Complaint from Brookfield Primary School

This notice is made in accordance with paragraph 3.5 of Regulation No 5 (The ECF Complaints Procedure)

On 26th April 2018, the ECF received a correctly made complaint from the Head Teacher of Brookfield Primary School, Mr D Clarke. The Southern Semi-Final of the ECF National Schools Girls’ U11 Chess Championships had taken place on Sunday 14th  January, the top 7 teams qualifying for the Final.  Brookfield School finished in joint 8th place. When one of the qualifying teams dropped out shortly before the final, the vacant place was filled by a school that had finished lower than Brookfield, Tormead School. The complaint was made because (a) Brookfield School believed the place should have been offered to them in the first instance, and (b) no satisfactory explanation had been given as to why the place was not offered to them.

The complaint was passed to the Director of Junior Chess & Education, who carried out an investigation into the issues raised. A formal written reply to the complaint was sent to the school on 8th May 2018.  The Director found that “maladministration has not taken place because there is no set selection policy within the rules of the Championship, and therefore there is no evidence that this was not followed. However, it would seem reasonable that a school should be selected to replace another school declining their place in the final, by virtue of their position in the semi-finals and this procedure should be documented in the rules.”

The Director made the following recommendation —
“The selection criteria for selecting schools for the finals and any replacements if a school has to withdraw, should be published in the championship rules at the start of the 18-19 competition. The rules for tie break to determine position should also be published to facilitate this.”

The reply went on to say —
“I am sorry for any distress suffered by either the girls or adults concerned and apologise for this. I hope this will not put them off entering in future years and would like to offer the following as a gesture of good will —
1. Return of the entry fee to the competition
2. £200 toward travel and other costs for the semi-final
3. Return of the £50 sent with the complaint”

On 15th May, Mr Clarke wrote to the ECF stating that “Whilst we were disappointed with the response and the reasoning applied to our complaint we, as a School, have no wish to pursue this matter further.”

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