Gutted that my son didn't get a place in his pref. school and going to appeal - any advice very welcome(9 Posts)
Just logged into the LEA system and it has said that my son didn't get allocated a place at his preferred school. Am totally gutted.
The school is heavily subscribed and so I have been proactive in preparing my appeal.
The appeal is for a C of E (VA) school which has less than 70 pupils, and my son has letters from psychologists and the GP etc to say he should be educated in a small school. He is very bright but has issues as a result of my PND.
We have been allocated the Vanilla Infant School which has 70 kids PER YEAR and significant issues with providing for more able kids. I pulled my son out of the associated toddler group as it was too much for him, and didn;t send him to the adjoining preschool as I heard it had similar issues.
I can prove prejudice to my son if he is made to go to the allocated school and I think I can prove lack of prejudice to the other children if he were added to the roll.
I don;t want to write too much more here as obviously we haven;t gone to appeal yet.
Anyone have experience of a similar appeal, and how they won (or lost! worth hearing those stories too). Should I be campaigning my MP for a letter? Does sheer weight of support (in accompanying letters) work?
Did you meet the criteria for the CoE school? eg faith
Why do you think you didn't get a place? distance?
Make sure that you stick to why you think you should have a place at the preferred school, using the criteria-on no account do the negative and say why you don't want a different school.
Where does "medical needs" fit into the criteria? It's there somewhere I think.
I think in this case you would be able to say why the allocated school isn't suitable for your DSs medical needs - unless it is the next smallest school. They may allocate you another small school though.
I would still suggest that you concentrate on why a small school is suited to his medical needs. I have had a friend on an appeals panel-they are working on why you want a place at a particular school, they are not wanting to know why you don't want a place at another school.Unfortunately if a small school is full, it is full.
I appealed successfully for dd's secondary on medical grounds. While I agree the most important thing was to show what the preferred school could offer, we also had to remind the LEA that none of the other schools could offer the same; (in our case that the catchment school does not have disabled access). So to that extent you may mention the other schools. But only in the context of the particular medical need (not I don't want them to go there).
We met the faith criteria. We were next on the list, they admitted 9 and we were no. 10. Unforutnately they reduced their admission number from 10 to 9 this year (despite increasing their teaching space!). I will hope we can win proving that they haven;t redone their Net Capacity, have let children in elsewhere in the school (despite saying school is full), and that they did not have a valid reason under the 'prejudice to efficient education' to reduce their PAN.
Re. Medical criteria - it was so far down the admission criteria we decided we would hold the information for appeal, as it would not influence the original admission.
I do intend to concentrate on why the school is the only one for my son's needs. It is his church's local community school and it is where he has grown up. Because of his needs any significant changes to environment cause significant problems. This school only has 3 class changes.
I don't intend to denigrate the allocated school, other than to say not only do they shuffle classes every year, but also that it is split between Infant / Junior separate schools/sites, and is 4 times the size of the preferred school, and has no children my son knows. It also was criticised by OFSTED for not having any (statutory requirement) provision for more able students (my son is no means a genius, but he's pretty clever!).
Thank you for all your comments, please keep them coming as they are all v helpful (not the least for reminding me not to slag off El Cr**o Allocated school lol!)
Take care with the Ofsted comment-the fact that they were criticised means that they are having to do something about it-pretty quickly- and will have to prove that it is working.
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