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primary school appeal help,any advice please, thank you

(72 Posts)
lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 16:30:07

I am appealing to get my daughter into my first choice primary school, I have alot of reasons, but I have an enquiry.
The school I am appealing for, normally have 30 children in reception but this year they offered 31places, because they had twins, but I know from the school that they now have 30 because someone didnt want the place.
I know that for twins its exceptional, but I am thinking to use it in my appeal as well, that they already accepted 31 children this year and I believe my child should have a chance because of reasonable reasons, now that they have only 30. ???

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 18:19:52

lailamom - if they had 31 children in reception it is because one of them was an 'excepted child'. This means a child who had to be admitted for special one-off reasons (eg the council made a mistake with their address and they won on appeal). It does not however set a precedent to allow 31 per class. This is because the law is very clear and does not allow 30 per class for reception age children. The Head and the school have no discretion over this.

The class is legally full and cannot take any more children until / unless numbers drops below 30 in which case they would offer the space to the person at the top of the waiting list at that time.

You can of course win an appeal on other grounds but, as you probably know, where there are 30 per class, it is very hard to win. You would need to prove one of 3 things:
1. The council made a mistake with your application that directly meant you lost out on a place that you should have been allocated (eg they got your address wrong and thought you lived 20 miles not 20 metres away)
2. The school have admission criteria that are unfair and not allowed (eg they give priority for things that they aren't allowed to)
3. The decision to refuse you is so unreasonable (in a legal sense) that it cannot be allowed to stand. This covers serious cases of child protection or witness protection cases - things of that complexity or seriousness.

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 18:20:26

* does not allow over 30 per teacher for reception aged children.

prh47bridge Fri 14-Sep-12 19:19:13

Agree with tiggytape. In this situation the fact that one child has left does not create a vacancy and no properly trained appeal panel will accept it as a reason for admitting your child. This is an infant class size case so you can only win on the grounds tiggytape outlines.

Sorry.

admission Fri 14-Sep-12 19:33:59

Whilst I agree with what has been said, I think that a proper explanation needs to be sort for how there was a 31st pupil in the class. If it was because of an excepted pupil, then it does not give you any leverage in your case.
You are saying that the 31st pupil was because of twins. In the admission code 2010 that is pertinent for the september 2012 intake, twins were not admitted as excepted pupils. In the 2012 admission code which comes in for next year's admissions, they would be treated as excepted. In effect the admission authority made a mistake in admitting the twins but that also does not help you because they have not set a precedent, it was a mistake.

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 21:13:54

Thank you very much everyone for your quick replysmile

I mean does that mean I shouldnt mention this in my appeal at all, I mean I am sure it was because of twins they had to admit 31 children. and could you please make it more clear to me, what you mean with that authority made a mistake in admitting twins but they have not set precedent, it was a mistake. ??
it sounds for me not really fair, if I have reasonable reasons, why should my child not be treated as excepted child? in the end of the day, the twin is an extra child in classroom like my own child would be if appeal wins.
I will give u an idea, about my reason for the appeal, because I really need some help and support, and you are very helpful people thank you so much for your reply.
one of my reason are speech delay and the difference between the schools as stated in ofsted and how well one school deal with speech problems and bullying as my child is shy, the help and support for those kids are outstanding there, whereas the offered school is only satisfaction.
I have proof and very recent report from speech therapist, another letter from a family organisation which knows my daughter and my family.
Road safety as i have to cross 10 streets with my daughter and two other 3 yr and 2 yr old brother and sister, whereas the prefered school is 2 min away and only one small street to cross, I am already going to apply for my second child for reception this year, and is very likely to get same school, which was not my choice. Also I have a medical reason for myself. what do you think ? do I stand a chance ?
Thank you very much for your help , I really appreciate that.

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 21:53:04

Also the fact it is the local school and it will give my child the opportunity to build up a circle of lcoal friends, which is needs as she is shy.and her best friend got a place and already going there together with a few other kids from daughters nursery.

clam Fri 14-Sep-12 22:03:06

But I'm afraid that none of those reasons will count as any of those they're allowed to consider - see tiggytape's post earlier.

The medical issue might count if it was for a place in Year 3 or above, but the LA are legally constrained by the 30 limit. Friendship issues and road safety concerns won't be considered, I'm afraid.

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 22:15:58

Are u sure ? I have been reading people here giving advice to show the appeal panel why preferred school is the (right) school, if u understand what I mean? Also how am I supposed to know if any mistake has been made ?

titchy Fri 14-Sep-12 22:16:48

The twin may not be the excepted child either. Another child might be the excepted on having been admitted because of an error for example.

titchy Fri 14-Sep-12 22:19:32

What are the admission criteria for your preferred school? Presumably you lost out because of distance? Or is it a church school? If not a church school what is your distance, and what was the distance of the furthest child admitted? Your council should give you these details?

titchy Fri 14-Sep-12 22:20:38

Demonstrating a school is right for your child only applies for year 3 and higher appeals.

smogwod Fri 14-Sep-12 22:26:57

why did your dd not get a place in the first place if you're only 2 minutes away?

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 22:27:31

lailamom - there are 2 types of appeal:
-The Infant Class Size Appeal: very very hard (read almost impossible) to win unless you meet one of the 3 criteria listed earlier about mistakes and legal defiition of unreasonable. The panel cannot let you win except in those very specific circumstances else they would be breaking the law about class sizes. They will probably be very sympathetic but their hands are tied.

All Other Appeals - here you just have to show the panel why the school you want best meets your child's needs so can talk about a child's medical, social and educational needs. This only applies if you are appealing for a reception class that has less than 30 children in it or for a school place where the law on class sizes doesn't apply anymore (i.e. Year 3 and above). The people advised to appeal by saying why they want the school are those who are not restricted by the Infant Class Size laws as you are.

If this wasn't an Infant Class Size appeal you would have a good case epsecially if the Speech Therapist agreed to write that the school you like is best for the speech problems your child has. But because it is an Infant Class Size appeal, you would not be able to win I'm afraid unless you found (and proved) the council messed up your application. Do you have any reason to think they've measured the distance to your house wrong or given places to people who should be below you on the admission criteria?

Lougle Fri 14-Sep-12 22:37:08

Many LAs have a rule that they will admit either a twin or a same-cohort sibling as an excepted pupil if their sibling is child 30 on the list.

In other words, it would work like this:

Intake has a set of twins, who are in priority 3 of the applications, living 1.02 miles from the school. The 30th place is taken by a child with priority 3, living 1.065 miles from the school - no excepted children.

Intake has a set of twins, who are in priority 3 of the applications. They live 1.02 miles from the school, which places them equally 30th on the list. But they can't be equally 30th, so they are place 30 and place 31. Twin 2 is an 'excepted child'.

The fact that the LA followed their procedure and allowed Twin 2 a place as an 'excepted child' does not mean that you can then take that place.

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 22:47:51

Lougle - the rule allowing a twin to be an excepted child only got added to the code this year so should not apply to cuurent YR children at all. It applied to the next intake of children.
However some LA's very naughtily allowed the extra twon to join even before this rule change but they weren't supposed to. Where twins were number 30 and 31, the parents were supposed to choose which one got the place and which one got allocated elsewhere!! It sounds mean but that was the rule and lots of twins therefore have been allocated different schools in the past years.

But none of that helps the OP because whatever the reason, and whoever the excepted child actually was, they did not create a precedent by being in the class and when one leaves, they do not create a vacancy. The class is back at 30 again it is officially and legally full and all the appeal rules that apply are the ones that assume the class is at it's legal limit.

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 22:52:59

It is a church school and yeah I live only 2 min away also there is two rutes to school I don't know which one they used,It's on the map 0.3 mil and 3 min walk but other route is shorter I don't know why it doesnt show on map but do u think I could get any information from admission since its a church school ?

titchy Fri 14-Sep-12 22:54:23

Was attending church one of the criteria then?

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 23:07:21

lailamom - the admission criteria should be published (online on the school website normally). It will tell you how they measure distance. It might be as the crow flies or by the shortest safe walking route (which might not be the shortest actual route since they may only allow lit, proper roads not short cuts).

Once you have found this out you can ask how far away they measured your house and see if you agree. If oyu spot a flaw at this stage, that can help an Infant Class Size appeal if it proves they denied you a place wrongly.

If you have put in the appeal forms, you are now officially appealing and as such have the right to ask all these questions and the school must answer them. They are obliged to answer all reasonable questions you ask to help your appeal.

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 23:11:14

(i) Children who are in public care.
(ii) Children whose parents worship at St Gabriel’s at least monthly and have
done so for at least a year.
(iii) Children whose parents worship at least monthly and have done so for at least a year in other Anglican Churches.
(iv) Children whose parents worship at least monthly and have done so for at least a year in other Christian Churches* (*as defined by the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland).

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 23:11:33

Children who are baptised Anglicans (baptismal form will be required).
(vi) Children who are baptised by other Christian rites (baptismal form will be required).
In each of the categories ii – vi parents should provide a supporting statement from their priest or minister.
(vii) Children who have siblings, already in the school, at date of entry to Reception Class. A sibling is defined as a brother or sister, half brother or sister or step brother or sister whose main residence is at the same address.
(viii) Children whose parents live in the parishes of St Gabriel’s, St Saviour’s and St James the Less.
(ix) Children of other faiths who practise their faith at least monthly and have done so for at least a year. (Supporting Statement from Religious leader required)
(x) Children who do not meet any of the pre

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 23:12:23

I mean I know they took like 7 kids from the local area

lailamom Fri 14-Sep-12 23:13:41

She was third on list to start with now she has moved further down

Lougle Fri 14-Sep-12 23:13:59

tiggy - We live in Hampshire, and our admissions code always stated that where there was a multiple birth or same cohort sibling as the last admitted child, the remaining child/ren in the multiple would be admitted. Or at least, it was for the 2009/10 admissions cycle and the 2010/11 admissions cycle. I thought I made it clear that the OP wouldn't benefit from that regardless smile

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 23:14:47

laialamom - is that the full list? What about children whose parents do not worhip at any church at all? Is there nothing that says 'all other children with priory given to those living closest to the school gates as the crow flies'?

Which category do you think you should be in?
Which category were you placed in?
Were any people from the same category as you given a place?
If so, why were these people chosen and not you? Is it because they live closer to the school?

These are all things you can need to check and are the types of things that might highlight an admission error which might help an ICS appeal.

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