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Appeal chances-one twin in

(22 Posts)
livvyliv Fri 08-Jul-11 17:45:02

I've just been informed that I have a place for my ds in year 5 and a place for I twin in you know what my chances are for appeal?
Background is that they were at this school before but then had to move areas with husbands moving back and obviously would make my life easier if all back at their old school.
Any help greatly appreciated

prh47bridge Fri 08-Jul-11 18:26:54

It depends on whether there are 30 children in each class in Y2. If there are you would need to show that there has been a mistake in processing your application and, if it had been processed correctly, your child would have been admitted. That is highly unlikely in this situation.

If there are fewer than 30 children in each cleass you may be able to win an appeal. However, your case needs to be about how your other child will be disadvantaged if not admitted to this school. The fact it will make your life easier will not be enough to win an appeal.

kla73 Fri 08-Jul-11 21:43:54

I moved at this time of year 2 years ago. My twins were then reception going into year 1 in the September. Like you I got one into the local school and the other was offered a school 4 miles away. I remember the nightmare well! I found the girl at the admissions office really supportive (yes really!) but she couldn't do anything about it until her boss came back from holiday. Amazingly he agreed to go to 31 in the class as long as they didn't start until Sept so they had a full yr before needing to employ a new teacher if the numbers didn't 'right' themselves. Being a 3 form entry school it was highly likely that at least one space would become available during the year. Not sure if this was entirely legal (not that I care) and was very lucky.

In the mean time I had put together an appeal which would have been an infant class size (ICS) appeal. I didn't really stand much of a chance of winning as there were no mistakes made but you never know your luck. I got alot of support from the primary education consultant at TAMBA who was going to come up with some evidence of psychological harm that splitting twins up could do. I was going for the really long shot of the LA's decision being peverse. You could also mention although I don't know how helpful it would be (probably only if not an ICS appeal) that it is proposed that the new admissions code will allow multiple birth children to be excepted pupils (i.e go over PAN) - this is not in the code in current use but it shows that its is thought that the needs of multiple birth children are not met by the current code. At least I think that is correct. I'm sure one of the experts will be able to clarify and give you some more expert advice.

Good luck!

prh47bridge Sat 09-Jul-11 00:07:08

Yes, what they did in your case was legal. Your second twin was admitted on the basis that you had moved into the area outside the normal admissions round and there was no other school available within a reasonable distance. That means your child was "excepted" for a year, which means they didn't count towards the infant class size limit.

The LA's decision being perverse is, as you say, a long shot. The standard you have to meet is very high. You effectively have to show that the LA has acted irrationally.

It is true that the draft Admissions Code suggests that multiple birth children should be added to the list of excepted children. This isn't really relevant at appeal, however. The panel has to work with the current Admission Code, not a proposed new Code which may change substantially before it is issued. There is nothing to stop anyone mentioning this change, of course, but a properly trained appeal panel should not take it into account.

IndigoBell Sat 09-Jul-11 06:41:52

Haven't they just changed the rules so that the can admit 31 kids in this case (one twin being admitted, the other not)

There was certainly a proposal by Gove to do this. But I don't know if it's law yet or not.

IndigoBell Sat 09-Jul-11 06:45:39

Damn. The new admissions code which would admit twins in this situation doesn't come into effect until Sep 2013

Saracen Sat 09-Jul-11 07:07:44

Are you referring to getting your child into this school immediately, for the current year? If he/she is NOW in y2 then you could wait a bit to appeal, at which point you will be trying for y3 and the infant class size regulations won't apply.

livvyliv Fri 15-Jul-11 18:16:42

Thanks for all the advice.kia73 it's good to hear it worked out for you.they will be going into the new start of term in sept for year 2.
I have now received my appeal letter and just wanted some advice on how to fill out and what angle to go in at.

Do i concentrate on that if I don't win the appeal I will have 3 children at different schools(it's a separate infant and junior school which other two are at)not sure how I can be in 3places at same time.
Do I go on about the psychological impact on the twin that hasn't got in and how it will affect both of them.

I have looked at the tamba website and will also contact them re situation.

I've already spoken to the school and they are more than happy to have both even though it will take them to 31

It just seems ludicrous to me that I'm in this situation.I know it's the law re infant class size but the fact this is changing in 2013 makes me think there has to be some flexibility.

Any info,tips greatly appreciated.

livvyliv Sat 16-Jul-11 08:34:02

Just bumping

prh47bridge Sat 16-Jul-11 18:31:12

The appeal panel can't really consider the argument about the difficulties caused by having children at different schools. By all means mention it but concentrate on the psychological impact, although even that would be more effective if you had independent expert evidence to back you up. This would need to be specific to your child, not general stuff about the effects of separating twins.

The changes for 2013 are still only a draft. It is likely that this change will be made but by no means guaranteed.

livvyliv Sat 16-Jul-11 18:53:57

I'm really not sure how I'm supposed to be in 3 places at the same time at drop off and collection.if they were old enough I could leave them in the playground but at 6 and 8 years they are obviously too young for that.

teacherwith2kids Sat 16-Jul-11 19:02:33


The expectation is that you manage it through before and after school childcare, whether childminders or clubs - and it is a reasonable expectation, as so many parents all over the country already do that, or manage pre-school and infant school and junior school pickups in different places if they have children of different ages.

A friend of mine manages it by dropping child A at a friend's house to walk to school A, taking child B to school B's breakfast club, then taking Child C to school C. After school, she picks up Child A and friend (thus returning the lift share arrangement from the morning as she drops off friend at his house). Child C is picked up by a childminder, where he stays for just over an hour while she picks up Child B from after school club at school B.

livvyliv Sat 16-Jul-11 19:55:37

Teacher I understand that people have to juggle it but pre schools usually start later than schools.the 3 schools all start within 5 mins of each other.I also think it's a lot to ask of a friend to do this indefinitely.
Not sure how the 'exception' case works but I do know that a friend will be taking her ds out at the end of year two.this would then mean that the class size would be back at 30.not sure if this would make any difference.

kla73 Sat 16-Jul-11 20:26:38

I don't think that it is a reasonable expectatation and it may involve considerable expense. However it is how it is and it would be better to move on from these arguements as they are not going to get you anywhere at appeal which need's to focus on the needs of your child. Do what you can to get some evidence to support the potential harm seperating the twins could do. It's a tricky one because you don't want to create anxiety in them by dragging going off for psychological assessments etc. It is so easy to put your own anxiety on your child so try and keep it as low key as possible from their perspective. Would your GP support you by maybe doing some kind of assessment with your child and writing a statement if the outcome of that assessment supported your case?
As I said before TAMBA are really good at advising re these cases and may have some suggestions. If nothing else they are a good listening ear for all that frustration.
As far as I'm aware with an 'excepted' child the school have the remainder of the academic year before they have to put in measures (employ an extra teacher). As you would be appealing for a place in September it would give them the whole year and then those children would be year 3 so not an infant class size issue anyway. They wont be able to factor in people who say they are leaving as a place isn't there until its there if you see what I mean. I wouldn't mention it as its not relevant.

prh47bridge Sat 16-Jul-11 20:45:20

Sorry - I forgot this is an infant class size case. That means you need to show the LA has made a mistake or acted unreasonably to win your appeal. Arguments about transport difficulties or psychological problems should not win your appeal. Even if it was not infant class size, appeal panels will not generally consider transport problems as reason to admit. I know it makes life difficult for you and may cost you money, but appeals are supposed to be about the problems the child will have if they aren't admitted. The problems parents will have generally don't come into it.

There are a number of circumstances in which a child is regarded as "excepted", which means they don't count towards the infant class size limit. One of those is children admitted as a result of successful appeals. However, most excepted children are only excepted for the remainder of the academic year in which they were admitted. Unfortunately that doesn't help you. Even though, as Kla73 says, your child would be excepted throughout the time they were in infants if the panel admitted, the panel are not allowed to use that as a reason for admitting your child.

livvyliv Sat 16-Jul-11 21:20:12

Sorry I know I'm going off on one.I haven't actually told the twins yet that one of them is going to their old school with their friends and the other to their third different school.
I just need to decide what to do if I don't win.I really don't think I can split them up so will probably put them both in the new school.I suppose the only problem with that is it will be really unlikely to get 2places come up,whereas if I keep one there it's possible 1place comes up.
KIA not sure if I'd feel it's appropriate to ask my dr,though I do feel it will be traumatising for both twins.

kla73 Sat 16-Jul-11 21:35:32

I'm not sure its appropriate either. I didn't tell mine that there was any change of them being seperate - children do not need to be worrying about these things and anyway as in theory the panel will only be looking at if an error is made it may all be fruitless anyway.

Have you asked the LA how long they would hold the one place for you (while you pray another comes available). I got different answers when I asked this question but at best a school may have held a place for half a term. I asked this because I was not prepared to split them and like you faced a situation of waiting on 2 places at the same time. If you are thinking of putting them both into the other school and it has enough places to gamble on not taking 2 places now I would hold onto the one place at the preferred school as well as accepting the other school place and hope that another comes available between now and Sept. If it doesn't then you can take up 2 places at the other school.
At least if the new code comes in in 2013 you will only need one place to come up. Also if they did go into a different school for a year and the place you mention comes up at the end of next year you could try and appeal again then for a year 3 place which would be easier to win.

Changebagsandgladrags Sat 16-Jul-11 21:51:51

Are you working or a SAHP? If you're a SAH I'd home-school one twin while a place came up on the waiting list (assuming appeal fails).

You'd be bound to be high up on the list because of the sibling link.

kla73 Sat 16-Jul-11 22:11:20

By the way I meant that if you are still waiting in 2013 and the new code comes in you will only need one place - lets hope it is long resolved before then. I know its a bit of a cliche and it is soooooo stressful but these thing really do have a habit of working out.
I would consider the home schooling - It wouldn't have been for me as I had a one year old at the time and didn't think I'd cope - also I found it almost impossible to consider sending one off to school while the other couldn't go. Just seemed too awful! But it might work for you and your twins. If you heard on the grapevine of likely movement in the near future it might well be an option.

clarence1972 Sat 16-Jul-11 22:32:48

no advice but just wanted to say good luck and i hope it works out for you.

Roll on 2013 and the changes to admissions code, it is insane that we are in the position that we have to think about splitting twins or settling for schools that are not as good.

I was told by my local admissions team that I could choose which twin I would send if a place comes up at my local on earth do they expect me to decide which of my daughters gets a decent education?

kla73 Sat 16-Jul-11 22:41:32

It is madness to split twins - worse than splitting up siblings which lets face it is bad enough. I don't feel that twins should have any more preference than a singleton for a school place but I do feel that it is important to put something in place to support parents in getting both their twins in once one has a place otherwise you are always stuck with waiting for 2 places at the same time which may never happen. I asked my LA if both twins were placed 4 miles away how were they going to help me to get them back to a local school without splitting them once places were available and they had no answer because the school admissions code does not address this. So roll on 2013 as you say and let's just hope that the draft doesn't change on this point.

livvyliv Sun 17-Jul-11 08:38:18

Home schooling isn't an option as I'll be working.I think I've decided that whatever happens I'm not going to split them up as I feel that is really unfair.they are so close to one another and are best friends.I'm going to phone the education authority tomorrow and find out if any of the schools have 2 2nd and third choice don't.
You never know someone might leave over the summer holidays.thanks again for the advice and support.

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