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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:07 am 
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Hi. Having won qualification appeal, we are now approaching our oversubscription appeal. Reading the very helpful notes on the site, the subject of maladminstration came up.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether failing to prove FCO (Fair, Consistent and Objective) would count as maladministration? As far as I can understand, if it could, and there are not too many applicants for a school using this argument, then it would be a strong case, even if the school argued about the impact of an extra child.

Would maladministration trump other arguments, such as being not accepted when outside or inside but on the furthest reaches of the catchment area?

Also, accepting all schools will be different, does anyone have a feel for how many cases are typically handled in an oversubscription appeal?

Thanks for your thoughts.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:49 am 
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Location: Kingston upon Thames
tobyprice wrote:
Does anyone have any thoughts on whether failing to prove FCO (Fair, Consistent and Objective) would count as maladministration?



I would be wary of the concept of failing to prove, as this doesn't mean it didn't happen, just it is not easy to confirm. It would be easy to turn this upside down (which other side could do) and expect you to prove it failed.

Obviously individuals reviewing would formulate their own view, but I think you are going to be on a dodgy wicket if other side shows they tried to comply and you can't demonstrate they didn't. Fair isn't a yes/no concept, at the other end of the spectrum is unfair which is clear enough, but at what level does fair becomes almost fair is a grey area.

Finding some obscure point which was apparently skipped or missed wouldn't be proving unless you could also demonstrate that it was critical and therefore the overall judgement was wrong. Although it may be worth a go, something like this tends to be a collection of parts, and not all parts are needed to be obvious what it is (bit like a box of chocolates, if a few are eaten, you wouldn't think of it as box of something else). Just because you may consider they could have gone further (and considered other factors) it doesn't confirm the conclusion was wrong (other factors could have been borderline relevance).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:02 am 
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thanks, Snowdaddy. I do agree there is a difference between failing to prove FCO and proving maladministration. However, if our FCO IAP stated on the record that they didn't believe enough time had been spent considering DD's particular condition at SRP, before the first allocation, then might maladminstration not carry a little more weight?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:12 pm 
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If you are going through an over-subscription appeal, I would imagine that citing maladministration would only carry any weight if you could prove your child would already have been allocated a place at that school if the SR had been fair. You should know the answer to this one way or the other when you receive the school's case.
We were going to cite maladministration in our over-subscription appeal because we had clear proof that DC would have been allocated a place in the first round of admissions (we live in catchment and also qualify under the sibling rule).
As a huge amount of out of catchment children had already been offered places, it was obvious that the only reason our DC hadn't gained a place was because of the flawed Selection Review. If you are in a similar situation, I imagine that would probably help you.
We didn't get a chance to test this because DC was offered a place before the appeal date, for which my blood pressure and I are eternally grateful.
I'd be very interested to hear if anyone tries the maladministration argument and wins. I have read elsewhere on this forum that this year's cohort is being uniquely disadvantaged because of the timing of Selection Reviews and IAP hearings in relation to school admission rounds. I believe it's being changed next year - perhaps that's an argument someone could use to their advantage.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:16 pm 
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thanks redkite12. DD would definitely have been offered a place if SRP had been fair, as we are in the middle of catchment and it was first choice school. Will keep you posted.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:09 am 
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One more question on this subject around oversubscription if I may? Are the Net Capacity calculations for schools published anywhere? Our target school has a net capacity of 1050 which astonishingly leads to a PAN of 150 exactly! But the net capacity is a complex calculation based on class room sizes and many other factors.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:45 am 
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I think you might, might, might be able to get a copy of it from your local authority. My impression is that these documents have far less sway than in the past though - schools can pretty much cram as many children as they wish in these days in KS2 upwards.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:10 am 
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Location: Kingston upon Thames
mystery wrote:
I think you might, might, might be able to get a copy of it from your local authority. My impression is that these documents have far less sway than in the past though - schools can pretty much cram as many children as they wish in these days in KS2 upwards.


Yes, capacity isn't really a factor these days, of course there are regulations (School Buildings Act) that specifies things like minimum number of toilets per pupil, but in reality a few extra pupils wont take the school upto the limits as spare capacity will exist. Things like can whole schooe comfortably fit in hall simultaneously seem to be non-factors.

In practice most classrooms have a set number of desks (30 is common, although in old days 32 was normal in 4 rows of 8). Practical lessons in workshops and science in labs are usually lower as supervision limit is more likely to be max 20-25 pupils per member of staff (depending on machinery installed). This will effectively determine capacity and in reality is why any expanded school tends to get a whole block to accomodate at least one extra class per year. PANs tend to be based on number of classrooms and timetabling as can't always use some specialist rooms 100% of the time.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:59 am 
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I was speaking to my 'opponent' this morning rather bizarrely and she suggested that the school very rarely loses at the first stage (prejudice to the school) and you then go into battle as parents versus the school in the afternoon. In the morning, the school's argument will be focussed on their perception that the extra child will make it harder to teach. They will need to produce some evidence, otherwise the IAP will boot them out, so I have heard elsewhere that capacity, toilets and classroom size/desk space will come into the argument.

After Y9, it will make no perceptible difference anyway, since they split the children into specialist areas and will have to provide extra capacity to cope with varying selection of options. In Y7-9, we know they have had to cope with more than 30 children on a number of occasions - you just have to look at the historical and current counts of students in various sites on the web.

Our school is going to handle the morning as a joint session BTW.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Ok, take in some videos of your child looking as though he doesn't take up much space, wearing a nappy so that he doesn't need the toilet and stating that he prefers to stand all day and read and write on a lectern. That should do it.


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