Independent appeal panel. Can someone explain.

(65 Posts)
gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 14:22:43

I am probably missing something, and I am sure I am just stupid but, I have a few little questions:

Who decides on the members who make up the panel?
Can anyone apply to be on the panels?
Where do they look for panel members?
Do they always use the same panel members?
What can we (the appellants) know about our panel?
What checks and balances are carried out by what authority to establish the Independence of the members?
If I were to find out something disturbing about a member what can I do?
If the answer to any of the questions is the LEA and the school you are appealing against is its own authority as many are these days, how can these appeals possibly be called independent?

Just imagine if in a court of the jury was always made up of the same jurors, and they were all on day release from prison, and, for some reason they always found in favor of the defendant. Imagine if the over subscribed prison service were paying the cons expenses while they served as jurors. Do you think the public would have faith in the system?

My apologies in advance to those who do serve on panels, and I know are true honest and give invaluable advice on these forums, but that little analogy may help you guys can see it from the eyes of an independent member of the public.

titchy Tue 14-Jan-14 21:51:01

OP has rejected closer schools (in neighbouring county). Her dc is in year 10......

gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 21:56:18

NO

gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 21:57:49

What happened there?

Vworp

Have they offered a place at a closer school?

Answer NO

Don't know why people are saying otherwise.

gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 22:03:29

Just in case I have not made this entirely clear already, no they have never offered a place at a closer school.

The only offer ever made was for the school miles away.

The council here are one great XXXXXXXX, I hear it will be worse for primary schools in the coming years too.

titchy Tue 14-Jan-14 22:15:09

But did you ever apply to schools in the neighbouring borough?

hoobypickypicky Tue 14-Jan-14 22:20:01

So, Gaba, if the school offered to your child is 33 miles away, and in view of the law here which says,

"All children between 5 and 16 qualify for free school transport if they go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:

2 miles from the school if they’re under 8
3 miles from the school if they’re 8 or older
Find details on free school transport from your local council.

If there’s no safe walking route, they must be given free transport, however far from school they live. Contact your local council if you think that the walk to school isn’t safe.",

what reason has your council given for not offering your child free transport? confused

gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 22:20:20

scaevola

It may be true that there are vacancies at a school nearer, but I don't have the money to pay for that service.

I just have to accept what the council offers, and right now it is obvious they just want me to go away.

I HAVE BEEN TOLD QUITE CLEARLY BY THE COUNCIL TO DO HOME EDUCATION, and stop bothering them.

I hope that clears things up.

VworpVworp Tue 14-Jan-14 22:24:46

If that is genuinely the only place available, then you do not have to 'chase them through the courts'. The law says anything over 2 miles (up to 8yo) or 3 miles (over 8yos) transport is provided (usually in the form of a bus pass).

Yes you do have to accept what the council offers- they are obliged to offer the nearest community school with places.
I really do not understand your comment to scaveola - 'I don't have the money to pay for that service'. What service are you referring to?

titchy Tue 14-Jan-14 22:26:08

What service would you have to pay for to apply for a place at a nearer school? An hours worth of phone calls followed by an hour at most fing in an application form and sending it to Essex.

gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 22:26:13

hoobypickypicky

They havn't made it clear TBH. They have told me I am not entitled, but unless I accept their offer I cannot find out.

If I were to accept their offer and they do have a way out of it, then I would be stuck with the job myself.

Since they have more money to spend on their legal department than their education department I wouldn't be at all surprised.

gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 22:27:55

VworpVworp

The service I am referring to is the 'get your kid into the school of your choice' service available to all mums with the means.

hoobypickypicky Tue 14-Jan-14 22:30:23

I'm even more confused now!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 14-Jan-14 22:31:07

but unless I accept their offer I cannot find out.

I'm getting confused here. I thought the only offer made was for the school 33 miles away. Has there been some other, second offer?

titchy Tue 14-Jan-14 22:31:25

HAVE YOU APPLIED FOR SCHOOLS IN ESSEX?

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 22:32:38

If the only place available for your child is more than a certain distance away (in our LEA I think it is 3 miles) the LEA pays for travel. No need to go through the courts- that's just what happens. So there is more to this than meets the eye.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 14-Jan-14 22:32:44

the 'get your kid into the school of your choice' service available to all mums with the means.

What do you mean by this? Private education? Or are you insinuating something else?

tiggytape Tue 14-Jan-14 22:33:29

If you've gone to appeal then getting transport won't be any harder because an appeal is not an absolute right but free transport is and the council has no choice.
No court action is needed. Write to them formally and follow up with an official complaint to the LGO if / when your free transport isn't provided.

I sense you are fed up with the whole thing. I cannot blame you. I'd be fed up if the nearest available school was 30+ miles away but instead of ploughing your energies just into appeals (which may never work if local schools are full to bursting), chase the things that you are definitely entitled to and investigate other solutions eg a school over the border, waiting lists (as many as you can), the free transport that is yours by right and possibly FAP (Fair Access Protocol) if you are 100% certain that no school (however awful) has any places in the correct year group in less than a 30 mile radius.

meditrina Tue 14-Jan-14 22:36:16

What happened to the offer you mentioned on your earlier thread for the school 14 miles away?

There is Norway you'll get transport to a 30 miles away school when you had a 14 mile offer (and declined to appy when notified of even closer vacancies in Essex).

titchy Tue 14-Jan-14 22:36:18

If I remember her original thread there are places in nearer schools in Essex but she will not apply for an Essex school, she is also convinced there is a conspiracy and much palm-greasing surrounding Hockerill school admissions. In the meantime her GCSE child is not in school.

VworpVworp Tue 14-Jan-14 22:36:30

wtf? "Get your kid into the school of your choice" service? You can't buy your way into state schools. The LA is under obligation to offer you a place within the authority you reside in. If it's over 2 miles you are entitled to free transport, end of story.

If you have refused the LA's offer, you are an idiot entitled to nothing.

I cannot imagine why your last thread went pear-shaped... hmm

meditrina Tue 14-Jan-14 22:37:16

Norway! Now that would be an amazing school run!

Sorry no way

VworpVworp Tue 14-Jan-14 22:38:38

but does she live in Essex titchy?

titchy Tue 14-Jan-14 22:39:10

Herts I think. Bishop Stortford?

meditrina Tue 14-Jan-14 22:40:47

There was a 9 mile away school mentioned in the earlier thread too. And at least one appeal underway? It did get a bit confusing in places.

gaba Tue 14-Jan-14 22:46:11

"What do you mean by this? Private education? Or are you insinuating something else?"

Insinuating...I thought I was spelling it out.

Thanks Tiggy I will keep trying.

As to the others I don't know how to make this any clearer.

THE COUNCIL HAVE NEVER OFFERED ANOTHER SCHOOL.

THE ONE THEY OFFERED IS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTY.

THEY HAVE THREATENED THAT THEY WILL NOT PAY TRANSPORT.

SINCE I HAVE NOT ACCEPTED THEIR OFFER I DO NOT KNOW IF THEY CAN REFUSE TRANSPORT COSTS OR NOT.

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