Appealing for a Y3 place in an oversubscribed school... Help please

(18 Posts)
Jugjeet Tue 22-Oct-13 23:22:33

We moved to Harrow from Ealing in July, my oldest daughter has been 1st on the waiting list for a Year 3 place since summer, currently we are splitting drop offs/pickups with me,dad and child minder but the 40 min commute is affecting dd tiredness and school work. Currently the school we are waiting for has 3 x Y3 classes all at 31 kids each. We have heard a child is leaving soon but the Council have said we have to wait for 4 children to leave before we can have a place sad
We are really upset and have decided to appeal, presumably 31 children in each class has been deemed acceptable so we don't understand why she wouldnt be offered a place if a child leaves,
Has anyone had a similar experience or have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated smile

clam Tue 22-Oct-13 23:38:25

Because the optimum maximum number is deemed to be 30. So each of those classes currently at 31 would need to lose a child each to get them back to that magic number, and then one further child needs to leave before there is a space.

Yes, some schools operate with more than 30 at KS2, but it's really not ideal.

prh47bridge Tue 22-Oct-13 23:41:00

It sounds from your description as if PAN (i.e. the admission number) is 90. They are currently 3 over PAN in Y3 with a total of 93 children. They don't officially have a vacancy in Y3 until they go below PAN, which is why the council say you have to wait for 4 children to leave before you get a place.

An appeal can admit your child even if the school is already over PAN so that is definitely the way forward. Even if a child doesn't leave many appeal panels will have no problem with a class of 32 in Y3. If a child does leave before your appeal you will have a good case that the school can cope with 31 in a class. As long as you can make a case as to why your daughter will be disadvantaged if she doesn't attend this school you will have a reasonable chance. However, the information you have posted about child care and transport arrangements is unlikely to be enough. Appeal panels are supposed to disregard that kind of argument. A 40 minute commute is not normally regarded as excessive. You need to concentrate on things the appeal school can offer your daughter that are missing from her current school.

clam Tue 22-Oct-13 23:49:14

The appeal panel might not have a problem with up to 32 in a class, but the class teacher sure as hell might.

Jugjeet Wed 23-Oct-13 00:09:25

We have heard that a child is leaving next week but not confirmed yet, which would mean a class would have 30, and I appreciate that 31 is not ideal but must have been accepted and not causing prejudice as all three classes have 31... Thank you prh47bridge ,that's really useful, I guess we are just trying to get help with wording,...the commute is affecting her health and concentration at school, our other points will be that it is our local school and my other daughter is already there....she is also allergic to dairy so we feel she should be at a school nearby in case she has a reaction.....but we will start with why the local school will be good for her as advised.....

prh47bridge Wed 23-Oct-13 00:58:29

clam - The appeal panel will know that many Y3 teachers have to cope with classes of 32 or 33. Whether or not the teacher likes it isn't relevant.

MM5 Wed 23-Oct-13 05:48:23

If a school goes over PAN, it is usually for very specific reasons like a child with a ststement or looked after child came in after PAN was full and, with that the school has no choice about accepting and there is a temporary allowance to go over PAN. Usually, there is an agreement that should a child leave, no other children will be allowed to join until under PAN.

You can go to appeal with the argument that they have been operating over PAN. Have they successfully been ooerating over PAN? You don't have a clue to that.

Jugjeet Wed 23-Oct-13 07:51:17

I can completely understand re the PAN but not sure how to find out about how well they are doing over PAN (beyond knowing that they are currently doing just that)... I would assume that had we taken her out of her old school and moved then she would be without a school place and they would have to place her anyway .....
It's saddening that they don't take into account the effect it's having on dd ... So it seems that we have to just appeal on the grounds it would be a great school for her....
More kids in class is not ideal but with the major shortage of school places... "Ideal" is no longer realistic......
Thank you all for ur advice... I think we have to still try and appeal for her sake....

keepsmiling12345 Wed 23-Oct-13 08:00:38

To be fair, jugjeet, I don't see that it is the council making your DD do the 40 min trip. Or are you saying that no y3 places have come up in any more local school? I get the impression from your posts that you have a specific school you say your DD to go to and, until she gets a place thee, you would prefer her to stay at her old school? Sorry if I have misunderstood but, if this is the circumstance, whilst I do understand your frustration at the wait, I can see why an appeals panel shouldn't take into account the current journey and your childcare/drop off issues.

Unexpected Wed 23-Oct-13 08:11:28

Unless there is no other school with a Yr 3 place between your local one and the one where you are sending her with a 40 min commute, the appeals panel could well take the view that you are the cause of your dd's tiredness and that you could instead send her to a school closer to home, albeit not the one you want.

Jugjeet Wed 23-Oct-13 08:29:03

Completely agree alienattack and unexpected but as of checking 18 oct ... There are still NO available Y3 places in any school in harrow borough so there is no other option but to travel to ealing so she can stay at school ... Rather than sit at home .....

Jugjeet Wed 23-Oct-13 08:31:15

Sorry all , should have said that at beginning blush

tiggytape Wed 23-Oct-13 08:35:03

Go ahead with the appeal. Even if the other child doesn't leave, it is your best way forward.
As prh says the official PAN is likely to be 90 so there won't be an automatic vacancy until 4 of them leave BUT that doesn't mean you won't win an appeal anyway. Most panels will know that in crowded areas 32+ per class is practically the norm.

If the other child does leave this adds weight to your argument that the school can cope with the extra one per class but even if they don't you shoudl appeal anyway.

Focus your appeal not just on transport issues. Although they are your biggest issue and the panel will want to know, appeals are based more on the child's needs so the need to make local friends being new to the area, the things the school offers that would benefit DD etc

Jugjeet Wed 23-Oct-13 08:39:16

That's really helpful tiggytape, am glad I posted as want to give it our best shot ... If we lose then we just carry on as at least she is with friends... But will have tried.....want to approach it the right way.....

prh47bridge Wed 23-Oct-13 09:44:49

You don't need to find out how well they are doing over PAN. The fact that they currently have 31 in each class is enough to show that they can cope with that many pupils. If they have any classes in KS2 with 32 (or have had any such classes in recent years) that strengthens your argument.

Jugjeet Wed 23-Oct-13 11:57:56

Brilliant, I will look into, thank you so much all... Right better get that appeal form filled out....

Periwinkle007 Wed 23-Oct-13 12:20:33

round us 32 is standard from Yr3 and quite a few schools seem to have 35 as their maximum now from Yr3.

Jugjeet Wed 23-Oct-13 13:21:44

That's good to know... I should have put in an appeal last month but was advised to wait to see if some kids didn't turn up for start of term...

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