Any tips for primary school appeals?

(1000 Posts)

This is my first time doing this, and I want to do this right. My son didn't get into any of the preferred schools that we listed? Has anyone done an appeal before?

prh47bridge Tue 05-May-15 12:19:23

Feel free

Circoloco Tue 05-May-15 11:43:47

Can I PM you?

prh47bridge Tue 05-May-15 08:49:46

If you are correct the appeal panel will have to figure out who would have been admitted if it had not been broken. Whether or not this is possible depends on exactly how the Code has been broken.

What do you think they have got wrong?

Circoloco Tue 05-May-15 08:24:47

Hi, I've read through the posts and the information and advice has been really helpful! Thanks smile
I have a quick question...
If you suspect the admissions code hasn't been adhered too, but you couldn't say with certainty that your child would have been offered a place if it had, what would happen at appeal? Thanks

prh47bridge Mon 04-May-15 23:54:54

Is that the school you are appealing for? If that is the case it might. It is up to the appeal panel whether or not they think the LA has acted unreasonably in refusing admission. They may think that, having been told about your MS, the LA should have taken that into account. But there are no guarantees.

Sueliamkniv1 Mon 04-May-15 23:43:47

I did put on the form about my multiple sclerosis and it made no difference at all to them,
My ex is my son's dad and he's a threat to me as had to have police out couple of times and access had to be stopped with him n my son so he can go to court.
The school runs to get both kids to school in a morning wud take 2 hours round trip to get both kids to school and then a 2 hours round trip to get both kids home, and 1 wud still be late, this is on a good day wen I'm not weak in the legs, on a bad day I wud probably have to keep her off school..

So would me having multiple sclerosis make any difference to keep her at the school she's at , round the corner from me?

prh47bridge Mon 04-May-15 17:38:24

If this is an infant class size appeal you should only win if you can show that the admission arrangements broke the Admissions Code, they were not administered correctly or the decision to refuse admission was unreasonable. If you told the LA about your MS and your restricted mobility you may be able to argue that the decision was unreasonable, particularly if the school has an admission category for special medical needs. But you may be relying on the appeal panel being willing to bend the rules to help you so you need to be realistic about your chances if it is an infant class size case.

If this is not an infant class size appeal you have a better chance. Note, however, that travel and child care issues rarely make a winning appeal case. Having said that, your MS and the resultant difficulties is something they may take into account.

I don't think your daughter's heat murmur will carry any weight in an appeal unless it is affecting her mobility or similar.

Not wanting to be near your ex is unlikely to carry any weight. If he was a threat to your daughter it may carry more weight.

Sueliamkniv1 Mon 04-May-15 16:56:58

Also have a lot of support from the school friends, at the school I want her to go 2. Help me out a lot.

Sueliamkniv1 Mon 04-May-15 16:49:08

And the cafcaf is already in place at the school I want because of my son being there (even tho he's leaving this year) and it would Carry on with my daughter...

Sueliamkniv1 Mon 04-May-15 16:46:54

Plus I don't drive either

Sueliamkniv1 Mon 04-May-15 16:42:06

My daughter as been refused to the school we wanted, she's at the school nursery already, and my son will be leaving from there this year to go to upper school,
The school they have given is over ther other side of my town over 40minuit walk that could be impossible to get to as I have multiple sclerosis as well...
Also I will have to get my son to school to over the other side of town...
What do you think my chances are to win my appeal with these reasons
1. School is miles away.
2. I already have cafcaf in place to get my son and daughter to the school if I get bad with my multiple sclerosis.
3. I have multiple sclerosis
4. Daughter as newly diagnosed heart murmur and don't know if need any treatment or anything yet. So want her close by.
5. My ex is close to the school they have given us and I've had police out few times and don't want to be near him.

prh47bridge Wed 17-Dec-14 14:16:48

PAN tends not to change unless there have been alterations to the school's premises.

The reasons for going over PAN are less significant than the fact they have been (if true). If they have been over PAN for any reason in the past it suggests they can cope with additional children. Of course, if they have gone miles over PAN previously because they created a bulge class one year that would be a special case which doesn't really help. It is likely that any children over PAN have been admitted on appeal, or through the Fair Access Protocol or by getting a statement of SEN naming the school.

If the school is operating below net capacity that helps as it counters any arguments about overcrowding in the corridors, difficulties serving lunch, etc.

People do talk about travel issues. It shouldn't harm your case but don't spend too much time on this, friendship links or similar. These factors should not win your appeal so you need the panel to focus on your stronger points. Your case needs to be primarily about why this is the right school for your daughter. What can this school give her that the offered school cannot.

jamiepie1 Wed 17-Dec-14 13:20:25

Hello new to the thread and am in the process of formulating an appeal for my 8yr old daughters admission, so any advice would be greatly received.

HAving moved to our new village a few months ago we left our two daughters in there existing village primary 10 miles away as it was a known quantity for them and to maintain stability. Having had documented issues with our eldest in yr 5 we looked to move to our now local primary.

Our eldest has been accepted as a in-year admission to yr 5 but our youngest has been refused on the grounds that her requested year group is full. She has been offered a place out of catchment (our only school in catchment IS the village primary) and we have been told that she would be entitled to daily transport, yet if we elect to send our eldest to the same school as her she WOULD NOT as we would have elected to place her out of catchment.

I am intending to request the PAN for each year group for this and previous academic years and where this has been exceeded and by how many. Is it also reasonable or possible for me to ask if these additional pupil places were through appeals or even to find out the reason for exceeding the PAN. Also how relevant is the Net number for the school in an appeal as I am aware that other year groups have very low numbers.

HAving read previous in the thread that travel is not a consideration but does it help to set up a picture over the overall amenity and weight of benefit to the pupil also along this line are social and friendship links with existing pupils reasonable to cite if you are trying to create a preponderance of benefit to outweigh the disadvantage to the school, or would this just irritate the panel as a self serving parental rant???

shannonsmitho8o Sun 14-Dec-14 21:05:27

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prh47bridge Fri 17-Oct-14 14:03:12

what sort of expert evidence do you mean?

General evidence about how children settle won't help. It needs to be specific to your daughter. So yes, she would need to see a professional who was willing to write a letter saying that, in their opinion, your daughter needs to go to this school.

Can I keep her at home until the appeal is heard?

As Spindelina says, you can home educate for as long as you want. Even if you aren't home educating you probably won't get into trouble for keeping her at home pending the outcome of the appeal.

How much notice is taken of the head in this situation?

Be very cautious. The head is not allowed to directly support your appeal and probably won't thank you if you bring up anything they have said suggesting your appeal should succeed. However, some heads do manage to make it clear to the panel that they would quite like the appeal to succeed. In that situation the appeal almost always succeeds.

Spindelina Fri 17-Oct-14 13:13:33

You can home educate for as long as you want.

CharlotteSimmons Fri 17-Oct-14 12:31:40

Thanks, what sort of expert evidence do you mean? General evidence, or she has to see a professional?
Thanks - I will look into the clubs.
If it is early December that is about a month after we move. Can I keep her at home until the appeal is heard? I do not want her going to potentially 3 schools this term and four this year, and think a few weeks in another school that we hope will be temporary is going to make the settling, or lack thereof and anxiety about it worse from her point of view - obviously this assumes a successful appeal...
Do you think it makes a difference if the head of the school we will be appealing to has been positive when we have discussed this approach? How much notice is taken of the head in this situation?

prh47bridge Thu 16-Oct-14 01:06:49

Having moved from abroad on its own wouldn't be a good reason. Concern about settling is a little better but not much. To be really persuasive you would need expert evidence that your daughter needs to be with her sibling. In the absence of expert evidence I would still mention these factors but concentrate on things the local school can offer that would be particularly beneficial to her. Look at extra-curricular activities such as lunchtime clubs or after school clubs.

An appeal could be quicker than a month. It depends in part on how quickly they can find enough people to sit on the appeal panel. I would work on the basis that it is probably going to be early December before you get your hearing. If it comes in earlier that is a bonus.

CharlotteSimmons Wed 15-Oct-14 18:50:55

Thank you. Would having moved from abroad be a good reason? Concern about settling?
The other local schools are mostly full so there are not loads of options - I don't know if that makes a difference, although there are two that are a drive away that are very poor schools with spaces. My hunch is that is where she would be placed.
Could be appeal be quicker than a month or does it generally take that long?

prh47bridge Wed 15-Oct-14 13:25:36

Once your daughter has refused entry you can lodge your appeal. The hearing must take place within 30 school days of you submitting the form. You should hear the outcome within 5 school days of the hearing.

If they have been over 30 previously that helps as it shows they can cope with additional pupils. You are unlikely to win purely on the basis of having a sibling at the school unless the case to refuse entry is very weak. You need to come up with some other arguments. Is there a particular reason why your daughter needs to be at the same school as her sibling - more so than other children? Are there things the local school offers that would be particularly beneficial for her? Those are the kinds of thing you need to look at.

CharlotteSimmons Wed 15-Oct-14 11:54:33

Hi
I have had a flick through this thread and wonder if I can get some advice too. We are moving mid term, there is a place for my Yr 2 DC at the school local to where we are moving. There is not a place for my Yr 4 DD. What would be the chance of success in appealing? The school have had over 30 in Junior years before (due to multiples moving into the area - triplets moved in, class was 29, one got a spot, the other 2 got in - not sure if that was on appeal). When I visited the school they encouraged me to appeal, and seemed to think that the sibling rule would apply.
What is the process?
How long does it take?
We are moving in 4 weeks (this is the earliest I could make the application in order for my DC YR 2 to be able to take up the place) - I should hear back in 2 weeks. Is there any chance that my DD will not have a massive gap between when we move and when she starts school?
I am reluctant to put her in another school in the meantime (more backstory, we moved back to the UK from abroad in September, planned to settle elsewhere in the county, they started school there, we couldn't find a house, so that and other reasons, have bought and are moving - same county. But because of this the DC will already have been through 3 schools in almost as many months if everything goes to plan)
Ugh - am finding the whole thing so stressful and the temptation to bury my head in the sand is intense!!

Newuser99 Tue 14-Oct-14 07:50:27

Thank you very much for your reply. It is very helpful especially the part about questioning the presenting officer, a much more positive way to handle it, thank you.

prh47bridge Mon 13-Oct-14 23:51:15

To find out when they went over PAN before simply ask them. If the school won't tell you try the LA. They have to answer any questions you ask within reason to help you prepare for your appeal. If they have been over PAN in the past that helps your appeal as it shows they can cope with additional pupils.

The school cannot directly support your case. However, sometimes the school doesn't put up much of a fight and it is clear to the panel that they are only going through the motions.

I wouldn't mention the possible increase in PAN in your written submission. However, I would ask the presenting officer about it in the hearing. "Can you confirm that..." or something along those lines.

You can mention the falling roll. The panel isn't supposed to take it into account so I wouldn't spend much time on it but it certainly can't harm your case.

Newuser99 Mon 13-Oct-14 21:03:18

Firstly, this is the most informative and helpful thread I have ever seen and thank you so much to all the experts for providing such invaluable information.

We moved house over the summer holidays. Our youngest child was accepted in the Reception class at the new local primary school and started in September. Our older child’s application to year 4 was refused as “the year group is currently full”. We are now about to appeal this decision. I can see that I need to argue why our older child will be better placed in the new school than the old school as arguments surrounding logistical and childcare issues are ignored in these cases.

I was told by the head that the school has been forced to go over PAN by the LA in the past which obviously raised our hopes. How do I find out when the school went over PAN?

There is also another twist to this and I don’t know whether I should bring it up in our appeal or not. The head told me she had applied to increase her PAN over the summer and was refused by the LA. I assumed this would mean the school would therefore be supportive of our case as their documentation to support their PAN would include the fact they were looking to increase their numbers. I have been informed by the head that the school’s case does not support this desire and she does not wish to update the documentation presently as they are being approached by the LA to take a direct entry child who has been excluded from another school. Should I bring this up in my appeal as I have no documented evidence as this was merely a conversation?

The head has also admitted they have a falling roll issue in Y5 and Y6 so would it be possible to argue that this would only be a temporary period over PAN in my child’s year?

Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

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