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Helps with appeals needed please?

(33 Posts)
cherryblossoming Wed 25-Sep-13 22:10:54

We are awaiting for the hearing for our DD to join the reception class. As far as I know there are 25 pupils including Y1 and YR. Pan is 17 for all years. I know that previously the school had accepted an extra pupil in YR but this is everything that I know. We are in the catchment area but the places had been already allocated when we moved into the area. Just wonder what I should know about mixed classes appeals and which information could help me to get this place.
Many thanks.

cherryblossoming Wed 25-Sep-13 22:39:15

If anyone has to say anything regarding mixed years appeals it would be very much appreciated. The school we want to get into is church of England voluntary aided. Thank you again.

BlackMogul Wed 25-Sep-13 23:35:54

I am sure you will get some more help and I am not an appeal guru but basically you have to find out how many children can be in the school, the capacity, and what numbers of children are actually in each year group. From the information you give, i am struggling to know what 25 pupils refers to. Is It YR and Y1 combined into one class? How come YR has taken an extra child? Do you mean they have 18 in YR? As it is voluntary aided it may have requirements of church affiliation too which you may be unable to fulfil if you are new to the area, eg attendance at parish church. You need to know how many children applied for places for reception and how many, if any, did not get a place. If the PAN is 17, I do not know why they might have 25 and not 34 in Reception and Y1 combined. This seems odd. You would need to find out why and argue that they are below PAN. Can the LA or the Governing Body tell you how the places were allocated? They sometimes have this info on a web site. You also must get this info before the appeal. If they have 18 already inYR, but are below capacity, which is probably 17 x 7 (110?) you could argue the school is not full so could take an extra one. If loads have already been turned away, it is likely there have already been appeals that have failed.

prh47bridge Wed 25-Sep-13 23:55:44

From what you say I think they have 2 classes in infants, one covering R/Y1 and the other covering Y1/2. With a PAN of 17 there would be 51 pupils across the 3 years to 25 or 26 in each class. The good news is that they can get up to 20 children in each year before they hit the infant class size limit. As this will not be an infant class size case it will be easier to win.

The fact that they have admitted an extra pupil into Reception in previous years is in your favour as it shows they can cope with one more.

You should find out the net capacity and also the calculated range. There is a standard formula for calculating a school's capacity. This gives two figures - a maximum and a minimum. The official net capacity will be somewhere between those figures. If it is at or near the bottom of the range that will help you. Similarly if they are currently below net capacity that will also help.

You need to make a positive case as to why your daughter will be disadvantaged if she doesn't go to this school. Child care and transport issues rarely make a successful appeal case as they are about your convenience, not your daughter. What does this school have that your daughter needs? Build your case around that.

admission Thu 26-Sep-13 09:22:57

Agree with PRH, there must be two split year classes in the infant end of the school, reception / year 1 and year1 / year2.
The assumption is that there are only 17 in the reception year, that is they have filled places up to the PAN but you do need to check with the school, exactly how many there are in reception. Obviously if they at PAN it is better than if say there are 20 in reception for some reason, when it comes to the actual appeal.
It is important that you look for the positive reasons why you child should go to this school. As a VA school, obviously the wish for a faith based education is one reason but you do need to look for other positives.

cherryblossoming Thu 26-Sep-13 09:57:56

Thank you so much for the guidance. I really appreciate it.
They did take one extra previously even though the PAN for that year was 17. DD's place was refused because of PAN 17. There are four classes only. I do indeed need to find out the exact numbers in each class. I wonder whether LA can help with it or is it the school's obligation to send me these details before the appeal? I was told that there is a total of 25 children in YR/Y1. So that would be YR17 + YOne8. No idea about other classes but I think Y3 is nearly 30.
DD is unhappy in another school. She really wants to join her older sibling in this school. They are very close. There is a big problem with mobility but as you say they will not care about such issues.

Jellyandjam Thu 26-Sep-13 09:57:58

With regards to finding positive things about the school for your child, have a good look through the last Ofsted report. We were able to use information in the Ofsted which said how great the Foundation classes were at dealing with speech and language issues (my son has speech delay so this was an argument in our favour about why this school was best foe him).

cherryblossoming Thu 26-Sep-13 10:20:10

Thanks Jellyandjam. I am reading their report. I do not think it will help us but glad to hear it was in your favour.

prh47bridge Thu 26-Sep-13 15:02:11

As this is a VA school it is up to them to answer any questions you reasonably ask to help prepare for your appeal.

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 11:50:28

Hello again. I do not know what our chances are considering it is vol-aided school. Some more info below:
YRY1 = 25, Y1Y2 = 26, Y3Y4 = 30 (15 each), Y5Y6 = 34 (17 each). 17 is a PAN. So next year Y5Y6 are going to have 32 (or fewer or 2 more if there will be newcomers).
As KS2 class size determines the PAN we will need to prove why they can take 35. It is in KS2 that classes become bigger. The school is not full and as I mentioned in my post above they did take one extra a few years ago. However, what if they say that that decision was a huge mistake and we should not have overloaded the classroom. The size of the reception is bigger than the next class. I have seen smaller classrooms per 30 which was painful to look at.
Would be really grateful for any insight into my matter.

prh47bridge Tue 01-Oct-13 12:41:44

Technically PAN is determined by the school's net capacity. That is probably around 120.

If they only have two classes covering Y3-Y6 they will have 34 in each class if all four years are full up to PAN. Those are large classes and I'm afraid many appeal panels would be reluctant to admit a child if it pushes a class up to 35. You can point out that Reception has been over PAN before and the school has presumably coped. If they say it was a huge mistake and caused massive problems you should ask them to give details of the problems it caused and challenge them if necessary, e.g. if they say the corridors were overcrowded you should ask if there were any accidents directly attributable to overcrowding. But at the end of the day, even if the school says it was not a problem, the appeal panel may feel that 35 in a class is too many. All you can do is give it your best shot, explain why your daughter needs to go to this school and hope the appeal panel is sympathetic.

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 14:06:45

prh47bridge, thank you for your advice. Your last bit is just what I wanted to hear. I know they could challange me by that. They could have sent the reasons for extra one before the appeal but for some reson they have not. [thank] again.

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 17:33:22

I will keep all my fingers and toes crossed for you! Do you have a date for your appeal yet?

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 19:33:19

Thanks Kally! I will keep mine crossed as well smile It is in 2.5 weeks. Time to think.

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 19:57:21

If your anything like me, your probably doing alot of thinking about your appeal! Mine is due next Friday! Hopefully we can both get the outcome we want for our little ones.

cherryblossoming Tue 01-Oct-13 20:29:02

Good luck Kally! Time goes by so fast.

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 20:35:27

Will let you know how it goes! Am still waiting for the information from LA re their reasons not to admit. Am going to take Prh47bridge's advice and make it known to the clerk if we haven't recieved the paperwork by M

Kally38 Tue 01-Oct-13 20:36:37

Posted before I had finished sentence! Will raise with clerk if haven't received by Monday!

cherryblossoming Wed 02-Oct-13 23:35:22

I think you should contact the clerk now as some schools are not particularly interested in providing this information at "reasonable" time. We had to inquire via clerk.

Kally38 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:40:20

We have finally recieved the information in the post today. I'm shocked how little information there is from the LA to have taken this long to get to us!

cherryblossoming Thu 03-Oct-13 14:41:49

Fingers crossed now. Good luck!

prh47bridge Thu 03-Oct-13 22:48:17

If you want any advice on countering the LA's case just post it (or a summary of it) here.

cherryblossoming Fri 04-Oct-13 13:08:03

Thank you prh47bridge! You are very kind and I really appreciate that people here give their time to read our cries for help smile

cherryblossoming Mon 07-Oct-13 10:38:45

I would be grateful if anyone could help me to prepare the appeal case. I just do not know where to start from and how it should look like. Are there any examples on the internet? Would appreciate any help. Thank you.

I have a few points to highlight:
1. Transport.
2. Child unhappy with the present school.
3. Child wants to be with her sibling.
4. Previosly the school had accepted an extra child.
5. DD's current class has more children and smaller room than at the school we are appealing against.
6. How my child would benefit from joining this school.

I do not know whether the points 1, 2, 3 have any strengh. I understand that I should not say anything negative about DD's present school but what can I say? She hates it and every morning Is a struggle to get her in. The panel might say that DD will show the same behaviour when joining the new school. We also have to argue why an extra child would not make a negative impact on the teaching, school resources, school space in the KS2.

Many thanks for any help.

cherryblossoming Mon 07-Oct-13 11:37:10

Just wanted to add that I do not want anyone to help me with writing my case. My question above is not clearly stated. I just want some guidance or may be a link to a ery good website where they explain how to write the case. Also I do not know how it should look like. I guess for my case two pages should be enough?

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