Help! I need help with in year appeal...

(12 Posts)
mykidsmyworld Thu 17-Mar-16 04:44:34

I really don't know what points to raise on my appeal, this is all new to me and I am out of my depths here. We moved to the UK, thought I got a place for my 2dc when the school called me to offer them a place (no it wasn't in writing). My younger dc couldn't get a place in the infant class as the class is full. I had no idea I could appeal and wasn't even thinking of that until someone advised that I could appeal. Upon asking how, was told I need to ring the school and get a letter refusing her a place. I did that. I got a letter not refusing her place but putting her on a waiting list and obviously not stating my right to appeal.
I initiated the appeal anyway. Then yesterday I was in the school and the head teacher called me in to inform me that my other 2 dc wouldn't be given the places anymore as I started an appeal for my reception child. I said that is wrong upon which the reply was that the council will be forcing the school to take my reception child and that was because they offered my other children places. That if they didn't I couldn't have been able to appeal.
I emailed the school requesting a letter withdrawing the offer to my 2dc but they replied that the offer wasn't formal so there's nothing to withdraw.
So right now I'm raising 3 appeals and have no clue on what to say.
Please anyone? I can't sleep. I'm a single mom and just moved to the UK and dont know how things work. Its just me here and my 3dc...i dont have anyone to talk to or advice. I'm close to tears. I thought I've got school half way sorted just to be thrown a curve ball.

mykidsmyworld Thu 17-Mar-16 04:45:42

Waow I didn't realise that would be long. My apologies.

anklebitersmum Thu 17-Mar-16 05:06:17

Where are you in the UK and I'll try and help. Pm if you'd prefer, we move a lot and with four biters I'm used to fighting the good fight for school places in the right schools grin

Essentially, from what you've written, the school have had you at it if you're in England as you have to go via the LEA (Local Education Authority) to apply and gain proper offers to schools.

Sometimes, if you move mid-year the school will know whether they have spaces so they give you an informal 'yes' or 'no' as regards the likely-hood of your children getting in if you ask directly. They can not arbitrarily decide that they do not want any your children because they don't want to extend the class for DC3 though, informal offer or no informal offer.

You apply via the LEA for the top three schools you want and they (the LEA) allocate spaces, not the school. You can't appeal to the school, you'd have to appeal to the LEA.

There is a chance that DC1 & 2 would get school A and that DC3 might have to attend school B but there is the distinct possibility that school A would have to extend their infant class numbers by 1 to accommodate as an exception. Schools do not like to do this if it can be avoided-hence the headteacher telling you she is no longer letting your Dc's in.

mykidsmyworld Thu 17-Mar-16 05:16:42

Thank you. The school on their website indicated that in year applications should be made directly to the school. I did that and also applied through the LEA

mykidsmyworld Thu 17-Mar-16 05:22:25

Thing is i rang all schools within our catchment and none had more than one place. They were the only school with more than one open place and luckily for their year group.

anklebitersmum Thu 17-Mar-16 05:40:10

Ring the LEA in the morning (well, later on) and see what's happening with your application. They are the ones who issue 'official' places and will be able to tell you whether they've processed it yet.

In the meantime I'd leave the school well enough alone-just wait out on the big guns making a decision wink

mykidsmyworld Thu 17-Mar-16 05:45:24

Thank you. I also pm'd you.

anklebitersmum Thu 17-Mar-16 05:59:58

replied mykidsmyworld sorry for the delay grin

prh47bridge Thu 17-Mar-16 08:02:54

I emailed the school requesting a letter withdrawing the offer to my 2dc but they replied that the offer wasn't formal so there's nothing to withdraw.

Well done. That means you have evidence that an offer was made, especially if they refer to what happened as an offer. That will stand you in good stead for your appeals for your older children. You have two arguments for those children:

- An offer was made but was withdrawn contrary to the Admissions Code. The Code does not recognise "informal offers". Once an offer was made there are limited grounds under which it can be withdrawn. Damaging your chances of a successful appeal for your child to join Reception are not valid grounds.

- Since an offer was made, formal or informal, the school clearly had places available for your older children at the time you applied. That means those places had to be offered to you by law.

Your younger child may be more of a problem. If there are 30 children in any of the infants classes your appeal would be an infant class size case. That means there are only limited grounds on which you can win. In essence you have to show that the school has made a mistake that cost your child a place or acted unreasonably. As this is an in year admission it is very unlikely that any mistake was made and there is nothing in your post to indicate they acted unreasonably in regards to your youngest. What happened with your older children is not strictly relevant although it may make the panel more inclined to give you the benefit of any doubt.

If it is not an infant class size case you have a better chance of success. In that case you need to show that your child will be disadvantaged by not getting a place at this school. Note that things like child care and transport issues are unlikely to win an appeal because they are problems for you, not your child. Similarly, contrary to what the school appears to think, having older children at the same school is unlikely to be enough to win your appeal unless you can show that your youngest has a much greater need than other children to be at the same school as older siblings. You can bring all this up but you need to concentrate on the things this school can offer your child that are particularly relevant to him/her.

The one fly in the ointment is that, although the school clearly hasn't followed the correct process, it isn't clear to me that you have either. That isn't fatal to your appeals but it could cause problems. Could you set out the exact sequence of events please:

- when did you apply
- did you apply direct to the school or to the LA
- did you apply to any other schools
- have you been offered any other schools

and so on.

Note that I have assumed you are in England. The systems in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are slightly different.

If you would like to PM me the name of the school and the LA involved that may help me to give you more specific advice.

mykidsmyworld Thu 17-Mar-16 08:57:14

Prh47bridge thank you.
Yes I am in the UK.
I applied to the school in February to which they asked for baptismal certificate and proof of address. I handed it in. They told me no decision can be made until the boards meeting. The board met early March after which the school called to offer me 2 places and 1 on waiting list.
I also applied with in year application naming the said school as first choice and another school as second. The second school is not faith school and only have a place available for one older children.
No I've not been offered any other place as no school around has 3 places available but have either 1 or places which are not their year.

mykidsmyworld Thu 17-Mar-16 13:00:38

Prh47bridge I pm'd you.

prh47bridge Fri 18-Mar-16 00:39:42

I've responded.

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