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Appeal process for primary school

(13 Posts)
john1968 Wed 17-Apr-13 23:07:06

Does anyone have any advice on how to make a successful appeal for the school admissions? What type of evidence is the appeal panel looking for ? Thanks

Icantstopeatinglol Wed 17-Apr-13 23:14:11

Evidence that your journey would be 'dangerous' ie if you're walking is it a safe walk? Make sure the measurements they have used are correct and the way they have measured is the safest shortest route. You'd be amazed which way they measure distances as most the time it's done by someone with no or little knowledge of the area. We nearly appealed last year as the local council had our route going along a busy road/bus link with no paths at all! Good luck! smile

tiggytape Wed 17-Apr-13 23:15:59

The key to reception appeals is knowing whether the school you want has 30 per class. If so it is an ICS (Infant Class Size) appeal.

The law is very clear and does not allow more than 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.

It is very hard therefore to win such an appeal and 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.

If there are less than 30 children per class, it is a totally different type of appeal.
With less than 30 per class, you 'only' need to prove the benfits to your child of attending that school (eg the social or educational reasons and benefits this school can offer him).
You need to convince the panel that the harm (prejudice) to your child of not being able to attend outweighs the harm (prejudice) they suffer by having to accept one more child. Childcare and transport issues are not normally considered unless they relate to a medical / social need.

The crucial thing you'd need to do first is find out how many children they have in each class from YrR to Yr2 as this is what influences how / if you can win.

ClayDavis Wed 17-Apr-13 23:16:56

For an infant class size appeal you would need evidence that the LA have made a mistake and that your child would have got a place had that mistake not been made. e.g. they placed you in the wrong category, they measured the distance from home to school incorrectly.

They would also consider evidence that the admissions process isn't in line with the Admissions Code or that the decision made was completely unreasonable.

NickNacks Wed 17-Apr-13 23:17:32

Surely it depends on your reasons for believing you have not been given a place when you should have been?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 17-Apr-13 23:27:25

It is as Tiggytape and ClayDavis say. Winning an appeal in an infant class size case comes down to demonstrating some sort of error or mistake. There is more leeway in non-ICS appeals, where the arguments are about the balance of 'prejudice' (ie disadvantage) to the child in not attending the school and the school in taking another pupil.

NynaevesSister Wed 17-Apr-13 23:27:54

If those reasons mean that, had the authority not made a mistake then your child would have got a place, then yes that is all that matters.

If there were medical reasons or special needs for the child that could only be met by the school and you didn't disclose this when applying then it will be very difficult to argue your case on those grounds now.

prh47bridge Thu 18-Apr-13 00:06:39

Just one minor point regarding infant class size appeals. The appeal panel has to consider if the admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied. They don't have to consider who got it wrong. It doesn't necessarily have to be a mistake by the school or its LA.

For example, imagine you live in LA A and apply to a VA school in LA B. If your application was processed correctly you would get a place at the VA school. However, LA A fails to pass your application on to LA B so the school never see it. In that case neither LA B nor the VA school have done anything wrong but an appeal should still come down in your favour.

bellamysbride Thu 18-Apr-13 03:18:59

What is the usual time frame for appeals?

bellamysbride Thu 18-Apr-13 03:20:50

Sorry that was a bit abrupt smile. I'm tired and irrationally jarred off with this whole process, forum etiquette has abandoned me.

tiggytape Thu 18-Apr-13 08:07:53

You submit your appeal as soon as you can - by the date given in the letter you will receive.
Appeals are normally heard in May or June depending on where you live although last year some were still being heard in July (whether that was because parents returned the form late or due to the LA being late, I don't know)

bellamysbride Thu 18-Apr-13 08:15:38

Thanks Tiggy.

john1968 Thu 18-Apr-13 22:06:55

Thanks for the information, much appreciated

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