Supporting Families
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Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:06

Another busy season

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It is amazing how much education news has surfaced in the past three months. Sadly, my coverage has been far less than I would have wished, for three reasons: (1) we have now taken proud delivery of our sixth grandchild - Charley Read; (2) My business priority has to be to support my clients, .....

at at this time by providing support and preparation for all their appeals. There is a new code of practice published for appeals this year, which has shortened the appeal season to 40 school days from the deadline for submitting appeals; so these needed to concluded by Mid June, shortening the appeal season by a whole month. As I spend a great deal of time preparing clients for appeals, this has therefore become very concentrated work, but highly satisfying, as my clients have won 88% of their appeals in all types of school across the county so far this year. One pleasing quote received today: "Just a quick note to say that everything went exactly as you described. We came out of the meeting feeling satisfied that we could have done no more.  Very relaxed and experienced panel, we even managed to make them laugh!"; (3) I am regularly asked by the media to comment on news stories and there have been so many in the past month, that I have had complaints from friends about their never being able to get away from me. I have appeared on all the local television and radio stations, in the three main local newspaper groups, and on BBC News at Ten and News 24. I hope to do catch up on some of the key stories here over then next few weeks. 

Meanwhile, the website has been in great demand. Not counting the more than 500 subscribers through email and RSS, the website had another 16976 visitors in March; 12327 in April; 13107 in May. Not surprisingly there has been a falling off this month to 5507 with nearly half the month completed, as decisions are mainly made for 2012 admission, with 2013 yet to arrive. Most popular page is Kent Grammar School Applications with 24812 hits; followed by Kent Secondary School Admissions with 14020. Top current news item is Kent 11 Plus results 2011, 3097 hits (excluding subscribers), followed by  Tiger Free School in Maidstone, 2405. 

The saddest aspect of running is the large number of enquiries, at this time averaging 20 a day, which flood in from parents of children outside Kent or Medway, often desperate for independent objective advice in very difficult circumstances. Some even try and disguise their place of residence or claim to live in historic Kent (now the Outer London Boroughs), perhaps unaware that part of my expertise is based on local knowledge and I have no claim to know about circumstances or systems in other Local Authorities.  Sadly, I am unable to help any of these, and am also unable to direct them to others who operate in the same way as me (I do believe this service and website are unique).  In addition, I am semi-retired and am fully stretched with the service I do offer; indeed am having to shrink it unfortunately at the expense of my work on individual Special Education Needs issues which are always so time consuming. 

Read 4901 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 20:11

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