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help navigating appeals hell

(9 Posts)
3asAbird Thu 13-Aug-15 17:16:33

Have 2 children who did not get into eldest primary school due to local sibling policy my Lea operate despite being mile away from school and them giving places to kids in neighbouring county as school sits on border.

So my daughter should have started school last sept 2014.

When we not get a place we defered to jan stayed on at nursery and home educated thinking we get space by xmas.

We were not offered any of our preferences including our nearest school.

Christmas been and gone still no school place we turned down allocated school as logistically impossible in relation to other school as not near our house and in wrong direction and not a great school have no regrets about letting it goes.

Continued home educate thinking by easter we have something never happened by this point I'm getting annoyed and told I can appeal at any time

Anyway april brought more bad news my son due start this reception year failed get eldest school missed out by 123metres.
Got allocated nearest infant school which worried not suited for his needs as he has severe speech delay wrote extensive essay on admissions form why this school tgere is no medical Need category on our admissions criteria abs he had no sibling link as not classed as local sibling.

I replied online first time they done it this year accepting but defering 3rd preference school and ticked waitlist and appeal box.

But I dident get appeal forms in by 29th May deadline but knew I could appeal at any time so sent in to admissions middle of June.

I sent 1st class recorded and rang admissions end June check they got it they confirmed they did.

I sent 2 appeals 1 for each child so 1 year 1 and 1 reception without prejudice not infant class size as pan is lower than ics 30 and schools not at full capacity other years so worth a shot reception standalone class of 20 1 teacher 1 ta and rest if years mixed.

Year 1 had 4spaces end of summer term

Class 2 is 20 year 1 no receptions have left at all this year 1 maybe leaving at xmas and 10 younger year 2 s which is under.

Class 3 is mixed key stages so 20 year 3 and 10 older year 2 so infant class size does not apply to this class jut class 2 which maybe a problem but year 2 is under and class 3 cab go over 30.

My daughter was offered place at nearest infants after may and spent 4weeks there balancing 2 schools plus nursery school hellish wrap around care is expensive and full at new school.

The paired junior school has no year 5 spaces as my eldest does not want to move neither do I wish to move her.

There's traditionally lot if movement at eldest school and many go private at juniors so school maybe has like 15 spaces throughout school.

head says boy maybe leaving at xmas in year 1.

Youngest my son can stay on in nursery school until jan as have reapply for his ehcp new word for statement as 0-25service council special needs department turned him down in march as said he did not meet criteria.

He had his assessment in june july and they urged we reapply in sept but it's another 20 week process with no guarantee he get it and of course he's then missed many months of reception.

My daughters happy go back to new school but worry longer she's there more settled she be and harder will be to leave.

I just rang council admissions again.

They said it's still in there pile as applied late . That they very busy she had list if names of appeals all way upto 14th sept and my children's names not on it.

If the on time deadline is 29th May and they still dealing with on time forms have they not breeches time limit they should process them

What concerns me is my forms reached admissions and still languishing in there office and not transferred to relevant department legal and democratic services.

I got speech from lady saying they have so many appeals not surprising based on results this year and new aprs splitting many more siblings but she can't give me any more info just said it's independent and as schools not open will have wait to sept over 2months after give. In and half way through sept.

I understand they have put together appeal panel and they busy and legal and democratic services deal with appeals but surly form should have at least gone to them.

I know I get 10 days notice just have no idea when stuck in limbo with no reassurance only any email address.

School appeals@southglos.gov.uk which is email address if a council department not an independent body.

in this case despite being late can I now report them to local government ombudsmen for not dealing with our appeals in a timely manner.

daughters no 1 on list best check if need add her year 1 list and sons sons no 3 as 2 people added there name waitlist after allocation date

admission Thu 13-Aug-15 18:14:32

Bit of mess all round.
The bottom line is that many authorities have had a lot of appeals and are running late. You did not send in your appeal form till the middle of June, so it will be classed as a late appeal. The regs for admission appeals say that the appeal should be held within 30 school days. School days are when the pupils are in school, so from the middle of June this would be the end of July. This is after the break up of the school and therefore I believe, depending on the absolute dates, that the admission regs are still being upheld until early in September.
If I am honest an appeal to the Ombudsman solely on the fact they have been slow getting the appeal done will not result in anything other than the LA being told to get a move on.
As I understand it, the daughter in year 1 is at the local infant school, so you have a transport / logistic issue but from the LAs point of view your child has a school place so they have no need to do anything. You have quite sensibly taken the opportunity to defer your son starting at school in the hope of getting a place at the preferred school.
I think from what you are saying that the school has an admission number of 20 and that there are 20 in reception. You say that it is not an infant class size case because the classes are not at 30, but under what the regulations call future prejudice the appeals could be infant class size regs. It all depends on what the school class organisation is, specifically in year 1 and year 2 but also further up the school.
Can you confirm exactly what the situation is or if you want PM me the name of the school and I will check exactly what there class structure is. Whether it is an infant class size regs case or not makes a massive difference as to the chances of being successful at appeal or not. I also noted that your son did not get into the school, missing out by 123 metres, but the LA do give preference to siblings, so I question why he did not get a place. Were all 20 places taken by siblings? Again knowing the school's name might be helpful in checking this out.
As a priority you do need to check that both children are on the waiting list. This especially applies to the daughter as it may well be the school who now operate any admissions that are in-year. I would also ask in writing the admission office for confirmation of having received the two admission appeals and the date that the appeals are going to be heard. Whilst it is unrealistic to hold appeals in August, that does not stop them organising appeals for September - I have lists of appeals I am doing then. By getting them to reply in writing you are firstly making sure that the appeals are in the system and secondly putting down a marker that there is an expectation on when the appeals will be heard. If they drag on, then the issue of timing does become more of an issue for discussion at the appeal.

Bilberry Thu 13-Aug-15 20:59:06

Just want to raise the EHCP refusal; some LA refuse these almost as a routine or have a set of criteria they expect children to meet which are not lawful. This is something else you could have appealed (to SENDIST not LA). This operates on strict timetables and you would have missed appealing your March statement refusal. I don't think you need to wait until September to apply for a EHCP, I am pretty sure you can do so now. They should be meeting his needs anyway so what support have they said they will provide?

IPSEA and sossen have some useful information on their websites.

3asAbird Thu 13-Aug-15 21:00:06

Thanks admissions wanted check they not messing me around.

As they confirm they have paperwork but it's sat in admissions office not passer to legal and democratic services who somehow co-ordinated appeals..

That's my worry my paperwork sat in admissions doing nothing.

Sons definatly on reception list will ring again tommorow check what need to do to get daughter on year 1 wait list.

Head as said infant class size only applies to 1 class 1 in 5 school has as reception is 20 it's 10 below infant class size and class 3 is mixed key stages.

Spaces in nearly every year just not reception which will be year 1 in sept and reception sons year jot started but everyone who's offered confirmed even ones in next county got priority over in County siblings which is why I'm so mad.

We test drive new school 4weeks summer term and not impressed don't think woukd suit sen son as job share teacher and 3 tas it's bit chaotic and 75 intake.

Daughter seems ok there.

Managing mornings fine as pay breckfast club for eldest as hers is mile away and infants 500 metres from home.

It's the 15 in difference pickup times which results in me

being late for older child
pulling in favour from another parent which I hate.

Most afterschool club is pricy and until 6pm.i don't need until 6. 4.30 at latest.

I only work part time so paying wrap around care to do 2schools bugs sadly you don't gt childcare tax credits as you Lea is incompetent and unfair all they doing is rationing places and is placing siblings not dealing with expanding and increasing demand.

prh47bridge Thu 13-Aug-15 22:06:34

Head as said infant class size only applies to 1 class 1 in 5 school has as reception is 20 it's 10 below infant class size and class 3 is mixed key stages

I'm not quite sure I understand what you are saying here. However, I'm afraid it sounds like the head doesn't understand infant class size regulations. Infant class size isn't just about what happens in Reception. If admitting your child means the class he is in will have more than 30 pupils in it when he is in Y1 or Y2 your appeal should be dealt with as an infant class size case.

3asAbird Fri 14-Aug-15 10:32:51

As class 3 is mixed key stages as year 3 ans year 3 was told they coukd go over 30 so instead of 10 year 2 s 11 could I've up.

R is 20 reception.
Infant class size effects class 2 year 1

As 20 year 1 but 10 year 2 s.

Year 2 is under subscribed. All other years have some movement so handed are would never be an issue.

louisejxxx Fri 14-Aug-15 11:57:25

Yes but because Class 2 falls under ICS rules, it has a knock on effect on Class 1 (ie reception) because it means that class cannot go over 20 as it will mean in the following class they are in breach. They have to plan ahead for future years. Therefore it isn't actually 10 below ICS because in future years, going over 20 will mean they breach regulations.

prh47bridge Fri 14-Aug-15 13:00:44

On the current class arrangement if your son is admitted class 2 would be over 30 pupils when he is in Y1. That is called future class size prejudice and means the appeal should be heard under infant class size rules. The panel isn't allowed to assume that pupils will leave regardless of what has happened in the past.

If the school says that they will deal with the problem by reducing the number of Y2 pupils in class 2 and making class 3 bigger that will deal with the class size prejudice issue and allow it to be heard as an ordinary prejudice appeal. But the panel will need the school to confirm that they would take this approach.

admission Fri 14-Aug-15 17:53:30

I am afraid that PRH is correct in that this is a case of future prejudice for the mixed year1 / year2 class definitely and possibly the mixed year 2/ year 3 class.
Whilst the school is saying that they can change the number of year 2 pupils in the year 3 class, there are three issues potentially affecting whether the appeal is an infant class size appeal or not for this class. The first is that the mixed year 2 / year 3 class must not have more than 15 year 2 pupil or it will be classed as an infant class and the ICS regs will be appropriate. Secondly part of the future prejudice issue is not about the actual numbers in the class but the theoretical numbers that there could be. So the school has to assume that there could be an influx of pupils into year 2, up to the PAN of 20. It therefore depends on the current breakdown of numbers in year 2 as to how many the school "may" need to allow for. Thirdly the school cannot go to appeal saying we will just change the pupils around in the classes. They need to state a case as to what is the situation now. All the current pupils will have been allocated a class and be expecting to join that class.
I still think that there is a potential concern over your son. He must be counted as a sibling as you have an elder daughter at the school. You have said which LA you are in and their admission criteria for maintained schools is based on looked after children, then local siblings (within 2 miles)and then distance. You say you live within a mile of the preferred school, so from my understanding of the admission criteria you should have been offered a place if pupils in another LA who have no sibling got a place.

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