Why are we not getting a school admission

(31 Posts)
BucksParent Tue 26-Aug-14 22:03:44

First time parent and we really are doing the best for our child, as we all do.

So our little one is ready for reception (age4) starting sept 2014.

We listed the 4 schools and submitted before the deadline as the process dictates.

However we had been offered none of our 4 choices but one that is out of catchment? Council have stated they will provide a taxi and an adult to accompany our child. Which I am absolutely gob smacked about, is this normal ??

So we rejected this offer. Wrong school, not suitable etc.

It is now august and 4 of the schools we listed we are on the waiting lists, Yet we are creeping to September and yet no placement.

Are we the only ones in this boat?

Should we appeal?

Chunkamatic Tue 26-Aug-14 22:09:57

As far as I understand it, the LA have offered you a school place and so have fulfilled their duty in finding a place for your DD. They have no obligation to find and offer you a more suitable one, it is your responsibility to ensure that your DC is registered in a full time educational place the term following their 5th birthday.
I'm very surprised that this wasn't explained when you rejected the place.
I'm sorry you are having to deal with this stress, it is awful I do know.

Shallan Tue 26-Aug-14 22:11:42

Do you have grounds to appeal? The admissions criteria for schools are set out in law, so appeals only work if they have misinterpreted the criteria/applied them wrongly. You won't get a place just by kicking up a fuss.

Unfortunately as the lea has offered you a school, which you have rejected, they have fulfilled their obligations. You can keep your fingers crossed to get to the top of the waiting lists and get a place, you can opt for a private school, or you can home educate until a place comes up.

A lot of people around the country are probably in the same boat, there's too much competition for the good schools.

Chunkamatic Tue 26-Aug-14 22:12:38

The only way you would win an appeal would be to prove that a place was awarded at one of your preferred schools to another child in error. Ie that your child should have come higher up the criteria but was overlooked/miscalculated.
I would have thought there was a deadline for submitting an appeal though?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 26-Aug-14 22:37:11

It's no good appealing to get in to a school that is already full. All this does is place extra strain on the existing resources. Our daughter is one of a handful from her class that will be having their education in the corridor next term because the classroom is too small to accommodate them all. Thanks to all the extra kids that appealed. Please just wait until a place becomes available.

ladybirdandsnails Wed 27-Aug-14 17:57:35

Your situation is common sadly. The LA have no obligation to offer you another place - you need to prepare to HEd or go private the term after 5th birthday. You should have been advised of this. You may be lucky and a place come up, but it will depend on where you are on wait lists. Do you know?

ladybirdandsnails Wed 27-Aug-14 18:01:03

Meant to add that there are loads of threads on this on primary ed and the experts are over there too

Blu Wed 27-Aug-14 18:07:07

Have you put yourself on the waiting lists of all schools you could get to more easily?

Are the 4 schools close to you? Or do you meet the criteria ion other ways (faith, for e.g?)

Have you put yourself on the waiting list for your closest primary that does not have other criteria?

Did you include nearby primaries in your original 4 preferences? Or one that you believed you had a strong chance of getting ito because it is close by and you are within the usual catchment?

Sorry you are in such a worrying position.

Go on as many waiting lists as you can for schools that are nearer.

PLaces often come up within the first couple of weeks of term.

AuntieStella Wed 27-Aug-14 18:13:28

"It's no good appealing to get in to a school that is already full."

Appeals are only ever made to schools that are full. If they were not full, then you'd get a place.

In KS1, you can only win in very limited circumstances (usually that the admissions people have made a mistake that deprived the child of the place). It is not the pupils admitted under those sorts of appeals which cause overcrowding, that's the result of admissions mistakes that admitted children who should not have received offers, this depriving the ones who should have qualified.

zoemaguire Wed 27-Aug-14 18:21:03

Msadorabelle if a child wins an appeal, it is because they are entitled to a place at the school, just as much as your own child is. It would be just as fair for those children's parents to ask you to relinquish your dd's place so that theirs don't get taught in the corridor. Somehow suspect you wouldn't be volunteering for that hmm

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 27-Aug-14 19:19:14

Well, yes, I realise that appeals are usually based on trying to get into a full school, rather than an out of catchment school or because you've moved house or something.

And no it wouldn't be fair for my daughter to give up her place in favour of someone else's appeal. We live a five minute walk away from the school. The children that got in on appeal all live out of the catchment area and have the choice to apply to their own catchment school. So why is it fair that my daughter has to have her education in a corridor and not them? It was decided on an age basis, the youngest being chosen. The fact that although my daughter is indeed one of the youngest but is also one of the most advanced readers in the class - and the reason I know this is because I do volunteer reading with the class myself - doesn't seem to have been considered. It would have made more sense to exclude the out of catchment children. Then their parents could have chosen whether to keep them in that position or actually go to their own catchment school. If it's good enough for my daughter it is most certainly good enough for them.

I realise it is the fault of the admissions board. But if parents didn't keep appealing they wouldn't be in that position. The head teacher of our school has said she will be discussing this with the admissions board next year and pleading with them not to let any more children in than the school can cope with. I mean honestly, would you really appeal to get into a school that physically didn't have the room for your child and would educate them in the corridor?

hollie84 Wed 27-Aug-14 20:14:36

Children who get in on appeal should have got a place but didn't because the LA made a mistake (in infant classes anyway) - if you are angry with someone, it should be the LA!

OP - why didn't you get any of the the 4 schools you listed? Where any of them your catchment school?

I would call the council and ask for details of every school that still has an available place, and see if you would be happy with any of them.

zoemaguire Wed 27-Aug-14 23:32:39

I think you have a totally skewed view of who gets in on appeal. On the whole, for KS1, you get in because the council has made a mistake - ie on the published admissions criteria, the child should have been admitted. Just like your child!

"would you really appeal to get into a school that physically didn't have the room for your child and would educate them in the corridor?"

In our case, the council forgot to take account of sibling priority in our child's application, meaning that he didn't get a place despite being a shoo-in as a sibling. Luckily they sorted it out before we had to go to appeal. But you're seriously saying we shouldn't have bothered to appeal, just to save the outrage of the parents of children who did get in because the council didn't make a mistake in their case? Er...no!

Blu Thu 28-Aug-14 08:32:06

OP are you aware that waiting lists are held in the order in which they meet the admissions criteria? So if you go on a list now for your closest school you will be ahead of those that have been on all year but live further away?

Most LAs allow you to go on many waiting lists, and you can put yourself on lists for schools that you did not originally apply for.

There is movement on the lists throughout the first half term, people move house or emigrate over the summer or decide on a private place, and forget to tell the LA, that sort of thing. So make sure you are on the lists coy your closest schools.

Has there been a mistake? Have other people in your street got into the closest school you applied for ?

shushpenfold Thu 28-Aug-14 08:37:44

Sitting here gobsmacked at MsAdorabelle's post. Yes, school admissions are all based on advanced reading and they look at how well they identify with Biff and Chip in order to back up their decision.

Goes off to eat breakfast muttering.................................

RustyBear Thu 28-Aug-14 09:00:03

MaAdorabelle's post didn't say that admissions should be based on advanced reading - in that part of her post she was talking about which children the school had chosen to be educated in a corridor.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Thu 28-Aug-14 09:15:11

And that makes it better? Why on earth should an advanced reader be more disadvantaged by being educated in a corridor than a Polly Average? Is she really suggesting children should be given iq tests and the lowest scoring should be pushed out if the classroom? Outrageous!

zoemaguire Thu 28-Aug-14 09:59:31

Oh my, I only just looked properly at adorabelle's last post. Actually she was arguing it was out of catchment children who should be educated in the corridor, to persuade them back into their own catchment school even though that is probably full too.

Loopy as a fruitcake.

Blu Thu 28-Aug-14 10:24:02

Appealing at this stage isn't going to get the OP's child into a school which is closer by the start of term.

I wouldn't want my 4/ 5 yo in a school transport taxi for Reception.

However, OP, if you think there was a mistake in the Admissions process, of course you should appeal - it might just take longer than the start of term.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 28-Aug-14 15:15:38

zoe no I'm not saying that. If the council made a mistake you have grounds to appeal. You've have got in as normal if they hadn't. And no funnily enough I didn't say they should be encouraged out if they're not catchment. But if they are out of catchment, their parents do have the choice as to whether they keep them there or not. What choice do I and my children have? How could I then try to get my children into an out of catchment school? I'd be in the same boat as the op and worrying about admission.

shush yes you are muttering. That isn't what I said. But it's just as fair as selecting a group of children of random abilities just because they happened to have been born at a similar time.

sanity I didn't say that either. I was obviously highlighting how indifferent the selection process has been in choosing who got to go in the classroom and who got to sit in the corridor.

Clearly you have never been in the position of having your children educated in a corridor because too many other people think your local catchment school is the place to be and have filled it to capacity. I am pissed off and upset and actually have every right to be. It's not you affected by it. When you're in the same position feel free to argue. In the mean time read my fucking post properly.

Sorry to hijack op.

AuntieStella Thu 28-Aug-14 15:23:02

The OP was talking about a reception place, so I think everyone has assumed that ICS rules apply, it I'm beginning to think that MsAdorabelle must have an older child. For ICS appeals only succeed in limited circumstances, and 'balance of prejudice' applies only to older children.

OP: do you know where you are on the waiting lists? You LEA will not come up with another offer, unless you reapply, but that is likely to be at the school previously offered (or one even further away if that one has filled up).

You say you are thinking of appealing. You have nothing to lose by doing this, but unless you can show there has been a mistake that cost your DC a place you are not likely to win.

If you start a thread in "Primary Education" outlining your appeal plan, it'll probably be seen by the expert posters who can offer a great deal of helpful advice.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 28-Aug-14 15:28:39

Yes my dd is now going into year one, from reception/foundation.

Nobody told us when we started last year that the class would be split. It's all been a sudden and nasty shock.

zoemaguire Thu 28-Aug-14 18:25:32

In that case,the only way appeal children got in is because mistakes were made. There's pretty much no other grounds for a successful appeal. As for in/out of catchment, we first got in to an out of catchment school because our catchment school was full. At least you are lucky enough to have a choice of your dd going to your catchment school - many parents don't.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 28-Aug-14 18:48:39

Yes I know. We live in the village and we walk to school. My dh went to that school and so did his father and grandfather. It's lovely that we're now sending the fourth generation of the famy there. I just don't know what to think about the size of the place now. In some ways it's good for the school because when they reach a target amount they get more funding and it makes the school more financially viable. And then you get the problem of there not being enough room for the children they've got because they keep taking in extra. There should have been twelve in dd2s foundation class last year and there ended up being twenty. It's so frustrating.

dancestomyowntune Thu 28-Aug-14 18:49:59

i can see missadorable is very upset by the idea of her dd being educated in a corridor. i understand this. but if the school is over subscribed to this point then i think the lea needs to be questioned as to why there aren't enough school places being provided in that area. not blaming other parents for daring to send their children to an already stretched school.

as to the question of how to split in that case: i expect you will find that the 'handful' of children seperated will progress faster as they will have a teacher who is not spreading herself around a class of 30 but has the time to assist each child in a more substantial way. look for the positives and it doesn't always look so bad!

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