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Help do I have a case to appeal - dealing with primary school waiting list

(16 Posts)
Rex22 Sun 22-Nov-15 05:11:41

My son didn't get into his first choice of schools for reception so I put him on the waiting list. He was first on the list until last week were I got an email saying he is been pushed down to fouth place. Because they have had kids over the last few weeks take places in other years, the kids have siblings that need reception places so we had to be pushed down. Firstly is this legally right? secondly could this be a case of race discrimination? Thirdly what are the likely hood of getting a place being fouth on the list? Finally can I take action against school? Many thanks

bittapitta Sun 22-Nov-15 05:21:48

"could this be a case of race discrimination?"

confused you're going to need to explain that one.

Siblings get priority in most (not all) areas still. It will be in the school's published eligibility criteria.

Rex22 Sun 22-Nov-15 05:47:17

Thanks for your reply bitta 70% of available places will be allocated under Foundation (Church) Criteria and 30% based on proximity to school both of which we fit, nothing is mentioned about siblings getting priority. However I do understand that siblings need to be at the same school but if the siblings were not in the school prior to my son being on the waiting list surely it is only right and fair that they go on the list but behind himconfusedhmmangry

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 22-Nov-15 06:12:38

You need to find the full list of admission criteria and also the oversubscription criteria (on school website) - so how they decide who to offer the place to if there is more than one applicant. If there is no mention of siblings there then you can challenge it. It is probably either in the admission criteria or the oversubscription criteria.

Sirzy Sun 22-Nov-15 06:20:24

I'm not sure how it could be classed as race discrimination.

It is quite normal for children to move up and down waiting lists unfortunately. They are fluid lists not set.

louisejxxx Sun 22-Nov-15 07:12:54

surely it is right and fair that they go on the list but behind him

Unfortunately, that just isn't how it works. If 3 sets of siblings have leapfrogged your son then the only reason can be that siblings take priority in some way..maybe they are all closer in distance than yourself and all have the correct faith? If you phone the admissions team they should be able to tell you what criteria they have fallen in to that means they take priority.

wannabestressfree Sun 22-Nov-15 07:27:33

For example we moved to a new area and my DS2 got a place in year 5 as they had one. My DS3 got a place in the heavily oversubscribed reception at appeal as he had a sib there so he leap frogged all those on the list.....
I would just hang fire. He is in quite a strong position...

cedricsneer Sun 22-Nov-15 07:46:11

Race discrimination?! Seriously??

prh47bridge Sun 22-Nov-15 07:56:39

The Admissions Code, which has the force of law, stipulates that the waiting list must be ordered using the admission criteria. It is not first come, first served. If the school's admission criteria give priority to siblings and your son does not have a sibling at the school it is absolutely right that these children have gone ahead of you on the waiting list.

If, as you suggest in your second post, the school's admission criteria do not give priority to siblings that is another matter. In that case you will have grounds for appeal but only when one of these children is admitted. An appeal panel cannot change the order of the waiting list. They can only decide whether or not to admit your son, so you would need to be able to argue that a mistake has been made and that your son should have been admitted.

I will be happy to take a look at the school's admission criteria and advise if you tell me the name of the school and the local authority involved. PM me if you don't want to post that information publicly.

Rex22 Sun 22-Nov-15 10:19:32

I just want to say thank you to all that have replied to my post @pr Heybridge you are so kind.

I mentioned race for two reasons: on both my visits to the school I noticed a large lack of Diversity among school students and secondly as stated on my second post the schools addmisions criteria does not state that siblings are priorities. However I could just be upset and it may be best to hold on tight and wish for the best. I guess as mothers we all some times feel helpless and want the best for our children. Have a good Sunday all

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 22-Nov-15 11:32:00

What exactly do the criteria state? It will state more than the 70%/30% split. That just tells you how many places are reserved for church criteria/non-church criteria. There will be oversubscription criteria within those that say what order the places are allocated in.

MrsHathaway Sun 22-Nov-15 11:36:01

If siblings are not given priority in admissions criteria then you should not have been bumped down the list for siblings.

It is possible that the person you spoke to was mistaken, and didn't realise that the siblings of admitted children also live only ten yards from school or something.

Race will have nothing to do with it. If the school is not diverse then that is the fault of the catchment - and also possibly the draw of another nearby school.

BondJayneBond Sun 22-Nov-15 11:46:27

There must be some official oversubscription criteria somewhere that says how places on the waiting lists are decided. If it's not on your council website, then I'd contact the council and ask them to send out a copy of it.

As pp, say, waiting lists are ranked according to the oversubscription criteria, not how long a child's been on the list.

teacherwith2kids Sun 22-Nov-15 15:29:12

It would be rare to have oversubscription criteria that simply state:
- 70% church places
- 30% distance places

I have Googled on '70% places church admissions' and link to a school with admissions of this type:

www.haringey.gov.uk/sites/haringeygovuk/files/st_anns_admissions_policy_2015-16.pdf

You will notice that under each criterion (church and open places) there are then criteria for how places are offered if there are more applicants than places (though Looked After children get places above all of these). These list siblings.

www.holytrinityn17.ldbsact.org/Admissions/ is similar.

Another
www.archdeaconcambridges.richmond.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Admissions-Policy-2016-17-Reception.pdf
allocates sibling places before the 70 /30 split.

In all cases, the detailed oversubscription criteria do include siblings, and give them priority.

tiggytape Sun 22-Nov-15 17:43:32

As teacher says, even if sibling priority isn't a category all on its own, it is very often the tie-breaker.
So a school that takes children who attend a certain church will choose siblings over non siblings if it turns out that there are more churchgoers than school places.
A school that uses distance will choose a sibling over a non-sibling if some applicants all live the exact same distance away.

And even if there is definitely no sibling element at all (which would be highly unusual) it is still perfectly possible these new people bought a house closer to the school than yours which would make them a higher priority as well.

You need to read all the footnotes about tie-breakers as well as the headline criteria in order to fully understand who has more priority and who has less priority than your child.

Two things are certain:

1. Whatever the criteria a school uses for admissions, waiting lists are never 'first come, first served.' When you are on a waiting list your position can go up or down overnight. The longer you wait on any list the greater the chance that someone will leapfrog you and go above your child because people move to new areas all the time.

2. Race is not a factor. Ever. Lack of diversity is usually because the wider community around the school isn't very diverse or the churches that the school takes pupils from isn't very diverse. There is no way (or desire) for any school to select on grounds of race.

The other thing to remember is that yes, you are further from an offer now than you were a week ago but the people above you don't have an offer either and perhaps never will. A waiting list only moves if / when someone currently in reception leaves the school. If no child leaves at any point over the next few years (this does happen especially at popular schools where even people who move house don't pull their child out of the school) then position on the list is pretty immaterial anyway since there will be no place for anyone to have.

Witchend Mon 23-Nov-15 14:32:05

How do you know what race the others on the waiting list are? confused

But as others have said, waiting lists are like shares: "they can go down as well as up".

Siblings is a very standard waiting list criteria, for obvious reasons. Those above you will probably be ordered in distance from the school too, not in order of who applied first.

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