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Help - appeal for primary school place as Mum not well enough to travel too far, Do I have a chance?

(4 Posts)
EMMinthepink Sat 28-May-11 00:44:35

I am sooo confused by advice, I was a late applicant for a place this year to a reception class for dd1, as no one had informed me when the deadline was. So even though I am well within the catchment area, and would have been given a place at either of my 2 local schools (both less than 0.5 miles), but they are now full, and they have offered me a place at a 'cr#p' school, 2 bus journeys away (officially 1.76 miles away as the crow flies!, but practically 2.4 miles) it would take me nearly an hour to get there each day. The problem is I suffer with severe migrains (which affect my vision and balance)and frequent days where I can't move, at least 3 per month! I am under investigation and trying to find medication which might help, but so far this has not been successful, I am on ESA because of this and have been for the last year. I have a neighbour who then would take my dd1 to a close school that she could walk to.

Does anyone know if this would be good grounds for appeal? I'm desperate as I really couldn't get her to school on a 'bad' day! sad

I live in Barnet and would really appreciate some help!

prh47bridge Sat 28-May-11 09:13:53

If the shortest walking route is over 2 miles you are entitled to free transport for your daughter. This could be a free bus pass or it could be a taxi that will take her to and from school.

It is likely that any appeal will be under infant class size rules. These apply when the school has classes of 30 children in Reception, Y1 or Y2. According to the rules you should only win an infant class size appeal if you can show that the council has made a mistake. I'm afraid there is nothing in your post to indicate a mistake has been made. You should still try - you might strike it lucky and get a sympathetic panel who will stick their necks out for you.

If it is not infant clas size you have a better chance but even then transport problems don't generally make for a successful appeal. If you can get a letter from your GP about your condition it will help but even then the panel may take the view that it is up to you to make arrangements to get your daughter to school, e.g. by getting a friend or neighbour to take her. If you are entitled to free transport and Barnet would provide a taxi the panel will know this and they may regard that as adequate provision. It would help your case if you can come up with other reasons why your daughter needs to go to this school. Again, you should still try. You may get a sympathetic panel.

PanelMember Sat 28-May-11 17:22:09

I agree with Prh47bridge.

Sadly, there is nothing in what you say that makes me think you have a winnable case. If Barnet is like my LEA, info about school admissions is plastered all over bus stops, in libraries, on its website and it's hard to see why you applied late. The panel can't put you into the situation you would have been in if you'd applied on time.

If you provide information about your medical condition, the LEA may agree to place your child in the medical/social need category on the waiting list (assuming Barnet have such a category) and that should move you up the waiting list. Have you looked for a place at any other school that's closer to home?

Waiting lists are probably a better bet for you than an appeal, but you have nothing to lose by appealing. As Prh says, you may get a sympathetic panel.

Miggsie Sat 28-May-11 18:50:21

When I was applying for schools for DD I rag the LEA and asked if the fact that I was unable to drive and could only walk limited distance (I am disabled) something that meant I would get one of either the 2 closest schools. The LEA said that yes, if I sent in an application form with a doctor's note saying I was disabled with limited walking range then this would count under the disability laws to make sure DD got into either of the 2 closest.

It depends on your LEA as to whether disability in parents is counted as equivalent to disabilities in the child when allocating places.

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