Can anyone help with an in year appeal??

(24 Posts)
dipsymummy Wed 23-Jul-14 10:39:06

My two children are starting school in September following our move to hertfordshire.

Had to do an inyear application and found out that we haven't got any of the four schools nearest to us , but more devastating is that they haven't got into any of the local schools.

We've been allocated a school four and a half miles away in the country side which makes my heart sink because its just way too far.

This is a nightmare for me as far as work and childcare is concerned and even though they've offered transport my children are too young to go to and from school on their own !

There is no choice or flexibility with my job and this is a big problem.

We are going to appeal for the schools but can anyone help?

Most of the advice i have come across is for reception appeals but I'm hoping the class size( which is the reason given) rules are not so stringent for junior schools.

Please please help...

prh47bridge Wed 23-Jul-14 10:54:03

If the appeals are for Y3 or above infant class size rules will not apply. You can therefore win by showing that the disadvantage to your children through not going to the appeal school outweighs the problems it will face if it has to cope with additional pupils.

You are unlikely to win based on the distance to the allocated school. Transport issues rarely make for a successful appeal. And on the transport issue, check the type of transport on offer from the LA. It may be a taxi or similar. Children younger than yours do travel to and from school on their own every day.

You need to find things that the appeal school offers that are missing from the offered school and that are particularly relevant for your children. So, for example, if your child is musically talented and the school has plenty of extra-curricular musical activities on offer that would help your appeal.

Unexpected Wed 23-Jul-14 14:37:31

You are unlikely to have a case on the grounds that your children are too young to take the offered transport on their own. I assume this is a taxi/school bus and your youngest child must be at least 7 and with an older sibling? On the face of it, your grounds for appeal are not great.

Are you on the waiting lists for all other schools which you would consider?

heinztomatosoup Sun 27-Jul-14 21:52:41

Try schoolsappealservice.com (or something like that) they just helped us win a mid year appeal

dipsymummy Sat 02-Aug-14 08:44:01

Sorry for the delay.
Thanks for the advice.
Yes I'm on the waiting lists but have to wait 10-15 working days for a response on where I am on those lists.
Heinztomatosoup- I spoke to this company quite early onand am seriously considering it.
Did you speak to any others? I'm a bit confused about what to do as spoke to another guy who was very well informed and came very highly recommended but is half the cost.

dipsymummy Sat 02-Aug-14 08:44:54

Heinztomatosoup- did you have him represent you at the appeal?

MumTryingHerBest Sat 02-Aug-14 10:45:37

dipsymummy My two children are starting school in September following our move to hertfordshire. Do you mind if I ask roughly where in Hertfordshire?

spanieleyes Sat 02-Aug-14 16:27:14

But you can only win an appeal if you have grounds, either you have grounds to appeal or you don't. Paying a company to represent you won't give you any more reason to win than you have at the moment , just cost you money.
What grounds do you have? Transport issues won't really help, we have Reception children who travel by taxi without any problems ( it isn't a "phone a number in the Yellow Pages" type of service,more a private chauffeur!!) so you need some other grounds which make the school you want the one you need!!

dipsymummy Sat 02-Aug-14 18:01:08

Mumtryingherbest- we're in Harpenden.

Spanieleyes-I actually wrote the post when I was upset and very overwhelmed with the situation.
Transport is not the only grounds I have, but I know it has come across that way.
I am looking at getting help only because what I have seen on the past threads is mind baffling for me. I have had no help or support from the council or schools whilst they were still open for any sort of information ie admittance numbers, PAN's etc. council never gets back to me and won't give any info over the phone. Iam constantly chasing for information which is not available to me. Maybe I'm talking to the wrong people..
It's frustrating and leaving me in a position where I feel I will be going for the appeal completely unarmed and to lose.

spanieleyes Sat 02-Aug-14 19:08:27

The advice from prh47bridge is as good as any you can pay for!
How many children are in the classes you are appealling for?
What does the school you want have ( apart from proximity) that the one you have been allocated doesn't? So, does it have a school choir and your children sing professionally. Perhaps the fact that you have just moved to the area and for social reasons your children need to be at a local school, that your child has a medical reason why the nearest school is the ONLY one that can meet his/her needs.
Unfortunately you can't just appeal on the grounds that you want them to go to the nearest school, so what IS your reason? Distance and childcare problems have little, if any impact, so you need something else!

dipsymummy Sun 03-Aug-14 10:22:23

Thanks all for setting me off in the right direction-I'm sitting down to do the appeal form today so wish me luck.
I am taking into account all the helpful suggestions here and a few more.
I am not the most confident of speakers and anxiety can get the better of me so the thought of facing an appeal panel is nerve wrecking. But hopefully being prepared for it will get me through the ordeal!

Schools are shut- how do I find out exact class numbers? All I can get from the schools website is classes per year and PAN numbers for 2013 from the herts direct website.

spanieleyes Sun 03-Aug-14 11:04:15

Don't worry about the appeal panel, when I appealed I found them very considerate, I'm sure they are used to dealing with anxious parents!
Unfortunately the only way to find out class numbers is either from the school or from the local authority. This is the trickiest time of the year as one is shut and the other doesnt seem to be helpful, just keep plugging away at them. Do you have a date for an appeal hearing?

MumTryingHerBest Sun 03-Aug-14 11:05:18

dipsymummy I'm not in that area, however, much of Hertfordshire is facing a severe shortage of local school places:

www.hertsad.co.uk/news/anger_over_harpenden_school_places_crisis_1_1360423

A more recent comment: By 2019, the deficit [in secondary school places] is forecast to be 228 children - greater than an entire school intake : www.harpendia.com/Schools.html

What estate agents are saying (second letter is most recent): www.hertsdirect.org/mm/md/Secondary_School_Place_Planning_Topic_Group_3.htm/Evidence_from_local_estate_agents.doc

Even if you procure primary school places, you are going to be facing a fight to gain secondary school places.

Chances of winning a place at an appeal are very, very slim but I think an appeal is the only way you can go really unless you can find a school nearer that has available places, or you just accept the school places offered.

dipsymummy Sun 03-Aug-14 11:28:56

Spanieleyes- lots of camomile tea for me before the doors open on the day! No appeal date as submitting the form tomorrow. Though I've been told it will be at least mid September.

Mumtryingherbest- that's really depressing readingsad

I'm hoping it being an inyear appeal I have some hope.
I've accepted the allocated school for now - rather have them than not....

MumTryingHerBest Sun 03-Aug-14 11:37:22

dipsymummy Mumtryingherbest- that's really depressing reading

Tell me about it. My nearest secondary has a distance cut off of 224 metres so unless my DC can get one of the 21 academic places (for which there are normally hundreds of applications) I've no idea how far they will have to travel to school.

titchy Sun 03-Aug-14 12:07:55

The lea should provide you with all the information you need re class sizes in time for your appeal. If they don't you can raise it with the appeal panel who should send a rocket up the arse of the lea rep.

dipsymummy Sun 03-Aug-14 16:08:03

Lol titchy-I'd love that rocket to blast off on the day!

Mumtryingherbest- is it a grammer school?

MumTryingHerBest Sun 03-Aug-14 19:02:58

dipsymummy Mumtryingherbest- is it a grammer school? no semi-selective as with the majority of secondary schools in the area. They also have a separate allocation of places for outer catchment (40% of specialist places). The furthest distance place allocated was 225 metres. The furthest sibling place allocated was more than 6,000 metres.

dipsymummy Sun 03-Aug-14 20:21:21

That's harsh....

Vajazzler Sun 03-Aug-14 20:52:11

This gives current numbers in schools x

www.hertsdirect.org/docs/pdf/admissions/vacinfoprim.pdf

dipsymummy Tue 05-Aug-14 18:00:02

I look at those regularly though never in my favor!

dipsymummy Sat 09-Aug-14 10:58:37

I received acknowledgment of my appeal form submission today and had a question-
When I am in front of the panel (bearing in mind I am appealing for both children for the same school ), will I be talking for both the children in one presentation, or will it be two separate presentations ?

Of course I could wait till Monday and call the help line, but I want to start my detailed draft this weekendconfused

prh47bridge Sat 09-Aug-14 22:30:30

You need to ask the clerk. Even if it is treated as two separate hearings you could in the second one simply refer the panel to the case you presented in the first.

dipsymummy Sun 10-Aug-14 10:37:17

Ok thanks. Ill call and confirm that tomorrow.

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