Primary admissons 2013(8 Posts)
Hi all, I really need advise, I got the info that my son didn't get into any of our preferred choices for primary school in surrey, in fact he has been allocated to one of the worst schools in surrey from what I can tell from the ofsted reports. It has been rated as inadequate for most, I really don't know what to do. Its too late to send him to private school so I am considering home schooling but my partner is totally against it. What's even worse is this school is 10 miles away and neither of us drive as we both work very local to home, I'm just so sad right now.
You need the information on how far outside the effective catchment you were for the preferred choices, get onto the lists for reconsideration/continuing interest/whatever your authority choose to call it and join as many suitable waiting lists as you are able. Have a look on your council website and your letter to find out as much information as you can about your options there.
When is your child 5? YOu don't have to start school until 5, so you could accept the place you have been given, keep following up on the others and hope that at least one place comes free before he needs to start? Otherwise you could home school or send him to the school you don't like as an interim measure whilst you sit it out on the waiting lists.
10 miles away! That is very unusual.
In most cases for infant school, the laws on class sizes are such that parents really have very little hope of winning an appeal just because the school is too far away. Only if a medical condition affects ability to travel might they be able to.
But being allocated a school 10 miles away, I do think you should go to appeal on the grounds that the council have acted in such an unreasonable way that their decision cannot stand.
Most people in your position get allocated a school 2 miles or 4 miles away which, whilst hugely inconvenient and potentially impossible with work/siblings is still not seen as unreasonable given the shortage of places and the fact it is their nearest school with a vacancy.
I think 10 miles definitely falls in the realms of unreasonable for a 4 year old to travel but you'd have to see if the appeal panel agreed.
Do not mention the fact it has a bad Ofsted rating though. This is something that appeal panels really cannot take into account. Somebody has to be allocated this school and an appeal panel must treat all schools as being of equal standard for allocation purposes. If however your local school offers something very suitable for your chidl that the allocated school does not, you can say how well the local school would suit him / meet his needs.
In the meantime get on every waiting list you can for the schools close to your home and ask about free transport options. The LA are obliged to provide free transport now they have allocated a school so far away.
Accept the place - counter intuitive, but it means that he has got a place somewhere (leaving options open): this does not in any way close of other options. As it's 10 miles away, free transport must be provided; daunting prospect but actually not so bad. And that takes the logistics out of the worry list.
Then turn your attention to securing a place somewhere you like better.
Can you afford private schools from is point? Of so, hit the phones now to see if any school you can reach has a sudden vacancy. Or if not, add yourself to waiting list for of a vacancy comes up and/or for entry at their next main intake point.
Then find out how much you missed the entry to the schools which you did apply for. Check whether it's possible a mistake has been made (eg are you in right category, does distance from school look right?) for administrative error which deprived DS of a place would be grounds for a winnable appeal.
Then make sure he is on the waiting list for all the schools you applied for (and find out where he is on those lists). This might take a couple of weeks to settle, as acceptances come through, but stay on the case.
Thank you all for the replies!
We couldn't believe it, even when we rang our parents they couldn't understand why it was so far away. I have joined 2lists so far, as well as the 3 we are already on for our preferred choices.
Our son is 5 in June 2014, so I believe he has to legally be in school at the start of that summer term?
I'm very unsure of the appeals process as all the info we have found so far from the council states that we can only appeal to get him into the school we wanted 1st and not because we don't want him to go to a particular one, so I don't know how to go about making a case.
I have been paying for private nursery since he was 1, so I was quite prepared to continue paying, but again, the OH wasn't happy about that.
I guess I shall just have to get on with more research and looking for schools
I just wanted to add that I need to wait until 15 May to find out the position on the waiting lists according the council website!
Where is your son at the moment - does he attend any form of pre-school or nursery? Since he is a summer birthday you have a lot more flexibility (I think you are right that it is the start of the term, but I don't know if that's old style three terms or new style six). If I were you, I would be finding out now whether any current pre-school could keep him longer? That way you could wait it out on the waiting list until a place comes up at an acceptable school more easily, and it would make you feel better to know you had an 'until the summer' back up plan in place whilst you wait for 15 May.
The fact they have allocated a school so far away from home rings makes me wonder if Surrey have got this right. It may be genuinely the case that all the schools closer to home are full up. But it may be that Surrey have used the wrong address. I would ask them to confirm the distance they used to each school when deciding your admission application and make sure the figure they come up with looks reasonable.
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