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school place offered for reception,accepted and then taken away...

(28 Posts)
Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 01:32:35

Where do I stand?
Long story...we lived in crouch end,accepted place and then moved home.
Called council to know about waiting list and we found out that we had been wiped out completely from school and waiting list council stating that we did refuse the place and we accepted a place in an unknown school...
The only thing was instead that school send letter for home visit or randomelly popped in and we were did not reply or where not there.
Contact with council was made after that and new address was given. New tenancy agreement to establish that the date we moved was after school place was accepted...kept waiting until this week with the promise of rectifying it just to hear last thursday that school place was gone and nothing was offered....now we are under enfield council so I am sending in year application to them but I still feel that haringey did not meant to do that...
thanks for your advice...

annh Mon 05-Sep-11 08:23:00

I'm finding it a little difficult to follow your story. Are you saying that when living in Crouch End under Haringey Council, you accepted a school place there but then moved to Enfield? When did you inform the council (which council) of your change of address? Were you still expecting your child to attend the same school you had accepted or were you then applying for a new school in Enfield? Why did the Haringey council remove you from the school and waiting list? Was it because they had sent a letter about a home visit to your old address to which you did not respond and they found out when they visited that you no longer lived there? Why did you not inform them as soon as you moved? If they didn't know how to contact you or where you were, it was reasonable of them to remove you from their lists.

pinkdelight Mon 05-Sep-11 08:37:12

Good questions annh. Also - as you'd accepted a place, which waiting lists were you calling about? And did you plan to move after getting the place? If it's a good/oversubscribed school, you can see how it might look like you did the old trick of moving as soon as the place was accepted, which some London schools are really cracking down on.

Hope that doesn't sound unsymathetic. It must be awful to not know what's happening. Very tricky time to move!

CustardCake Mon 05-Sep-11 09:09:22

Can you clarify the time line here please?
As I read it you applied to a school via Haringey council when you lived in Crouch End and got an offer which you accepted.

If that is the case why were you on waiting lists? Is it because the school you were allocated wasn't one of your choices? What is this unknown school you are supposed to have accepted? Have they written to you?

You later moved house after accepting the offer and told Haringey council about the new address and they then withdrew their offer of a place leaving you with nothing? Do you still want the school place you originally accepted? If so I would definitely fight for it.
Councils are normally only allowed to withdraw a place if they find out you've lied about your address. You didn't do this, you simply happened to move house after allocations were made. They definitely cannot leave you with no school place at all. It sounds like you are under the impression that they came to visit you at your old address, found you gone and withdrew the place. Do you have any evidence of this?

Do you have all the paperwork offering you the school place and showing you accepted? I would appeal the decision if you still want the place.

prh47bridge Mon 05-Sep-11 10:19:01

Just noticed this thread having responded to your post on another thread!

If I understand you correctly you moved home after the place was offered and accepted. Is that correct?

If I am right, that means Haringey have no right to withdraw the offer unless they are suggesting you used a false address, which does not appear to be the case from your comments. This is a clear breach of the Admissions Code paragraph 1.50. If you still want the place you were originally offered you should contact Haringey's Admissions Manager, point out that they are in breach of the Admissions Code and demand that they reinstate the place. Don't be put off by them saying the school is full and that it would breach infant class size regulations. As they made a mistake that doesn't matter - they can admit your child without breaching infant class size regulations.

If they refuse to admit your child you should appeal. You have a strnog case.

annh Mon 05-Sep-11 10:30:02

PRH, would it make any difference if the OP had not notified the Council of her house move, they had visited to find that she was not at the address she had applied from and they had no new address for her? Could they withdraw the place in those circumstances and not be obliged to reinstate it?

prh47bridge Mon 05-Sep-11 11:50:28

annh - The OP was under no obligation to inform the LA of her change of address or notify them of her new address so a failure to do so is not of itself justification for withdrawing an offer.

They can withdraw the offer if they reasonably believe that the original application was fraudulent or deliberately misleading. Given that Haringey require two items giving proof of address at the time of application, I do not think it is reasonable to conclude that the application was fraudulent or misleading simply because they found that the OP had moved, especially as they clearly did not know whether the move took place before or after the offer was made. The OP tells us that Haringey said they were going to rectify the situation, so they seem to have accepted this.

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 11:53:42

Please let me know....
I did not know I had to inform them about the move straight away...and anyway they did not update address until last week....so what was the point anyway?

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 11:55:35

Annh they did not rectify they just said the place was now gone.... I never knew I had to tell them new address....I did but it seems it was late sad

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 12:09:48

yes waiting list was for other school (coleridge) if I didnt call for that reason I would have never known...how did they dare to write wrong informations also on the system....like I did refuse the school place and accepted a school place somewhere else in an unknown school....I'm sooo disappointed and sad...

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Mon 05-Sep-11 12:16:18

Cinnamon - follow the advice given by prh47, he (I seem to recall you are a bloke prh, apologies if wrong!) is legally qualified with a lot of experience in this area.

You did NOT have to inform them of a change of address after accepting the place, with-holding a place offered in these circumstances is ILLEGAL even if they have offered the place to someone else. They HAVE to honour the offer of a place to your DC even if this results in a larger class size. Don't worry, they cannot kick out the kid who was offered your place, they are both entitled to a place under the admission rules.

Get back on to the council and insist that the place is reinstated or insist on an immediate appeal, which you will win.

admission Mon 05-Sep-11 12:17:47

Cinnamon,
Sorry but to unravel this, we need to have more detail of exactly what happened, especially the timeline for this as this is really important.
1) when you were living in Crouch end, did you apply for a school place on time and was the school place allocated to a school in Haringey or in Enfield.
2) what date were you informed of this school place.
3) did you formally accept this school place
4) when did you then move to Enfield area
5) when did you inform Haringey council that you had moved to the Enfield area?
6) when did Haringey inform you in writing that you had lost the school place originally allocated.
6) were you expecting to go to this school?
7) when did you approach Enfield council over another school place

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 12:25:17

hello Carrots how do I do an immediate appeal?tx

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 12:27:24

Admission
I did everything by the date and on time...place was offered and accepted...then moved home...I had a look at the admission code and yes they are in breach of it,thank for all your advice! Now I have emailed Haringey Admission manager....stated that they are in breach of regulation and to give back our place....what if they dont reply or dont do it???? sad

annh Mon 05-Sep-11 12:32:56

Cinnamon06, both PRH and Admission are very experienced at offering advice on appeals. However, if you are going to appeal you will need to have all of your facts and figures in order. It would therefore really help both yourself and Admission if you could answer the questions that Admission posed in her post.

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 12:48:49

thanks!
1-2-3)I did apply on line by the 15th of jan,school place allocated 4th or april,accepted online straight after that,recieved confirmation email and letter from school
4) 24th of april
5) beginning of june when I called for waiting lists for other schools
6)never....they have nver written to this address and they did not update it until last week....
6) yes I was expecting to start this september...
7) last week as I didnt expect haringey to act this way....

sad((

admission Mon 05-Sep-11 13:12:19

Cinnamon,
It is clear from the dates that you were offered and accepted a place by Harringey and only after this did you move. They therefore have no legal right to remove your place at the school (unless that address was fraudelent) and you have done absolutely the right thing in emailing the admission manager and demanding the reinstatement of the place. The idea they did this without even informing you is unbelievable.
Obviously if you are now looking to move schools this will complicate matters but you need to get that school place back as a first step.

annh Mon 05-Sep-11 13:15:58

OK, so it sounds as if sometime between 24 April and beginning of June. Haringey, for some reason, withdrew your school place, possibly (based on what you said in your first post) because they wrote to you/made a home visit and found that you were not at the address. Do you still want your child to go to this original school? Or would you be happy if Enfield allocated you another school in your new area? HAVE Enfield come up with a school place for you yet?

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 13:18:09

Admission thanks!
what if they dont reply and they dont want to give me back the place? To me the most unbelieveble thing of all is that they put into their records that we did refuse the place and accepted a place somewhere else....an unknown school was stated...
What to do next?
School meant to start this month.... sad

Agapanthii Mon 05-Sep-11 13:28:15

Surely if you had refused they would be able to produce a letter or an email stating your refusal. Perhaps you should ask to see a copy?

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 13:37:00

Agapanthil.... at the beginning they even questioned if i did by mistake refuse the place....i feel like talking to a wall..... but that's a good point!

prh47bridge Mon 05-Sep-11 16:32:51

Carrots - Yes I am a man but I don't mind people getting my sex wrong on here. Easy mistake to make!

Cinnamon06 - I gather from your PMs to me (and I hope you don't mind me posting this) that they are saying you have no right to appeal as they allocated you a place at this school. That is complete and utter b*ll*cks. You have been refused entry to this school. You therefore have the right to appeal against that decision. The fact that they started by offering a place is irrelevant.

Thinking about what you have said, it seems they started by saying you rejected the place which suggests this may be a straightforward administrative cock up rather than anything to do with thinking your application was fraudulent. Someone got it wrong and put you down as rejecting the offer when you had actually accepted it. The fact they didn't tell you they had taken the place away tends to support that - after all, if you had rejected the offer there would be no need to tell you that the place had been taken away. But the reasons you are in this situation doesn't matter. They have got it wrong. They have to give you the place back.

If they continue to refuse to either give back the place or allow an appeal you should tell them that you are going to refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman. The LGO does not normally get involved in school admissions until there has been an unsuccessful appeal but I would expect them to be very interested in an LA that was attempting to deny parent their legal right to appeal.

Cinnamon06 Mon 05-Sep-11 18:19:33

Prh47 thank you very much! of course I dont mind! I dont know what to think more of them...once I have been put on waiting for 18 minutes and then put thru council tax....everytime someone was asking for the full story again...until last week they did not even update the address...what if now they want to get away from this and offer me another school? I dont want another school I want that school!
tx

prh47bridge Mon 05-Sep-11 19:57:33

If they offer you another school you are within your rights to insist that they either reinstate your original place or allow you to appeal even if you choose to accept the offered place. Accepting the offered place should not weaken your appeal. The LA has got it wrong and should put it right.

Have they at least agreed that you can appeal?

admission Mon 05-Sep-11 19:59:48

Cinnamon,
If they try to offer another school, you tell them that you want the school that you originally accepted a place for. Tell them they have 24 hours to confirm the place or that you will be reporting both their incompetence to the LGO and that fact that they are denying your rightful place and the right to an appeal.
I would challenge them to come up with some evidence that you actually rejected the place, as I agree with PRH, this is probably an administrative blunder that they are now trying to cover up.
Please be careful to make sure that you have all these conversations confirmed in writing so that they cannot claim it was a misunderstanding later on. I would ask for an email address and send them an email every time you have a conversation, confirming the substance of the conversation. If they do not think what you have said in writing is right they will be back onto you ASAP. Sorry but based on what has happened you can not rely on just telephone conversations.

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