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appeal for year 2 (out of session)

(31 Posts)
mama36 Thu 19-Nov-15 07:43:29

hi
i will really appreciate anyone's advice regarding my issue
i have recently moved to Leeds from outside UK on 30th Sep, have 2 kids 6 and 3 and have applied for admission of my 6 year old for year 2. All my nearby schools are full (except a faith school which i am not comfortable in opting for) so he has been kept on the waiting list. Council also provided me with the name of all schools in Leeds with available space in year 2 but majority of schools are more than 10 miles far. i dont drive so they are out of question
i have appealed for all three nearby schools but am not sure what to expect cos of infant class size rule. can anyone guide me how i can make my case strong
also this appeal is out of regular sessions appeal as children in year 2 had ended their 1st term. my son is out of school for so long and i am worried about it as well
thanks and have a nice day everyone

SuburbanRhonda Thu 19-Nov-15 07:55:59

I don't know how it works in Leefs but in my LA if your nearest school with a vacancy is more than around 3 miles away (for infants) you will be eligible for free home to school transport until a place becomes available at a nearer school. You need to keep on at admissions and transport, daily if necessary, as your child has the right to a school place.

mama36 Thu 19-Nov-15 08:16:05

Thanks alot SuburbanRhonda. i wasnt aware of free home to school transport. whenever i call the council they say they cant help me as the schools are full.

meditrina Thu 19-Nov-15 08:19:11

In UK, it is your legal responsibility to ensure your DC are receiving an education.

If there is a vacancy, even in a school you dislike, and you don't take it up, it's up to you to home educate, send to private school, or find (and fund transport to) a more distant state school with a vacancy.

In identifying a school with a place, the LEA has fulfilled its obligation to you.

I'm afraid that you haven't described anything that would give you grounds to appeal successfully. Waiting list is your best bet.

mama36 Thu 19-Nov-15 09:08:30

thxs Meditrina for your kind advise. i dont drive and majority of the schools are 8-10 miles. the nearest is 4 miles which will take more than 100 min of walk or more than an hour of walk plus bus. it is not humanly possible thing daily with a 6 yr old and a toddler. i cant afford taxi on a daily basis
even the council agrees that " the statutory distance is 2 miles for children under 8"

meditrina Thu 19-Nov-15 09:11:46

Yes, that is true if that is the nearest school with a vacancy

From what you describe, that is not the case for you.

BaronessEllaSaturday Thu 19-Nov-15 09:13:32

Because the local faith school has a vacancy that is the only one that you would get transport to if it's over the 2 miles

tiggytape Thu 19-Nov-15 09:15:28

To be blunt, your options are quite limited and you need to work with that at least initially.

Free transport would be available if the faith school did not exist and did not have a place in the correct year group for you. But since it does have a place, the council is not obliged to pay for your child to travel to a school much further away just based on your preferences. If you want to choose a more distant school over a more local one, you need to fund the transport costs and make the logistical arrangements for school runs.

You have the right to appeal to all of your more local schools but if they are full with 30 per class, you are going to be pushing against the Infant Class Size law which is pretty much set in stone unless an error with your application wrongly denied you a place. Nothing you can say about preferring one school over another should hold any sway for an ICS appeal

If there were no schools at all with a place within 10 miles then you may have had a case to ask the council to use Fair Access Protocol which would force a local school to take your child despite being full. However this still wouldn't give you a choice of local schools - it would be whichever one could cope best with an extra child. But since the local faith has a place spare, no council is going to force an already full school to take you instead. And if they were all full, there's nothing to say that it wouldn't be the faith school that was forced to take you.

So your immediate options are really to taking a place 10 miles away and arranging transport, taking the place at the faith school but withdrawing your child from any worship elements that make you uncomfortable (you are allowed to do this) or Home Schooling.

Longer term you can try appeals - you never know. Although you should not win an ICS appeal for Year 2 on those grounds, you may find a school that doesn't have classes of 30 or may get lucky with one appeal. You can appeal again in Year 3 when the ICS law ceases to apply and an appeal is much, much easier to win. You can also join every waiting list of every school in the local area where these are held and accept the faith school just for a few terms until a place comes up elsewhere.

pinkdelight Thu 19-Nov-15 09:36:42

Tiggytape gives great advice. If I were you, I'd take the faith school place, go on waiting lists for everywhere else in walking distance, and appeal in Y3 when ICS isn't a factor. And in the meantime, if at all poss, I'd learn to drive. So many of these threads have intractable situations because the parent doesn't drive. I know sometimes there's a good reason for it, but in other cases it's just turned out that way and is the one factor under their control that would make a world of difference. Good luck and hope you're liking Leeds, it's a great city!

lougle Thu 19-Nov-15 09:52:40

You don't say what the class sizes are in all your local schools. Tiggytape is spot on: If you can find a local school with class sizes of less than 30, you will have more chance of appeal.

mama36 Thu 19-Nov-15 09:58:49

thxs alot tiggytape for a much needed detailed answer. my nearest faith school is a jewish faith school does it makes any difference compared to a C of E schools.

brokenmouse Thu 19-Nov-15 10:28:00

You need to take the faith school (or home educate) and go on WL. many faith schools have a proportion of their intake not from that faith. If you choose to decline it, the LA have no obligation to you. There may be movement at year 3 as it is a common point where people more to private education in some areas.

mama36 Thu 19-Nov-15 10:30:46

thanks a lot Tiggytape for a much needed detailed answer. my nearest faith school is a jewish faith school, is it comparable to any C of E school or the criterion can b different
thanks pinkdelight for a backup. i really needed that

mama36 Thu 19-Nov-15 10:34:29

hi Lougle sorry i didn't got you. all my nearest schools have 30 seats and my child is on waiting list meaning 30 students are already there isnt it

teacherwith2kids Thu 19-Nov-15 13:10:47

Mama,

My understanding is that if the faith school is a state school, and has places, thenat this point it is treated EXACTLY the same as any other school.

If you had been applying for a Reception place, then the criteria for entry to that school could have been relevant - ie if the school had been over-subscribed at that point, then criteria including being of that faith could have been applied to identify those children who got plces.

However at this point the situation is much simpler:
- This school has a place.
- You need a place.
- You have therefore been offered this place.
- This ends the council's responsibility to find you a place.
- It also means that you won't get free transport to a further away school.

I agree with the others that you have very limited choices at this point, and much the most realistic option is to take this place until the end of Y2, then appeal for p[laces in Y3, when the 30 limit in each class becomes relaxed.

There isn't an option to say 'I don't want this faith school, because it is not a faith I have any links to, so I should be able to request a non-faith or other-faith school', and it doesn't help in appeal - think of the situation around the country, especially in rural areas, where many schools are nominally C of E but contain Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Catholic, etc etc children as well as children of no faith. if every family could appeal on the grounds of 'I don't want a faith school that is not of my faith', then the situation would very swiftly become unmanageable.

tiggytape Thu 19-Nov-15 14:04:04

my nearest faith school is a jewish faith school does it makes any difference compared to a C of E schools.

No. If it is a state school then it is a perfectly valid school for the council to offer you and to expect your child to attend.

Some people are offered Catholic or CofE schools despite being atheists. Some people are offered a Sikh school despite not being of that faith. It makes no odds because you can opt your child out of the worship elements and, in all other ways, the school is just like any other state school

I do appreciate that it may feel odd or uncomfortable to send your child to a faith school for a faith you don't share but if this school is the only one with spaces it might be that a lot of children at the school are not in fact Jewish and this just happens to be the school that has lots of people placed there who don't necessarily choose it.

Even if that's not the case, it being a faith school (any faith) is not grounds to be able to refuse it and insist on transport to a school elsewhere or to refuse it and tell an appeal that this left you with no school place.

Really, you need to work with what you have and know that waiting lists move and that, come Year 3, you position for appeal will be hugely strengthened compared to the chances at appeal now. It really does look as if you would need to accept the faith school unless Home Ed or a very long journey are options you can work with.

mama36 Thu 19-Nov-15 14:42:20

thxs a lot everyone. i am now keeping my options open. planning to visit the faith school and then deciding as website doesnt say much about diversity of kids there
also found mybus as school transport option as the cheapest to travel to distant schools but not sure how it works. does any1 has any experience of sending young kids alone in this service.

brokenmouse Thu 19-Nov-15 17:41:35

OP, you clearly don't understand how these threads work. You are meant to ignore all the sensible advice, state that the council will have to give you what you want and then flounce off.

You seem to have taken the advice on board and used it to make a sensible reasoned plan. That isn't what MN is about!

grin

Youknowit Fri 20-Nov-15 23:09:08

Year 2 is an Infant Class so if there are schools with more that 30 pupils in the class then the assumption is that an additional child would breach the infant class size legislation (no more than 30 pupils per qualified teacher).

The local authority has a duty to offer you a place at a school. If there is one a reasonable distance away (which would be about 3 miles for that age) with a place available that they offer you, then they have discharged that duty. If that is the religious school, then they have discharged their duty. The duty is not to provide you with a school you want (you have a right to indicate a preference not a choice)

If there is no school a reasonable distance from you, then your child may come under the "excepted pupil" exemption. In your case that would apply if you moved into the area outside of the ordinary admissions round (which you did) AND there is no place available at a school a reasonable distance away (Which is where you might fall down). There are other "excepted pupil" exemptions which you might want to look up to see if they apply. Google "School admissions Code"

You won't get transport if you choose to send your child to a school that is further than c3 miles, but you will if that is what is offered to you.

hope that helps.

tiggytape Sat 21-Nov-15 00:13:12

And as an aside:
When your child is Year 3 age and things like classroom size and number per class all suddenly become relevant to appeals, you will be able to get that information directly from the school.
Any parent who is appealing for a place is allowed to request information to aid that appeal and the school or admissions authority must supply it. They are obliged to answer all reasonable questions.

Unfortunately in Year 2, unless there is something about the circumstances of your application that mean your child was wrongly denied a place or is an special category as an excepted child then nothing you can say at appeal should get you over that hurdle that the law states they can't have 31 in a Year 2 class. It really is that strict.

tiggytape Sat 21-Nov-15 00:14:04

meant to post this on your other thread.

TheElementsSong Mon 23-Nov-15 16:04:25

We are in a very similar situation - in the process of moving to Leeds, DDs are both in Year 2. We have contacted the council and every school within several miles of our intended area and there are simply no places.

mama36 Mon 23-Nov-15 16:56:54

oh sad to hear that TheElementsSong. i can provide u with the latest list of schools having place in yr 2 as given to me by council last week

mama36 Mon 23-Nov-15 16:59:05

also TheElementsSong can u plz let me know if u get any progress in this regard. i am really worried as my child is out of school since summer vacations.

32ndfloorandabitdizzy Mon 23-Nov-15 17:23:25

Have you been to look at the Jewish school yet ? Not much doubt which school it is as there is only 1! Not all of the pupils are Jewish at either the primary or the secondary. The other schools in that cluster are also predominantly faith schools, CE, 2 x RC and 1 soon to be in cluster Sikh ethos (Khalsa currently in Harehills but moving to the old fir tree site) so hard to avoid faith!

Go and have a look at Brodetsky. It is a high performing school with great facilities.

TheElementsong- There is a fair churn of places in the schools at the moment. Central admissions may not know the current situation- so do try the schools directly. Which part of Leeds are you moving to?

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