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primary school appeal admissions

(80 Posts)
FrameyMcFrame Mon 15-Apr-13 19:15:17

Hi we just found out today that DS has got the 4th choice school. Reasons for not wanting this place are that DDs middle school is in the opposite direction so they will be at schools 2 miles apart.
Also all of his friends from preschool will be going to a mix of the other 3 schools.
We are under a mile away from all three but just out judging by the data from last years admissions. The school we have been offered is not good.
I want to appeal but I'm not sure on what grounds sad

Also does this relaxation of the law have any bearing on admissions?

admission Tue 16-Apr-13 22:12:15

The answer is that under the infant class size regs, the families of service personnel are considered as excepted pupils if it is not at a normal point of entry, in other words in-year. However that does not mean they will automatically get a place, they should still have to appeal and get offered a place.
Could it be that there is a sibling in the school or possibly that they have a statement of special needs?

tiggytape Tue 16-Apr-13 22:13:14

Children of UK service personnel admitted outside the normal admissions round are also classed as 'excepted' children (i.e. ones who are allowed to take class numbers over 30).

Other examples of 'excepted' children would be those with statements applying in-year, children in care applying in-year and any child who wins an appeal.

Chocovore Tue 16-Apr-13 22:44:38

I see. Thank you r sharing your knowledge.

Myliferocks Tue 16-Apr-13 22:57:02

Tiggytape are those examples of 'excepted' children you have given the only criteria.
The reason I ask is that I've had 5 children go through infants school so that makes a total of 15 yrs and different classes iyswim.
I recently was sorting through cupboards and came across all 15 class photos and only two class photos had 30 children in them. The other 13 ranged from 31-34 children.
DC1 attended infants between sep 2000 and July 2003.
My other 4 children attended between sep 2004 and July 2012 if date makes a difference.

tiggytape Tue 16-Apr-13 23:17:06

When Labour came to power in 1997, lots of reception classes had more than 30 children (about a third). They vowed to tackle this.
By 2000 only 11% had more than 30
By 2002 it was down to 2%
So your DC1 was at school when larger class sizes were more normal.

The expcepted children rule in full is:

2.15 Infant class size
Infant classes (those where the majority of children will reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the school year) must not contain more than 30 pupils with a single school teacher.

Additional children may be admitted under limited exceptional circumstances.

These children will remain an ‘excepted pupil’ for the time they are in an infant class or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit.

The excepted children are:
a) children admitted outside the normal admissions round with statements of special educational needs specifying a school

b) looked after children and previously looked after children admitted outside the normal admissions round

c) children admitted, after initial allocation of places, because of a procedural error made by the admission authority or local authority in the original application process

d) children admitted after an independent appeals panel upholds an appeal

e) children who move into the area outside the normal admissions round for whom there is no other available school within reasonable distance

f) children of UK service personnel admitted outside the normal admissions round

g) children whose twin or sibling from a multiple birth is admitted otherwise than as an excepted pupil

h) children with special educational needs who are normally taught in a special educational needs unit attached to the school, or registered at a special school, who attend some infant classes within the mainstream school

Not all of these applied before this year (eg the twins and triplets exeption is new).

Myliferocks Wed 17-Apr-13 10:19:23

Thank you Tiggytape!

DC1 had 29 in her class in reception and 30 in her class for year 1.
When she was in year 2 her class was over 30 as were my other 4 DC's classes throughout infants.
Infants were still better than junior though as class sizes varied from 31 up to 39 when they reached that stage.
DC5 is in year 3 now in a class that started with 31 in september and is already at 36 now.

MmeThenardier Wed 17-Apr-13 11:15:17

No help I know OP but we also live at the edge of a catchment which means we aren't that close to any of our local schools. Its a problem in the area and has resulted in people being sent to a school in the next town. Sounds like moving closer would be the best solution...

FrameyMcFrame Wed 17-Apr-13 18:53:18

Well we've emailed and requested the info that you have suggested tiggy. Thanks for all the helpful advice.
We are now considering getting some legal help with an appeal.

FrameyMcFrame Wed 17-Apr-13 19:01:36

Also, what are the chances of many places becoming available with waiting lists? I'm not entirely sure how it works. Thanks

tiggytape Wed 17-Apr-13 19:16:07

Your chances on waiting lists can't be known.
You can guess sometimes though if you know the school and the area well:
Do many pupils choose private schools (so will reject their council offer perhaps and creat vacancies in the summer)?
Do you live in an area with a settled or transient population? Some schools have the same pupils from YR-Y3 and nobody ever leaves but other schools (perhaps near London or where forces families are based) have people leaving and joining every term
Is the school you want big or small? (a vacancy is more likely in a reception year of 90 pupils than it is in a year group of only 30)

Your place on the list is determined by the original admission criteria so if you live close to the school you will be near the top but if a family move to the area and buy a house even closer, they will go above you on the list.

FrameyMcFrame Wed 17-Apr-13 21:06:39

Well we want a place at any of the 3 schools that were our 1st 3 choices.
1st choice we are 0.7 miles away and our nearest school but its also the most over subscribed. With only 45 pupils. The other 2 have 90 but are further at 0.9 and 1.2 but they're also in areas where there might be more movement, one has a high proportion of children in private education. There are free spaces in all the years at the moment in that school which suggests that children leave.

I guess we won't have an idea until we get some info from LEA.

the main reason we want one of these 4 is that they're feeding into the 3 tier system that my daughter is already.

The place we've been offered (4th choice) is in the 2 tier system. It also has bad ofstead for YR Y1 and 2.

Also, horribly enough, one of the teachers at that school harassed me and caused me a great deal of upset. Can't say more on here but I had contact with her through my job.

Thanks for all your help.

groovelottie Sun 21-Apr-13 22:22:21

hi all i am new to this and hope i am on the correct thread, if not any advice appreciated.
my son who is 7 attends local school. i applied in Oct 12 for my daughters place at same school ready for sept 13. However to my horror when i logged back in to see if she had got place the status said not submitted. I called LEA they had no record of her details and the office checked my e-mail and could see same status. I am at a loss myself and husband remember doing it and only adding the 1 choice my son's school as its in our catchment and when you have sibling there you stand high chance of getting place. However whether an error on my part or a glitch I am where I am.
I have checked my e-mails and worringly I only have confirmation that I set up an account in October 12 with Admissions.
I have contacted the school and the head was so kind but told me all places were full 2 reception classes (61) they are 1 over as they have a twin.
I would probably go to the top of waiting list as sibling attends school.
I have had to put a late application form in which wont get looked at til 30/4 following their advice i did recluctantly put a 2nd choice school a little village one within walking distance, however my mind is in overdrive and i have now thought what if this is full too.
The logistics of getting 2 children to 2 diff schools at same time is impossible. We have 1 car, my hub works full time. My daughter currently attends preschool for my 1st choice and afterschool club with her brother. Its all a mess I am out of my mind with worry x any advice I would appreciate x thxs

Dobbs13 Sun 21-Apr-13 22:22:28


Can I ask for some advise? My daughter hasn't got into our village primary school (she was 16th on the list). I was adopted into this village (35 years ago at 6 weeks old). Can I use this in my appeal as the LA chose to put me in this village - would they have an ongoing care of duty? I was told that this might help the appeal but need more evidence?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated!

prh47bridge Sun 21-Apr-13 22:56:58

I'm afraid that is completely irrelevant. The LA does not have to find your daughter a place in the village primary school just because you were placed there 35 years ago.

If this is an infant class size case (which it could be with a PAN of 15) you should only win an appeal if you can show a mistake was made. If it is not an infant class size case you need to show that your daughter will be disadvantaged if she does not go to this school.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 22-Apr-13 18:49:59

Groovelottie, if you are high on the waiting list there is a good chance you will get in. Is the school normally full?

Fuckwittery Mon 22-Apr-13 18:55:26

Did you get a confirmation email groovelottie? You might be best starting a new thread about this in the primary topic as its a bit of a different topic to the original poster smile

FrameyMcFrame Mon 22-Apr-13 19:11:29

prh74bridge, 'If this is an infant class size case (which it could be with a PAN of 15) you should only win an appeal if you can show a mistake was made. If it is not an infant class size case you need to show that your daughter will be disadvantaged if she does not go to this school.'

I'm still not really understanding this properly. So the only way we can win an appeal is if we prove they've made a mistake?

clam Mon 22-Apr-13 19:34:56

Yes, IF the class is full up and subject to the legal limit imposed by the Government (Infant Class Size). Beyond Key Stage One a class is still regarded as full if there are 30 children in it, but it is slightly easier to win an appeal although you have to prove that the disadvantage to your child by not getting a place is greater than that suffered by the school, were a place granted.

PanelChair Mon 22-Apr-13 19:56:42

Groovelottie - As has been suggested already, a lot is going to depend on whether you have any evidence to substantiate your claim that you did apply on time. With that, the LEA may accept that they have made an error and may give you the place you should have had, if they had processed your application. Or an appeal panel might allow your appeal for the same reason. But without any evidence that you applied on time, you are highly unlikely to win the appeal. It is inconvenient, obviously, to have two children in two schools, but the infant class size rule of 30 children per qualified teacher is strictly enforced.

Dobbs - As prh47bridge has said, your being adopted has no connection at all with school admissions. There is priority within the admissions code for adopted/looked after children but that does not extend to parents.

FrameyMcFrame - Essentially, in cases where the infant class size rules apply - ie where the admission number is a multiple of 30 and where there are 30 pupils per class in KS1 - you have to demonstrate some sort of mistake. That could be because the admission criteria do not comply with the admissions code, they haven't been properly applied, a mistake has been made which has deprived your child of a place, or the decision is so unreasonable that no reasonable person would have made the same decision and it can't be allowed to stand. Those are the only circumstances in which the panel is supposed to allow an appeal.

Where the ICS rules don't apply - where the admission number is not a multiple of 30, where classes in KS1 are less than 30 or in KS2 and secondary school - the appeal is decided differently, on the basis of the balance of "prejudice" (ie disadvantage) to the pupil in not being admitted and to the school in having to accommodate an additional pupil.

RedHotBagel Mon 22-Apr-13 22:48:11

I'd be grateful for advice. DD has been offered place at local church school, our second choice. Our first choice was our nearest non-church school. We are three miles from the non-church school, but walking distance from the church school. Both are oversubscribed. We said in the application that we wanted a non-denominational school but this has not been taken into account. I suspect that if we were churchgoers wanting to get into the only church school in the area the council would bend over backwards to give us a place there. Do you think this is a reasonable grounds for appeal?

admission Mon 22-Apr-13 22:54:37

Redhotbagel, the short answer is no it is not. The fact that you asked for a non-denominational school has no effect in terms of the admission process, which is governed by the preferences that you made and the admission criteria for each of the schools. You ave presumably failed to get into your first preference because of the distance, which is the same reason why you have been offered a place at your second preference.
Having said that you need to go on the waiting list for your second preference school and you can still appeal for a place based on not wanting a faith school but you have to accept that your chances of success are slim.

TwoSonsMummy Tue 07-May-13 20:19:19

Hi again
we are planning to appeal for our second son who didn't get a place at the school our older one goes to. Would people recommend getting a solicitor or something involved? How does one find out which ones as worth paying for?

Dizzydaisie Tue 07-May-13 20:32:15

I wouldn't advise getting a solicitor, the appeal hearing is formal but not to the level of needing legal representation. Your chances of success depend on the reasons you are appealing and whether it is an infant class size appeal as these are very difficult to win. What year is it you are appealing for? All I can say is that I have very recently been to a class size appeal myself and although I won mine I know it is very hard, the best thing to do is put your case across as strongly as you can.

TwoSonsMummy Tue 07-May-13 20:41:40

It is luckily not infant class size!

Thanks for your advice. I wasn't thinking of getting legal representation for the hearing but help in putting together my case in the strongest possible way. What do you think about that? I haven't got a lot of money but we feel our son's well-being is really at stake, for particular reasons, and it is about years and years of our life that will be impacted so we feel if that helps we would consider it.

prh47bridge Tue 07-May-13 21:39:06

Don't do it. Solicitors generally don't understand admissions and tend to start nit picking, which does not go down well with appeal panels. It is your son's education that is at stake. You will do a far better job than any solicitor - especially if you take advantage of the free help on offer from experts on Mumsnet!

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