To appeal or not?(6 Posts)
We live in a city centre in a v diverse and unique community. We have everything on our doorstep and thought the same would apply to educating our children. We applied to 3 schools within the community (one of which is our catchment) all less than a mile away and got none of them. Instead we got School D which is 1.8 miles away, not in our community area but is newly built as an overflow catchment school. It is too far to walk so will have no choice but to drive. DS2 is aged 2, DS3 due in Jul so effectively committing ourselves to itl for next 11 years. We are 10th on reserve list for School A (PAN 60), 7th for School B (PAN 30) and 6th for School C (PAN 45). Appealing to Schools A and B would be Infant Class Size appeals and no mistake has been made so not worth appealing. The dilemma is that School D is prob 'better' than School C. School D is 2yrs old, run in federation with a v good nearby school, excellent facilities etc etc. School C is a bit tired tbh, the head was an odd woman who didn't make eye contact when she spoke to us and stared into the corner of the room. V weird. Ofsted in Nov 12 stated improvement required and March 13 update suggested work still to be done. However School C is 15 mins walk, has v strong community links and ethos which is important to us and simply not an option with School D due to where it is.
We are going to see School D again on Wed and will accept the place anyway. So, do we appeal School C just to get into a local school which is part of our community but isn't that great a school (at the moment, the head looked quite old so may not be around for that long but looks can be deceiving...) or take what appears to be a better school but isn't part of our community and commits us to driving the school run thru a v busy part of the city for the next 11 years?
Actually School A is PAN of 90 not 60 but I still can't see us getting in on waiting list...
With a PAN of 45 there is a good chance that an appeal for school C would be an infant class size case too. I would expect to find two classes of 22/3 in Reception then three classes with 30 children in each covering Y1 and Y2. It is possible they are running two classes in every year through infants but it seems unlikely. If it is organised as I have suggested any appeal would be an infant class size case as although admitting your child would not cause an immediate problem, there clearly would be a problem in Y1 and Y2 unless another child leaves.
The allocation info we got through from the council specifically said that whilst A and B had reached PAN and maximum legal infant class size, C had just reached PAN and would be an Independent Appeal whereas appeals for A and B were specifically stated as Infant Class Size Appeals. I think you might be right about the two smaller classes initially though as I remember from our visit that there were two differently named Reception classes but I also seem to think the classes stayed at two per year moving upwards. I might be misremembering though.
All appeals are independent appeals regardless of whether or not infant class size rules apply. If they didn't say that C was infant class size it may not be. It is unusual (and a bit of a stretch in funding terms) to have two classes per year with a PAN of 45 but it is not unheard of.
I would stick with school D to be honest.
1.8miles really isn't far and once your children get older it is perfectly walkable/cycleable/scootable (although I realise not for some time)
my first school was over 3 miles away so mum had to drive us and then when I was 5.5 I moved to a school 12 miles away (admittedly private so my parents choice) so obviously had to be be driven, once I was in yr6 I caught the train and walked the rest.
what I am getting at is that whilst it isn't as convenient it isn't so far as to rule you out of any community related stuff.
Where we are the intake is less than a mile but in some of the older classes before the baby boom some children come from up to about a mile and a quarter I think. As there is a big hill involved for some many many children are driven to school. As someone who then has their drive parked over by these parents I would prefer everyone to walk obviously but it just isn't possible for many families, especially if parents have to go off to work etc so you won't be in the minority I shouldn't think
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