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 Post subject: Re: CRGS Failed Appeal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:18 am
Posts: 63
I feel your pain, Michelle - we are in a similar situation, and still no resolution after months of battling on. I just wanted to let you know that there is one more step after the ESFA - the PHSO. There are 2 stages to go through with the ESFA first (assuming you've already gone through both of these?) after their initial investigation into your DC's IAP - Stage 1 and Stage 2 complaints. If they do not uphold your complaint at Stage 2, you can then go to the PHSO (Parliamentary Health and Service Ombudsman) - but you have to go via your MP (you complete all the paperwork - they just sign it). However, it does take ages (we referred our first IAP/ESFA investigation to the PHSO back in September - it's only just being investigated now). I haven't had much experience of the PHSO yet, but it seems quite different to the ESFA process - they will actually make an appointment to ring you and discuss your complaint in full, and they seem quite thorough (so far . . .) Also, the ESFA say in their reports that they will not re-open investigations, but they can if they choose to - we had a new investigation opened following the Stage 2 complaint of our DC's first IAP, and they have just this week opened a new investigation following the Stage 1 complaint of the second (for an IAP that took place in June 2019!) It is all ridiculously time consuming, and I'm not entirely sure I would recommend the process to anyone in hindsight. However, I'm a bit too obsessive about these things for my own good - if you're at all like me though, you might like to know you can (but not necessarily should!) keep going until the PHSO bit is concluded. Of course, if the PHSO agree that the ESFA have made mistakes, then you are just back to the ESFA again for a fresh investigation - so not necessarily, even then, back to the school for a fresh IAP . . . Having now spent far too many hours researching all of this, I think chances of success are way higher if you are on the LEA/Ombudsman route than if you are on the Academy/ESFA/PHSO route. All best for the future - I suspect all of our DC's will actually get places through in-year testing (if they are going for it) quicker than any of this other stuff is resolved anyway (but it keeps us busy in the meantime :wink: )


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 Post subject: Re: CRGS Failed Appeal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 2:22 pm
Posts: 16
Thanks for your message. That is very interesting. Annoying my MP didn't suggest it when I saw him!

However, when all is said and done, in my mind it is too late and not fair on my DC to move him to the Grammar in the future, even if we did eventually win our case. Too much time has passed and he would be way behind the other students and it would be a lot of pressure.

The best I can hope for is that he continues to do well and achieve a place at the top Unis through the state secondary school route.

It is extremely annoying that events outside of his control took away his place at the Grammar and that no-one has been able to make that mistake good.

I do feel the Grammar should have allowed him to resit the exam (I know there are two papers), or that the Grammar should have had some influence over the waiting list, as that would have resolved the situation as well. But not to be.

Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: CRGS Failed Appeal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:18 am
Posts: 63
I think many MP's may not be aware of the PHSO route themselves? It's possible it's used more for NHS complaints (as I think this is where they ultimately end up too).

I totally agree regarding not wanting to uproot your DC now - I would definitely feel the same way if my DC was settled, but my own DC is unhappy at the comp, the comp is Inadequate (Ofsted) and does not even provide a full range of GCSE options (inc. Science!) DC had to pass a selection test even just to get in there, and our actual catchment comp is just as bad (if not worse). At the moment, DC has chosen to pursue the in-year route but I won't push it if/when she changes her mind.

If you don't want to move your DC 'in-year', you could still consider a move for VI form - my eldest has just moved up to Yr 12 in one of our local grammar schools and he says loads of new kids have joined (plus loads of other kids left and went elsewhere). There's quite a lot of movement going on at this stage anyway. They don't seem to have the same concerns over PAN for VI form either, so I think they just admit as many as they reasonably can so long as they've done ok in their GCSE's.

I'm sure your DC will do brilliantly regardless, and you know that anyway - it's just the injustice that stings, isn't it? FWIW, I have two at grammar now and one in the comp - and, if I'm entirely honest, there are some things the comp actually does better (even if it is 'inadequate'!) Having experienced both now, I think it's a shame we can't just have the best of both worlds in all schools.


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 Post subject: Re: CRGS Failed Appeal
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 2:22 pm
Posts: 16
We are lucky that our local school is very good and I'm impressed so far, particularly for motivating the kids. My daughter's school isn't anywhere near as good in my opinion and if he had gone there, I would feel different. Our local school also has a very good 6th form, but I suppose it depends on grades and subjects etc as Grammar is an option to consider then as you say.

All us parents want is happy kids with good education. Doesn't seem a lot to ask really does it.

All the best in your endeavours.


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 Post subject: Re: CRGS Failed Appeal
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 8361
The PHSO route, and its limitations, was mentioned in my post of 3rd November above.
    Etienne wrote:
  • a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman via your MP - but as far as I'm aware they will not look at the merits of the ESFA decision. I think they will only consider whether the ESFA correctly followed its published complaints procedure.

Abraham wrote:
I think chances of success are way higher if you are on the LEA/Ombudsman route than if you are on the Academy/ESFA/PHSO route
Based on the cases we have seen on the forum, I tend to agree. (See my post of 12th December above.)
Unfortunately, as more and more secondary schools have become academies, the ESFA has taken over responsibility for dealing with most complaints.

Well done to both of you for fighting your corner. At the very least I think it will have made the clerk/panel/admission authority sit up and take notice, and hopefully improve their procedures. They will not be keen to be on the receiving end of any more investigations.

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Etienne


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