secondary school offer nightmare...place was allocated...what next?

(14 Posts)
tiredaftertwo Mon 04-Mar-13 14:09:18

I would get advice on whether the mother tongue thing would be an advantage. She certainly would not benefit from sitting in year 7 lessons learning to say "I buy bread" so I assume you would be asking the school to provide specialist advanced teaching just for her? Is that a reason to win an appeal? Might they not just say well she should learn a different language as she already knows that one so will be good at another?

My understanding - sorry - is that you should accept any place offered. It does not mean she has to go there - but it may increase the chance that she gets another school and therefore can go elsewhere. It is standard practice to accept a school you do not want and go on the waiting lists for those you do. Having refused it, you need to find out what your options are. I would try to speak to an advisor in your LEA to check you have not burned your boats for other schools now.

I do understand your strength of feeling, of course, but it is a complicated system and you need to play it in the way most likely to result in a school place for your daughter that you are happy with.

tiggytape Mon 04-Mar-13 13:07:25

Choosing to move to a property close to a good school is fair enough although may not feel very fair to people in social housing or with limited budgets who do not have this option.
Moving temporarily (even if the family do actually move in for a few months before returning to their real home) is not fair enough and is not allowed. If you know people renting just for school admissions, you should tell the council. Every year hundreds of people get their school offers withdrawn when it is found that they did this. Most of the people caught get caught by other people reporting them. Of course you might feel more comfortable reporting them before March 1st so they at least get an offer near their real home instead of an offer near their temporary house that's then withdrawn.

Or you may not want to get involved at all but councils are cracking down on this issue now so if you know it is a local problem you should talk to them about it generally. Some areas now to extensive checks for example on all applicants to popular schools so they can spot any suspicious house moves and look into whether the family has hung on to their 'old' house or not and is therefore cheating. Unfortunately, even without any cheating, catchment areas have shrunk due to higher birthrates and so much new housing in some areas.

julishka Sun 03-Mar-13 22:37:57

Thanks Talkinpeace, had a look at the website...very interesting. What I find so frustrating with this catchment business is that it is not fair at all. I'm sure we all know many people that simply move to a property close to their favourite school. Sometimes even just for a few months during admission....and here I am...have taught my kids manners, helped them to excel academically and what are my options??? I'm told to send them into the lions den. NO WAY.

Talkinpeace Sun 03-Mar-13 21:25:14

as bad as my catchment?
www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=135628
NB
the building cost £12.6 million and rising and was built for 900 pupils
there are now under 500
the school was created from the mereger of an 800 pupil failing school and a 700 pupil reasonable school

welcome to the nightmare

xyx Sun 03-Mar-13 16:25:56

Totally sympathise with you Julishka. My friend's daughter was assaulted at our local school, I'd do anything to avoid it. Fingers crossed for you with waiting lists; let us know how you get on.

julishka Sun 03-Mar-13 14:47:19

Well this particular school has been trying hard to work against the reputation... changed name, better results...but it is simply sitting in the middle of ONLY estates (please don't understand me wrong...a lot of very good kids live in estates but the mass rules here and if they are bad they are bad)...there just is no healthy diversity at all. I see the kids after school...the way they talk to each other...the fights that break out in front of it. I feel that the problem here is too big...and my daughter is not going to be part of this social experiment.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Mar-13 10:39:19

Have you actually been to look at the school?

Schools also keep reputations forom years ago, especially if you are in an area where isn't much demographic movement.

One school near us has marvellous results, however I've worked there and I wouldn't put my dog in to it, let alone a child. The place is absolutely feral. Its results are artificially boosted by BTECs.

Another has a dreadful reputation and poor results. But it effectively runs like two schools in one, it has a core of bright pupils but also a large amount of physically diabled pupils with a large amount of SEN. People choose this school because of it's pastoral care. The high amount of SEN pull down the results, but it is very serene and calm and all the pupils are lovely.

Parents rarely see past results unfortunately

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 03-Mar-13 07:51:47

That is an understandable feeling. If I were you, I would look into what home tutoring entails. There is a board for home tutoring here on MN.

This is your worst case scenario and with any luck, a school that you are on the waiting list for will come up between now and Sept. try as many schools as you can.

However, I have seen threads here from people who really thought a place would come up and post in desperation late August as they had no place and they were about to break the law by not sending their child to a school.

So be ready for that eventuality, and good luck.

I am surprised that OFSTED would allow such an unsafe school to stay open tbh. I still think it's worth checking out for yourself, just in case.

julishka Sat 02-Mar-13 23:55:32

Thanks everybody for the advice...I had to decline. I would do ANYTHING ...even home educate...rather than to send her to this school. My friends daughter had a classmate that got raped in there and that was not the only horror story I have heard. Can you imagine?? It just was not an option. Whatever the consequences.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 02-Mar-13 23:49:01

Yes, how realistic were your preferences?

Blu Sat 02-Mar-13 22:49:19

Sorry you have not had a result you were hoping for.

Were any of your your 6 preferences at all realistic? Did you stand any chance of meeting the admissions criteria for any of them?

You can now go on the waiting lists for any schools you want, not just the schools you originally put down. Waiting list paces are allocated according to the same admissions criteria as the original applications, so make sure you go on the list for at least one schoo, that you might be reasonably high up on the list for - i.e local.

In truth, the list we submit is bot of 'choices' but 'preferences'. i.e the LA is not obliged to find us a place in one of our schools, but will take our preferred list into account when considering which schools admissions criteria we meet.

From what I have seen appealing on the basis of curriculum choice not available elsewhere would seem to increase your chances of success. Good luck!

tiggytape Sat 02-Mar-13 21:31:38

Shipwrecked is totally right about accepting the offer and the consequences of not doing so. I have replied with the same advice on your other threads. I know it is upsetting but you have to be realistic. At least wait ti see where you are on the waiting lists before doing anything hasty.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 02-Mar-13 21:21:35

There are very experienced posters who will come along but

I think it might have been a bit hasty in declining the school place. What happens if the waiting lists don't give you a place by September? Will you home educate?

I seemed to remember somewhere on here that if you decline a place the local authority is now not obliged to find a place for your dd.

julishka Sat 02-Mar-13 21:17:13

My daughter has been allocated a place at a horrible school where nobody wants to go to... hence there are vacancies. We had SIX schools on our list but she obviously didn't get into any of them. And now??? Well I declined the offer immediately and I will put her on the waiting list of all our choices on Monday. I'd love to know if anyone has appealed for a place before. Is there a chance to appeal if the schools selected provides a subject in the curriculum that no other school offers and that is particularly suited to my daughter abilities. I am referring here to her language...her mother tongue.

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