Lobbying for bulge class in primary school(34 Posts)
I am seeking advice from anyone who may have some experience in lobbying schools to take on an additional class.
We bought a new build in May in the catchment of an outstanding primary in South Oxfordshire (house less than 150 metres from the school) with the hope of getting our 4 year old and 3 year old into it.
We submitted a late application for our daughter to get a place in the reception starting in 2013. Our son has been awarded a place at the preschool, within the school.
Unfortunately our daughter is 4th on the waiting list, despite only living 150 metres from the school, and my concern is she is going to slide down the list as the new housing development completes another 150 houses in the next 6 months.
The school allocated all of it's 30 places in April 2013, 10 places to children out of catchment, despite a total of 275 houses being built around the school at the time!!
My daughter has been given a place at a primary 4 miles away, which is proving to be difficult wrt logistics (2 separate drop offs, trying to organise different afterschool childcare, and get myself to work).
Myself and other parents have appealed with no success. I have met with the head and asked for them to consider taking on an extra class but they are refusing, stating lack of funds and no room. However they have a music and iCT room within the school which are used on an adhoc basis and acres of outdoor space.
I have contacted my MP, local councillor, local newspaper and am still awaiting responses.
Can anyone advise me how to proceed from here as I feel we have a strong case and the school should act to provide places for local children.
Thanks in advance,
we bought a house that is situated at the bottom of the school field
How is the distance from school measured by the local authority? Is it as the crow flies or by the route you'd have take to get there?
I think your big problem is that bulge classes tend to be very unpopular with parents of children already at the school - schools are designed to accommodate a fixed amount of children, and more children means less playground space because of additional building, less space in assembly, and more lunch sittings.
I suspect the existing parents quite like the music room and ICT room, and it's likely that they have raised money to fund the equipment used in them.
Bulge classes tend to be forced on schools as an absolute last resort (e.g. the LA has a substantial number of children who have no school place anywhere). If the school has 7 forms, the parents of at least 210 children are probably quite happy with the status quo.
You'll have to do as Michael Gove suggests. Start your own Free School! Sorry, not very helpful.
Our local school - established area, no new houses, 60 intake - had an effective admission distance of 150 metres for allocation day for non-siblings for September last year - and that is on-time applicants, not late ones.
So while YOU think you live close to the school, the fact remains that you don't live as close as many families have to to get into decent local schools, even as on-time applicants. It isn't great, but it is a fact of life in many parts of the country.
I think it will be problematic, because you say that at the time of the normal applications round all catchment pupils secured places at the school, filling only 2/3 of them. The other places were filled by children living at a greater distance, from whom those places cannot of course now be removed. And as there were not enough children in catchment to fill the school at last admissions round, this is unlikely to look urgent to the council, especially as all children, including late arrivals, have been given places within a reasonable distance (reasonable in Admissions Code terms, not any individual family's view).
The LEA is simpy not allowed to hold back places in case there are new arrivals. They might add a bulge class for those applying now(ish) for September 2014 if they find they have surplus of pupils to number of places within reasonable distance/travel time.
uuummmh, many thanks to all those who have contributed and helped to inform/ educate me on the education system!
I will now be applying for mileage, which is something I didn't realise I could.
And i'll be reducing my working hours, as I have now accepted that I will be dropping off and picking up 2 children from different schools over 4 miles apart for some time to come..............and so the fine juggling act continues!
I'll keep you all posted if anything changes.
Good luck with it. Staying on the waiting list may still work out for you.
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