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 Post subject: foundation school appeal
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:30 pm 
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Does anyone know if it is usual for the LEA Principal Admissions Officer to represent a foundation school at appeal? It seems to be a conflict of interests to me, but this is the case in South Warwickshire. By the way at this particular school last year there were 20 appeals but none were successful. This lady also seemed to know the panel members quite well.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:23 pm
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Location: Hop County
Hi Lesley,

I do not have an answer to your question but along the same vein I would like to know if it is usual for the Headteacher to attend the appeal at a foundation school. I thought it would be one of the govenors.

TM


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 Post subject: foundation school appeal
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:57 pm 
The foundation school we appealed to - unsuccessfully - the headteacher was there to go through the motions on why the school was oversubscribed etc. I suppose if the school is running its own appeal that would be the case normally - but i could be wrong!


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 Post subject: foundation schools
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 7:46 pm 
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Come to think of it, who appoints the panel in these schools? It all sounds very incestuous. How can the panel be impartial if they only work on appeals for 1 school and know the Head well?


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:20 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
Some foundation and VA schools ask the LA to do their appeals on their behalf - saves them finding panel members, clerks etc. I suppose the presenting officer "comes with the package" in these cases, but usually the head or deputy of the school would be present as well.

There is a requirement (both for LA and for foundation/VA schools) to advertise for lay panel members every 3 years. The Code of Practice also says that although there is no restriction on the length of time a panel member may serve, it is "good practice" for members hearing appeals for a particular school to be changed every few years to prevent the appearance of bias.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:26 pm 
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Even when a foundation school appeal panel is doing a very good job, there is a risk it might be perceived as not really being independent.

Some foundation schools pay the LA to handle appeals on their behalf. (A presenting officer is not usually part of the package!)

Quote:
Does anyone know if it is usual for the LEA Principal Admissions Officer to represent a foundation school at appeal?

A foundation school could pay the LA to present its case at an appeal. I wouldn't say that this is as common as hiring an appeal panel!

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
I understand that foundation schools do not actually have to pay the LA to manage their appeals for them. Rather, if the Foundation school manages its own appeals it can claim the cost of doing so from the local authority (though whether this is a separate amount of included in other funding given to the school is not laid down). This is the quote from the 2003 COP - can't lay my hands on the new one to see if anything has changed.
"LEAs must allocate reasonable funds to governing bodies of schools which are admission authorities, to meet admission and admission appeals costs, unless the school and LEA agree that the LEA should itself carry out the administration on the governing body's behalf, free of charge to the school."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
Etienne wrote:
I wouldn't say that this is as common as hiring an appeal panel!


Hiring? Get paid? Bring it on! I do it because I want to help bright children get a chance of a place at the school their parents think is best for them.

I would not have wanted to go to this school myself - I preferred a mixed school (and was offered the choice of a local boys grammar, and a 8 miles away mixed one).

But are we independent? Yes. We try our best to be. Yes, we are booked by the school. The head teacher came in after we'd decided our appeals and said thanks, but some parents also said thanks. We shared a joke with him regarding specialist school status 'We've had a lot of parents mentioning the schools specialist status - we wonder that if you'd been a Domestic Science specialist, the boys would all have developed an interest in needlework", and that was it. The school rep is not present between appeals, nor before or afterwards.

It would be easy to think otherwise, but we are independent.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Quote:
LEAs must allocate reasonable funds to governing bodies of schools which are admission authorities, to meet admission and admission appeals costs, unless the school and LEA agree that the LEA should itself carry out the administration on the governing body’s behalf, free of charge to the school. It is for the LEA to decide whether these funds should be allocated to the schools as earmarked allocations which are additional to, and separate from, their budget shares. [current code of practice]

I have no statistics, Alex, but would venture to guess that most allocations are not earmarked specifically for appeals.

I know of a number of foundation schools that have given up running their own appeals (because they found the task too onerous), and have "hired" an LA panel and clerk. The LA has charged a hefty sum for providing this service (none of which goes to panel members :D). As far as I know, the schools cannot reclaim this from the LA because the response would be "You've already been allocated the money". The LA is free to choose what to charge for providing this service - just as it chose what was a "reasonable" amount to allocate originally!

Incidentally, the new code of practice (if it comes into force) changes the wording from "LEAs must allocate reasonable funds ....." to "LAs should allocate reasonable funds ......"

capers123 wrote:
are we independent? Yes. We try our best to be.

I'm sure you do Capers, but if it's the headteacher who selects you, it's difficult to avoid a perception that you might not be .........

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Etienne


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