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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:47 pm 
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Ada123 wrote:
We heard back from the clerk regarding how panel members met - in person in the school canteen, so no technology used - not sure if that effects our argument one way or another?
Not really, but if they had used telephone or video conferencing, it would have shown that any objection to technology did not come from panel members.
You could consider asking the clerk on what basis it was decided not to use the DfE's preferred option. Was it because one or more appellants or panel members said they didn't have access to, or couldn't use, the technology?
This may not lead anywhere, though. As I suggested before, the clerk could fall back on the argument that he wasn't in a position to provide technical support.


Quote:
I do know a London school which held it’s appeals face-to-face at the same time that our hearing would have taken place.
Interesting! - but not something for your complaint. If you try to discuss "better alternatives" (face to face/use of technology), you will get nowhere with the ESFA, I'm afraid.

The issue is this:
If the conditions for using technology could not be met, "the temporary regulations allow an appeal panel to make their decision on the basis of written information submitted only. In order for the panel to make a decision which is fair and transparent, they must ensure that the parties are able to fully present their case by way of written submissions."

Your argument, I think, is that the presentation of the case must include the opportunity for both parties to submit written questions and to receive written answers, if the decision is to be fair and transparent.

In your case the decision was not fair and transparent because the clerk's notes show that it was in part based on unresolved questions which you had been unaware of, and which the panel had been unable to put to you.

This can be followed by specific examples.

Quote:
The ESFA found ‘NO MALADMINISTRATION as parents were notified of the proposed appeals process for 2020/21 and
ample time was given for additional information to be submitted to the appeal panel’.
I'm not sure why being "notified of the proposed appeals process for 2020/21" is relevant to the complaint. It's not as if parents had in any choice in the format of the hearing.
And I suspect they weren't really complaining about any lack of time.

What the ESFA may try and do in your case is argue very narrowly that the emergency regulations refer only to a "Presentation", and that there is no mention of - or requirement for - "Questions and Answers".

Quote:
Also, a bit of a strange question but do you know how long complaints are? Looking at the form they allow for 10,000 words, which seems a lot to me. Presumably they are not usually this long?!
Absolutely not! The shorter the better! Focus on the key argument that unresolved questions led to unfairness and lack of transparency. Anything else will be a distraction.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:48 pm 
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thank you once again for your detailed response and guidance - it really is very useful.

I will let you know how we get on.

Ada


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:27 pm 
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Hello Etienne, sorry to bother you again. It is taking my husband and I longer than anticipated to write our complaint (we want to get it right!). We wondered if, when we have completed it, could we send to you (by appeals box?) to have a look over. I realise this is a big ask and I'm not sure if it's allowed - but if it is, we would greatly appreciate your input.

Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:17 am
Posts: 11
Hello Etienne, sorry to bother you again. It is taking my husband and I longer than anticipated to write our complaint (we want to get it right!). We wondered if, when we have completed it, could we send to you (by appeals box?) to have a look over. I realise this is a big ask and I'm not sure if it's allowed - but if it is, we would greatly appreciate your input.

Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:37 am 
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Hi Ada

Unfortunately there isn't enough time to do this for appeal submissions, but we will do it for complaints that have first been discussed on the forum as yours has, because there are not so many of them.
So yes. :)
You can send it to the appeals box. You will know if it has arrived because there should be an automatic acknowledgement.

(Any comments will be on the forum, though.)

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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:39 am 
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Thank you, Etienne - that's great to read. My husband and I will be going through it over the next couple of days and we will send it through to the appeals box asap.

Thank you so much again!


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:00 pm 
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Hi Etienne,

Just to let you know that I have sent in the complaint to the appeals box.

Kind regards,

Ada.


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Hi Ada

Well done! I can see how much thought has gone into this. It's been very well put together, and I don't think I have anything to add.

If they accept the complaint, they will summarise what they consider to be the main points, and ask you to approve their summary.
If anything crucial has been omitted, you should tell them promptly because this is likely to be the end of your involvement in the process.

If the ombudsman's investigators had been handling the matter, at the end of their investigation they would have sent you a provisional decision, and there would have been some opportunity to clarify the issues.
The ESFA don't seem to do that. They conduct their investigation, and usually send what amounts to a final decision.

You have put a huge amount of effort into this, and it's worth a try.
As you've said, you have nothing to lose.
Good luck!

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Etienne


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 Post subject: Re: Appeal complaint?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:53 am 
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Many thanks for your feedback, Etienne - as always, very much appreciated.


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