Appeals Panel Member needs advice please.(8 Posts)
Been doing these for 16 years but frustrated this year. Already done over 80 Yr.7 appeals and aroud 20% are on single sheet Notice of Appeal forms with maybe the parents case on another. School 1 is a VC, 2 is Trust and the next one is an academy. Clerk is independant so no input from the LA who is supposed to co-ordinate. Para. 2.9 of Appeals code says: (the documents)...must include details of how admission arrangements and co-ordinated scheme apply to the Appellant's case.
School case is there and stage one done.but cannot see how we can proceed with them. Clerk claims he telephoned the LA to say it was ok to proceed!
If you do not have the required docuements, the Appeal Panel should refuse to hear the appeals until eveything is present. If you hear an appeal and a challenge is made, and you are contravening the regulations, then there is a problem and the result of the appeal is unsound. The Clerk sounds poor and I would get the Panel Chairman to sort it out. If you, personally, refuse to hear the appeals due to incomplete paperwork, the presumably the Panel is not quorate so they would have to start again. I feel sorry for the parents! It sounds amateurish.
Thanks Bojoro, it's worse than that, the clerk normally insists his spouse sits on the Panel! Though she is not doing so this summer after I raised concerns.
That all sounds dreadful - inadequate evidence before the panel, a clerk who evidently isn't independent because their spouse is on the panel...! I'm also concerned about overload, if you've heard 80 appeals (unless they're all for the same school, when you need consistency, but it sounds as if there are at least 3 schools involved). Few people have time to sit on 80 appeals, so does this mean that the same few people sit on the same panels for the same schools time and time again? That's not good for independence, either.
You're correct PC, shortage of panel members means I will do more this year than before. The LA has few people interested not only from the area but from further afield. It blames cutbacks etc. but fails to make any positive attempt to recruit. It has the highest No. of Primary Academies in the country and another recent round of redundancies particularly hitting Education. The only positive is those schools which have opted out of the LA model have improved dramatically.
You can look at this two ways.
Firstly that unless any of the appellants are alleging that the admission arrangements and or co-ordinated scheme are a problem, the panel can make a determination that as far as they can see from the evidence presently provided that there are no issues.
However taking para 2.9 at face value and it is difficult not to, you need that evidence to proceed. To my mind (and what I am used as a Chair of such panels) is a statement about the co-ordinated scheme and that the LA have carried that out correctly. That you do not have been should be very easy to obtain. I would not proceed until such a document exists, because as Borojojo says it invalidates the panel being able to come to a decision at stage 1 of the appeal. The LA must be involved and responsible for at least 1 case for the VC school, so they have no excuse for not getting it right.
Not sure if you do have all the information from the school's case that you want but to me the key issue is did the school as a Trust / Academy (and therefore being their own admission authority) carry out the correct process of administrating the list of applicants into the correct order and what changes have there been since the original places were allocated.
No idea where you are in the country, though I could make a guess but the LA are failing in their duty if they are involved in these appeals and have not got enough panel members to fill the requires slots.
Thanks admission, it's good to hear of others experiences and expertise. I chaired the VC appeals and had a 'tantrum' at the end of the third day and insisted the LA was involved, a compromise was agreed and we continued. The next school is in ten days time with the same issue. Will take a different line. Have been a Governor in the LA since 1988 and it saddens me to see what is happening.
City of Culture 2017!!!
Feel free to PM me if you'd like to chat about how things are done in my LEA and the adjoining one!
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