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School Appeals Help/Advice

(23 Posts)
Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 12:35:56

Ok, so the shock of not getting my first preferred school for my daughter' s in now over I think. I was more shocked she was the only pupil in the Pre-School she attends that did not get into the Reception class, so as you can imagine I was a bit upset as I now have to explain to her why she is leaving a school she loves, her friends, her teachers and her before and after school carer to attend another school?

I have spoken with the School and the first thing they said was "We thought that your daughter was going to another school she wa not on our list" well she is not on there because she didn't get into this one! Apparently she missed out on the admission criteria by 1 place as the last pupil admitted was from Pre-School was up to 2.7 miles away and we live 3.2 miles away.

I asked what I could do (This is a Foundation School ) but the the local LEA apply the admission places set out by the Governors of the School. They advised to put her on the waiting List (as she is top of the list) and appeal my case. First I was not going to bother to appeal beacuse it comes under Infant Class Size (ICS) and its very hard to pursuade a panel. I spoke with the Appeals Department and they were very helpful and encouraged me to appeal, but I still think this is going to be a waste of eveyone's time unless I can convince the Panel why my daughter should go to this school and why they should breach the ICS.

The only reasons I can think of are as follows:
1.The Pre-School Admissions clearly states that their is one intake in September but I know the school had an intake in January as I was at the Parent tour for Reception when a Pre-School parent was being shown around the Pre-School (Ironically it was the Nursery Manager's son from my daughter's previous Nursery!). So my daughter missed out on her place because their was a January Intake, the Appeals Department said that the admissions rules were breached and I could use this as a reason.

2.They also suggested putting down about her emotional well being as at the moment she has before and after school care with a Childminder who's daughter also attends the Pre-School (who got a Reception Place) and the effect this is going to have on my Daughters emotional state (i.e being taken away from the School and all her friends and Chilminder who she has had a close bond with for the past 2 years, plus the before and after School care will continue if she went to Reception).

3.I also know that there are enough Teachers at the School to cover the 30 pupil class limit. (This is a very large school of 4 classes per year group) the Average pupil to Teacher ratio is 21 and they also have 17 teaching Assistants throughout the School and pupils on the register are 413 which is on average 103 pupils per year (Pre-School/Reception,Yr1/Yr 2).

Can anyone give any advice please and my chances of getting her into the School if I use the above Reasons.

jalopyjane Tue 26-Apr-16 12:40:27

I don't think you'd have much chance at appeal based on those reasons. However if it's 4 forms of entry and you're genuinely number one on the waiting list (have you had that confirmed in writing from the LEA?) then you're extremely likely to get in from the waiting list.

jalopyjane Tue 26-Apr-16 12:41:22

Out of interest, why do you want to her to go to a school so far from your home? Presumably there are much closer schools?

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 12:48:07

Hi Jalopyjane

I have not had anything official but the school receive the list from the LEA and the school compile the 120 pupils who receive a place and sent the list back to the LEA. The school then have a list of all the chilren who applied who did not get in (i.e. Pre-School and Out of area ), my daughter is at the top as she was the only pupil who did not get a place from the Pre-School.

It just seems that the School and the Appeals team were really encouraging me to appeal, but I dont want to waste everyone's time (appeals panel/headteacher/admissions board time) and the cost it will be if it's hopeless, but on the other hand I don't want to give up!

meditrina Tue 26-Apr-16 12:48:38

You need to look at your point 3 first, and establish if this will be held under ICS rules.

The average teacher to pupil ratio across the whole of R/1/2 is not the point, it is how the classes are organised and whether - if the year group you are applying for is full - it would be at multiples of 30. It is not relevant if other years are undersubscribed,bringing the average down.

Ditto your first point. And entry in January into reception (which could simply be a few pupils who secured their place in September but deferred entry) are not the same year group as your DC. Their numbers are not going to be relevant.

Whether your second argument carries any weight will depend on whether ICS rules apply,. If they do, unless your DD has a weight of medical evidence or an EHC Plan under active consideration, it is unlikely to be relevant. Sorry.

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 12:49:21

She attends the Pre-School and all her friends are at the school, my works is also close to the school.

PotteringAlong Tue 26-Apr-16 12:50:22

Which pre-school she goes to has no impact on primary admissions. They could have 52 intakes and it wouldn't make any difference; it's not relevant.

CodyKing Tue 26-Apr-16 12:51:15

Don't panic!!

Are there any independent schools or church schools close by?

Some children's may have two schools places offered and will drop out - worth looking at

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 12:54:04

The Januray Intake was not deferred for 1 pupil that I know off, the pupil is older than my daughter and the Mum wanted the place because she wanted him to go to Reception.

The Reception classes are not class led, the school encourages learning through play, so the pupils can choose what activities they want to do, this could be ICT, outdoor play, Drawing etc. I know that they will have phonics/maths lessons but not in groups of 30, normally groups of 6-8 pupils at a time in Reception.

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 12:55:19

to CodyKing, she has a place at a C of E school even further away from the school she is at at the moment! It's a nice school.

meditrina Tue 26-Apr-16 12:59:01

A child or children who were reception age in January 2016 will be in year one in the September for which you are seeking entry and therefore not relevant.

Exactly what groups the reception children spend any particular part of the day is also not the relevant point in establishing whether this is an ICS appeal. You need to find out exactly how many pupils per teacher in reception (and other year groups only if there is mixed year teaching) to see if that is a multiple of 30 (sometimes 15). If the original PAN (permitted admission number) is a multiple of 30, it is strongly suggestive that this will be ICS rules and you need to know this, one way or another, ASAP.

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 13:02:25

meditrina the appeals form is ICS, this is the only appeal I can make as all places are filled for Reception at the moment, so I know its hopeless unless I am really convincing to the appeals panel.

titchy Tue 26-Apr-16 13:28:01

I think the January intake the OP is talking about to the pre-school. I THINK what she is saying is that this school, unusually, has attendance at the pre-school as one of the admissions criteria, and that despite the pre-school normally having only one admission point, another child joined the pre-school class part the way through the year, and thus there are now not enough spaces in Reception for OP's child.

In which case I don't think this is relevant. Pre-school admissions are not regulated, and the pre-school is free to choose and amend its admissions points without notice, so they have not behaved illegally, so the admissions criteria to Reception have been applied correctly, and as such, as an ICS appeal you have virtually no chance.

However with a PAN of 120, and being 1st on the waiting list I'd be very surprised if OP's child wasn;t offered a place in a few weeks.

PatriciaHolm Tue 26-Apr-16 13:35:29

I replied over in PrimaryEd, but have copied it here too!-

As you seem to be aware, it will be an ICS appeal and these can only be won on the grounds that -

- the admissions criteria are unlawful
- the admissions authority made a mistake
- the decision not to admit was so perverse that no sensible person would have made it.

None of your points so far are reasons for a successful appeal, i'm sorry to say. On your points -

1- nursery admissions have no bearing on school reception admissions. I don't see how another child being taken into nursery has a bearing. It doesn't matter when that child was admitted.

if the school gives preference to those attending the nursery (most don't) it must do so in a way that also makes it fair to those who don't attend. However, your daughter does, so I don't see how it makes any difference here.

2 - This is irrelevant when it comes to ICS I'm afraid.

3 -Again, for ICS the way the wider school is laid out is irrelevant, unless they make the decision to add another teacher to reception and make another class altogether. Assuming there are 4 qualified teachers in reception, the maximum reception can have is 120 pupils in 4 classes of 30.

I'm sorry, but I can't see that you have a case, unless there was something amiss in how they have measured your distance, for example.

However, if you are first on the waiting list for a 4 entry school, I would think you stand a very good chance of getting in pretty soon anyway. (Of course other people can come onto the list and may jump ahead of you if they meet the criteria better).

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 13:40:01

titchy you are correct about the Pre-school criteria, It would have been nice if they let me know they were changing the criteria as I would had thought otherwise about sending her to the Pre-School in the first place, that way I could have probably advioded all the upset. I'm going to hold fire and hope and pray she gets in via the waiting list. smile

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 13:40:46

Thanks Patriciaholm smile

PatriciaHolm Tue 26-Apr-16 14:57:22

What exactly are the admissions criteria?

If they give priority to children in the pre-school, then how did your child miss out - surely there aren't more preschool kids than reception places? Does distance come into it too?

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 15:05:11

PatriciaHolm The priority is 1. Looked after children/Special Needs 2.Catchment, 3. siblings at school 4.children in Pre-School, then anyone else outside catchment. all measured by distance.

The Pre-School is not full to capacity which is 60 in morning and 60 in afternoon and a lot of the children in Pre-School are in the catchment/siblings at the school.

My Daughter was the only one on Pre-School that didnt get a place.

PatriciaHolm Tue 26-Apr-16 15:45:50

Ah I see. So technically it would be possible for no one in pre-school to get in if there were lots of catchment/siblings.

It's unfortunate but it seems that you just missed out on distance. However as I said earlier I would imagine first on the waiting list of a 4 form entry school would give you a good chance of entry by September anyway.

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 16:17:56

Yes missed out to a distance of 0.47 miles, very frustrating.

LIZS Tue 26-Apr-16 16:25:43

But .47 miles is a long distance. Nothing you've listed would succeed at a ICS. If someone joins the waiting list living nearer than you they will get a place ahead of your dd. You need to look at alternatives, have you seen the school you were allocated?

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 16:46:08

If someone joins the waiting list that is either in Catchment or has a sibling at the school then they will be ahead on the waiting list, the pre school has Priority over out of catchment.

I have seen the school that was allocated, set in a small village 5 miles away with 30 in the class, although there are still places available at this particular school, so come the start of the school year there could be less than 30 in the class, this is the only upside that if she does not get her pre school school then she will be going to a school that isn't busy and has fewer children. smile

tiggytape Tue 26-Apr-16 17:28:14

If everyone at the PreSchool got a place then it is because they also meet one of the higher criteria eg they live in catchment or have a sibling at the school already or it is because only some children in category 4 could be admitted and you lost out because you live further away than the others (if distance is used as a tie breaker within each category)

So the final 120 could look like:
1. LAC / Additional Needs: 5 children
2. Catchment: 65 children (30 from the preschool and 25 who go to other nurseries)
3. Siblings: 35 children (30 from the preschool and 5 who go to other nurseries)
4. Preschool: 15 children (And assuming there are 16 children at preschool who don't have a sibling and aren't in catchment. However there are only 15 spaces left to allocate so one of them will not get an offer)

It is unfortunate that you were the only one at Pre School to miss out but since attending Pre School is comparatively a low priority for a place, it is almost certain to happen some years.

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