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School appeal, please help :-(

(5 Posts)
wendles77 Tue 02-Oct-12 14:14:54

Hi all, i am having a nightmare with a school appeal.
My current situation is oldest son is in class 3, youngest sonis in the nursery class and middle son did not get in due to class size! we are not catchment and therefore only thing we have in favour is attended the foundation stage and siblings at the school. unfortunately as its a voluntary aided church school, there criteria enrolls those that have attended church once a month for 6 months prior to admission before siblings! needless to say you dont need to attend church again!! the child that recieved a place before me does not have siblings but has a form signed by the church.
Hence my question, the only way i could win an appeal is on the grounds of religious discrimination???
Any help, replies pleeease. very desperate mum, doing to school trips x

DeWe Tue 02-Oct-12 14:40:15

I can't help grin on the idea of putting an appeal on religious discrimination to a religious school.

tiggytape Tue 02-Oct-12 14:53:37

No you cannot win on that basis. By law faith schools are allowed to set faith criteria as part of their overall admission criteria and prioritise those who meet the faith criteria above distance and above siblings. All schools must publish their admission criteria (the method they use for allocating places) and then stick to that when offers are made. The child above you is correctly above you – they meet one of the higher criteria for that school.

Whilst sibling priority is the norm in many schools, you cannot argue that it should be the priority here. It is a faith school so this is allowed and, as long as they have handed out the places according the published criteria, they have done nothing wrong. You may not agree with the way places are distributed but their priority list is legal and acceptable so the panel will not overrule this.

The only way you can win an appeal is if you find out that they made a mistake when they handed out places eg another child with no faith form but with a sibling got in but your child didn’t.
Did all the places go to children who met the faith criteria?
You need to ask the school which category your child was placed in (it should be sibling at school but no faith form - check you weren't placed in a lower category by mistake), whether anyone in your category got an offer and, if so, how they ran the tie breaker to decide who got the last place.

It does sound as if, this year, only those who met the faith criteria got a place. It may be so many applied who met the church criteria that the school never got to offer any places at all in your category as they have in previous years although it is definitely worth checking this.

tiggytape Tue 02-Oct-12 14:55:24

Final question - are there 30 children in the class for middle son's year at the church school?

If the answer is 'no' you would be able to appeal on other grounds not just looking for a mistake in the admin process. If the answer is 'yes' you are more limited to just trying to prove a mistake with the allocations because 30 is the limit set by law for this age group.

prh47bridge Tue 02-Oct-12 14:58:39

I'm afraid you cannot win an appeal on that basis. Faith schools are allowed to give priority to children based on church attendance.

As this is an infant class size appeal there are only three ways you can win. You can win if:

- the admission arrangements did not comply with the law or the Admissions Code and your child would have been admitted if they had

- the admission arrangements were incorrectly administered and your child should have got a place

- the decision to refuse admission to your son was unreasonable

It sounds like your child was placed in the correct admissions category so I'm afraid there is nothing in your post that suggests you have a case. You should still try as occasionally information emerges during the hearing that shows a mistake was made, but I think you need to be realistic about your chances of success.


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