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Help for friend-admissions

(20 Posts)
MyHusbandRoy Sun 21-Apr-13 14:54:32


My friend applied late for her dd to start primary school and found out on Friday that her dd doesn't have a place at our local primary. All spaces have already been allocated (2x 30 class)

Can she appeal at all?

The reason she applied late is because the letter sent to her containing the online application details was sent to her old address (moved 3+ yrs ago and address records are up to date everywhere else) so she didn't realise until February that she needed to apply for a place.

There were no posters up at our pre-school either to remind her and she can't read very well so a poster probably wouldn't have helped much anyway.

Also, she put her kids on the schools waiting list when they were first born so wrongly thought she'd secured a place for them.

She's gutted and her dd will be too when she reslises she's not going to the same school as her big brother.

MyHusbandRoy Sun 21-Apr-13 14:56:56

Meant to add that she has a ds at the school and doesn't live that far from school at all (West Sussex CC measure distance in a straight line).

Also, thanks in advance for any advice.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:03:57

If its infant class size it doesn't sound like she has any grounds in afraid.

There is no legal obligation for the LEA to send out forms.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:05:40

Putting their name down when they were born was in effect her asking for them to send the form at the right time. Did she update the address after she moved. Not in general but specifically with regards to the school
application form.

SoupDragon Sun 21-Apr-13 15:08:54

Has she put her DD on the waiting list?

As a sibling living close to the school she has a good chance of getting in before term starts.

BetsyBoop Sun 21-Apr-13 15:09:21

As there are 30 in each class it will be an "infant class size" appeal, so it is very unlikely she would have success at appeal in these circumstances.

The only grounds for winning such an appeal are
1. the admission authority made a mistake (the LA sending a letter to her old address wouldn't count - they can't make a mistake processing an application they didn't receive)
2. the admission criteria are unlawful
3. the decision not to admit is "unreasonable" in the legal sense - wouldn't apply in this case as she didn't even apply.

Her best chance is to get an application in ASAP - with a sibling at the school her DD will most probably go to the top of the waiting list (this is in admission criteria order, not first come first served) and then hope & pray a space becomes free. With 60 children in reception hopefully she will get a place fairly quickly.

RandomMess Sun 21-Apr-13 15:11:03

Hopefully if she puts her dd on the waiting list she will be top of the list and get in that way, I would expect some movement between now and September.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:12:59

Yes absolutely get on the waiting list ASAP and fingers crossed.

manicinsomniac Sun 21-Apr-13 15:14:36

Are there no allowances made or help given to parents with SEN?!

Your poor friend. I hope something gets sorted.

MyHusbandRoy Sun 21-Apr-13 15:33:29

Thank you for your quick replies.

pictures That's what I was worried about (infant class size).

I doubt she changed her address specifically regarding the application but the school 100% have her current address as her older ds attends the school.

Soup I emailed the school on Friday on her behalf asking for her dd to be added to the waiting list immediately. My friend doesn't have internet and was just going to verbally ask so I offered to email for her so they had it on writing.

The school already replied and she's been added to the list and they've forwarded her details to the County Hall who deal with school applications.

Betsy Thanks for the info, I did think from what I'd read on her she may not have any grounds for appeal.

Random Hopefully but its a very popular school not just in the town but the surrounding area as well.

Manic I don't know if they do. She's from the Traveller community so I don't think she did much schooling (if any) which is why she can't read/write.

Thank you all.for your help. Is it still worth appealing if she hasn't got Amy grounds?

MyHusbandRoy Sun 21-Apr-13 15:38:03

Sorry for the appalling spelling and grammar!

I'm on my mobile so was too lazy to preview...

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 15:47:19

Well if she appeals the worst that can happen is they say no. Which of course is the list likely outcome.

Unfortunately there will be no correlation between the list and the details school hold for the older child. It will simply have been handed to whoever posts the application forms out probably without even being looked at.

PanelChair Sun 21-Apr-13 15:53:25

Your friend doesn't have strong grounds for appeal, because it is incumbent on parents to apply on time - things like posters and handing out forms at school are a bonus, but really the onus is on parents to find out when the deadline is and apply on time.

However, if the school accepts "applications" (which are really nothing of the sort) when children are born, I think an appeal might be worth a shot. Your friend could argue that the fact that the school accepted the "application" when her younger child was born, coupled with the fact that the later letter went to the wrong address, gave her grounds for believing that her younger child had a place and she didn't need to do anything more. She would therefore be arguing that it isn't her fault that she applied late and it is unreasonable to deny her child a place. It's by no means a certainty that she would win the appeal on this basis - and as she's likely to be near the top of the waiting list she might get a place through that route anyway - but it could be worth a try.

JWIM Sun 21-Apr-13 16:44:21

Not sure if West Sussex has the same but Hampshire Childrens' Services has a unit that assists with Traveller community children and education. They will not be able to bypass the admissions rules but if there is similar in your LA they might be able to support your friend through the late admission/waiting list/appeal (possibly) process.

jamtoast12 Sun 21-Apr-13 18:24:25

I'd check the lea have her details as they will allocate the places from the waiting list surely, not the school?

MyHusbandRoy Mon 22-Apr-13 13:12:04

Panel I've spoken to my friend this morning and she is going to appeal even if her chances of winning are slim.

I found out today that the letter regarding her older ds was sent to her current address and because no letter arrived regarding her dd, she wrongly assumed she already had a place.

JWIM Thanks for that, I will check for her.

Jam LEA should have her dd's details as she did apply for a place, just late! She's been given a phone number for the LEA by the school to ring. She just needs to wait until she gets some more money in for credit. She's been hit by the bedroom tax this month so is low on funds.

Thanks again for all your help!

MyHusbandRoy Mon 22-Apr-13 13:15:24

Both of the reception classes have one teacher and one TA in them.

Is infant class size 1 adult : 30 pupils?

Would they let one extra pupil in if 2 adults are in a class?


AnnandBarryAgain Mon 22-Apr-13 13:16:04

you sound like a lovely friend.

scaevola Mon 22-Apr-13 13:25:21

You sound like a lovely friend, but I suspect your friend is being economical with the truth. Just 'putting a name down' at birth will not have secured her elder DC a place either.

The FAP can be activated for traveller families, but not if she has been offered a place elsewhere - the upshot, I presume, of the late application.

Not all LEAs send letters anyhow. The onus is on the parent, and she's clearly been through the procedure before. So I think she'll have a better chance via waiting list than by appeal.

jamtoast12 Mon 22-Apr-13 13:28:48

No TA's don't count. Ds's reception class has 1 teacher and 3 assistants - still 9 siblings didn't get in last year, all appealed and all lost as there had been no mistake. sad. Two did get in on the waiting list though. Not trying to be negative but really all her priorities should be on the waiting list now as that "30 in class" rule is pretty hard to come by if there's been no error. Does she know where she is on the list?

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