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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
:) Well I'm pleased to be posting some rather good news for a change.

Following our poor treatment during an independent :lol: appeal - we complained to the Ombudsman highlighting a catalogue of maladministration, errors and lies which had beset our appeal.

We understood that the Ombudsman's decision would be final and we respected this as the investigator seemed genuinely concerned at the disgraceful way our appeal had been handled.

The Ombudsman was quited shocked by the behaviour of the appeal clerk after our complaint had been launched, and referred to him as unprofessional, vitriolic and various other adjectives of that nature.

Therefore when we received a letter saying that the Ombudsman's office had been unable to find in our favour (listing one key reason), we accepted that the procedure had reached it's negative conclusion despite our best efforts and that this was the end of the road.

I was aware that the Ombudsman publishes complaints for others to view and rang to enquire how much detail would be made available on the web site.
I was astonished to find that the Ombudsman was having doubts about the decision (this information was offered voluntarily and unexpectedly).
Feeling confused - I asked how this situation had arisen.

At this point I was advised to write to the Ombudsman to challenge the decision. I explained that I had no idea that I was allowed to do this and really didn't want to as the process had been gruelling enough.

If you receive a negative decision from the Ombudsman - be sure to take the opportunity to challenge it - if you disagreee with the reasons offered.
Your are allowed to exercise this right. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Katie

I am so pleased to hear that, and I congratulate you for having been so brave and persistent. I think you have taken us all (other than Etienne) into uncharted waters here, and your experience is invaluable to the Forum.

If you haven't closed the door completely on your right to challenge the decision, would you consider going ahead with this? I do understand how gruelling it all is, but it seems to me that the Ombudsman has his/her arm outstretched for you to grasp?

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:47 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Katie wrote:
:) Well I'm pleased to be posting some rather good news for a change.


So did you challenge the ombudsman yet and if so, what happened?

_________________
Capers


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:42 pm 
Katie wrote:
:)


At this point I was advised to write to the Ombudsman to challenge the decision. I explained that I had no idea that I was allowed to do this and really didn't want to as the process had been gruelling enough.


Would be interested to know your decision Katie: did you write to the Ombudsman and continue appeal or have you had enough?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
So sorry for the long delay.

We carefully considered challenging the decision. We had no idea that it was an option, and hence had not even discussed it.
The Ombudsman cannot possibly know what is going on down here in Torbay, and we fully comprehend their difficulty as they are based such a very long distance from this area.

We are further investigating the worth of this exercise as it would appear that the version of events already submitted by the clerk has been believed. This does not offer much cause for optimism.

Unfortunately the clerk chose to go for "blacken the name of the complainant" as his primary defence strategy. It would be hard for a person far removed from the reality of the situation to read the document objectively.

As you correctly intimated - we are throroughly fed up with the tactics employed by the clerk to defend his actions. Our belief in the importance / usefulness of the Codes of Practice is waning fast.

We have already highlighted four or five breaches of the codes (agreed by the Ombudsman) - but are told that it is still not enough to warrant a fresh appeal. If the Codes of Practice stand fro nothing and breaches are permissible - then please could someone tell me why they exist?

A system which is so open to interpretation cannot be taken seriously.
At this point we wonder - what is the point?

For those who have not previously read this thread.....the child was a borderline fail at 11+ with all siblings in the foundation grammar school already.

We appealed on grounds of very difficult family circumstances at the time of the test (Government evidence was provided - but not verified by the clerk even though he was asked to do so 8 weeks in advance of the hearing).Ombudsman says he doesn't have to check it out if he doesn't want to - so hey - that's ok.

The family circumstances resolved, within 5 months the child went on to acheive straight 5s in SATS and won a full academic scholarship at an independent school. The panel decided that the child wasn't of a high enough academic ability for the school and clerk put this in writing twice. The Ombudsman says that the clerk and panel did not make a decision about the child's ability. Well that must be right too then - after all - it's the clerk who said so?

We are concerned that further action might: prevent the child entering the school at 12+ (As if the governors would even consider admitting any of our children now!)

We (like everyone) are concerned about moving the child again, now that he has settled into a new school.

Watch this space


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