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7.—(1) No ballot shall be held under these Regulations unless a request for a ballot is made by means of a petition sent to the designated body which satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (3) to (5) and regulation 8(1) to (5) (but subject to regulations 8(6) and 23(3)) (in these regulations referred to as a “valid petition”).
(2) The designated body shall determine whether a petition is a valid petition.
(3) A petition shall relate to—
(a)all grammar schools within a relevant area,
(b)a group of grammar schools, or
(c)a stand alone grammar school,
and a petition which relates to a relevant area is referred to in these Regulations as a petition for an area ballot and a petition which relates to a group of grammar schools or a stand alone grammar school is referred to as a petition for a feeder school ballot.
(4) A petition must be received by the designated body during a petition period.
(5) Subject to paragraph (6) a petition must be signed by a number of relevant eligible parents which, when taken together with the number of relevant eligible parents who have signed any previous petition relating to the same area, group of grammar schools or stand alone grammar school which has been received by the designated body during the same petition period, is at least 20% of the parent population.
(6) If a parent signs a petition on a date before the beginning of the petition period in which the petition is received, the parent’s signature shall be disregarded for the purposes of paragraph (5).
(7) For the purpose of paragraph (5)—
(a)the question of whether an eligible parent is a “relevant” eligible parent shall be determined in accordance with regulation 9(1) to (6);
(b)“the parent population” shall be determined in accordance with regulation 9(7);
(c)if the same parent signs a petition more than once or signs more than one petition relating to the same area, group of grammar schools or stand alone grammar school in any petition period, any signature in excess of one shall be disregarded; and
(d)where a parent signs a petition but the information referred to in regulation 8(3) is not included, or not included in a legible form, that parent’s signature shall be disregarded.