Go to navigation
It is currently Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:16 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Two Kent grammar schools
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:15 pm
Posts: 163
I found these news cited in this website very exciting.

Schools failed to give families of rejected pupils a fair appeal
Times - 8th Nov 07
Two grammar schools have been told to pay compensation to parents for mishandling their admission appeals. The Skinners’ School and The Judd School, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, did not consider the appeals in a fair and impartial manner, and were guilty of injustice and maladministration, the Local Government Ombudsman said. The ombudsman’s report said that The Judd School refused places to two boys, even though both scored more than 94 per cent in selection tests. Pupils who had older siblings at the school, and also did well in the tests, were given preference. The fathers of both boys appealed against the decision, arguing that the admission procedures were complex and unfair. Their appeals were heard in April and May last year. In August the ombudsman recommended that new appeals be held and the request was reiterated three months later, but hearings were not arranged until May this year. Both boys were, by then, attending other secondary schools.

Schools to compensate parents over admissions appeals
24dash - 8th Nov 07
Two leading grammar schools have been ordered to pay compensation to parents for mishandling their children's admissions appeals, the Local Government Ombudsman said today. Parents' appeals against the refusal of places for their sons at the Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells and the Judd School in Tonbridge, both in Kent, were not considered in a fair and impartial manner, the ombudsman found. In two separate reports, ombudsman Tony Redmond ruled that the maladministration identified in both schools' appeals process "caused the complainants avoidable uncertainty and anxiety". Mr Redmond heard appeals from two parents whose sons had been successful in selection tests at the Judd School but were later told the school was, in the governors' view, full and the boys' applications had failed. The main faults relating to the appeals included inappropriate links between those considering the appeals and those involved in the school and its governing, the report said. It added: "These links cast serious doubt on the independence of some members of the appeals panels, so that the ombudsman cannot be satisfied that the appeals were properly and independently considered, or that conflicts of interest were properly resolved." The report added that the governors used some of the same panellists to consider appeals for several years, and the governors' arrangements for administering appeals were inconsistent and insufficiently independent. In the case of the Skinners' School, one boy had failed selection tests, while the other had been successful in his but was later told by the governors that the school was full and his application was turned down. Most of the main faults in their appeals were similar to those found in the case of the Judd School, Mr Redmond found. The ombudsman said both schools shared a clerking service. The governors accepted the ombudsman's suggestion to offer fresh appeals with a different panel and clerk. Of the four cases, one reheard appeal was upheld, two were not, and in the fourth case the complainant did not take up the offer of a new appeal. Mr Redmond told the schools they should pay £350 to each complainant.

Two grammars 'mishandled appeals'
BBC - 8th Nov 07
Two leading Kent grammar schools have been criticised for failing to operate fair admissions appeals procedures. The Judd School in Tonbridge and The Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells, were found guilty of maladministration. The Local Government Ombudsman found some members of the panel deciding appeals against refusal to admit pupils had links to the school in each case. This was a "conflict of interest" and meant the ombudsman could not be sure that the appeals were heard properly.

Kent grammars rapped over 'unfair' admissions process
ATL - 8th Nov 07
Two grammar schools in Kent have been told to pay compensation after they were adjudged not to have handled a number of admission appeal cases fairly, according to reports. Parents of four children appealed against the decisions made by the Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells and the Judd School in Tonbridge to deny entry to their respective sons and daughters and subsequently complained to local government ombudsman Tony Redmond about the process. Links were discovered between individuals who sat in the entry appeals panel and the schools and governors, and these were deemed by Mr Redmond to be 'inappropriate' and meant that the appeals could not be 'independently considered'.

_________________
Alice


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Please note in particular: "the Ombudsman finds that there is too great a conflict of interest for a person to act both as the Clerk to the Governors and as the Clerk to an Appeal Panel".

I have previously expressed concern here when a number of appellants have mentioned that the clerk of their foundation/VA school appeal turned out to be clerk to the governors as well.

Too many foundation/VA schools appear to be doing this sort of thing.

The ombudsman's full report on the two Kent schools can be found here:
www.lgo.org.uk/news/info.php?refnum=183&startnum=
(click on "doc" files at the bottom)

_________________
Etienne


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
I am almost horrified to read this report - and thank you so very much for posting it here.

Our case bears striking similarities to this report - but strangely the Ombudsman in a differnt part of the country said that although all the same breaches had taken place - they were acceptable.

I cannot understnad why no specific legislation exists to help guide those in positions of power. It sems that one Ombudsman says it's ok to conduct an appeal this way - and the other says it's not.

The Codes of Practice are almost a laughing stock - they're not worth the paper their written on if they are not as strictly adhered to as the school's admissions policies seem to be.

:evil:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:38 pm 
I am curious as to how it can be that 'appeals from two parents whose sons had been successful in selection tests at the Judd School but were later told the school was, in the governors' view, full and the boys' applications had failed' when they failed to reach the Judd pass mark of 412. The boys passed the Kent test but as most people know (except some reporters it would appear) that it is not sufficient to pass the Kent test - boys need to be in the top 120 (or 125 as it is now) of those applying to the school. Such reporting inaccuracies are not helpful.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
The reporting may be unhelpful, but the end result must have been pleasing for the families who had been treated in this way. On reading the full report - I was pleased to see that someone had applied common sense and courtesy to a situation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:33 am 
I was not dismissing the report which does show evidence of maladminstration. My problem was the report suggested that the boys in question were entitled to places at the schools in question when they patently failed to make the cut-off for places, along with many others.

Had this been made clear in the article I would have no problem with it. By reporting in this way it laid itself open to the impression on the part of some readers that the action was driven by sour grapes rather than the desire for justice.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:25 am
Posts: 229
I totally agree - reporting of incidents needs to be more careful and concise. It's impossible to comprehend a situation without the full facts.
I too felt that certian key points were not clarified in the report.

Perhaps I should explain that I take issue with the admissions policies of school who change the "pass mark" each year, and in this case I may have misinterpreted this report.

Where the "Planned Admission Number" is the cut-off point for a school - regardless of children's actual results (and despite schools who claim that they reserve the right to leave places unfilled if necessary.......) I really start to question the sensibility of admissions decisions.

Schools do have to set admissions limits for a variety of reasons, however it makes no sense for a child is refused admission when they would have been admitted in a previous or subsequent year on achieved marks.

The whole area of "border zone" children is a mine field. If one is fortunate enough to be able to attend a good "second choice" school - then it's not the end of the world. Unfortunately many children are not affored that benefit.

On rereading the report - it appears that the pass mark for the school is higher than the county "pass mark"?
Very confusing!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:56 pm 
I can confirm that the pass mark for these schools does vary year on year because a line is set by the school such that, in the case of Judd, the top 125 pupils are offered places (it was 120 places at the time of the appeals in question). For Skinners the number of places available is even lower but the pass-mark is also set lower. The Judd pass mark has varied between 412 and 414 in recent years - two of my sons obtained places there in different years.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016