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 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.

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 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.

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

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

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!

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.

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 .

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?

cherryblossoming Mon 07-Oct-13 11:37:10

Just wanted to add that I do not want anyone to help me with writing my case. My question above is not clearly stated. I just want some guidance or may be a link to a ery good website where they explain how to write the case. Also I do not know how it should look like. I guess for my case two pages should be enough?

cherryblossoming Mon 07-Oct-13 10:38:45

I would be grateful if anyone could help me to prepare the appeal case. I just do not know where to start from and how it should look like. Are there any examples on the internet? Would appreciate any help. Thank you.

I have a few points to highlight:
1. Transport.
2. Child unhappy with the present school.
3. Child wants to be with her sibling.
4. Previosly the school had accepted an extra child.
5. DD's current class has more children and smaller room than at the school we are appealing against.
6. How my child would benefit from joining this school.

I do not know whether the points 1, 2, 3 have any strengh. I understand that I should not say anything negative about DD's present school but what can I say? She hates it and every morning Is a struggle to get her in. The panel might say that DD will show the same behaviour when joining the new school. We also have to argue why an extra child would not make a negative impact on the teaching, school resources, school space in the KS2.

Many thanks for any help.

cherryblossoming Fri 04-Oct-13 13:08:03

Thank you prh47bridge! You are very kind and I really appreciate that people here give their time to read our cries for help smile

prh47bridge Thu 03-Oct-13 22:48:17

If you want any advice on countering the LA's case just post it (or a summary of it) here.

cherryblossoming Thu 03-Oct-13 14:41:49

Fingers crossed now. Good luck!

Kally38 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:40:20

We have finally recieved the information in the post today. I'm shocked how little information there is from the LA to have taken this long to get to us!

cherryblossoming Wed 02-Oct-13 23:35:22

I think you should contact the clerk now as some schools are not particularly interested in providing this information at "reasonable" time. We had to inquire via clerk.

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 20:36:37

Posted before I had finished sentence! Will raise with clerk if haven't received by Monday!

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 20:35:27

Will let you know how it goes! Am still waiting for the information from LA re their reasons not to admit. Am going to take Prh47bridge's advice and make it known to the clerk if we haven't recieved the paperwork by M

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 20:29:02

Good luck Kally! Time goes by so fast.

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 19:57:21

If your anything like me, your probably doing alot of thinking about your appeal! Mine is due next Friday! Hopefully we can both get the outcome we want for our little ones.

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 19:33:19

Thanks Kally! I will keep mine crossed as well smile It is in 2.5 weeks. Time to think.

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 17:33:22

I will keep all my fingers and toes crossed for you! Do you have a date for your appeal yet?

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 14:06:45

prh47bridge, thank you for your advice. Your last bit is just what I wanted to hear. I know they could challange me by that. They could have sent the reasons for extra one before the appeal but for some reson they have not. [thank] again.

prh47bridge Tue 01-Oct-13 12:41:44

Technically PAN is determined by the school's net capacity. That is probably around 120.

If they only have two classes covering Y3-Y6 they will have 34 in each class if all four years are full up to PAN. Those are large classes and I'm afraid many appeal panels would be reluctant to admit a child if it pushes a class up to 35. You can point out that Reception has been over PAN before and the school has presumably coped. If they say it was a huge mistake and caused massive problems you should ask them to give details of the problems it caused and challenge them if necessary, e.g. if they say the corridors were overcrowded you should ask if there were any accidents directly attributable to overcrowding. But at the end of the day, even if the school says it was not a problem, the appeal panel may feel that 35 in a class is too many. All you can do is give it your best shot, explain why your daughter needs to go to this school and hope the appeal panel is sympathetic.

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 11:50:28

Hello again. I do not know what our chances are considering it is vol-aided school. Some more info below:
YRY1 = 25, Y1Y2 = 26, Y3Y4 = 30 (15 each), Y5Y6 = 34 (17 each). 17 is a PAN. So next year Y5Y6 are going to have 32 (or fewer or 2 more if there will be newcomers).
As KS2 class size determines the PAN we will need to prove why they can take 35. It is in KS2 that classes become bigger. The school is not full and as I mentioned in my post above they did take one extra a few years ago. However, what if they say that that decision was a huge mistake and we should not have overloaded the classroom. The size of the reception is bigger than the next class. I have seen smaller classrooms per 30 which was painful to look at.
Would be really grateful for any insight into my matter.

prh47bridge Thu 26-Sep-13 15:02:11

As this is a VA school it is up to them to answer any questions you reasonably ask to help prepare for your appeal.

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