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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:05 pm 
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One example of where timetabling is an issue is where the school has a significant number of teaching spaces (either general or specialised) which are only big enough for a certain maximum number of people (and hence desks / workstations etc). Are the dimensions of classrooms mentioned?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:59 pm 
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I wanted to tell you that I had Altrincham Girls appeal result through and it was refused. I expected this. I feel a little sad, and as I mentioned it felt as though the panel had already made up their mind, and my presentation didn't help sway them. I feel relieved though that I can draw a line under this saga. I have two more appeals to go next week. Onwards.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:41 pm 
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Etienne wrote:
Mbrenno84 wrote:
Is there any possibility to request another appeal if I let the organisers know that two of the panel members are the same as my previous appeal?
You could try an objection, and see what they say. There might perhaps be stronger grounds for an objection if you lose the previous appeal.

However, the same panel is meant to hear all the appeals for a particular school.
In theory another panel could be set up for you and perhaps some late appellants if there are any (e.g. families moving in to the area), but a separate batch of appeals might not be possible before September/October.

Quote:
Will it be looked at unfavourably if I use a lot of the same answers - I mean it's the same child, her qualities haven't changed!
It wouldn't matter if qualification were an issue (because the academic evidence would presumably be identical), but if the issue is oversuscription, then usually there are some differences. "This is the school we really want. My child is desperately keen to go to it. It would best meet her needs because of X, Y and Z, and here is the evidence to show why this matters ...."
Some parents find themselves at one appeal arguing how important the choice of foreign languages is, whereas at another appeal what really matters has changed to the level of pastoral care! :?

Panel members should not take into account information that is not part of the hearing, but unfortunately there's no way of legislating for what they might be thinking privately. ("I remember this parent from another appeal, and he was arguing something completely different!")

Quote:
Is there any possibility to enquire as to whether I could have an earlier appeal date, if one is available?
Administrators will be under a lot of pressure if they're arranging big multiple appeals, so they may not be too keen on making changes - but you could try asking nicely whether anyone has withdrawn from an earlier appeal, thereby creating a spare slot.
Even if they could accommodate the request, it looks like a long wait for the result!



Etienne, I'm looking at B53 in the forums. The questions related to Local Review are great. I had a local review conducted. Can I ask these questions as part of Stage 1 regardless of whether Local Review comes up? Does it count as questions about the school's case?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:59 pm 
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Mbrenno84 wrote:
Etienne, I'm looking at B53 in the forums. The questions related to Local Review are great. I had a local review conducted. Can I ask these questions as part of Stage 1 regardless of whether Local Review comes up? Does it count as questions about the school's case?
Interesting question.

This is what the Code says about stage one:
      Quote:
      First stage – examining the decision to refuse admission

      3.2 The panel must consider the following matters in relation to each child that is the subject of an appeal:

      a) whether the admission arrangements (including the area’s co-ordinated admission arrangements) complied with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998; and
      b) whether the admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied in the case in question.

      3.3 The panel must then decide whether the admission of additional children would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.
However, I don't think para. 3.2 applies because a review is an 'optional extra' where the LA/AA are free to devise their own rules, so such arrangements are likely to be considered outside the scope of the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

      Quote:
      3.5 The panel must uphold the appeal at the first stage where:
      a) it finds that the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or had not been correctly and impartially applied, and the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied
It follows that, even if the admission arrangements did not comply with the mandatory requirements, it wouldn't really help you unless there's proof that "the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied".

The review would become a significant issue at appeal if the LA/AA wanted to enforce the 'fair, consistent and objective' rule under the separate provisions of para. 3.13 of the Code, but it sounds to me as if they have no intention of doing this, or they would have told you before now.

Good luck for next week.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:59 pm 
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WELL THAT WAS A NIGHTMARE!!


1. Local Authority area in which the appeal took place.
Trafford:



2. What you were appealing against? (a) non-qualification only? (b) oversubscription only? (c) both non-qualification and oversubscription? (d) or something else?
Non-qualifcation and over-subscription I thought. But the clerk chipped in while I was asking questions, and told me that my questions should only be about non-qual even though the school's case states reasons on oversub.:



3b. Year group being appealed for (e.g. Y7 entry):
7:



5. Approx. date of appeal hearing:
June 2021:



6. How many days in advance of the hearing, including weekends, did you receive the case papers?
About three weeks:



7a. Either: Where was the appeal held (e.g. council offices)?
ZOOM:




8a. Did your individual hearing start more or less on time?
Yes:




11. Was there a group hearing?
(This is where stage 1 - the LA or school case - is presented to all the parents as a group)

No:



12. Did the appeal follow the recommended order of business? This is as follows:
(a) the case for the admission authority;
(b) questioning by the appellants and panel
(c) the case for the appellants;
(d) questioning by the admission authority and panel;
(e) summing up by the admission authority; and
(f) summing up by the appellants.


Yes:



13a. Had your case already been considered by a Review Panel?
(Sometimes applies to non-qualification cases)

Yes:



13b. If so, were you told that, because your case had already been reviewed, the only issue for the appeal panel was whether the review had been conducted properly?
No:



14. What questions were you asked about your case?
The school rep asked about some specific situations, why I didn't complete a special circumstances form, and also where else I appealed:





15. What were the panel like?
(e.g. Were they friendly? polite? considerate?)

Awful. Firstly four of them (including the clerk) were sat in a room with terrible acoustics and I had to really struggle to listen. None of them were particularly friendly. The school's rep was though. The clerk chipped in to say that I should be asking questions about non-qual even though the school's case alluded to over-sub. I stated that the school's presentation case mentioned about EHCP and SEN which wasn't non-qual, can I not ask a question about it as well? The clerk wasn't really having it though. And then after I'd given my presentation in Stage 2, one of the panel said commented that they were qualified to be here and that they went through rigorous training. I said I didn't understand his comment (which appeared defensive) and was there a question. He was referring to a question I had asked about the local review and how it was qualified, I was questioning about the local review, not the integrity of the panel! Thankfully, the chair interjected and said that I wasn't questioning the integrity of the panel, even the school's rep was shaking her head a bit. The lay who asked the question sort of retreated a bit, but he didn't really seem prepared to be sat there. I reiterated that I wasn't questioning the panel's integrity, I was asking questions about the Local Review process, but I left it on a very sour tone. We moved on, but when I did my summary at the end, I said that there appeared to be a bit of confusion about one of my questions, and I wanted to state that I was aware of the panel's integrity, but my question was around the local review, not of the panel. I hope that I sanitised that situation!:



16. As far as you know, was the representative of the admission authority left alone with the panel at any point in time? (It's acceptable for the representative to be waiting outside the room, but he/she must not be already in the room with the panel when you arrive, or remain in the room with the panel when you leave.)
No:



17. Were you asked at the end of the hearing whether you had had sufficient time to state your case (or words to that effect)?
No:



18. Did you feel rushed?
No - in fact the school's case was thorough so I felt better about taking my time too:



19. How long did the hearing last?
(excluding the group hearing, if there was one)

44 mins:



20. Were you told you could telephone for the decision (most authorities do not allow this, although some do)?
No:



21. If you have the result, was your appeal successful?
I'm not holding my breath:



22. How long did you have to wait for the decision, including weekends?
2 weeks until it's posted:




24. Any other comments or information which might be helpful to other parents?
I was prepared here, I really was, so just make sure you have answers to questions. But it didn't look like the panel were. The clerk didn't seem to want to let me ask my questions, and the other guy didn't seem best placed. :


edited by mod to remove underlining and make it easier to read


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:37 pm 
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Quote:
Non-qualifcation and over-subscription I thought. But the clerk chipped in while I was asking questions, and told me that my questions should only be about non-qual even though the school's case states reasons on oversub.
It sounds as if the clerk acted incorrectly.
I wonder what she proposed doing if the panel decided to qualify your daughter but there are no spare places?
They can't invite you back for a 'part 2'. (I seem to recall that Buckinghamshire once tried splitting the appeal into two parts - parents who got through the qualification part were given a separate appointment to deal with oversubscription. The ESFA ruled this out of order because the Code states "A panel hearing multiple appeals must not make decisions on any of those appeals until all the appeals have been heard.")

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:03 pm 
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Etienne wrote:
Quote:
Non-qualifcation and over-subscription I thought. But the clerk chipped in while I was asking questions, and told me that my questions should only be about non-qual even though the school's case states reasons on oversub.
It sounds as if the clerk acted incorrectly.
I wonder what she proposed doing if the panel decided to qualify your daughter but there are no spare places?
They can't invite you back for a 'part 2'. (I seem to recall that Buckinghamshire once tried splitting the appeal into two parts - parents who got through the qualification part were given a separate appointment to deal with oversubscription. The ESFA ruled this out of order because the Code states "A panel hearing multiple appeals must not make decisions on any of those appeals until all the appeals have been heard.")


Etienne, is there a reason you mentioned a part 2? Did I say something to suggest that?

Can I ask questions about oversubscription items, if the school mention this in their case?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:54 pm 
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Quote:
Can I ask questions about oversubscription items, if the school mention this in their case?
Yes, within reason - unless they announce that prejudice is no longer an issue because there are sufficient places available to accommodate any successful appeals.

Quote:
Etienne, is there a reason you mentioned a part 2? Did I say something to suggest that?
I thought (mistakenly it seems) that the clerk's action in saying "questions should only be about non-qual" sounded like an attempt to limit the scope of the appeal to qualification.
You are best placed to know from the hearing as a whole whether prejudice was an issue - but I'm left puzzled. If prejudice was part of their case, I cannot understand why you would be denied the opportunity to question it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:03 am 
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Next time I’ll try and be confident enough to question it. I think I just need to carry on.


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