School appeals Year 3(8 Posts)
We have been given an appeal date in June and I was wondering if anyone who has been through the process has any advice?
We are appealing for a place in year 3 for our daughter in our catchment school. We recently moved into the area and the school is at the end of our road. Our other daughter starts in the reception class at this school in September. The school is small and has an outstanding ofsted report.
The school place she has been given is at a school that has gone into special measures and the ofsted report is terrible. It also has no parking nearby so drop offs are very difficult.
So I could have two children at different schools which start and finish at the same time, with only me to do the school runs. So one child will be late which is obviously disruptive.
Do we have any chance of success? It's all a bit stressful!!
Nothing you have stated would support your appeal if the class is full. Logistics won't win an appeal, nor will being negative about the allocated school. What does this one offer and how could your dd benefit.
Surely under sibs rule your DD will jump to top of waiting list once DD2 starts, and possibly be offered a place more or less immediately as the 30 rule stops being enforced as they enter year 3?
You cannot use ANY of the reasons that you have just given in your appeal!
a) All schools are treated as equal academically - so you cannot appeal for an Outstanding school because it is Outstanding.
b) Travel problems are yours, not the school's. Parents in your position would be expected to use before or after school childcare to get your children to school on time.
c) You are appealing FOR the school you want, not AGAINST the school you don't want. So special measures, Ofsted report and parking at the other school are irrelevant.
However, on the good side, this is a Year 3 appeal so you basically need to show that the balance of prejudice means they should give your DD a place, because the prejudice to her of not having a place is greater than the prejudice to the school of admitting her.
I am presuming that you are appealing for a place for the last few weeks of year 3? Or is your DD currently in Yr 2 (trickier)?
So, things you need to think about:
- How many children are in the class you would like your DD to enter? (basically, if already well above 30, the prejudice to the school of admitting an extra child becomes greater and greater)
- Have they worked with >30 (or whatever the current in-class number) in other classes, either at present or in the past (so if they have 32 in other classes, but only 30 in this, you can argue that they are well able to cope with an extra child added to the 30)?
- What does the school offer that the offered school does not, that meet your DD's specific needs? (e.g. orchestra; music lessons in a specific interest; coaching in a minority sport that she plays; coding club which your DD has attended before and loves; specific SEN support for her specific SEN)
- How far away from your desired school is your allocated school? How far have you moved? If you have moved a long way, and the allocated school is miles away, you can argue that the desired school will allow settling into the new area much better - this is a weak argument, but can be supported if e.g. your DD has been through a period of trauma such as separation / divorce.
- Size of school (in a very few cases, e.g. specific MH difficulties if supported by a CAMHS or GP letter, it can be possible to argue that a small setting would be better than a larger one)?
Do they have 'upward' sibling priority, so are you high in the waiting list? Or is there only priority for younger siblings?
(Sorry, X-posted with squashy. Some schools only have priority for younger siblings, not for older ones. So the position in the waiting list may not be affected by having a younger sibling starting the school - and also that will only start when the sibling starts school)
Assuming that you are talking about going into year 3 in September, then it will not be an infant class case, so like teacherwith2 kids says it is about what the prejudice to your daughter would be by not being allowed to go to the school. So what are the really good things about the school you want. Distance to school and the fact there is a younger sibling going in September are worth mentioning but are not going to get you a place on their own. In theory the panel should ignore these issues but at some stage it is the level of different issues that will move a decision from being in favour of the school not admitting to the school having to admit your child.
Timing is important. Appeals for reception class will be taking place over the next month and a half for a September start. With you now being into the last half term next week and the time to get an appeal organised, any appeal now will be for September start. I would get the appeal in because if the school has a history of taking more than 30 in junior classes, you can bet that there are other parents looking to go to appeal now for a September start.
But you need a far stronger case to succeed so look for the features of the school - what was emphasised during the Ofsted inspection that might be appropriate to talk about relative to your child.
The other thing you do need to check is that you are on the waiting list for the school. This is one of the more likely times for parents to move and therefore create a place at the school in year 3. Being at the end of the road I would assume that you re near the top of the waiting list but only if you are on it. Some schools purge the list every term or year so just check.
Thank you all for your help. Our DD is top of the waiting list and will get sibling rights from June. As it is only a one class intake, we are hoping for a place to come up before September.
The school has said it hasn't got the capacity to admit one more to make it 31 in Year 3. Not enough facilities such as computers. This is despite admitting an extra pupil last year in Year 6.
I am aware that we need to focus on the school we want rather than the one we don't. It maybe that our case isn't strong enough but we have to give it a go. It's important she is part of the community.
Agree completely that the ideal is that daughter is part of the local community.
Not sure where the idea that you get sibling rights in June comes from. If sibling is joining the school in September, then this should be when daughter gets sibling priority, provided that the admission criteria does not specify only younger siblings get priority.
The reality is that the school does ultimately have the capacity to admit one more pupil in year 3, because under certain conditions e.g. SEN pupil with an EHC plan naming the school, they will have no choice but to take the pupil. The reality is that the school, like most schools does not want to go above 30 in a class and will therefore always say the school is full, not have IT equipment etc. You need to apply, be rejected and then appeal so that you have the best possible chance of getting a place, when taken in tandem with being first on the waiting list.
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