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Just back from the appeal hearing

(28 Posts)
B4r4joon Mon 06-Jun-11 20:36:22

Hi all,
just back from the hearing. It was very good and the panel were quite friendly. The fact that I had questioned the independance of that commitee, didn't really convince them, as it wasn't in paragraph 2.29, and they said director of children services should decide, and that he/she asked the sub-comitee for advice. So I couldn't point to the refernce that the admission forum should be independant. However, they heard my case in more of the third category, that a reasonable LA would not have dome that. (it was the anaphylaxis contact dairy allergy). One of the panle memebers i thought was quite convinces by my argument, he even asked the LA Rep that what qualifications they have to look thorugh the medics and judge it, and I could see from his facial expressin and he was quite sympethatic. The chair on the paanel, (i don't know) he was making sure things are covered etc, and also seemed a bit to see my ppints, but he was the one looked at the admission code and said u are saying in paragraoph 27-30 says the panle should be independant, and i can't find it!!!! anyway, the third memeber who was a woman, kept quiet all through the hearing.

I don't know the results,another week of agony, however I have to start preparing for my other appeal (on 16th June)to my own local aythority, which did not give me the choice I had made, and just gave me a school (the closest to my home) which has no good record in school mnagement in general, is going through head changes, and also do not have a separate play area for reception children, therefore if this (today's) appeal is not upheld, and she has to go to the school our LA has chosen for us, means she has to be with 300 children at snack and playtimes!!!!!!!!!! totally scary. Anyway I need to ask advice on the next appeal,kaz the school which I had chosen has 75 recpetion intake (3 classes of 25). they sent me info about the school'sroom sizes etc.a big excel sheet, However it says classroom have capacity for 30 pupils. SO I am quite confused that how this is the infant class size appeal then? could it be that classroom capacity is 30, but becasue of other facilities they have to admit 25 in each class???

would it still be infant class size appeal. Can I refer to the total number of pupils in entire school (as it is lower than its net capacity) if the case is about other facilties?

BetsyBoop Mon 06-Jun-11 21:38:58

Sounds like there is some hope from your first appeal smile The waiting is awful though...

Re the ICS question, with a PAN of 75 it depends how they structure the classes in Y1 & Y2 as well - if they have 5 classes of 30 across Y1&2 together, then it is ICS. If they stay with classes of 25 in Y1 & Y2, then it is not. (As YR clearly isn't with classes of 25)

BetsyBoop Mon 06-Jun-11 21:40:02

(The LA appeal case should have clearly stated whether or not it is an ICS appeal, and if yes why it is)

admission Mon 06-Jun-11 21:56:06

Betsy Boop is correct, this is called future prejudice as the year 1 and year2 classes will be 5 classes of 30, so any additions will take any of the classes over 30 and be in breach of the ICS Regs. The classroom organisation is the standard one for a PAN of 75, with the expectation being that having only 25 in the recption classes will benefit all these pupils.
The appeal is about the reception year group, not any other year group because if pupils turned up asking for a place in a year group with only 70 in it, the school has no alternative but to admit until they reach 75. So the fact that the school is not full based on the net capacity or pupil numbers in specific year groups is not really pertinent to the appeal.

B4r4joon Mon 06-Jun-11 22:09:13 doesn't say explicitly taht it is infant class size appeal. (it says if appeal is for reception, Y1 or Y2, it is normally be considered as ICS appeal. PS.they stay 3 classes of 25 until Y3, which then they merge with Y4 (larger classes), and then Y5 and Y6. SO it means it is not ICS, in this case?

PS. what if I get a place in the appeal today??? shall I still go to the second one??!!!!!! it is only 9 days away. aaahhh I am drained,,

B4r4joon Mon 06-Jun-11 22:15:56

the school has no vacancy they say, (over-subscribed this year)..., but as I said 5 classes of 30, don't happen until key stage 2,which is way away, and the school net capacity is 525. But currently on roll (as of today are: 468). funny enough when I visited this school their admission officer, said they have never been 75 full in the last 6-7 years she's been on the post!!!!!!!!!! what's going on this year??? suddenly more children every where???!!!!! recession's baby boom's children has not yet at school age!!!

B4r4joon Mon 06-Jun-11 22:19:46

oh,on the top of the letter says:
Appeal under the school standards and framework Act 1998 as amended by the Education Act 2002. DOes it mean it is not infant Size??? or I am totally shattered?

prh47bridge Mon 06-Jun-11 23:46:20

If they stay as 3 classes of 25 for Y1 and Y2 it is not ICS. That means you can mention the fact they are a long way below capacity as it suggests they can manage a few additional pupils.

I hope you get the choice as to whether or not to go to the second appeal. If you do go to another appeal, the point I would make about paragraph 2.29 is that it says that the evidence must be assessed objectively. If the panel doing the assessment is not independent it raises questions about how objective they will be.

admission Tue 07-Jun-11 21:58:20

"Appeal under the school standards and framework Act 1998 as amended by the Education Act 2002" is just the legal jargon for its school admission appeal quoting the act under which school appeals are allowed.

If the classes in all the infant classes are 25, then the appeal is not an ICS Regs appeal and in fact for them to put any infant class appeal is normally considered an infant class size appeal is a really naughty statement to be making. Firstly it is actually disadvantaging appealants by suggesting that they will have considerably less chance of success at appeal because it is infant class size than they actually do, cause it is not ICS REgs case. I think also that you could argue that if they think it is an ICS regs case there should be 30 in each class, as they have said the rooms can take 30 and therefore will the panel admit the 15 extra pupils to take it to 30 per class when it would be ICS Regs case. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek but the LA is being very cheeky in the way it is being cavalier with the regs, so why not respond in kind.

The honest reason that they can have the 3 classes of 25 in the infants is the fact that they are some 60 pupils short of capacity and this allows them to mix age teach in the junior section with larger classes. If the trend of having 75 continues in future years they will have to change the class structure as the bigger cohorts move through the school.

B4r4joon Wed 08-Jun-11 13:01:15

Thanks a lot, what I don't understand is that what I should be arguing then? it is not clear why they didn't take my child in. and what my grounds of appeal will be.

Just to let u know that this school was my third choice (however my first and second choice were out of borough). What happened is that as I submitted my application in paper with all the medical notes to be sent to other schools. I thought they will have the information in my file. However my LA did not upload the supporting documents ontime, they only did the main application. I happened to call the LA of my first choice to see if they have my child's medical papers, and they said NO!, I called my LA and they said they are very busy with getting applications into the system, that they don't have time to scan and upload any supporting documents! and asked me to send it to the relevant LA directly!!! and luckily I had kept a copy of everything and sent them. It was almost at the time when the medical panel would consider medical applications a week after. SO if I hadn't contacted them thinking that things go through smoothly, then they would see my medical application with no supporting letters!!!!

So, I think I should say at the appeal that the LA has been insuffiecint in the way they dealt with my application?, and with having all the documents, they did not consider any of them, when they processed my application for the school of my choice.

BUT, I hadn't said anything that this aprticular school will better meet my child't need. Can I add these all at the appeal as to why I chose this school. the reasons were more personal. One was smaller class size, meant her allergy will be more controlable. They have seperate play area for reception, and the school is well stable... unlike the school she has been offered a place which is going through head changes. Have an interim head now until Sep that the new head comes. I think chnage of head brings about a period of things not perhaps been stable, and chnages, which is not ideal. You know a period where no one knows who is responsible for what. It has happened to her current school when they changed head.

prh47bridge Wed 08-Jun-11 14:47:32

The LA's case for the appeal should contain a clear statement of why you were refused admission to this school. If it doesn't that means the hearing will be fundamentally flawed.

The failure of your LA to pass on the supporting documents to the LA for your first and second choices is unacceptable. However, since that didn't affect your application for this school it isn't entirely relevant. Having said that I would still mention it as it might prompt the panel to consider whether your application for this school was processed correctly.

Assuming your LA gives priority to people on medical grounds I would stick to the argument that they were unreasonable not to give priority to your child. You can certainly expand on your reasons for wanting this school during the hearing. However, personally I would steer clear of the issue of the head teacher changing. All schools change head from time to time so it doesn't really give the panel reason to admit your child.

admission Wed 08-Jun-11 20:29:13

If you have any concerns that the application for this school may not have been properly considered as a medical application because the LA was too busy to load the documentation on their computer then this has to come up at the appeal.
Do you have any paperwork to confirm that the LA actually considered your application under the medical criteria and what the answer was. If not i think that you should be explaining to the panel what happened and then asking the LA to prove that they actually went through a proper process for reviewing the medical evidence. What you are saying suggests that there is a possibility that they never even looked at it and as such the onus has to be on the LA to show that they did consider your evidence and rejected it officially.

B4r4joon Wed 08-Jun-11 23:32:34

My LA don't have medical/social criteria here.
this is exactly what has written there: X could not be offered a place at Y School as the authority had more applicants than places available- school over subscribed. X was considered for a place at Y under our published admission criteria and was also reviewed under the DfE's Infant class legislation excepted pupils criteria.
X's application was recieved 20.12.2010 (which mean ontime).
X's priority for a place at Y is group 6 (distance).
In addition therewere no circomstances under which X could, at the time of the application, been admitted as an excepted pupil.
last child admitted lived: 1.058 miles, X lives 1.128 miles.

prh47bridge Wed 08-Jun-11 23:44:59

The LA should not be talking about excepted pupils as this is not an infant class size case. This plus the statement that appeals are normally considered as infant class size starts to feel like the LA is trying to mislead the panel into thinking it is an ICS case when it isn't. Not good.

However, it does give the reason your child wasn't admitted - you were in group 6 and lived too far away. Unless you think your child should have been in a higher category or they have got the distance wrong you can't directly contest that, but that doesn't matter in this case. You need to make the case that this is the only school for your child and they will be disadvantaged if the panel don't admit them.

B4r4joon Thu 09-Jun-11 11:36:01

What can be done for LAs saying things to as you say misleading the panel. It is very unfair to appelants who don't have much information. This all appealing and the way it is been carried makes me think it is very deceptive.

In my previous appeal (yet to get the result). I had stated about the fact that Admission forum should be independant. I (by mistake) said it was in p.2.29 of the admission code. The panel chair didn't find it, and asked me where it was. I didn't know exactly, and they didn't seem to have clue either about it whereabouts (as admission also suggested here). SO they simply disregard it I think.

I think the whole system is absolutely unfair to parents with less knowledge or ability to present their cases where it shouldn't.

I don't appeal just to have exercised my rights, if the results are already clear. Even at the start of my appeal session the chair of the panel said they are independant and he also told me that are you aware that this is infant size class appeal and the rate of success is really low! I said yes, but deep down I found the statement quite unncessary and patronizing.

Although (thank to mumsnet members advice) I thought I was quite articulate in my appeal, I still wish I had someone with me, like one of you,...then I could be more sure of the outcome. Maybe there should really be a kind of support.

prh47bridge Thu 09-Jun-11 14:44:03

If the panel get it right there is no problem. However, if the panel treat it as an infant class size case you can refer it to the Local Government Ombudsman who should order a fresh appeal.

It is disappointing that the chairman didn't figure out that the requirement for decisions to be objective suggests that the need to be looked at independently.

I'm sorry you found the statement from the chair unnecessary and patronising but what he said is correct. It would be wrong for the chair to say anything which sounded like they are prejudging the case but there is nothing wrong with making sure parents understand the position. A lot of parents go into infant class size appeals confident that they are going to win when they actually have no chance at all.

B4r4joon Fri 10-Jun-11 13:14:05

Anyone have a link to the pdf of the Admission Code?

chopchopquick Fri 10-Jun-11 13:27:21

not PDF but you shold find it there

B4r4joon Tue 14-Jun-11 11:08:35

I am summing up my points:
-this is not an ISC appeal. SO what is it then? Is there any name for it?

JWIM Tue 14-Jun-11 11:53:12

A 'normal' appeal - so the LA case may be based on possible prejudice to other children in the school to admit additional child, limited classroom space either for current or future class/year.

admission Tue 14-Jun-11 21:31:47

It is a normal appeal but if it is for a reception age child they frequently get referred to as "block" appeals, as there is sometimes a great big block of appeals to do! If however it is an in-year appeal for another year group other than reception it would be referred to as a "casual" appeal.

B4r4joon Tue 14-Jun-11 21:49:28

Very strange....Had the first appeal on Monday 6th June and yet to get the result! I emailed the clerk and he said they hear the last appeal on Thursday so they sens the letters either friday or monday, and I should eceive it early next week. It didn't come today, even if it comes tomorrow it is mid-week isn't it? How long can they carry on like this leaving us in agony....I am just tired. I need a holiday!!!!!!!!!!
I hold on to preparing for my second appeal, hoping to get the result of this back. The second is on friday......still time to prepare.

chopchopquick Tue 14-Jun-11 22:02:55

B4r4joon is it just me or do you find this whole school/appeal thing totally consuming?

B4r4joon Tue 14-Jun-11 22:08:21

chopchopquick I am just drained physically and emotionally...
Are you also appealing?
I really need a break from everything and everyone including myself!!! if that ever possible!!!

chopchopquick Tue 14-Jun-11 22:31:23

Yes we are appealing.

I completly get what you mean, I am driving myself mad.

It's so frustrating as I only want to do what is best for my family and it feels like it's out of my hands.

I hope you hear soon.

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