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Any help/advice for school admissions appeal please.

(29 Posts)
schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 11:08:11

Hello, as above would appreciate any "expert" opinions and advice or to hear from parents who have been in similar situations.

We have two children currently in year 2 and year 4. We had to move house rather suddenly (various unavoidable reasons which aren't that interesting) and have had to move towns. We don't have a car so rely on public transport. Currently traveling to their old school each day on the bus and it's 1.5 hrs round trip, twice a day for me and we don't get home until 16:30.

There are local very local schools, on our road and we applied for both. We have been rejected for both as they are full so we are on the waiting lists. Our youngest is 1st on the list for year 2 and eldest is 5th on the list for year 4 but will be 1st once the youngest gets a place due to sibling priority.

So, I would like to appeal, but it will be an infant class size appeal and I know these are pretty impossible to win unless a mistake has been made (it hasn't). So when do I put in the appeal s that it is an appeal for him to have a year 3 place? Do I have to wait until he has finished year 2 and appeal over the holidays? I know I can only appeal once per school year so don't want to waste my one chance on an infant class size appeal rather than a year 3 appeal.

What reasons are worth stating at the appeal? Our school journey is pretty rubbish as the bus is unreliable and we have to leave home early and get back late. They kids can't do after school clubs or before school clubs/activities any more due to the distance and it's pretty impossible for them to have friends home or go to friends as we can't collect them easily.

There is a school in this town with space for the youngest, which they have offered us but it's the opposite direction from their current out of town school, and a 30 min walk as no bus route and no space for our eldest. I can't be in two places at once and it would take at least an hour likely 1.5 hrs from that school to then get eldest to his school. Would me refusing this place due to impossible logistics lessen my chance at appealing the school near our house that he is 1st of the waiting list for.

Thank you for any tips!

eddiemairswife Thu 15-Jan-15 11:29:27

You should apply for a Y3 place TODAY, as today is the deadline. I take it you have already applied for Y2. As I understand it you can appeal for a Y2 place now, and if you are not allocated a Y3 place in April, you can then appeal for Y3, as you won't be appealing for the same academic year.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 15-Jan-15 11:32:40

Surely there is only an application deadline today if we are talking about separate infant and junior schools. A primary doesn't require an application at this stage so it would still be an in-year application?

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 11:46:12

Thank you both.

I know the Year 3 deadline is today but there aren't any schools I can apply to sad

The new town we live in only has primary schools, not separate infant and juniors. He currently goes to a infants only school where we used to live and my eldest goes to the feeder junior school but I simply can't keep this up anymore with the journey so I'm not applying to the feeder Junior School at all. Do you think that's the wrong decision?

eddiemairswife Thu 15-Jan-15 12:00:04

Just checked on my LA website. It says that if you want to apply for a Y3 place at a Junior or Primary today is deadline. If you are already at a Primary and don't want to change schools do nothing. Also, some Primaries have an increased PAN for KS2 and can take extra pupils.

PatriciaHolm Thu 15-Jan-15 12:03:21

Well - if you don't apply to the feeder Junior, and your appeal fails, what will happen to your younger son in Sept? Your local LEA will have to find him a place, but it might be a fair distance away, leaving you with the two places at once problem again. Would it not be better having them in the same school even though it's a journey away?

You can't appeal until you have had an application for that year rejected, which realistically won't happen until Sept for Y3. So you can appeal now for Y2, and again in Sept for Y3, and I would have thought that was a good idea - an ICS appeal is very hard to win, but sometimes people do.

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 12:46:58

Oh dear. So I would have to wait until he is actually in year 3 before I can appeal for him to have a year 3 place? I can't make an appeal in July to be heard over the summer with regards to him having a year 3 place in September?

AuntieStella Thu 15-Jan-15 12:59:18

When you applied for the very local school and were rejected, did the LEA offer places elsewhere for either, and if so what did you do?

Or did they just indicate which school/s had vacancies at that time?

You will either need to apply to continue into year 3 at old town (so at least they've got a school place, no matter how gruelling the logistics, whilst you seek preferable arrangement in new town) or continue to seek places as an in-year admission in new town.

I think appeals are one per school year (not calendar year). But if the school for your yr2 child is already full, and no administrative mistake has been made, then that's not a winnable appeal (assuming it's under ICS rules - is the admission number a multiple of 30?).

Appeals are more winnable from year3 and above. Are you appealing for the year4 place? School run logistics are not taken into account. It is about your DC's needs and why they really need to be at that school.

catslife Thu 15-Jan-15 13:29:55

There are various admissions experts on here that will know more OP.
So the new LEA have offered your Y2 child a place at a local school (30 mins walk is OK) but you haven't received any offers at all for your older Y4 child?
Personally I would accept the place at the offered school for your son and then appeal for a place for your daughter at this school. This would be a more winnable appeal as it isn't infant class size and she would have a sibling at the school. You may also be able to argue that the LEA are being unreasonable in not offering your dd a place at any local school (if that is the case).
By the way, you can still stay on the waiting lists for your nearest school(s) if you accept this other school place.

PatriciaHolm Thu 15-Jan-15 13:42:29

Appeal timescales are measured in school days; it would be very unlikely to get an appeal heard in the summer holidays I'm afraid. Any appeal lodged in late June/July is likely to be heard in the September anyway.

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 13:56:50

Thanks everyone.

I haven't been "offered" a place for my year 2 child, the admissions team suggested the school 30mins walk away as they have quite a few spaces. It's a failing school and locally considered awful, on the well known for trouble estate and generally id rather avoid it if possible. No spaces for my yr 4 child there or anywhere local though.

When you say logistics of the school run aren't considered, is that even if they have a negative effect on the child? My children have to leave at 8am to get to school for 08:50 and we don't get home until 16:30 they also aren't able to do any before or after school clubs due to the distance and they can't socialise with friends after school. I know it's not life and death but it's really tiring for them and they feel left out socially and miss being about to do extra curricular activities.

The school almost opposite our house is Ofsted outstanding. All classes are multiples of 30, 3 classes per year so my appeal now would be infant class size. When is the earliest date I can appeal the decision not to admit him and have it counted as a year 3 appeal (which he starts in September) rather than a year 2 appeal?

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 14:00:18

Sorry to drip feed but it appears it may be relevant. My ex (their father) wants my year 2 child to go to school in the old town (where he still lives). I know I can get a yr 3 place at the junior school there as he has priority due to being from his current infant school. It would make sense to do that, accept the place and then work on appeals and waiting lists locally, but my ex will block the "move", whereas currently he HAS to move schools and as resident parent and primary carer I have to make the final decision on this so he doesn't need to give permission.

Primaryteach87 Thu 15-Jan-15 14:00:40

Just a quick note- worth also checking out educational transport for your area. If the nearest school with a place is over a certain distance they must provide transport (in our area, usually a taxi).

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 15-Jan-15 14:00:59

As far as I am aware, school run logistics are irelevant. An appeal isn't really bothered about how long it takes you to get to school, whether the Dcs can't do ASC, etc.

PatriciaHolm Thu 15-Jan-15 14:10:00

School run logistics are irrelevant for ICS I'm afraid, especially as there is a school 30 mins from your home with a space. If all the LEA could offer you were schools several miles/over an hour away you could argue this was unreasonable, but that's not the case.

In Y3, as you know, you need to prove that the detriment to the school for admitting is less than the detriment to the child to not, so logistics could be a minor point here though again the LEA could point to the school 30 mins away as a solution to that.

You can't appeal for a place until you have applied and been turned down for a place; at present you can only apply for a Y2 place for him, you can't apply "in advance" for next year. Realistically an appeal for a Y3 place won't take place until Yr3 has actually begun - you can't appeal for a year that hasn't actually started yet.

prh47bridge Thu 15-Jan-15 14:53:53

Does your ex have PR? If he does he has the right to be consulted over education matters.

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 16:38:26

Thanks Prh47- Yes he has PR. I did consult him, invited him to discuss options and preferences and tried to discuss via email too. He only responded once to tell me that HIS son will be going to X school only (school in the town he lives) and that there is no further discussion about it. He only takes them to school two times a month and collects them 4 times a month. All other collections and drop offs are done by me. So I feel I have consulted him, taken his opinion into consideration and the best decision for the children is not to go to that school. Do you think that's ok?

He has to move schools as his current school is infants only.

LIZS Thu 15-Jan-15 16:52:43

If ds2 gets a place where would ds1 be on the list ? Would sibling priority move him up?

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 17:11:27

Yes. Ds2 is 1st on waiting list for the school by our house for yr2. If he gets a place then my eldest would go straight to 1st place on the list for year 4.

admission Thu 15-Jan-15 17:37:31

I think that there is an issue over the PR for the two children and you do need to get that sorted. If not when you go to appeal it is going to get awfully complicated. Quite frankly an appeal panel is likely to say there is a legal issue here that needs sorting before anything else can happen and adjourn.
However there seems some confusion on the replies to your OP, I am reading the OP as your two children are currently in a primary school but you want them to go to another primary school which is very close to where you now live, with a PAN of 90
Assuming I am right, any appeal for the current year 2 child is going to be an infant class size case,assuming 90 PAN. I would just make sure you stay on the waiting list and hope a place becomes available, as an appeal will not be successful. However if you apply after say the middle of June it will be for a place in year 3. In theory the appeal will be heard before the holidays start in August but it is an incredibly busy period of time for appeals for reception classes and it could be that the appeal is not till September. That appeal will be an ordinary appeal and therefore around the reasons why you need a place at that particular school, which is winnable with a good case as opposed to the situation with an infant class size appeal.
To be honest you should also appeal for the year 5 place as well at the same time, because it is bound to come out that you have an older sibling and you will want both in school together.
The alternative scenario on the reading of the various posts is that DS2 is in year 2 in an infant school. In that case the application had to be in by today and any application will now be considered as a late application and after all other applications. I am not sure how exactly that will work out but it clearly puts you in a weaker position.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 15-Jan-15 17:40:36

admission - tiny point, but isn't it midnight tonight that is the deadline in many areas - so an online application could still be on time?

admission Thu 15-Jan-15 22:32:33

It is interesting because the guidance simply says 15th Jan. Some LAs are very clear that it is midnight on the 15th Jan others are far more vague but yes technically it is probably open to midnight or you can certainly argue that if they do not specify a time.

prh47bridge Thu 15-Jan-15 22:36:22

Tonight is the deadline across England for applications for a place in Reception. As these applications are for places in other years the deadline is irrelevant.

schoolappealshelpplease - I agree with Admission that there is a possible PR issue here. As you and your ex do not agree as to where your son child will go next you should try to resolve the issue between you. If you are unable to do so you will have to go to court to resolve the matter. You should not simply ignore your ex's wishes. If you do and he then applies to court for an order the court may think that you are acting unreasonably. Having the majority of care does not give you the right to decide.

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 22:47:44

Thank you, yes I agree. The issue is he wouldn't respond until a few days ago- I simply didn't have the time or the funds for a Court application. He told me what he wanted, he wouldn't even consider my suggestions or hear my reasons. I know all too well the need to be reasonable and how emails are often used in Court so I purposely made my email open, polite, accommodating and asked his opinion and explained mine asking for his view. This was 2 days ago and he didn't reply. I'm hoping I've done enough to show a Judge I made an application after consulting him but not being able to discuss fully and did so in the best interests of the children. Ultimately it's only a 10min drive for my ex, who doesn't work and has a car- he only has to do it a few times a month. I'm working full time and don't drive and do all the school runs. hmm

schoolappealshelpplease Thu 15-Jan-15 22:51:10

I've decided not to make the application by midnight to the feeder junior school in our old town. I can see it may cause problems but I simply cannot manage the journey any longer. Its upsetting the kids, they're shattered and freezing and grumpy and I'm doing it all around work. If he gets into the Juniors there ex will never let him leave and I have another 4 years of it! I just have to hope someone leaves so a place comes up or my appeal wins for one of the schools near us. sad

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