Help pls. On ..infant class size appeal

(10 Posts)
Tabby8 Tue 22-Apr-14 18:42:18

Hi.. I am looking forward to appeal for my sons primary school place., I live on ipswich around the waterfront .. I haven't got any if my 3 choices. The school offered is out of catchment and on the other side if the river .. I do not drive, no direct public transport - have to change 2 buses .. And hrs walk is around 4o mins which includes 20 min across the river n 20 mins on the hilly street ... Moreover during windy conditions it becomes difficukt to walk around the waterfront....last to add to our miseries the school had gone under special measures...
Would app leaking on bases of distance n travel help to win..... How can I prove that admitting my child will not affect the school.. My don us brilliant on maths n eng ..how can I prove this as the School I am appealing for specialise in these subjects n the school offered us inadequate ... Pla pls help with your views n experiences .. Hope someone out there might point out someting that would be a turning point for my son

PatriciaHolm Tue 22-Apr-14 18:50:37

If it's an Infant Class Size appeal, then you aren't looking to prove admitting your child won't affect the school; there are only very limited grounds on which an ICS appeal can succeed. The school is legally capped at 30 per class in YR/1/2, and only very special circumstances allow them to go above that.

Either the admitting authority needs to have made a mistake, or the decision not to admit was so unreasonable no sensible person would have made it. It doesn't sound as if you have these grounds - distance and travel are irrelevant, at least at your distance; if he'd been given a school 10+ miles away it might possibly be argued that was unreasonable, but a 40 minute walk isn't out of the ordinary at all.

Check that the LEA had your distance to school correct, and they considered you under the right admittance category. If no mistake was made, then you are very unlikely to win an ICS appeal, sorry. It's always worth doing as you never know, but based on what you have said here, a panel shouldn't admit you under ICS.

tiggytape Tue 22-Apr-14 18:55:38

Tabby - Your title says "infant class size appeal" That specifically refers to appeals for schools that have 30 children per class in reception (or will mix classes before Year 3 to form classes of 30)
Is that the case with all 3 schools you have applied to?

If so, assuming no admission error affects you, nothing you have said would be grounds for a successful appeal.

If however any of the schools have less than 30 pupils per teacher, you can win an appeal even if no error was made.
Logistical things like transport and childcare do not carry much weight unless the child has a special reason or medical reason to be unable to travel.
Academic ability is not considered at appeals for non selective schools. If anything, the panel may feel a bright child will do well anywhere. Equally all schools cover maths and English so again this is not going to be a factor that will carry much weight.

You are appealing for one school not against another. So you need to say why this school best meets your child's needs or would benefit them. The school may have features that would suit your child eg no stairs for a child with mobility issues, an orchestra for a child who is musical, a TA who specialises in speech delays for a child who struggles with this. It is about matching the child's needs and interests with what the school can offer. It might be local friendships for a very shy or anxious child where you can prove this especially applies.

Whether it is an ICS or a regular appeal though, you also need to look at other options. Get added to waiting lists of any schools that you prefer to the allocated school. See if any school near to your work or any other possible location has spaces. Ask about bulge classes if any are planned.

Tabby8 Tue 22-Apr-14 19:18:10

I didn't get any of my choices and the reasons mentions is infant class size appeals ...
I understand the travel n distance will not help me win my appeal.... But to give the clear picture ..I live right at the edge of the waterfront which does not have proper fencing it's an open edge fixed with small vertical rods ...very easy for a child to slip in ...even wen we go for a leisure walk we are extremely careful Plus during windy conditions it's very difficult to walk . Even adults get thrown off by the wind..there are unconstructed structures around the edges which get affected with the wind n debris falling out.. Hence the walk get too difficult ...would the panel consider this .... I am really undone as 1.haven't got my school of choice 2. Walkinh distance 3. No direct bus 4. Plus school is under special measures 5. The area in which the school is subject to high crime level ....

Can someone clarify this - the distance is measured as the crow flies ... But If there is a river in between should this be considered as there is no connection bridge in between ..
I might be asking silly things.. Sorry but am really worried n frustrated ... Thanks

Tabby8 Tue 22-Apr-14 19:21:07

Thanks PatriciaHolm for your Response... What do mean when you say panel shouldn't admit me under Infact class size

tiggytape Tue 22-Apr-14 19:31:12

I didn't get any of my choices and the reasons mentions is infant class size appeals ...

Class sizes are restricted by law for children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2
They are not allowed to add extra children to those classes
So you cannot win an ICS appeal except in very rare cases - for example if you should have got a sibling place and they forgot you had a sibling at the school already.

Reasons relating to the journey or the rating of the allocated school would not be strong reasons to win any appeal but an ICS appeal is even harder. Basically unless the council made an error that cost you your place or the criteria they used were unlawful (unlikely if it is distance and siblings etc) or unless the decision was unreasonable in the legal sense of irrational, there is nothing that you can do to win an ICS appeal.

The panel will probably feel sympathy for you with such a tough journey but their hands are tied by the law that limits it to 30 per class

OddBoots Tue 22-Apr-14 19:38:26

If you aren't successful in your appeals do you have a next plan? Are there any other schools that may be a bit further but more direct to get to that have spaces? Do you know that you are on the waiting list for all three applied schools and do you know where you are on those lists?

PatriciaHolm Tue 22-Apr-14 20:46:32

"What do mean when you say panel shouldn't admit me under Infact class size"

I mean the Appeals Panel shouldn't allow your appeal, if it is an Infant Class Size appeal. ICS appeal can only be won if they made a mistake or were legally "unreasonable", which is very very hard to show.

The panel won't be interested in the difficulty of walking next to the waterfront. Distances can be measured however the LEA like as long as they are consistent; and in fact I would imagine the straight line route to your preferred school is shorter than the walking route, surely, so it wouldn't help you anyway. "As the crow flies" will, by its very nature, include lines along which no-one can actually walk for pretty much all pupils anyway.

I'm sorry, but you just don't have a case under ICS. Make sure you are on waiting lists for all schools you would consider, you never know, there is often a fair amount of movement between now and September.

Tabby8 Tue 22-Apr-14 22:05:11

If you aren't successful in your appeals do you have a next plan? Are there any other schools that may be a bit further but more direct to get to that have spaces? Do you know that you are on the waiting list for all three applied schools and do you know where you are on those lists?

Oddboots--- yes I have put in a fresh application today for three more school which are have waiting list as 11, 2,5 .. Have posted it today so hopefully by next week I would know which place I am .... Haven't yet got the waiting list for the earlier schools ..will get that too by next week .....

Tabby8 Tue 22-Apr-14 23:44:24

PatriciaHolm -- yes I am on the waiting list.. Will get the details by this week...

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