Hi, wondered if anyone could help me please regarding appeals, I live within the catchment of my local school, my older daughter went to the school until we decided to emigrate but its not worked out so we are coming home and my 8 year old has been told there are no places available at her local junior school which my older daughter attended. My 8 year old went to the infants just that we moved before starting the juniors. We are devastared as she attended the infancts and we are still in the catchment as we rented our house out and Trafford have told me I have to appeal but there are 31 in each Year 4 class, my daughter will be devastated if we cant get her in as the poor child has been in two new schools within 6 months in Australia and we are desparately trying to get her settled and find stability again. The thought of sending her to another completely new school with no friends is heartbreaking. How does the appeal system work and do you think we have a case. Anyone that could help please Id be very grateful and how long does an appeal take, all new to me and very upsetting. Thank you.
Well 31 is over the numbers, but there are plenty of schools with bigger classes in KS2 (my kids were in 33 classes). I would investigate further into the size of classrooms and the maximum numbers for the school compared with the number of pupils they have now. I'm sure one of the gurus will be here soon to help.
As this is an appeal for Y4 there is no legal limit on class sizes which makes winning an appeal a little easier. You need to show that the prejudice to your daughter through not attending this school outweighs the prejudice to the school through having to admit an extra child. So you need to build a case that shows why your daughter needs to go to this school.
I'm afraid keeping her with her friends is unlikely to be a strong case unless there is independent medical evidence showing that this is more important for your daughter than for other children. You need to think about any features this school has which are not available at the allocated school and would be particularly useful for your daughter. For example, if they are particularly good at music and your daughter has musical talent that would be worth bringing up.
You will be sent the local authority's case to refuse admission before the appeal. You should look carefully for weaknesses. You will get help here with that if you need it. As there are already 31 in each class, it is worth finding out if the school has had 32 or more in a class in KS2 (Y3-Y6) in the recent past. If they have you should bring this up in the appeal as it suggests they can cope with that many.
Turning to the process, once you send in your appeal the hearing must be held within 30 school days. You will be told the date of the hearing at least 10 school days before it takes place. At least 7 working days before the hearing you will receive the papers for the appeal including the case to refuse admission. At the hearing itself the local authority will present its case first, following which you and the appeal panel can ask them questions. You should take the opportunity to highlight any weaknesses in their case. After this you present your case, following which the local authority's representative and the appeal panel can ask you questions. The local authority's representative then sums up their case, following which you sum up your case. That is the end of the hearing and the appeal panel then make their decision in private. You will receive written notification of their decision some time later - this should happen within a week of the hearing but it can occasionally take a little longer.
If you want any more information please ask and you will get plenty of help.
I would agree with what PRH has said in terms of the appeal. The only other thing I would say about reasons is that you could to some extent, without over emphasising it, say to the panel we as parents have made some decisions that have impacted badly on our child and that not being able to go to the local school is again punishing her for something she had no say in.
You are of course appealing to the panel's heartstrings which is why I say do not over emphasise it because if you do overdo it then it comes across as a bit as though you are trying to force the panel into a decision.
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