Appealing school place please help

(23 Posts)
Charlotteb30 Fri 22-Jul-16 14:38:19

Hi there,

Landlord has decided to sell up so we have had to move 5 miles down the road and with no car can't keep the kids at their current school. All very gutting. So honestly problems we have:

Eldest has a year 3 place at local school that's 0.2 miles from the house

Youngest hasn't got a year 1 place due to them being at their 60 Max intake.

We are appealing because:

1. We have no car to get us to his current primary.
2. The bus and walk will take 40 mins 1 way so we will be travelling 2 hours plus a day to collect him.
3. The weekly bus passes cost £39 a week for the tickets we would need.
4. He would be late to school every day due to dropping his brother off first and need after school club at £55 a week as we'd always be late collecting him.
5. That's £90+ a week to get him to school!

Appeals not until 26th September!! How can they expect him to be without education for a month? We can't afford to take him to school! I know places May come up over the summer, but what if they don't? Can they do anything sooner? Can the council force them to take him without appeal?

Are we likely to even win an appeal?

Any help greatly received!

titchy Fri 22-Jul-16 14:50:09

Not likely to win an appeal with those reasons no. Ask council for a list of schools with vacancies for all of them. They are obliged to find places for them all and if over 2 miles (maybe 3 for the oldest) they have to provide transport.

A journey of 40 minutes each way is deemed perfectly acceptable by the way. A pain in the arse for you, but doable for the kids. Can't you keep them at current school and try and appeal for some sort of transport subsidy.

LIZS Fri 22-Jul-16 15:03:08

Sorry but logistics and cost won't win an infant class size appeal. Have you been offered anywhere closer? Apart from that are there any compelling reasons that this school is the only one to cater for your dc!

Charlotteb30 Fri 22-Jul-16 15:15:37

At the age of 5 that is not acceptable. We have applied for 8 schools and none have spaces for both. Financially we cannot afford to keep them there.
My eldest has sensory processing issues and that journey is too much for him. They need a closer school. I guess we will have to wait and see 😔

LIZS Fri 22-Jul-16 15:17:18

But you don't have the right to have them at the same school, convenient though it maybe. Do any other closer schools have a y1 place while you are on waiting list.

PatriciaHolm Fri 22-Jul-16 15:24:01

If there is a closer school with a place for him, then that is all the council need to offer you. They don't have to put the children in the same school, just offer a space for each.

An appeal on ICS grounds can only be won if the admissions authority made a mistake; the admissions criteria are unlawful; or the decision not to admit is so unreasonable that no sensible person would make it (this is a very high barrier). Logistics don't come into it I'm afraid. You should ensure that both children are on all applicable waiting lists.

Charlotteb30 Fri 22-Jul-16 16:50:30

Literally no schools have any spaces that are closer. Hence the reason why we are appealing this one as it makes sense to considering his brother is there.
Other people in the local area have won spaces over the max so I'm hoping we will I really don't see how being £400 worse off a month can't be a compelling reason? The fact we literally can't afford to send him to school. I'm not getting at any of you, I'm cross with the whole system in general.

Charlotteb30 Fri 22-Jul-16 16:53:49

I have refusal letters back from most of the schools between New address and current school. Others I can get then from I'm sure. It's easy for people who don't have kids in 2 separate schools to say that's acceptable. It isn't. It's not only getting them to school it's things like parents evenings and extra curricular stuff. Kids gonna suffer if we can't get there. The whole system is flawed in the fact that the whole area is over subscribed and so therefore the brand spanking new housing estate we've moved to doesn't have enough spaces to cater for the families moving in. Huge huge problem and no plan to build another school. It's crazy!

eddiemairswife Fri 22-Jul-16 17:11:11

The LA can't build new schools. The Government policy seems to be that interested (or desperate) parents should get together to create a free school. No help to you I'm afraid. There are many parents in a similar position. If there is no nearer place for your younger child the LA might provide him with a bus pass.

irvineoneohone Fri 22-Jul-16 17:17:11

You say no car but didn't say you can't drive. If you potentially have to pay £400 extra, can you buy a car in stead? Then you can take both children to old school?

Charlotteb30 Fri 22-Jul-16 17:25:01

Neither of us drive or hold a license and physically don't have £400 a month to pay on a car, learning to drive or get youngest to school.

irvineoneohone Fri 22-Jul-16 17:33:08

I'm sorry, it was just a thought.
This system really sucks, doesn't it?
Hope you get a preferable result.

Charlotteb30 Fri 22-Jul-16 17:53:18

Please don't apologise thanks for the suggestion. It really does, the schools can't cope with the size of the new houses being built and the whole area therefore is over subscribed. It's just madness x

alltouchedout Fri 22-Jul-16 18:05:13

Your younger child should be eligible for funded transport, unless I have misunderstood the distances in your post. Children aged under 8 qualify if the nearest school with a place is 2+ miles away, over 8 if it's 3+ miles away. Your elder child would not be eligible as he has a place at the school close to your new address. www.gov.uk/free-school-transport

I agree the system is a mess and that it is unreasonable to expect you to get two children to different schools in very different locations at the same time, but others are right- finances and logistics matter not a jot when it comes to appeals. I remember an EWO colleague when I was in a 0-19 team being vile to a woman with three children and no transport who had been allocated place at three schools, all a good 2 miles apart from each other. I had a huge argument with her about it, but she was adamant it was perfectly clear cut- it was the LA's responsibility to find school places and the parent's to get them there, regardless of the difficulties sheer fucking impossibilities involved in doing so.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 22-Jul-16 18:07:01

Not a chance of winning, I appealed am full time wheelchair user two kids in different schools can't get wheelchair on bus , schools are eight mile round trip. Still lost is parental responsibility to get child to school. Dd was given a bus pass though - can't use it due to me not being able to accompany on the bus.
You will get a bus pass for your child so costs will be lower. Also we elder dd is picked up 15 mins earlier from school so solves the after school issue.

WeatherwaxOrOgg Fri 22-Jul-16 18:17:22

The problem with your case is that the KS2 child has a space but the KS1 doesn't.

If it's the same rules as a few years ago, it was that for the KS1 children, 30 a class CANNOT be exceeded. For KS2, though, it can.

If you were appealing the other way around you'd have a chance but I think things are still the same as 2008 and if they are they won't be legally allowed to admit more than 30 per class I'm afraid.

They do have to provide transport though if the school is more than 3 miles away I believe.

WeatherwaxOrOgg Fri 22-Jul-16 18:18:18

*2 miles I mean sorry

ShowOfHands Fri 22-Jul-16 18:21:14

I've just failed an appeal with strong safeguarding issues, the weight of a lot of legislation and evidence. You stand almost no chance on the grounds listed.

lougle Fri 22-Jul-16 22:17:41

It would be cheaper for you to get a car to take him. You can't legally win an ICS appeal on the grounds you have listed. You've lost before you even walk in the room because your grounds don't meet the criteria. Sorry.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 23-Jul-16 06:37:37

Is there a sibling priority? Where is he on the waiting list? His position may change when his brother actually starts if he hasn't already. Check where he is now and ask when his sibling priority will kick into place. Are you in a position to home educate for a while? In a school of 60 places, a child living close and with a sibling should be very close if not at the top of the waiting list. There will be movement at some point and your most likely chance of a place is from the waiting list.

redskytonight Sat 23-Jul-16 16:25:10

I thought the council were obliged to offer you a place for your Y1 child? So where have they offered a place (or was it just the place in his existing school?). As others have said, if the nearest offered school is more than 2 miles away they will have to pay for your transport.

admission Sat 23-Jul-16 20:23:53

The LA is obliged to find your son a place at a school but they are probably hoping that something comes up over the summer period.
When reading your posts I am not convinced you have actually applied for the places for your youngest. Have you formally applied to each school and been turned down or have you just phoned and been told no places.
If you have applied for and been turned down by all the schools then you should appeal for all of them as a matter of course. The other thing that you should do is write to the school admission office of the LA, confirming that you need a place for your youngest from 1st September and that as there are apparently no local places available, you require the LA to consider the use of the Fair Access Protocol to allocate a place. This is a mechanism to allocate places when there are none available and where pupils are losing education time, though some LAs seem quite happy to allow children to be out of school for many weeks before they use this mechanism. In effect it trumps the Infant Class Size Legislation and allows them to admit an extra pupil to the class. What it does not mean is that you will get the same school as brother or even one that close but it should push the LA into doing something.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 23-Jul-16 20:34:32

But they are unlikely to offer a new school under FAP as the existing school is only 5 miles away and 40 minutes by bus. It doesn't seem fair that they don't take travel time and ease of travel into consideration when splitting up siblings but as far as they are concerned, legally they have done their duty.

Worth enquiring about free travel but it might be relevant whether you are voluntarily moving or were evicted. Otherwise lots of people might rent nearby to get into a school and then demand free transport when they move further away. I know OP hasn't done this but I imagine that there are usually safeguards (for LEA) in place.

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