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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:13 am
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I am hoping that it is two appeals but unfortunately I don’t make the rules, otherwise I wouldn’t be appealing at all :D

I am appealing against an oversubscribed school, not that that makes a difference.

I will actually get two shots anyway.... The two in question delegate their appeals to the LEA another runs its own, but that a different stroy


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:31 am 
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OK

Just called the admissions team at the LEA. It will be two separate appeals but my case may be heard by the same panel on the same day.

I am concerned about one case prejudicing the other but have been assured that they will be dealt with at arms length and each treated on their own merits, then they would say that! Or am I just being paranoid?

I might wait for the details to be sent and maybe request to defer one of them on the ground of not being able to guarantee me a fair hearing ..... thoughts?

Either way initial questioned was answered I need to tailor each case and not keep it generic.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Bexley
I can't get my head around one appeal not being biased as a result of the other. Of course it will be.

You will need to prepare two different cases so that each is tailored to the circumstances/school in order that you get a fair hearing for that school place.

How can any parent sit there at the hearing and say a,b and c applies for that school but it's x, y and z for that school? How can the panel possibly not be biaed knowing what has been said earlier in the day?

Going back to my friend who had two appeals, other than the parents, the clerk was the only other person who was in the two appeals. The parents did have some 'looks' and 'raised eyebrows' to contend with from the clerk but the panel was completely different so didn't have a clue what was said previously. Whether the 2nd panel has access to the first panel's notes, or indeed any other info on the child, that will never be known.

I really would try to go for two different hearings on different days with different panels.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Etienne, sorry to ask more questions but I was reading the post further down on ‘net capacity’.

In your opinion will it really add much value disputing calculation over min / max net capacity etc?

Surely a schools PAN is what it is and there are lots of factors like teacher: student ratios’, availability of essential equipment, building regs, health and safety etc.

My intention at a hearing was to ask what the largest, class size today was.............. In the hope it would be bigger than their PAN. Granted this could come back to haunt me. Theory being if the answer is one or even two more than PAN it would rubbish their claims of prejudice, without me having to say much.

I was not going to challenge the schools, defence any further, I was going to stick to the merits of my son attending state the impact of him attending the allocated school and plead to the panel our prejudice was greater than that of the school.

Thoughts please


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
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Hi Watdad, do you have any information in the LEA/School's case that you may be able to use? For example, one of the school's we're appealing for has a maximum admissions limit of 112, and state that most classrooms cannot take more than 28. However, in the information given it also shows one year group of 114 and one of 118 (therefore, classes must be of at least 29 pupils.) They also state that when the school was three form entry, the MAL was 87. 87/3=29, - I'm hoping this (and the fact that they've just got another four classrooms this year) may limit the prejudice to the school. Do you have an appeal date through yet? This information was sent through with the date, so even if you don't have anything yet, you may get it soon.
Good luck
Bouga


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Hi Baugalou

What school are you appealing for?

I may be missing the point here but do you still not have to prove you child is deserving of a place and would be better off at the school you are appealing rather than allocated school?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:06 pm 
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Dear watdad

No problem - you're welcome.

I would not raise minimum/maximum workplaces. The figure used is the net capacity. The government states "The net capacity is intended to provide a single, robust and consistent method of assessing the capacity of schools". The PAN is normally derived from the net capacity.

An appellant is often heard to argue "One more won't really make a difference". Now, the difference between e.g. 30 and 31 in a class, may not seem significant in the great scheme of things, but panels are likely to take the view that the line has to be drawn somewhere. If there were 45 in the class, no doubt someone would claim "One more won't matter"! Anyway, there might be 10, 20, 30+ other appellants, all arguing "One more won't make a difference"!

Bearing in mind that admission authorities are usually going to win at stage 1, I think the best tactic is not to be too argumentative, to come across as a very reasonable parent, just to ask some questions and let the panel draw their own conclusions.

Although you are unlikely to win at stage 1, your courteous questioning might succeed in limiting the degree of prejudice (useful at the balancing stage); if it does not, then at least you have made the right impression (i.e. thoughtful and reasonable).

Some possible questions are:

"What is the pupil teacher ratio? How does it compare with the national average?"

"How much extra classroom capacity was created by the new building (if any)? Did this affect the PAN?"

"Were the extra numbers all the result of successful appeals? Is there any indication that extra numbers in the past have affected results?"

One would look to see whether extra numbers in the past have been distributed as evenly as possible among the junior classes in a grammar school, e.g. 30, 31, 31. 30, 31, 31 would be reasonable (PAN 180), whereas 34, 30, 30 30, 30, 30 would at least require an explanation!

Where class sizes are 30, 31, 31. 30, 31, 31, late appellants will often argue "That means there are 2 vacancies." This is not correct, of course, and the admission authority is likely to point out "These extra numbers were forced upon us by an appeals panel, and we are coping with the situation as best we can."

If an appeal is won, it is usually going to be at the balancing stage. As a "reasonable parent", I would (after the decision on stage 1) acknowledge the school's concerns and accept that some prejudice would be caused - but I would conclude by saying "I would respectfully suggest to the panel that the extent of my child's need for a place outweighs the degree of prejudice to the school."

Just my view. Hope it helps.

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:10 pm 
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Hi Watdad,
I'm not in your area.
Yes we are in the unfortunate position of having to appeal on grounds of unsuitability (albeit with genuine mitigating circumstances) and oversubscription for the local grammar school (if you're interested see thread can anyone help us?) and just on grounds of oversubscription for the local comprehensive. We did not appeal on the grounds of unsuitability at the earlier stage as we feel we were misled by our daughter's primary school as to her ability and potential.
Therefore I have had to look into both areas, when planning my appeal.
Our daughter's allocated school is a secondary modern which has just come out of special measures.
Hope this clarifies things
Bouga


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:16 pm 
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Much help thanks

Kind of what I was thinking ie....

What is largest class size today?
Is the school in breach of and regs / H&S?
In what way does the child miss out as a result of larger class size?
Any example of children not fulfilling their potential etc......

After stating the strengths and weaknesses of my child attending / not attending

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:23 pm
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Watdad, I'm sure your/Etienne's way is the way to go with this. Have re-looked at my verbal presentation and it does appear a little aggressive on this issue. Am going to ask plenty of respectful questions and rephrase my challenge as a result.
Thanks to both for this discussion
Bouga :)


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