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Gifted and talented - help with school appeals please!

(8 Posts)
wrinklemush Fri 17-Jul-09 14:15:55

I hope some of you can help. We're in the process of appealing against the LEA not to offer our DS1 a place at the junior school all his friends are going to in September(usual story of good, oversubscribed school, our house is just that little bit too far away to get in automatically). I'd love to hear from any parents who've successfully appealed, and particularly anyone who's argued that their 'g&t' child deserves a place due to what could be termed their special educational needs.... DS1 is gifted at maths and this has is confirmed in writing on his KS1 school report(the school itself doesn't subscribe to a G&T register, as far as I am aware). Appeal is on Weds next week....

fembear Fri 17-Jul-09 14:32:20

I presume you never saw that Child Genius programme on C4 with little Georgia?

Look at the school's admissions policy. Does it mention G&T? No, I thought not.

Sorry, you are barking up the wrong tree. Appeal on things that matter to the school/LEA.

coppertop Fri 17-Jul-09 14:35:31

Generally when the admissions policy talks about SEN it means children who are statemented. This will take 6 months (if you're really lucky) and your chances of success are tiny.

cory Fri 17-Jul-09 17:17:33

The only circumstances under which you might make this work is if you can prove (submitting evidence from an Ed psych/paediatrician) that your particular ds is so disabled by the form his g&t takes (e.g. extreme social difficulties) that he cannot hold his own in a school which does not have special SEN facilities and that no other school within a reasonable distance can offer similar facilities. For instance if he is autistic and unable to function in a normal classroom setting.

You can get in on appeal without a statement- but you have to provide evidence that your child really is a special case. (we did on the grounds that dd is wheelchair bound and this school was the only one accessible by wheelchair). Just being among the best 10% in the country at maths is not in itself a medical or learning disability.

But presumably if your ds has difficulties on this scale you have already seen medical professionals?

madwomanintheattic Fri 17-Jul-09 20:21:32

a child locally gained a place at a specific primary with a good reputation for g&t because the school they offered her was used to dealing with a large catchment of children with lower than average attainment on entry (ie their main effort was put into raising standards to average by the end of KS1.) i don't think they had a g&t policy even - it just didn't feature... the child in question was v gifted at maths too i think - scarily so, much different to the average more able child like mine lol.

as others have said, you would need to prove that the school he has been allocated would not be suitable. fwiw this does occasionally happen - the ht of our catchment primary told me that the school was not suitable for any of my children (i was looking for a yr r and a yr2 place at the time, and then a yr r place again two years later), so it may be possible that the school he has been allocated isn't suitable.

i think you are on fairly dicey ground for juniors though tbh - all of the junior schools should be able to offer differentiated maths to a 7yo who is working 2, 3 or 4 years above average by virtue of their age range alone - unless you could prove that he was working at yr 7 or above and that the school you want him to go to has specific links to a secondary that would need to be utilised for your son's education to be supported, then a g&t appeal might not really be worthwhile.

if that is the case (ie he is working above the KS2 curriculum and therefore it is access to KS that is the deal, not a junior school curriculum - he may have sat the end of KS2 maths paper this year?) then you need to make that clear - you might win on the grounds that your preferred school is better able to deal with g&t juniors, rather than someone who fits into an existing junior school curriculum.

that was waffley, eh?

fwiw, we decided not to appeal the junior school place for my 'g&t' dd1 lol (she was working at 4s and creeping into lower 5 but well within the junior ability range)- but she got in before the start of term from the waiting list.

helpfully, in reserve we hold dd2's wheelchair and the junior school in question is single level wink as opposed to the school she was allocated which was 4 storeys with no lift) but we didn't need to mention that grin

hth

wrinklemush Tue 21-Jul-09 11:21:27

thank you for the helpful comments.... good to hear from those who posted them!

Robeena Fri 31-Jul-09 21:57:01

This may or may not help - but my landlord basically wrote a letter to the appeals board and based it around green issues - that they have no car, and that they need that school as it was walking distance from the house, carbon footprint etc etc - his son got into the school

DadAtLarge Sat 01-Aug-09 15:34:23

First, there are a couple of comments here about schools "opting out" of G&T or not having a G&T policy. Actually, schools don't have an "option" on this. They are required to maintain a G&T Register, identify G&T children and put them on the Register so they are included in the annual census. They are also required to have a policy on how they identify children for the Register. That policy - including general information on how they cater for more able and exceptionally able children - should be made available to parents on request. Many schools don't volunteer this information as a protection against pushy parents. If the school office denies any knowledge of the school's policy document, ask to see the Head (and report them if it's still not forthcoming).

Most schools, and the G&T coordinators in schools, are woefully misinformed on G&T. Be prepared for that. Contact your LA and get all their information on G&T and what they require of schools if you wish to be a step ahead.

With respect your appeal, I don't believe you stand a good chance on the grounds provided. You could try Robeena's idea but do bear in mind that schools have maximum limits that it is illegal for them to go above (except in very exceptional circumstances). There are companies that specialise in helping parents with appeals: See the sponsored links here. Their expertise may come in handy.

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