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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Can anyone give advise on this
We attended a hearing with only revving the paperwork only 5 days before stage one and 9 days before stage two for a grammar school appeal, ds had missed by 6 marks in maths, English was 127. Older sibling at the school, I am governor too so am fully aware of the expectations and required standard from the children attending, appeal prepared arguing why short on maths and the extenuating circumstances if seeing his nan that morning rushed to hospital with a life threatening condition, in fact she spent 6 months in hospital, chairman of panel I felt harassed me and my husband over a report that our son was close to borderline dyslexic and questioned us as to whether he had support at school and when we replied no we were asked why not, clearly the report did not deem him in need of this, most of the hearing the chair seemed obsessed trying to label our son dyslexic, and then that gave the chairman reason to say he was not suitable for grammar. Strong academic evidence, a sibling already at the school, extenuating circumstances , we have waited from our appeal date 15th it has taken till 30th may for letter and it is also not signed but a photocopy of the clerks signature , which in itself I think is incorrect, what advise can you give please. I think there was an injustice at the appeal and at best would wish to have another appeal with a fair new panel.


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 3:58 pm 
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Location: london
Hi LHarrison and welcome.

Sorry to hear you have not had the result you hoped for. I'm sure someone with the required knowledge to offer you some advice will be along in due course. However, in the meantime it might be helpful to them if you re-read your post and tried to clarify/summarise exactly what you are trying to say as I may not be alone in finding it difficult to follow. Specifically, perhaps you could summarise in what regard and on what point/points you feel the chair acted unfairly? There is a process to follow in cases of maladministration and no doubt one of the experts can advise you on where to find out more about that to see if you have a case. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 5:45 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Lharrison, and welcome from me too.

As mad? suggests, I think it would be helpful if you could post a little more clearly about the aspect of your appeal that you feel was maladministration.

In the meantime, please take a read of the Appeals Q&A Section D, here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman

It would be helpful if you could tell us whether the school in question is an Academy, whether they administer their own appeals and whereabouts in the country the school is. If you don't wish to post that information on the forum, there is a facility to send the information to us privately, instructions here: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=9907

Quote:
most of the hearing the chair seemed obsessed trying to label our son dyslexic

The panel will have needed to decide whether your son has a disability under the Equality Act 2010. Your description of him as "borderline dyslexic" suggests to me that they were finding it difficult to establish that from the information you had provided, and they will therefore have probed the evidence quite deeply.

Quote:
we have waited from our appeal date 15th it has taken till 30th may for letter

It is very likely that other Stage 2 hearings took place after yours, and therefore no letters could be sent until all those appeals had been heard.

Quote:
it is also not signed but a photocopy of the clerks signature , which in itself I think is incorrect

It is likely that the clerk drafted the decision letters, but was then not in the office to sign them personally once they were all completed.

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:22 pm 
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1. Question were not relevant asking why my husband had worked away from home, which was one of the reasons for our sons unsettled year. They went on to ask about my husband work.

2. Asked us why school had not given our son extra support following report, but it was only one line of the report that he was close to borderline of dyslexic he actually passed his English his English ability not in question

3. No question regarding the extenuating circumstances about the ambulance and nan being taken extremely ill on the morning of the tests.

4. No mention of sibling already at school and now sons will be at schools 20 miles apart and I am carer for my mum, taxi services for boys !

5. I am a school governor and I feel their fairness and intense questions was very intimidating- not at all like an appeal I did for my eldest two years ago.

6. Clerk unable to answer questions about the administration process and whether governors were involved


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:17 pm 
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There was a case some 7 years ago involving questions that were so utterly irrelevant that the ombudsman ruled there should be a re-hearing:
    Does your son have a mobile phone?
    Do you have a lock on your computer?
    What would you do if your son came home and told you another child at school had been carrying a knife?
    Does he go to the methodist chapel in your village?
    Is he a member of the boy's scouts?

I have to say, though, that the above is exceptional. Generally speaking, it tends to be extremely difficult to prove an injustice on the basis of what questions were or were not asked.

I agree with Sally-Anne that any probing with regard to dyslexia was almost certainly to meet the requirements of the Equality Act. Once dyslexia was mentioned, it became necessary to determine whether the condition was 'substantial'. The panel would probably have been negligent not to enquire about the level of support in place at school!

Not sure I understand what the issues were in point 6.

I think the next step could be to try and get hold of a copy of the clerk's notes to see what has been recorded:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman#d4

They may try to resist giving you the information, and unfortunately the notes are unlikely to reveal much if anything about the 'tone' of the hearing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Lharrison wrote:
6. Clerk unable to answer questions about the administration process and whether governors were involved

Are you referring to the administration process of the appeal, the administration of the exam process or the administration of the schools side of the appeal?

The clerk, being totally independent of the school, can only answer the first. Governors should not be involved in running the appeal, but could certainly be involved in preparing or presenting the schools side of the appeal. The only loyalty the clerk has is to the three panel members, and not the school nor the parent.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:47 pm 
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It is the administration and questioning of the appeals panel I am unhappy about.

Questions about does your son do Duke of Edinburgh, I replied no as not able to do this until he is 14. so the question was directed at the school did they run the scheme at the school?? relevance??

Or questions about my husbands work whilst he was away?

the questions about the governors was made by the Chair to the clerk as to whether the governors would have been part of the admissions process? after I declared I was a governor, the clerk seemed unable to answer. which I though was odd?

really wasn`t very happy over the whole process, certainly very different to an appeal I did two years ago.

An independent appeal two members of the panel were the same from two years ago for the same school


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:11 pm 
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Do you think they were asking about your husband's work because you had said that one of the reasons for your son's unsettled year was because your husband was working away from home? That would seem a natural question to ask, to me, "what does he do?" type of thing? The fact that the panel consisted of some familiar people to you, from your previous appeal is not that surprising - appeals panels can only be made up of people who are willing to do them and, I guess, (knowing some people who are on schools appeals panels), they tend to be in their local area.

Are you a governor at the school you were appealing to? I am unclear from what you have said - maybe the Chair was asking if you (as a governor) would have been involved in the admissions process? Also, if the school's that your sons are now going to be at, are 20 miles apart, can the LEA not provide transport to them?

Sorry - just trying to vocalise the questions that I asked myself when trying to understand what you were saying - these were the things that crossed my mind.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:27 pm 
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I think I am just trying to explore any avenue. I wasn`t pleased with the panels questioning, last appeal was very friendly and relaxed, this one I felt I was on trial.

Our son missed out by 6 marks due to a problem with his grandmother who had baby sat over night as I was on a night shift being taken extremely ill with a bled on the brain and rushed by ambulance from our house before school, he was predicted to pass. our older son is at the school which specialises in engineering, our youngest desperately wants to be an engineer, he's been allocated a school specialising in performing arts , which will not offer engineering till sixth form ( if there is demand !!) thought the extenuating circumstances and sibling would have stood us a chance of winning the appeal as well as academic ability.

My mum spent 6 months in hospital but is now home and I have become carer, so any after school activities or days that are different to each school are going to cause a problem with transport!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Quote:
Questions about does your son do Duke of Edinburgh, I replied no as not able to do this until he is 14. so the question was directed at the school did they run the scheme at the school?? relevance??
Are you saying there was no prior mention of out-of-school activities which might have led to the DoE reference?
If the question came completely 'out of the blue', then I agree it seems irrelevant.

Quote:
Or questions about my husbands work whilst he was away?
Did you provide evidence of your husband's work away from home (e.g. from the employer)?
If not, and if absence was part of your case, then I agree with KCG that it would have been quite reasonable for the panel to ask for more detail.

Quote:
the questions about the governors was made by the Chair to the clerk as to whether the governors would have been part of the admissions process?
Not at all sure why the chair would have asked the clerk - the clerk is responsible for the appeal, not for answering questions about admissions.

Quote:
really wasn`t very happy over the whole process, certainly very different to an appeal I did two years ago.
An independent appeal two members of the panel were the same from two years ago for the same school
Curious that, with a similar panel, the tone was so different this time.

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