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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:42 am 
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Hi

We are currently appealing to a Bucks GC via the over-subscription route. Our original application was made under the exceptional social needs consideration - and was upheld

In preparing our appeal, we've asked the admissions authority (the school - as they are an academy) for any more detail on why the 'educational professionals' upheld the exceptional social needs. After no response after 3 weeks (questions could only be submitted by email), we called and were told that they outsourced that part of the application process to Bucks CC.... so we'd need to ask them

Once again, requests can only be put in writing to Bucks CC... and they have just said that they work on a 15 working day turnaround time (which means that any info provided would be after our hearing).

Would I be right in thinking that this doesn't appear to be satisfying the admissions code statement that, "Admission authorities must comply with reasonable requests from parents for information which they need to help them prepare their case for appeal."

Is there any mileage in pursuing this, do you think?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:29 am 
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Having worked for local authority, I know how completely saturated in paperwork you can become, so 15 days is not unreasonable. I would get the letter off immediately if you have not and hope for the best, the fault lay with the academy for not forwarding your request I would have thought. You must highlight this in your letter, along with your dates, but try not to get cross with bucks cc.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:03 pm 
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saints32 wrote:
Would I be right in thinking that this doesn't appear to be satisfying the admissions code statement that, "Admission authorities must comply with reasonable requests from parents for information which they need to help them prepare their case for appeal."
Is there any mileage in pursuing this, do you think?

It's the Appeals Code, by the way. :)

I'm not sure you'll get much more information, other than that they were satisfied by the evidence provided that you met the admission rule.

I think what is unreasonable about this is that the whole process looks like taking five weeks at least. If the school had had the courtesy to tell you straight away to approach Admissions, the time scale wouldn't be as bad as it is. Instead, they ignored you.

We saw something of this unco-ordinated approach last year. A forum member sent a query about the admissions process to Admissions. Weeks went by, and there was no response. When he chased up Admissions, he was told "Oh - we sent it on to the school. Haven't they replied?"

Whether or not your request in itself is reasonable rather depends on your purpose in asking.

I could understand if your application had been unsuccessful (and you had really compelling evidence of a social/medical need that could not be met elsewhere) - but your application was successful, even if it didn't result in an offer.

However, if there are grounds for saying that you have been disadvantaged in preparing your case, then gently point this out at the hearing.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:31 am 
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I take it all back...

Bucks CC shared the clerk's notes from the Exceptional Social Needs review yesterday. Concise notes - but useful to share verbally at the appeal


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 10:11 am 
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That was quick, I know for a fact they would like an e mail of appreciation, they get so many negative ones! :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 10:17 am 
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Already done! :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm 
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saints32 wrote:
I take it all back...

Bucks CC shared the clerk's notes from the Exceptional Social Needs review yesterday. Concise notes - but useful to share verbally at the appeal
They may have taken the view that, if you had requested this under the Data Protection Act, they would have had to comply.

Nevertheless, credit where credit is due. A good outcome. :)

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Stage One appeal (BB98)
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 8:19 am 
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Hi everyone. Stage One of our appeal is looming and I was hoping I could ask for some advice, please

We've received the school's case and it appears to be leaning quite heavily on the building regulations for classroom sizes (e.g. 60 metres squared for 30 pupils in new school buildings) in BB98. In their argument, only 5 general people classrooms meet this criteria

I've seen in other discussions on this forum that 49 metres squared is a measure used for minimum class sizes for 30 pupils. A further 23 classrooms meet this lower criteria!

Might anyone have any experience or suggestions on how best we approach raising this at a Stage One hearing. The school is an academy - so have made no mention of Net Capacity

Many thanks! And good luck to everyone with hearings this week


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi saints32

Etienne isn't around at the moment, so I'll do my best to answer the question instead.

saints32 wrote:
We've received the school's case and it appears to be leaning quite heavily on the building regulations for classroom sizes (e.g. 60 metres squared for 30 pupils in new school buildings) in BB98. In their argument, only 5 general people classrooms meet this criteria

I've seen in other discussions on this forum that 49 metres squared is a measure used for minimum class sizes for 30 pupils. A further 23 classrooms meet this lower criteria!

Exactly. If every school in the country had to meet the criterion of 60 square metres, the education system would have collapsed a decade ago when Building Bulleting 98 was published. The argument they are putting forward relates to ideal room sizes.

At Stage One I suggest you ask: "Apart from recently built schools, how many schools in the county do you think would meet the recommendations in BB-98?" (The answer should be "very few", or thereabouts.)

Although they don't have a net capacity, there will be a capacity figure somewhere in their funding agreement as an Academy, so ask them what it is. Then you can ask them what their net capacity was when it was last calculated. That will probably have been no more than a couple of years ago, and possibly even more recently.

If the two figures are similar, which they are likely to be, you can argue that in fact the figure should still be 49 square metres. If the figures are quite different, you can ask if that is as a result of new building work since the school became an Academy.

You can also ask how many classrooms were stated to be able to accommodate 30 children under the old net capacity. I am betting that it will be far more than the five they are claiming, and probably much nearer the 28 that you have unearthed!

Have they provided you with a list of general classrooms, showing the size of each room? If not, you can ask: "If this is central to the case the admission authority wishes to make, why isn’t this evidence available for the panel and appellants to see?"

Most of these points will be very familiar to the panel, but there is no harm in raising them, especially the lack of firm evidence in support of their assertion.

Edited to add: I’ve moved this to your previous thread. It really helps if you can stick to one thread so all the information about your case is in one place.


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Thanks v much S-A. Hugely appreciated - let's see how it goes!


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