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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:28 pm 
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I am new here following an appeal which was rejected for just a normal school -not grammar and I am thinking of complaining to the EFA for maladministration.

The summary is not a true represantation of what I actually said during the appeal.

In my appeal I said that my daughter was the only one girl not going to the school I was appealing for, however they twisted this to say that she was the only one allocated a place at a different school and that this was the cause of distress

They also mentioned that my daughter was out of school and remained isolated and distressed, however in the appeal I never said that but did tell them that I was home educating her, to help her regain self esteem.

The panel did say that they understood there was a place still available at the school she was allocated, which is not true as I had withdrawn the offer. The Admissions Authority had included all the emails I had written to them including the one acknowledging home education and withdrawal of offer.

in the summary they considered friendship as the main issue although my grounds were on continuity as all the other girls and vast majority of students from her school had been allocated places at that school. The continuity was important she had past problems, including receiving Art Therapy in year 5 which my GP had provided as evidence.

There was a GP letter giving evidence of what had happened in the past and emphasising the need for continuity, however nowhere was it considered.

Will it be wise to take this up with the EFA and if so how best can I present my complaint?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:17 pm 
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Welcome! :)

I assume you've seen our section on complaints?
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman

It is always a matter for concern when the clerk's notes appear to be inaccurate.
The key question, however, is whether any inaccuracy led to an injustice.

Quote:
In my appeal I said that my daughter was the only one girl not going to the school I was appealing for, however they twisted this to say that she was the only one allocated a place at a different school and that this was the cause of distress

They also mentioned that my daughter was out of school and remained isolated and distressed, however in the appeal I never said that but did tell them that I was home educating her, to help her regain self esteem.
Some of the facts may be incorrect, but the focus is probably on what really matters (your daughter's vulnerable state).
If your arguments had been more accurately reflected, I think the question for the EFA to decide is - how much stronger would your case have been? Strong enough for the panel possibly to have reached a different conclusion?

Quote:
The panel did say that they understood there was a place still available at the school she was allocated, which is not true
If they appear to have been influenced by this (when they had evidence that it was not so), there may have been an injustice.
I think the EFA would look closely at the context in which the comment was made in order to assess its significance.

educationway wrote:
There was a GP letter giving evidence of what had happened in the past and emphasising the need for continuity, however nowhere was it considered.
By "nowhere," I assume you're referring to the decision letter?
It rather depends whether the clerk's notes show that the panel gave proper consideration to the GP letter.
If they did, then that really ought to have been mentioned in the decision letter (although failing to do so would probably be viewed as a technical error rather than an injustice).
If they didn't, it may have been an injustice. It might depend on whether or not the clerk's notes show that they took all the history/background fully into account.

Quote:
Will it be wise to take this up with the EFA
There's no reason why you shouldn't see what the EFA think of this. At least you will know that someone independent has reviewed everything.

Quote:
and if so how best can I present my complaint?
Keep each point brief and factual, e.g. "I am concerned that the decision letter makes no mention at all of a key part of my case - evidence from our GP."

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:24 pm 
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Many thanks Etienne


Quote:
I think the EFA would look closely at the context in which the comment was made in order to assess its significance.


Below is a summary of what was written in the decision letter regarding that school.

That it would be a suitable school for my daughter, as it is closer to home and would have real social advantages for her. They were confident that my daughter would receive the help and support she needed from the relevant staff there if I brought concerns regarding her vulnerability, being aware of the lengths schools now go to help children to settle


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:52 pm 
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Quote:
That it would be a suitable school for my daughter, as it is closer to home and would have real social advantages for her. They were confident that my daughter would receive the help and support she needed from the relevant staff there if I brought concerns regarding her vulnerability, being aware of the lengths schools now go to help children to settle

Thanks. By "context" I was thinking of the clerks notes which ought to show, for example, what led up to the comment.

Did the panel initiate discussion about the alternative school?
Were all the above points put to you at the hearing so that you had an opportunity to respond?

I'm uneasy about this anyway, because you were appealing for a particular school, not against another school.
Of course, if you made an issue of the other school, and it was part of your case, then it could have been legitimate for the panel to pursue the matter.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:50 am 
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They asked whether there was still a place for the other school to the Admissions Authority, who said yes. They also raised issues with distance and asked me questions about that. Apart from that they did not initiate discussion with me regarding that school and in coming up with the decision it was their own views and general knowledge regarding schools.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:14 pm 
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educationway wrote:
They asked whether there was still a place for the other school to the Admissions Authority, who said yes. They also raised issues with distance and asked me questions about that. Apart from that they did not initiate discussion with me regarding that school and in coming up with the decision it was their own views and general knowledge regarding schools.

Provided you didn't argue against the other school, I would have thought you could reasonably complain: "I was appealing for the X school, not against the Y school. I am concerned at the panel 's focus on the Y school, as this was never part of my case. The "social advantages" and level of "help and support" at the Y school were never discussed with me at the hearing."
(It's unlikely to be decisive, but worth a mention!)

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