Faith school appeal(7 Posts)
I'm in the school appeal purgatory zone at the moment and would very much like some advice from knowledgeable folk. We applied for DD to go to a C of E secondary and were assured by our vicar, who was providing the reference, that she should get a place no problem. She didn't. We've since found out that the vicar made an error on the form and he's provided a letter apologising and supporting our appeal and has offered to represent us in person. He is also a governor at the school we're appealing for and therefore part of the admissions authority. Is that not a conflict of interests??
Any thoughts gratefully received. This is all sooooo stressful and confusing.
He cannot support your appeal or represent you in person. However, the letter you have showing that he made a mistake is excellent evidence. Provided the mistake deprived your daughter of a place you have a very good chance of winning your appeal.
Thank you - I thought it would be odd if he came. Is it our responsibility to tell him he can't come, because the appeal is in a couple of days and, so far as he's concerned, he's still coming. I would have thought the representative from the school would have noticed by now (it clearly states on our form that he will be accompanying us) and done something about it.
Also, do we need to bring this point up at the first stage of the appeal with all the other parents there, or wait until our bit?
Thanks so much for your help - it's such a stomach churning process.
It is really up to the chair of the panel to sort this out. If he turns up I would expect the chair of the panel to exclude him. The Appeals Code says "Panels must not allow representatives of schools to support individual appeals for places at their school at the hearing itself, or by providing letters of support for appellants" (paragraph 2.13).
With that in mind, I suggest you contact him and point out that the Appeals Code says he cannot represent you or support you in the hearing.
You need to raise the fact that you believe a mistake was made in part 1. There is a chance the chair may tell you it is too late if you wait until your individual hearing. Of course, if you are the only family affected the chair may ask you to raise it in your individual hearing.
Well, thanks for that - I would have waited til the second part so that we're not talking about our personal situation in front of all the other parents. Guess I'll have to be brave and raise the issue in front of them all. Would we have to go into detail about the mistake in that section? Although a mistake was made on one part of our reference form, we're also arguing that our family circumstances weren't taken into consideration on another part of the form - don't particularly want to talk about that in front of everyone.
Thanks so much for your advice.
It is important that the panel note that you are intending to argue a mistake was made in the admission process for your specific application. It is then up to the Chair of the Panel to decide whether to ask you to outline the issue around the mistake by the vicar in part 1. I suspect they may ask you to do that because it is just possible that you are not the only instance of this happening, in which case the panel will definitely need to establish facts in part 1.
If nobody else is arguing a mistake was made then it is quite usual for the Chair to then say that you can then bring up all your reasons for admission in part 2.
The reason for this procedure is that at the end of part 1 the panel will have to start making decisions about whether the admission process was carried out correctly. If they decide that and then you suddenly in part 2 start saying a mistake was made, a very pedantic chair of the panel could say you had your chance and did not raise it. Personally I think that I would be straight off to the LGO if that did happen but best to be safe and at least raise the context in part 1
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