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Not offered any school place - can anyone advise?

(15 Posts)
RosieTheQueenOfCorona Thu 21-Jul-16 14:01:29

For reasons out of my control we have moved to an area at very short notice and applied for school places for our DC as soon as we could, 2 weeks ago. I was resigned to the fact that we school we would be offered probably wouldn't be great.

However the council have now responded to say that all (12!) primary schools in the town are full, that we will need to appeal, that the appeal will happen after schools go back in September. Meaning even if an appeal was successful the DC would miss the first half term of school.

Does this seem right? I'm not trying to be a fussy parent holding out for my first choice school, I just want my kids to get an education, with other kids, in school.

How would I even appeal? Can you appeal stating 'any school place at all please' or do you just appeal to one school?
Can anyone offer any help or advice at all?

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Thu 21-Jul-16 14:02:51

Sorry for the many questions, I'm feeling a little panicked!

microscope Thu 21-Jul-16 14:54:52

move this to the primary education forum. That's where all the experts hang out. look for replies from admissions, tiggytape and prh47bridge - they know their stuff.

admission Thu 21-Jul-16 15:23:18

You need to appeal for specific schools. Assuming that the LA have confirmed in writing that there are no school places in the 12 primary schools in the town, I would formally apply for appeals for 3 schools that are close to your new home. It would be preferable if at least one of these was the closest or the catchment school (if the schools have catchments).

I am afraid that it will be September before any appeals can take place, simply because the schools will be on holiday and therefore the detailed information required for the appeals not available.

I would get the three appeals started in terms of getting the forms in and then I would write to the Admission Office of the LA, saying that you have requested a place in a school that has not been allowed, that you have now applied for appeals for 3 schools. Then you should say that given the circumstances that you now are formally requesting that the Fair Access Protocol Policy be instigated for your child. This is a formal mechanism that means that your child is allocated a place even if all the schools are considered to be full and is designed for situations like yours where you have moved into an area and all schools are full. It will probably mean you get a school that is not the nearest but it may well be a quicker way of getting your son back into education than appealing

mrsmortis Thu 21-Jul-16 15:24:41

I suspect what they are doing is hoping that there will be some movement over the summer and that there will be a place in September.

However, if there is no place then they can force a school to take an extra child under the Fair Access Protocol (google it for more info). I'm not sure where the appeals process comes into this at all to be honest.

If your child is without a school place for more than 6 weeks they also have a responsibility to provide alternative schooling for him.

I'm not the expert though. If I were you I'd hop over to Primary Education and ask for help there.

Buggers Thu 21-Jul-16 15:27:44

How old are dc?

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Thu 21-Jul-16 16:09:00

Thank you, that's really useful information about the fair access protocol and what might be going on behind the scenes. The council put the refusal in writing in the post today so I should have it tomorrow or Saturday. I'm hoping it includes more info on what to do next. I just never imagined the schools would be so full, in London maybe but not in a sleepy market town.

The DC are 6 and 8.

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Thu 21-Jul-16 16:13:05

Off to Google fair access protocol now.

SavoyCabbage Thu 21-Jul-16 16:23:38

This happened to me. I moved into an area, applied for schools and did not get a place in any of them. They were the nearest schools.

So I applied to three more and didn't get in them either.

Then the LEA sent me a list of schools that had a place. So I applied to one of those thinking that it was all going to be sorted.....and didn't get a place. So I rand the other schools on the list. No places.

Then I appealed for my catchment school. I got some great advice on here. She got a place under the fair access protocol but was out of school for three months.

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Thu 21-Jul-16 17:45:21

Three months ? Blinking heck.

Kanga59 Fri 22-Jul-16 19:05:51

Get on the waiting lists for all schools in your area now. by phoning admissions

You can appeal the three on your form ( I assumed you applied and put three prefs down)

I believe you can also change these three initial choices for three different choices. and then appeal those rejections.

I thought the LA were duty bound to.offer you a school place. What school provision have they proposed ?

JudyCoolibar Sat 23-Jul-16 20:16:01

The LA is indeed duty bound to offer a place, so telling you to appeal is a bet of a nonsense. However, you do stand a better chance of getting a school that you like by appealing. The criterion that the appeal panel has to consider is whether the prejudice to your child would outweigh any potential prejudice to the school. They can't seriously say that taking one more child is more prejudicial than a child going without any education at all.

prh47bridge Sat 23-Jul-16 23:40:10

They can't seriously say that taking one more child is more prejudicial than a child going without any education at all

For which reason the LA is likely to come up with some kind of offer before any appeal hearing. They know that if they go in trying to defend a situation where no offer has been made they will almost certainly lose.

RosieTheQueenOfCorona Tue 26-Jul-16 20:34:12

I'm just coming back to update. I had a phone call today out of the blue to say that they are offering the DC places! They have both been offered the same school, it's not one of the 3 closest that we originally put down but it's fairly nearby. Even better, it has a good ofsted rating. The headteacher has apparently agreed to go to 31.
Thanks so much everyone who offered advice. I'll never know if it was me chuntering on about fair access protocol which got things moving or if this was ticking over in the background anyway, but regardless you calmed me down when I was feeling bewildered and helpless, so thanks MN!

admission Tue 26-Jul-16 21:31:07

Oh they probably would have got around to doing something about the need to find a school place eventually but it helps to be able to apply a bit of pressure in the right places.
Glad you have a school place that suits.

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