Has anyone been through an Appeal Hearing?

(21 Posts)
Wildia Wed 08-May-13 16:13:37

We are sadly going through the reconsideration process after my daughter did not get offered the primary school in our local village. We have to complete and return the appeal form before we get a response on the reconsideration. I want to prepare myself to attend the appeal hearing... Has anyone attended one and if so can you give me any pointers? Much appreciated x

nextphase Wed 08-May-13 20:10:34

What grounds are you appealing on? ie why do you think your daughter should have got a place?
Have you got A school place somewhere?
There are loads of knowledgeable people about, hopefully someone will be round soon.

admission Wed 08-May-13 20:22:31

Wildia, you will get information about a week before the appeal date of the case that the admission authority are making for not admitting any more pupils. Please do not be disturbed by what it says, most will say things like the school classrooms are too small, the corridors are not wide enough, thee are not enough computers etc.
The appeal hearing is in two parts and you should receive some information on this at the same time as you get the above information. In the first part of the appeal the admission authority will use the written case they have submitted to try and convince the panel that the school is full and cannot admit any more pupils without prejudicing the education of the other children in the school. The school have to show that there are other reasons apart from the fact that they have admitted pupils up to the published admission number for the school. That is why they will say all the other thing like small classrooms etc. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about what they say to try and convince the panel that they have not made their case to not admit any more pupils. The panel will also ask questions.
In most cases the panel will agree that the school have made their case that to admit all those who are appealing would be wrong. That is when you go onto part 2 of the case which is where you explain the reasons why you want a place at this particular school. If you present a good case and the panel think that the prejudice of not admitting your child outweighs the prejudice to the school of admitting then they will award a place.
It is quite difficult for some people to go and explain all this when you are sitting opposite a panel of 3, so I would always recommend that you write down what you want to say and then you will not forget anything vital when at the appeal hearing.

Wildia Wed 08-May-13 23:00:51

Thank you nextphase and admission!
Ok our case is as follows: we live in a small village that does not have a school and so our neighbouring village 1.8 miles away is the one we want to send our daughter. All children in our village attend this school. We attended the open day last October and being extremely happy completed a registration form on the day at the school. We thought we had enrolled our daughter. From this point on we thought we would hear how her application was progressing but nothing. By January 2013 we had still not received anything. So calling the council on advice from the school we found out that our daughter was not on their database and therefore all information regarding enrolment and child I D no were not sent to us. Sadly this call was made after the closing date of applications again a date we had no idea of. The council told us that unfortunately our daughter had slipped through the cracks! So we are now treated as a late applicant regardless of their error. We had no idea of the process or indeed to enrolled with the council. We did an application there and then. Our daughter only on that day was added to their database. We were offered our 4 th preference which is over 10 miles away and is not a school I wish to send my child. We declined the place and started the process of reconsideration. Last week we were offered our 3 rd preference which I do not have to accept until June. It's crazy that we have had to complete an appeal form before we get the reconsideration result. But I just know we will have to go to appeal. I have found this whole process deeply upsetting and the duration to get a resolve. We are local residents that have a right for their child to go to their local school.
Thank you all again in advance x

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 08-May-13 23:25:23

Do you know where you are on the waiting list for the local school, or is it not known until after reconsideration?

Wildia Wed 08-May-13 23:33:26

15 places were allocated and I believe my daughter was the only child to not get in, but it is not truly know until after consideration.

prh47bridge Thu 09-May-13 00:00:32

You need to find out how classes are organised. With an admission number of 15 this might be an infant class size appeal. If they have one class in Reception and then a class of 30 children covering Y1 and Y2 it would be an ICS appeal.

If it is an ICS appeal you should only win if you can show that the admission arrangements did not comply with the law or the Admissions Code, they were not applied correctly or the decision to refuse admission to your daughter was unreasonable.

The real question here is what, if anything, should have happened when you filled in the registration form. If the other parents who completed this form were contacted with information about applications you can suggest that a mistake was made but the panel may not agree. However, if they were not contacted but managed to apply on time anyway you are unlikely to succeed in arguing that they got it wrong.

The big problem you've got is that it is generally regarded as your responsibility to find out how the process works and apply on time. You may be able to persuade the appeal panel that there was a mistake if every other parent who registered automatically received information about applying but even then it is possible the panel will decide that it was not the LA's fault that you applied late.

If it is not an ICS appeal you have a much better chance of winning. In that situation you would have to show why this is the right school for your daughter and how she will be disadvantaged if she doesn't get a place there.

Wildia Thu 09-May-13 00:28:59

The school has 109 pupils in total age range 4-11 yrs

Wildia Thu 09-May-13 00:31:33

In my paper work ICS has not been mentioned just the word appeal process

Wildia Thu 09-May-13 00:33:07

I do know yr 2 and 3 are sizes of 16/17

Wildia Thu 09-May-13 00:34:15

And yr 1! Sorry forgot that onlast post

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 09-May-13 06:18:40

Do you know if they combine classes eg reception:year 1 all in one class?

ohforfoxsake Thu 09-May-13 06:21:04

Schoolappeals.com might be helpful.

Wildia Thu 09-May-13 08:29:49

No they don't combine classes

prh47bridge Thu 09-May-13 09:54:26

I find that difficult to believe. That would mean 7 classes with 15 or 16 pupils in each. That would be a struggle to achieve on the funding this school is receiving based on the number of pupils. I would normally expect to see 4 classes in total for a school of this size. This would typically be arranged as a Reception class, a Y1/2 class, a Y3/4 class and a Y5/6 class although other arrangements are possible.

If they are operating one class per year throughout the school as you suggest it is definitely not an ICS appeal.

tiggytape Thu 09-May-13 10:16:26

I agree with prh - choosing to have 15 per year group wouldn't normally make sense. It wouldn't be economically viable - I think there needs to be at least 20 children per class just to cover the cost of the teacher.

Are you sure they never mix the classes (eg Y1 and Y2 combined)?
I think that is the crucial thing you need to double check as the nature of the appeal depends a lot on whether the other KS1 classes are ever mixed.

Wildia Thu 09-May-13 12:38:50

So sorry just found out that the reception and year one class are together as are 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7

prh47bridge Thu 09-May-13 13:21:27

In that case it will be an ICS appeal so you need to show a mistake was made. That means you need to find out what was supposed to happen after you filled in the registration form. If everyone else automatically received application forms and/or information as a result of filling in this form but you didn't you may have a case. If, however, filling in this form didn't result in others being sent application forms or information but they managed to apply on time anyway it is unlikely you would win an appeal.

admission Thu 09-May-13 20:30:08

You definitely need to be saying that having filled in the registration form at the school they did not say anything about needing to fill in a form for the Local Authority and they did not give you any other information or forms to fill in.
On its own that will not be enough to prove a mistake was made but you need to get the school to somehow accept that they should have informed you better and therefore you were misled into assuming you had now put your child down for the school. It is good that it was at the open day for the school because they clearly should have been saying to you that this was only to register an interest and you needed to fill form in. Can you go back to the school and say that you would like them to confirm that you did complete a registration form at the school on that date in October, get a copy of it and at least submit that as evidence that what you are saying did happen. Also ask them what they did with the registration forms. Certainly in my school we send out reminders to all who have registered with us that you need to apply to the LA well before the cut off date. It is just possible that they did send through details to the LA in which case you do have more of a case for admittance
Without getting some level of acceptance by the school that they should have done more, the chance of winning at an ICS appeal are slim.

Wildia Fri 10-May-13 00:25:40

Thank you Admission I have got a copy and also on the copy is a date when the school added the sim date November 2012. This we will take to the appeal. I have also spoken with a govener of the school who thinks I have a very strong case. Having been in the village for four years details of my daughter have been given through moving into the property, a censis also voting giving names and ages of the house, she should have been picked up with our post code. Their error. However will do still have to wait for the reconsideration answer. Just maybe we might get a place! God willing xxxxx hope my dad who passed away nearly 10 years ago will guide me and support me and take this horrible time away from me. My daughter means everything to me , I lost my first child, and I will not let my daughter down she is a sensitive soul and does not deserve to be an outcast from her village. That is what it would mean if she does not get in. At this time my heart is breaking and I can not sleep or eat I feel I have let my daughter down on every level. She is the most beautiful child you could ever meet and I do not mean just on looks, it's what's in her heart. She is a truly amazing little 4 yr old girl xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

prh47bridge Fri 10-May-13 10:20:56

I have also spoken with a governor of the school who thinks I have a very strong case

I wouldn't place too much store on that. Governors don't necessarily know a great deal about admissions if it is a community school. They don't have any significant involvement in the process.

details of my daughter have been given through moving into the property, a census also voting giving names and ages of the house, she should have been picked up with our post code. Their error.

I'm afraid not. The law is clear. It is your responsibility to apply for a school place on time. It is not up to the LA to track down all the parents of children who might need a place at primary school and contact them individually. Even if they did know you had a daughter who would need a place (and actually none of the things you list would have given them that information) they are not at fault for failing to send you an application pack or chase you for an application.

The only possible grounds you have got for saying there was a mistake is if the school misled you into believing the registration form was the only form you had to complete or every other parent who completed a registration form was automatically sent an application pack but for some reason you were left off the list. If they sent an application pack to you but you did not receive it I'm afraid the appeal panel is unlikely to find in your favour. Equally if none of the parents were sent an application pack but most of the others managed to apply on time the appeal panel is very unlikely to find in your favour.

You are trying to win an appeal on the grounds that it is the LA's fault that you applied late. It is very difficult to win an appeal on those grounds. As Admission says, unless the school or the LA accept that they should have done more your chances of success are slim.

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