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Remember Greeneggs and " did the Church/school make a mistake".

(22 Posts)
tiggytape Sun 07-Jul-13 22:15:34

GreenEggs - don't be too hard on yourself - it is hugely stressful thing to go through and would be a big worry for most parents. Preparing for an appeal also takes time and effort so it is only natural it also takes over daily life (and conversation) at times.
I am sure DD will pick up on the very positive vibes you have now it is all sorted out and won't even remember all of the trouble you had by the time she starts school.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Sun 07-Jul-13 22:06:22

Relieved it's all sorted. It was an interesting experience to go through, although I wish I had handled the stress better.

We talked about it in front of DC far too much, I would avoid that if I had my time again. She knew something was "wrong" with "big school", that is going to take some fixing.

tiggytape Sun 07-Jul-13 21:52:33

treesntrees - a faith school is allowed to prioritise on church attendance or baptism or both. It is up to them.
Those that require attendance may only ask for once a month for a year whereas others ask for weekly attendance for 3 years +
It is up to the school. As long as they write down the criteria so parents know where they stand and keep track of who attends (if they decide to specify monthly or weekly limits) then that's all fine. In Green's case she did attend for the exact number of times they asked for but the church didn't keep track accurately and argued (wrongly) that she'd missed one month.

As for ill feeling – unfortunately this is something a lot of schools are encountering and not just faith schools. As most people know, since 2008 there have been bumper birth years. There aren’t enough school places meaning some siblings cannot get places, people living 200m away cannot get places and councils ordering some schools to take bulge classes despite the schools (and the parents who already have places guaranteed) being hugely opposed to this. At virtually every primary there will be parents who couldn’t get a younger sibling in or children whose nursery friends never got a place – it is horrible but parents who get a place that is rightfully theirs cannot be swayed by this and to a large extent you cannot avoid it.

GreenEggs – It sounds as if your council and certainly this school have never had to deal with such huge numbers of applicants before. Hopefully this years’ numbers will be a wakeup call to check all applicants are truthful. If not, they risk people cheated out of their places also winning on appeal and further investigations. Lots of councils were pretty lax in the past – nobody bothered to cheat except for a small number of people for the really good schools. Now it is more tempting because parents are more worried about even getting into an average school and most councils have moved with the times on this issue – especially in London where shortages are worse and so cheating more tempting.
I know your case wasn't anything to do with that issue though and was a stright forward case of being wrongly told you hadn't qualified for a place when you had. It has taken a while but you must be very relieved it is all sorted out now.

treesntrees Sun 07-Jul-13 21:37:31

Judging by the low number of children in our church Sunday school I don't think all church schools insist on church attendance as a criteria for admission. Our church school has a waiting list which is so long that even nursery children can't be guaranteed a place.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Sun 07-Jul-13 21:01:44

Thanks Tiggy. Yes, but it took you and Prh47bridge to tell me that. I would have given up otherwise, I was so confused and shocked.

BTW I don't know if you remember ( or are interested!) but I mentioned somewhere that my LEA investigated a high proportion of applicants for a certain school and someone lost a place? Never believe the press. It didn't happen. Even though parents "outed" some potentially fraudulent admissions the LEA refused to look into them.

Oh and I DID go to an Inner City Sink school, they have a lot to be said for them ;)

tiggytape Sun 07-Jul-13 20:12:24

This is fantastic news - I am thrilled for you.

The panel totally reached the right decision because you had qualified for a place. I am so glad it worked out well for you.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Sun 07-Jul-13 10:09:34

Fatflossie ( great name) I don't know if even my best friends would call me fun and lovely, but honest, yes ;)

Thanks so much for all your good wishes, I think this is what is right for the whole family. We are fortunate in that we were handed a good back up plan too. a distance away, but nearer than the nearest school in our Borough which had places.

nlondondad Sun 07-Jul-13 10:08:20

I think that being close to the school is a huge advantage, and that in general, unless there is a really big issue with your nearest school, it is better to go to it.

(I live near Crouch End and I am bemused by parents who chose to send their children to fee paying schools and so build a school run commute by car into their day. )

Its not as if the schools in Crouch End were "inner city sink schools"

So for greeneggs a good news story.

fatfloosie Fri 05-Jul-13 22:11:01

Hooray!! I definitely read your thread, maybe even posted on it, and am delighted for you. From what I recall you (a) had a really good case (b) had had some shit to deal with so were overdue something going your way and (c) sounded really fun and lovely in your very honest posts.

Going to nearest school is fab. DD's school is a 4 minute scoot (with me panting along behind!) - if she's had a bad night I can wake her at 8.30 and still easily get her there for 9.00 - and she and I now have loads of nearby friends that we somehow never met before. Ofsted etc not great but couldn't give a stuff.

Very best wishes for September

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 05-Jul-13 21:50:27

I don't think HP knew either mango , it's the next Borough up to ours next to a hospital.

Local press got ot so wrong BTW.

Good luck with it all. I suppose what I would say is that schools come up on the waiting list that you wouldn't have a hope of getting into on your first 6 preferences on April 17th. It s a nail biting wait but could be so worth it.

MangoDaiquiri Fri 05-Jul-13 21:04:02

Congratulations on winning your appeal! I was following your other thread (and local press on admissions to this school).
I am in the same borough as you and would also like DD to have a chance at attending a local school, we will be applying later this year for YR for September 2014 (but won't be applying for your school, I am other side of the borough). I didn't know that HP were having a bulge class for 2013 though (assume I'm thinking of the right school, a bit north west of you but in the same borough?).
Anyway, well done again, now you can relax and start looking forward to September with your DC.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 05-Jul-13 20:56:51

I am as much a believer as the other parents ; ) even Elizabeth one didn't want windows to ones soul...

It's not the most sought after church school in the area( the one where the children of Jewish atheist politicians go before heading off to the US of A); and it's not the most sought after local school. So it still has a local community feel, this year actuall local people went to the local church to get their children into the local school. I dont think there will be to much traveling into it.

Farewelltoarms Fri 05-Jul-13 20:22:53

Ah good, I didn't want to be too rude about church criteria in case you were a believer (which just makes me think of beliebers... maybe there is a free school with knowing the words to Baby as a tiebreak).
I do think you're right to go with the nearer school. I think everyone should go to their nearest school - we visited our nearest, v near, v undersubscribed at the time - and decided we liked it and should therefore not muddy the search with looking at others. Which is why I get annoyed at faith admissions because they effectively mean that those subscribing to the faith travel a long way to them pushing those that don't to travel a long way in the other direction.
Anyway, well done you, the appeal must have taken some nerve.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 05-Jul-13 17:56:33

Very tempted Farewell.

It's just this school is soooo near; all our neighbours children go there;it will make pick up and drop off so much easier; as will DP working from home.

I always thought it was daft to have to go to church to get into a local school, but we did it because we knew it was the only way.

hP looks great, and if anything did go wrong with this school, there a still be places there. I would defiantly recommend it to neighbours who will be applying for schools next year. As for the character assassination, and all the weaknesses, they do bother me but I knew some of them where there before all this mess. I am quite pleased the school has just been downgraded at ofsted, hopefully that will buck them up a bit.

I don't think some of the parents with children at the school knew it was a church school. No one bothered to go to church to get in before this year. It is now oversubscribed due to the high birth year and the difficulty of getting into EP and T infants.

But yes, very impressed with Islington Education

Farewelltoarms Fri 05-Jul-13 14:47:02

Are you not tempted just to go with HP, GreenEggs? Did their character assassination not put you off the school?
I can't remember the ins and outs of your case, but from what I recall it did really expose the whole idiocy of church criteria as its not as properly measurable and objective as the standard ones used by community schools.
On the other hand, it is nice to go to a nearer school.
Why were there so many non-churchgoing older siblings in the school in the first place?
Anyway really pleased that you've got the outcome you wanted.
And also pleased to hear that Islington were most helpful borough. You kind of always assume they'll be a bit rubbish, but actually I think education-wise they're pretty good.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 05-Jul-13 13:33:04

I am sure all that will happen. It has happened in the local press already and I am sure will rear it's head again. Smile and nod, smile and nod...

It will be more of a problem with parents who have siblings higher up the school, as by the very nature of this problem, there wont be children from the nursery in the reception class unless their parents were churchgoers.
I will keep an eye out for any affects on DC though.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 05-Jul-13 13:32:18

I remember your thread. Well done on winning the appeal. I hope your DC enjoys the school!

Quangle Fri 05-Jul-13 13:07:58

Great news! Although wtf with the character assassination confused

Also just one thing to look out for - our school made mistakes with admissions and ended up with a class considerably larger than yours. It has resulted in a lot of bad feeling in the class among the parents - those who feel their DCs would always have got in and should be in a smaller class vs those who had to push to be there vs those who feel a sense of entitlement but didn't get in! It's been quite poisonous...

This has been fuelled by school mishandling and by the fact that current pupils (nursery) got bumped for new entrants so class friendships were broken. All perfectly legitimate but resulted in some very heightened feelings!

Hope this doesn't happen for you - if there's no nursery and therefore fewer children already established there, you may not have to deal with it. Obviously the right approach is ignore and to know that you have absolutely done the right thing.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 05-Jul-13 12:57:32

That was me! It was all down to record keeping,more lack of it, by the church.

It was very political, as many siblings didn't get in this year as they were very low down the admissions criteria.

LegoWidow Fri 05-Jul-13 12:49:08

oh, actually, I think I might have read your original thread - I remember one where the poster had met the criteria but that the church hadn't kept a record of one of the attendances? Was that you?

LegoWidow Fri 05-Jul-13 12:47:51

Congratulations! Well done.

I didn't read your original thread but have been on threads since where you've talked about which school you got into via a bulge class. I'm in the same borough as you and think I know which church school this must be. Glad to hear that it all worked out in the end.

If you met the church attendance criteria, what was the school's reasoning for not giving you the place in the first place? Had they said that you hadn't met the criteria?

Some of those other people's reasons for appeal are somewhat paper thin ("having the uniform"?!)

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 05-Jul-13 12:30:04

I promised to come back on here and give an update on how my appeal went. I asked for the original thread to be removed as it outed my DC somewhat.

Well, we were successful in what was an ICS appeal. The Panel ruled in our favour as we fulfilled the admissions criteria for church criteria. two children won their appeal so the class will be 32. Sadly for them many more, double figures, went to appeal and lost.

The panel and clerk did everything to make the hearing easy. I wasn't impressed by the school, their case wasn't strong so they relied on character assassination, that hurt, a lot. I could have done without having my parenting skills called into question.

So, what did we do? Well we accepted the school we were given and went on the waiting list for every other school in our and our neighbouring borough. So by the time the appeal came up we had a place at a school we were very happy with, all be it was a distance from us. We only got into this school because it ran a bulge class this year, it would not have been an option before.

I spent many sleepless nights getting information together, I went through the Admissis Code, I wrote down important conversations I remembered, I got witness statements, I wrote a chronology of events.

What didn't win people appeals was; that they have siblings at the school as it wasn't the highest criteria; difficulty of getting two children to two different schools; having the uniform; the appealed for school having a better Ofsted than the one they were given; that it wasn't fair; no one had told the parents the admission criteria. I am sure the Panel were sympathetic, but there wasn't anything they could do.

Interestingly the appeal panel said that only information given at the time of application may be used in deciding a school place. You can't carry on going to church from January and put in a new supplementary form in May and move up the waiting list. Also if you have already applied, and then move house nearer the school, this can't be taken into consideration until the 1st September. Now I know some schools I the area haven't been. Following this rule and I don't know where it comes from, but it's what my Borough uses.

Many, many thanks to everyone that helped my, and special thanks to Prh47bridge who went above and beyond. As someone on here said " listen to him"! Thanks to Tiggy and admissions and Bella who went though it with me.

So that's it really. Is there anything else useful I could add that would help people going through appeals?

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