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can anyone help please - admissions

(34 Posts)
nickala Tue 27-Sep-11 22:50:10

Hi I am looking for some advice please. It is a very long story but i try keep it brief without it not making sense. My son ws due to start reception in january we did not get our preferred school as it was full, my daughter went to the school but was in the last year at application time of my son and my neices and nephews go to the school, it is the school my son has been linked to since age 2 and we are devasted he has not got in he is a shy boy and has had to starta new school nearer to my home. He has only just started this school last week straight into year 1. He is very unhappy and he missed his old friends at the school we hoped he would get into. I did not appeal for a place at the reception stage as i was put off by admissions and by the headteacher of the school although staff who taught my son there did everything they could to try and help including writing a letter to admissions stating why they felt my son should be at that school i.e social and emotional reasons, i applied for an appeal under rule 2 with this but admissions rejected it as it did not exactly specify why that school was the only school for my son. I have recently made an appeal for year 1, it was also rejected although the panel was very sympathetic they did not uphold it due to class size limits of 30 already being full and they also said in the letter that it was rejected because my application was not made on time and although i suggested during my appeal that my application was not late they said that the had to take the evidence provided to them from the admissions officer and that was that she had stated my application was 9 months late. they also said that is was because it ws not my closest school. My point is that i have now proved that my application wqas not late by sending admissions the email i got confirming my school application (thank god for email) dated back to 17th november 2009. admissions said i did not apply for my preferre3d school until 26th october 2010 which is totally incorrect and not dis proved. Is it ok for admissions to use evidence against me in my appeal that is not correct? They have admitted that it was incorrect but if one of the reasons for my appeal rejection is based on this incorrect matter, is this allowed? Also i asked admissions to work out whether if my application had been processed ontime would my son have got a place they have said no as the last child admitted under rule 6 lives such and such distance any my distance is 400 m more than that. However i know that the distance they have applied is not correct (old method as my application was before the new crow flies way of doing it) so they have suggested that the shortest designated route to be the way you would drive to the school which is obviosuly not the way you woudl walk to the school. The school is on a new estate and so one of the roads i would use it marked on maps as a unnamed round however it is now named and it is a perfectly good road that other mums use to get to that school. My route also involves cutting through the galleria which is again perfectly safe as there is a zebra crossing and pavement all the way and no point is the walk unsafe or not a public right of way. I am not going to challenge that the distance they have used is in correct and show that the last child they admitted is further away than how i can prove we can walk to school, am i allowed to do this after my appeal? if the distance has been applied wrong and i can prove a shorter way will i get my son back to his school? I had no idea that admissions had not recored my original application on time until it was mentioned in my appeal. they did not write to me they just automatically gave us our nearest school which is the one my son had to start last week. please can anyone give me any advice on this. thank you

yellowsubmarine41 Tue 27-Sep-11 22:54:56

I'm sure that someone will be able to help you, but could you repost using paragraphs with spaces between?

Like this.

It's very difficult to read as it is.

prh47bridge Wed 28-Sep-11 00:57:18

As yellowsubmarine41 says, your post is difficult to follow.

I am somewhat confused as to the order of events here. You say you did not appeal for a place at the Reception stage as you were put off by the LA (Local Authority) and the head teacher. However you go on to say that you applied for an appeal under rule 2 but this was rejected. I presume you mean that your son should have been placed in category 2 which I guess, from the rest of your post, is special social or medical need. However, the fact you say you applied for an appeal is confusing since you said you did not appeal at the Reception stage. Did you appeal at this point or not? Can you clarify exactly what happened please.

The next question which needs answering is whether the LA processed your application as an on time application or as a late one or even missed it completely. You should have been offered a place at a school in April or May last year. Did that happen? If so the 26th October date clearly refers to something else. However, if no offer was made at that time it may be that they overlooked your application.

We then come to the question of whether or not your son would have been offered a place if the application had been processed correctly. Since this is an argument about distance what matters is exactly what their admission arrangements said about measuring distance. If it said they would use the shortest route using public roads they have probably got it right. However, if your route meets the criteria laid down in the admission arrangements you have a case that they have got it wrong. However if, for example, they have not used the unnamed road you mention and they should have done so they would have to remeasure the distance for every child using that route (where appropriate) to determine if your child would have got a place.

Do you still have the admissions booklet from 2009? If so, what does it say about measuring distance?

It is likely that you will need to appeal again in order to prove that the LA got the distance wrong (if, indeed, they did). The fact that they presented incorrect evidence to the appeal you had recently is a serious problem as it potentially undermines the whole process. I would contact the LA, point out that they have apparently admitted to presenting incorrect evidence and ask them to arrange a fresh appeal. Tell them that if they refuse to do so you will refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Even if you do get a fresh appeal, remember that this is an infant class size case. You can only win if you can show that the LA made a mistake and your son would have been admitted if they had got it right.

3duracellbunnies Wed 28-Sep-11 06:45:32

I'm not an expert on admissions and I know too that I would be gutted if ds didn't join his sisters, but in case the appeal doesn't work or it takes a long time, I think you need to be as possitive as you can with your son at the new school. Talk to his teachers, see if he is playing with anyone, arrange playdates etc.

You could also look into beavers etc maybe with some of his old friends and some new friends. Children seem to be very flexible at this age but if he thinks you are unhappy then he too will be. It may be a chance for him with some support make some new friends.

Children do leave schools and he may well get a place soon, I think that at year 3 the class sizes are less restrictive, plus people transfer to private school.

Good luck with the appeal

admission Wed 28-Sep-11 12:33:27

This is very complicated and I think we need to understand exactly what has happened before we can be precise.
One thing is for certain, if this is an appeal based on infant class size, which the stated appeal was so we can assume that is correct, then the only way you have any chance of success is to prove that the admission authority have made mistakes that would have resulted in your child being offered a place at the school if it had been properly carried out.
I think and can you confirm this that you originally applied for a place in the preferred school on the 17th November 2009. You should then have been considered for a place at the school to start in September 2010, but you were intending to defer to January 2011. You therefore should have been offered places sometime around April / May 2010. I guess from your post that you did not get your preferred school but something else. Did you accept the school offered or not? What did you tell the LA you were doing? Did you ask to be on the waiting list for the preferred school, as we know you made a decision not to appeal at this time
I suspect that you rejected the offered school and that the LA therefore had met their statutory duty in offering a place and removed the place from the offered school.
Moving forward you then again applied for a place at the preferred school, when was this? Is this the 26th October 2010 date that the LA are referring to? This seems unlikely if the appeal is fairly recent but can you confirm. Do you also know whether you were on the waiting list for the school through out the 2010-11 academic year?
The other thing that needs confirming is around the admission criteria. Am I right in assuming that the 2010-11 admission arrangements used a nearest walking route distance criteria but that the 2011-12 admission arrangements use a straight line distance criteria. Any admission appeal that has been since April 2011 would have been based on the 2011 admission criteria, any before that would have been based on the 2010-11 criteria.

nickala Wed 28-Sep-11 23:10:40

HI All, thank you for your replies and sorry for the confusing message i will try to explain properly in full (with paragraphs).
My son was due to start primary school in jan 11 - his bday is aug so he would go into the 2nd intake of reception children. The first intake started Sept 10.
In November 2009 we applied for the school we wanted as our first choice, the dates for this application to be made were from 15th november 09 to 29th jan 10, i applied on 17th November 2009.
The school which we put as our first choice is the school my son has been at since he was 2, in their daycare 2 days a week and then pre school and nursery. My daughter also went to the school but was in year 6 at time of application being made so didnt count under the sibling rule and it is also the school other family members go to.
In April 2010 i was informed of the school we had been allocated, being the closet school to my home but not the school we wanted as mentioned above. I was obviously very upset but did not appeal as was advised not to (should have done) so went on the CI list hoping for a place in the near future. My son was due to leave nursery at our 1st choice school at xmas 2010 and start reception jan 11 but as we did not get out preferred school we deferred this until he legally had to start school sept 11. The school we wanted where he was at nursery thought that given my sons struggle to settle in and the amount of time it had taken him to be happy and secure where he is that is would be a good idea to defer the allocated new school in the hope that my son would get a place before sept 11 at their school. he was at that time no.2 on the CI list. ALso the school had a high turnover of children in previous years so it was a high hope that this would be the case again and my son would have a fixed place there before he had to legally start his allocated place in sept 11. The nursery were very helpful and when it was possible to take my son into the reception class to aid his learning they did so although he offically did not have a place in that class.

The school wrote me a letter stating why they felt my son should stay with them noting how long it had taken to settle and how he was not happy and comfortable in his environment and they felt that the school was the only place for my son to progress with his learning skills and social development. I sent this letter along with a letter of my own and applied for a rule 2 appeal. However the evidence was not sufficient enough and the rule 2 was not adhered to.
My son stayed with the school until the summer term 2011.

When the time came i then had to put my son on the in year CI list (which i think is basically the same as the one he was already on), his position throughout had jumped from 2,3,4 and back to 3 it now stands at 4. I can oly think tat children are moving into the area or applying to the school waiting list who live nearer.

Upon reading up advice on the net and admissions website i realised that i could appeal for a year 1 place, although i was aware of class size limits i had to give it a go. My appeal plea was basically the same as my rule 2 plea but with added medical letters to support it.

When i went to the appeal the admissions lady there told the panel that my application to the school i was appealing was late, it was recorded as being received Oct 10, I told the panel this was not true and they advised me to find the proof and send it to admissions, which i have now done, i proved my application was sent to them 17th november 2010. Admissions have admitted this was an error. When i heard the outcome from my appeal the panel wrote that my appeal had not been upheld due to class size limits and it had been rejected due to the evidence supplied by admissions that my application was late and that is was not my closest school. I feel it very unfair that one of the reasons they have rejected my appeal on was infact not true, can i request a fresh appeal because of this? surely the evidence needs to be correct regardless of whether it would have affected the outcome. It must have set me in a bad light suggesting my application was late.

I was a little confused as how they could say my application was late and yet send me out the usual letter of what school we had been allocated in april 2010 if they had not yet even received my application. Admissions have told me that if no application is received the automatically allocate you the nearest school.

In light of what i had learnt at the appeal about my application supposedly being late i realsied that our application had obviously been ignored and that our preferred school was not noted until they went though the late application process stage. I ask admissions to let me know if this made any difference to my son not getting our preferred school they said even if the application had been processed on time and not as a late application that my son still would have not got a place as the last rule 6 allocation has a 400m less home to school distance and so the error made no difference to his allocation of our preferred school. i asked them for the measurement of the home to school distance which i can see is based on the distance that you would drive to the school. As my sons application was before the new crow flies rule the method of the shortest designated route was applied. However the way you drive to the school is not thw way you would walk to the school there is a shorter way (you cannot drive the way you would walk), no one in their right mind would walk to that school the way i suspect they have made measurements on. I have asked for a map of the route they used and i am waiting for it. If i can prove the shortest route is not the route they have used and that it is closer than the last child admitted under rule 6 can i get my child a place at the school. Also can i even challenge the distance if i have had a rejected appeal. Can i request a new appeal based on incorrect evidence used against me in the appeal?
Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this, your comments are so much appreciated.

nickala Wed 28-Sep-11 23:30:29

I would just like to clarify that i have made a mistake with my dates as not to cause anymore confusion i proved to admissions that i made my application 17th november 2009 and not as i have stated 2010 in the 3rd paragraph from the bottom of my post above.
Also i would mention the reason i did not appeal at the reception stage was because i thought (not sure if correct) that i had to appeal by May 2010 and i had not done so by then as i was put off doing so and told it was a waste of time. When i realised that i could appeal under rule 2 at any time i did so straight away. I was only made aware of this when i scrolled though the herts appeal website and called the appeals team.
thank you

prh47bridge Thu 29-Sep-11 10:11:27

That is much clearer. Thank you.

There is still some confusion, however, and I don't know whether it comes from you or the LA. You say "Admissions have told me that if no application is received the automatically allocate you the nearest school". That is not correct. If no application is received they will not allocate any school. They will assume that you are either educating your son at home or sending him to an independent school. If your application is late you are unlikely to get any of your preferred schools and will probably end up at the nearest school with places available, but if there is no application they won't offer a place. If you didn't apply until October 2010 as was claimed at your recent appeal you would not have been offered a place in April 2010.

Since they did offer a place in April 2010 we know the LA had received and processed your application. We don't know whether it was processed as an on time application or a late application. It was probably processed as on time but we can't be absolutely certain. The LA should be able to confirm that. At the moment we have no idea where the October 2010 date comes from but it is clearly incorrect.

Moving on to the issue of distance, the big question is exactly what did their primary school admissions booklet say about how distances were measured. Some LAs measure by the shortest walking route. Some specify the shortest route along adopted roads, which excludes footpaths. Some only allow footpaths if they meet certain conditions. It is absolutely vital to find out what this LA specifies. If your route does not meet the criteria they lay down it doesn't count and the fact that it is shorter won't help you.

If your route does meet their criteria, the next question that needs to be looked at is whether the error affects just you or a lot of people. For example, you mentioned in your first post that your route uses a road an a new estate that was unnamed at the time. It could be that this road did not meet the LA's criteria to be part of a valid route. However, it could be that they overlooked the existence of this new road. If that was the case they would have to remeasure the distance for every child, not just yours, in order to figure out whether or not your son should have been offered a place. It may be that there were a number of children who could have used this road to shorten their route so your son still wouldn't have got in. If that is the case the existence of this shorter route won't help you.

In theory the LA should admit your son without an appeal if it turns out that they did make a mistake in measuring the distances and your son should have been admitted. However, a lot of LAs insist on an appeal anyway. Normally you are only allowed one appeal per academic year. The fact that the LA presented incorrect evidence may give you grounds for a fresh appeal but, on the information you have posted, the incorrect evidence did not affect the outcome of the appeal which weakens the case for a new appeal. Having said that, if they LA find that they did get the distance wrong they may offer a fresh appeal anyway.

nickala Thu 29-Sep-11 12:28:14

Hi thank you for your reply. i wll investigate the rules they used at the time of my application for distance. The october 2010 date came from admissions they said they did not get my application until 26th october 2010 however i was notified of my school place in April 2010 - i dont understand this. Appeals told me that the reason i was allocated a place in april even though adminssions claimed to have not had my application until much later was because i would have automatically been offered a place. thanks for your help

prh47bridge Thu 29-Sep-11 13:23:38

Sorry - I wasn't entirely clear. I meant I have no idea where admissions got the October 2010 date from. But the advice you have been given about why you were allocated a place is rubbish. There is no way they would allocate anyone a place unless they have applied.

nickala Thu 29-Sep-11 14:11:09


admission Thu 29-Sep-11 16:51:13

I agree with PRH, that the LA would not under normal circumstances offer any school place if they did not have your application. The very fact they offered a place and that they had an address to send the allocation of place to confirms to me that they did receive your original application in November 2009. The school allocated was the nearest school, so did you put that down as a preference or did you only put down your preferred school?
Either way that would suggest that the LA could not allocate you a place at the preferred school, presumably because of distance to the school, and therefore allocated you the nearest school.

What i am still not clear about is whether the LA have actualy admitted that soemthing different from what I am suggesting actually happened and that your application was not correctly processed. If they admit in writing that your application was not correctly administered then they should order another appeal to go through exactly what happened and how the distances were measured.

Whilst i accept that there is an arguement about whether the LA correctly applied their distance measure, you are actually talking about something that should have been resolved by appeal in April to August 2010. PRH has articulated the possibilities around this being measured incorrectly but whilst there is no cut off date for appealing I do not think it is realistic to be asking an appeal panel to be adjudicating on something that is now 18 months old, if the initial allocation was as I have suggested it may have been.

Moving forward you do need to press the LA as to how they came by the October 2010 date for you again applying for a place at the school. They must have some paperwork and they need to share that paperwork with you, so that it can be resolved.

From what you have said you kept your child at the preferred school nursery throughout the reception year, so the LA was quite correct in cancelling the place originally offered. As far as the LA is concerned, first contact would have been when you re-applied for a place at the preferred school and went to appeal. I also see no problem with the decision of the admission panel. It was an infant class size case so only a mistake could get you a place. The panel has to focus from the point from which a mistake could be made, which is the point you re-applied for the place at the preferred school, not before that. No mistake appears to have been made, the school was full and the school was quite correct in not offering a place that would have broken the infant class size regs.

A much bigger can of worms is the issue of waiting lists. From your post you appear to believe that you have been on the waiting list for the preferred school since the initial allocation in April 2010. During that time you seem to have been no higher on the waiting list than 2nd, despite you saying that there was a high turnover of pupils in previous years. There is no question that you can go up and down on the waiting list, for all the reasons you stated but were you never no 1 on the list? If I had been on this panel I would have wanted to be sure about firstly have you actually been on the waiting list for the school all the time and secondly a clear record of all the admissions during the reception year and what position you would have been on the waiting list at the point where each place was offered.

Whilst I appreciate that the school and nursery were trying to help you they have actually done you a major disservice by giving you hope that you would get a place at the school. In my opinion they were wrong to allow your child to stay in the nursery and give you this false hope. I will actually go further and say that this action and the action of writing the letter could be construed as breaking paragraph 1.36 of the admissions code, which says that head teachers or other school officials must not give parents an expectation that their application will be successful, before an offer of a place has been made formally under the co-ordinated scheme. Whilst this may be maladministration by the school / LA it does not actually interfer with the admission process dating from your second application which has to be proved to be wrong to win an infant class size case appeal.

nickala Fri 30-Sep-11 12:40:36

Im not really sure what is going on to be honest, i was totally dumbfounded when i learnt in my appeal that my appliction was said to be late, and yes i have an email from the admissions officer involved saying that a mistake was made with that and a later one saying she is going to go through it all and make sure my son was not disadvantaged in anyway. However there is obviosuly some confustion and it is not the first time admissions have given or put through wrong info on my forms as my sons nursery place was also put through incorrectly and they corrected it and offered him a place eventually. I do not actually trust admissions 100% although i know they do a good job and they have a lot of children to deal with i also think that things need to be checked properly. If i had not been to that appeal i would have had no idea about any of this.
The school my son is at which is not my preferred school ws not on my original application, but it is my cloest school hence why it was allocated to me. i understand exactly why the appeal didnt win and i didnt expect it to but i am not querying that i am querying how this mix up in application may have not helped us and also now since the appeal if the route they have used to work out our home from school distance is correct, as i know they do make mistakes with this.
It was not admissions who told me that the reason i got my leter of school allocation in april even though i supposedly didnt apply until oct was becasue it is done automatically it was the appeal dept that told me that. I have asked my admissions officer to clarify this point for me and i am waiting for her to get back to me. She is a nice lady and she has promised to throughly get it all checked out and if they have made a mistake they will correct it.
The reason the distance issue were not sorted out last year is because i was not aware of the distance or anything about this, we just didnt get the school we wanted and that was that. I never thought to look at the distance they had used for my rule 6 application to the school. It has been recently that i have taken all this into account, i think if mistakes are being made no matter how small it makes you want to be sure that other mistakes have not also been made, how do i know this? I will not be wanting to appeal again but if the distance is wrong and i can prove it i would want to hope that they will amend it and that should not need an appeal.
regarding the waitiin lists - no i have never been no.1 not as far as i know, why do you ask this? My nephew is in the class we are hoping to get in (well one of them as there are two) and no one has left the school reception classes since reception stated, so no places have been offered. The school do let me know when they have a hope that a child will be leaving but as yet no one has actually left although i hear one is one cards so keeping fingers crossed. I will check as you say at what point i actually went on the CI list according to admissions, as there too could have been a mix up here. As soon as i learnt we didnt get our school in april i put my name on the preffered schooll CI list and i have followed its position consistently throughout.
Thank you for your help i really appreciate it, thx

prh47bridge Fri 30-Sep-11 13:08:42

Admission's point was that you were originally second on the list. You say there has been a high turnover of pupils in previous years. It therefore seems odd that you have never gone up the list or been offered a place. If no-one has left your son's year since last September that would explain it. However, I agree with Admission that it is worth checking when you went on the waiting list, whether there have been any admissions to your son's year since last September and, if so, where you were on the waiting list at that time.

I would also note that if they have got the distance wrong it could affect your position on the waiting list.

nickala Fri 30-Sep-11 17:51:59

Hi prh47bridge & admissions, thank you both for your responses.

I have sent another email to the admissions officer asking her that when she comes back to me can she also let me know the date according to them my sons name went on the CI list for our favourite school, i have also asked she shows me the movement within that. Now i have also found out this afternoon that infact at least one child has left the class im trying to get my son into, one mum said that is was 2 but i know from a reliable source that def 1 has left.

I have had a look at the map for our distancing and they have used the new road i mentioned above but they have done something very strange at the start of the journey where i leave my house, basically walk all the way down one side of my road to cross and walk all the way up the other side back to the starting point opposite my house, this has added 321 metres to the distance, there is 360 metres between us and the last child admitted. Now i am guessing there is a reason why have done this although it makes no sense to a normal person. They have lined the map to show us turning left and going to the bottom of my road and then crossing at the junction, outside my house there is a safe crossing to cross the road it is not at a junction but there is a mini footpath to cross the road to the other side, basically they have inserted a path in between the hedges on both sides.Everyone crosses there and if it was noteant to be crossed why insert the footpath curbed to stand safetly at the road side. Also if for some crazy reason this was not acceptable just by walking to the right of my house there is a island to cross the road, this way is a little longer but not much. Both these routes then take you to the point of where they have mapped out my route it just takes 300 -321 metres of it.

At the end of the journey they have literally gone
past the entrance of the school taken a right into another road and back round themselves to mark the finish point, again adding metres when they dont need to be there but unless this is a complete mis print i expect they have done this for everyones distance to this school.

The middle part is a little harder to see where it is going as it involves crossing a main road and going through walkways with no roads so i cannot work it out properly but i will as i would like ot make sure they have not taken us to a futhr set of lights then the nearest point of crossing.

Everywhere else looks fine.

However i definalty think i have a case to get at least 300 metres taken off that journey it still wont be enough but it will be close. I will try my hardest to suss out if i can take of a further 60 or so.

Do you both think i have a case here with the start of my journey being too far and not the shortest route.

I am so sorry i didnt do this last year as admisions said earlier, if only i had known what i know now.

I agree with you admissions that the school gave me false hope but they did make it clear that nothing was definate and at the end of the day the choice was mine.

Does anyone know how i go about getting this distancing thing sorted, also am i right in thinking that if i managed to get admissions to agree that the distance was wrong and it was lower than the distance of the last admitted child that my son would be owed a place straight away to the school due to this mistake.

I have also been told by my reliable source that a child is leaving the class in 2 weeks time - again good news and i am hoping that those 3 other children in front of my son are now settled and will not be taking the place up

thank you once again any thoughts or advice appreicated

prh47bridge Fri 30-Sep-11 19:40:03

The route sounds very odd from your description. The question is whether there is a valid reason for this and, if not, whether any other children were similarly affected. I think you should ask admissions why the route doesn't simply cross the road outside your house and why it takes this odd detour when it arrives at the school. Whilst the detour outside the school could affect everyone, it is equally possible that there is a glitch in the software and it only affected a few people.

As Admission has already indicated, the admissions team may take the view that it is now too late to be looking at the distances used for the original allocations. If that is their decision it may be that your only option will be to complain to the Local Goverment Ombudsman and see what they think. However, if the admissions team are willing to look at the distances and they agree that the distance for your child was wrong they will have to look and see if any other children were affected. If they weren't and your distance is less than the last child admitted they ought to offer you a place. However, if other children were similarly affected they will have to remeasure the distance for all children in order to figure out whether or not you should have been offered the place.

admission Fri 30-Sep-11 20:26:27

I have to admit i have never heard of distance being measured in the way that you describe. I can think of no reason why they would go up one side of a road to go back down the otherside, unless it is a glitch in the computer system used for the measurement. Clearly it is not correct but whether it makes a difference to you original application I don't know.
I honestly feel you need to press the LA to give you details about what happened with regard to your original application and how you came to be allocated the school you were. For your own piece of mind they need to prove that they did correctly administer the application. If not then they have a lot of explaining to do but I suspect without involving the Local Government Ombudsman they will not want to consider re-opening the case. They will say it is too long, which I actually have a great deal of sympathy for, but the LGO may take a different view, especially given the amount of messing around that seems to have happened.

nickala Sat 01-Oct-11 09:07:06

Well hopefully they will get back to me next week, i will chase via email Tuesday if i havent heard anything with regards to the mix up of my allocation, check CI list etc. I assume we were offeed the school we got as it is our closest school and it is the school no one wants to it always has spaces.
Even if they decided its too late to act on the distance error(s) surely they shoudl amend it and take it into account for the CI list position.
I am going to check what you both suggested about our CI position as i am now aware 1 or 2 children have left the year we are waiting for. That would mean that quite a few children have been added to the list after we went on that live closer to us, maybe they have made a mistake here too.
If they have made errors on the finish point at the school with the distance then that definatley warrant us a place at the school as the start and finish errors would surely be enough metres to be within the distance of the last child admitted. I accept that they may say its been too long but we rely on them to deal with this correctly and if the distance is also incorrectly measured they clearly havent done this and not just on one occasion. I hope that the Ombudsman will sort it out. I will need to get onto them next week so i will push for answers from admissions before the end of next week.
Clearly they have made a mess of it and i just hope it gets sorted soon, when it is and i know my son wasnt disadvantged that will be fine and we will wait like everyone else does until a place comes up, but original application, CI list, and distance needs to be checked and confirmed fist . thanks guys once again

admission Sun 02-Oct-11 22:27:56

The whole of the issue of the selected route to school seems a bit of a mess.
My inclination is to go to the admissions manager and say to them that you believe from the information you have received that the distance measurement as originally measured was completely wrong, that you now know that there have been admissions to the school in the year group, which casts doubt over whether you have been disadvantaged by an incorrect distance and you have no idea what they are now measuring. As such you believe that there have been significant changes which would justify another appeal hearing to review what has gone on here. Put it in writing and see what happens.
If they give you another appeal hearing you producing this map showing routes going up and now a road and round the corner when entering the school should be enough for the appeal panel to think seriously about what has gone on here. If they will not grant you another appeal, then it gives you a perfect opportuntiy to go to the LGO and ask them to investigate how the LA has handle this.

nickala Mon 03-Oct-11 13:58:25

thank you Admission i will do this!

nickala Tue 04-Oct-11 10:38:33

hi, I have written to the head of admissions and she has got back to me to say that it is already being looked into (since 23rd sept for the application error) and once it is complete they will get back to me regarding both issues of application and distance,, more waiting! I just hope it will not be too late to take it to the ombudsman if i do so as i think i read somewhere that it needs to be done quickly. thanks guys smile

nickala Tue 04-Oct-11 11:35:23

admission, sorry to keep going on and on but i just want to mention one more thing.

I have recently found out that a child who lives at the end of my road gained a place at the school we are fighting for...he didnt get in originally but his mother appealed before he was due to start reception and they won and he got in. There are no siblings at the school they are new to the area this is her only child. She said the admissions told her her closest school was another school (which actually it wasnt as the closest school to us both is the one my son is at) and that she appealed that that school wasnt her closest school and showed how the journey to our preferred school was quicker. She showed the distance the way I have done it with photos etc and got in. I have worked out the distance to the school from my home at 1400m, this is to the school gate. If admissions insist that the funny add on at the school is what they have done for everyone this takes it to 1590m. The last child admitted was 1598m, so it is very fine. I would also say that the letter in which the map was sent with stated that the map showed the shortest walking route from my home to the SCHOOL GATE.
If this child at the end of my road has got in, do you think we too should get in. Would the distance of last admitted child under rule 6 (1598m) include children that got in via an appeal. There is not alot in this other childs distance to school to mine as we live very close together infact perhaps we are very slightly closer. It is possible this is the 1598m child. Can i challenge them that there is a child in my road that is at the school in the year we want? thank you for all your help

prh47bridge Tue 04-Oct-11 13:04:29

The LGO will not take a complaint if it is more than 12 months since you found out about the things you are complaining about. I think you've only just found out about the distance issue so you have plenty of time.

I don't think it is helpful to speculate about whether the other child being admitted means your child should have been. It certainly is not the case that another child from your road at this school means your child is entitled to a place. But it does seem from your description that the appeal for this child may not have been dealt with properly. Faced with evidence that distances had been mismeasured the panel should have asked for the distances for all children to be measured correctly. If the mismeasurement clearly only affected one child (e.g. they had measured from the wrong house) it would be different but the odd route used suggests that a lot of children could be affected. From the information you have posted it would seem that didn't happen which means they were comparing the correct distance for this child with the incorrect distances used for other children, so it is impossible to tell whether or not this child should have been admitted.

nickala Tue 04-Oct-11 14:20:10

thanks prh47bridge, i think the other child got in as they proved that the school they got that was noted as their closest school was not and it was proved in the appeal by the mother with maps and photos that the preferred school was closer. I am not sure on the exact route she used for the basis of her appeal i am trying to find out as i think it would be good to know this. I would expect it is the same route i am talking about as it is the only way you would walk to the school from where we are.
I am waiting to hear back from admissions about what they make of me saying there map is incorrect. even if the finish point is correct and although actually way further than the school it is how they have done it for everyone we are still just under the 1598m last entry into that year. i will be very surprised if they argue that going up my road then crossing and back down the road is correct. I think they will get back to me and say they have checked everything and all is fine, no disadvantage was made towards my son and their application error. If they say the distance is not wrong and i have grounds to prove it is, what do i do - without an appeal. i guess i go to LGO. as there is no way their route map is 100% correct.
The head of admissions said if there are grounds to grant a fresh appeal they will and that someone will get back to me today regarding the distance issues. I have photos to show where i think the errors on the map are and i have a map from the ordnance survey showing what i know to be the correct route. well last chance is now so fingers crossed they note the mistakes on the route and recognise we fall under the 1598m and give us a place.

prh47bridge Tue 04-Oct-11 15:12:23

I agree with Admission that there is enough doubt here to justify a fresh appeal. If they won't give you one it is time to go to the LGO. But please remember it is not enough to show that your distance is less than 1598m. You have to show that your son would have been admitted if they had measured distances correctly. They therefore have to look at the distances for all the children and figure out if your child would have been admitted. It may be that if the distances had been measured correctly the last child admitted would have been a lot less than 1598m from the school.

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