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mid year appeal help needed please re appeal form

(35 Posts)
Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 16:22:18

I'm seeking help for an appeal for my daughter. She is currently in year 3 and we are seeking to move schools. However the school we would like to move her to is full there are 15 children in that year group. Our reasons for moving her are due to personal circumstances. We have recently sold land and this is going for development within the village where her school is. This directly affects parents and the school and we are beginning to have parents blank us at the school gates. Also, the teacher is married to and the chair of the parish council who's children also attend the school. We don't want our child to be affected by this there is already a local action group against us and a large amount of opposition which is only going to get worse. Our grounds for appeal are social, being part of a school community is important especially having to face people at assemblies and school events and also our daughter going to parties etc. also, she has difficulties with her reading and spelling which have not been addressed similarly our older child current year 6 had problems he only made 2 sub level progress in 3 1/2 years and we have since moved his to another school. The school we have chosen is closer to our home, has better support, she has friends and family three already so makes sense. My question is how do I provide evidence to support our appeal and is this a legitimate grounds for appeal?
Many thanks

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 16:24:40

I forgot to add that the school has previously admitted children on appeal and increased the class sizes one year there being 23 instead of 15. Can I cite this as an argument for appeal if they cite prejudice, can I also cite their being no consequence to results? Pupil premium etc? And also how much do I write on the initial form I don't want to give them too much ammunition against our appeal

VegasIsBest Sun 10-Nov-13 16:29:53

Have you read the guidelines for appealing for a place?
Is there any mention of falling out with your neighbours being a reason for appeal?

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 16:34:21

I've read a lot over the last 2 days there doesn't specifically mention anything about falling out but it would come under social reasons. In this case I wish it was just a falling out with a neighbour but it's a whole village that are opposing! We have newspaper articles and parish council meeting notes that show the objection to us

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 16:41:13

Should have made clearer land sold is for a large scale development of approx 75 detached homes in the villge

prh47bridge Sun 10-Nov-13 16:52:35

For an appeal to succeed you need to show that there is an impact on your daughter from the reaction to this development. Problems between you and other parents only become an issue when it is affecting your daughter. Any documentary evidence you can supply will help, particularly if you can get a letter from an expert supporting your view that your daughter needs to move school. Similarly any documentary evidence you can provide showing your daughter's difficulties are not being addressed by her current school would be useful.

Since you are only filling in the form at the moment you don't need evidence yet. You only need to give an outline of your case which you can add to later. However you must submit your evidence before the hearing otherwise the panel may decide to adjourn to a later date.

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 17:01:25

Thanks prh for the response. What sort of documentary evidence is expected?

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 17:03:51

Forgot to ask also re the development affecting our daughter what sort of expert would need to write a letter? Thanks again it is a minefileld especially as if we are unsuccessful then we will still have to go to said school everyday

meditrina Sun 10-Nov-13 17:05:38

You also need to look at what the preferred new school offers that makes the benefit to you DD outweigh he prejudice to the school by going over numbers. The best reason in the world to leave the old school does not mean that a full one has to admit another pupil - especially if there are other schools within reach with vacancies.

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 17:14:03

Thanks meditrina, can I quite rom their ofsted and school policies regarding this? Also, do I need to put these reasons on the initial form or only in the actual hearing?

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 17:15:19

Luckily the only school near us that has vacancies is our current school, the other schools already over numbers for her year group.

tiggytape Sun 10-Nov-13 18:41:33

If your DD is distressed by the impact of this fallout on her then a medical opinion saying she is feeling isolated at school or the negative feedback is detrimental to her wellbeing would help. It might be your GP who can write about this or he might want to refer her to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) if things are quite bad for her and if the impact is quite severe.

Yes you can quote from Ofsted if it backs up your assertion that this school is good at pastoral care / nurturing or whatever else you are going to say about it. Don't mention the Ofsted rating - just direct quotes that support parts of your argument.

TheDoctrineOfWho Sun 10-Nov-13 18:44:46

Is it possible to address the ostracism within your current school?

tiggytape Sun 10-Nov-13 18:51:41

An extra consideration is that unless the school you are appealing for is significantly further away or has no ties to the village where the problems lie, a panel may not feel moving a short distance will help much anyway.

If there are children or staff in the new school with links to the village, they may think the problem could follow you anyway.

However if it separate from the village, arguments for a fresh start would be stronger as long as you prove the current situation makes it intolerable for DD to stay where she is (again not so much how you feel about being blanked but the impact it has on DD)

admission Sun 10-Nov-13 18:58:49

If you are going to get any kind of medical letter to support your appeal then it has to be phrased in a certain way. If the letter says Mrs X tells me that daughter Y is worried by the situation in the school, then that will be given no weight what so ever by the appeal panel. What the letter needs to say is I have examined daughter Y and in my opinion she is suffering mental stress ............. etc. It has to be based on a medical examination not you are parent saying so.
My reading of your situation is that this is mainly at present around you and partner and not the children. So whilst you need to use this at appeal I would be tempted to make as strong a case as possible around the lack of progress in reading and spelling, the progress your son has made since leaving etc and how good the preferred school is. I think that many panels would not be that inclined to grant the appeal based on the current situation at the school. Obviously there is a point where most panels would accept this is a major issue, but based on your posts I am not sure you are at that point yet, especially in terms of how it affects your daughter.

Sammum312 Sun 10-Nov-13 19:35:55

Wow, thank you so much for the replies I am extremely grateful and it has sort of confirmed my feelings that we don't have a strong enough case as of yet. Admission I think you are right we haven't quite reached that point yet but may well do in the coming months, the lack of progress my son made was alarming and my dd has similar problems and I am concerned that she will suffer a similar fate unless we move her. Tiggy tape we live in one village that is in the middle, the current school is 3 miles in one direction and the other school is 1 mile in the other direction so approx 4 miles between the two villages so it could be a fresh start in that sense.
I suppose there will come a point where things will calm down but we are still unhappy with her progress everything else with the planning is on top I suppose. I'm wondering off it would be worthwhile holding off instigating an appeal at this current time so we can gather more evidence for the case. My only concern is that if someone else appeals for a space in this time they could get accepted then it would be harder for us in the long run.

admission Sun 10-Nov-13 21:27:22

AS a year 3 appeal there is no issue around infant class size regs, so a lot depends on the strength of your case in part 2 of the appeal.
You need to look at finding out the current class structure of the school as that will to some extent dictate whether an appeal is sensible now or in the future. Typically a school with a PAN of 15 will have 2 infant classes across reception, year 1 and year 2 and then have a year 3/4 class and a year 5/6 class. A key issue is where is the big year group of 23. If that is year 2 or year 4 then the class with year 3 could be 23 + 15 = 38 but if they are breaking up the classes in another way they could be smaller classes which is definitely going to then be in favour of you appealing now.
Do you know the exact class structure? If not try looking on their website it is usually on there.

Tableforfour Sun 10-Nov-13 21:40:11

You'll find a GP or CAMHS reluctant to write such a letter unless your daughter has serious mental health issues related to this.

Sammum312 Mon 11-Nov-13 08:13:16

The current split is reception 15 year 1 15 year 2/3 30 15 of each, 4/5 30 6 17 the class with 23 has left now. The head teacher was lovely and said that maybe an appeal in the summer term will be more successful because of them going up to year 4/5, he exec commended to try in May/June time which I was surprised about he was very nice about it all and said we do stand a good chance etc. so tricky to know what to do now

tiggytape Mon 11-Nov-13 08:30:35

Do you mean Year 2 and Year 3 have 30 per class each?
Or do you mean Year 2 and 3 is a mixed class with just 30 in total?

The children in Year 2 are still covered by the class size regulations and are not allowed to be in a class exceeding 30 children even if that class is a mixed one.

The Head Teacher's advise may be based on reluctance to have a Year 2 class (if it is mixed with Year 3) going over 30 but actually he cannot really the appeal panel is independent of the school so the decision they make isn't always one the school expects or would like. You can appeal for a Year 3 place now and, if unsuccessful, appeal again for a Year 4 place next academic year. You aren't limited to one appeal per school, it is one per academic year.

prh47bridge Mon 11-Nov-13 11:12:35

The children in Year 2 are still covered by the class size regulations and are not allowed to be in a class exceeding 30 children even if that class is a mixed one.

That's not quite right. If the majority of the children in the class are in Y3 infant class size regulations do not apply and the class can be over 30 children. So if the class is currently 15 from Y2 and 15 from Y3 they can admit another child in Y3 without breaching class size limits.

tiggytape Mon 11-Nov-13 16:34:37

Oh I see prh - I wondered how that would fit since Year 2 and Year 3 aren't a common mix - one being KS1 and one KS2.
So if it is a pretty even mix then it isn't an issue.

Sammum312 Mon 11-Nov-13 17:49:23

Yes there are 15 in year 2 and fifteen in year 3 currently, the head has also advised that the class size rule doesn't apply. Historically they have had 31 in previous years within this split. How do I gain information abbout the net capacity and if the pan has changed since the recent building work? Can I ask the school directly for this or will it jeapordise me in that they will know my counter arguments? Again thanks for this help it has been invaluable.
Admission- with reference to the lack of progress my son made and the difficulties my daughter has do I kpneed to show school reports that show progress levels? Also examples of her work etc?

admission Mon 11-Nov-13 18:11:04

This is not a typical way of running the classes but as PRH says an additional pupil who is year 3 in the mixed year 2/3 class would not be an infant class size case, whereas an appeal for a year 2 in the class would be an infant class size case. As such I do not think it will make any difference when you go to appeal. There are no advantages in waiting to May/June that I can see
There has clearly been successful appeals because there are 17 in current year 6.
When it comes to how to evidence the lack of progress of your son, then copies of the relevant bits of the report would be appropriate but be very careful to keep it to just what is necessary to show the lack of progress. Under no circumstances come with examples of work. Firstly the panel is unlikely to have the skills to adequately moderate the work and secondly it is not necessary or expected. The other absolute no /no for panels are pictures of the child (so you know who you are talking about!) and vast realms of reports and certificates - 25 m swimming seems to be a favourite at the moment. Please tell me why is that helping a panel to decide whether to admit?
I think you should concentrate as much as possible on the positives about the preferred school, attempting to rubbish the current school can sometimes back-fire with panels.

Sammum312 Mon 11-Nov-13 19:23:46

Thanks again for your help, I have a report from his old school and new school that shows the level of progression that I can photocopy. I certainly wouldn't do anything like include certificates and photographs. Thank you for advising that samples of work are not adequate. With regards to the PAN and the net capacity can I ask the school to provide this prior to the appeal? Can I also quote that they have previously had higher admissions numbers etc

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