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 Post subject: flow chart
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:07 pm 
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Mindthegap wrote:
We have 3 areas to discuss - extenuating circumstances, her academic growth since taking the test and the emotional impact on her of not getting the grammar she wants. It's all very clear in our statement but we will go through it all again.

Is there anything I've missed? Am very very nervous and I'm fairly sure I will cry.


I have come to understand it as a kind of flow chart. I am sure one of the resident experts will shout loudly if I've misunderstood or oversimplified. This is for oversubscription appeals, not non-qualification which have an additional step.

Panel assesses whether the admissions rules were correctly applied, and whether the school is actually full.

Has school shown it would be unreasonable to admit ALL appellants? If no, allow all appeals. If yes, move on ...

The school might have taken their PAN of 200 but actually have space, funding, teaching capacity, etc for 210, and there are five appeals. In that case it wouldn't matter how strong the appellants' arguments are, they'd be in. Panel is looking over the school's written evidence in advance, plus the discussion in the one big meeting or all the individual first five minuteses.

Has school shown it would be unreasonable to admit ANY appellants? If yes, reject all appeals. If no, move on ...

"If the Appeal Panel is not satisfied that all the appellants' children could be admitted to the school before prejudice is established, it must go on to Stage 2." In other words, Panel thinks some additional children could be admitted as the school isn't completely full yet, but thinks that the school would be unreasonably full if all the appeals were allowed. So who gets in?

The next bit is where they have to balance needs of the appellants against the prejudice to the school, as though they rank the appellants in order of their cases as submitted and as argued on the day, then allow one at a time until the prejudice to the school of admitting outweighs the prejudice to the appellant of rejecting. Someone who would have got in but for an an error in how the the oversubscription criteria were applied would presumably come top. The prejudice to the school rises as you allow each additional appeal; the prejudice to the appellant lowers as you go down your ranked list.

Is it better overall to admit the most compelling appellant than reject them? If no, reject this appeal and finish. If yes, allow this appeal and move on...
Is it better overall to admit the second most compelling appellant than reject them? If no, reject this appeal and finish. If yes, allow this appeal and move on...
Is it better overall to admit the third most compelling appellant than reject them? If no, reject this appeal and finish. If yes, allow this appeal and move on...


Continue until you run out of places you can reasonably give, or until you run out of appellants.

The parents' job is to make as good a case as possible, so that the prejudice to your child of not being admitted is thought to be as high as possible, which gets you as high up the rankings as possible, but also makes your individual balancing act stronger. If parents (individually or as a group) can convince the panel that the prejudice to the school is as low as possible, that also helps.

Sorry, that's probably clear as mud.


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 Post subject: Re: Mindthegap appeal
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:32 pm 
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Ariadne thank you, yes that does make sense. Aargh it's so stressful. Wd did appeal before 4 years ago for her primary but was mid year so a stand alone case and we had a very good reason for the appeal. I did find the letter though and looked at the wording regarding the balance. Do the grammars differ too I guess on what is allowed. There is one here where everyone seems to win their appeal but her chosen school hardly anyone does.


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 Post subject: Re: Mindthegap appeal
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:26 pm 
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Quote:
Has school shown it would be unreasonable to admit ANY appellants? If yes, reject all appeals. If no, move on ...

"If the Appeal Panel is not satisfied that all the appellants' children could be admitted to the school before prejudice is established, it must go on to Stage 2." In other words, Panel thinks some additional children could be admitted as the school isn't completely full yet, but thinks that the school would be unreasonably full if all the appeals were allowed. So who gets in?


I was really interested to read this. Is this definitely the case? I sat through a stage 1 and the school case to not admit anymore seemed very strong. They state they do not have the physical space for more pupils.

The panel then continued to stage 2. Does this mean then that the panel believes they can admit some?

We are still awaiting the decision...

Hoping for some hope!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Mindthegap appeal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:07 am 
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Posts: 8140
Here we go! wrote:
The panel then continued to stage 2. Does this mean then that the panel believes they can admit some?
No.
With regard to prejudice, the Code states:
      Quote:
      3.7 The panel must proceed to the second stage where:
      b) ... it finds that the admission of additional children would prejudice the provision of efficient education or efficient use of resources.

We try to explain the two-stage process in the Q&As:
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... -school#c1
https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... -school#c2

However, the only authoritative wording is that used in the Appeals Code.

There is also the simplified guidance published by the DfE earlier this year:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... on-appeals
      Quote:
      Once the presenting officer has presented the admission authority’s case and the panel has enough information from them, you and the presenting officer will leave the room so that the panel can make a decision on whether to uphold your appeal at this stage or proceed to Part 2.

      The panel should uphold your appeal at this stage if it finds that either:

      • the school’s admission arrangements were unlawful and your child would have been offered a place if they were lawful
      • the school’s admission arrangements were not applied properly in your child’s case and your child would have been offered a place if they were properly applied

      or

      • admitting another child at the school would not prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

      If the panel does not uphold your appeal at this stage, it will proceed to Part 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Mindthegap appeal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:47 am 
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Thanks for the clarification.


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 Post subject: Re: Mindthegap appeal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:59 am 
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Thanks Etienne.

My long post is my understanding from the appeals material we have had through, i.e. the school's explanation of how the system works. Have I correctly understood that if the panel has been completely convinced one way or the other in Stage 1 they can decide not to proceed to St2? I realise this would nearly never happen and they will nearly always go to St2, but in theory?


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 Post subject: Re: Mindthegap appeal
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:25 pm 
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Hi ariadne

This is interesting and probably deserves its own thread, so I will move the relevant posts here.

You are very brave! Trying to explain the two-stage process is not easy, especially when getting into the detail.

ariadne wrote:
Thanks Etienne.

My long post is my understanding from the appeals material we have had through, i.e. the school's explanation of how the system works. Have I correctly understood that if the panel has been completely convinced one way or the other in Stage 1 they can decide not to proceed to St2? I realise this would nearly never happen and they will nearly always go to St2, but in theory?



The word "completely" is not used in the Code - but yes, the panel could (and occasionally do) decide not to go to stage two if they are not satisfied that the school has made a case for prejudice. The panel do not have to be unanimous. It could be a 2-1 decision.
But there is an important proviso - not going to stage 2 would mean that all the appellants have to be admitted. If there are so many appellants that to admit them all would cause serious prejudice to the school, then the panel must proceed to stage two, weigh up all the parents’ reasons for wanting a place, and decide which cases to allow.

There is also something which lawyers refer to as "part prejudice" - but I don't want to over-complicate things!


I would question some other aspects of what you have gleaned from the school's explanation of the process.

For example:
Quote:
Has school shown it would be unreasonable to admit ANY appellants? If yes, reject all appeals.
First of all, appeals are not "rejected" at stage one, and secondly, there is no test of "reasonableness" in the two-stage process.
The test to be applied in a normal appeal is whether or not to admit additional children would cause prejudice.

Quote:
they rank the appellants
It needs to be clear that, to begin with, the ranking of appellants is forbidden. Each case must first be considered entirely on its own merits.
      Quote:
      3.9 In multiple appeals, the panel must not compare the individual cases when deciding whether an appellant’s case outweighs the prejudice to the school. However, where the panel finds there are more cases which outweigh prejudice than the school can admit, it must then compare the cases and uphold those with the strongest case for admission.


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 Post subject: Re: flow chart
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:59 am 
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ha ha thank you for giving me far more of your time and attention than I deserve - we are between our hearing and our letter so I am mildly hysterical.

Your clarifications are excellent and rather clearer than the official paperwork we have had.

However, I wonder in practice how (generic you) you can consider multiple appeals without effectively ranking them, in the event that you allow some of the appeals and not others. That is, each successful appellant increases the prejudice to the school, just as each additional passenger weighs down a lifeboat. How can you ensure that those most in need of a place are first in line to get one, if you aren't even informally comparing and ranking them against each other? The whole point of hearing all the appeals before ruling on any of them is so they're ordered on their merits rather than luck of the draw for appointment times.

This is mainly displacement activity for me but thank you nonetheless! The guidelines are fairly easy to understand if there's only one appeal, but much more complex for multiple appeals. I don't envy the panel members at all.


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 Post subject: Re: flow chart
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:12 am 
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I've reread your comments now. I can see that they may "compare" if not rank, and only if they get to a point where they have more children they want to admit than they think it's fair to enforce on the school.

I suppose I'm wondering about a case where an appellant's argument is sufficiently strong that they would outweigh the school's prejudice as say a first extra pupil, but not as the tenth (e.g. unfair to require the school to have an extra class in the year but ok to squeeze an extra child into a classroom). If they're the only appeal that year, they're in. If they're one of ten or twenty, it depends on the strength of the argument of the others.


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 Post subject: Re: flow chart
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:27 pm 
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Quote:
I suppose I'm wondering about a case where an appellant's argument is sufficiently strong that they would outweigh the school's prejudice as say a first extra pupil, but not as the tenth

Let's call the above case "appellant A".
The first step is to consider each case on its merits, without comparing or ranking.
The question for the panel to answer each time is: If this were the only case, is it strong enough to outweigh the prejudice to the school?

Let's assume there are 50 cases, and - without comparing cases - the panel are minded to say "Yes" to 3 of them, including appellant A.
Would it cause serious prejudice to admit all three?
It depends of course on the strength of the school case, but it is quite possible the panel would conclude that three more pupils would not cause serious prejudice.
In a typical year group of 180 it would mean one extra pupil in 3 out of 6 forms.
All three pupils, including appellant A, have their cases upheld.

Now let's assume there are 50 cases, and - without comparing cases - the panel are minded to say "Yes" to 12 of them, including appellant A.
Would it cause serious prejudice to admit all twelve?
Again it depends on the strength of the school case, but it is possible the panel would conclude that twelve more pupils is such a large number that it would cause serious prejudice.
In a typical year group of 180 it would mean two extra pupils in every single form.
Because there is an issue of serious prejudice, the panel must now compare cases and rank them.
The strongest case is admitted first.
Then the 2nd strongest.
Then the 3rd.
It is up to the panel how much further they can go before the prejudice becomes too great.
They decide to admit the 4th and 5th.
After much agonising they admit the 6th.
At this point they might decide: "We think we've reached the point where to admit any further children would cause serious prejudice to the school."
Appellant A was ranked 10th, and in this scenario does not get a place.

As we point out in the Q&As ("Chances of success"), there are a number of ‘variables’ completely outside of your control such as:
      Quote:
      * How strong a case the admission authority puts forward to resist further admissions.
      * (Probably) how strong a case any other appellants may have [in other words, if serious prejudice becomes an issue].
      * How strict the appeal panel is in exercising its judgement.

      https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appea ... school#c20

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