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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Had appeal for my daughter last week, received the news that the appeal was not upheld. I had disagreed with the review stage and asked the Head of the school I was appealing for to look at my daughters work who replied that the work was of a high standard and was definatly grammar school ability. The Head of the grammar school also gave my a letter confirming her views. I also had a letter from the head of my daughters primary school giving a glowing review and support. In my initial request to have an appeal I wrote that I had these comments from the Head of the grammar school. When I arrived at the appeal hearing, very nerviously I might add, and after a few questions and answers I showed the panal and LEA rep. the letter, this caused a huge stir among the panal who did not appear to know how to react to it. The LEA person was very angry that the Head had done such a thing and told the room that she had been contacted and told so. I was quite shaken by all of this as I thought the letter was a good tool. When I received the decision letter it said that the panel had disregarded the letter as it was against the code of practice. I am know left with the feeling that I could have done more and also I feel that as the information about the Heads views were known to them before(if they read the papers)the appeal then i should have been informed that such information would be diregarded. I am now thinking of contacting the Ombudsman but I'm not very hopeful.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:45 pm
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Location: Wirral
Really sorry to hear your appeal failed; we have had similar problems on the Wirral, and I have approached the ombudsman (and mp) who is investigating as an 'urgent matter'. Other counties have not used the headteachers review to turn down appeals by parents at a later stage in the process - as you did I showed extra evidence at the appeal, but this wasn't good enough!! Like you I have a bright child with glowing ref from school, and, by all accounts, a very frustrated grammar school head!

Do take forward - you'll feel better and even if doesn't help your child, it may help next year's appeals.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Location: Gloucestershire
Geegee wrote:
When I received the decision letter it said that the panel had disregarded the letter as it was against the code of practice
....
I am now thinking of contacting the Ombudsman but I'm not very hopeful.


It is NOT against the code of practice. I would write to ask them to point out where in the code of practice it says so (or you could 'phone them to ask for the section number where it says this - they will not be able to tell you). I would certainly take this to the Ombudsman as the panel (and LEA) are wrong.

You may well find that your appeal would not have succeeded anyway if it were not strong enough, but that's an entirely different matter.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 1:46 pm 
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Hi
With regard to the code of practice, they said it was in section 2:15 of the code. I have no reason to doubt them, my argument would be that they did not provide me with the code before or during the appeal. I would be happy to take any advice you can offer.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Geegee wrote:
Hi
With regard to the code of practice, they said it was in section 2:15 of the code. I have no reason to doubt them, my argument would be that they did not provide me with the code before or during the appeal. I would be happy to take any advice you can offer.


Correct me if I'm wrong experts, but it looks like this is referring to the GS Head's letter that is not allowed.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:06 pm 
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The Code states:
Quote:
2.15 Representatives of the schools being appealed for must not support individual appeals at the hearing itself or by providing letters of support for appellants, because of possible conflicts of interest and the possibility of unfairness to other appellants.

In my view the panel were right to treat the evidence as inadmissible.

Ideally, the clerk should have notified you about this in advance, and I suspect this would have happened if you had actually included the letter with your submission. Whether the ombudsman would regard this as so serious as to amount to maladministration is another matter.

With regard to the Review, I think there are grounds for going to the ombudsman if any panel refuses an appeal on the basis that there has been a proper review, but parents have not been informed in advance that this is to be a key issue, or the authority's case makes no attempt to justify the review as being fair/consistent/objective.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Probibly a big mistake not sending the letter but I did make it very clear that I had the views of the Head of grammar, as the letter caused such a stir among the panel, one said that it preceeded his decision, I believe they should have told me it was to be disregarded. My final words to the panel were my hopes that they would take it into concideration, even then they did not tell me it was disregarded. If they were unsure I believe they should have left the appeal to discuss it before continuing. I had no mitigating circumstances as to why my daughter did not pass the 11plus, she scored 510, pass mark was 525, but it appears to me that the support from her HT was not taken into concideration as no mention of it in the letter giving reasons why the appeal was not upheld. The question now is what to do next?????????


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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The phone number for the ombudsman's advice service is:
0845 602 1983 or 024 7682 1960

It will put your mind at rest one way or the other.

There is no doubt it was inadmissible evidence, so focus on why no one told you.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:57 pm 
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Thankyou I will give them a call.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: Gloucestershire
Whoops - my mistake - I'd not fully read the initial message.

No, the school you are appealing for is NOT allowed to support your appeal in any way. However, the school your child is coming from IS allowed to support the appeal.

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