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Kent are now saying I need to go to appeal, directly to the school, after the rejection is received in March 2016.
Very sorry to hear what has happened, but it looks like the correct advice.
I think you'd be told exactly the same thing in every part of the country where there is any sort of internal review process.
My feeling is that I need to get the decision reversed now so that my DC is "selective" for the CAF application process. But I've no idea whether there is any chance at all of this happening.
It would be good to get some quick answers, but I'm very doubtful.
Apparently, the success rate for HTA was 50% in 2014
Not a surprising figure when presumably only the strongest cases are being put forward for consideration.
Weaker cases are not 'filtered out' for appeal panels!
That means, had our DC been selective, there was a very high probability of getting in based on distance from the school.
What you need is certainty
, so you'll have to ask the LA to address the following question at the beginning of March: "If my child had been qualified, would he have got a place?
If the answer to that question is 'Yes
', and subject to the appeal panel being satisfied with regard to academic suitability, then I would have thought you could ask the panel to consider whether there has been maladministration (i.e. whether the admission arrangements - of which the HTA is a part - have been incorrectly applied, depriving your son of a place to which he should have been entitled.)
I think you have a good case, although I cannot of course guarantee the outcome.