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Admissions appeal, advice needed please

(5 Posts)
wooda Sat 28-May-11 14:57:29

Hi

We're appealing being refused a place at our preferred school for our son. We were refused on the grounds of distance from the school. I'm trying to appeal on the grounds that the LA made an error in their admissions criteria by not considering a shorter route to the school which we feel is more suitable. Had our suggested route been used he would have gained a place as it makes us considerably closer.

Anyway, unfortunately for us, the school allocate the full 60 so the LA is going down the infant class size prejudice route and because of this I am preparing my appeal to cover this also. I'm also aware that this type of appeal rarely suceeds.

According to the LA statement, the school's net capacity is 420 pupils and they will have 414 on roll from Sept 2011. On health and safety grounds i.e movement around the school, number of toilets for the number of pupils, there is scope for allowing up to 6 extra pupils. What the LA are saying is that because the reception year is full, the school will have to employ an extra teacher (I believe at a cost to the LA for the nursery year) and that this cost will be the responsibility of the school for yrs 1 and 2 and that this will mean a budget deficit for the school for those years. I totally understand that, and how that is a disadvantage to the school, but what I want to try to do is show how taking on an extra teacher would actually be advatageous to the school. Obviously this could result in 3 smaller class sizes rather than 2 larger classes, but are there any other advantages I could use?

I'm also going to mention that during the course of the year, if any reception pupil leaves, this will take the number back down, however this is not something that we can rely on happening.

I'm after any help and advice anyone can give, specifically from anyone on here who has sucessfully appealed the infant class size prejudice where the school have already allocated their full 60, and anyone on here who has sat on the panel of a successful infant classs size prejudice appeal where the school have already allocated their 60.

Does anyone know how schools are allocated their budget? Do they get money to cover each member of staff therefore if they are aware that the extra member of staff is still needed for year 1, would they then receive extra in their budget for that year which would enable us to show it would not detrimentally affect the school financially????

Sorry for the long post and thank you for any help/advice you can give

Anya

yummychoccycake Sat 28-May-11 15:35:37

Hi,
Cant really give any advice but we are in the same position as yourself (infant class size) waiting for a date.

Our son was refused a place on the grounds of there being a too big of an age gap (2yr 3mth!) between him and DS1 who attends the school we are appealing for.

Sorry cant be a help but good luck!

PanelMember Sat 28-May-11 16:10:37

Even in an ICS case, you can win if you can show that the LEA has made an error which has deprived your child of a place. So, if you can show that your alternative route meets all the LEA's standards (usually, that is a paved footpath that is a public right of way and is lit in winter) then you should win. In fact, you should get the place without going to appeal but many LEAs insist on such cases going before the panel anyway.

Your argument about the supposed benefits of hiring another teacher isn't going to get very far, though. The panel has to work with the existing set-up at the school - ie 2 x class of 30 - so arguments that the school could reorganise into 3 smaller classes are irrelevant. Schools receive funding on a per capita basis (taken on a date in January) and the additional funding for one pupil will (obviously) go nowhere near the cost of employing another teacher. I doubt that the average cash-strapped LEA has unallocated money in its budget to employ an extra teacher for the sake of one pupil when there are places available in other schools.

Likewise, your argument that, if another pupil leaves, pupil numbers will drop to PAN is irrelevant. The panel can't speculate on what might or might not happen in the future.

You need to focus on whether the LEA have wrongly the distance from home to school because (assuming your alternative route is acceptable and brings you within the distance at which the last place was awarded) that gives you a winnable case.

prh47bridge Sat 28-May-11 18:00:32

Agree completely with PanelMember.

You need to check what the LA's admissions booklet says about how home to school distance is calculated. It is likely to include restrictions on the route that can be used such as those PanelMember mentions. If your route meets those standards and is short enough to get your child into the school you should win your appeal.

For what it is worth, school funding is based on the number of pupils on the roll on a particular date in January. One additional child will not cover the costs of an additional teacher.

Don't try to cover the class size prejudice route. With an admission number of 60 infant class size rules clearly apply and there is no way you can argue against that. Concentrate on showing that a mistake has been made. Everything else is irrelevant.

admission Sat 28-May-11 18:33:13

Agree with what has been said.
To be clear on the issue of the extra teacher. The LA have to show that the case will be an infant class size regs case, of which there is no doubt given there are two classes of 30. What they also have to do is say what the effect is of having to admit another pupil and therefore breaking the ICS Regs. The answer to that is to employ a second school teacher in one of the classes. They are simply fulfilling the legal requirements over an ICS Case. As others have said that is financially not realistic with one extra pupil, who will bring about an extra £3000 of funding against a cost of a teacher of £20K upto £35K depending on their experience and seniority.
If an extra pupil is admitted by an appeal panel, then they are termed an excepted pupil and the school does not have to bring in a second teacher for the rest of the academic year but they would if at the start of the next academic year there are still 31 in the class. As a matter of interest in the admission code consultation that has literally come out this week and will come into force in 2013, these pupils admitted by an appeal panel are excepted pupils it would appear for all the time they have 31 in the class, which could be three years.

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