Primary School Appeals(15 Posts)
I've got an appeal for my daughter on Wednesday, the schools argument for not admitting her is the 'future prejudice an extra child may cause to the provision of eduction and resources.' How could the school prove that extra children harm the standard if eduction given to the existing children?
It's an excellent school, who's KS1 and KS2 sats results put it in the top 20% of all primary schools. So it's consistently doing well despite having extra children.
It's edu-speak for 'we combine classes and this will take us over numbers as this year group moves up the school'
It will cover lots of things - having to share resources between more than 2 children, more books for the teachers to mark, having less room and less time generally for every other pupil.
BUT it is the standard argument all schools use at appeal and you are quite right that you can chip away a bit at this. Ask them the number of pupils in other year groups - hopefully they will have gone above numbers before and excellent results prove this hasn't harmed education standards.
They haven't explained in their statement how they can prove 'future prejudice to maintaining efficient standards of eduction.' They had 17 year 2's last year and got excellent Sats results with 100% getting level 2 in literacy and maths.
Don't they mean 'future prejudice' in terms of admitting an extra pupil to reception will mean that they will be over infant class size limit when the year groups get to years 1 and 2. What is the PAN of the school and how are Reception, year 1 an year 2 normally organised?
I'm appealing for a year 2 space and it isn't an 'infant class size review,' as year 2 are taught with only some of the brighter year 1's. There are only 26 children in the classroom my daughter would join, the school's main argument is that when these children move up into year 3, they'd be 34 in the classroom as the year group above are a 17. The PAN is 15 per year group and they're taught in mixed classes.
Currently there are already 16 year 2's, so they argue admitting a 17th child would cause future prejudice to the standard of education for existing pupils. However they already have 2 year groups of 17 and the results aren't suffering. They even had a year group of 18 once, but 1 child has since left.
Lilypiesmum, you have to understand how the system works. Because there is an admission number of 15, they will always oppose the admission of further pupils over this number and the standard phraseology they use is that the admission of a further pupil will cause future prejudice to the standard of education to the existing pupils with what will be a class of 34. The reality is that in many year groups they are already up to 17 and year 2 has 16, so other appeals have been successful. Part of your argument for admission is not that there will be 34 in the class but that there are 17 in the year 3 cohort, so why not in the year 2 cohort.
I do have to say that I would be concerned in putting 34 in a class but you do need to balance that against the fact that 2 possibly three siblings go to the school now.
Not sure how relevant this is (not an expert on admissions like others are) but previous years' results are a bit of a red herring because there are so many variables, namely the specific cohort going through. So one year group might have "good" results just because there happen to be a greater number of able children in the class. The larger class going through currently, might end up with poorer results (on paper).
The current year 6 had 15 in May 2012 and are now down to 10, historically several children leave class 3 (year 3/4) to go off to private schools, as the school is in a very affluent village. Some children leave year 5/6 too. There's a lot of movement at the top end of school, so by the time my daughter moves up, these bigger class sizes of 33 (34 if she gets in) are very likely to decrease.
I know it's a very long shot, but feel I have to give it a go, so that I know as a mum I've done my best to get the best for her. It's making me pretty miserable having to travel between schools and I'm unable to work because it's just too complicated to get anything that will fit in with 2 hours of school runs per day. I know an appeal panel will totally disregard the impact it has on me though.
We appealed last year but a slightly easier case as the year group was below PAN. The county's predicament was larger classes in the years above which, because it's a small school, are mixed for some sessions. At the first part of the appeal we asked about how the school had coped in the past with fluctuating class sizes (despite a PAN of 17 they had 22 in one year group) and the county's representative shot himself in the foot by saying school's like this are used to coping - your school sounds to be coping very well from the statistics. You can get past year's class sizes from the school or county, and while you can't rely on precedent, it may help if the panel is not convinced one way or another.
If there are several year groups, not classes, where the number of children exceed the PAN then you can certainly put that forward as a reason to accept your child because there is no evidence taking above 15 has been prejudicial to the children's education. If they juggle numbers around by moving some Year 1 children into year 2, they do not stick to 2 x PAN in each classroom anyway. If the numbers are fluid in this way, and several year groups are also above PAN, I would argue that going above the PAN is normal, not exceptional, and the school can cope perfectly well, as it has ably demonstrated.
When I worked, my job was to put the school's case to the Appeal Panel. We won some, we lost some but you have a reasonable chance of winning this. Also, be prepared to say exactly why your DC is a good fit for this school. It is not wrong to say you live locally and want your DC to be educated and make friends locally. Say what else the school offers that you particularly value and what would make it the best place for your DC, eg after school activities, friendliness, sense of belonging in your neighbourhood, high quality teaching and learning etc. Do not mention small classes as you wish to add to them!!! Good luck.
Thank you everyone for the advice, I've barely slept and am really nervous! This is our third appeal, we got our oldest in on appeal in 2012, and failed an appeal last March for our daughter. More prepared this time, but not confident of winning.
Good luck with the appeal we too are waiting for an appeal date I hope it goes well for you today
Good luck Lilypiesmum - I hope it goes well for you.
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