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admission and appeal help desperately needed

(51 Posts)
DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 18:49:41


We have an appeal on 17th July, infant class size and I am bricking it. My son has SEN and its so important for him to get place at village school, main points for appeal are friendships/peers and we have a multitude of solid reasons backed up by independent private ed psyc, and transport (unchaperoned minibus) health and safety issues with meltdowns and rididity of mind and impulsivity solid evidence again. I have friendships letters, GP letter, 2 private reports, notes from meetings with both heads who are supportive, behaviour diary etc etc - Do we have a chance??? I obv feel like how can we not win when I read our report but need to manage expectations???

Secondly to complicate things...he is number 2 on waiting list and I am privy to information that the council cocked up which will mean my son would be number 1 on list and current number 1 would get place. Basically a family broke up and mum moved away with child given place in first round and sibling who application was based on. They moved before application deadline but were considered in first round and got place. The council were informed by head of school that family had moved away day before places allocated. I am sure they were informed way before this by the mother too.This place was only made available in second round, and ironically a new family moved into village in rental who applied late and got this place. The council made an administration error but are trying to fob me off. The family in rental who got place were surprised to get a place and were planning to move wherever they got a place. Councils info says a place can be removed for admin error which would mean them taking place from rental family and giving to child top of waiting list. Do I force this issue or give the family number 1 on list the info for their appeal? If they win appeal does it mean we are more likely to win ours as the council will have to employ another teacher for the other child? Its so confusing???

I appreciate any help.

Pyrrah Tue 25-Jun-13 19:25:23

Whether there was a mess up or not, the family in the rental are entitled to keep the place unless it is withdrawn within 3 days of the allocation unless their application was fraudulent.

Since their application was merely late, they are entitled to the place.

If the family in position 1 can prove maladministration - then they should win an appeal. This would then mean an extra place would be created.

You would then need to wait for 2 children to leave before your child would be eligible.

I would leave well alone.

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 20:05:06

It states in the LA Starting School booklet that places can be withdrawn if there is an administration error so I thought they could withdraw the rental child place and give to number 1 on list - still 30 in class and my son would be first on list?

If they had to employ an extra teacher if the number 1 family won on appeal would it make our appeal more likely to win as they would have employed an extra teacher? Could the school governers then allow my son in as legal limit wouldn't being breached?

Also do you have any idea on our appeal case?


eddiemairswife Tue 25-Jun-13 20:17:29

They don't have to provide an extra teacher if the 31st place is the result of an appeal

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 20:19:57

Really?? eddiemairswife, I thought it was a legal limit of 30 and to go over meant an extra teacher?

I feel like I am about to implode with the months of stress, its almost unbearable sad

Smartiepants79 Tue 25-Jun-13 20:29:53

Does your child have a statement of special needs? Because unless he does I'm not sure you have very strong grounds for appeal. Peer groups and independent reports do not have to be taken into account.
If you haven't been the victim of the maladministration it will make little difenernce to you.
The LA HATE going over infant class sizes. It costs them money and it effects the school for years.
Sorry to be a downer and I hope I'm wrong but I think you ought to try and prepare yourself that you may not win this one.

Frikadellen Tue 25-Jun-13 20:32:32

Am I understanding it as

The family who moved away did so prior to the deadline but for some administrative reason it was not recorded that they had moved away.

So had this been done your child would have been number 30 and would have got in?

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 20:37:59

Sorry Frikadellen its all a bit confusing. No we are 32, the 31 child would have got in if maladministration proven, but the rental child would be off the scene so we would be 31, which if we don't win appeal will help a lot as we are keeping son at pre school while we wait for a place. Horrible decision but better than moving him after a while, also he has no way of getting to given school as its an unchaperoned minibus with no other option, he has violent meltdowns, impulsivity etc, so health and safety worries. We have applied for SA and are going to tribunal as they turned us down. Funding and statements are not linked in this LA so they avoid giving statements.

ClayDavis Tue 25-Jun-13 20:40:42

It used to be that the child admitted was excepted for the rest of the school year, then a new teacher had to be employed the following year if the class hadn't returned to 30. This is no longer the case and the child now remains an excepted child for the remainder of KS1, after which there is no class size limit.

Also, the fact that the family on the list applied late would not affect their position on the waiting list. If I'm reading your posts correctly I think that if the council hadn't made the error the child currently at number 1 would have been offered the place, but the family that have been offered the place would be above you on the waiting list, so you would still be at number 2.

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 20:44:24

Yes but the mum told me that they didn't expect to get a place and were going to move nearer whichever school they got into.

Please can anyone give me any hope for our actual appeal?? PLLEEEAAAASSEEEE

He is being seen for multi agency assessment for Atypical autism with PDA traits, he has genuine needs that will be met better at the school we want, plus the transport issue is very real and potentially very dangerous.

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 20:46:21

PS the family at 31 do not know this so would be unlikely to have the info for their appeal.

I don't know whether to push the LA to follow through on maladministartion error separate to the appeal so our plan B of waititng for a waiting list place is more advanateous.

tethersend Tue 25-Jun-13 20:52:20

Was there a social/medical criteria when you applied?

If so, did you apply under it?

Blessyou Tue 25-Jun-13 20:53:06

I don't know about your appeal, sorry, but I do know if your son gets a statement then you can have the school named on the statement and they must take him, even if it means the class goes over numbers.

I know this because that's what happened with my son. We kept him in nursery (summer born anyway, ASD, socially immature) until statement was finalised, had a school named in part4 of statement, who we knew were full. They 'officially' had to refuse then be instructed to take him by the LA. A child has now left his class and not been 'replaced' by one on the waiting list to bring the class size back down.

I would say, good luck with the appeal, but keep going with that statement, that it the key - he is going to need the support when he gets into school anyway, from the sounds of it.

Good luck smile

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 20:59:05

Thanks Bless you

No social medical clause thersend

God feel like I'm in a living nightmare, fighting every f***er just so my son has a positive education experience, I could just collapse into a pile of dust

ClayDavis Tue 25-Jun-13 20:59:58

I'm not sure it does advantage you. Whether the mum expected to get a place is irrelevant. The School's Adjudicator has ruled previously that a place cannot be removed after 3 days even in case of maladministration. There is a new Admissions Code, but it is probable that that ruling still stands. If the panel decide there was an administrative error, they will admit the child as a 31st pupil, but you won't get a place from the waiting list until the class size falls below 30.

Does the school have a category for exceptional social or medical need? If so did you submit the evidence at the time you made the application.

I know you don't want to hear this, but I think your best bet is to get a Statement that names the school. I agree with the PP who said that you need to prepare yourself that the chances of you winning the appeal are slim.

mam29 Tue 25-Jun-13 21:02:42

feel bad for you but dont hear many who win appeals.

also how long would you wait?

is he young or old starting?

whats your backup plan?

any other school?

would he benefit from delayed start?

least preschool has smaller ratios

good luck

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 21:10:40

He is Aug so plan B is keeping him in pre school waiting for place, then if year draws to close with no place maybe home school.

Plan C is statement but its very hard to get in our LA. They have turned down Statutory Assessment so we are going to tribunal. We have tons of evidence and reports and multi agency assess is starting.

But they can't send him on unchaperoned minibus as it will be downright dangerous??

AlienAttack Tue 25-Jun-13 21:12:08

Sorry desperatemum if I am wrong, but have you recently posted about your DC in a separate thread under a different name? If not, someone else has certainly posted recently about an appeal which included concerns about their DS unaccompanied on a minibus. If it wasn't you, it may be worth searching for the thread for relevant advice.
I'm afraid from what you've posted here, I think it is unlikely you would win an ICS appeal since I can't see where you identify that a mistake has been made?

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 21:23:17

Its not on mistake we are appealing its on 'perverse' due to complex special educational needs, no I posted ages ago (months) not recently? I will do a search thanks

Smartiepants79 Tue 25-Jun-13 21:35:01

I think without a statement you will not get a place I'm afraid.
Being only second on the list and prepared to keep him at preschool you may have a good chance of getting a place through the year. Not many parents would be prepared to not send a child to school and will take places elsewhere.
Many schools lose kids throughout the year. And that's even presuming all of them turn up in September which is also unlikely.
This appeal is probably not going to be successful but I wouldn't give up hope that a place won't come available.
Not quite sure where you stand with regards to transport.

prh47bridge Tue 25-Jun-13 22:02:27

Despite what the council say they cannot take a place away that was awarded due to an administrative error unless they do so within 3 days of the offer being made. This is case law rather than a definitive rule so it could change but it has been that way for 13 years. It is in any case irrelevant for your appeal. You wouldn't have got a place if the mistake hadn't been made. The only decision the appeal panel can make is whether or not to award a place to your son. They cannot alter his position on the waiting list or take away anyone else's place.

As this is an ICS case you need to show either that a mistake has been made or that the decision to refuse admission was unreasonable. From what you say I don't think you can show a mistake unless there is a category for special medical needs and you submitted evidence that should have put your son in that category. You may be able to persuade the panel that the decision was unreasonable if you submitted information about your son's problems with your application. Even if you didn't submit information with your application you may get a sympathetic panel that is willing to bend the rules a little to allow your son in.

So my advice would be to ignore the child who got a place in error, concentrate on your son's difficulties and give it the best shot you can but don't get your hopes up too high.

Good luck.

DesperateMumofPDAchild Tue 25-Jun-13 22:21:41

Thanks prh - you have been the first person to give the slightest glimmer of hope, I know there's not much but I will take what I can. We didn't submit the information at time of appeal as we were still waiting to see community paed, that's why we commissioned the private reports which confirmed complex needs. We have since seen paed who has started a multi agency assessment. We have so many very strong points regarding his needs - peers/friends and his needs - transport, all evidenced and compelling (but I suppose I would say that)

Frikadellen Tue 25-Jun-13 22:30:12

If the mistake had not been made then surely Ops ds would have got a space? As I understood it the person who is currently 1st on the waiting list was a late application, so would not have counted in the original 30 offers but counts when it comes to the actual waiting list. Or am I understanding something wrong? (I know this would depend onhow late an application)

ClayDavis Tue 25-Jun-13 22:56:10

I think the person that got the space was a late application. The person that's currently number 1 is the child that would have got the space if the council hadn't made an error. But in that case, the late application would probably now be number 1, leaving the OP still at number 2.

Unless I'm understanding something wrong.

admission Tue 25-Jun-13 23:53:13

Sorry desperatemum but you are missing the main point here. You can have absolutely the best case in the world about needs, peers /friends, transport etc and that may well win you a place at an appeal if it was not an infant class size case.
In an infant class size case there are only two ways of winning an appeal, prove that a mistake was made in your application that would have resulted in you getting a place if it had been done correctly or prove that the LA decision not to admit was unreasonable (perverse). I do not see any evidence of a mistake having been made in your emails and there is nothing unreasonable in the LA deciding not to award you a place. The medical / needs information that you have is all post the application time and therefore the LA did not take it into consideration, there is nothing perverse about their decision.
Having said that PRH is right you have nothing to loose by appealing and hoping that you will get a very sympathetic panel. The honest answer is that panel members hate these kind of cases, because they can see all the reasons why offering a place is the right thing to do BUT if they apply the letter of the law then they cannot admit under the rules surrounding infant class size cases.

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