|Kent and Medway School Appeal Outcomes 2014|
KCC Appeal Panels
Infant Class Legislation
Other Primary schools
Appeal Panels organised by Independent Administrators or schools
|Kent Non-Selective schools||268||59|| |
|Kent Grammar Schools||688||291||290||50%||41||66|
|Medway Non-Selective Schools||145||29||93||24%||10||13|
|Medway Selective Schools||248||106||120||47%||3||19|
I have written several information articles about school appeals: Kent Grammar Schools; Medway Grammar Schools; Appeals to non-selective schools and oversubscribed grammar schools; and primary schools.
There is limited value in knowing the number of successful appeals for individual schools, although I have indicated these where they are particularly interesting or consistent, in the Individual School section of the website. The reason for this is that the number or proportion of successful appeals for a school can vary enormously from year to year, often reflecting a change in popularity or of circumstances, but can reflect the membership of the Panel. In particular, I anticipate considerably more Kent grammar school appeals for 2015 entry, as the new test has produced a far higher proportion of children who have missed the pass standard by just a few marks as explained here.
For example in 2013, Wrotham School offered places to all 13 of the children whose families appealed; in 2014, in 2014, 10 appeals were unsuccessful out of 23 heard. At The Harvey Grammar School in 2013, 36 out of 55 appeals were successful, in 2014, just 5 out of 30 – this being the result of an increased intake through the alternative of the Shepway Test, the final intake remaining very similar in both years, although many parents were freed from the stress of the appeal process.
Others are more consistent: Skinners and Judd Schools changed their appeals organiser for 2013, following numerous complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman. For the past two years, neither school has seen more than five successful appeals. Bennett Memorial School also changed to the same Appeal Administrator in 2013, with similar appeal results in the past two years.
Some non-selective schools have avoided the appeals procedure completely in recent years, often by waiting to see how many appeals there are then offering all appellants places before any individual appeals are heard. These have included in at least one recent year: Hayesbrook, Hillview, Rainham Girls, The Canterbury Academy, Westlands amongst others. Wilmington Academy was the only secondary school where no appeals were successful, although Bennett Memorial, Herne Bay High, and Leigh Academy all saw less than 10% of appeals upheld.
Some grammar schools have increased their number of places available before appeal, and then encouraged appeal panels to uphold a larger number of appeals to fill the extra places. Until a couple of years ago, it was very difficult to win appeals at Norton Knatchbull, but in the past two years they have increased their number of places from 150 to 180 on allocation in March and then encouraged appeal panels to look more flexibly on what is a ‘grammar school standard’. No guarantee it will happen again for 2015 entry!
I have previously written an article on the problems of wining an appeal at the Dartford and Wilmington Grammar Schools, due to the huge pressure on places from London children.
Kent County Council organises all appeals for county controlled schools and is an option for all other schools and academies. A number of other organisations, and sometimes the schools themselves provide appeal panels for the remaining schools.
Where I think the figures for individual secondary schools are significant fro 2014 admission I will place them in the Individual Schools section, when I have time to update these. However, this will not be for some time as I am fully committed on other matters at present.
Complaints about Appeals
Some parents are unhappy about the way their appeals are conducted, but the chance of success when complaining is also falling year on year. This is partly because more schools are becoming academies and complaints about academy and free school admission appeals are considered by the Education Funding Agency, a branch of the Department for Education which also manages many aspects of the academies themselves. In 2011 there were three successful complaints in Kent and Medway, two by clients of mine, in 2012 again 3 successful complaints, and in 2013, just 2 out of 21 complaints considered.
I don't have recent statistics for complaints made to the Local Government Ombudsman about schools other than academies and Free Schools, as the organisation is changing the way it collects data, but you will find the most recent figures I have here. The LGO certainly has a more thorough approach to deciding complaints, and I believe one not loaded so much in favour of the school.