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Appealing for Primary School place

(7 Posts)
Lilypiesmum Sun 12-Jan-14 13:50:20

I'm trying to write out my appeal form for my DD, her older brother is already at the school and we've applied for our youngest to start in Sept 2014. We appealed last academic year, but were unfortunately unsuccessful. It's a C of E school so our appeal will go to the Diocese. I'd be extremely grateful if anyone could share what they've written on appeal forms - particularly successful ones!
Many thanks

prh47bridge Sun 12-Jan-14 14:13:20

Why will the appeal go to the Diocese? The appeal must be heard by an independent panel.

For what year are you appealing? What is the PAN? If you are appealing for a place in Reception, Y1 or Y2 and they have classes of 30 with a single teacher in those years this will be an infant class size case. That means you should only win if you can show that a mistake has been made that has cost your daughter a place or the school has acted unreasonably in refusing to admit your daughter. It sounds like this is an in-year admission case so a mistake is very unlikely.

If this is not an infant class size case you have a better chance of success. You will need to show that the disadvantage to your daughter from not attending this school outweighs the disadvantage to the school through having to admit an additional pupil. You should concentrate on things this school can offer your daughter that are missing from her current school and that will be of particular benefit to her. Don't spend ages going on about the child care and transport problems that come from having children and different schools. Those factors should be ignored by the appeal panel unless there are special circumstances (e.g. disability).

If you give more information you may get some more detailed advice.

Lilypiesmum Sun 09-Feb-14 12:26:45

It's a C of E school so it's overseen by the Oxford Diocese, the PAN is 15 per year and there's currently 16 in year 2, taught in a class mixed with the brighter year 1's. So there's only 26 currently in the classroom. The school's argument is that as these year groups move up into Class 3&4, they'd be 34 children in the class if they admit my daughter.

However, historically lots of children leave in year 3/4 to go to Private schools, so it seems unfair their main argument is about maintaining the future efficient education once she moves up into Juniors.

prh47bridge Sun 09-Feb-14 12:52:38

The school may be overseen by the diocese but the appeal panel will be independent.

If the school teaches Reception in one class then Y1 and Y2 in another class it will be an infant class size appeal. However if they have two mixed classes - Reception/Y1 and Y1/2 - it will be an ordinary appeal.

You need to find out how they arrange classes right the way through the school. As they are talking about 34 in Y3/4 I presume that they already have years over PAN. It would be worth finding out if they have had 34 in Y3/4 or Y5/6 before. If they have that would undermine the school's case a little.

If they are right that this would result in 34 in a single class in Y3/4 this is getting to the kind of size where many appeal panels are reluctant to admit. You can raise the fact that many children have left to go private but the appeal panel may not give that much weight as it is not guaranteed this will continue happening. You need to make as strong a case as you can as to why your daughter needs a place at this school, concentrating on things she will miss out on if she doesn't get a place.

Why do you want your daughter to go to this school? Is it just so she is at the same school as her siblings? Unless there are very strong reasons why she needs to be with them that are unrelated to travel and childcare arrangements that is unlikely to win your appeal. You need to find ways in which she will be disadvantaged if she doesn't go to this school.

Lilypiesmum Tue 11-Feb-14 17:42:28

She's very bright and the current school doesn't challenge her, she also limited to KS1 / FS library books despite being able to read at a higher level.

Year 2 are in a class with some year 1's and there's only 26 in the class, as they move up to year 3/4, there would be 34 if they let her in. However, year 3/4 has just had a 33rd pupil on appeal and had to move an extra desk in, as they sit in pairs there is actually room for a 34th child to sit in there.

frogwatcher42 Tue 11-Feb-14 17:47:17

The problem you have is that as people appeal in, class sizes go up, a tipping point gets reached and standards reduce.

Experienced this at our school. Sad really.

Do you really want your child to be in a class of 34? Even if they can physically get her in?

Lilypiesmum Tue 11-Feb-14 19:02:38

Yes. I absolutely do, the school has excellent teachers and achieved 94% and 100% in the past two years SATs results....her current school got 79% and 67%. Behaviour of the pupils is great, and being a school of only 105, it's like one big family. I'd much rather she was in a class of 34 there, than the class of 30 she's currently in.

We moved our eldest two to the school in year 5 and 4, and our youngest child will hopefully get a place in reception in September. I want my daughter to have the same opportunities.

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