No appeal date given...(13 Posts)
Looking for more help please. Following on from my last post, we live in North Leeds and were not given any schools on our preferance list for my daughter.
Education Leeds did offer a place at one school but it wasn't one that interested us. Just to add we did have 20 schools that we would happliy consider all near out house. Therefore we rejected the place.
Therefroe we wanted to appeal and were given an appeal date, but I couldn't make it as they informed me on a Friday with the appeal the following Monday. So I requested a new date as soon as I received the original letter. This was recorded on Education Leed's system and I was told a new date would be issued. The original appeal date passed then I got a new letter informing me that the appeal was held without me and we've been unsuccessful!
I called Education Leeds and they said there's been an error and we should have been given a new date. That was weeks ago, I'm still waiting.
My daughter is on 6 school waiting lists, the nearest is a 2 minute walk from our house and the furthest a 4 minute drive, problem is they've all got good OFSTED reports and we can't get into them.
I call Education Leeds twice a week to find out our latest positon on the waiting lists and to be honest they've not moved much. Her positions are 7, 25, 6, 23, 18, and 9.
Today when I called I wanted to know what the long term pla/process is to resolve this, and to my amazement they guys said in December we would pass the case to some other department (can't rememebr the name), and they would contact me to find out what I was going to do about her schooling?
Does responsibility not lie with the EA?
To answer your question first, I'm afraid not. The LA has discharged its responsibilities by offering you a place. You rejected that place. They are not under any obligation to come up with another offer. It is now up to you to find a school with a place for your daughter.
However, they are clearly in breach of the Admission Appeals Code in giving so little notice of your appeal. You don't say exactly how long it has taken them to come up with a new appeal date but I suspect their failure to do so is a further breach of the Appeals Code. Unfortunately that doesn't help you get your daughter into your preferred school. Keep chasing them for a date for your appeal.
You need to talk to Education Leeds and ask them where there are places available and see what you make of the schools that are offered. I would accept one of them, just so you have a school. I don't know when your daughter turns 5 but hopefully it is such that you can defer entry to the school for at least a term - you need to arrange that with the school.
That will give you a bit of breathing space to systematically work through all the schools you would be happy with and find something suitable.
You appear to be on the waititing lists for 6 schools, so how many have you appealed for? From what you have said I am guessing just the one. I would formally request appeals for any of the 20 schools that you would be happy with that are not obviously going to be infant class size cases, along with going on the waiting lists for all 20 of those schools as well.
The LA has to keep waiting lists for the Autumn term but after that there is no legal obligation to keep them and you need to find out how Education Leeds are going to handle this.
What also intrigues me somewhat is why you did not get a place at the school that is a 2 minute walk away, can you say why? Given that the Leeds admission criteria is siblings and then nearest school I presume it could well be a faith school. But the the pertinent question is did you apply for a place at your nearest school ?
They offered you a place, you didn't fancy it so you turned it down - you have no grounds for appeal do you?
Bert2e - That isn't how the system works. If a child is refused entry to a school the parents have the right to appeal. They may well have grounds for appeal if, for example, the LA made a mistake and should have offered a place at the school. The fact they may have turned down the offered school is not relevant.
"Defer entry" - good suggestion, she turns 5 next March.
"Appeals" : I've only appealed for one as the others are faith schools. The big problem is all the schools have rejected people based on the 30 pupils rule so I don't hold out much hope on the appeal. I spoke to two of the schools near us today and I asked if historically a child places 6th would get in. They all responded with a no. They both went on to state that theres people on the list higher up who are have siblings at the school and they can't even get in.
"LA" - Regarding "...how Education Leeds are going to handle this." prh47bridge has pretty much covered it - they arn't I need to find a place the only options being request a place that is available or go private.
"2 minutes walk" : I applied for all the schools nearby, the nearest being faith schools.
I went to a kids party recently and heard two interesting stories:  One guy who lives in the same development (he's a doctor) who has two kids at St Urbans (the nearest school), he's requested his third child also attends the same school but he's been refused a place. Logistically he cannot travel to another school in the morning and also get to work on time therefore he's opted to take all three into private education.  Another guys I spoke to was taking his daughter it private education. He went on to explan that it was not his preferred choice, but they were refused entry on all their selections. I asked which schools he'd opted for and they were the same as mine!
Bert2e - youre wrong. Again prh47bridge is right.
I asked LEA if I could apply for a place next year but they've said no. "You only allowed to apply twice", once for primary and once for secondary. Different applications are only permitted if there's [for example] a change of house. This would then be classed as a transfer request".
So it looks like the options are accept a place at a school further away, go private or move house and apply again!
Sounds as though going private would be your best option. Bit curious as to the relevance of the anecdotal guy at the party being a doctor?
Education Leeds Closed so many schools that there are not enough places - this is happening throughout the city. If you don't accept what you're given you haven't got a hope this year. The sibling and nearest school rules only vount if there are actually places to give in the first place. Priority has to be given to looked after children and SEN (with statements) first by law then others, with a class size pledge at KS1 it is actually against the law to take over the numbers at the moment. In a catholic school they are allowed to take catholics first then apply the other rules so your friend near St Urbans will be way down the list this year even with siblings in the school - pupils on the other side of the city will have higher priority.
And just to clarify:
Education Leeds no longer exists. They came , closed all our schools and left in March with this mess to deal with.
Funnily enough though - the new LEA has employed exactly the people who caused them to fail their ofsted in the first place.
There are a couple of alarm bells ringing here.
Firstly, you need a clear statement fo the reason you did not get into the school that is only 2 minutes walk away. It could be that you simply weren't in a high enough category if it is a faith school but it could equally be that a mistake has been made, in which case you could win an appeal despite there being 30 children in a class already.
Secondly, the statement from the LA that you cannot apply next year is completely wrong. You have the right to apply for any school at any time. If you apply for a school and they refuse to consider your application that would be a clear breach of the Admissions Code.
It is unlikely that places will come up in any primary in Leeds for in year transfers as all are going to be oversubscribed for the next few years and have waiting lists. However, there are possible plans to reopen firtree primary in North Leeds once Harehills moves back to its own site. This is only a possibility though.
Leeds does not allow you to hold children back - my autistic son could have done with a year more in nursery and they agreed to allow me to defer entry but then said that he would have to go into Y1 while the whole idea was to give him an extra year not have him miss a year and then have to catch up and they would not hold his place so we would have had to take an in year transfer place which would have been unlikely to come up at the school we wanted for him. If he had had a statement at that time (he wasn't even diagnosed till Y4) they would have had to consider our request but without a statement and not even recognised as SEN at the time there was nothing we could do but put him into primary at that age.
They did actually give him the extra year in the end but not till 6th form!
A thought - Blenheim Primary is going to 3 form entry next year - they may have a few places still
Because you have turned down a place you will now be classed as choosing elective home education and the LEA will not be responsible for your child's education until she is on a school roll.
The department responsible for elective education is called EOTAS (Education other than at school) was that the dept you are being passed to in December?
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