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Has anyone actually attended an appeal? What happened?

(4 Posts)
MrBloomEatsVeggies Fri 27-May-11 21:54:44

I'm absolutely terrified about possible upcoming appeal (sorry panelmember, I know I promised not to mention appeals again!). I say possible because I had decided not to appeal, due to the fact that I'm terrified and v. stressed about appearing in front of the panel, and what they may ask me. I'm now rethinking and maybe I will appeal. Not attending and the appeal going on without me is pointless, I have things I want to say.

The current picture in my head is them beginning to talk, asking me something and I burst into nervous tears, or worse, am struck dumb (both of these scenario's have happened to me in different circumstances before).

So, has anyone actually attended one? What happened and was it as bad as I'm thinking it's going to be? I don't want to make a fool of myself.

theotherboleyngirl Fri 27-May-11 22:04:26

I didn't but DH did - and we won.

From what I gather he didn't need to be as nervous as he was - it was all independent panel (I think about 3 people, can't remember exactly) and then the chair of governors from the school, who was (and I now know is) lovely.

8 people were appealing for the school we were the only ones to win.

DH said he didn't find it daunting at all. He actually found it very emotional (we were appealing effectively on compassionate grounds because we WOULD have got in definitely, if our supplementary application form had reached them in time - it didn't because at the time I was extremely extremely ill and pregnant with our DT's who we nearly lost, ended up being born prem etc). Although by the time of the appeal our DT's were 6 months and thriving, and I was walking again, having to present doctors letters and describe the time to a room of strangers about how it was unfair that our son would suffer even more from that awful time if he didn't get the school of our choice, was really hard for DH. He was very prepared with maps, distances from school, doctors letters, preschool referees for DS etc etc.

I think you probably know in your heart of hearts if you have a good case. If you do then don't be daunted by the appeal - as from what I understand the actual meeting is just that, a portrayal of facts. If you've got a case then go for it. If you don't then don't put the stress on yourself.

bubblecoral Fri 27-May-11 22:19:18

From what I know from doing a secondary appeal, they are supposed to follow a set procedure during the hearing. It should go something like

1) Introductions from the panel and the LA school rep
2) The LA rep states their case
3) you have the opportunity to ask questions on the schools case
4) the panel ask questions on the schools case
5) You state your case
6) the LA rep asks you any questions
7) the panel ask you any questions
8) the LA sums up
9) you sum up.

I'm not 100% sure it will be the same for a primary appeal, but it shouldn't be too different.

I was very nervous before our hearing, and was worried I would turn into a jibbering mess, but the format the appeal followed actually helped. You get time to settle in and 'get in to' what you are doing before you have to present your case. Listening to the school's case kind of fired me up a bit so I was ready when it came to be my turn to present our case. You may well find that the same happens to you.

The panel should be understanding of the fact that you are nervous, and they are supposed to give you as much time as you need to say everything you want to say. I actually stopped at the end and the panel let me have a moment to check my list of things that HAD to be said to make sure I had covered everything. It was fine! And I'm sure you will be fine! smile

Good Luck!

prh47bridge Fri 27-May-11 22:48:25

The order given by Bubblecoral also applies to primary school appeals. The only comment I would make is that there often isn't complete separation between the panel's questions to the LA and your questions. Equally after you have stated your case the panel's questions and the LA's questions may be mixed together.

You will be nervous but you will be fine. The panel will check to make sure you have had a chance to say everything you wanted to say and ask all the questions you wanted to ask.

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