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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Hi stillhopeful,

I'm glad to hear you got on better this time, aside from the new issues.
I don't know much about how these things work, but from what I do understand, they are always looking for more panel members, so they are obviously in short supply. If these people are meeting at 30 or more appeals and meeting up maybe once a year, is it not inevitable that they will get to know each other?
I know it's not ideal, but hard to avoid I'd imagine.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:22 pm 
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Etienne, that's interesting about not being sent names of panel, because that definitely only happened for the 3rd appeal. Thanks for the other feedback too; I'll have a think about what to do - seems little point complaining to the Academy in some ways.
Ofsoundmind - this was the first year that this particular council was administering the appeals so really should be less of a chance of the experienced panel member being friends with the presenting officer than might otherwise be expected. Was to be administered by the borough council the school sits in, but this changed once Academy status achieved, and appeals were handed over to a neighbouring council.
Be interesting to see what the reasons given are this time. 1st appeal was unsuccessful and reason given was on a ground we weren't even appealing on! Bit fed up with the whole business really.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
I'll have a think about what to do - seems little point complaining to the Academy in some ways.
I can sympathise with that - but if this is something you feel strongly about, and you want to take the matter any further, it's a requirement that an Academy must first be given an opportunity to settle the complaint. http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/ombudsman#d6

If something appears to be wrong, I'm a great believer in complaining! :)
How else will things improve?

Even an unsuccessful complaint can serve as a useful warning shot across the bows, and make those responsible for appeals take extra care in future.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:57 am 
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You're right. Sometimes complaining just has to be done :)
However, when I checked the paperwork again this morning. I discovered that actually we were sent the panel members names, but they weren't as obvious as on the more recent paperwork for the 3rd appeal. There was also no mention of telling anyone if we knew any of the panel members.
I then discovered that the panel had changed from that original notice, as it said it could do. Sadly we lost the experienced in education Chair. I know this, since he was the even-handed Chair for our 3rd appeal, which was quite possibly the reason we lost him from this one! The other experienced in education person stepped up to Chair and it turns out that the woman I thought experienced in education was actually a Lay Member, so we ended up with 2 Lay Members and the Chair, as the only experienced in education person.
I rang the Council Appeals Service who administered the appeals, who were very clear it wasn't them I needed to contact! First they said, I needed to contact the Ombudsman and then - when I reminded them it was an Academy so I didn't think it was the Ombudsman - either the YPLA or the school (even though I said I wished to complain about the conduct of one of the panel members who they recruited, and the fact that we believed her to know and be friends with the presenting officer for the school). I've now rung the school and I'm waiting on a call back to find out next steps...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Perhaps it's just me, but I've always had reservations about the lay/non-lay categories. For example, the parent of a registered pupil at a school is counted as non-lay (a "person with experience in education"). Some parents know an awful lot about education, whereas that might be less true of others!

Quote:
I rang the Council Appeals Service who administered the appeals, who were very clear it wasn't them I needed to contact!
Technically, they're right. The Academy 'hired' the appeal panel, so it's the Academy that is held responsible. If a complaint is upheld, one would have thought the Academy would grumble to the council about the service they've paid for - and (usually) the added expense of a re-hearing.

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I reminded them it was an Academy so I didn't think it was the Ombudsman .......
:D

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:47 pm
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Still waiting to speak with the school/ find out compaints procedure re. appeal no. 2 before contacting YPLA if necessary - thank Etienne for the support in pushing that one forward.
I agree re. categories of lay/ non lay and having been through 3 now, think even more than I did before, that actually it's a complete lottery who is on your panel and whether they think your case merits being upheld.
For us, the actual appeal journey is over. All 3 appeals were unsuccessful. Now have to explain this to DD :( DD will now start at the allocated school in September, whilst we move house in the hope that an address closer to the lovely community girls school will mean she eventually gets a place there when one comes up. Can't say I relish the idea of the house move, nor altering many convenient things about where we live, not least turning a lovely easy child walk/ bike journey to primary school into an unwalkable one for the younger children. However, I realise we're luckier than some in being able to have this as Plan C, when Plan A and Plan B haven't worked.
Good luck to everyone else embarking/ still on their own appeal journey and commiserations with those who've also been unlucky this time.
Will come back and let you know if any headway made with the complaint.
Thanks again for the support.
Stillhopeful (just!)


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