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.

Khaleese Fri 19-Apr-13 13:27:24

Can'tvsqueezecthem in.:-)

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Fri 19-Apr-13 13:28:20

14 does seem a funny number. Because if they took 14 last year that's only 28, not 30. But maybe they took an extra two last year for some reason? If there are currently 16 in reception that may make it ICS appeal.

CockyFox Fri 19-Apr-13 13:30:02

I really feel for her, when my DS started school I was sent an application pack in the August before he started in the following September so 13 mobths ahead. I applied for DD this year and was sent nothing only because I knew when I had applied for DS dud I know to look online and find the online only new system.
There are no signs at the clinic or doctor's. There is one at the library and at the pre-school but that assumes all parents are going there.

Will ask DS teacher at pick up how many are in reception this year, I know 14 are going up from preschool, so if there's less than 16 in there now, she may have a chance?

flowery Fri 19-Apr-13 13:31:35

Where is the father in all this? Just because she lives with her mother doesn't mean he isn't equally responsible. Seems weird neither of them thought to check.

PatriciaHolm Fri 19-Apr-13 13:32:51

No, Khaleese, sorry but they aren't.

The school will admit to it's PAN.

If PAN is 30, then appeals will be under ICS rules.
If PAN is less than 30, and reception class will have less than 30 children per teacher, then appeals won't be ICS. They might still be very hard to win - as you say, if a classroom really has no more space, there is no space to eat lunch etc, it might be very hard to win anyway, but it's possible.

The LEA can force schools to admit over PAN, if someone wins an appeal.

Infant Class Size appeals don't relate to admitting over PAN, they relate to more than 30 per teacher.

Yes, flowery Father is in prison, and I think she knows now she should have been more active, but she was told to wait for the letter by pre-school and so she did.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Fri 19-Apr-13 13:35:00

I do feel sorry for her. It's easy to wonder how someone misses school applications if you live somewhere they are a big deal. But if you live somewhere where everyone goes to the local school, it is easy to think it's a pretty automatic process. Particularly if you aren't someone who goes in for researching and keeping up with news. Also, if people with older children have been saying 'oh, you get a letter' in a vague fashion, she'll probably have filed it in her mind under 'no need to do anything'.

flowery Fri 19-Apr-13 13:37:59

Oh I see sad

lborolass Fri 19-Apr-13 13:47:31

Are you in England? There must be a all kinds of different systems in different areas, we don't get letters for primary but you would have to go out of your way not to realise that you have to apply by a certan date - posters up at playgroup/nursery etc and I think probably mentioned when you go to look around the school.

Ime its not unusual for small schools to have set numbers for reception intake, the 30 in a class isn't the main issue it's how big the school is i.e they have a total maximum number they can fit and simply divide it by the no of year groups to get to intake number.

I'd advice your friend to put in an appeal (and do it now so she doesn't miss the deadline) and get herself on the waiting list. In my area catchment children who apply late go to the top of the list (may not be the same everywhere) and keep her fingers crossed.

It doesn't sound like she has grounds for an appeal but the school may be happy to have her anyway

Good luck

Yes, we're in England, I'll tell her, thanks smile

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 19-Apr-13 13:56:50

How do u not know to look into this stuff? All my friends are doing so now and kids are only 2!!!! Not ur fault obvs I'm just so incredulous at her obliviousness..... She should look up appeal process immediately it's all available on web. Can she use a computer?

Does it use a uniform? Someone better tell her or kid will turn up in pjs. She might not think to check herself..

5318008 Fri 19-Apr-13 14:03:52

WishIwas don't be so horrible and nasty, not necessary

noblegiraffe Fri 19-Apr-13 14:15:42

I've applied this year for my DS and I have had no information from the LA and haven't seen a single poster anywhere about applying for schools (and we go to pre school and the library). The website was bloody useless and the application form, which was online, was very confusing.

I can really see how it would be very easy to miss the deadline, I was appalled to be honest. If you aren't online and proactive, in my LA, you would have been left clueless.

givemeaclue Fri 19-Apr-13 14:19:59

Where we live we don't get a letter telling us to apply to school.

Surely your friend knew it was time to apply, people mustbeen talking about it. Basically she hasn't applied to any schools so she will have to take what's left and learn from it.

flootshoot Fri 19-Apr-13 14:24:22

It is confusing IMO, the whole system relies on enough parents being proactive enough to find out what happens and then it gets passed on by word of mouth to the others. If you're the sort who doesn't really chat to anyone it could be easy to miss a deadline. On the other hand it seems incredible no-one mentioned it to her, I've noticed our preschool giving subtle nudges to parents who are known to be 'slack' for want of a better word. Obviously she'll have to go through the motions now but I think it'd be worth mentioning to the LEA that they need to publicise the dates more clearly. Now I think about it the only reason I'm well informed about our admissions timetable is because I went and looked, not because I've been given any info.

givemeaclue Fri 19-Apr-13 14:24:43

Even if she was waiting for the letter, when the letter didn't come you would think would query it.

I do feel sorry for the child though, dad is prison, constantly moving, doesn't get into local school. Its not hard to anticipate that life is chaotic for this poor child

JenaiMorris Fri 19-Apr-13 14:27:47

My friend managed to do this. Not with her first but with her second child!

I'm not sure she can appeal as she didn't apply - you appeal against a decision and there wasn't one, iykwim.

I imagine she'll have to put her daughter on the waiting list - she'll probably be very near the top. Don't forget that children don't legally have to attend school until the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday, so she could carry on at preschool. Or home ed off course until a place comes up.

There's no need to panic about having to send her off in a taxi to a school miles away yet.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 19-Apr-13 14:31:47

Jenai, if she gets in a late application now, then in due course decisions will be made that she can appeal.

I think if I was her I'd prefer the idea of daughter continuing at pre-school at least until she's 5, whilst I got my application in, appealed decision if necessary, and got her on local school waiting list.
Idea of going off on your own in taxi (at 4) to strange school with no friends seems less than ideal sad - though hopefully someone friendly would meet her as she arrived at the school ? And I'm sure she'd soon make some friends.

JenaiMorris Fri 19-Apr-13 14:43:57

Yes there is that!

Either way, she doesn't need to panic.

CinnabarRed Fri 19-Apr-13 14:49:07

Our local authority wrote to us because we didn't accept a state school place for DS1. (Because he goes to the local private school; in fact I did tell them that we have accepted a place at a private school - twice - but apparently that wasn't put on file.)

AFAIK, they cross-referenced against GP registration, so they knew there was a local child not attending any of the local state schools.

So it seems really odd that no-one contacted your poor friend. How inconsistent.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 19-Apr-13 14:53:58

We didn't get letters. It is your responsibility as a parent to either download the application form, or fill it in online or request a paper form from the council.

How on earth can she be so clueless? Does she not ever speak to the staff at playgroup, or think to speak to the school?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 19-Apr-13 14:55:41

Didn't read the second page.

That is pretty awful of the preschool to have told her to wait for a letter. Why didn't she chase it up?

What a nightmare sad

Does seem to me like it would be an idea if it was someone's responsibility to make sure that all parents are told of what will be necessary to apply for a school place, the procedure and the deadlines. Possibly the Health Visitor could do this - checking that everyone has been given info by pre-schools ? It does all sound a bit messy organisation wise ATM.
And aren't the government in the process of training lots more HV's in the next few years ?

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