Between paragraphs 3 and 5 it pretty much explains that they had to uphold the cases that had the strongest case for admission. They say they where able to grant 8 places out of 39, and ours was not significantly compelling enough to outweigh prejudice to go over the 8 places.
Looking over the past few years they have always taken 8 on appeal, and their class's are set to cope with these extra 8 over PAN, so in someways I feel it's all a bit of a sham, because the panel know they can give 8 places so in reality we where appealing for one of the extra places the school has 'saved' rather than a real extra place
The missing bit could be significant.
Para. 3.9 of the Code finishes:
Where a certain number of children could be admitted without causing prejudice, the panel must uphold the appeals of at least that number of children.
If the sentence "They were able to grant 8 places out of 39
" means "8 places without prejudice
" then the sequence could have been:
• Panel decided 8 places could be offered without prejudice
• 8 strongest cases chosen
• Remaining cases then considered, but none of them outweighed the prejudice to the school (taking into account the extra 8 ).
Alternatively, the sequence may have been:
• Panel did not
decide that places could be offered without prejudice
• Each case was balanced against the prejudice to the school.
• The panel took the view that more cases outweighed prejudice than the school could cope with
• It therefore compared the cases and upheld those with the strongest case for admission - up to the point where it felt the school could not take any more pupils.
• This point just happened to be reached after 8 cases ......
Provided the panel followed these steps (either version 1 or version 2), then procedurally I think they would have acted correctly.
It's not entirely clear, though.
How do we find out if they carried out the correct procedure for the decision making process?
You could ask for a copy of the clerk's notes, but
• they may try to resist giving you a copy
• the notes may or may not shed light on what happened, depending on how good they are.
Alternatively, the ombudsman/EFA can investigate.
One final question how do raise all the questions to the ombudsman? I am completely confused on this procedure!
If you follow the link I provided further up, you'll find another link to a complaint form. There may not be room to say much more than "Decision letter breached 2.25 of the Appeals Code" - but in the event of a complaint, an investigator is likely to phone you to discuss any concerns before agreeing whether or not to take on the case.
Now that the bit between paragraphs 3 and 5 of the letter has been filled in, I'm more inclined to think the correct procedure may have been followed, and that the issue is more to do with the wording.
If you want to be sure, however, see if the ombudsman/EFA will look into it ......