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No Schools available at all nearby

(9 Posts)
shanbarn Wed 24-Nov-10 19:19:17

This post is on behalf of my sister. Your help would be much appreciated.
My sister has 4 children aged 8, 5, 4, and 6 months. She had to move unexpectedly and therefore needs her 2 eldest children to go to a new school closer to her. Her catchment school is oversubscribed and has a huge waiting list. She's been told she has no hope in hell of getting in. She has managed to get my niece (the 5 yr old) into a school which is still far away but closer than their old school. The was told my nephew (8yr old) would get in soon. She has since been told that he cant get in as this school is now oversubscribed and he is not in the catchment. We went to appeal and they have now declined it. The main problem is she doesnt drive and she has to be in 2 places at once. I drop him to school on the way to work,it is a little out of my way. But depending on the traffic he can be late as well as me being late for work. We now leave really early and sit in the car park waiting for school to open.My sister then has to pick him up (i cannot help with this as i am at work) My sister works part time, goes to college and her partner works full time. We have put this all in an appeal and they declined it. She just wants a any school nearer to her house. There are about 4-5 which are closer, but again they have told her there are no places at all in any of these. We have run out of options. Please any ideas on what we can do or if anyone has been in a similar situation was it sorted out?

Talkinpeace Wed 24-Nov-10 19:47:34

The catchment school's waiting list is irrelevant.
If the kids waiting are out of catchment and she is in, she goes to the head of the queue.
It is done by distance and set criteria.
Has she actually spoken to the school admin officer and the LEA?

hocuspontas Wed 24-Nov-10 20:05:15

What are the chances of the 4 year old getting into the catchment school? If he(she?) gets a reception place then the older ones would go to the top of the waiting list. Is it worth pinning their hopes on that?

Even if the 8 year old gets into the out of catchment school the admissions criteria for new starters may be siblings of children in catchment, children in catchment then siblings of out of catchment children. It's posssible the 4 year old won't get a place and they will be at different schools anyway.

Tough situation.

shanbarn Wed 24-Nov-10 21:53:58

Hello, Thanks for the replies. She has spoken to both LEA and the school admin officer. They are the ones sayingthat there's no spaces and nothing they can do.

The 4 year old (Niece 2) is on the list for the catchment school, but she doesnt find out whether she's in until April.

Also the Niece 2 is on the feeder nursery to the school that Niece 1 is in. So she is likely to get into that. So overall we need to try and get my Nephew into this School, just not sure how.

Also i cant believe that they wont do anything to help her.

Because the appeal has failed we have been told to go to the High Court.

shongololo Wed 24-Nov-10 22:05:08

As i understand it, the LEA has a duty to educate the children, and if that means putting them in a taxi to the closest school with places (or indeed to their old school) then that is what the LEA must do.

If the only school is more than 2 miles away (3 miles for the 8yo) , then they must provide transport to and from.

prh47bridge Wed 24-Nov-10 23:14:07

Talkinpeace is correct. The waiting list must be ordered using the admission criteria. If the LA has put your sister's children at the back of the waiting list because they have only just moved into the area they have got it wrong. She needs to make sure her children are on the waiting list for this school and find out how far down the list they are. However, the school cannot admit the children if there are no places.

Following a failed appeal your only options are to refer the matter to the LGO or go for judicial review. Judicial review takes time and is costly whereas the LGO is free and is usually relatively quick when dealing with school admission cases. However, there is no point going down either route unless you can show that the appeal panel failed to follow the correct procedure or that their decision was clearly wrong. I can see nothing in what you have posted to indicate that a referral to the LGO or a judicial review would be worthwhile.

As Shongololo says, if the allocated school is more than 2 miles away by the shortest walking route (3 miles for the 8 year old) the LA must provide free transport. Note that the transport is only for the children. They are not obliged to take any parent to or from the school.

shanbarn Sun 28-Nov-10 22:17:27

Thank you all for the replies. Because of what some of you have written we are a little more aware of where she stands and understand it a bit more. We are working on trying to get something sorted now, so fingers crossed. My nephew is unfortunately less than 3 miles away. My sis she would usually walk him and not have a problem is just she has to get the children to lots of different places at the same time. So we'll see whats happens. Thanks again

wotnochocs Mon 29-Nov-10 13:01:16

I know some twins who were allocated places at 2 different schools and 1 of them is taken by taxi at LEA expense

wotnochocs Mon 29-Nov-10 13:02:45

i think the best thing you can do is involve your county councillor, the lea, as part of the council, are answerable to the councillors.

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