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 Post subject: Clerking
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:22 pm 
How unusual is it for the clerk to the appeal panel to be a member of staff at the school you are appealing for a place at?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7057
Dear Henry

I very much doubt that the ombudsman would be happy if the clerk is also a member of the school's staff. I think he would criticise this arrangement but might not necessarily conclude that there had been an injustice.

Regards

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:08 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
It is not ideal. I agree with Etienne. If the clerk is involved in the admissions process then that would be bad, but if working in the general office - say doing dinner money admin and the like - then that would probably be OK.

But don't forget it is the panel that makes the decisions on the appeals, not the clerk. Our clerk takes notes for us to refer back to, but if she was prejudice one way or another and started reading us back mis-information during our deliberations, we would spot it at once. We also make our own notes (which are also available for parents to inspect).

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Capers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Just to add to Capers' helpful post, the current code of practice says:
Each panel must have the services of a clerk. The clerk is not a member of the panel but has an important part to play in ensuring that relevant facts are established and that the appeal hearing is fair. Clerks should have knowledge of the law on admissions, but should not deal with admissions as part of their normal employment. LEAs and governors should look outside their own staff [my bold print] for people who have relevant experience in working as a professional committee clerk or legal adviser or have experience in the conduct of inquires or disciplinary hearings.

The proposed new code (likely to come into force next year) is more explicit:
The Clerk must be independent of the school and local authority.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:33 pm 
The clerking staff member is a deputy head at the school (a selective foundation school).
They have also refused to supply any notes from the appeal, despite the fact that the decision letter does not fully explain the panel's decision.
Not much option other than let the ombudsman investigate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
I was interested to read your points - I have read the codes of practice and thought the relevant items through with as much hindsight as possible.
I still fail to see how a clerk cannot influence a panel if he has written negative opinions to a parent on several occasions - and if those opinions previal as part of a refusal of a school to uphold any child's appeal ever.

I simply cannot see how someone on the payroll of a school should be in such an influential position. Is it me?


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