Sorry to hear your news.
I'm assuming the only issue for the appeal was oversubscription.
Our appeal was for a community school with an overcrowding issue.In the first stage the LEA rep was not able to give any facts or evidence regarding the school's prejudice of admitting one more pupil.Appeals Code 2.20 b.
I hesitate slightly over the words "regarding the school's prejudice
" because the facts or evidence would relate specifically to such matters as accommodation, class size, capacity. There's unlikely to be actual evidence of prejudice itself, since this tends to be a subjective judgement based on the aforementioned facts.
Having established the facts, the LA rep. ought to have explained what the prejudice would be. If not, the panel ought to have pressed for an explanation. Are you saying none of this happened?
In the first stage panel members did not ask any questions to the LEA rep
Never a good sign!
only at the end they asked one question vaguely about BSF.
In the second stage there were incidents that made us doubt the knowledge of both the panel and the LEA rep about the information we have already provided in our statement. Panel said they have read my statement but asked questions that showed they were not aware of some of the facts.
If there are a lot of appeals being heard, and a lot of paperwork involved, even the best of panels might forget some of the details and need reminding. http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeals/general#a18
It rather depends how many points they overlooked, and how significant these points were.
Lea rep argued wrongly about accepting evidence and was not corrected by the panel. After a lenghty discussion they were told that I was right about the Appeals Code. Appeals Code 1.14
I'm not clear about your specific point.
Appeals Code 1.3 was not met.
Which bit? There must without doubt be 3 or 5 panel members. If you're querying whether the panel was "as far as is practicable, representative of ... the area. This should be taken into account when advertising for new panel members
," then note the words "as far as practicable
" and "should
" rather than "must
". It can be very difficult indeed to get a representative sample of the local population volunteering for this sort of unpaid work. The authority would only have to point to the fact that it had advertised for new panel members as required, but the response was very limited.
One panel member did not ask any questions and did not make any eye contact with us.
Again, not a good sign, but I don't think anyone would get a re-hearing on this basis.
What capacity the panel members were serving in the community was not explained in the letter or during the appeal.
You should certainly be told whether they are 'lay' or 'non-lay' members, but I doubt that you have to be told more than that.
At the end of the hearing the LEA rep did not leave the room with us.
If he/she was just slow to gather up his papers and leave the room, but did so within seconds, that would not be ideal.
If the door closed behind you, and he/she appeared to be staying in the room with the panel, that would be regarded as a very serious matter.
The decision letter did not explain in full why the appeal panel decided not the uphold the appeal.
The most a decision letter is likely to do is to summarise the main points that were taken into account (which should be the easy bit), and then to state whether the parental case did or did not outweigh the prejudice to the school. The latter is quite simply a subjective judgement. It ought to be based on the facts, but is probably not capable of a 'full' explanation.
Any shortcoming in the decision letter is likely to be a 'technical' error rather than something that in itself causes an injustice.
My main concern in all of this would be whether the LA rep. explained what the prejudice would be, and whether he/she remained alone with the panel at the end of the hearing.
Just my view. Hope it may be of some help.