admissions nightmare

(40 Posts)
jenkins32 Sat 19-Apr-14 22:32:01

Help! I'm looking for advice my daughter did not get in her preferred school with her sibling (out of catchment) or any of her other preferred school and I didn't but the catchment school down (foolishly) and she got a space at a school 14 miles from the older siblings school my kids are only 4 and 5 so there is no way I can take them both to school at the same time etc... All the schools have no spaces so I am trying to get on as many waiting lists as possible and appealing. Her catchment school only has 57 for its pan 2014 what does this mean as the classes don't have 30 kids in surely it meant there was space for her?? Does anyone n
Know why they didn't give her a space there and instead allocated a space in a school miles away?? In the schools website it says its classes average 25??

knitcorner Sat 19-Apr-14 22:40:25

What's wrong with your catchment school? It sounds like a free school with only 25 kids per class, that's good isn't it? Why don't you get both of your kids down on the waiting list for that school?

tiggytape Sat 19-Apr-14 22:51:07

30 is the maximum number allowed. That doesn't mean every school will have 30 children per class. Some schools have less than that especially if classrooms are small or space is an issue.

The PAN is the number of children the school intends to take per year group. It might be 30 per class or less than 30 per class. If the overall PAN is 57 that seems like a very odd number but it isn't impossible for it to be correct and for the school to be classed as full. Once PAN is reached, they don't allocate more children to that school.

Where the school has less than 30 children per class, an appeal is much easier to win. You need to explain why your child needs or would benefit from a place at the school and why this outweighs any problems the school might experience from having to take one more child.
Generally transport issues are not something that will win an appeal but if you have been given an allocation 14 miles away then that is worth raising alongside your other points as a panel may consider that to be an exceptional / unreasonable case.

jenkins32 Sat 19-Apr-14 22:53:20

Locally its known for not being great and it has no outdoor space playing fields etc. If it only takes 25 per class does that mean they won,t take no more?

whatcolour Sat 19-Apr-14 22:54:07

14miles is ridiculous

knitcorner Sat 19-Apr-14 23:04:06

Yep 14 miles IS ridiculous!

titchy Sat 19-Apr-14 23:08:10

Agree 14 miles ridiculous, but the lea would provide free transport for your child.

jenkins32 Sat 19-Apr-14 23:12:07

I don't know what I will do if I can't get a school closer how can I get a 4 and 5 year old to two separate schools 14 miles away at the same time in rush hour traffic I know its not class as unreasonable on the grounds of an appeals but it is impossible by any means?? If I don't get a school on a waiting list what else can I do I will have to give up work!!

Blu Sat 19-Apr-14 23:13:06

They presumably didn't allocate her a place at the catchment school because all the places were filled with people who did out it in the list. They woeful allocate places at your catchment school to everyone who had listed it and don't get offered a place at any higher preference, and only then make places available to people like you who had no offer. But presumably all the places were filled and so they found a place in a school which was not over-subscribed.

You can go on the waiting list for your catchment school, and will hopefully be in with a good chance if you live close. You can go on the waiting list for other schools that would be acceptable to you and are closer than 14 miles, too.

jenkins32 Sat 19-Apr-14 23:13:41

Yes but she will be 5 she can't travel alone and the other child will need me with her too and then. I got work so school transport would not work?

Blu Sat 19-Apr-14 23:14:09

Titchy, they might not provide fee transport if you didn't list your catchment school.

jenkins32 Sat 19-Apr-14 23:15:08

Waiting list are my only hope :-(

PatriciaHolm Sat 19-Apr-14 23:20:07

Transport may well be a taxi with an accredited driver, so you would be expected to let her travel alone in that case. Definitely get on the waiting lists of all schools you would accept!

prh47bridge Sun 20-Apr-14 00:03:48

For those saying 14 miles is ridiculous note that this is 14 miles from the older siblings school, not 14 miles from home.

The waiting list is not your only hope. As tiggytape says, a PAN of 57 is unusual but nothing wrong with it. The good news is that it is almost an open invitation to the appeal panel to admit 3 more pupils each year. It means that the appeal will almost certainly not be an infant class size case so, as long as you can make a decent case as to why this is the right school for your daughter you have a chance of winning. You can mention the transport difficulties but you are very unlikely to win on that basis. You need to make a positive case as to why your daughter needs this school.

Tulipsandclogs Sun 20-Apr-14 00:30:08

I believe 'out of catchment siblings have priority over 'catchment non siblings' (first timers). Speak with head, have daughters name on school list as waiting for space. Also am I right on thinking overall school numbers can be taken into account? Meaning if the whole school has say room for 102 pupils, if it is at 100 overall they can take extra? I have children in years 1, 2 and 3, our youngest didn't get a space originally, my appeal was 8 pages.. They are to young in my opinion to send off to different schools, they both need mummy at the school gates! Keep head and the head of governors up to speed with your appeal.. 'Those that shout loudest' in our case, by chance after spending a very stressful few weeks it was discovered a family from out of catchment had rented a house in the village for the address to secure a space! Can you hold your little one back a little? Not in Hertfordshire by any chance? Feel your pain..

ProudAS Sun 20-Apr-14 07:40:20

Tulips - each admissions authority sets its own oversubscription criteria so the OP's preferred school may prioritise differently to the one your DCs attend.

Jenkins - IIRC the LA will be required to provide transport for your DD to an alternative school if it's over statutory walking distance and all the nearer ones are full up for her year group.

Nennypops Sun 20-Apr-14 08:04:41

Titchy, they might not provide fee transport if you didn't list your catchment school.

Not so. They have to provide transport if the nearest suitable school is over 2 miles away (3 miles for older children). If the catchment school is full they can't claim that the OP's children should be placed there.

AuntieStella Sun 20-Apr-14 08:12:59

"Titchy, they might not provide fee transport if you didn't list your catchment school."

They could claim exactly that. If you do not apply for your closest schools (whether formal catchment or not), but would have secured a place if you did, then they do not have to pay for transport. As church-going families whose nearest faith school is not their nearest school also find out. Very few LEAs offer more than the statutory minimum these days.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Apr-14 08:27:06

" 'Those that shout loudest' in our case, by chance after spending a very stressful few weeks it was discovered a family from out of catchment had rented a house in the village for the address to secure a space! "

Then didn't you get the place from being top of the waiting list, not from shouting the loudest?

tobysmum77 Sun 20-Apr-14 08:58:45

just decline it and go on all the waiting lists. There is no legal requirement to start school until the term after 5th birthday. children will move around and places will come up. At catchment school you are likely to be top of the list.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Apr-14 09:01:01

There is NO benefit in declining it - the position on the waiting list won't be affected and once OP gets another place she can decline then.

whatcolour Sun 20-Apr-14 09:04:50

Do not decline now unless you want to pay or home educate !

tobysmum77 Sun 20-Apr-14 09:20:35

ok so accept but then don't send dc probably better idea

tiggytape Sun 20-Apr-14 10:43:23

For those saying 14 miles is ridiculous note that this is 14 miles from the older siblings school, not 14 miles from home.
Ahhhh. O.K prh - yes that makes a difference. If the older child is already sent miles from home, the younger child's allocation would not need to be that far from home to make the total distance between them add up to 14 miles.

Also am I right on thinking overall school numbers can be taken into account?
Not if there are 30 already per class in YR-Y2. The legal limit for children this age concerns their class sizes only so, even if the rest of the school is half empty, it wouldn't help. However an appeal at the school with a PAN of 57 is certainly worth pursuing as prh says because potentially 3 spaces are possible if a panel agrees.

Blu Sun 20-Apr-14 12:16:52

But if you get catchment school you will still have children at different schools.

Is there any chance of getting a place at DC1 school? How did dc1 get a place there? Do you know how far down that waiting list you are?

Nennypops: if the schools closest are unable to offer a place then the LEA have to provide transport, but not if you haven't applied to a catchment or closest school that you would have got into. Otherwise all parents who chose and got a place in a school miles away would be getting free transport.

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