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 Post subject: Appeals and allocations
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:58 am 
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What is the situation regarding successful appeals and subsequent allocations? If a child is successful in appeal, does he/she have the same chances as a qualified child for the same school place? For example: Child A achieves 121 or above and has submitted the catchment GS as 1st preference. Child B does not achieve 121, but has a successful appeal. This child has also put the same catchment GS as 1st preference. Are they both now on equal ground with regard to allocation or is Child A considered first above Child B?
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:21 am 
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Bucks was unusual in previously having held separate 'selection appeals' before any allocations. In that situation, children who qualified via appeal were treated no differently from children who qualified directly via the 11+.

We'll have to see exactly how they organise appeals in future, but what happens in other parts of the country (with a selective system, and most appeals taking place in the summer term) is that the case for qualification and oversubscription is heard at the same time. When it takes its decision the panel either allows the appeal - or not. If the appeal is allowed, a place is allocated.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Thanks for reply. As we are in Bucks, can I assume the same allocation procedure applies this time, given the new appeal system?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Unlike Buckinghamshire which as Etienne said, had a unique system of hearing non-qualification appeals before allocation so that all those who won their appeal were on exactly the same footing as other qualified applicants, most areas have always held their appeals after allocation which in effect means that popular schools are already full. As Etienne says there is then just one hearing. However, non-qualification and oversubscription are dealt with as distinct issues within the appeal. It is quite possible to “win” the non-qualification part but “lose” the oversubscription part and so not get a place. Having said that, the experience in my area has been that it is very rare to win the non-qualification issue and then lose the oversubscription issue. It seems that appeal panels have been keen to restore the child to where they would have been had they passed the tests “at the right time”. However, this needs to be set against the comparatively very few appeals lodged and heard here and the fact that most of these are from “in area”. It could be a very different picture if there were a larger number of children deemed qualified at appeal for a full school. Anecdotally, it seems that it is harder to win at non-qualification when a school is heavily oversubscribed and there are several qualified candidates appealing oversubscription only at the same time. This would suggest that Panels may be influenced in their decision making about non-qualification by how full the school is, even when they are aware that they are dealing with separate issues, but I must stress that I do not have enough data to be sure about this surmise and certainly not to prove it statistically.

It remains to be seen what will happen in Bucks under the new system, but it is important to realise that statutory appeals will now be held after allocations and that means that whether or not the school is already full and by how much will become important.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:30 pm 
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So in Lincolnshire for example, if you win a non-qual appeal for a full school do you then go on the waiting list? Or if the distance criteria stops at 12 miles and you live at 10 miles, would they then have to accept you on oversubscription? If not, a 12 miler would be in and you as a qualified 10 miler would not? Is that where the 'influence' between the two decisions appears?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:11 pm 
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JRM wrote:
So in Lincolnshire for example, if you win a non-qual appeal for a full school do you then go on the waiting list? Or if the distance criteria stops at 12 miles and you live at 10 miles, would they then have to accept you on oversubscription? If not, a 12 miler would be in and you as a qualified 10 miler would not? Is that where the 'influence' between the two decisions appears?


The panel's task is not to follow any particular criteria. If they deem the child qualified and the school is full then the oversubscription issue is dealt with as any other oversubscription appeal, i.e. the panel must assure itself that the admissions policy for the school is legal and that it has been applied correctly in the particular child's case; then it must decide whether there would be prejudice to the education or efficient use of resources at the school caused by the admission of an extra pupil or pupils; if it is satisfied that prejudice would be caused then it will weigh up the prejudice to the school against the reasons the appellants present for the child needing a place at the school and decide whether the reasons are strong enough to outweigh the prejudice or not. Being able to say that "had Johnny or Jane passed before allocations he/she would definitely have got a place" may be one reason parents might wish to put forward but it would be entirely up to the panel how much weight they decided to give to that factor; they could find other reasons far more compelling.

My comments were first that it seemed that panels did give some weight to whether the child would have got a place if they had qualified before allocations (and yes, a child who was deemed qualified at appeal but whose appeal for a place at the school was still dismissed would be added to the waiting list) and secondly that fewer non-qualification appeals seem to succeed when a school is heavily oversubscribed with qualified applicants and there are a lot of appeals. Logically one might expect roughly the same proportion of non-qualification appeals to be upheld whether or not the school is oversubscribed but this doesn't seem to be the case. I am not sure if I am being fair to Panels when I imply that they might be influenced in the decision about qualification by factors which should only come into play over the oversubscription issue....


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Quote:
Being able to say that "had Johnny or Jane passed before allocations he/she would definitely have got a place" may be one reason parents might wish to put forward but it would be entirely up to the panel how much weight they decided to give to that factor; they could find other reasons far more compelling.


I wasn't sure whether that argument had weight in law. But I suppose if it did, then it would make sense to hear the non-qualification appeals before the places were allocated. It wouldn't work where there is no cut-off score, but at the place we have applied to there is a simple cut-off mark to be reached and then it is done on distance. They coudl theoretically hear non-qual appeals immediately so that those who passed coudl be put into the system just like everyone else.

Hmm. I'm not sure which I think is right, as that could mean they 'take the places' of other children who did pass the exam. Interesting.....

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:52 pm 
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JRM wrote:

I wasn't sure whether that argument had weight in law.

Any argument has as much weight as the particular panel want to give it :)

Quote:
Hmm. I'm not sure which I think is right, as that could mean they 'take the places' of other children who did pass the exam. Interesting
.

There are winners and losers in every system.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Alex wrote:
It seems that it is harder to win at non-qualification when a school is heavily oversubscribed and there are several qualified candidates appealing oversubscription only at the same time. This would suggest that Panels may be influenced in their decision making about non-qualification by how full the school is, even when they are aware that they are dealing with separate issues....


Alex, you've put into words exactly how I feel about our possible appeal next year. Still not 100% whether to go for it or not, but I do like a challenge. I believe in the past they used to do the non qual appeals before allocation at the school. Obviously if they still did it this way round, would be of great benefit in my situation, as now having to appeal over subs too as well as the non qual :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Good luck countrymum. There is nothing to lose by going to appeal (other than emotionally) and remember that my observations are only about one area and only a sample of that so may be totally unture of other places and times.


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