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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:24 pm 
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I have just found out that the Head of the school I am appealing for will be the representative of the admitting authority. Is this generally a good or bad thing as far as the appellants are concerned? My instinct tells me that it makes it harder for us - to perhaps argue against the case that the school is really full, to pick up on things stated in the report. It feels like it makes it more personal somehow and I would prefer a more anonymous LA representative...does anyone have any experience/ views to share please? We are appealing on oversubscription grounds in Kent.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:17 pm 
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We had the Deputy Head present at ours, who said she was there to sit in on an appeal as she had never experienced one before. I think she was as shocked by the stressful questioning by one of the panel as we were! After it was over, we had the chance to have a much less formal chat outside which put our minds at ease re one of our points of appeal for our Daughter. It could be a good thing for you and a way to make a personal impression with the school.
Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:23 pm 
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Hi, I think it's quite normal. We had the deputy head at both of our appeals. They are there to put the school's case forward and to answer any questions you or the panel may have. I'm not an expert though so might be wrong! The deputy head from one school that was oversubscribed was quite grumpy and obviously didn't want to take any more children. The deputy head today though was lovely and even said that he thought our son would be an asset to his school. I don't think having them there would damage your case and they are not allowed to be alone with the panel, so can't influence them without you being there to argue the case. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:31 am 
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Depends on the head. Ours turned up as Stage 1 of our oversubscription appeal and said that ideally he would love to offer a place to everyone in the room, especially as they had shown confidence in the school by appealing for a place, but of course resources meant that wasn't possible. When you think about it, appealing for a school place is indeed a vote of confidence in the school. I'm sure any head would rather be fighting their corner at an appeal than scrabbling around trying to fill empty places!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:32 am 
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Thanks for the replies. It seems to me that there is little point in making a good impression on the Head, as they are not part of the panel who makes the decision. They are there to argue that that the school is full and I am there to argue that, despite being at PAN, they are not actually full and could accommodate my child (they have gone over PAN for several years). To do this, I need to challenge the school's case and, as I said above, I would find it easier to do that with a random LA representative, than the actual person who wrote the report arguing that he can't squeeze my child in!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:43 am 
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Location: Gloucestershire
MMMum wrote:
To do this, I need to challenge the school's case and, as I said above, I would find it easier to do that with a random LA representative, than the actual person who wrote the report arguing that he can't squeeze my child in!

A random LA rep may know very little about the school, other than the report sent by the head, so may only work to that report. The head may acutally be able to answer questions with authority and knows the school inside out - so they might be more flexible in the flesh than on paper.

Over the years I've heard many (non-grammar) over-sub appeals where the school is represented by a clerk from the LEA. They say the school is full because it's at PAN, and that's that; whereas sometimes if the head has turned up to the appeal, they may admit that actually they can fit one or two more pupils into each year without prejudice. At at least one appeal where both an LEA clerk & head were presenting, the clerk said "the school is full" and the head said "but we can take more pupils". Guess what the panel decided each time.

I've also had heads & senior staff present who've seemed quite scary even to the panel, and others who were really nice to everyone in the room.

Don't forget, they're not against you or your child personally - just against having more pupils in general. Do try to avoid being agressive or confrontational with anyone in the appeals process. It's you against the system, not the individuals; even if being friendly to them doesn't win the appeal, at least it will be less stressful for all involved.

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