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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
Hi

I have a friend whose child was successful in appeal last year.

She told me that one question repeated over and over by the panel was "what school were you allocated by the LEA and was it a school you would be happy with?"

She got the feeling that if she had answered this with "Yes", then her appeal would have been unsuccessful - this was the case with her older child some years before.

I am now under the impression from reading extensively on this site that this is not an acceptable question - if you can prove that the answer to this question impacted on the decision making process of the panel. Surely they are not there to judge the acceptability of another particular school for your child – they are there to judge whether your child should still go to this grammar school that you are appealing for?

Can anyone tell me whether this would be grounds for going to the ombudsman?

Thank you

LFH


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:48 am
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Hi LFH,

I havent had a allocation from the LEA so couldnt answer that one at all....im busy trying to prepare scripts with possible questions that might be asked..if you look through most of the postings on this site you will find lots from people...its such a great help..

Appeal next wed.... :cry:

Phil


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:22 am 
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Location: Berkshire
Phil

Good luck with your appeal - fingers crossed!

Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't know which is better,our appeals are not until after allocation day as we are in Berkshire so we will have been given our 2nd or 3rd choice or another school altogether, which I suppose is why this question could be asked.

I just want to be as fully prepared for anything that is thrown at us, and agree that without the wonderful help of this forum, I'm not sure how I would be able to hold it all together or indeed actually be able to put the appeal together.


Thanks,

LFH


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:54 am 
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LFH - this is an interesting point that you have raised. I know exactly which school we would be allocated (we, too, are anxiously awaiting allocation day!) and, if asked this question, would resist the temptation to say "No, otherwise we wouldn't be sitting here at an appeal!" :) and respond by highlighting why the school being appealed for meets our child's needs more closely, making specific comparisons on aspects such as ease of access, subjects covered at the school, specialisms, after-school activities, etc.

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has been asked this question, as it does seem a bit unfair.

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Marylou


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:07 pm 
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The only thing stated in the Code is that
Quote:
[3.7] The admission authority concerned may submit, as part of its evidence to the panel, that the child in question has been allocated a place at an alternative school. This may be of particular relevance where the question of distance between home and school is being discussed. Equally, it is open to the appellant to state any reasons why an alternative school would be less suitable.

It does seem an unfair question. If you answer "Yes," it could undermine your case. If you answer "No," you might feel you have to come up with a list of negatives, and it's usually not a good idea to spend a lot of time running down other schools.

It might be grounds for a complaint, especially if the panel's focus seems to be very much on the other school.

If pressed at the hearing, I suggest sticking to one of the following answers:
    "Forgive me if I don't answer your question directly, but we'd really prefer not to get drawn into a discussion about the Z School. The purpose of our being here today is to focus on our reasons for wanting a place at the X School. "

    "I'm sure the Z School is an excellent school for many children, but it really wouldn't suit our child, and we're here today to discuss our reasons for needing a place at the X School."

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
Thanks Etienne for your advice, it is very much appreciated.
LFH


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:49 pm 
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Great answers, Etienne - thanks! :D

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Marylou


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