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Successful appeal for reception class place above 30

(45 Posts)
seahorse Fri 14-Feb-03 12:57:54

I've just heard that my appeal to allow ds a place in a reception class has been upheld. We had to argue on the very narrow grounds allowed when all 30 places have been allocated.
If anyone needs any advice, help or ideas as to how to go about this process please post them here.

PanelChair Tue 19-Apr-16 19:22:35

As prh has wisely and repeatedly said, seahorse's apparently winning strategy from more than a decade ago probably wouldn't succeed now. And please, please, please do not think for a moment that attaching the caselaw to your appeal, outlining the meaning of reasonable, is the way to go! Panel members receive a lot of training abaout how to interpret reasonable and don't need to be sent an extract from a legal textbook.

t4gnut Tue 19-Apr-16 08:44:44

I suspect if you strip away all that was said the only reason the appeal succeeded was because the school failed to publish admission criteria in sufficient time for parents to make an application. Rest doesn't apply to ICS.

prh47bridge Tue 19-Apr-16 00:05:23

As per my last post, Seahorse hasn't posted since 2003. I suggest you start a thread of your own in Primary Education.

Slphilips Mon 18-Apr-16 21:27:13

Hi Seahorse, are you still around to help? Xxx

ConcreteElephant Sun 07-Jun-15 20:42:52

Terrytrowell please see prh47bridge's last couple of posts above. Seahorse's appeal was so long ago that the details wouldn't help you anyway, even if he/she were still on the site.

I would post a thread of your own, better on Primary Education rather than just Education, where there are 3-4 really knowledgeable posters (including the aforementioned prh47bridge, also admission and tiggytape - to name only 3, apologies for omissions!)

You'll get up-to-date, excellent advice for your situation. Good luck.

Terrytrowell Sun 07-Jun-15 10:34:19


I know this is a very old post but I appear to be in the same position as you

Would you mind helping out with some pointers or even letting me see a copy of your appeal ?

Thanks so much in advance

prh47bridge Fri 29-May-15 09:54:34

Seahorse has not been on this site for 12 years (at least, not under that username) so I doubt you will get a reply. Some of her advice on this thread is very outdated. Her case would be unlikely to succeed today.

I would recommend against getting professional help. It is usually a waste of money. There are no obscure legal points involved in appeals and you won't get you money back even if you win.

To win you need to show that:

- the admission arrangements do not comply with the Admissions Code and this has cost your child a place, or

- the admission arrangements have not been administered correctly and this has cost your child a place, or

- the decision to refuse to admit your child was unreasonable (which essentially means irrational)

As I said above, recycling someone else's successful case is very unlikely to be a winning strategy as the reasons they won are almost certainly not relevant to your situation. And recycling a case from 12 years ago is even less likely to work.

If you post details of your case on Mumsnet you will get help from experts. But, assuming yours is an infant class size case, you need to be realistic. Unless you have evidence that there has been a mistake and your child should have been offered a place your appeal is unlikely to succeed.

Obelix32 Fri 29-May-15 07:58:07

Hi Seahorse.
This is years ago for you but starting for me.
I have an appeal in a couple of weeks - had no idea how hardcore it all is - I thought it was just a friendly chat!
Could you send me your old appeals info - I need to put a strong case together - contemplating getting professional help?
Let me know if you still have and would consider sending and i will give you my email. thanks!

prh47bridge Sun 10-May-15 06:22:46

Seahorse's appeal was 12 years ago. Things have changed since. I very much doubt her case would succeed today. To win you need to show that a mistake has been made which has cost your child a place, or the admission arrangements don't comply with the Admissions Code and this has cost your child a place, or that the decision to refuse to admit your child was irrational.

If you would like to post details about your case you will get help from experts. But recycling someone else's successfully case is very unlikely to be a winning strategy.

Kashif Sun 10-May-15 02:07:52

Hi Seahorse

I know its been ages that you won the appeal however, it would be very helpful if you can email me your appeal to as my son have been refused a place in our preferred school. Please help.....

tiggytape Wed 24-Apr-13 17:09:45

This is a very old thread so much of the advice given is out of date - the latest Appeal Code we are now working under is the Feb 2012 Code.

To answer your question megangrace1 a lot depends on how big the classes are in the school you want
30 is the magic number when it comes to how likely they are to win an appeal:

If there are 30 or more children per class, there are only 3 ways to win which are:
1. an LA mistake costing the child a place (eg somebody recorded your address wrong and you missed out on a place at a school that you should have qualified for)
2. illegal admission criteria (very unlikely - applies to schools trying to sneak in pupils of their choosing rather than using fair and legal criteria like siblings and distance)
3. a decision so unreasonable as to be unable to stand eg in witness protection or child protection cases - the criteria for this is very high and doesn't always apply to a child's medical needs unless evidence of it was submitted with application and unreasonably ignored by the LA - the unreasonable bit in such cases would be ignoring expert evidence.

If there are less than 30 per class, parents can win by explaining all the reasons they want the school and demonstrating why the school will be the best one for meeting their child's needs and interests.
If there are less than 30 per class, you could make a case to show why your daughter needs to attend the school and forward any professional opinions that it would be harmful for her to be denied a place. You can also talk about aspects of the school that meet her other needs or suit her interests (clubs, choirs, activities etc)

megangrace1 Wed 24-Apr-13 16:38:32

my child has been going to the nursery of our local school for nearly 5 terms..only to loose a place due to simply and purely our postcode...oh and a baby boom!we live in a rural village with no young children..we are older parents and all our friends and families children are either university are working...there are two schools within a 5 minute drive...the one we chose was the one slightly further...her only friends she has are the nursery friends ..her teachers hav said she is so far and above any expectations of a child of her moving schools at this point will have a serious effect on her both socially and we have any chance with an appeal....any advice would be grateful..p.s.she is very sensitive to change..there hav been two intakes of children at the school which hav affected her.....constent wetting accidents..behaviour etc..

LittlePushka Thu 18-Feb-10 01:28:37

Humzinger - come and talk to me about this...

Tell me about the appeal.

Littlefish Fri 30-Jan-09 18:58:55

Humzinger - I think you might get more replies if you started your own thread to ask for help.

humzinger Fri 30-Jan-09 17:07:01

Hi there

Only just found this website and was wondering if anyone - maybe seahorse? had some advice for us. We are going to appeal on 10th February to get our daughter into the local catholic school. She is in reception, the class has 31 (one permitted exception with special needs and full time support) and we have only just moved into the area. This is the only school we wish her to go to as we want her to have a catholic education. It is the only catholic school within a 2 mile radius. So far, our arguments centre around the fact that we believe it was unreasonable for the school to deny her a place because the benefits to her outweigh any disadvantages but we still feel this will be somewhat of a fight. Does anyone have any advice for us? It would be very much appreciated. Thanks

Littlefish Fri 09-Mar-07 16:32:25

Hope the appeal goes well Littlefishy1.

I'd be really grateful if you could think of another name if possible.

littlefishy1 Thu 08-Mar-07 20:51:20

thanks for all the comments, I'm going to put the appeal in later this week, hopefully a place will come up on the waiting list

and littlefish... didn't realise our similar names, this is my ebay name I've had for a few years (pet name for ds!), used it automatically... we've got similar taste! I'm sure I can come up with something else if its a problem

fennel Fri 02-Mar-07 10:42:43

We also appealed and won places for my dds in yr 1 and yr 2 at the local, officially full, school. It was maybe similar to seahorse's case, we moved into a village and very much wanted the dds to go to their local school (a 5 minute walk) rather than to the nearby city school they had been going to, which was now a drive away. Officially the yr 1 class was oversubscribed and the yr 2 class full. Even though the classes only had about 16-20 children in, the school is limited by physical space restraints.

I wrote a rather impassioned appeal essay which got the girls a place that same week, even though we had been told it would be a long wait to go to formal appeal and probably then a long time on a waiting list til 2 other children left the school.

my appeal focused on the immense importance for small children to be part of their local community and go to their local school, and the impact on car use of having to drive them to another school rather than walk them to our local school. I think this worked as our LEA is very keen on reducing car traffic into the city at rush hour, and is also keen on children going to their local catchment school where possible. I used quite emotive phrases such as "forcing infants to become car commuters into the city rather than being integrated into their local community"!

so I suggest it might be worth looking at your LEA's priorities on a website and seeing if you can tie these into your appeal.

Ladymuck Mon 26-Feb-07 14:28:08

littlefishy1 - usually schools have a policy which gives priority to siblings. so you should be OK. If not, and given this school has been allocated to your older child I would expect that you would have strong grounds to appeal on the basis of unreasonableness for you younger child. But of course you need not appeal until such time as the younger starts school (and indeed only if they do not get a place).

bakedpotato Mon 26-Feb-07 14:19:32

Can't offer any advice re the appeal, but do you know where she is on the waiting list?
Waiting lists can shrink pretty rapidly. Between 10 and 15 children ended up refusing places in dd's reception entry of 60 -- maybe they moved or went private. (Which is why she got a place.)

Littlefish Mon 26-Feb-07 14:12:01

Hi Littlefishy1.

I will bump this for you to keep it going.

However, without wanting to seem rude, your name is very, very similar to mine. I have been posting on here for a couple of years and wonder if it would be possible for you to change your name in order to avoid people getting us mixed up.

Hope that's ok

littlefishy1 Mon 26-Feb-07 14:07:03

re my previous message....this is my first time on mumsnet - have just realised how old this thread is .... any way if any one can help , would love some advice

littlefishy1 Mon 26-Feb-07 14:03:31

congratulations on winning your appeal. i am about to go throught eh same process having just been advised that i have not been offered a place at my local catchment area school.

I have been offered an alternative that is further away. I am concerned that when it comes to applying for my DD in a few years time I will be unable to get them in the smae school (there is a large housing estate being constructed in teh vicinity which will pout pressure on my allocated school - I am out of catchment for this therefore will be low down thelist when I come to apply for my DD). Any advice from anyone about constructing my case?

many thanks

Jimjams Fri 25-Apr-03 08:09:33

willow2- there is one criteria on which schools can refuse absolutely to have more than 30 in a class- and that is if they are physically too small. So if it is almost impossible to add an extra desk then you wouldn't have any chance of getting in. Might be worth checking out that situation first. I think the LEA decides whether the school is physically too small or not.

seahorse Thu 24-Apr-03 23:20:10


Best of luck with all this - you might be lucky and get a place without needing to appeal - lets hope so! THe process of appeals is the same whether it's and LEA or the School itself who sets admission criteria. Have a look at the admission criteria set by the LEA (it should be in the admissions booklet) and see if it says anything about special circumstances. If not ring the LEA direct and see if you can atttach a letter/doctors cert etc to the admissions form. If a place is refused look at the aducation act 1998 and see if anything is mentioned relevant to your special situation. I'd mention this in your letter to the LEA also. Try everything to avoid having to appeal if you can - it's a bit of a nightmare! BEst of luck

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