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I need to appeal re my dd's junior school

(27 Posts)
rickman Sat 07-May-05 10:18:00

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tiffini Sat 07-May-05 10:24:20

i can only suggest you arrange an appointment with the Head Teacher. Explain your situation, and a bit of creeping may help, ie; this school has the best reputation in the area, and im'e distraunt at the thought of sending her else where.

rickman Sat 07-May-05 11:05:16

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Janh Sat 07-May-05 12:07:13

rickman, do you mean she hasn't got a place at ds's school?

rickman Sat 07-May-05 12:56:32

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roisin Sat 07-May-05 13:33:51

Rickman - we haven't been through this, but I understand successful appeals are more likely for junior school places, as there aren't strict limits on class sizes. A friend of mine sits on appeal panels, and they said it does very much on the day come down to the presentation of the appeal by the parents - or you can nominate someone else to speak for you if you don't feel equipped to do it yourself.

The fact that ds is on the same site should certainly be a factor in your favour. Other things that can help might be, for example, if your child suffers from asthma and your route to this school means you don't have to walk along major roads.

If I think of anything else I'll post again. Good luck!

roisin Sat 07-May-05 13:40:50

Do you already have the information from the LEA about the procedure for making an appeal?

SueW Sat 07-May-05 15:28:27

"social isolation". 3 friends have got in to different schools on appeal using these key words! Doesn't work so well if you're applying for somewhere that's out of your catchment but perfect if you have recently moved in and will be forced to travel.

bubbly1973 Sat 07-May-05 16:02:18

rickman, dh's cousin managed to get his child into a welsh school after kicking up a fuss, at one point he wasnt allowed to go to the school!!

they went through the right channels and the school wouldnt accept his youngest son even though they were in the catchment area, and even though his other son was at the school

so he had nothing to lose, him and his wife kicked up so much fuss that in the end there son was accepted

maybe as a last resort you could hassel them until they give in, but personally id use this if all else fails

good luck, i really hope you can get your daughter into this school

LIZS Sat 07-May-05 16:10:30

Can you find out whether your dd would be on a waiting list for that school and if all offers of palces are ctually confirmed. It could be that not all offers of places are accepted, or are accepted and then withdrawn over the summer.

btw your "friend" could yet lose that place if her deception is discovered - you have to sign a declaration that all the information on the application form is genuine or risk having the offer withdrawn.

good luck

rickman Sat 07-May-05 17:02:36

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elibelly Sat 07-May-05 17:36:53

You can accept the school you have been offered and insist you remain on the waiting list for the school you want - pending appeal. You usually have to inform the LEA that you intend to appeal by a certain date, make sure you don't miss that.

Waiting lists are ordered according to how well the child meets the admissions criteria, e.g. if someone who moves to the area tomorrow lives nearer to the school than you and distance from the school is how they allocate places then they will automatically be higher on the waiting list than you. They can tell you where you are on the wait list though so if you're in the top 5 she might get in anyway, if you're 30th and they're one form entry you don't have a hope unless your appeal is upheld.

You could always grass up your friend, but you'd probably feel bad about that. Good luck.

roisin Sat 07-May-05 21:32:41

When we were on a waiting list for a school they would tell us how many were on the list in the same category as us, but they couldn't tell us where we were on the list.

tiddlypom Sat 07-May-05 23:01:08

This thread here deals with appeals.

I bet you just love the prospect of spending time doing an appeal!

If you go onto the Advisory Centre for Education's website (there's a link on the other thread) you can download their Guide to Appeals - I think I paid £1 by Paypal, but it was worth it, it's a very clear guide and tells you everything you need to know. And as I said on the other thread, you can ring their helpline as well if necessary. I have found them friendly but quite busy, so they tend to give fairly brief answers.

The Dept for Education do a free publication called Code of Practice on School Admissions - if you ring them on 0845 6022260 they will post one to you free. Their website is a bit clunky, so I'd ring - it's the publications dept of the Dept for Education you want, and I think that tel. no. will take you straight through. Their Code is less user-friendly than the ACE one - I think it's written for schools really - but I still found it useful for background. But if you've only got time to read one, read the ACE one.

It would piss me off beyond endurance if my friend had got a place through lying. I'm sure you'll need to express your feelings to other people in the playground, so might it be possible that word will get out that she cheated ?

rickman Sat 07-May-05 23:08:26

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tiddlypom Sat 07-May-05 23:09:17

Damn, sorry, the Dept of Education do a Code of Practice on School Admissions, and another one, a Code of Practice on School Appeals, both free.

But don't worry if you haven't got time for the Dept of Education ones, just go with the ACE booklet.

When I thought I would have to go to appeal, I got another, rather dodgy booklet from an internet site, which said nothing new about appeals except: "Many an appeal panel has been swayed at the last moment by a mother's tears."
Maybe not as cynical as it sounds, though - the panel IS trying to sort out the genuine cases from the people who are just trying it on.

tiddlypom Sat 07-May-05 23:14:55

I'm fine, thanks, up late on MN as usual!

I don't know about the LEA and the letters - I'd hope the headteacher of the school will be able to tell you.

My general opinion is that most LEAs need a rocket up the arse.

Let me know how you get on with all this - I spent a lot of time teaching myself how to do appeals and then had no reason to do one. (Secondary ones are different though, and I didn't read the chapters on primaries.)

rickman Sun 08-May-05 16:43:53

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rickman Sun 08-May-05 21:32:40

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Janh Sun 08-May-05 21:34:10

Not sure if it would be Govs, rickman, there is an Appeals Panel and I know my LEA advertises for laymen to sit on it. So it could be anybody if that's so for you too.

elibelly Sun 08-May-05 21:35:42

you do usualy have to attend appeal hearings and give a statement. Go for it, seems like you have a reasonable case - good luck

rickman Sun 08-May-05 21:39:10

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Janh Sun 08-May-05 21:49:40

BBC website about school places. Not sure if it's just about primary-secondary or into primary too - most of the websites that come up on a google are about secondary places.

Hope it helps anyway, rickman. And good luck. I hate the way the current system leaves so many people dangling.

tiddlypom Mon 09-May-05 00:07:40

I'm pretty sure the appeal panel will be totally independent, to make sure the governing body is behaving reasonably. Otherwise there could be governing bodies doing totally daft and discriminatory things - the appeals procedure is there to stop them doing that. The school or LEA really should inform you of the appeals procedure and what to expect.

As I understand it, there is a diplomatic tightrope to be walked: you need to say all the good things about the chosen school, without slagging off the offered school, just pointing out all the reasons the offered school isn't suitable for your dd.

Some other thoughts:

Can you get a letter from your GP - it might carry more weight than one from the school nurse? IME GPs are happy to help with this kind of thing, why shouldn't they - if they don't help you, they're more likely to see more of you!
And if there's anyone else you can get a letter from, then ask them, eg educational psychologist, if you've ever gone down that route.

I'd say also you need to rack your brains and think of every possible reason why your chosen school is better for your circumstances than the offered school - some examples would be (not knowing the details of your situation):

DD, and ds, and you, have established friendship groups at the chosen school; dd, ds, and you, know virtually nobody at the offered school.

Transport factors: you can't get dd to one school and ds to another. Going to the offered school will mean using a car/a difficult bus journey/an expensive train journey/a change of transport. DD could walk/travel independently to chosen school when a bit older.

Breakfast or after school club provision - you may not use them now, but can say you plan to use them later on

Better sports facilities at chosen school - dd keen on sport

A particular club, eg drama club, at chosen school - dd keen on drama, good for her personal development, self esteem

It must be so annoying, having to do all this! I reckon however - from what I've read and from speaking to other parents - that if you are persistent and hang in there, you can get the place you want. Especially if you cling on to a place on the waiting list - I reckon lots of people give up and accept the place they're offered.

Best of luck, thinking of you.

rickman Tue 10-May-05 11:07:15

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