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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:53 pm 
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Hi, I'm trying to help a friend with an over subscription appeal for a secondary school in Bucks. The school she has been given for her child is currently in special measures. I know from the appeals information that normally the appeal should focus on reasons for wanting the place at the appeal school and not just listing the problems with the allocated school. I just wanted to ask whether it could be valuable or not to add this as one of her points for her case (she has others including bullying, but none that strong on their own perhaps). In particular the child is middle ability and the last interim ofsted said the allocated school is not doing enough by middle ability children.... Advice welcome!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:25 pm 
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My experience of working in a school in special measures (I joined when it was already in them, so was not responsible for it!) was that it was very very closely monitored indeed with 6-weekly inspections and no corner to hide in. Areas identified as weak were constantly chased and staff were being called to account for every move. I was working on a freelance contract as a 1-1 tutor so escaped much of it, but there was certainly no sense of anyone drifting or being allowed to get away with lazy work. Far from it - many of the staff were working all hours under huge pressure to get out of Special Measures. Which they did. Personally I can't see that holding a huge amount of sway with an appeal panel - I have worked in places where I thought the teaching was worse and where Ofsted has deemed it to be outstanding. But I am sure wiser souls will come and advise you more usefully.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:16 pm 
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I'd agree with Amber. If the school has been put in special measures, there is only one way or it to go...up. Can't see that an appeals panel would see that as positive evidence. I think you need to focus on why the school you want meets the specific needs of the child, not why another school doesn't.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Amber wrote:
Personally I can't see that holding a huge amount of sway with an appeal panel

I agree with Amber and kenyancowgirl - not least because of the point Sanna refers to:
      Quote:
      I know from the appeals information that normally the appeal should focus on reasons for wanting the place at the appeal school

Every argument ought to be evidenced - but if it's not significant, they won't thank your friend for sending in an Ofsted report that then has to be photocopied, issued to everyone, and studied by the panel in advance.

At best I think it merits a very brief mention. If your friend wants to raise it, my advice would be to keep it low key, not include it in her written submission, just read out a couple of the main points from the report at the hearing, and leave a copy of the report with the clerk “for the record”.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Several Bucks upper schools have been in (and out) of special measures over the years, but it has always still been possible for individual children to do well.

Which school are you talking about? Since you are asking on behalf of a friend, why not name the school and then people might be able to offer more specific advice :D


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:24 pm 
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Thanks everyone, you confirm what I was expecting but I feel happier hearing it from the appeals experts.

Hi Rob - I won't name the school because it's not important to the discussion in this case. My friend wants another school because of that parent's intuition that tells you what school you think would work for your child - rather than because of the special measures. The rights and wrongs of special measures for a particular school is a whole different topic that can get everyone very heated: very complex and controversial! :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:44 pm 
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Sanna - she must explain why the preferred school is right for her child - maybe the subjects on offer or something specific.

I would worry more about a school inspected years ago as 'outstanding' because they are likely not to be that any more!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:03 am 
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Ofsted as an extenuating circumstance was already in the 'non-qualification' part of the Q&As (section B):
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b37

I've now added a similar sort of case to the oversubscription Q&As:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c35

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:05 am 
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Hi everyone,

Despite reading all the advice hundreds of times over the last couple of years it's odd how difficult it feels when you're actually going through the appeals process (helping a friend).. so I'm back here with questions!

I'm helping with an over subscription appeal for an Upper school in Bucks. We've send off the short bullet points to lodge the appeal and are now collecting the evidence to send in.

The main issue is bullying and the school's Head is helping with the school's records of the situation to give as hard evidence of the situation and impact. What I wanted to know was whether we have to show documentation for anything we want to bring up in the appeal speech or whether that's unnecessary. I have read all the advice about keeping things short and succinct and don't want to deluge the panel with minor bits or supporting evidence unless this is an essential part of proving what you say. So for example, the school we are appealing for has an excellent reputation for being safe and dealing with any bullying, and Ofsted specifically mention this. Is it a) enough to quote from this in the speech on the day of appeal and perhaps bring a copy of the full report for the clerks records if they want it, or do we need to b) send in ahead of time an appendix summarising quotes from Ofsted reports or c) actually send in the full Ofsted as evidence.

I am assuming that a) is the best approach, I just wanted to check that the appeal decision is made based on the case you bring on the day of appeals rather than on the bullet points and evidence sent in before hand, and that we don't have to prove or support every single word we plan to discuss with photocopies etc.?

I hope I'm making sense on this. Thanks for any advice!!

Sanna


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:00 pm 
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Sanna wrote:
I am assuming that a) is the best approach, I just wanted to check that the appeal decision is made based on the case you bring on the day of appeals rather than on the bullet points and evidence sent in before hand
The decision is based on everything that has been brought to the panel's attention - up to the end of the hearing.

Quote:
and that we don't have to prove or support every single word we plan to discuss with photocopies etc.?
Not necessarily every word!
- but ideally all the significant points would have supporting evidence.

Quote:
So for example, the school we are appealing for has an excellent reputation for being safe and dealing with any bullying, and Ofsted specifically mention this. Is it a) enough to quote from this in the speech on the day of appeal and perhaps bring a copy of the full report for the clerks records if they want it, or do we need to b) send in ahead of time an appendix summarising quotes from Ofsted reports or c) actually send in the full Ofsted as evidence.
Either (a) or (b).

If bullying is the main issue, I'd recommend (b), and also suggest that the quotes include a link to the Ofsted report (so that the panel can easily check the source if they want to).

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