DD didn't get in because they sent letters to wrong address??!

(151 Posts)

OK so this is a good friend of mines daughter. We live in a tiny village with one playgroup/pre-school and a primary that goes up to age 11.

My friend has moved 4 times in as many years, and has been here for a year now. She was asking and asking about when the letters for primary would come and I said I couldn't remember,so to ask at playgroup, when she did, they said she should have had the letter last year!!

Turns out they had been sending them to her address 4 moves ago?! so 2 x children that live miles out of catchment area have been given last remaining places. She can't drive, we are reeeeeaaaally rural, and the bloke from council said the schools all around this area were full, so her Dd would have to go in a taxi on her own every day, with no one she knows?!

School says they can only take 14, and they have that many.
does anyone have any ideas? The little girl will be devastated to not go to that school with all her friends from the village.

TBH As my boy went up last year, I never thought about it, we got the letters, filled them in, sent them back, I had no idea some places don't do this, or that you had to do it for yourself.

she hasn't mentioned it for ages so I never thought to ask, as if you live here, your child goes there (normally!) yes, I guess it is her fault, but a note in her DDs school book at pre-school might have helped her.

she never watches the news either!I asked her what she thought about the Boston bombs two days after, she knew nothing about it!

OK thanks for your thoughts, seems it's a done deal. Thanks though.

Maybe there's some small hope in that LEA can't find any schools with places in 10 mile radius - perhaps local school could be persuaded to take her in, by someone ? - fingers crossed for her X

Yes, thanks juggling she is going to be heart broken, and picked up/ dropped off by a taxi driver instead of her Mum at a strange school sad

piprabbit Fri 19-Apr-13 12:59:41

In my area the LEA sends out letters (from NHS records) to everyone, outlining the process and giving you unique login details for the online system.

But these letters come out months before you need to apply, and everyone was talking about them and making school visits etc. I'm slightly at a loss that your friend did nothing proactive at all. She could have spoken to the school, looked online, asked you, something, anything, instead of coasting along.

I hope the LEA manage to find her child a place, for the sake of the child, and that your friend learns that she needs to be a bit more forceful on behalf of her family.

coppertop Fri 19-Apr-13 13:02:16

I got a letter from the LEA way back when my now 12yr-old was pre-school age, so it certainly used too happen. Two years later the system had changed again, so I can understand why it could be confusing.

I know pip I would never have got this far without knowing, as you say everyone's talking about it, we get the online codes too, and the boring conversations of how you're applying would have been all over surely? Really don't know how she missed it all, but she did.

MiaowTheCat Fri 19-Apr-13 13:02:40

I'm not surprised - had one year in reception where we had two parents just show up first day having made no applications at all! Thankfully we had spaces (this was before the birth rate boom hit through into primary)!

PatriciaHolm Fri 19-Apr-13 13:02:53

She needs to apply to her preferred schools now. As they are full, she won't be successful, but she can then appeal.

Appealing for the local school won't be under ICS (infant class size rules) as they have less than 30, which makes it easier, but she will still need to make a good case as to why the detriment to her child not to go there is higher than the detriment to the school to admit. Have any other years got more children? Can she demonstrate that the reception class has historically had more than 17?

There is nothing else she can do right now. She made a big mistake, her error I'm afraid, and the only way to try to deal with it is to appeal.

ah right patricia didn't know there was an appeal process, do you think she'd have a good case since she didn't gt the letters and she doesn't drive?

5318008 Fri 19-Apr-13 13:08:36

shock

I do feel a bit sorry for your friend, if it's your first you kind of think that things like school allocation happen by some kind of automatic magical process.

Amazing that the father hasn't questioned it either, don't lets heap blame all upon the mother's head, eh.

(slightly hmm-faced at the parents not keeping pre school up to date with their current address/es though)

Pre-school have got her current address, so have the doctors, I don't know how it's happened, oh she's a single Mum BTW.

5318008 Fri 19-Apr-13 13:11:45

oh sorry, I thought they 'they' was preschool, my mistake

mummytime Fri 19-Apr-13 13:11:52

Around here the LA do not send letters you have to collect them from schools, the library or playgroups, or apply online.

The Taxi will be one with a CRB'd driver.

5318008 Fri 19-Apr-13 13:13:35

well a big raspberry to the father for not getting it sorted himself, git.

Poor friend, she must feel really beleaguered sad

PatriciaHolm Fri 19-Apr-13 13:16:55

Not getting the letters and not driving are not grounds for appeal. Thousands of people don't get letters yet managed to apply on time, and transport would be provided.

She needs to concentrate on proving that the prejudice to the school is lower than the prejudice to her child, which is about the school having the facilities to cope, anything that makes the school's facilities specifically good for the child (e.g, child is county standard swimmer and school has pool), etc. Nothing negative about the school she has been awarded.

Khaleese Fri 19-Apr-13 13:19:04

Patricia, it will be infant class size, they class share with the upper years in small schools.not 14 to a class but often 28 that is their capacity.

Really no excuse for this, it's very poor parenting ( sounds mean i know) pre schools have posters on the door and give out reminders! Its also a hot topic.

Good luck to her.

narmada Fri 19-Apr-13 13:20:10

As a PP said, your friend needs to apply NOW and also find out on what basis the school is saying they can only admit 14 children. IIRC the appeal may be an infant class size appeal - e.g., if the school is tiny and runs mixed-age classes due to a small intake.

The LA will be able to provide her with details of how to apply and how to appeal the decision not to offer a place at the school.

PatriciaHolm Fri 19-Apr-13 13:20:29

Khaleese, ICS rules kick in at 30, not 28, so it shouldn't be.

PatriciaHolm Fri 19-Apr-13 13:21:35

Though as narmada says, she needs to contact the LEA about exactly how classes are organised to make sure!

narmada Fri 19-Apr-13 13:21:54

It would be an ICS if they had mixed-age classes and had offered to 14 reception children and 26 year ones, wouldn't it?

narmada Fri 19-Apr-13 13:22:26

14 reception children and 16 year ones, dearie me, maths never was my strong point...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 19-Apr-13 13:22:55

Even 28 is not an infant class size matter, though. It would still be balance of prejudice, I think (with the school's case being about the prejudice in terms of lack of space etc)

yes, they do class share actually, my Ds is in reception now so will be in the same class but yr 1, will try and find out how many there are in the class all together. They did say they were full when she asked the playgroup though, I asked her if there had been posters up at playgroup, she said no, really can't see her just not bothering, I genuinely think she thought the letters came out just before summer break up hmm

Khaleese Fri 19-Apr-13 13:25:42

The school has limited capacity, it can't take more than a set number. Ours takes 100. Some years they intake two more some years two less dependnt on the numbers through the school. The last class can only hold a set amount. You can squeeze them in as they do not have room.

Lots of the rural school here have 70 -100 puplils, i'm sure lots of people would love to force a place but the schools just can't cope.

They have a set pan, unless someone wins an appeal ( admission error) the numbers are set in stone.

Bramshott Fri 19-Apr-13 13:26:15

14 seems an odd number. Is it a mixed YrR/Y1 class? If so, they should be able to take 15 (or even 16 if they only have 14 in Y1).

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