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Frustrated regarding places

(7 Posts)
TipOfTheSlung Mon 26-Sep-11 12:29:29

I just need to let off steam
We recently moved. We decided to move to a town so that I could walk the children to school as I don't drive and we had communication problems with the last school what with them going on the bus, it has been awful and stressful and didn't end well.
So a few weeks ago I phoned the local school to unofficially check they had spaces for ds2 and dd, all fine.
Put our application in as soon as we could, we had to wait for paperwork from the rental agency.
Got our reply back from county hall on saturday. There was space for dd but not ds2 so they had allocated them both places at a school in the next village three and a half miles away and would have to go on transport.
We could have moved to the country if we had wanted to bus them in but instead we are living in a town in a not so great house and I have got rid of my chickens etc etc so they can be walked to school and we can see the teachers as and when needed. I even put on the application that I didn't drive and wanted to be able to walk them.
So I had to wait til today to tell them we don't want those places, we want the one for dd locally and will have to think about ds2. Ds1 has a bursary to a prep school and ds2 will be the right age next spetember so we may try to get one for him too and find something for the interim. They said that she didn't actually have an offer of a place there and it may have been taken.

Have just this second had a call back to say they can arrange a place for dd at the local school. All good there.

What would you do in our situation for ds2?

BetsyBoop Mon 26-Sep-11 12:44:14

How old is DS2?

You can always appeal for a place for him at the school you want. I asked how old as if he is in YR, Y1 or Y2 then "infant class size" rules apply which would make it extrememly difficult to win an appeal if the class already has 30 children in it.

Can the school give you an idea of typically how much "movement" there is, ie are places coming up two or three times are term or is it once in a blue moon, or somewhere between the two? No guarantee of course, but if there is a fair amount of movement then a place may come up soon & he would probably near or at the top of the waiting list if your DD is already there and they use sibling priority.

TipOfTheSlung Mon 26-Sep-11 12:57:34

He's year 2, the class is full.
I have been told that we cannot reapply within the same school year so even if a place came up now it would be offered to someone who has just sent in their application. Mad really as they may live quite a way away.

Apparently they are not allowed a waiting list

Runoutofideas Mon 26-Sep-11 13:09:27

"Not allowed a waiting list" sounds like rubbish to me. I'm sure someone will be along soon who knows the legalities of it but to me it sounds like you are not re-applying, just "applying" and if there is no space currently then you should be on a waiting list.

TipOfTheSlung Mon 26-Sep-11 13:15:55

Have arranged for dd to start on monday. School said the rule made up by county are mad and it seems so odd to her shes going to ring them to clarify. In the meantime we have accepted the place at the other school and i have arranged with mil to take him too have a look around.
Have asked the prep school for bursary forms. We sent ds1 there because his needs weren't being met and weren't necessarily going to try and send them all there but circumstances now mean that we feel it would be the best thing for ds2 as dh can do pick ups and drops offs so we get a relationship with the school.

admission Mon 26-Sep-11 14:41:06

I have no idea what the school and county are talking about over admissions and specifically waiting lists, they are confusing everything.
Yes it is correct that by law the LA does not have to hold a waiting list for reception year after Christmas but in any school that is full there is likely to parents wanting places in all year groups and at all times of the year. As soon as a place becomes available they have to fill the place and if they do not have a waiting list then what do they do - give it to the next parent who phones up. I think not unless they want all sorts of problems with the Local Government Ombudsman and School Adjudicator. They must be running some kind of waiting list.
DS2 is in year 2, so their class will have to obey the infant class size regs, which says no more than 30 pupils per school teacher. So the first question is what is the admission number for the school?
You can appeal for a place for DS2 - hopefully the Council told you that or they have broken the law there. However if the infant class size regs are appropriate then your chances of success are very low. Once you have appealed then you are not normally allowed another appeal in the same academic year unless there has been a material change of circumstances (things like you have moved). However that does not stop you being on the waiting list for the school.
I think that you would be best advised to ask for the decision not to offer a place at X school in writing and also ask them specifically how you go about being on the waiting list for the school. Do not accept a verbal answer ask for it in writing and see what they say. In the mean time establish what the admission for the school is and we can advise whether it would be an infant class size appeal. If it is not then I would definitely appeal, when you have a reasonable chance of success, given you are moving into the area, the specific circumstances and the fact there will be siblings in the school.

TipOfTheSlung Wed 28-Sep-11 16:20:00

We went and visited the second school and though both were nice decided to send both children to the school using transport. Annoying isn't the word but the school has other advantages such as flexibility for dd who is behind becaus eof her prematurity/being born in the wrong year.
They did say we could appeal but were likely to fail because of class sizes and to be honest we wan t them in and settled. They have both already been to two school and are only 6&5.

It's going to cost me £18 in taxi fare everytime i need to show my face but we have decided it's better to just get them settled and accept the money stress. i am learning to drive so hopefully it will ease when/if i pass my test.

It is out of town on the same side as ds1s school which I expect may make things easier in the future, especially if we have to move again as are in rented.

Thanks for advice/listening

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