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Appeal advice

(15 Posts)
DocMcPuffins Thu 18-Jun-15 10:15:26

Hi - I've recently moved locations in the UK and therefore my application for a primary school reception place for 2015 was made after the 15th January deadline and therefore deemed late. Our local school is 0.33 miles (5 minute walk) from our house but it is over subscribed and we are now 1st place on the waiting list. We've been given a school, 3.6 miles from our house and as I don't have access to a car, it is a one and a half hour journey each way for me to take my daughter there. Logistically it would be really hard for me to get my daughter there and back as I have a younger daughter who attends a local nursery opposite our local school (therefore also a 5 minute walk). Due to the distance of the school the council have offered us a taxi although I feel it is unreasonable asking me to put my very shy child in a taxi to and from school unaccompanied.

Our local school has already breached the class size to 31 due to an admin error. Our second local school has just breached its class size to 32 due to a SEN child and a appeal being upheld.

I 'm appealing for my local school to either breach the class size to 32 (probably unlikely) or to maintain the breach to 31 if a pupil leaves reception. Given that the school and the council has already agreed that the school can function with 31 children in reception (the reception 2014 class also had 31), I feel that it is unreasonable for them to argue that I would have to wait for two children to leave the class before my daughter is allocated a place which they are currently saying. Please can you let me thoughts. Any other arguments?

Is is illegal for a child to be unaccompanied in a taxi even if the taxi driver is CRB checked.

Thanks for any advice.

Nowfeeltheneedtopost Thu 18-Jun-15 10:46:17

I'm afraid I've read enough threads on here about infant class size appeals to know that what you have written is not going to be sufficient to win such an appeal. Logistics and sibling's nursery are issues that all parents will face to some extent. The council have met their obligations by offering transport (and no, it is not illegal for a child to go in a taxi unaccompanied) because the nearest school they could offer you is over 2 miles.

I think your best bet is to accept the place offered and stay on the waiting list for the nearest school. Hopefully a place will come up over the summer.

PatriciaHolm Thu 18-Jun-15 11:25:17

An infant class size appeal can only be won on one of three grounds; the decision not to admit was so perverse a reasonable person would not have made it, the admitting authority made a error (e.g. got your house distance wrong), or the admissions criteria were contrary to the admissions code (e.g gave priority to those who gave money to the school, for example).

None of those apply here, so realistically you stand very little chance. Previous years appeals do not set a precedent; the fact there are 31 in the class now is irrelevant. The argument is not that the school cannot cope with 31 or 32, its that is is against the law to operate with more than 30 unless under very strict conditions of "excepted children", essentially those admitted under appeal.

A taxi to school is the usual solution, and no it's not illegal for the child to unaccompanied other than the driver.

1st on the waiting list is good though, and likely to be your best chance of a place soon.

Bilberry Thu 18-Jun-15 13:58:39

It is unlikely that your dc will be on their own in the taxi the whole way - the taxi will probably pick up other children on the way or may have done so before picking up your dc. This could lengthen the journey though there is a limit of 45 minutes each way.

DocMcPuffins Thu 18-Jun-15 15:08:33

Thanks for your advice. It looks as though I'll have to sit it out.

Heels99 Thu 18-Jun-15 15:46:33

When you say 'deemed late' do you mean that in fact it was not late, but is being treated as a late application? Or was it actually a late application?

admission Thu 18-Jun-15 15:56:48

to confirm that the one pupil that is over the 30 is deemed an excepted pupil and therefore does not count in terms of having to employ a second teacher. Whilst I can understand your reasoning to go to 32, I am afraid that this is not possible legally and you will only be in a position to gain a place when two pupils have left the year group. You will not (or should not to be precise) based on your argument.
You do not say how old your daughter is but it is possible to accept the place 3 miles away and then ask the school to defer entry till after Christmas. That then gives you extra time for pupils to leave the school year group.

DocMcPuffins Thu 18-Jun-15 21:28:15

Thanks very much admission. My daughter turns 5 in February so yes I can keep her at her nursery until Christmas to see whether a place becomes available. I just wanted to pick up on one point if I may. The council has breached the class size to 31 for another pupil due to a permitted appeal. The council and school have obviously agreed that they have the capacity to accept this pupil (they actually have 179 pupils on the roll call with the capacity overall for 210 pupils). Are you saying that although the school has capacity to accept a 31st pupil, if one child leaves and the class size is reduced to 30 that because my appeal isn't strong enough, I wouldn't be able to convince them to maintain the breach at 31 to allow my daughter to attend and therefore I would have to wait for two children to leave?

It just seems madness to me that if I take up this place (rather than leave her at nursery) I'll have to spend 6 hours a day commuting to a school when her local school has accepted that it can function with 31 pupils in its class.

Rules are rules but sometime there seems to be no logic.

prh47bridge Thu 18-Jun-15 21:49:32

It is nothing to do with the strength of your appeal. There are only limited circumstances in which they can breach the limit of 30 pupils in a class. Once they have gone over that limit the law is that they cannot replace any child that leaves until the class is back down to 30 pupils.

PerspicaciaTick Thu 18-Jun-15 21:56:04

Are you on the waiting lists for any other schools in your area that might be feasible transport wise?

DocMcPuffins Thu 18-Jun-15 21:59:58

OK then. Well it looks as though I'll have to wait then. I know it is easy for me to say this in my present situation but the whole system seems unfit for purpose. You've got siblings who are living miles away but are claiming places and you've got local families travelling miles to get any school place. Pah.

DocMcPuffins Thu 18-Jun-15 22:07:23

Hi - yes I'm on the waiting list for three schools (including our local school) and as I'm only allowed to be on the waiting list for three schools, am ringing the council every other day to check whether any other places have come up. I've moved into a city which is struggling to meet the demand for reception places and therefore everywhere is full and no one seems to be moving.

lougle Thu 18-Jun-15 22:11:24

"The council has breached the class size to 31 for another pupil due to a permitted appeal."

No. The council had no choice but to allow the 31st child because an independent admissions appeal panel ordered them to.

You can't argue that they had 31 before so must have it again. They are not allowed to go over number unless the situation meets specified criteria.

Nowfeeltheneedtopost Fri 19-Jun-15 00:08:52

Siblings aren't "claiming places". They are presumably entitled to places under the admission criteria for the school. I appreciate this is frustrating for you but I am sure that you appreciate that over -subscribed schools can't hold back places for people Who move near the school before the start of term, as you have done. Feel fee to suggest how the system could be made more "fit for purpose" in a way which is fair for all applicants and not just you in your current situation.

lougle Fri 19-Jun-15 07:15:29

Can I just say that on the transport front, my DD1 has been getting a taxi to school since she was 4 and she has SN. It's just something that you have to get your head around.

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