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Rumour about admissions from the playground - what would you do?

(21 Posts)
nowtundercontrol Mon 23-May-11 11:46:53

I was astonished to hear a rumour circulating in the playground that the Head has offered to call an out-of-catchment-sibling parent to let them know if there are no-shows during YR so that they can then bring the child into the school. The LA would be informed retrospectively and this child would supposedly jump all other children on the waiting list.

I have several views on this. One is to tell the Head that this story is going about as it brings her reputation into disrepute and she may need to clarify the admission process via the newsletter.

The other is to contact the Admissions team at the LA so that they can make sure that nothing like this happens and to keep a close eye on admissions to the school.

The other is to feel cross and do nothing about it.

IndigoBell Mon 23-May-11 12:20:41

The Head can't do admissions, only the LA can. They can't ring up and say 'I've admitted x to my school'. The LA won't accept that.

So this just won't happen.

Abgirl Mon 23-May-11 12:25:16

I'd go and ask the HT, or ask a governor too. Most playground rumours have nothing in them, but if this one does asking would let the HT know that people have heard about this and aren't happy...

mnistooaddictive Mon 23-May-11 12:32:41

It is more likely that the parent badgered the head so intensely that she told them she would ring just to get rid of them!

verybored Mon 23-May-11 12:41:44

I used to work for an LEA and this did happen - but it was to a junior school. WE had appeals waiting for the school and when we came to ask for class numbers we realised they had admitted over their number to admit and they were made to admit the 3 waiting for appeal.

I know the system has changes a bit in the last 5 years but it probably could happen if any no shows left the area or went private so that the LEA never heard about it and if the sibling had not been allocated another school so did not have to turn that place down with the LEA.

But then we also had heads who would try to 'sneak in' nicer families abover those on waiting lists.

I thnk you should approach the head in a 'I thought I should let you know' kind of way. The chances are that it's not true but if it is, you may well make the head re-think.

prh47bridge Mon 23-May-11 13:18:51

I'm afraid it could happen. I am aware of a number of cases where heads have admitted children when they should not have. If it does happen the LA should, in theory, admit the child from the head of the waiting list as well. If they don't the parents of that child would have an excellent case at appeal on the grounds that admissions have not been administered correctly and, if they had, their child would have been admitted. That could mean the school ends up having to employ an additional teacher next year in order to avoid breaching ICS regulations.

I would certainly have a word with the head and, if you aren't happy with the response, talk to the LA.

fairydoll Mon 23-May-11 13:58:12

i would kick up a fuss now.This DOES happen.I rang a school for my DD2 on the last day of the summer hoildays and the HT said she could start the next day without informing the LEA, who had a waiting list.
But we had done nothing wrong so they couldn't ask DD to leave.

Jaxx Mon 23-May-11 14:27:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bubblecoral Mon 23-May-11 14:38:38

Genuine question Jaxx so that maybe people could give you some advice for your sister, but can you explain why your neice needs to go to a particular school because of diabetes? Would it be so that her Mum could get there quicker in an emergency?

Jaxx Mon 23-May-11 14:52:08

I posted above in error and have reported it so it hopefully will get deleted. I'm not expert, but my understanding is that she will be at risk of a diabetic coma if she has to walk that distance in the morning as it will be very difficult to regulate her blood sugar with that amount of exercise.

baffledmum Mon 23-May-11 15:53:58

Really appreciate your honesty fairydoll.

In your situation, did this put them in breach of infant class size?

prh47bridge Mon 23-May-11 16:36:55

Provided there was a place available in fairydoll's case it would not have been a breach of the infant class size regulations. What should have happened is that the child at the head of the waiting list should have been admitted as well as fairydoll's daughter and counted as an "excepted child" for one year, which means the child doesn't count towards the class size limit.

fairydoll Mon 23-May-11 18:07:32

There was no class size prejudice but the MAL of 7 had been reached

oliandjoesmum Wed 25-May-11 15:55:41

My son is at the top of the waiting list for Yr2 in local primary.. In Autumn Term a child in that class left to go to another school, but didnt like it so was back within 4 weeks. It appears the head 'kept his place open'. IMO it was totally unfair and the place should have gone to my son, nothing personal against the child in question, I just think there is a process and it shold be followed fairly. But the LEA knew nothing about it so could do nothing about it. I'm not sure what would have happened at appeal, but just to show Heads do things without the LEA knowing, it happens. Is annoying me afresh writing about it!!

prh47bridge Wed 25-May-11 20:49:53

If you had appealed you should have won. The place should have been filled from the waiting list as soon as it became available. You can still appeal on that basis now provided you haven't already appealed this academic year.

admission Wed 25-May-11 21:35:47

I would agree with PRH, appeal if you have not done so on that basis, providing that you can prove that they formally left the school.
The school will simply say he was on a long holiday, so you would need to show that he formally actually started at the other school. What you really need as the evidence are the SIMs attendance record for the pupil at both schools, which you simply are not going to get as it is confidential. An appeal panel could ask for the records, but it would be a high risk strategy and will really irk the headteacher if you are right!

baffledmum Thu 26-May-11 11:48:05

For parents here who have fallen a cropper with waiting list jumpers, I think we should offer oliandjoesmum support in her quest to get into the school!

oliandjoesmum Mon 30-May-11 21:42:42

Have 4 parents at the school with children in that class who told me this actually happened, but according to the LEA the leaving child was never registered at another school. I do know which school it is that he moved to, but am unsure the Head there would be willing to help. As you said though I risk really upsetting the Head at the school as would basically be saying she did something unethical and probably proper get her back up. As my youngest DS is starting at the school in September decided was not worth the bad feeling and am appealing for DS2 on different grounds. Interestingly though, LEA really closed ranks also. I was almost in tears at the frustration of it, I was categorically telling them these events had happened, but because they had no formal knowledge of it they were totally unwilling to help. Basically told me I could not prove it. Makes a mockery of the whole process tbh

admission Mon 30-May-11 22:12:46

At any appeal the panel has to be sure that the appealant has not been disadvantaged during the time that they have been waiting for a place at the school. If you like the check is when the last person was admitted to the year group. If it was before you asked for the place at the school, then that is easy for the panel. If however there has been some movement the panel has to assure themselves that the appealant should not have been offered a place, that is others were higher on the admission criteria list than the appealant.
It would therefore be a perfectly sensible question for you to ask whether anybody left the year group after the date you can prove in writing was the date you asked the LA for a place at the school. Now the probability will be that you get an answer that says that nobody left but there is just a chance that somebody might just say that they left and came back 4 weeks later. If they say that then you can pounce and ask why you were not given the place when they left. If they give a standard no change answer then you have lost nothing and don't need to pursue it. No embarassment to anybody. just simply clarifying the situation.

oliandjoesmum Wed 01-Jun-11 21:46:06

Thanks for the advice. I am waiting until after half term to launch the appeal so will certainly take it in to account. I may just add it to the lsit of things i am appealing for.... I know this child cannot have jumped ahead of me in waiting list as moved out of catchment, and we are in. Anyhow I have been checking (read annoying) with the LEA monthly where we are on the list. We have been on it since Sep 09, these events occurred Sep 10.

EvilTwins Wed 01-Jun-11 21:50:18

OP - this happened to my eldest niece. My BIL is on the board of governers for a school. Dniece failed to get a place at the school, but the HT told BIL that she would "make sure she got in", and she did. I don't imagine she was at the top of the waiting list, but sure enough, before September, she was offered a place. At the time, I was outraged - I know that Dsis and BIL wanted her to go to that school, but even so... And of course her sibling got a place too.

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