secondary school appeal help!!(9 Posts)
I have an appeal meeting for my daughter scheduled for thursday afternoon, I am just after any kind of advice anyone can give me, what will they ask me etc, so i can be prepared!!
my daughter passed her 11+ with a score of 266, she hasn't been placed at her first choice grammar school as it was over subscribed, so she has been given her 2nd choice, a grammar school quite a distance away, meaning she will have to leave the house at 7.10 to catch the bus and wont be home until 5.30.
she wont be able to do after school activities due to having to get the school bus home, and myself or her father can't take her as he works in the opposite direction to school and I have her 3 year old sister to look after. as it is now, i am going to have to leave the house with her in the morning (along with the little one) and collect her in the evening from the bus stop as she will be too young at first to walk the (50 minute) walk to the bus stop alone.
she's excelling in sports at the moment, and its possible she will be too late back to eat and then get to her training sessions.
i believe we have built up a case showing that she will be more negatively impacted by not going to this school, than the school will be in accepting her.
thankyou for any help, i know you are not on the panel but any advice, or even thoughts on if we have a good case would help.
They won't take much notice about transport arrangements. At 11 they say that any child should be able to get to school on public transport. They can throw any questions at you it is a scary experience.
I don't understand the bit where you say you can't collect her because you have a 3 year old. Why can't she go with you?
Is there a nearer school she could have gone to if you'd put it down (grammar or otherwise?). If there isn't, and the allocated school is genuinely your nearest then the LEA should provide free transport to and from school. This could be a taxi there and back, or a taxi to the bus stop.
Other than distance though, you need to show what the appeal school has that the allocated one doesn't.
I'm afraid I don't think the times will be relevant - plenty of children have to leave the house that early to get to school. Is it really a 2 hour journey home though, or does the school finish later than most?
Travel arrangements will not carry that much weight with the panel and you would be well advised to look carefully at the other possible reasons why the preferred school is more appropriate. So do they have specific courses that she would want to do that the other school does not. Or after school clubs etc? You say that she excels at sports - does the school do these, which would allow her to continue with this. If it is not sport that is done at the school and you can evidence that the sport is specialised and not available elsewhere then you can use that to say that she should go to the preferred school as the other school will preclude her from accessing the sport easily with the travel distance. This is different from just the general distance to the allocated school.
I would put this together tonight and send it off to the admission clerk by email tonight, asking for it to be included in the appeal papers. You can do this, despite what any letters may have told you about deadlines, as it is up to the panel to decide whether to admit. They will admit because if they do not and the clerk has had it for more than 24 hours then if it went to the LGO, they would probably saying that the panel were guilty of maladministration. Presenting the evidence on the day of the appeal is not a good idea as that is when it could be considered to be too late. Make sure when you go to the appeal hearing that you take a copy of the extra evidence and a copy of the email submitting it, just in case the clerk says they are not aware of it.
sorry, i neglected to mention that i don't have a car, have any family around us or anybody we know or can rely on to help collect her/use in an emergency.
the three year old will have to walk the 2 miles (and back) to the bus stop with us at 7.10 in the morning, and again to collect her at 4.35 when the bus drops her back off.
basically she wouldn't be able to do any after school sports, and her allocated school doesn't do lunch time sports. she runs for an athletics club, not a specialised sport, but its the only club where we live so she couldn't attend another.
and yes it would be 2 hours, it would be over an hour on the bus home, and then a 50 minute walk from the bus stop.
I really hope this doesn't sound harsh but as others have said the general travel arrangements really won't carry any weight at all. I am often surprised by how many people say that they don't "have any family around us" as if that is unusual. I don't know where you are in the country but where I am (in London) virtually no one has family around to help. Hence the need to find childminders, share lifts etc, especially at primaryyou. however, your DD is going to secondary which makes it even more unlikely that travel arrangements will factor (unless this is your nearerst possible school to be allocated by LEA in which case, as a PP has said your DD will get free transport).
I'm not clear why she can't do after school sports at the allocated school? Is this because she then couldn't do her athletics as well?
If attendance at the school you are appealing for is the only one that will realistically mean your DD can continue her athletics then you could certainly use that. But you do need to focus on the case for your DD attending that school and try not to get bogged down in the inconvenience of the school journey.
Hello, do you mind if I ask why you put it down as 2nd choice if commuting is a problem?
I understand now that you know what school your child has been offered it's become a reality. Is there a waiting list for other local schools or infact your first choice grammar that you are on.
From what I understand of Appeals distance unfortunately isn't always a wrong reason, however appeal anyway as you have nothing to lose. My advice would be to match why the first choice school meets your child's needs and skills set.
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