Council giving incorrect info. at Appeal(5 Posts)
Went to primary appeal but assume I have lost. However, feel I may have won on one of my points but have now found out the Council Rep gave info from a booklet that, having now looked at it, was incorrect. My argument was that an out of catchment sibling (same as mine) has been given a place as the Council said they made an error on admissions and they were IN catchment letting them in when appeals were about to be heard. I didn't think they were and also that they were further away than me, thus jepordising my possible allocation of place. I used info on the website when you view catchment, Council said you must go by a certain booklet (which he had) which clearly states nos. 1-61 * Road - School 1 catchment, I agreed, if this was the info in this booklet then fair enough, I do not have case. On leaving I looked up this booklet and saw that it DID say that but also the line below read nos. 0-60 * Road - School catchment 2. Thereby making odd nos' side of the road one school and the even nos' a different school, therefore my point was actually right but I had not been able to discuss my point on distance as he had said they were IN catchment. Tried to call the legal team but they state I should have made this point at appeal and I could not now pass this info onto the panel (who were still sitting). What now if I lose appeal? Where do I go? Back to the Council to tell them? County Councillor? Ombudsman? Wait and hope that 3 children do not turn up in Sept?
The information in this booklet seems somewhat unclear. As worded it actually says that all the houses up to No. 60 are in catchment for both schools. It may have been the intention that the odd numbers are in catchment for one school and the even numbers are in catchment for another but they haven't specifically said that. Unless the booklet says something more specfic about odd and even numbers, I suspect the child you are complaining about would have been admitted at appeal on the grounds that a mistake had been made and they should have been treated as in catchment.
Whilst you could go to the Local Government Ombudsman if you lose your appeal, the underlying problem you have is that, even if this was a mistake, it doesn't help you. Your child would not have been admitted regardless of whether or not this mistake had been made. At the moment the only effect on your child is that more children have to leave the school before they can be admitted. That means an appeal based on this mistake should fail.
I'm sure one the the experts will be along soon, but I think that what happened with another applicant is irrelevant to your case. Are you odd and in catchment, or even and out of catchment?
Pretty poor for the appeal panel not to be familiar with the catchment area though.
Thanks so much for that, if anything it has made me feel a little less stressed as I had done my best with the info available. I have been deliberating about the ambiguity of the booklet but when I looked at that and the website together it was clear what they were meaning. You are right, they would have won appeal, and so they should, based on that information. I will try to get it clearer in the booklet though as I will come up against this YET AGAIN in a few years time.
Sorry Titchy, I overlapped. It is not irrelevant if it makes a difference to my possible allocation of a place apparently, I am not on the same road but OUT of catchment but closer as the crow flies which was my point, someone had been let in ahead of me who was in exactly the same sibling, out of catchment position but I was closer.
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