Posted yesterday about my son not getting in same school as his sibling - just found out a child lower down the priority list has been offered a place

(22 Posts)
OhForFrigSake Tue 19-Apr-16 11:14:52

...just that really.

We're out of catchment but do have a sibling in the school (currently reception will be year 1 when DS2 enters reception). Was not offered a place at the school.

Have found out today that another child outside the catchment who doesn't have a sibling in the school has been offered a place.

Where does this leave me in terms of appeal? It makes a mockery of the whole criteria system.

My son is currently second on the waiting list so was hoping we might get in via that means but wondering now if we'll be able to appeal?

superram Tue 19-Apr-16 11:16:52

It means they have a special need or looked after or have a medical or social need that your child doesn't have.

Overrunwithlego Tue 19-Apr-16 11:17:35

You need to check with the council. if it is as you say then it sounds like they have made a mistake that will need to be rectified. However the other child may have been in a higher category for a reason you are unaware of (e.g previously looked after).

gallicgirl Tue 19-Apr-16 11:19:15

Are you sure the child doesn't qualify on a criteria that goes above out of catchment siblings? He could be looked after or have medical needs that you're unaware of.

It's worth asking the question of admissions but they won't be able to give you specifics about individuals.

If the local authority have applied the admissions criteria incorrectly, then yes, you should appeal.

Lucsy Tue 19-Apr-16 11:22:33

You can ask the council. But I doubt they will tell you under which criteria this child was offered a place. It's their private info and data protection.
As pp said. It's probably that he has a place under social/medical/lac.

If you think they have somehow cheated the system and that has denied your child a place then I don't think you have anything to lose by questioning it with the LA. They won't tell you about the child, but it may encourage them to look at his application again if you think there is a possibility of admission fraud.

It's rare that the LA would have made an error.

tiggytape Tue 19-Apr-16 11:22:41

I am assuming distance is one of the tie breakers i.e. people outside catchment but living closer to the school should get priority for places over people who are also outside catchment but further away?
If so this might indicate a mistake.

When you say "closer" though it has to be how the council define closer not how you define it. For example some councils using shortest safe walking route and some use 'as the crow flies'

You probably need to contact the council now and find out the last distance offered this year for an out of catchment child and ask why you have not got an offer if you are closer than that.

It may be that the council made a mistake with your address but it is more likely that the child living further away does genuinely beat you to a place eg has a statement naming the school, is adopted from care or has a medical or social reason that gives them priority.

tiggytape Tue 19-Apr-16 11:25:28

Sorry - as you have a sibling, I assume you should be a higher category than them regardless of how far out of catchment they live?
In that case, do check the last distance offered and ask the council to check your details but in all likelihood it sounds like this child must fulfill one of the very highest admissions criteria above all siblings and distance considerations.

OhForFrigSake Tue 19-Apr-16 11:27:08

I'm fairly sure that there are no factors such as medical problems etc. The parent has been fairly open about how shocked she was to get in given that they are outside of the catchment without siblings. They didn't even list the school as their first choice.

I have let the council know and they are investigating it so I suppose I will find out in due course.

kilmuir Tue 19-Apr-16 11:29:19

Geee does this mean child will have place taken from them?

OhForFrigSake Tue 19-Apr-16 11:33:09

I don't want that Kilmuir and certainly if the child has special needs that mean they come higher up the list I obviously understand that - it's right and fair. But, if my son has been denied a place at the school because the LEA has cocked up, I don't think that's fair at all.

cleanandclothed Tue 19-Apr-16 11:40:23

Worth checking. Last year there was a school near to us where the LA mistakenly completely ignored the sibling criteria, and so around 15 siblings missed out on places that they should have got. The school and the LA realised pretty quickly and it ended up with the school taking an extra class for that year. So mistakes are v rare but not impossible.

meditrina Tue 19-Apr-16 11:42:54

It's unlikely that, even if the offer was made in error, that it will be taken away for that can only be done so if it is done very quickly (no longer tightly defined, but probably still only a matter of days), so unless the investigation is very speedy it can't happen. And doesn't have to happen at all (because the knock on effects on the school from which that child should have received an offer if the mistake had not happened and what it means for the next school etc all get a bit complicated) because an error which deprived a child of a place is grounds to go over numbers.

If it is this one error, it won't help OP, because the child deprived of the place is the one at the top of the waiting list, and she has said she was at number 2. The class size now being 31, two DC have to leave before they can reoffer a place.

But investigating one mistake might surface others, so it's wait and see.

Potterwolfie Tue 19-Apr-16 11:45:59

As someone who went through an appeal last year (secondary, successful) my advice would be to get everything together now if you're planning to appeal, read the book 'how to win your school appeal' and follow guidance in it, especially when compiling your supporting documents, and seek advice from the excellent, knowledgeable advisors on here.

Keep all paperwork, get names of people you speak to at the admissions authority and try to use email where possible so you have written evidence of conversations.

t4gnut Tue 19-Apr-16 11:49:11

Secondary appeals are very different from primary appeals.

Lucsy Tue 19-Apr-16 11:52:16

Op just a thought. My daughter for a place at her secondary school under exceptional and compelling criteria.
Nobody knows why she got a place and people ask me how. I don't tell them because it's personal and I don't want to have to explain.
Perhaps something like that is at play ?

OhForFrigSake Tue 19-Apr-16 11:54:07

It was only yesterday that we all found out and when I rang the woman I spoke to seemed flustered - she took my details and said she'd contact me in in the next 48 hours. Will be interesting to see what happens now.

I do wonder if they've made an error like this, they've made others this year?

Owllady Tue 19-Apr-16 11:54:59

Has the child ever been a 'looked after' child?
Not that it's any of your business (no offence intended)

OhForFrigSake Tue 19-Apr-16 11:55:46

No I don't think so Owllady.

meditrina Tue 19-Apr-16 11:57:13

Yes, the key difference is that for appeals for DC in years R, 1 and 2 most are held under Infant Class Size rules (ie maximum 30 pupils per teacher, so admissions numbers usually multiples of 30, or sometimes 15 if they have mixed year group teaching anywhere in those years)

And ICS appeal can only be won if there was a mistake by the admissions authority that deprived the child of a place, or if the entrance criteria were unlawful (eg giving priority to a group they mustn't, or not giving it to a group they must) or if the decision is so perverse it cannot be allowed to stand (threshold high, eg child protection issues, or child that needs to use a wheel chair being allocated a school where the doors aren't wide enough).

For primary yr3 and above and all secondary appeals, those are ways to win, but in addition there is 'balance of prejudice' ie demonstrating that the detriment to your DC in not attending this school is greater than the detriment to all the other pupils by admitting over the planned numbers.

Enkopkaffetak Tue 26-Apr-16 10:44:30

Did you get a call back op?

OhForFrigSake Tue 26-Apr-16 11:13:18

Hi there, it turns out the mother of the child who thought she was out of catchment was actually just within the catchment area.

Enkopkaffetak Tue 26-Apr-16 19:01:35

Oh not so good for you sadly. Hope it works out for you on waiting list.

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