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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
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We have just received the letter explaining why our appeal for a place at the nearest comprehensive school was unsuccessful. It read as if the panel accepted the school's case for oversubscription. However, as I knew that four children had got through on appeal, I rang up to question this.
I asked the clerk whether my understanding was correct, in that once the school's case was proved that the appeals were considered on merit and if necessary the children with the greatest needs got a place. This was confirmed but then the clerk said, but that didn't happen in your case because you were not considered to have any "needs." This is despite having (documented) medical circumstances which supported our reasons for choosing that particular school, and the fact that it was the only school that offered German - our family language.
On hindsight, I can now see that these were viewed as "wants" rather than needs.
What I'm trying to say is that you need something which makes the school seem like the only one which will fit and you probably need to be more vocal about why the allocated place is unsuitable. We were asked this but would not be drawn on it, - trying to focus upon why our preferred school was right. I can now see that this was the wrong thing to do.
Not sure if this will help anyone, but I don't want anyone to be going through waht we are now.
Best wishes to all
Bougalou


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 5:58 pm 
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So sorry to hear that, Bougalou.

I would have thought that medical circumstances and cultural background would count for a lot at an appeal - makes you wonder just how "needy" the other cases were!

Are you able to remain on the waiting list for the school?

Best of luck anyway.

Marylou


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:38 pm
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Sorry to hear your bad news. There does seem to be an argument that for oversubscription appeals we should be arguing also against the allocated school as panels seem to be saying "Well, what's wrong with the school you've got allocated?". If it's not relevant, why do they ask the question? I would like to hear the panel experts views on this as my understanding is that they say that you should not argue against the school allocated. Can I also suggest that different panels have different views. There seems to be a lack of consistency?

Bougalou, I can't imagine what you're going through. Once again sorry :(

Kindest regards

lgasks


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:58 am
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It's so hard to put an appeal case together - there is no real guidance (except on this fabulous forum) and even if you think you have a really strong case there is no guarantee that the appeal panel will see it that way. And, of course, there is no knowing on what grounds other people are appealing. Also, I suppose that the make up of the panel will have a bearing on the decision.

I do feel for you. We had our appeal hearing today and feel that we have a really strong case. Even so, I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much.

Try not to beat yourself up about it though. You took the advice you were given and did everything you possibly could. And of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Best Wishes

Sam's Mum


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Bouga

I am truly very sorry to hear the news. You must be very disappointed indeed, and I feel for you.

Bougalou wrote:
What I'm trying to say is that you need something which makes the school seem like the only one which will fit and you probably need to be more vocal about why the allocated place is unsuitable. We were asked this but would not be drawn on it, - trying to focus upon why our preferred school was right. I can now see that this was the wrong thing to do.


I agree with you "up to a point, Lord Copper". (Fans of Evelyn Waugh only for that one. :D )

It is important to remain as positive as possible throughout a transfer appeal. Please remember that one of the panel members may have/have had children at the alternative school and be perfectly happy with it!

Making comparisons on facts rather than opinions is the key. "This school offers German, our family language, whereas the other school does not. That is so very important to our child because ..."

Opinions are generally hearsay (poor discipline, poor teaching standards, etc) and a good panel will discount those points immediately.

Once again Bouga, I am so sad to hear the news. You might be encouraged to know that I spoke to a friend today whose child went to a very poor Upper school here in Bucks. The parents were always very involved in his education, and spent a lot of time encouraging him to work hard, no excuses. He eventually became Head Boy and went on to Uni, against the odds for that school.

Someone posted to me a long time ago, when my son's appeal was unsuccessful, that "cream will always rise to the top". It was a lovely comment, and it sustained me through some very dark days.

My DS is distinctly semi-skimmed in his attitude to work at his GS at present, but I think that you should take heart from that phrase. Your DD will succeed, wherever she goes, because she has your support.

Best wishes

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
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Thank you Sally Anne you have always lifted my spirits.

MaryLou, your point about the other children being more needy is one I could accept and thought had happened, - but the fact was that our case never got to the comparison stage because they didn't consider our points to be needs.
Of one of the children who did get a place, her mother stated that she would be bullied if she went to the allocated school, with no additional (written or other) evidence to back this. This seems to have been the panel's view of a need (perceived or actual) as opposed to a want in our case.

Thanks for your support
bouga :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:13 am
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Sorry to hear that Bougalou

And thanks for the advice, my appeal sound similar to your own in that my family, at least on my wife’s side are Spanish. This as well as academic evidence is the main basis of our appeal.

Allocated school does not offer Spanish the school we are appealing for does :D


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
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Watdad you will really have to stress why your child needs to learn Spanish, not just that you want him/her to because of your cultural background. That was our case, and wasn't enough.
all the best, fingers crossed
Bougalou


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