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Advice about school appeals

(6 Posts)
hannahlotty Mon 22-Jun-15 23:28:26

Hi,

I am in the process of appealing the school place for my 3rd daughter and wondered if anyone had any experience of a similar situation. Sorry this is long!

My oldest daughter got into a village infant school. My 2nd daughter then got in due to sibling priority, however my 3rd daughter didn't get in as my 2nd will have moved up to the junior school by the time she starts school. I wasn't going to appeal because I didn't think I had any grounds, however when I looked at the schools published admission policy for 2015 when it explained near the bottom what counted as a sibling it stated "for the intitial intake into the school a child will be given sibling prority only if they have a sibling in the school in September 2014". My 2nd was in the school in 2014 as she had just started in year 2. When I told the head that I was appealing because 3rd should have been given sibling priority due to what it said in admission policy she said that was a typo and should have been changed to 2015. She said that the statement before it and at the top of the policy where it says what the criteria is, they both say the sibling has to be in the school at the time of admission and therefore I won't win.

I decided to appeal anyway as don't think we will manage with different drop offs in opposite directions and am desperate for 3rd to go where other 2 went. I appealed saying that if a parent makes a mistake on their application form that negatively affects the outcome they would not be able to argue that it was a typo and would have to live with the consequences. Equally if the council make a mistake and put in a child in and not a child who lives closer and applying under same category they have to live with the consequences and offer both children a place, they can't retract the place they offered wrongly.

The school is arguing that they have filled all the places and can't go over PAN, however I know in previous years when the council made a mistake they phoned up the head and asked if she would be prepared to take an extra child, she said yes. I also know that there are two families who have accepted the place at my chosen school but have also accepted places at the local private school and plan to send their children there.

On the county website when you look at the admission criteria for my chosen school it just says siblings, it doesn't explain what that means - present siblings, siblings at time of admission, siblings at time of application etc the only place it explains what it means is on this document with the "typo". I also argued that as the statement with the "typo" starts with "in the initial intake" it implies it holds greater weight than any other statement.

Anyone think I stand a chance? Have similar experience? Or any advice?

RainbowSmash Mon 22-Jun-15 23:47:14

All admissions criteria I have read regarding siblings is that siblings in Y6 (so would assume for you Y2 as it is infants) aren't included as siblings as they won't be at the school when the younger sibling starts reception.

I can't say about the typo and whether that is enough grounds to uphold an appeal, but if you know of 2 families intending on sending their child private then the chance of your DC getting a place is high depending on where they are on the list?

The whole primary application process is shocking ime!

hannahlotty Tue 23-Jun-15 00:02:34

DC is 10th on the waiting list. She has moved up from 15, I know 5 place offers were turned down so guess those have all been filled. I know I'm clutching at straws but it's the only thing I have!

RainbowSmash Tue 23-Jun-15 00:05:24

If it makes you feel any better my DS hasn't been allocated a school yet as we moved after the deadline! I'm clutching at everything and anything too! Just go for it, get the strongest case together that you can, everyone keeps telling me there is loads of movement when school starts x

prh47bridge Tue 23-Jun-15 00:17:00

Interesting one. You have a chance but it all depends how the appeal panel look at it. If they take the admission criteria as published you should win. However, if they take the view that it is an obvious typo they will come down against you.

admission Tue 23-Jun-15 22:35:16

I agree with PRH, this is a 50/50 bet on which way the panel will decide. I suggest that you look for anything else that will cast a poor light on the admission process in the school as what you are saying is that the school made the error and also these things have happened, which just may tilt the panel towards your request for a place.
Forget about the schools comments about can't go over PAN, that is the whole point of the appeal. If you win at appeal the school has to accept the outcome of the panel and they will have to take an extra pupil. Having met the PAN is just irrelevant. In fact if the school solely argue at appeal that they are full as they are at PAN, then they have not done enough to prove there case, it has to be issues over and above reaching the PAN.

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