Helps with appeals needed please?

(33 Posts)
cherryblossoming Wed 25-Sep-13 22:10:54

We are awaiting for the hearing for our DD to join the reception class. As far as I know there are 25 pupils including Y1 and YR. Pan is 17 for all years. I know that previously the school had accepted an extra pupil in YR but this is everything that I know. We are in the catchment area but the places had been already allocated when we moved into the area. Just wonder what I should know about mixed classes appeals and which information could help me to get this place.
Many thanks.

cherryblossoming Mon 07-Oct-13 12:37:52

I have another question if someone can help please!
The school took an extra child a few years ago. I think they did it more than once previously but we have no evidence of that. So now we have to say why one more child will not have a negative impact on the school. We can only say that the school coped with extra one so should not be a problem this time. The school, however, might present to the panel some evidence, e.g. drained resources, number of accidents, whatever. But as I understand they should provide us and the panel with the new evidence before the hearing or am I wrong? What if they do show some numbers during the hearing?

Jellyandjam Mon 07-Oct-13 14:51:13

We used the ACE website to structure our appeal letter. Then we used the structure of the letter for our appeal case to get each point across.

http://www.ace-ed.org.uk/advice-about-education-for-parents/advice-booklets-and-briefings/Appealing_+for_+a_+School_Place

HTH .

Jellyandjam Mon 07-Oct-13 14:56:39

All evidence intended for use in the appeal needs to be submitted to the panel prior to the appeal. If you want to know about extra children being admitted you can ask- they can't give you specific details but they will be able to say e.g. one extra child was admitted in whatever year. We asked that question as we knew it had happened at least once and found out that it had actually happened on another occasion too.

Kally38 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:15:36

Hello Cherryblossiming. We are due our appeal on Friday. The LA has included resources and reduced attention for children as one the reasons for not admitting.

Our argument against that will be that in terms of planning, the teacher usually plans 3 ways (top, middle and bottom) so this would not really entail any extra planning for my daughter. She does not have any Special Educational Needs so no further differentiation of work other than what the teacher should be planning for. Each full time teacher is also entitled to half a day a week outside the classroom to prepare and plan for work. So again no major prejudice to the schools existing way of working. In terms of resources, our argument will be that most teacher use an overhead projector or whiteboard to deliver whole class teaching with children also working in learning partners to share any resources on carpet. Any extra resources would be an extra worksheet or book so again no huge prejudice! I have also thought about how the tables have been arranged and worked out that with a class of 22, even if they had 4 tables of 6 chairs, they would be 2 spaces on the table somewhere!

For our appeal, I think we going to really highlight why we feel the school is important to meet our daughters needs. We will be highlighting the importance of her local school offering her the chance of continuing to flourish as it facilitates attachments and connections with her peers and community. She cannot presently do this as her school is a 30 min drive so her social network is increasingly becoming distant and thinned out. We will also be raising the schools lunchtime and after school clubs which will greatly support her social relationships at local school.

Hope that helps!

Kally38 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:17:24

Apologies for all the spelling errors and grammar! Not normally that bad!

cherryblossoming Mon 07-Oct-13 16:57:15

Jellyandjam and Kally38, thank you so much.
Jellyandjam, I might ask LEA about the previous years. Hopefully they will have this information in their database.
Kally, I have to think of something that would benefit my DD. Have to look at their after school activities.

prh47bridge Mon 07-Oct-13 23:12:22

To take your points in order:

Transport issues don't win appeals. You can raise it but the appeal panel are unlikely to give it any weight.

Child unhappy with the present school may carry some weight but it depends on why she is unhappy. Given that she has only just started at her current school I doubt the appeal panel will give this any weight.

Child wants to be with her sibling is natural. Unless there is some particular reason why she needs to be with her sibling and this is backed by independent evidence this is unlikely to carry any weight.

The school having an extra child previously is in your favour as it suggests they can cope.

Current class having more children and smaller room than at the school you are appealing for (not against!) is possibly of use if you can show that your child is likely to perform better in that environment.

Point 6 is where you want to put most of your effort.

Turning to how you write your case, my advice would be don't stress about it. Don't look for templates or guidance. Just write it as clearly as you can. The appeal panel isn't looking for a polished presentation. What they want is a clear statement of your case emphasising the points you think are important. It could be just a set of bullet points which you will expand on in the hearing or you could write the case out in full. It is entirely up to you. I would be happy to review your case once you have written it and advise on possible improvements but it really needs to be in your own words.

cherryblossoming Tue 08-Oct-13 11:19:00

Thank you prh47bridge. I have send you a DM. I am going to write it in bullet points. I think it will be easier. Transport is a big issue for us and what a disappointment it does not have any weight.

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