upcoming school appeal - really nervous!!(7 Posts)
It's my DD's infant class size appeal on Monday and I'm very anxious! We are appealing on the grounds the school made a mistake and incorrectly categorised my daughter.
School's case - they did not receive any supplementary information to support a higher category (baptised catholic child who weekly attends mass)
Our case- we did send this! We sent this at the same time as we posted priest forms etc to our other catholic school (this school did correctly categorise her but lost out on distance). The scool's own procedures state they are supposed to write to all families with no supplementary info requesting the documentation. We did not receive this letter. The school have copied all correspondance in their case but there is no letter of this nature. If we had of received such a letter we could have re-sent everything and my daughter would have been offered a place.
She was applicant 126 under category 7. If she had of been in 2b which she is now she would of been 45th and offered a place.
I feel really strongly my daughter has been greatly disadvantaged by this but I'm worried I wont do her justice on the day. I hate public speaking and feel really anxious! Any tips would be greatly appreciated
The fact the school have not included a letter requesting your supplementary information suggests that no such letter was sent. If their admission arrangements say they should send such a letter they have failed to administer admissions correctly. That would be a good case.
Appeal panels are used to nervous parents. They will do their best to set you at ease.
Its easy for me to say because I could be on the other side of the table a s Chair of the panel but try not to get too anxious. The panel are human beings and do actually understand what a nerve racking exercise it is for many parents.
You have a case that you need to present in a sensible order. The first part of the appeal is for the school (and this will probably be either the head teacher or the chair of governors as the presenting officer) saying why your child was not admitted and why the school cannot admit any more pupils. Do not get uptight about any of the detail they present, it will talk about crowded rooms, overworked staff, not enough funds etc. It is not relevant to your appeal at all. You need to present your case that they got it wrong in the first stage of the appeal by asking appropriate questions of the presenting officer.
The first question I would ask is for the presenting officer to explain the process by which the school allocated the places. You will get an explanation of putting them all in order according to the admission criteria. You then need to ask them to confirm the admission criteria and the process is as described in the school procedures. Then ask them did they abide by this procedure in writing to all applicants who had no supplementary info. I would suspect the answer to this is that they will say yes. If they say no then I would ask them why not, why did you not follow the agreed procedure.
If there is more than one appealant then I would leave it at that for the first part and wait until it is part2 where your personal circumstances are discussed. If you are the only appealant then I might be tempted to just keeping asking the killer questions immediately. The first question is to ask if the presenting officer can show a copy of one of these letters asking for the supplementary information. They may have one but the next question is, you have as part of your case attached all the letters to us, can you point out the letter that asks for the supplementary info - that will result in an embarassed shuffling of papers. What you then need to do is to present any evidence that you have about being successfully placed in the right category by the other school (the decline letter showing you were in the right category?) and say that they were all done together and sent together so you have no doubt that the information was received and then lost.
I would then ask the presenting officer to confirm that if the school had not misplaced the supplementary form and if they had actually carried out their correct process you would have been in cat 2b and would have been offered a place. If they confirm that then the panel should agree and allocate a place but are you sure that you would have been offered a place?
I would write down all the questions you need to ask on a pad, so you don't forget them as it might not go exactly as I have outlined it and you will need to remember to ask all the questions above and any others that you feel need to be asked.
Thank you great advice. I can categorically say she would have been offered a place, as in the school pack they have included their admission list and my daughter would have been the 45th applicant of the 60 available places. My DD is in category 2b and the school managed to offer places to a few children in 2c.
We are appealing at the other catholic school and in their pack they have included a copy of the proof of commitment form I sent to them. Should I submit this to the clerk or can I bring this on Monday?
This year demand for places exceeded all others so I shall argue that it wouldn't be unreasonable to presume under the strain the school mislaid our paperwork.
It is too late to send it now. Take it with you on Monday and give it to the clerk before the appeal starts. This will let the clerk have time to copy it for the panel and the presenting officer or alternatively do the 4 copies and give them to the clerk.
After all the preperation didn't win!! Hey-ho the show must go on, thanks for all your advice it was very much appreciated.
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