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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:33 pm 
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Information on the temporary appeal measures have helpfully been put together by one of the moderators here on the appeals forum: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=60572


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:57 pm 
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PettswoodFiona wrote:
Information on the temporary appeal measures have helpfully been put together by one of the moderators here on the appeals forum: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=60572

Many thanks providing the link, PWF.
We thought it would be easier to find information about the new regulations in a separate thread.

We suggest posters continue to use this thread, started by Bigbirdcw, to discuss general points to do with coronavirus and appeals.

Members needing specific help with their own case should start (or continue using) their own thread.
If you try asking specific questions about your individual case on here, they are likely to get 'buried'!
Besides, as explained in the Appeals guidance Start here. *Essential reading*, we can do a better job of providing help if we have all the information about your case in one place, rather than scattered all over the forum!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:47 pm 
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hempsteadlad wrote:
Any decision on how the appeal is heard is a matter for the panel and not the school. Where is the independence in the process? You should complain to the LGO if a maintained school or the EFSA is an Academy.
Mummykat84, moderators would advise you not to make a complaint to the LGO/ESFA, as suggested by hempsteadlad, as we don't think it will achieve anything.

By way of justification hempsteadlad refers to the latest DfE guidance in 'shouty' letters:
hempsteadlad wrote:
IT CLEARLY SAYS THE APPEAL PANEL CAN DECIDE. IT DOES NOT SAY THE SCHOOL OR THE LOCAL AUTHORITY.
But the same guidance states quite categorically: "Admission authorities remain responsible for making arrangements for appeals."
Note: not "can remain responsible" but "remain responsible"! There is nothing optional about this.

Moreover, if hempsteadlad were to read the actual legislation, as opposed to the non-statutory guidance, he will see that it uses the word "may":
      "2.—(1) An appeal panel may decide to hold an appeal hearing using remote access provided—"
Anyone familiar with education law will be struck by the fact that the word "may" is being used, not "must".
The DfE wrote:
This Code has the force of law. Where it imposes mandatory requirements, or refers to requirements in legislation, the words ‘must’ or ‘must not’ are used.

In practice, it seems likely that the admission authority will discuss with the clerk, who in turn will consult panel members regarding what the arrangements should be, but from a legal point of view the admission authority remains responsible.

It is of course important that panel members should have an input, simply because if they are unhappy, and decline to participate, an admission authority could finish up unable to run any appeals! In this sense, panel members "can" decide.
However, an argument on its own over the use of the word "can" is hardly going to be a sound basis for a formal complaint to the LGO/ESFA! :?

Hempsteadlad, could we gently remind you again about good forum etiquette and showing respect for other members?
Quote:
18. The use of capital letters on internet forums is considered to be shouting. Please use sentence case in both thread titles and posts.
When you first registered, you agreed to our terms and conditions.

And at the top of almost every forum page there is a large banner stating::
      Quote:
      FORUM RULES: Please see the revised forum rules here.
      Participation in the forum implies full and unconditional acceptance of all the rules and guidance.
      Do not post unless you are in agreement with the rules and guidance.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:34 pm 
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Thank you for bringing up the salient points of the legislation, mad, and so very clearly. There is no ambiguity at all with “must” “must not” and “may”....and You have emphasised this very clearly.

Perhaps we could now go back to trying to help those who have appeals coming up - in their own threads, as you remind us!


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 8325
Two large LAs, Kent and Bucks, which probably have more appeals than any other part of the country, have written about their new procedures during the Covid-19 crisis.

In Kent, appellants have been told that procedures are being decided
      "on an individual school basis".
It seems likely, therefore, that there will be a mixture of video/telephone conferencing and paper based hearings, depending on local circumstances.

In Bucks, where almost all appeals are managed centrally by the local authority, there is to be just one process, and full guidance has been published.
      "Video conferencing and telephone appeals were carefully considered and trialled but these options are not reasonably practicable because not all appeal participants could successfully access reliable and secure electronic means to enable the Appeal Panel to consider the appeals fairly and transparently. Local circumstances that significantly affect the appeals include the volume and complexity of the multiple appeals to be considered in a short space of time by volunteer, unpaid panel members and persistent problems with broadband connections.
      The Appeal Panel will, therefore, make its decisions on appeals under the temporary arrangements on the basis of written documents only, submitted preferably by email."
The full text, which is very detailed, can be seen on the Bucks forum:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=60637&p=742286#p742286

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 10:19 pm 
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Posts: 1021
Deb70 wrote:
hempsteadlad wrote:
I have come to the conclusion that some so called experts on this site know very little up to date news. Or have even bothered to find out.


I found this site absolutely invaluable when I desperately needed advice. Thanks to the forum moderators and experiences shared by parents on the forum, I was able to organise evidence about my child into a concise and relevant case. This has resulted in him now being happily settled in a school he loves. So thank you again from me, and good luck to everyone with their forthcoming appeals.
Stay safe everyone x


+1 This site is invaluable to many, including me in my time of need. Though I have often locked horns with regular contributors, I can honestly say that the majority of members just want to pass on their knowledge and/or experiences in order to help others. I thank everyone here for taking time out of their lives to provide so much information and advice - my DS would not be where he is without the kind (and sometimes straight-talking) support I received from this site.


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 1:18 pm 
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Posts: 1860
Location: Gloucestershire
stroudydad wrote:
Well this has been an interesting read, but most importantly, Capers it’s been a long time. How the devil are you?


Capers is still alive, kicking and social distancing. This year I'm due to hear some non-grammar appeals for my County Council - we have a trial run tomorrow morning to see how the video-conferencing will work for appeals.

I think this year will be interesting for panels & clerks; for instance, it is possible for one of the panel members to withdraw from the appeals either temporarily or permanently and for the other two panelists to conclude the appeals. Of course, the method via which the appeal is heard will prejudice neither the parents nor the school - panels will do their best to be as fair as possible to all involved, the same as we always do.

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 2:10 pm 
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Location: Essex
capers123 wrote:
stroudydad wrote:
Well this has been an interesting read, but most importantly, Capers it’s been a long time. How the devil are you?


Capers is still alive, kicking and social distancing. This year I'm due to hear some non-grammar appeals for my County Council - we have a trial run tomorrow morning to see how the video-conferencing will work for appeals.

I think this year will be interesting for panels & clerks; for instance, it is possible for one of the panel members to withdraw from the appeals either temporarily or permanently and for the other two panelists to conclude the appeals. Of course, the method via which the appeal is heard will prejudice neither the parents nor the school - panels will do their best to be as fair as possible to all involved, the same as we always do.


If you are Zooming, look out for the flock of warbling budgies at the side of someone's indoor pool, that have a tendency to make their presence felt at the most inconvenient moments :shock:. The written 'chat' facility comes in handy at this point.


Much as I love chatting in writing on various platforms in the ether, I have to say that Zoom does my head in, as they say. If the TV advertisement being repeated ad nauseam at the moment is anything to go by, MS Teams doesn't look much better.

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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 5:36 pm 
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Posts: 1860
Location: Gloucestershire
ToadMum wrote:
If you are Zooming, look out for the flock of warbling budgies at the side of someone's indoor pool, that have a tendency to make their presence felt at the most inconvenient moments :shock:. The written 'chat' facility comes in handy at this point.

Gloucestershire CC appeals are using Cisco Webex. I think that some of the other schools in the area have used Skype & Microsoft Teams.

One of my performance groups uses Zoom for practice/socials. I always click on the 'use original sound' button top left which seems to improve things.

It also helps that I have decent Plantronics active noise-cancelling headphones connected to my PC - bought them for work, and have an identical set in the office. For a start, they cut out almost all external noise - dog barks, lawn mowing, people in the office prattling on about village gossip; they also have a 'mute' button on the microphone. I strongly recommend them to anyone hearing multiple appeals or for listening to music or TV in silence. They're also great for autistic/Asperger's people to wear when going round Waitrose on a Saturday morning (though in-ear Bose models are more discrete - and don't have to be plugged into the phone playing music...).

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