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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:00 pm 
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We have the first stage of the oversubscription appeal next week. We are not allowed to mentioned anything about our child/circumstances, and I gather from others that it is always found in the school's favour, so is there any point going?
Did anyone go and ask good questions?
Did anyone not attend?
thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:31 am 
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Rho40 wrote:
I gather from others that it is always found in the school's favour, so is there any point going?

Absolutely not true. Almost every year there are shocks when a panel overturns a school's case.

The panel will be questioning the school's case, so you don't necessarily have to pose questions yourself; many parents will attend just to listen.

It is also an opportunity to assess the panel members ahead of Stage Two ...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Thanks Sally-Anne. I hadn't realised the panel would also be asking questions.

The school's case for being full looks pretty strong to me. But I do have a couple of questions about their admission policy in relation to the twins issue. Is it appropriate to bring this up at Stage 1 because it is about policy - or perhaps not because it is about our case?

I notice that it is the same appeal panel members we had at the qualification appeal in April - and we will see them again at Stage 2 in mid July. Our Stage 2 hearing is after the school induction day which DS's brother will be going to :(

Another day off work - there isn't going to be much annual leave left over this year!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:04 am 
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Hi. Can I ask a couple of questions, since it is the same topic?

Does the panel really have to consider the prejudice of admitting one additional child at Stage 1, or does it, in practice, consider the number who are appealing?

If the school is already over PAN, can it use this to strengthen its prejudice argument? This would seem to be very unfair on those whose appeals were held later. Or are all oversubscription appeals held at the same time for a school as far as is possible? Thanks for helping.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:45 am 
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Rho40 wrote:
I hadn't realised the panel would also be asking questions.

Very much so! They can be quite fierce about it too. What people also don't always appreciate is that the school might well present the same case each year, but suddenly find that a particular panel overturns it.

Quote:
The school's case for being full looks pretty strong to me.

It usually does appear to be strong to a lay person, but experienced panel members know where to look for the holes ...

Quote:
But I do have a couple of questions about their admission policy in relation to the twins issue. Is it appropriate to bring this up at Stage 1 because it is about policy - or perhaps not because it is about our case?

I am guessing that the school's written case does not include any mention of admissions in the case of multiple births? Unless it does, I would leave your questions for Stage Two, for the simple reason that there is a risk that any follow-up questions will stray in to you talking about your own case.

Quote:
I notice that it is the same appeal panel members we had at the qualification appeal in April - and we will see them again at Stage 2 in mid July.

The two parts of an O/S appeal should always be heard by the same panel members. It has been known for Stage One to have to be re-run because a panel member was not available for Stage Two.

tobyprice wrote:
Does the panel really have to consider the prejudice of admitting one additional child at Stage 1, or does it, in practice, consider the number who are appealing?

The panel is trying to decide where the balance of prejudice might lie. Even if the school's case is upheld at Stage One, the panel might still go on to allow every single appeal at Stage Two, simply because they find that the prejudice to each individual child is greater than that to the school.

Quote:
If the school is already over PAN, can it use this to strengthen its prejudice argument? This would seem to be very unfair on those whose appeals were held later. Or are all oversubscription appeals held at the same time for a school as far as is possible?

In Bucks, oversubscription appeals for each school are group hearings held at the same time. There might be later hearings for an individual case, such as a late-tester.

None of the schools should be over PAN prior to the hearing unless there has been an exceptional admission under the agreed Fair Access Protocol. (See the Appeals Q&A, C6: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... -school#c6 )


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:03 am 
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tobyprice wrote:
Hi. Can I ask a couple of questions, since it is the same topic?
Does the panel really have to consider the prejudice of admitting one additional child at Stage 1, or does it, in practice, consider the number who are appealing?
It considers whether any further admissions would cause prejudice.

However, the issue of all the children appealing arises if the panel is contemplating turning down stage one. It is then required to consider the following:
    3.6 However, in multiple appeals where a number of children would have been offered a place, and to admit that number would seriously prejudice the provision of efficient education or efficient use of resources, the panel must proceed to the second stage.

Similarly, at the balancing stage, the panel is required to consider the following:
    3.9 In multiple appeals, the panel must not compare the individual cases when deciding whether an appellant’s case outweighs the prejudice to the school. However, where the panel finds there are more cases which outweigh prejudice than the school can admit, it must then compare the cases and uphold those with the strongest case for admission .......


Quote:
If the school is already over PAN, can it use this to strengthen its prejudice argument?
Possibly - but it depends on the numbers. The panel might choose to give more weight to how classes are actually organised.

As Sally-Anne has indicated, there are a limited number of grounds whereby a school could be above PAN at this point in time - for example:
    • Fair Access Protocol,
    • maladministration (where the admission authority has already recognised a place should have been offered),
    • a statement of special needs naming the school (after the allocations have been done).

Take for example a six-form entry school (PAN 180) which for some reason is already up to 184 (4 classes of 31 and 2 classes of 30). Although strictly speaking there are no 'vacancies' as such, at the balancing stage the panel might (I don't say 'would') take the view that, if the school is already having to manage with 4 classes of 31, it could in all probability cope with another couple of pupils - provided that those individual cases are sufficient on their merit to outweigh any prejudice to the school.
[The issue I'm discussing here the degree of prejudice to the school.]

On the other hand, if a school already has (for example) 6 classes of 31, or even 6 classes of 32, there's a clear threshold to be crossed, and I suspect the school would have a very strong case for prejudice.

Quote:
This would seem to be very unfair on those whose appeals were held later. Or are all oversubscription appeals held at the same time for a school as far as is possible?
As Sally-Anne has said, oversubscription appeals for a school must be heard as a single batch as far as possible.
It's not unknown for a smaller batch of hearings to take place in July or September for those who appealed too late and missed the main batch.

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:37 am 
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Thanks as ever Sally-Anne and Etienne.

I understand from the Bucks process and the Appeals Policy that the members of the Admissions IAP and the oversubscription IAP should be the same, as Rho40 was I think indicating.

If this is not happening, as I believe may be true in our case, is it better to go through the process and complain afterwards or complain at the session. I think it strengthens the case for prejudice against the child, as the original panel who overturned the SRP decision might be more understanding of the child's situation and therefore prejudice.

For instance, our DC is Dyslexic and it become clear in our IAP that our chair understood the condition well, which is one reason why the SRP was overturned.

On the other hand, this would be a challenge to the process, rather than the school's prejudice case, so it may not be relevant at an oversubscription appeal.

This might also be better positioned as maladministration in Stage 1.

Which brings me to my second question in response to Etienne's observation about a school ALREADY going over PAN due to maladministration. How could this have happened, as I believed that the earliest opportunity to suggest maladministration was at the oversubscription appeal?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Quote:
I understand from the Bucks process and the Appeals Policy that the members of the Admissions IAP and the oversubscription IAP should be the same, as Rho40 was I think indicating.

The terminology is confusing! All IAPs are dealing with admissions. In fact, as Etienne mentioned, BCC are now using the term "Admission Appeal" for an oversubscription appeal.

I assume that by "Admissions IAP" you're referring to the IAP that heard your FCO/qualification case? By "Appeals Policy" do you mean the Appeals Code?

It's clear from the Appeals Code that the same panel must hear a batch of oversubscription appeals, but a later batch would be separate and could be heard by a different panel. (Hence the comment I made earlier about the school's case being the same, but potentially being overturned by a different panel.)

Quote:
If this is not happening, as I believe may be true in our case, is it better to go through the process and complain afterwards or complain at the session.

The problem with raising this at the hearing is that the outcome might be that your hearing is adjourned to a later date (July, August or even September). There is huge pressure in the system at present.

It's a question probably best left until after you have the decision on your appeal. I'm not even sure whether there would be any legal basis for it. They might well try to arrange the same panel for oversubscription as for FCO/qualification, but it's not explicitly stated as a requirement in the Appeals Code. (In fact the Code says very little about FCO/qualification. This has been one of the problems with the new system.)

Quote:
Which brings me to my second question in response to Etienne's observation about a school ALREADY going over PAN due to maladministration. How could this have happened, as I believed that the earliest opportunity to suggest maladministration was at the oversubscription appeal?

Not necessarily. If the admission authority accepted it had made a procedural error (e.g. it had used the wrong distance in the original allocations) it could agree to go over PAN without an appeal. It is rare, but it does happen.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:56 pm 
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thanks, Sally-Anne. Clear as always, given the complete lack of clarity in the process!


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