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 Post subject: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:48 pm 
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I am helping my sister in law with her appeal for her son to an oversubscribed non selective state school and should be grateful for some advice. At the moment we don't know whether stage one will be a group appeal or done on an individual basis. Either way should my sister in law respond to the local authority's objections ( which we are assuming will be pretty standard) in her written appeal at all or just deal with them orally?
thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:20 pm 
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Hi Twinkle

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c29

Stage one is best tackled by asking a few probing questions - and this ought to be done at the hearing.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:40 pm 
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Thanks, Etienne. I'm not sure how I didn't see your C29. That makes a lot of sense. Twinkle


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 Post subject: Re: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:09 pm 
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My SIL has now put her son on the waiting list for his preferred school and submitted an appeal which will be heard next week in two stages and she has just received the admissions authority's papers

The school the my SIL is appealing for on behalf of her son is a non selective school where admissions are dealt with by lottery ( within each criteria). The waiting list is a reallocation pool from which children are chosen randomly as and when places become available.

Now in the admissions authority's appeal papers it has been disclosed to the appellants that on National Allocation Day the Local authority found that it had a number of children who didn't have a school place because there are not sufficient secondary school places in the area. So they decided that they would allocate 22 of those children to both my nephew's preferred school and his allocated school. We don't know whether it was a 50:50 split. By doing this the preferred school has now exceeded its PAN and they have obviously bypassed the reallocation pool. All the children who have been allocated a place outside the admissions criteria are within catchment for the school like my nephew. From what I understand it is expected that by September the school will not be over PAN - in other words children in the reallocation pool will not be randomly offered places as they arise until the school is back to PAN. However it may of course be over PAN in September as it all depends on how many children turn places down.

So the question is how to deal with this at appeal or otherwise. A number of children ( say 11 for arguments sake) have been offered a place outside of the admissions criteria and as a result the chances of a child in the reallocation pool being offered a place at the school have been prejudiced. What we can't say is that my nephew has been denied a place that is rightfully his as the children aren't ranked in the reallocation pool except to the extent that they are in or out of catchment. However the probability of being randomly allocated a place from the reallocation pool has diminished. Also surely the appeal panel will now have to take into account the fact that the school may be over PAN in September due to the addition of the say, 11 children, when considering relative prejudice and whether or not to allow any appeals.

I would be very grateful for any advice as to how to advise my SIL.


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 Post subject: Re: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:50 pm 
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Hi Twinkle

Are we sure there hasn't been a temporary increase in PAN to accommodate the extra numbers?

Is the LA the admission authority for the school?

Do the case papers mention any procedure under which the extra places were allocated (e.g. Fair Access)?

Quote:
it is expected that by September the school will not be over PAN - in other words children in the reallocation pool will not be randomly offered places as they arise until the school is back to PAN.
If the school will not be over PAN, why the wait until the school is back to PAN?
Perhaps I haven't understood.

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Hi Etienne

Thank you for your quick reply.

I now have a copy of the papers and can respond to your questions:

I think it is a temporary increase in PAN but the places are not open to all who are in the reallocation pools for each school - only those who got not school place at all.

Referring to a statement made by the the Director of Children's Services it states:

" [ ] confirmed that he had directed { } and { ] School between them to admit 22 in catchment children whose parents had applied for both schools but had not been able to be offered places there within the published admission number ( PAN). This was expressly not done with a view to increasing the overall intake for year 7. The decision was made upon the basis that it was highly likely based on patterns of acceptances in previous years that sufficient families would decline the offer of a school place between the allocation date and the start of term so as to allow the admission of pupils living in catchment at this stage without the overall numbers going above the PAN by the time of the start of the academic year"

However in a separate document it is stated that " This will be a temporary increase and I want to make it clear that it is not intended to represent an in year variation to the PAN"

The Local Authority is the admissions authority as far as I can establish.

The case papers do not mention the procedure under which the extra places were allocated. Rather they refer to an exercise of powers by the Director of Children's Service under the Schools Admission Code ( with no reference to which paragraph of the code) to direct the schools in question to admit the children, following advice from the legal department that it wasn't possible to prioritise the 22 children on the waiting list to give them places as they became available ( but this is effectively what has been done in practice by not putting these children through the lottery along with all others in the reallocation pool for the temporary 22 places!!!). Which of the two schools the 22 children were allocated was allocated randomly.

As to your last point I'm sorry if I haven't explained this properly - quoting from the documentation might make things clearer:

" If and when places subsequently become available at either school the number of places available will drop back down to the PAN and places will not be offered from the reallocation pool until the numbers in the year group have dropped to below the published admission number in the usual way. The Waiting List will remain as published and continue to be operated in accordance withe Council's published admissions policy"


Any advice as to how we should handle this would be gratefully received.

Thank you


Twinkle
"


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 Post subject: Re: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:52 pm 
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Hi Twinkle

Twinkle wrote:
"The decision was made upon the basis that it was highly likely based on patterns of acceptances in previous years that sufficient families would decline the offer of a school place between the allocation date and the start of term so as to allow the admission of pupils living in catchment at this stage without the overall numbers going above the PAN by the time of the start of the academic year"
They appear to be taking a gamble on that!

Twinkle wrote:
The case papers do not mention the procedure under which the extra places were allocated. Rather they refer to an exercise of powers by the Director of Children's Service under the Schools Admission Code .....
This is what the Admissions Code says about powers of direction (maintained schools):
      Quote:
      3.16 Local authority powers of direction (general) - A local authority has the power to direct the admission authority for any maintained school in its area to admit a child even when the school is full. The local authority can only make such a direction in respect of a child in the local authority’s area who has been refused entry to, or has been permanently excluded from, every suitable school within a reasonable distance. The local authority must choose a school that is a reasonable distance from the child’s home and from which the child is not permanently excluded. It must not choose a sixth-form that selects by ability unless the child meets the selection requirements, or a school that would have to take measures to avoid breaking the rules on infant class sizes if those measures would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

      3.17 Before deciding to give a direction, the local authority must consult the governing body of the school, the parent of the child and the child if they are over compulsory school age. If, following consultation, the local authority decides to direct, it must inform the governing body and head teacher of the school. The governing body can appeal by referring the case to the Schools Adjudicator within 15 days. If it does this, the governing body must tell the local authority. The local authority must not make a direction until the 15 days have passed and the case has not been referred.
Questions:
For unplaced children, what was the approx. distance to alternative schools?
Were the governors consulted, and what was their response?
How often in this LA has a school been directed to take such a large number of children?

PAN:
      Quote:
      1.3 Own admission authorities are not required to consult on their PAN where they propose either to increase or keep the same PAN. For a community or voluntary controlled school, the local authority (as admission authority) must consult at least the governing body of the school where it proposes either to increase or keep the same PAN. ...........

      3.6 Variations - Once admission arrangements have been determined for a particular academic year, they cannot be revised by the admission authority unless such revision is necessary to give effect to a mandatory requirement of this Code, admissions law, a determination of the Adjudicator or any misprint in the admission arrangements. Admission authorities may propose other variations where they consider such changes to be necessary in view of a major change in circumstances. Such proposals must be referred to the Schools Adjudicator for approval, and the appropriate bodies notified. Where the local authority is the admission authority for a community or voluntary controlled school, it must consult the governing body of the school before making any reference. A variation to increase a school’s PAN is not required to be referred to the Schools Adjudicator.

      3.7 Admission authorities must notify the appropriate bodies of all variations and must display a copy of the full varied admission arrangements on their website until they are replaced by different admission arrangements. Local authorities must display the varied admission arrangements on their
      website where an admission authority has raised its PAN.
Questions:
Is there any update on the LA or school website about the admission number? Is this a temporary PAN or isn't it?

There is obviously a "hope" that the number on roll will fall back to the previously published admission number by September - but what if it doesn't? Will those on the waiting list then be disadvantaged? Can we be absolutely clear about what number will be used for waiting list purposes?



A questioning approach is best for stage one, and I do hope there is going to be a group hearing to deal with this!

In the light of what is revealed at stage one, and in the event of an unsuccessful appeal, we can scrutinise the wording of the decision letter, and look into the lawfulness of the arrangements and whether they have been correctly applied. If your SIL has any concerns at that point, the ombudsman could be asked to investigate. (Unfortunately it won't be a quick process.)

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Stage One Appeal
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:02 pm 
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Hi Etienne

Thank you. The questions you suggest are extremely helpful. I will let you know how we get on. Fingers crossed that our appeal is successful ( I think it's pretty compelling but you never know) and that we don't need to go the Ombudsman.

Twinkle


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