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Infant class appeal

(15 Posts)
Terrytrowell Wed 10-Jun-15 11:18:03


First time posting from a very stressed out parent

Out daughter was unable to gain a place at our local village church school.

The reason that she did not get it is that we only attended our church ( not the school church but a Catholic Church ) only once a month over the last year or so. To gain a place in that category we would have had to attend twice a month.

We have attended church all out lives and only over the last few years because of the difficulties out daughter has faced (difficult birth and knock on effects to her generally) attending church has been difficult and stressful.

We did not put all the issues on the application form as we didn't want to drag it all up ( feel stupid now but is has been quote emotional)

So bottom line is had we put fortnightly on the form she would have got in as all others in that category were given a place. We were truthful as it was a reflection of how things have been over the last few years that we have only attended monthly, but we have a family history of attending church weekly/fortnightly

What is the best way to appeal this ?

Millymollymama Wed 10-Jun-15 11:36:23

First of all I am not an expert, and other people are. However, I hate it when village schools do not take children from their own village. It is divisive and does not make for a harmonious community. Church schools often look after their own though - not very community spirited in my view.

However, are you sure it was frequency of Church attendance or the Church you attend? Some C of E schools actually stipulate which C of E churches count and you have attended RC, not C of E, so do check the actual wording of the admissions policy.

You are now asking the school to take more than the admission number, presumably. I think I would state very clearly why you have only been able to attend your Church once a month and also state that you truly value the local school for your DD. It seems the school had applied its admissions policy fairly in that fortnightly attendance is required so you cannot appeal on those grounds. It is a shame the school has no catchment area - or are you just outside it? Often C of E schools do have a catchment area - can you find this out? Are you in it, or outside it? Even the C of E Voluntary Aided schools have a catchment area where I live. You could try and argue that closeness to the school should be considered and that your DD's educational needs are best met at this school. You may also wish to say you are happy for her to have a C of E education. Are there any medical needs that would need to be considered? Do you qualify under any category that comes above church attendance?

I am sure other people will be very well placed to advise.

LIZS Wed 10-Jun-15 11:53:21

There wouldn't be any discretion on that criteria. Usually a priest or vicar has to verify the attendance record. What are the categories for applications? Were any places allocated to those who didn't meet the twice a month or religious criteria and were they based on distance? Your only real grounds would be if your dd should have been given a higher priority for a place. Are there any medical grounds placed ahead of those meeting the religious attendance , if so would she have met them and can you substantiate them? Difficult as you didn't highlight this on the original form though.

Heels99 Wed 10-Jun-15 12:00:45

Think you need clarification on whether it was because you attended a different church or whether it was because you didn't attend church enough or both. What do the admissions criteria actually say?

Terrytrowell Wed 10-Jun-15 12:07:35

Hi thanks for the responses

It was on frequency of church attendance
Selection criteria is as follows:
1. Looked after children
2. Weekly/fortnightly attendance at the schools church
3. Anglicans in weekly or fortnightly at another church inside the parish 3 but outside parish
5. Weekly fortnightly in all other churches (listed - we attend catholic)
6. Siblings

It only got down to 6

SoupDragon Wed 10-Jun-15 12:09:54

I think the problem is that they have applied the criteria correctly and there has not been a mistake.

LIZS Wed 10-Jun-15 12:13:00

yes agree . For an ICS appeal to be successful you need to prove the LA made a mistake which denied your dd a place. They only had the information on the form which you state is correct and there is no category for social/medical grounds to argue for anyway. Where are you on the waiting list ?

Heels99 Wed 10-Jun-15 12:16:05

Unfortunately you are not in any of those 6 groups. Were you aware of the criteria when you applied to the school?

Terrytrowell Wed 10-Jun-15 12:26:29

Yes we were aware of the criteria but did not quite read the fortnightly as the criteria was more detailed on a supporting sheet.

We are have got a form for the catholic school with the priests signature staying we attend fortnightly/monthly

We were just being truthful and stating as of late we have been monthly because life had been difficult

We are married, christened and children all baptised in church and have been weekly of fortnightly attendees for all our life apart from the last few years

SoupDragon Wed 10-Jun-15 12:30:58

I think that, as they have not made a mistake, all you can do is submit the letter that claims you attend fortnightly and hope it bumps you up the waiting list. I would say that I am not an expert - one of whom I am sure will be along soon!

titchy Wed 10-Jun-15 12:54:57

Agree with others that as no mistake has been made you should not be offered a place at appeal.

However it might be worth having a look at the criteria again. If the published criteria simply states worship and the various categories, and it's not until you get the supplementary form that anyone is aware that worship means at least fortnightly, you MAY be able to argue that the admissions criteria are unfair as it isn't possible to know exactly what they are until you come to apply when it's too late. If the school and LEA state fortnightly however and you just misread it this won't work.

Mopmay Wed 10-Jun-15 17:55:03

At best you may have made category 5 but the admissions rules are ruthless. They have to be very clear and allow no wriggle room. It's tough but if you haven't been fortnightly for a few years they will treat you as not fitting the criteria. They may be harsh and say lots of people have difficulties.
The advice is good above - the devil is in the detail. Beyond that you'll need to really prove why this school only is the right one for your child

kilmuir Wed 10-Jun-15 18:00:39

sounds awful, would be glad to take child to a different school

ButterflyUpSoHigh Wed 10-Jun-15 19:58:07

You didn't qualify for a place as you don't attend often enough. The admissions criteria is very clear. I think it would be highly unlikely that you would win an appeal.

admission Wed 10-Jun-15 22:24:27

I am afraid on the basis of what you have said, you would not have been considered under any if the admission criteria from 1 to 6 and therefore the school have not made any mistakes. Even if you had said why it was not more than once a month it would have made no difference. The only way would have been to say fortnightly, which for obvious reasons was not appropriate
I think all you can do is go to appeal and say you are a practicing christian but that you were totally honest about the frequency of going to church, whereas others were clearly not so honest. As such you feel that you should be given a place on being honest. It is most likely to fail but you should try.

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