Appeal for primary year 3 class

(24 Posts)
LegoLover1986 Mon 25-Apr-16 13:48:51

Hi i was just wondering if anybody had any advice on appealing for a year 3 class. My son is currently in year 2 moving to year 3 in September. He and I have had so many issues with his current school it has got to the point were both of us want him to move, hes deeply unhappy here and its affecting me greatly. I have had to put an appeal to my council as the school i wish him to attend is full, he has been on the waiting list for over 18 months and also on other waiting lists in the area. I know my appeal is a prejudice one rather than a infant class size appeal so i am trying to convey the best i can how the school better suits his needs. The school in question is a non religious school in my catchment area and is the one i hope my younger son will attend come September 2017. I have tried to resolve the issues with my current school with meetings with the teachers, head and deputy head i see no real solution has come from these meetings. I am looking for any advice that will help my appeal. i have gone through the preferred schools prospectus and highlighted things they offer that will better suit my child than were he is now hes been classes as able,gifted and talented but current school is not offering anything to encourage or work to stimulate him to this level. In the last 2 years at current schools hes had 7 yes 7 teachers the morale in the school is very low and hes no stability . Were he is now is also a Catholic school something which my son is struggling with as he has very firm beliefs that there is no such thing as god and Jesus and prefers to use logic to understand things. The school i am appealing for has great league table results and a reputation for good quality stable teaching. They offer a curriculum which supplements the national curriculum but offers extra skills . My son also has friends who attend this school so that would help the transition as hes not really made many friends in 3 years in current school another reason id like him to move. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a stressed Mum sad

tiggytape Mon 25-Apr-16 14:40:19

i have gone through the preferred schools prospectus and highlighted things they offer that will better suit my child than were he is now hes been classes as able,gifted and talented but current school is not offering anything to encourage or work to stimulate him to this level.
All of these things will help a Year 3 appeal. The website and newsletters can also be a good source of information on trips and clubs etc that might benefit him

Hard as it is though really try not to mention his current school too much. Obviously you wouldn't be appealing for another school if you were delighted with it but the appeal is not about how unsuitable his current school is, only about why the new school would suit him so well and meet his needs and interests best.

You can also see if you can chip away a little at the school's case not to admit him. Is it a big school? Does any other year group have more than 30 per class? If for example Year 5 has an extra child per class with no problems, you could argue that Year 3 could possibly cope with the same.

LegoLover1986 Mon 25-Apr-16 15:02:32

I am currently waiting for my admissions office to supply me with the info on pupil numbers and PAN but it's taking a very long time and lots of phone calls to get anything from them. In fact it feels like they are sticking their heals in the mud. The head at the school I am appealing for has told me he is at his PAN for this particular year as iv emailed him but I have no data as of yet to look through. I know somebody has won a appeal in a KS1 class for this school which I know is much harder to do. I know not to emphasise too much on previous school but I think with regards to the Catholic teachings he's really taken a disliking to I feel I need to mention so I can say how this school is better suited in this sense

admission Mon 25-Apr-16 16:12:55

Mentioning catholic teachings is a potentially high risk strategy. If there is nobody on the panel with any particular religious leanings, then mentioning catholic teaching will not be a problem probably. But if you happen to have a panel where there is someone who is religious (but not necessarily catholic) then you could set negative thoughts in their mind, when you need them to be thinking positively about you.
When you say that you have had dealings with the current school over issues, do you have any letters or emails from the school that show they are not prepared to consider your issues. If you have, whilst the advice not to be negative about the school is sound ans sensible, it would be useful to put in as part of your evidence a single item. In many appeals, the panel accepts there has been a difference of opinion between parent and school but sometimes it is worth just illustrating the depth of the breakdown. But it must be something in writing from the current school effectively saying we are not going to do that for your child.

LegoLover1986 Mon 25-Apr-16 17:03:49

Thanks for your input admissions and while I see were you are coming from regarding the religion of the panel this should not play a factor in their decision. They are meant to be impartial and competely neutral. I am not going in there to completely bad mouth the Catholic way of education I myself am a Catholic. Not a practising one, but one nether the less and while this way of education has not bothered or affected me it does not suit my son who is the main reason for all this. I believe he's entitled to his opinions on the faith but obviously it isn't something he's encouraged to have or openly express in school. Where as a school with no religion would allow the freedom of expression of his opinions on the matter.

With regards to the school and having and written proof I have no written proof of any of the issues they have been discussed over several occasions and meetings. No school is going to openly admit in writing that they are failing a child. And I really don't want to go in there and spend all my time reflecting on the bad because he may have to stay if I'm unsuccessful sad

prh47bridge Mon 25-Apr-16 18:00:30

Admission is a panel member.

Appeal panels are human. They are impartial but they have their own views. It is possible they may have some remote links with your son's current school. They may be Catholic themselves. If you get their backs up they may be less inclined to give you the benefit of any doubt. I would therefore agree with Admission that mentioning Catholic teachings is potentially a high risk strategy. If you have a case that is clearly stronger than the case to refuse admission it won't matter. But if it is close it could make the difference between success and failure.

Of course schools aren't going to admit in writing that they are failing a child. But they will generally respond to letters from parents. If you could produce written evidence to show you had attempted to discuss the issues with the current school and they had failed to address your concerns that would help your appeal. Without that the appeal panel may well be sceptical of your evidence about issues. Most appeal panellists have come across parents making up claims about their child's current school thinking it will help them win appeals.

On the information you have posted so far your strongest point is anything you can find offered by the appeal school that is missing from your son's current school and which is particularly relevant to him. The issues could be a strong point if you can generate some written evidence. Write to the school now (email will do). You can use that and any reply the school send as evidence.

LegoLover1986 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:30:31

I will bare it in mind. But it's relevant to my appeal as it adds to the unhappiness of my son at the moment. I feel I would be discriminated against if I was not allowed to express this as a reason. I will unfortunately not be able to provide proof from current school regarding issues as the head teacher sees no issues with the structure of the school and blames teachers leaving on "teachers leave the proffesion all the time" . But I know this is not true as other schools aren't loosing teachers at the rate this one is and thereading is a lot of unhappy parents who feel they also are not being listened to. But this isn't something I'm going to start going into at a situation such as this. Other issues I have are more down to my son not really forming any bonds with his class mates I have no evidence of bullying but he himself feels as though he doesn't not fit in and choses to play alone.

The only paper work I have is a printed version of the chosen school prospectus with highlighted parts of what they can offer my son no other school can. A printed out comparison of both the schools league table and a letter from current school acknowledging he is AGT and promises of classes to tie in with this. Which hasn't happened since I got the letter 12 months ago

LegoLover1986 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:57:50

I really do appreciate all your inputs it will help to have all these view points as I don't really know what to expect on the day or who will make up the panel. I have already submitted my appeal application and have mentioned the religion issues but maybe I won't draw upon them on the day unless I am asked.

Have any parents been through an appeal of this type for a Junior class. Without moving house as a reason just really unhappy child and parent with current school

admission Mon 25-Apr-16 20:52:00

OP your type of appeal happens all the time, so do not believe that you are on your own in that sense.
The panel will always be 3 people who have had training in admission processes and law and understand the issues. Unfortunately we are also required to abide by the law and there are cases when we would want to admit and cannot (this is mainly infant class size regs cases.)
In your case as a year 3 it will be about the strength of the case the school can put up not to admit further pupils and your case for why your child should be given a place at the school.

LegoLover1986 Mon 25-Apr-16 21:20:18

Admissions thank you. Can you recommend and further action I can take to strengthen my case. I have visited the school I am appealing for with my younger son in mind for when I can apply for his place come September. I have gone through the website and prospectus with a fine tooth comb to illustrate how they can help my son thrive to his full potential. I have mentioned he struggles greatly with his social skills but already has friends from out street and a very good friend in his year so has requested he has this school so he at least knows someone who can show him around. It's within walking distance from my house. I need to find out actual numbers still but if the school is at full PAN for every year am I likely to be unsuccessful

PanelChair Mon 25-Apr-16 23:08:12

Has the LEA confirmed that they are treating this as an application and therefore an appeal for Y3 in September?

I admit I haven't gone back to check what the code says about advance/prospective applications, but I would have expected the LEA to treat this as an in-year application/appeal for a Y2 place now, rather than for a Y3 place in September. Usually, if you win an appeal, you're expected to take up the place very quickly: have the LEA confirmed that you'd be allowed to delay for 5 months?

I may be overlooking something, but this all sounds a bit odd to me.

LegoLover1986 Tue 26-Apr-16 06:16:40

My appeal hearing is in July. Iv submitted my appeal and have until the end of May to add anything extra. Therefore any outcome would be at the end of the summer term. So my son would start in September

SavoyCabbage Tue 26-Apr-16 06:57:29

I did an in year appeal for a year four place this year. I had lots of great advice from the people on here. It was successful thank goodness and I absolutely understand you talking about how slow the process seems to be. I found the admissions at the council to be spectacularly unhelpful. If I hadn't had help on here and a brain in my head I don't think I could have navigated my way through it all.

At my appeal there was much talk of square footage and fire exits. Numbers of teaching assistants. Why another class was over thirty. That sort of thing.

I tried to keep things on a practical level even though it's a very emotional thing. I did cry my eyes out on the way home though.

SavoyCabbage Tue 26-Apr-16 06:57:40

I did an in year appeal for a year four place this year. I had lots of great advice from the people on here. It was successful thank goodness and I absolutely understand you talking about how slow the process seems to be. I found the admissions at the council to be spectacularly unhelpful. If I hadn't had help on here and a brain in my head I don't think I could have navigated my way through it all.

At my appeal there was much talk of square footage and fire exits. Numbers of teaching assistants. Why another class was over thirty. That sort of thing.

I tried to keep things on a practical level even though it's a very emotional thing. I did cry my eyes out on the way home though.

LegoLover1986 Tue 26-Apr-16 07:45:25

SavoyCanbbage I already expect I will cry. It's been a very tough time for me with all the stress with current school. It's such a big part of their lives at 7 years old he shouldn't be having such a tough time at school it should be enjoyable . Iv been ringing my LEA for over a year asking them for help they never do. They won't tell me where has space or even try and help they say it's down to me to ring places so I have been and everywhere is full. There has been a very big housing development in my area we are talking thousands of housesand it's still going which is putting enormous pressure on the schools they are all fit to bursting. I know the school I'm appealing for goes up to 37 in other years but I'm not 100% sure if this is the case for the year I'm appealing for. If it is I don't see myself being successful and I can completely understand that, 38 is too much in one classroom but as nobody is willing to give me the numbers until the school gives me their argument against my appeal I'm going off hearsay

PanelChair Tue 26-Apr-16 09:29:54

The cohort for which you're appealing is currently in Y2 and so still covered by the infant class size rules. They may have (say) 31 pupils in the class is one has been admitted on appeal or via the fair access protocol, but you can be pretty sure the class will be nowhere near 37.

LegoLover1986 Tue 26-Apr-16 09:45:05

I have been told my appeal is for a year 3 class. It's being heard at the end of the summer term so my child will be going into year 3 once the appeal have made their decision

prh47bridge Tue 26-Apr-16 10:06:06

Just noticed your mention of the league table. That is something else to keep away from in appeals. School A might be higher placed in the league table than school B but that does not give grounds for pupils at school B to appeal for school A. Appeal panels ignore league tables. Putting it forwards may come across as saying that the current school isn't good enough for your son. That may well be the subtext but it isn't going to endear you to the panel, particularly if any of them have a connection with the current school.

LegoLover1986 Tue 26-Apr-16 10:26:08

Thanks will stay clear of that

LegoLover1986 Tue 26-Apr-16 14:26:11

Iv managed to find out from Google that the school I am appealing to has 252 students on roll.

They have a structure like this

Reception
Year 1
Year 2
Year 1/2

Year 3
Year 4
Year 3/4

Year 5
Year 6
Year 5/6

Even if all these classes are full at 30 children per class that would surely mean that there are 300 students on roll.?? Am I right in thinking the head may have exaggerated the truth slightly about the classes being full at 37 in some ???

LegoLover1986 Tue 26-Apr-16 14:44:45

Ignore mylast comment my friend has corrected me on the schools classes there are 8 in total not 10. So it's right they are full sad

PanelChair Tue 26-Apr-16 16:34:10

Yes, I understand that you are appealing for a place in Y3. But you were also speculating about how many are in that year group and my point was that it is very unlikely at the moment that it is more than 30 (or 45 if, as the class format suggests, the PAN is 45).

LegoLover1986 Tue 26-Apr-16 17:07:06

The actual class format is this . I was told by a mum of the school

Reception
Reception / year 1
Year 1/ Year 2
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6

The previous classes I mentioned were for years to come as they are undergoing building works to expand

PanelChair Wed 27-Apr-16 00:04:46

So that looks as if they are moving from having 1 class (PAN of 30 children) in each year group to 1.5 classes (PAN of 45 children). The school should be able to confirm that, and actual numbers.

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