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Disagreeing re: appeal

(11 Posts)
admissionsissue Wed 17-Jun-15 11:46:49

Namechanger - don't want to give too much information for fear of outing myself. Sorry, it's long!

Basically, youngest of 4dc has not been offered a place at 1st choice Junior school (2 elder sibs at this school, oldest is secondary).

Since applying, partner (youngest 3 dc's father) & I have separated. Children & I want to move (quite some distance!) - xp is opposing this legally. I appealed the school place decision at xp's wishes, but am hopeful that all the dc will be attending an entirely different school in new location. They've been offered places & it's a much better school.

I work in education & I know perfectly well that the appeal has no chance. We were extremely borderline for his current infant place, & are definitely out of catchment for the junior school (have moved house since ds1 started there). Ds2 & ds3 just scraped in (there's a Y5 child up the road, closer to the school, who lost 'his' place, probably to my ds2 on sibling rule) - it's obvious that other dc further up the admissions priority have moved into the area & squeezed my youngest out - which is fair enough. No other grounds for appeal.

So I have no interest in attending the appeal, & would be withdrawing it at this point if it were down to me. I know it's pointless, we'd be wasting the panel's time, I don't intend for any of the dc to be at that school in September, & I can't readily get time off work anyway.

I've informed xp of the hearing & he does intend to attend. He does not understand or accept how these things work & just thinks he can bluster at the panel & get them to accept ds4 'because he's a good kid & they like his brothers' hmm.

My question is should I: notify the appeals panel that I do not wish to continue with the appeal, & am intending to register ds4 at another school out of area BUT xp will be attending; make the effort to attend & explain circumstances; say nowt to anyone, stay away & let xp attend & make his case; go along & 'support' xp on the grounds that if my application to move away with the dc fails, youngest would be better at appeal than offer school?

I don't want to be seen to be nobbling the appeal, in case xp uses this against me when we go to court re residency. Equally I don't want to misrepresent myself - I'm not desperate for ds to attend appeal school & I don't want to spend an afternoon in futile efforts to convince an appeal panel that I am! I also don't want to spend an afternoon with xp - he's pretty unpleasant & verbally abusive to me atm.

The appeal is in my name, as was the initial application, but we both have parental responsibility.

Any advice appreciated!

tiggytape Wed 17-Jun-15 13:54:14

Ideally you need to sort it out with your ex
You also need to consider that your appeal may succeed and you cannot rely on it being a definite no.

This isn't an ICS appeal as it is for Year 3 or above (I assume) therefore there is a chance that DS might get a place.
O.K, so your ex's reasons aren't that solid but he'd only need to do a small amount of research to see what might sway a panel and how he can explain your DS's need to attend. The chances are slim if there really aren't any compelling reasons for needing or wanting a place but it is not impossible. Even if the admissions process was 100% accurate, your child could still win an appeal based on needing to attend or it being in his best interests to have a place. Which will then leave you in a worse position sorting everything out than you are now

Nobody need attend an appeal - the panel will hear it without you being present although this decreases the chances of winning as they cannot ask you any questions that may help your case.

If the appeal fails, is your ex agreeable to your choice of school?
He has PR therefore it is up to both of you to make school decisions.
Just as he cannot enrol your DS in a school you don't want, you cannot move your DS to a totally new school if your ex objects to it. If you cannot agree, it could get very serious even to the point of mediation or having a court step in to decide. You really need to sort it out before any appeals are concluded or any new applications are made and not just hope that your ex loses and gives up - because he might not on either count.

admissionsissue Wed 17-Jun-15 14:10:39

Thanks tiggytape.

There's no chance of ex agreeing to my choice of school - it's not the (excellent) school he objects to, it's where it is. We are currently in the throes of a Specific Issue Order re: whether the dc should live, with me, in the new location - or whether I should be refused permission to re-locate with them. Long past the mediation point, I'm afraid got the tshirt.

I've got a strong case based around a job offer & family support but xp is implacably opposed to his dc moving away as it would make his access more of a hassle/expense - anyway, whole other thread, that!

Xp's position would be that if the appeal fails, ds4 should attend the offer school & I should just get on with schlepping them to different schools in current area.

Mine would be that - regardless of outcome of appeal - the dc & I wish to move out of the area altogether...hence the SIO, which is making its way through the system & won't be settled before the appeal hearing.

Millymollymama Wed 17-Jun-15 14:17:00

Am I correct in that you are already entering legal proceedings because you want to move away thereby making it difficult for your xp to see his children?. Or have I misunderstood this? You seem certain that you will be "quite some distance" away by September so I think your xp should attend the appeal if he wishes to. If your children get a place, you still have to settle your relocation issues with your Xp so the school will come into that equation. If you are not able to move, it would seem sensible to try and have the children at the same school. I would also urge you to try and agree what you wish to do regarding parenting because it is the children who should be at the forefront of your decisions, not the need to punish your ex. (Unless there are very strong reasons why your children should not see him, of course).

TeenAndTween Wed 17-Jun-15 14:18:22

In your situation I would support the appeal.

If you don't get the SIO then you would prefer him to be at same school as siblings, and you haven't antagonised ex by being awkward.

If you do get the SIO, then it doesn't matter anyway.

admission Wed 17-Jun-15 14:46:10

As you have joint parental responsibility, both of the parents can ask for appeals for schools. The panel will not take kindly to you and ex appearing and arguing with each other about what might or might not happen in the future.
You are assuming that you will win the argument about moving and i think you need to assume for the purpose of this appeal that you will not win that argument. I would assume that if you did not then you would want the children to all to go to the same junior school. So either let ex go to appeal and do the necessary or decide to go but keep the argument out of the equation. I suspect the former is the better and safer option

admissionsissue Wed 17-Jun-15 14:56:42

Millymollymama - yes, legal proceedings are in place to allow for moving away for work/education/family/financial reasons following highly gruesome end of relationship.

Absolutely solid copperbottomed reasons for LTB, I can assure you, which I'd rather not go into for fear of outing myself/dripfeeding. It's true that moving out of the area will make it rather more effort for xp to see the dcs, but that's not my purpose in moving. I have very reasonable contact proposals which he's utterly refusing to engage with because keeping us living round the corner is easier for him.

TeenandTween - yes, I hear what you're saying, but I don't really want to weaken the SIO case by giving any credence to the idea that I could accept us remaining here if only ds4 got into the school. I don't want xp saying '...but she was happy for him to go to X school, she attended the appeal & said so!'.

I'd prefer to stay away & let him make his case fuck it up, but equally, he's then probably going to accuse me of deliberately undermining the appeal by not attending angry.

admission - absolutely, us both turning up & having a row in front of the panel is not a good look!

Currently I'm inclining towards ringing them up for advice & explaining the situation?

titchy Wed 17-Jun-15 15:53:20

I'd email ex and say you won't be there and don't support the appeal, but if he wants to go he's more than welcome and make sure he concentrates on the relevant issues that dc4 needs to be at that school.

That way you're not jeopardise the SIO, but hopefully ex will make a reasonable case and as a back up you'll have all of them at the same school should the move be delayed.

I wouldn't explain to the panel cos it's irrelevant really, to them anyway.

poppy70 Wed 17-Jun-15 16:19:46

You may not be able to move away with your children. If you don't, presumably you would like your child to attend the school. Go, say nothing. A siblings appeal has a chance to succeed.

admissionsissue Wed 17-Jun-15 21:03:37

Thanks people. I might just forward the info on to him, leave him to it & not volunteer anything further to him, whilst letting the appeals board know that I will not be attending as I have other plans for the dc that entail neither school place under dispute. Ball's in his court then.

There really, really isn't a viable option that entails myself & dc remaining here in the long term! Xp could theoretically go for residency if he wants to keep them in the locality, but he certainly isn't in a position to do that.

Bilberry Wed 17-Jun-15 23:14:40

Just forward any info on your ex and leave the appeal to him. Don't tell the appeal panel about your plans as it rather smacks of trying to drag them into the argument which is not dignified. Your ex could also then feel you were attempting to undermine the appeal. Let your ex argue for this school. I strongly suspect once the appeal is over the appeal committee don't have any interest in whether you actually take up the place.

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