- Did I do the right thing requesting access to the additional case letters etc?
I would have thought so, but best to check with the ICO for an authoritative opinion.
- Does the EFA have any responsibility to make the reasons for their decision clear? Do they have to be relevant?
This ought to be the case!
- Am I imagining it that they are, in fact, not even commenting on the main points of my complaint? Stupid question, but is it understandable to be upset?
Ideally - for clarity - I would have liked to see a complaint with numbered paragraphs (and sub-paragraphs where necessary). With luck the EFA will then answer using the same format, which makes it much easier to go back to them saying "Sorry, but what's your response to para. 2b?
As it is, I've not enough time to digest everything fully. I thought you said you were sending just a decision letter .....
- Slightly unrelated, but the 'review' which took place (when pupils above PAN were admitted) - should this not have been also published on their website?
Yes - but unless you've been disadvantaged, this is likely to be a 'technicality'.
- Is the DfE website form my next step?
With detailed references to natural justice, the HRA, etc., it's clear that lawyers have had quite an input!
As cases go, this was complex. An appeal panel could easily have spent half a day on it, if not longer. I wonder how much time was actually scheduled, bearing in mind that a private company was engaged to manage the appeals. (Most cases are probably allocated around 30 minutes!)
I couldn't predict the outcome, but I think it's worth seeing what the DfE make of it all.