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school appeals process

(7 Posts)
sophy Thu 21-Jul-05 18:45:06

We are moving to a new area this summer and I have just found out DS (just finishing year1) did not get a place at the school I wanted -- we are 1/4 mile outside the catchment. The one we have been offered is just not right for him -- but is there any hope if I appeal? Anyone appealed successfully? btw DS is on SN register (has AS) which I didn't mention in original application, but will make a big deal of in appeal. Advice please.

sophy Fri 22-Jul-05 09:27:31

anyone got any words of wisdom for me? please?

titchy Fri 22-Jul-05 09:32:56

Why on earth didn;t you mention it in your original application???

With a specialists statement this would surely have got him in without you having to go through appeals? Although class sizes are restricted to 30 in Yr2 I think if a child with SN needs a place in that particular school and their specialist supports this the LEA is able to make an exceptio to theh 30 maximum rule and admit another child.

Good luck!

Blu Fri 22-Jul-05 09:40:03

Sophy - sorry, I saw this yesterday, but thought that someone better informed than me would be along first! I think you posted during the quiet teatime/bath/bed slot!

As far as I can see (having been given a place `at one heavily over-subscribed school outside our catchment on the SEN grounds i explained in our application lettere, but also failed at appeal stage for another school with the same and additional evidence from doctor etc!) there is still a lot of power in the governors decision making.

Have you given notice that you wish to appeal? Do that, and also put it in writing that whatever happens to your appeal, you would like to go on the waiting list for the school.

Does DS have a statement? Do you think you could get one? Because if he has a statement, you can name your school and they have to let you in!

To appeal, you need to show that your preferred school is the only one that can truly meet his needs, and you need a letter from your doctor, or whatever service diagnosed him as being on the SN register, explaining why the school is the best one for him - small school, particular ethos, anything you can think of that means that the school can meet his IEP.

Are you in a surestart area? You could ask your sure=start person for support, and also an organisation called 'parents for Inclusion'. I will try to find contacts for them later if ou can't find ref to them through Google.

Can I ask why you didn't mention it in the origiinal application?

The problem now is that they will have filled up the class - but they MY take an extra child if he is statemented, or you would shoot to the top of the waiting list. Lots of peple seem to move at this time of year, and there are manyy many stories on MN of people getting a place in their first choice school simply by sitting it out on the waiting list! (Batters, MotherInferior...).

Before you appeal, look up on the Dfes website for 'admissions criteria' and 'appeals procedures' - A MN-er very kindly sent me some downlloaded - i have poassed them on, but could see if i can get them back, and will happily send them to you if you CAT me.

Good luck!

Oh, also, it may be worth contacting the head of SEN, and Head of Inclusion in your new LEA and asking their advice. They may give you a 'case officer' to address DS being on the SN register.

sophy Fri 22-Jul-05 10:03:06

Yes, I now feel a right idiot for not mentioning the special needs in the original application. I suppose I just wanted him to be regarded as a 'normal' child as he appears to be most of the time. And thought it might put the head off as when I went to see the school she told me quite proudly that they didn't have a lot of disruptive SN children at the school. Unfortunately we have no chance of getting a statement as his problems are simply not severe enough. I have got a letter from his current school saying he would benefit from being in a 'small and intimate' school because of his social problems, and am also getting one from his SALT. Thanks for your other suggestions, I will follow them up.

Blu Fri 22-Jul-05 10:09:09

Those letters will stand you in good stead - but personally, I would be wary of a head who said such a thing - are they REALLY geared up to having a constructive attitude to a child with SEN?? And it is possible that with an attitude like that, the Head will not be supportive of your application. though the appeals committee is made up of lay people and an LEA member - with the head simply there to explain the governors decision not to admit the child.
May help to get more evidence from current school that he is delightful, not disruptive, wil contribute well to their precious sats stats, IF he is in the right environment / school.

Have you been and had a long talk with the hesad and staff at the other school, or parents there?

sophy Fri 22-Jul-05 10:19:51

Met the head just once and haven't met any parents, as where we are moving to is 1 1/2 hours away from where we are now, so not that easy. Apart from her comment on SN children, I really liked the head and thought she seemed very sensible. Problem is the school is a very small village school and it is full, and if we have to go on a waiting list it could take ages as they only have 18 in year 2.

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