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Another admissions thread, infant class size = No hope?

(14 Posts)
nowit Sun 12-Jun-11 21:15:25

Ok, I shall try to keep this brief. <vain hope>

DD (7) goes to a school outside of the village in a rural area so children who live in the village take priority. We missed out on a place for DS by .6 of a mile, he was first on the refusal list as a cat D pupil. Only one other cat.D didn't get in.

3 other cat D pupils did. 2 children have moved to the village since and have moved DS from 1st on the waiting list to 3rd sad

DD is a v shy child and we would have to move her if DS doesn't get a place as I work away and DH can't be in two places at once, DS also attends the pre-school attached to the school but as I am told this is a human element and doesn't count.

We have learnt that one family rented a house in the village and have a place (no siblings) but have since moved out of the village, I stress that we need concrete evidence of this, but does it make a difference? We are also aware of another family where the parents have split and the children are only based in the village every other w/e, again, not sure if this makes a difference?

Our appeal is on Thursday, we are not holding our breath as it feels as though an appeal is our right, but in practice is absolutely pointless as they will say no anyway.

One of the TAs at the school has told us that in the past they have sent 5 of the brightest pupils on a year for the equivalent of one fulltime child's placement (say 30 hours) and this has been allowed by the LA and 31 pupils have been allowed to attended. Anyone know if we can suggest this? <clutches at straws>

Does anyone know of anyone who has actually won an infant class size appeal? We are really beating ourselves up atm as we would never have sent DD to a school we would have to move her from.

Sorry for the waffly post, I feel like a deer in headlights.

nowit Sun 12-Jun-11 21:54:27

Bump

admission Sun 12-Jun-11 21:59:15

As far as the situation on others getting a place via dubious means, it is only pertinent to you if you are directly affected, that is you would have got that place if they had not cheated. From what you have said, you might have some case if you can prove that one or both of the situations you quoted are actually proved to be false applications, as you seem to be first on the waiting list at the time that the places were allocated. To do that you would have to get that proved by the LA and that is not going to happen at an appeal hearing. You should make any such protests to the Admission Manager.
The idea of moving the pupils around sounds both far fetched and illegal and no panel is actually going to do that.
The reality is that infant class size regs cases are won but they are practically always when a mistake has been made by the LA in the way the places have been allocated. From what you have said that does not seem to be the case.
I would have thought you best chance is either to prove one of the allegations is correct and both could be false applications or both perfectly genuine on the small amount of info you have or alternatively from the waiting list.

nowit Sun 12-Jun-11 22:04:08

Thank you admission.
Do I just report what I know to admissions and trust that they check, or do we have to find evidence ourselves?
sorry a bit clueless confused

Tgger Sun 12-Jun-11 22:31:16

I would get whatever evidence you can without breaking the law (!). I would have thought that the family who rented and then moved out should not be allowed to keep the place. The family who have split up is probably murkier waters, but worth finding out about (all be it sensitively).

Poor you! How very bad luck. I would put your case re your DD being settled etc without suggesting any bending of the rules re pupil numbers.

Good luck! When is your DS's birthday? Could he defer a year if he is summer birthday? Straws again!

GiddyPickle Sun 12-Jun-11 23:05:42

I would say the split family are on a shakier footing since the address they must use for the child must be the one they live at Monday - Friday or for most of the time or, if it's a 50:50 split, the one where child benefit is paid. They can't just pick the parent with the catchment area address and decide that's the address they'll put on the form!
It's unlikely they could legitimately get a place from living near to the school only every other weekend. You can certainly raise it as a concern.

The renting issue is more grey because if that family genuinely lived in the house that they rented, had all their bills and bank statements and everything registered there and were living there fulltime on the application and allocations day, it could be sneaky but within the rules. If however it was an empty house that they just used as a convenient address to put on the forms then that's clearly not allowed.
As your child was 1st on the waiting list when both these cases happened you could be in a position to prove that you were cheated of a place if either of these applications were false so I would defintiely raise both as a concern

At the end of the day, no child is going to be stripped of a place just on the say-so of another parent so you don;t need to be rummaging through their dustbins or anything! The fact you know the living arrangements of both families should be enough to flag it up. They will then investigate the matter and collect proof (eg child benefit address for the family who share childcare) before they do anything so you don't need to build the case yourself or anything

prh47bridge Sun 12-Jun-11 23:57:58

Report your suspicions to the admissions team. They are in a much stronger place than you to investigate. If they find that one or both of these families have made false or misleading applications they can withdraw any places that have been offered.

By the way, the split family isn't quite as clear cut as GiddyPickle suggests. Different LAs have different rules. Most say the application must come from the address where the child lives most of the time. If the child spends time equally split between the two addresses some LAs will go with the address where the child benefit is paid, some will allow the parents to choose which address they use. However, if the children are only living in the village every other weekend I would be surprised if the LA regarded that as acceptable.

admission Mon 13-Jun-11 18:15:57

Nowit, To be clear no admission appeal panel will give you a place on the basis of your concerns, no matter how good the evidence is, simply because we are not allowed to. It is for the admission office to carry out any investigation and they can use all sorts of draconian powers if they are so inclined so that is the route to take.
Please do be aware that there is no guarantee of ananimty here so if you sign the document your name will probably be released to the parties accused. An unsigned letter may not be acted upon by the LA, it will rather depend on the quality of the information in the letter and what the LA policy is on unsigned complaints

nowit Thu 16-Jun-11 18:29:46

Thank you all very much, well the deed is done.
We went in this morning and tbh, it was pretty horrid. We listened to the case asked tonnes and tonnes of questions and then put our case and got asked two questions in return. They did say that we had prepared well and put our case to them well.
No indication of how we got on, but really not holding our breath.
We find out in the morning.

nowit Sat 18-Jun-11 18:22:51

fyi for anyone interested, we lost sad
Now to rearrange childcare for DD (2) and move DD (7) to the same school as DS. onwards and upwards...

musey Sat 18-Jun-11 19:25:25

nowit sorry to hear you lost sad hope you get things re-arranged in some way thats not too bad.

prh47bridge Sat 18-Jun-11 19:35:31

Sorry to hear you lost. Hope things work out for you and your children.

chopchopquick Sat 18-Jun-11 20:14:35

I feel for you nowit sad I hope you can sort the childcare and the move with your other daughter go as ok as possible.

nowit Sun 19-Jun-11 22:00:50

Thank you all very much, has been nice to be able to rant on here grin

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