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school choice message for the panel experts!

(3 Posts)
sunnyday123 Mon 20-Jun-11 21:10:00

Hiya you have probably heard my situation from other threads but i have a general question about admissions if you can help as so confused.

DD1 is in an out of catchment catholic school (she is catholic). DD2 due to start sept 2012. Criteria is as follows:

Catholics in care
Catholics in catchment
Catholic siblings not in catchment
Catholics out of catchment
non catholics in care etc

In the past admission has got to criteria 5+. This year for the first time only categories 1 and 2 got in and so lots of siblings split. It is infant class size. It looks likely DD2 wont get in as LEA have gone to 3- school choice situation which i think is to blame for high numbers in category 2. In previous years all parents applied to one school and got given nearest school with a free place if they couldn't get 1st choice. Now parents can stipulate 3 choices, those on outskirts (but still catchment) who may have put a local school as first choice now get in my DDs school as second choice whereas previously there would have been loads of schools closer with places. I understand its fair but it does now disadvantage people in my category. The school is going to change the policy but it wont be done in time for DD2.

The school are great and have said its almost definite we would win an appeal at Y3 as the school has 33-34 in all classes from y3 onwards. My question is about where to put DD in the meantime. I have a catholic school very close by but its not great and i wander if putting her in a cofe or non religious school would give me more chance of winning appeal? My worry is they may suggest taking DD1 out and putting her there as its very undersubscribed? There is only one catholic high school that both feed to so taking her out of the primary is not an option.

Also would the fact they recognise a problem enough to change admission policy give any strength? If there are enough siblings what options are available if they took a half form entry (heard that mentioned on here before?).

Thanks for your help!

prh47bridge Mon 20-Jun-11 22:22:08

Are you in England? If so I am very surprised that your LA has only just started allowing parents 3 choices. They have been required to do that for some time.

Putting your daughter in a CofE or non-religious school should make no difference to your chances of winning an appeal. An appeal panel will only look at whether or not your younger daughter should be admitted. They will not suggest taking your older daughter out of the school. In any case no-one can take your daughter's place at her current school away.

I think it is unlikely that you would win an infant class size appeal on the grounds of the planned change of policy. There doesn't seem to be any suggestion that the current policy is against the Admissions Code or the relevant legislation, nor is it irrational. However, it may be worth putting it to the appeal panel and hoping they may be prepared to stick their necks out for you.

If the school is able to add another half form to Reception it will have to admit children from the head of the waiting list.

And the school really shouldn't have said it is almost definite you will win an appeal for Y3. They cannot guarantee success.

sunnyday123 Mon 20-Jun-11 22:53:47

thanks for the advice ! - at least i feel neutral in terms of second choice schools - i think the head was just being sympathetic and going by the school size (450+). We live in an area where siblings being split makes the news! This is the first school in a 5 town radius to ever do it so the school has had terrible press!
Thanks forreplying

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