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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:19 pm 
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A new Code came in to force on 17 January 2008 and applies to appeals in respect of decisions on admission communicated on or after 1 March 2008.

The Secretary of State has written:
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"This Code and the Regulations strive to strike a balance between two tensions in the system – the right of parents to have a fair hearing, and the right of schools to have some protection against admitting so many more children than planned that it will have a detrimental effect.

The Code is very clear that anyone who has a connection with the school or who could in any way be perceived as being partial must not sit on an appeal panel ...... clerks must be truly independent of the school and education or children’s services department of the local authority. Parents have complained about the unreasonable time they have to wait to have their appeal heard, and the Code addresses this by specifying the timescale within which an appeal must be held. To prevent parents feeling ‘outnumbered’ where the admission authority sends more than one person to present its case, the Code makes it clear that it should be the norm for only one presenting officer to attend. But it does make allowance for a head teacher or other appropriate person to accompany the presenting officer to answer questions about the school. However, the additional person’s attendance is restricted solely to this role.

Schools themselves have complained of the effect of what they perceive to be too many appeals being upheld without regard to the effect this will have, and of the burden of having to administer what can sometimes be a large number of appeals. The Code guides panels to have proper regard to the impact of additional admissions on the efficient provision of education and use of resources, and to the obligation schools are under to admit additional children through In-Year Fair Access Protocols when they may have already admitted to their published admission number.

I appreciate the burden on schools of administering appeals. But it is also a concern to me that appeal panels established by own-admission authority schools [e.g. foundation and VA schools] are so often found failing by the Local Government Ombudsman, when they could avoid this by working together or with their local authority ......."


Nationally, most appeals relate to oversubscription rather than non-qualification, and the new Code like the old one reflects this.

You can find a copy of the new Code here:
http://www.dfes.gov.uk/sacode/
Be careful to select “School Admission Appeals Codeâ€

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:14 pm 
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In reality does this mean a school cannot run its own appeals panel with member from the school board of governors?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:45 pm 
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An own-admission authority school can set up its own appeals panel, but a member of its governing body can not serve on the panel.

1.5 The following people are disqualified from membership of an appeal panel and therefore must not sit on panels :
a) any member of the local authority which is making the arrangements or which maintains the school in question;
b) any member or former member of the governing body of the school in question;
c) any person employed by the local authority or the governing body of the school in ques-tion, other than a person employed as a teacher or as a teaching assistant;
d) any person who has, or at any time has had, any connection with the authority or the school, or with any person within sub-paragraph c), of a kind which might reasonably be taken to raise doubts about his ability to act impartially in relation to the authority or the school;
e) any person who does not satisfy the training requirements as set out in the Appeals Regulations .
A teacher or teaching assistant must not sit on appeal panels considering appeals against decisions about admissions to their school. A person must not sit on an appeal panel con-sidering an appeal against a decision if they were among those who made the decision, or provided information which contributed to the decision.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:34 pm 
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Thats interesting cos one of the schools round here arranges it own appeals through the board of governors.

I guess I should challenge the background of the panel


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:59 pm 
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"Arranges" could imply that the school/governors advertise in the local press for, and appoint, suitable "independent" people. I hope this is what it means!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:16 pm 
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watdad wrote:
In reality does this mean a school cannot run its own appeals panel with member from the school board of governors?


I would read it as governors must not be on the panel. Someone has to select the panel members and in your case it may well be the governors doing so - but that's not against the code.

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