area. This should be taken into account when advertising for new panel members ...."
Although desirable, this has never been easy to achieve (because the system depends entirely on volunteers willing to undertake this sort of stressful, unpaid work). and I see that the above statement about a diverse mix is not included in the new, slimmed down Code.
Unsurprisingly, retired folk often make up the majority of panel members, and many of these may well be people with an interest in education (e.g. school governors, retired teachers).

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When presenting the parents' case, is it necessary to cover everything in our written submission,
No, I don't think so.

Quote:
..... or can we safely assume that the panel will have studied our documents in great detail (and remember every nuance) beforehand?
..... but I wouldn't go quite so far as to assume that! :)

See also:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b40
(Even though this is in the non-qualification section, some of the points might still be relevant.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
As a bit of an aside, the panels for catholic schools round here used to be selected by the diocese, and appeals run by them. Not sure if that is case now or for academies.

I have no faith, but would happily sit on a panel for a faith school. One of the panels jobs is to make sure that the published admissions arrangements have been adhered to. You don't have to morally agree with the arrangements, just check they have been. Simple. Sort of(!).

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