Advice needed. Just received a letter saying no application has been made for a primary school place but i'v made one

(48 Posts)
Yorkstar Sat 09-Feb-13 14:39:35

Has this happened to anybody else before? Iv submitted an application online and the current status says that my choice of schools has received it so why this letter to panic me on a weekend when I can't contact anybody to clear it up! The letter says that they received no application from our address. I think I did everything correctly but this is my first ds so the first time through the whole process. I'm very worried as the letter states that as they have no application from us we may miss out on our first choice of school which is out of catchment. Such a blood nightmare angry

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 14:46:25

Can you still sign in and view it online? if you can take a picture either using a camera of screen cap it.

If theres a reference online write in down.
Did you get a confirmation email when you applied?

Get as much evidence as you can.
Ring them Monday with it all.

If you can prove you applied and they recieved it they HAVE to treat it as an equal application as its their mistake.

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 14:49:00

Sounds like a automated thing sent in error.

Did you get some kind of email receipt when you submitted your application?

annh Sat 09-Feb-13 14:50:25

Where has the letter come from? Is it from the school, it sounds as if it is, otherwise how would anyone know what your first choice is? Is it a faith school for which you should also have completed a supplementary form? Is it possible that you didn't do that?

crazymum53 Sat 09-Feb-13 14:50:35

Did you request a printed paper form that was sent to that address? If you filled in the on-line form instead of returning the printed copy this could be what has generated this letter.
Don't panic if you have the email receipt and reference number that should be OK.

Yorkstar Sat 09-Feb-13 14:58:25

I got a confirmation email yes. Applied middle of December when I had finished viewing all our options. The letter was sent from City of York Council. Iv just logged into my online application and everything is there. My 5 choices and it says the relevant schools have received application. Am desperately hoping it is an admin error.

LIZS Sat 09-Feb-13 14:58:45

Agree with annh that if it is a VA or faith school you may be required to complete a second form and submit direct.

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 15:08:03

It really is just a bug in the system. Get on the phone Monday, but don't lose any sleep over it.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 15:12:58

It is an admin error and even if it isn't then the fact they've sent you a confirmation email means its their fuck up along the line somewhere. Either your application didn't register in their system properly or the latest email is an error.

Either way they can't penalise you for it and you can prove you've done it so I really wouldn't worry. But ring up and talk to someone on Monday and get them to confirm in an emai lwhat they're doing/what they say so again you've got proof.

Yorkstar Sat 09-Feb-13 15:20:12

Not faith schools. Thanks for advice. Will try not to worry too much and will call first thing Monday

admission Sat 09-Feb-13 16:24:05

If you have a formal email confirmation that you have made an application with the 5 schools named, then you should have nothing to worry about, it is an admin c**k up.
There is plenty of time to get this sorted out with the school admission office as they will not be doing the final lists for at least another month.
This is a good example of the need to make sure that you do copy everything. if you did not have the email you would have a real problem to convince the LA and any admission appeal panel that you had applied correctly.

Yorkstar Sat 09-Feb-13 16:53:44

I definitely have email confirmation that iv submitted application but I can't find a reference number? Do others have a reference number and where might I look for it?

EwanHoozami Sat 09-Feb-13 17:24:10

My confirmation email doesn't have a ref number, although I'm in a different council area to you.

This nearly happened to me - a glitch in the system meant that if you went back into the application system to check that you'd applied, even just logging in, it was treated as opening a new application and voided the original one.

Luckily they sent out a reminder to all those with 'open' applications so I called them up and queried it. there must have been hundreds who didn't bother to query thinking that they'd definitely applied so I sense a large headache in the schools admissions department around now.

Yorkstar Sat 09-Feb-13 17:39:45

Oh god. I may well have gone back in to check - it sounds like something I would do. That's fairly poor on their part though if it wasn't made clear that logging to to check the status would be treated as a new application. Iv logged in to my application today and it says my 5 schools have 'received LEA application'.

JenaiMorris Sat 09-Feb-13 17:40:47

Don't panic! As admission says, you've plenty of time to sort this.

notjustamummythankyou Sun 10-Feb-13 14:33:23

Yorkstar - I'm in the York LEA too, and there isn't a reference number on the confirmation email.

I haven't received the same letter as you, but I really wouldn't worry. If your online status says you have applied and you have got the confirmation sent afterwards, then it looks like all is well. Give them a buzz tomorrow morning to check.

nosily wonders what schools the OP has applied for

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 18:34:18

Print out the page with your school choice details from the computer and email it to the LEA

Yorkstar Sun 10-Feb-13 19:29:13

Am armed and ready to call at 8am. This has caused me too much stress this weekend.
not just we are based to the south west of the city smile

notjustamummythankyou Sun 10-Feb-13 19:52:27

Ah! We're north east.

I know the council recommended giving all five options, but I only gave two. We're in the catchment for our preferred school anyway, so fingers crossed it'll all work out. Our second option is only a short walk away and, well, any other options are just too far or, um, not preferable smile .

I'm sure everything will be fine and it's just a bit of an admin error. Come back and tell us what they said!

roadkillbunny Mon 11-Feb-13 00:42:57

I imagine this is nothing but a glitch that will be sorted very quickly on Monday morning however one thing did pop into my mind for you to check, have you double checked your address is entered correctly on the online application and is entered the sand way as it appears on the letter they sent you (eg. The letter says: 6 Any Road York Y35FG and you online application may read: Dunromin, Any Road York Y35FG).
As I say I imagine all is fine and it is a glitch on their end rather then an error on yours (I know I checked and checked and checked ds application last year, paranoid I was! Every time I went fully into it to fully rather then just viewing the over view it re submitted my application and was very clear about that, would have been impossible to accidentally leave the application open and un submitted but different LEA so?) but the address thing keeps popping into head.

Yorkstar Mon 11-Feb-13 08:35:52

Iv phoned City of York council whose number was on the letter to call. I gave ds's name and DOB and they have no records sad
The lady who I spoke to said can I just put another application in. I said no (quite upset on the phone at this point) I said I didn't want it to be treated as a late application when iv already submitted one. I have confirmation of the email and I can log into my online account which still says that the LEA for my 5 preferred choices have received my application. I have asked to speak to somebody who knows more about the process so am awaiting a call. Sat here in tears sad

ImpatientOne Mon 11-Feb-13 08:38:58

Oh that's awful Yorkstar sad

I hope she's just a useless jobs worth and you get someone more helpful on the return call.

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 08:52:46

She's a jobsworth who thinks you're a chancer.

You have that email, you can take a screen shot of the application. It'll be fine.

tiggytape Mon 11-Feb-13 09:01:33

Don't cry Yorkstar - it will get sorted out.
One of the admission experts will help I am sure but in the meantime make sure you have printed out the email confirmation that you have and saved a back-up copy of it too. It is vital that you keep hold of this as it is your proof that the mistake is theirs not yours.

I am certain they will find your application eventually but the absolute worst case scenario (just telling you this to make you feel better - I don't think it will come to this) is that they don't find it, make you apply again and then allocate you a school you don't want a s a result. You would then appeal on the grounds of an LA mistake and you would win. It is about the only time people ever win Infant School Appeals in fact. Admin errors are rare but when they happen, there is a special clause in the Appeals process that enables you to win even though virtually no other set of circumstances succeed at these appeals.
Your child would be admitted even if it breached the class size laws and that it is why it is crucial you keep all your proof and log every telephone call via email

So send an email now to admissions saying 'further to my telephone call with XXXX at 8:15am this morning, I am very concerned to hear that you have no application on file for [insert child's name and DOB]. I assure you the application was made on [insert December date] and that I have email verification that the application was accepted. I will print off and post a copy of that email to you today and would ask that you look into this matter urgently to trace my application. I do not wish to be treated as a late applicant with the disadvantage that brings when in fact I have not applied late and can prove this"

or words to that affect. They've messed up. It will almost certainly be fixed. But, just in case, you need to focus on keeping every piece of proof just in case it comes to appeal and that includes documenting all phone calls.

Yorkstar Mon 11-Feb-13 09:05:01

Thanks for that advice Tiggy I will do that. Still waiting to be called back.

jojane Mon 11-Feb-13 09:11:57

Print off the screen saying they have received you application and list of schools etc too as well a email confirmation

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 09:13:36

They will probably be very busy, so worry too much that they've not called back yet.

Obviously chase them up in an hour or so. Have you checked on the website to see if there are any named contacts? I suspect the person you spoke to is a junior, generalist admin/reception officer fielding calls on anything from refuse collection to housing benefits, rather than an admissions person.

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 09:18:53

Forward a copy of the email to with a description of what's happened.

At least you'll feel like you're doing something while you wait.

Yorkstar Mon 11-Feb-13 09:20:52

The email is sent to my work email address which I have got a record of but not printed off as am at home with children as its my day off. I have no printer here but will do it first thing tomorrow and will follow Tiggy's advice too and write up a summary of the conversation and email it to them. I will call again soon if i do not hear in the next hour

tiggytape Mon 11-Feb-13 09:22:56

Jenai is right - often when you call Admissions the person you speak to is front desk staff so can give general information but might not know more in depth stuff / individual cases.

The screen shot advice is also good so do that too and, when somebody rings you back (or when you call them to chase) get their name, make a note of the time and, once the call is finished, immediately write down all that was said and then send it in an email back to them 'thank you for talking to me this morning. I am reassured that you have been able to confirm...........'

The reason for emailing them is that you might not get written proof off of them but if you email them after every single phone call with exact detail of what has been said, if it gets to appeal, an appeal panel will see that you are genuinely the wronged party and that everything you've said is accurate and true.

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 09:40:23

You could email them a screenshot, to the ball rolling until you can get to your work email account. Does the application status screen have dates on it?

notjustamummythankyou Mon 11-Feb-13 12:54:01

Oh yorkstar - what a mess. I'm sure it will be quickly sorted though. Are you able to log into your admissions account and take a printoff or screengrab of your application summary? I looked at mine this morning, and it lists the schools and says 'LEA has received the application' next to each school. Does yours show that?

notjustamummythankyou Mon 11-Feb-13 12:57:23

jenai - I'm in York too and the application summary is a bit rubbish. Just has the child's name, parents name and address and info as above. There isn't a date to show when the application was submitted, but we did get an email confirming they had received the application and that of course would be dated.

Yorkstar Mon 11-Feb-13 13:03:40

Right am hoping it is finally sorted. For some random reason there is another child whose first name is very simlar to my ds who also has the same surname and exactly the same DOB registered at my home address hmm who they have not received an application from.
Apparently they have now 'found' my application and I have been assured by 3 different people (whose names I have taken) that my ds's application will not treated as a late submission. I have spoken to 3 different women who have all told ne slightly different things so although I am more reassured, I have lost some confidence in the system. I will be taking all advice and documenting everything on an email of my conversations with the relevant staff shortly when dd is asleep. Thank you all so much for your advice. It is much appreciated and kept me from.completely panicking over the last couple of days smile

notjustamummythankyou Mon 11-Feb-13 13:07:41

That's really good news, yorkstar.

It sounds like there has been a fairly hefty admin error made at some point, but hopefully you feel reassured now. As you say, document everything just in case and I'm certain it'll all be fine.

And breeeaaaathe smile.

Yorkstar Mon 11-Feb-13 13:20:16

Also, I got through to the first lady again a second time when I rang back and she let it slip that she had 'quite a few of the same calls this morning' from other families who had received the same letter. Surely something else is going on and they can't have duplicate applicants at all these addresses? Either way a big cock up their end.

I will be wondering though now if I don't get my 1st or 2nd preference it was anything to do with this cock up IYKWIM

tiggytape Mon 11-Feb-13 13:37:02

Hmmm - it sounds like they've compiled a list from somewhere (Dr surgeries or Pre Schools perhaps?) to find out who should be applying this year because otherwise how would they know you haven't applied for a place?

Most LAs don't have a list of people that should be applying for a school. They rely totally on parents to find out the dates and apply and if they don't, the LA never writes to ask them why. Many areas have such transient populations that it would be totally impossible to keep track of all the 4 year olds.

But in your area, they do write to parents and they must get that information from somewhere. I think it highly unlikely that another child is fraudulently registered at your house with the same DOB and surname. I think it is more likely that wherever they compiled their list from has your son listed twice. It happened to my DS at the Dr surgery for example because one receptionist had entered his Christian name wrong so he was on there under 2 separate records eg 'Sam Smith' and 'Sammy Smith' as 2 separate people. It only came to light when the hospital were writing to the GP with results and they realised they had 2 records for him.

Whatever the cause, I am glad they have found your application and that you have reassurance that it will go through as an on-time application. Hopefully this is the end of it now.

notjustamummythankyou Mon 11-Feb-13 13:40:03

That's interesting - a bit of an admin issue at the LEA then?!

You'll be fine - your application has been in the system all along and was on time. As the closing date was mid January, I'm not sure if they've even started allocating yet. This cock up won't affect you, I'm sure of it.

<passes a strong cuppa and a rather large piece of chocolate cake>

tiggytape Mon 11-Feb-13 13:43:49

If you don't get your 1st or 2nd choice, they will have to tell you why. You don't have to take anything on trust:

If you have no sibling priority and you are reliant on living close enough to qualify, you will be told (or can easily find out) the 'last distance offered' for a child like yours with no older siblings at school.
So if you live 500m from school 1 and don't get an offer, you might be told that offers for category 3 (no siblings) were only made upto 379m this year and that's fair enough - you lived too far away to get in.
If you found out the last distance offered was actually 679m then you would know it was a mistake and then it could be put right.

You have to be given a reason if you are turned down - they don't just tell you yes or no.

JenaiMorris Mon 11-Feb-13 15:14:33

This is what happens when organisations use names rather than unique IDs such as NHS numbers.

Not terribly helpful for you OP but I just knew that's what it would be - it's a bugbear of mine as someone involved with databases!

It will all be absolutely fine - glad it's being sorted smile

Yorkstar Mon 11-Feb-13 17:23:18

That's useful to know Tiggy about how the allocation system works in regards to letting you know. I thought it would just be a matter of 'you are being allocated ..... school'.
I have documented and sent my email of conversations too this afternoon. Roll on the 16th of April in which no doubt I'll be a nervous wreck in the lead up to grin

mrz Mon 11-Feb-13 17:32:56

All children have a unique admissions number once an application is processed so this type of thing should not happen.

notjustamummythankyou Mon 11-Feb-13 17:53:52

Yorkstar - You've probably already seen it, but there's a useful document on York Council's website about how it allocates places in schools. There are also stats for the past three years showing how many pupils were allocated under each of the five criteria and how many appeals were received for every school in York. Take a look here at the Guide for Parents.

Yorkstar Mon 11-Feb-13 21:09:01

Thanks for that link notjust interesting reading.

Am now on the wine and choice after a stressful few days smile

prh47bridge Mon 11-Feb-13 22:34:45

Like Tiggytape I hope this is the end of it but bluntly this does not give confidence in the admissions department. As you have already been advised, make sure you print everything and keep records of all contact with the admissions department including names. If it goes to appeal the evidence will be useful.

JenaiMorris Tue 12-Feb-13 11:10:32

I would hope that the council will now get up all their data, sort it on postcode and literally read through it to check for doubles. Rubbish in, rubbish out and all that.

They could easily refine this by filtering to those postcodes which appear multiple times. They could do it in an afternoon.

Basically what I'm saying is that clearly they have an issue but it's one that I imagine they'll remedy super fast and certainly well before allocations begin.

Jenny70 Tue 12-Feb-13 11:48:46

Tell admissions that is the "unspoken of twin" who you don't plan on educating formally... and for convenience you called him almost exactly the same name as your "loved child".

But seriously, sounds like a stuffup at their end. But as advised, keep records, as this may not the last stuffup that happens in the application process.

But when the offer comes, it should be quite transparent as to why you didn't get a place at the top listed school(s) if the offer is not your #1 choice.

xsammy1987x Sat 02-Mar-13 13:17:45

hi i just recieved a letter this morning saying they have not recived a application for my son.i checked my emails and found i had a confirmation email saying i had applied online.just signed in to check on the council website and the application has gone.i used to be able to view it but no its disappeared.worrying now as cant do anything till monday

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