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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Hi all. I have been in discussion on the Kent thread over pending appeals for non-qualification in Kent. I wonder if some other experts can clarify info for myself and ohter worried memebers with pending appeals.

In our part of Kent, because school chioces are made BEFORE the Kent test is taken, we have been allowed to appeal on non-qualification. Some )including me) have had the Headteacher appeal on our behalf. Whilst this failed, i understood, we could still appeal against non-qulaification based on our presentation and evidence of academic abiltity and extenuating circumstances.

However, I have sinced been advised that as from March 1st, no non-qualification appeals will be allowed if a Headteacher has already appealed even though the process of the Kent test does not change until Sept 2008. This means that we have no right to appeal on this basis and are wasting our time because it would be illegal to uphold the appeal.

This is extremely worrying for a lot of us. I phoned KCC on Friday and the women there knew nothing of this change in Kent. Could someone please tell us which way to turn? I am now thinking of now taking a different tack with the appeal, concentrating on why the Headteachers' appeal failed (there was some evidence missing) but don't know if there is any point.

A very depressed appelant. :cry:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:16 am 
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Dear Moscow

I can't tell you what is going to happen in Kent, because I don't know, but I'll give you my views for what they're worth.

First of all, there's no doubt that the new Code applies to all admission decisions communicated on or after 1st March 2008.

I think the key issue is whether the review was carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way.

Reviews vary from area to area, but the ones I have seen in the past seemed to me somewhat inconsistent in that they depended on highly subjective judgements by individual primary school heads. Some set a very high standard, whereas others were very easygoing.

It is up to the appeal panel - no one else - to decide whether a review has been carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way. They will be influenced by any legal advice they have been given (in the case of LA appeals, this will be from the LA legal team), and by how strong a case the LA put forward at the appeal. I am currently aware of one or two LAs that will be conceding that their review is not fair, consistent and objective!

If I were appealing in Kent, I would challenge the authority's representative to prove that the review was fair, consistent and objective, but would then focus in the normal way on academic evidence of high ability and any extenuating circumstances.

What would happen if a panel decided the review was not fair, consistent and objective, and went on to uphold the appeal on the basis of academic evidence and extenuating circumstances? Well, the parents are not going to object! - and from what you say about the interest shown by Kent CC, they seem unlikely to take the matter to judicial review.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:04 am 
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Moscow I have pm'd you.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:58 pm 
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Thanks Medway222 and Etienne. yes I am going to play this one differently and question that the HT appeal was considered in a fair way, then look at the academic evidence.

I wonder though, what would happen if they felt the appeal was fair etc would they then consider the academic evidence and extenuating circumstances? This is what I am afraid of with the new code.

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Moscow


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 6:33 am 
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Hi all,
For the last week both myself and my primary ht have been trying to find some firm info on just how the panels have been advised to deal with appeals when a ht review has been refused and we are none the wiser,no one seems to be able to give black and white answers.
Like others I have come to the conclusion that I am going to have to raise the question myself at the appeal, but I would like to know if the appeal experts on here,would suggest asking straight out at the start if they are applying the new code, or if I should just mention that I do not feel the ht review was carried out correctly.
I dont want to spend precious time giving my reasons for unfair ht review if they havent got a clue what im talking about.


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Dear heronsfly

My feeling is that it ought to be obvious from the authority's case (sent to you about 10 days before the hearing). Unless they are claiming, in their written case, that there was a review, and explain how it was conducted in such a manner as to be fair, consistent and objective, I fail to see how you can be expected to dispute this point.

Secondly, according to the Code of Practice, the chair is expected to explain at the beginning of the hearing what issues the panel will be addressing.

If neither of these things is done, but the panel proceed to focus on the review, then I think you could have grounds for a complaint to the ombudsman that the hearing was unfair.

If the situation is unclear, you could certainly ask the chair at the beginning of the hearing for clarification. You could also ask the clerk when he/she escorts you to the hearing. Another possibility is that, when you receive the case papers, if there is scant mention of the review, you ring up whoever is organising the appeals to ask for confirmation that this is not going to be an issue.

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:21 pm 
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Hi all,
well,my first appeal is over,they were all very pleasant and helpful,
I was the third appeal this morning,and went in 45 mins late,this couldent be helped I know,but did nothing for my nerves.
The panel did not consist of the 3 men listed on my letter,but 2 ladies and 1 man,the man asked me some questions that I dont feel I answered very well but I have done my best and cant do any more.
The clerk was a really lovely lady and she assured me the the new code of practise was not being applied by this panel, in fact she had a booklet open at the page with info and it was highlighted,so I dont think I was the first to ask,but it did make me feel better.
I dont hold up much hope for this school,but when I go to the next one at least I will know what to expect.
Good luck to everyone else this week.


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:11 pm 
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Glad, at least, that you were spared the review issue!

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 9:20 pm 
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Hi Heronsfly.

Glad it seemed to go well for you today and am crossing my fingers. Have a feeling it maybe the same school as the one we have this Friday. Again do not hold out much hope but still hoping that the new code won't be an issue. In fact phoned the people organising the appeal and they assured me that we can stil appeal against non-qualification, even having had a HT appeal.

Be sure to let us know the results. An idea when you will hear?

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 9:59 pm 
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Hi moscow,
yes I think we both had the same school this week,it really wasent as bad as I had feared.
They told me that appeals are going on all this week and next,we will be informed of decisions by post at the end of the following week.
Im glad I mentioned the issues surrounding the new code of admissions ,as it was recorded that I had asked for clarity over the ht appeal, it only took a few seconds, I really dont think it affects us this year,but at least its one less thing to go on the should I have said or not said list [im sure you know what I mean]


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