School admission being heard on Wednesday.(9 Posts)
As the day looms closer I'm getting more and more worried with regards to my son's appeal. The local admissions department are treating my sons application as a late application. When I actually posted my son's application 3 days after it landed.
I have an elder son currently in year 2 at the school and while my son who has being refused admission has attended the foundation nursery at the school for the last year. Where well into the school catchment area living only 0.6 miles from the school and to get to the school offered I have to walk past the school I'm appealing for and then on a further 20 minutes to reach the primary school I've being offered. My appeal has being based around the maladministration and loss of my sons admission forms.
I'm just looking for advice on what to say at the appeal on Wednesday and what actually happens when I get there. Any help would be reallyappreciated
As a sidenote we also have the full backing of the headteacher at the school who has kindly wrote a letter to give to the panel saying that she is willing to offer the 3 children who's appeals will be heard on Wednesday places in year one and offer a mixed age class as they currently only have 22 children in the year. She's also said that if our appeal is unsuccessful then my Child Ethan can stay on in the Nursery until a place becomes available but I can't sleep for the worry of it all.
That is naughty of the head. The Admission Appeals Code specifically prohibits a school from supporting an appeal. The panel should really ignore the letter from the head but you never know.
The process in broad terms will be:
- You will be shown into the room where the hearing will take place at the same time as the LA's representative.
- The Chair of the panel will introduce himself or herself and everyone else in the room.
- The LA will present their case to refuse admission.
- You and the panel ask questions of the LA's representative.
- You present your case.
- The panel and the LA's representative ask you questions about your case.
- The LA's representative briefly sums up their case.
- You briefly sum up your case.
- You and the LA's representative leave the room together.
- A few days later you hear the verdict.
If your case is based around the LA treating you as a late application, what will matter is the date on which your application was submitted. If it was after the deadline in mid-January the fact that it was only 3 days after you received the paperwork will not be relevant. The main problem you will have is that it is likely to be your word against the LA's. Unless the LA has a history of losing application forms the panel is likely to believe them. After all, your forms could have been lost in the post. However, you may strike it lucky and get a sympathetic panel.
Thanks for your quick reply Prh. There is another pupil at the school going through the same appeal as ourselves. I.E lost application so are classed as late applicants. Should we mention this at the appeal that where not the only family who seems to have a lost application in the system. What also was confusing was that when we sent in our 2nd application we only stated our preferred option. On the initial application that was posted on time we specified three schools. When we got the letter saying my son had being refused the letter stated he'd being refused admission from the three schools we'd initially applied for. How would the LEA know those schools if they hadn't recieved our application?
Well that is a very interesting fact isn't it. I would present the panel with copies of the 2nd application showing the one school on it and the letter saying what the situation is with the three schools and then ask the LA representative to explain that given that the three schools were only on the original form that they claim not to have had.
I would raise the fact that you believe that the LA have made a mistake that has disadvantaged your child with the panel in questioning of the LA representatives case and ask the Chair of the panel when to present that information. They may well wnat you to do that when you are presenting your own case rather than in questioning of the LAs case.
The other people with problems of lost papers is not relevant to the appeal and the appeal panel will ignore that but they definitely cannot ignore that rather damning evidence that suggests that the original on time document was received but not acted on.
As PRH says the head is not going to be popular with the LA for offering a mixed age class. The panel is going to be given a problem with this letter. Assuming that the admission number is 30 then the panel has to accept that 8 more pupils could come forward for the spare places in year 1 and they have to be admitted. However what the head has said is that they are quite willing to stash an extra 3 reception age kids in the class, which might be very commendable but is not what should happen. So the panel will be left having to balance the head's willingness to admit against the admittedly theoretical need to keep the 8 spaces in year1 open which they are bound by law to accept is necessary.
However none of that might be necessary if the LA have done what you suspect with the first application.
Agree with Admission that you appear to have compelling evidence that the LA has got it wrong.
But the main reason I've come back is to add a little to my explanation of what will happen tomorrow. If there are several appeals for this school what should happen is that all the parents will be in the room together for the first part of the hearing, up to the point where the LA has presented their case and everyone has had a chance to question them. There will probably be a break after that following which you will present your case in private. The remainder of the hearing will also be in private.
Thanks to everybody for their comments and advice. Rang the admissions department this afternoon and asked to submit new evidence knowing full well that it had to be submitted 3 days prior. Was refused but the admissions department asked what new evidence I now had. I explained what I'd found in the appeal pack they sent me which contained one letter dated the 6th May that I never received yet they claim to have sent myself. Got a phonecall 1 hour later saying thati didn't need to attend the appeal and my son has being awarded a place
I think that is what is called red faces all round at the LA but at least they had the decency to accept that they did not have a leg to stand on.
Please make sure that you do get the offer in writing ASAP, in fact just to be 100% sure why do you not email the admission office and say thank you for the message that you have been offered a place at X school for your child Y and you look forward to the official confirmation of this.
I'm glad they've owned up and given you the place rather than making you go through the appeal. Well done.
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