Appeals Advice (For GS)

(13 Posts)
areyoubeingserved Mon 12-Nov-12 20:37:43

Hello, new poster so please be gentle smile Have read advice on appeals section which is very helpful. Appreciate is perhaps a bit premature to be getting case together now but kind of want to do my homework/research and get the ball rolling. DC passed 3 out of 4 GS exams and had extenuating circumstances (documented) for the one we want to appeal for and which DC just missed out by handful of marks. Have support of primary and good academic ability evidence.

Anyway looks very likely shall be appealing to more than one school as ooc for the other ones she passed. What is concerning me is would doing more than one appeal go against DC, perhaps show a lack of commitment to the first preference school we would be appealing at if they knew we were appealing at another school?

Thanks.

tiggytape Mon 12-Nov-12 21:54:06

It won't count against you. Appeal panels know that parents have to be a bit flexible and pragmatic about school options. Whilst the aim of each appeal is to show why only that school best suits your child's needs, an appeal panel will not say you have undermined this assertion by appealing for other schools as well.

It is probably more a case of no school being totally perfect but several having features (often different features) that make them especially suited to a particular child. At appeal you highlight those special features for each school.

As you know though, the overriding consideration for a GS appeal is to prove academic ability. Extenuating circumstances come into it only in the sense of explaining to the panel why a child of selective academic ability failed to demonstrate this on the day. You will need to convince any panel (for the appeals where the required score was not met) that your child is of selective ability and then the task after that is to also explain why they need a place at this school.

admission Mon 12-Nov-12 22:01:48

Do not have any concerns over going to more than one appeal, many parents do so. Depending on what you say on your appeal forms, panels may realise that you have appealed for more than one school, but otherwise they will not know and actually it has no bearing on the decisions of the panel.
I have known of situation where in a week a parent goes to two appeals and ends up getting an offer of a place at both schools.

areyoubeingserved Mon 12-Nov-12 22:57:35

Thank you so much tiggytape and admission, really helpful advice. Yes academic ability shall always be our main evidence in appeal against the non qualification ( DC on level 5's doing level 6 papers next year, good reading/spelling age, YG&T reg etc ) Was then just briefly going to mention the extenuating circumstances that we believe explain why DC's shortfall in marks did not show a true reflection of ability on that day and of course explain passed the other 3 GS exams very comfortably.

School have offered to support with written letters do I need to only have school support/letters for a non qual appeal? Obviously any other appeals we do would be over subscription only, so presumably more straight forward and don't need the academic ability evidence, or do I?

I have heard appeal members, either one or more can be at both appeals, this un nerves me a little I have to be honest. My child ultimately would suit all the GS she passed, though the ideal one ( in catchment, shortish distance to etc ) is the one she didn't pass. Did hand in the special circumstances form on the day and like I say shall have written evidence of the circumstances surrounding it. Have this thought in my head that if an appeal member was there listening to me saying "this school is right for DC because of a, b and c etc" and then to see me again saying "this school is right for DC because of a, b and c" would I not get the 'rolled eye' look?

Thanks again.

admission Tue 13-Nov-12 22:58:27

It is obviously difficult to be sure that for two different schools that there will not be some common panel members.
If we are talking about a situation where say the two appeals are within a few day of each other, then I probably as a panel member would raise it with the clerk before the appeal date. I know in similar circumstances in the past when this has arisen it has usually been left to the parent to make a decision over whether the panel member should continue. The obvious problem is one of timing, if you ask a panel member to stand down at short notice or even at the appeal hearing then it will need to be adjourned until a new panel member can be found.
If I am honest it could well be the case, given the number of appeals that I do, that if it was more than a couple of weeks difference that I would not even recognise that it was somebody that I had already sat on an appeal for. So I do think that the onus has to be on you that if you are concerned that there are common panel members between the two appeals that you raise it with the clerk .

hardboiled Wed 14-Nov-12 12:17:39

Could I ask a quick question re appeals which has always troubled me? If an appeal is succesful and the child gets an offer, does that mean a child who got offered the school on 1/3 looses the place he/she was told they had? Because obvioulsy a school with 150 places make 150 offers. So where does the succesful appeal child fit?

Sorry sorry OP for the blatant highjack!

cory Wed 14-Nov-12 12:21:12

They squeeze them in. Dd was that child. No other child had her place withdrawn.

hardboiled Wed 14-Nov-12 12:29:17

Thanks for answer cory.

tiggytape Wed 14-Nov-12 13:40:25

Children who win an appeal are admitted over and above the official admissions number. Part of the appeal process involves the school saying they are full and the parents arguing that 1 more pupil won't cause massive issues for the school. Of course this is why appeals are hard to win - no school can keep going over numbers without it becoming a problem so panels have to weigh up both sides.

Nobody loses their place as a result of successful appeals but it does mean the waiting list is frozen until the school is back below its official admission number again.

areyoubeingserved Wed 14-Nov-12 14:42:00

Thank you for the extra feedback @admission. @hardboiled please ask away any questions, I know there are dozens of appeal related questions I am yet to get my head around ;)

admission Wed 14-Nov-12 21:51:51

AS Tiggytape says anybody admitted under appeal or as a child with special needs is over and above the agreed admission number of the school.
One of the issues that this does cause is say you have a 1 form entry primary school, where the admission number is then 30 and they have 33 in the class. When the parent comes to appeal there are two stages. The first is whether the school can show that they are full and to admit another child would be prejudicial to the provision of efficient education. In this case that would be proved. You then go to the next stage which is the parent's case for admission and that is weighed against the school's case not to admit. If you like it is a set of scales and it is which way the balance goes. If you already have 33 in the class then the barrier to admit another child has to be higher than if there were only 30 in the class and you were asking to admit a 31st pupil. That is why in some cases the parent has a perfectly valid and reasonable case to admit but the level of prejudice against admission because of the circumstances in the school is just simply too high to admit another pupil.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 14-Nov-12 22:22:57

Having said that, a selective school (indeed, any school) would not always be full after the offers are made, anyway. It's a low birthrate few years around here, and many of our grammars have spaces this year/next year. Which doesn't necessarily make them more likely to accept a child who didn't 'pass' but obviously unable to claim that they cannot admit because of space.

angelusavalon Thu 29-Nov-12 16:14:03

Early this year I did 5 school appeals and lost all. You can appeal to more than one school and this will not count against you so its all fine. If you are appealing to schools in the same borough, the panelist will have information about your choice of schools and how many appeals you are doing. From my experience (or my failing), the panelist are sympathetic people but you must show them why THIS IS THE ONLY SCHOOL THAT IS RIGHT FOR MY CHILD. I cannot stress this hard enough. My failed school appeal letters all stated that their school is not unique to my child's needs. Another advice is the panelist are very concern for the child's well being, they will pay attention if you can prove that not getting a place at THIS SCHOOL, your child will suffer as a result. In my school appeals, I stated why these schools are suitable for my child but I should have stressed why my child must get a place at their school, so this was a mistake I have made. Hope this will help.

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