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Junior School Appeal

(4 Posts)
cincinnatikid Fri 27-May-11 11:28:21

My child in Yr2 attends a infant school with a linked junior school. The infant school took an extra class on this year, which puts the numbers too high to move onto the junior school. The junior school is large and has allocated places for 6 classes of 35 pupils in its incoming Yr3 class. My child was not given a place in junior school as we live in a rural location which in 4 miles away. Naturally all the children in town got the places. We were left out of consideration. We have been allocated a place in a school almost 5 miles away and have been offered a taxi service. We feel an exception can be made for us, as it's unfair to bump us out of our place and expect us to send our child in a taxi twice a day. Do we have a case based on our RURAL LOCATION and the fact that the social connections our son has made and our sense of communtiy are what is important to us? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

PanelMember Fri 27-May-11 12:03:13

Look at some of the other threads about Y3 appeals, where you'll find lots of relevant advice.

I don't think that your rural location is an issue or grounds of appeal as such but as the infant class size rules won't apply, it is open to you to appeal on the grounds that the 'prejudice' (ie disadvantage) your child will suffer in not attending the school is greater than the prejudice to the school in accepting another pupil.

In the first place, you need to establish how the decision on which children would and wouldn't get places was made - were the criteria published? were they applied correctly? If they weren't, that adds to the grounds for your appeal and if there has been a mistake which has deprived your child of a place you should in fact be admitted without going to appeal (although some LEAs nevertheless insist on taking the matter to appeal). Likewise, has anything ever been published to say that all children in the infant school would be guaranteed a place in the junior school (this seems unlikely, but it would add to the argument that you had a reasonable expectation of a place). You can also mention in the appeal the benefits to your child of staying with his friends and the inconvenience of being at a school 5 miles away (although the panel will be aware that the LEA is arranging door to door transport).

Although the class size limit of 30 does not apply in juniors, the LEA is likely to argue that 35 is the most that the school can cope with, and the panel may well agree that a class of 36 is simply too many. It will be useful if you can get information from the school/LEA about the size of classrooms and communal areas (this should be presented at the appeal anyway) and about the actual sizes of classes in previous years. Has the school had 35/36 in a class before? If they have had 36 in a class, it lends weight to your argument that they could do so again.

cincinnatikid Fri 27-May-11 12:55:01

Thank you for your invaluable advice. I hope when I receive the info from the council, it will go to support our case.
This whole situation is something I never thought I would have to deal with. I'm learning on my feet.
Thanks again!

admission Fri 27-May-11 18:49:46

The other arguement that you should put forward is that the LA put in a bulge class for the infants of presumably 30 pupils, which the junior school appear to have replicated by increasing class size from 30 to 35 in 6 classes. Why then as a linked school have you not been offered a place? Was there no priority given to the infant pupils? The pupil figures should have matched, why do they not seem to?

I would trawl back through the local papers / internet / local council minutes for when the bulge infant class was put in place. it would not be in the least bit of a surprise if someone said you will all get places at the junior school. It is the kind of glib promise that would have been made which can now come back to haunt them

The other question is whether you are the only one that is similarly been disadvantaged in not getting a place at the junior school or is this a bigger problem. If it is a bigger problem then I would start getting together and shouting at the local politicians, they can make another classroom appear by magic if enough pressure is put on them.

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