DIY Mum3 wrote:
Can anyone provide any advice on the procedure following an unsuccesful appeal.
The LGO states that they can look at cases where the decision letter did not give reasons for the decision and the panel did not act independently or fairly.
The EFA which deals with academy appeals doesn't state this. It simply says, "If, after the appeal, you are concerned the appeal did not comply with the Code or was set up incorrectly, and this affected the outcome of the appeal, you can complain to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) within six months of the date of the appeal hearing."
Is their criteria different? Does the EFA have a much narrower remit?
I have posted confidential information to the appeals postbox also which might help put the above in context. Any advice would be gratefully received.
With the LGO they are NOT looking at the decision that the panel came to, but the process. If you dislike the decision but it was correctly made (ie - the code was followed) then they neither organisation will overturn that decision. Your only recourse would be to High Court.
If the panel made the decision correctly, but there was a minor problem, such as what they took into account not being stated in full in the letter from the clerk, then the decision would still stand, but the clerk and/or panel would get a slapped wrist & told to do it properly in future.
If the panel did not do things correctly - for instance, were given a list before the appeals from the school saying which appeals the panel must allow, or came up with their own test for the children - then that would be a different matter and they would be likely to order a re-hearing and/or compensation.
When the LGO say 'fairly', I interpret that as meaning that the panel treated both sides with equal fairness.
Some parents might wonder why an item that they gave great weight to was not mentioned in the letter. It could be that the panel just didn't find that an important bit of evidence, and there's only so many levels of detail the clerk can write on that letter. If it was found by the LGO that there was no mention of it in the clerks notes, then that would be a different matter. Don't forget that at least some of the panel are likely to have heard appeals before - or even if not, will have heard several appeals (if not up to 100) for this school. They'll probably have realised that the certificate saying your child has had a story / poem / picture selected for a national book of Y6 stories / poems / pictures has been submitted by many other parents, so whilst you may be inordinately proud of that, the panel don't treat it as particularly proving your child should have their appealed allowed.
The final sad fact is that your appeal may have been pretty strong, but that there were stronger appeals that were allowed. You can not be told what was in those appeals, and even if the notes were sent to the LGO, even they would not tell you, so you'd never know what your appeal was not upheld.
Sorry. Being a bit blunt. Late at night!