Y3 In-Year Appeal Help Please!(5 Posts)
Hello, looking for some advice regarding an in-year appeal. Much of what I write here forms the body of the reasons for our appeal. If anyone has any help/advice/views on what we can add/omit etc it would be very much appreciated! DS has been on a reserve list for 2 years but we haven’t appealed before because we are aware of the infant class size rule and knew there wasn’t any point. He is now in Y3. He has 2 siblings attending the school we would like him to attend. It is nearer to our home address than school he currently attends and having 3 children at 2 different schools in completely opposite directions to our home address is challenging to negotiate and stressful for the children. Our eldest son invariably has to make his own way to/from school and with the darker evenings this is not something we really want him to be doing.
DS has a speech disorder and has been diagnosed with verbal dyspraxic tendencies. He is also seeing a speech therapist for dysfluency and a stammer. His development in this area is very much linked to his confidence and willingness to communicate with adults and his peers. Whilst his current school has worked very hard at building his confidence, DS has found the social side of school hard to become a part of. We believe being part of a school community that includes his siblings would help to build his confidence in communicating with his peers, in making friends and in becoming part of a social side of school he hasn’t really experienced. This, in turn, would go towards improving his dysfluency and stammer. The more he communicates the better it becomes.
DS has been diagnosed with visual stress and a dyslexia assessment has been recommended. This is currently being looked into but he has certainly found phonics and learning to read extremely challenging. He has become aware of his differences to many of his peers over the course of this year and this, coupled with his siblings being at a different school to him makes him feel isolated and anxious. This will sometimes manifest itself in frustration and distress. Psychologically we believe DS is suffering being in a different school to his siblings. He is aware of being on a reserve list for the school so is perhaps unwilling to make friendships in his current school as he knows it might only be for the short term. It is very unsettling for him. Attending a different school to his siblings together with the differences he experiences with his speech disorder and other learning needs is denting his confidence and he has openly expressed to us how he isn’t as good as them (his siblings), other children in his class, and that’s he’s ‘a loser’. One area that DS excels in is sport. He is very talented at football and cricket. When he plays sport DS is equal to the other children, he blossoms, and his confidence is tangible. His current school offers 1 lunchtime cricket club and 1 after school tag rugby club. Both of which he attends and enjoys. School we would like him to attend offers over 17 different sports clubs for children across the school. They hold the Silver Kitemark Award for School Games which recognises their commitment to PE and Sport. DS would flourish in this environment.
DS needs support and to feel part of a school family to best achieve. We believe if he is part of a school that includes his own family it will provide him with an environment where he feels confident, happy and safe thus enabling him to progress in terms of speech, literacy and social skills.
Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. Also, what can I expect in the appeal hearing?
You might be over-emphasising the need to be with his siblings. I accept this is important but you need to not say it too often.
Believe you are on the right lines with regard to sports clubs, would be useful to include a screen shot off the preferred school website talking about all the sports etc. It would be good to find something else that is available at the preferred school that is not available. For instance are they by chance a dyslexia friendly school?
Does he have friends locally that go to the school you want, if so that is always worth putting down that the new school will help his social development and give him a wider local circle of friends.
There is a set procedure to the proceedings and you will receive all the papers from the admission authority about 7 days before explaining why they cannot possibly admit your son - do not take it to heart, it is a standard type of document and is not just about your son. In the hearing you will first hear what the admission authority have to say in presenting their case. You can ask questions around their case, as will the panel. You then have to opportunity to say what you want to say and also for the admission authority and panel members to ask questions. It is a good idea to write down what you want to say and stick to that as far as possible. Experience of sitting on panels says that many parents get too emotional and consequently do not present the facts as well as they could. Panels will understand you being nervous.
Please do not bring anything like photos of your son, many panel members find that very off-putting and to some extent that you are trying to blackmail them into saying yes.
That is so helpful, thank you! I'll delete some of the sibling stuff. Will do the screen shot. Not sure about how good their help for dyslexia is but will make enquiries. He does have friends that go to the school so will mention that. Is what I want to say at the hearing basically what I'm sending in the appeal application? Also, at his next speech therapy session I thought I'd ask his therapist if there was anything she could put down in writing that might back the case I'm trying to make regarding the social side of school helping to improve his dysfluency etc. Many thanks again.
Yes you are in effect repeating what you have said in you written submission. If you introduce new issues at the hearing you rum a risk of the meeting being adjourned so that the admission authority can consider what you have said.
You do not need to repeat word by word. I would just bring their attention to the main points and refer to the written submission for more detail. The panel will ask questions if they are not sure about something you say.
Getting the therapist or any consultant to say something is a two edged sword. Panels are told that they can not give any weight to a letter which says "Mrs X tells me that". It has got to be saying "in my professional opinion, having worked with ...... " and it has to be about why the preferred school is the best school for your child, not because mother wants to get all the children in one school. So it might be a lot of effort for very little unless the therapist is willing to confirm that they are very clear that the preferred school is the best school for child. I do not think that they could say that from your posts.
Having said that I would ask the therapist about the situation - you never know what other facts might come out from the conversation.
Agree with admission that it would be helpful if there were other aspects of the school, apart from his siblings being there, that might help with some of the additional support he requires. Your sports example is a good one. Is there something similar with regards to his dysfluency - a specialist TA, a programme of intervention, speech and language support that that appeal school offers that would be of benefit? If so it is definitely worth mentioning. The same would be true of any specialist provision or extra interventions they can offer for children struggling with phonics or other challenges that he faces. Really anything that matches what your DS needs with what the school can offer which may differ to other provisions is good.
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